New Additions to The Wellspring Dragons Site

Finally got the Glossary of Terms and the Cast of Characters pages up, each with descriptions and pronunciations.

I’m not a language expert by any means, but I do like making up words and deciding how a language sounds. There’s a neat language program called Vulgar that will create a fantasy language for you based on how languages work, and your specific inputs. If you need a few words for a fantasy world, and you don’t have time, or the know-how, to create your own language, it’s a great software. You do need to know a bit of IPA to get started, but it’s not that difficult.

Shiobe Rising: The Wellspring Dragon Book 1 and Trouble in Tindrel: The Wellspring Dragons Book 2 are available on Kindle and in epub format. Follow Kwyn Marie on Facebook and Instagram, visit The Wellspring Dragons site, and if you like what you see, buy me a KoFi!


What I Do Between Books

I have just started my indie author career, but that does not mean I’m rushing to get all of my work published as soon as possible. I have a schedule, and I plan to keep it.

I just published Shiobe Rising and Trouble in Tindrel, and while I am hard at work on the third and fourth books in The Wellspring Dragons Series, I’m also planning to write a serial and get some non-Wellspring artwork posted. World Anvil has a new Manuscripts format for guild members that allows authors to publish stories, as novels or serials, and comics (I’m excited about the comics aspect, but I have no idea if I can produce an issue fast enough to make it viable).

I’m eager to write the serial. It follows the adventures of Lapis, whose story I first created in high school, and who has seen many, many changes over the years. It began as a revenge tale, but has morphed into a strange medieval fantasy meets tech and how advanced cultures turn their backs on the abuses of conquered territories when it keeps their power intact.

The comic is a bit more involved, because I draw slow. I’ve always wanted to create one, however; a lot of my high school work is the beginnings of comic books, inspired by Elfquest and Dragonsong.

(Early high school work of mine.)

All this work keeps me very busy. It also keeps me from looking at the publishing schedule and wondering if I shouldn’t just bump the date up a month or two. It’s so exciting, for an author to get their stuff out there for fans to read, but it’s also important to stick to a schedule. It can help authors meet their expectations and obligations without additional stress. Short stories or additional artwork can give people something to consume while waiting for larger works.

And, of course, there’s the marketing πŸ˜’

Buy Shiobe Rising: The Wellspring Dragons Book 1 and Trouble in Tindrel: The Wellspring Dragons Book 2, at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Check out the book trailer, The Wellspring Dragons site, and buy me a Kofi if you like what you see and read!


What Type of Writer Are You?

I never really thought much about my writing process until I was reading a comment in a Discord chat about Manuscripts on World Anvil. The comment talked about how a certain stylistic format would be beneficial to those who planned their writing, but aggravating to those who had a more stream of consciousness approach. When I looked up stream of consciousness on the Internet, I came across this article on TCK Publishing’s site concerning types of writers, which I thought was amusing.

It’s silly, but I’ve never really considered this. For me, fiction writing is putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and delving into the world and characters immediately. The characters and their actions, their responses, dictate how the story progresses. This is how I started writing at eleven, and it’s how I’ve continued writing. The thought of outlines and in-depth plot summaries and knowing how the story will progress from beginning to end makes me shudder.

That’s not to say I don’t know where the stories will end when I write. Granted, sometimes I may not immediately know exactly how things will turn out, but once I have a few characters and chapters, I develop the ending, no matter how vague (the dragons win the war between them and the sfinxes). At that point, I know where the characters and events are headed, but I never plan out ahead of time how the middle proceeds. It’s an adventure me and my characters go on, together. I love writing this way.

And I love writing with a lot of coffee 😁

While I don’t plan ahead, I do write ahead. If I’m stuck at a particular place in the plot and I’m not certain how to proceed, oftentimes I’ll jump ahead in the story and write. For instance, in the process of writing Trouble in Tindrel, I hit a wall of “I don’t know how to proceed” after Sikode takes out the second Condi siojhetioh assassin. I did know Shiobe and Sikode would leave Tindrel and continue on their quest after the problems were solved, so I jumped ahead to that point and began to write. The story progressed quickly, and those future events actually hinted at what I could do back in Tindrel to flesh out the story.

I tend to jump ahead and write about future events before I have the present ones set in stone. I’ll think about, say, a romantic difficulty between two characters, and begin to write on that. The characters resolve it, continue on with the adventure, and that bit grows into a hundred pages. I now have a huge amount of work done on a book where I technically only have the first chapter written. Then I connect the two, which isn’t easy at times. Maybe that’s odd, how I sometimes solve my writer’s block by writing on the same story, only further ahead of the current event.

I’m certain it is odd, that I don’t divide my stories into chapters until I’m getting to the finished manuscript stage. Everything flows from one event to another, without a designated break, and I like that, and it works well for me. Going back and dividing events into chapters more appropriate for reading isn’t that difficult, because stories do tend to have natural break points, and I already have an idea where those will be.

I think this is one reason I’m not as enamored of Scrivener as some. It’s a great tool for managing research items while writing a non-fiction book, but for me, I would never use most of the features. When I come up with a plot point, I don’t just make a note of it, then let it molder until I get to that part of the story. I write it, usually because I’m excited about it. I suppose, it would be nice to have sticky notes of place names and character physical descriptions handy, but I already have that info written down (I forget place names, people names, special words…like ‘shadow artist’ vs ‘shadowartist’. Which did I use?).

It doesn’t really matter how you write. Do what feels comfortable. If you enjoy planning every detail, great! If you prefer to just jump on in and see where the tale takes you, great! Writing should be fun. Find a way that works for you, that you enjoy. Otherwise, writing becomes a chore, and that serves no one.

Check out Shiobe Rising: The Wellspring Dragons Book 1 and Trouble in Tindrel: The Wellspring Dragons Book 2 at ebook retailers, and read more about the world of The Wellspring Dragons here. If you like what you read, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and buy me a Ko-fi!


Book Trailer UP!

So excited! My first book trailer, for Shiobe Rising: The Wellspring Dragons Book 1 and Trouble in Tindrel: The Wellspring Dragons Book 2, is now up on YouTube!

I learned After Effects in the process of making the video. There’s so much to learn and do as an indie author, that one might not think about. I found the creation of the mobipocket/EPUB excruciating, but while making the trailer was frustrating at times, I felt pride instead of sick relief when it was done.

The gist of the stories are taken only from images. I did that on purpose. I read about creating book trailers, and a few authors said that, especially when using it as an ad, people watch without sound. If you have a narrator as the primary source of info in your trailer, it might be less interesting for viewers who have mute enabled.

I created, illustrated, played the tin whistle, and edited the music for the trailer. Modulo Torsion, my husband’s side project, composed the fast drum part.

If you enjoy my writing and art, follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Or buy me a Ko-fi!


Fantasy Writing: What to Explain

I’ve read a lot of advice for and from writers over the years. One article that I read many, many years ago (don’t recall by who), stuck with me because I thought it was sort of absurd. The author claimed that every little thing in a story needed to be explained in-depth, in story, for readers to understand the tale as it was meant to be understood. This writer thought describing a starship to the minutest detail, even it took several pages, would engage audiences and immerse them in the world, rather than elicit boredom.

At the time, I shrugged because I thought it extreme, but I’ve seen the question crop up now and again, especially concerning fantasy and world building. Some authors believe a multi-page history of terms and concepts should be written, others believe that the reader can figure out certain ideas through context.

I fall more on the “readers have a mind, they should use it” side. I believe readers can see a word or concept in context and figure out the meaning without a wiki-style definition. I remember how many people asked “What does ‘sera’ or ‘n’wah’ or ‘ceruval’ mean in the Elder Scrolls games?” I have found one can pick it up from context without having to know an exact definition. If a mace-wielding bandit rushes at my character screaming, “N’wah!” there’s a good chance it’s not a nice, polite word. If a polite high elf calls my character ‘ceruval’ in a calm, respectful voice, there’s a good chance it’s a term of acknowledgement. I don’t really need to know that ‘n’wah’ means asshole or something similar to understand what’s going on (mace-wielding bandit isn’t happy I’m in their cave and is attacking!).

Concepts can be a bit trickier to introduce without explanation, but sometimes I think allowing a reader to create something of a character or plot on their own can lead to a more immersive environment. I think it makes them more involved with the characters and story. For instance, Cloverfield succeeded (for the most part) as a movie because audiences had to guess from the beginning what kind of monster could cause such destruction. People’s imaginations came up with what they, themselves, considered scary, and it made the movie more intense. The director’s vision of the monster wasn’t necessarily what the audience found terrifying.

Which is scarier: Extant monster or red eyes behind the trees?

I realized this when I first watched the 1963 movie The Haunting. Special effects were not exactly CGI at that point, and monsters and ghosts and goblins came across as silly much of the time. To avoid this, the director decided to show the results of what the entity did, not the entity itself. Let’s look at the classic scene, of the wooden door bending inwards after the loud banging sound of footsteps stopped outside it. What entity could do that? Was it really the ghost of a woman? Would the door break? If it did break, what would the crumbling structure reveal? I created a very scary ghost all on my own, without a visual from the movie. The actual ghost wasn’t needed. I believe it made the movie that much more frightening, because I came up with something that I personally found scary.

I do this in my own writing. At one point, I have creatures that emit cold chasing the characters, but they cannot see them, so the reader doesn’t know what they look like. The reader can imagine the creature and its appearance, and their image of the monster will likely be scarier for them than any lengthy description on my part. This doesn’t work all the time, but it can in some situations. Why not use it?

It’s true, some fans prefer everything spelled out, to the letter. That’s what world-building wikis are for😊

Shiobe Rising: Wellspring Dragons Book 1 and Trouble in Tindrel: Wellspring Dragons Book 2 are available for download in the Kindle and Barnes and Noble ebook stores. If you like what you read, check out the Wellspring Dragons World. Support me by buying me a Ko-fi!