There And Draft Again

A Fellowship of Fantasy Writers

There and Back Again May 31, 2014

Hi everyone!

In November 2012, I gathered a few Fantasy writers I had met online and created this blog. The idea was to share our thoughts on all things related to reading and writing Fantasy fiction. Along the way nearly 300 of you, dear readers, joined us as we walked on our different paths to publication. We shared with you our writing tips, reading recommendations and publishing adventures. In return you commented on our posts, leaving your tips, recommendations and thoughts. It was great!

Unfortunately, last month, it became clear our lives have all become too hectic and our schedules too busy to allow us to continue this blogging adventure. This means this blog won’t be updated anymore, although it will remain online.

If you’re new here, feel free to browse through our archives to find out about our writing resources.

If you’ve enjoyed following this blog, feel free to find us on our personal blogs:

EM Castellan

Blog: http://emcastellan.com/

Raewyn Hewitt

Blog: http://raewynhewitt.wordpress.com/

Jessica Montgomery

Blog: http://www.writerjessica.com/

K. L. Schwengel

Blog: http://myrandommuse.wordpress.com/

Mara Valderran

Blog: http://maravalderran.blogspot.co.uk/

Kate Michael

Blog: www.kate-michael.com

Rachel O’Laughlin

Blog: http://rachelolaughlin.wordpress.com

Rachel Horwitz

Blog: www.rachelhorwitz.com/blog

Thank you for your support during the past 18 months. Thank you for reading, commenting, liking and sharing our posts. I hope you’ve found something useful or entertaining here. I know it’s been a pleasure to be part of this blog, and I’ll miss it.

So don’t forget: keep writing Fantasy. Keep reading Fantasy. Keep working towards your publishing dream(s). And most importantly, keep going on adventures and believing in dragons.

EM Castellan

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Art Imitating Life? February 8, 2014

Filed under: Writing — thereanddraftagain @ 6:00 am
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A week or so ago on my blog I reviewed Evensong, an awesome fantasy book by Krista Walsh. The basic plot is about an author getting transported into the fantasy world he’s created, and coming to grips with the fact he may not be as in charge of that world as he thought. It’s an excellent book scheduled to be released on February 10. I suggest you pick up a copy. It will brighten your Monday.

Anyhow, Evensong started me thinking about where a writer’s ideas come from. Where mine come from. It’s the age old question regarding the origins of creativity. Are we tapping past lives? Alternate realities? Alien transmissions?

Okay, that last one, maybe not so much. Just seeing if you’re still with me.

I tend to gravitate toward the flawed characters. Those with a touch of darkness, and ambiguous moral codes. My stories aren’t dark, per say. Not all of them. But they tend to lean more that way than towards fluffy bunnies and sparkly unicorns. Not that there’s anything wrong with bunnies and unicorns, they’re just not me. In my story, the bunny would be dinner, and the unicorn would likely harbor delusions of grandeur. But the question remains; am I drawing from bits of myself? Exploring the dark side of my psyche? Why is it I, or any other writer, gravitate toward a certain genre, character type, or theme?

Like every author, I’ve been asked why I write what I write, and where I come up my story ideas. My standard answer is a shrug, followed by something to the effect of, “It’s the voices in my head.” It’s a lame response, I’m aware, but it’s the best one I have. I honestly don’t know. Sure, certain things spark my imagination. There are images, songs, lines from poems, a certain character…but that’s just the match that lights the fire. What I wonder is where does all the wood come from to feed that fire.

If you believe in past lives or parallel universes, then perhaps the theory that creative types can tap into those worlds is plausible. That we’re not so much imagining events, but recording them as they happen. Krista Walsh touches on that idea in Evensong, I won’t take credit for it.

Maybe creation is just the result of a finely developed imagination and nothing more. We’re able to take a simple premise and ‘what if’ the daylights out of it. That’s how our brains work. Those voices in our heads, those characters running amuck until we tell their tale, are nothing more than a spark of brain neurons…synapsis…hey, I’m not a brain surgeon, give me a break. I think you know what I mean.

Or is there really a more mystical explanation? Are the muses something tangible? Do they choose certain people to be their conduits? Are the voices of the characters, the paths they wander, given to us by something beyond our comprehension?

*huge shrug* I have no answers. I still haven’t found my own. Have you found yours?

~ K. L. Schwengel

 

Video Games as Inspiration September 19, 2013

Hello Readers!

Sorry for the delay in post, but I just got stitches out and wanted to write something to celebrate 🙂

Now, onto the post. Inspiration can be found all around us. Most people look to television, movies, and nature, but an underrepresented media are video games. There are a plethora of fantasy game available for players of all strengths. Five of my personal favorites are below.

5.) Skyrim
The_Elder_Scrolls_V_Skyrim_cover

You play the role of a character capable of using the ‘The Voice’ (Dragon Language which allows you to control fire, snow, and other elements) and are charged with destroying a dragon said to bring about the destruction of the world. You are capable of choosing whether you want to use an ax, duel swords, sword, and shield, or primarily magic. You can also chose to be one of the many inhabitants of the world. The world is fairly rich with lore and you can get into the middle of a civil war if you so chose.

4.) Diablo 3
Diablo_III_cover

The third installment of the Diablo series, a series I’ve been playing since I was five, doesn’t disappoint in continuing the lore they had in the first two games. Information is giving to you through journal entries that are found throughout the game. It deals with the struggle between The Hells, the world of humans, and Heaven, and does a great job of blending story and action.

3.) Guild Wars 2
Guild-Wars-2-Logo

Very different from the other games I posted above, this game is only available to play online and can be played with many, many players. Admittedly, there are Guild Wars books, but the game is so much fun to play. It’s based in a fantasy world called Tyria that is split up by race (of which you can choose any to play). You have to quest throughout the world, gaining levels to unlock more of the story. Depending on choices you made at the beginning, your personal story will be different. However, everyone eventually must team up to take down an undead dragon bent on destroying the world.

4.) The Witcher 2
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The Witcher 2 is also based off a book series, but is definitely a fun game. You play as Geralt, a Witcher-a monster hunter that most everyone is afraid of. The game is interesting because you can chose what you say and what you do, which drastically impacts the ending. There are multiple endings and multiple paths to take. I would say this game is more for the advanced gamer ( in my opinion) as the controls are a little hard to get control of.

5.) Dragon Age Origins
RedDragonwithlogo

Personally my favorite game of all time. You can pick between being an elf, human, or a dwarf. Of these three choices, there are paths you can take, noble, lowborn, mage, or a Dalish Elf-elves who refused to be subjected by the humans. You play as a Gray Warden, defenders of the world against the Darkspawn, men twisted from touching the seat of God. You must defend your country from the invading darkspawn, while gathering armies from others in the country. One of the great parts of the game is that you can talk to your fellow party members and form relationships with them. Not to mention the lore in the game is outstanding and consistent across all games.

SO, if you’re into playing games and writing fantasy, I would suggest checking them out. Do any of you have favorite games?

jess