Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

6 Tips To Boost Your Morale When You’re Sure Your Book Sucks

By Brent King On May 2, 2016 No Comments

your bookYour book sucks. You’re sure of it.

You’ve labored over your work-in-progress for innumerable hours, and all that blood and sweat has come to this: your novel is trash. Nothing you write is good enough.

No one will ever like it. How could you have been so delusional as to think they would?

But wait! Don’t click the “delete” button on your manuscript—yet. There are a few things you should try first.

1. Realize the Truth

You are not alone. Even successful authors question their work. That rough draft never speaks like the story in your mind.

Remember that those drafts are far from your finished story. Even the roughest telling can end up bringing laughter and tears after many eyes polish it.

2. Reshuffle the Deck

Take a break. Reimagine—relive—the original dream you had for this




My Story: The One-In-Seven-Billion Me

By Brent King On January 19, 2016 No Comments

“Tell your story. Don’t try and tell the stories that other people can tell. Any starting writer starts out with other people’s voices. But as quickly as you can start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there will always be better writers than you and there will always be smarter writers than you, but you are the only you.” ― Neil Gaiman

my story

With over seven billion people in the world today, one can feel like they’re just another brick in the wall. However, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s a big story being told in our world, with each of us telling it from the position of protagonist. No one else lives in my exclusive place. No one else possesses my combination




A New Year’s Greeting

By Brent King On January 1, 2016 2 Comments

window

Crisp and cold, the Old Year ebbs

Still alight with Christmas joy

The streets stretch out before me

My breath steams along strings of color

That etch eve and doorway on my path

Before it ascends to the stars

 

Swagged windows frame vigilant candles

That invite me in

I tiptoed through each Advent house

Surveying crèche and tree

In alcoves scarcely large enough

To hold their cheer

They glow there just for me

 

Darkened houses stand between

Where Christmas never falls

The Old Year stumbles and I pause

Before their melancholy

Yet others, not quite dark, hold out hope

With antique strings of light from years gone by

Peering through the trees

 

Homes, ablaze with color, paint the lake

Beckoning the hour

Wreaths and canes line wrought iron fences

That swaddle me in light

I turn the corner toward the frigid stars

And meet the New Year

 




A Space For a Story of Our Own

By Brent King On June 22, 2015 3 Comments

Writing desk_optJust the other night I watched Bilbo Baggins sitting at the desk in his study at Bag End. Something moved me in the ambiance of the picture, something about the paper, the ink…the architecture. A fire flickered at a hearth that was the same shape as the inspiration that streamed through his window.

The image of Bilbo with pen and ink touches me because it reminds me of what I experience at my desk. Surrounded by my favorite things, I fancy I feel the same as Bilbo when he penned “There and Back Again.”

We all have those special places that draw out the best from us, and what works for me will not necessarily work for you. Recently, I asked some author friends to share their writing spaces with me. As I




“But why werewolves, Brent?” my mother asked.

By Brent King On April 8, 2015 No Comments

Werewolf_By_Night_(Jack_Russell)That’s a good question.

It all started with a healthy dose of Tolkien and Lewis when my kids were young. For some reason, it never hit me before: fantasy could talk about life in such powerful ways. There were things about reality that could only be said in this genre.

But werewolves? By rights I should be writing high fantasy, with its amazing worlds and creatures. Since I am what some would call a Ringer (having written a book on The Lord of the Rings), I’m not really sure why I don’t. I certainly wouldn’t say I’d never create a world like Tolkien did but, for now, the themes I am driven to talk about are best imaged with low fantasy. Yes, with werewolves.

For, after all, even my mother can see that the werewolf doesn’t




The Music That Writes My Books

By Brent King On March 25, 2015 No Comments

piano keysMusic.

It’s always been extricably linked to my life, and my writing. Ever since I could make out a tune on the piano, its magic charmed me.

Through the years, pianists and orchestrators have moved me, inspired me, enthralled me. Here are just a few artists that have pushed their way to the top, becoming the vanguard of the musical magic that haunts my days and writes my books.

Rolf Løvland

André Gagnon


Hans Zimmer


Thomas Bergersen



Peter Roe

Marcus Warner

What music accompanies you as you write?




Shadows

By Brent King On February 24, 2015 No Comments

shadow-face-chair-1I grew up in a land of shadows. In that country, it was a necessity. A solid wall made a shadow, but it also protected against invaders. Behind it I hid from those who would plunder my weakness and attack my home.

But it wasn’t just that. It was the very nature of my land. The mountains, the trees, and even the clouds threw shadows. A shadow followed me all the days of my life. How could I possibly visualize anything else?

Bulwarks blocked the light, spreading shade to possessed my home. I lived in a house of shadows, a congested den of darkness. The light struggled to illumine my world. And it was so dark….

I didn’t know that until I came here. Every tree and face and mountain glows from within. The translucence of




What’s the Good of Evil?

By Brent King On February 10, 2015 No Comments

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

black rider

The Substance of Story

I have always thought it interesting that stories take a certain form in this world, a form that comes to us directly from The Fall. Seriously. Read any book on story structure and you will quickly discover that without evil, you have no plot and therefore no story—at least no story worthy of telling. To take the evil out of




The Understanding is in the Writing

By Brent King On February 2, 2015 No Comments

“How can I tell you what I think until I’ve heard what I’m going to say?”

writingTruth is compelling. It places within me a longing to write. I write because I can’t ignore the burning in my heart. I must explore it. When I sit and write it’s because I have something to say, yet I don’t yet know how I’m going to say it. I don’t yet perceive its form. I haven’t figured out ahead of time how I want to express it. I’ve only tasted enough to desire to probe it further.

My stories incarnate around world-view changing thoughts that burn within me. I marvel often at their voice. Yet before I can share them I must learn their secrets through the journey of writing them down. Before I can teach, I must be taught. My




Fantasy Training 101

By Brent King On November 11, 2014 2 Comments

GethsemaneFantasy has helped many of us reach beyond the physical world toward God. We thrill as we imagine God in a new way, interacting with Him in worlds of dragons or fairies or werewolves.

Yet Fantasy is a Two-Edged Sword

With our fallen natures, fantasy will just as likely take us into realms of temptation. The lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life are ever lurking in the shadows, waiting to take our imagination where it shouldn’t go. This fabricated world is even more likely to ensnare us than the physical one. Whether we are exploring someone else’s fantasies or our own, the same imagination that is so adept at lifting us up to heaven can also drag us down to hell.

In the real world, there are checks and




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