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July 11 is the DAY Blood & Soul will Publish

Join the growing tribe at the Official Website of Author Allen G. Bagby (signing up here on my blog won’t work. You must go to my website) and you’ll be rewarded with an awesome audiovisual delight – the book trailer to Blood & Soul. It’s a collaborative creation between me, my graphics designer and award-winning composer Patrick Rundblad. I’m ready to unleash the book on July 11, 2014. It’s the first book in the Creed of Kings Saga.  As a bonus you’ll also get a download of the epic map. There are more goodies to come. Don’t miss out.

Writing Rules Redeem

A few writers are gifted like Stephen King. They seem to have the instincts from the get-go, like a person born gifted with seemingly embedded musical talent. So when gifted people like that say there are no rules to storytelling, it seems valid to them and the folks seeking wisdom on how to be as good as King go looking for inspiration rather than perspiration. When King sits down and just writes, it’s not, of course, me just sitting down to write. I was born with a desire to tell stories and play guitar but not the inborn talent. I had to work on it and that’s my lot in life, to perspire and agonize and strive for excellence. I accept it. For me rules are the way. And I cling to quotes like this one attributed to Mozart, “Genius is only a great aptitude for patience.” But, with that said, even Stephen King and Mozart adhere to rules, King to the plot point and Mozart to the beat. No matter who writes the book or composes a symphony there is certain criteria that must be met or most people won’t care about the disjointed story or discordant notes. Rules redeem.

Blood & Soul on Audio

Blood & Soul – Will it be on audio? A couple of people have asked about this. The short answer is YES! I will make it available on audio…eventually. I’m not sure of the cost yet. Since my book is 430 pages it might be cost prohibitive for a while due to the hourly rate for voice talent. The “VOICE” is extremely important. When I listen to audio books I prefer a male voice with a British accent. And I hear Blood & Soul in that accent, although I consider my book a very American novel.

 

 

Blood & Soul – Back Cover Brainstorming

Blood & Soul Back of the Book Story Description

So you’re clicking through the books on Amazon or reading the back of a book in a bookstore and you read this story description:

A powerful spell banished demons to the Underworld ages ago. Now they gather seething for slaughter beneath an ancient portal. Prophesy says that sacrificing the king of the Midvast on a day shrouded in mystery will free Quuma’s demonic horde. Erupting from the portal their shades will become flesh, unleashed to quench their lust for human suffering and death. The reek of ruin will cover the land as it did before the spell.

Ledarrin is the bastard prince of the Midvast living in the shadows of a revered dynasty. In spite of his lineage, he’s the favored son of the king. Mathagel, the pureblood son, usurps the throne in fear of losing his birthright. He throws Ledarrin into a dungeon to be executed soon for crimes against the realm. Ledarrin escapes amid clashing factions. The survival of the realm seems lost.

Pursued by a legendary assassin Ledarrin begins a heart-pounding adventure across formidable wilderness into a deadly future he has yet to understand; a journey marked by lost love, seduction, betrayal and battle leading him to discover the challenges of his true identity. He’s quest is joined by aging warriors, unlikely allies and a heretic rumored to have knowledge of ancient scrolls, the Creed of Kings, that will thwart Quuma’s plans. It will change everything he has ever believed about the gods and his future. To save his father and the future of the realm, he must forge a new path free from the shadows of a dynasty, into light, away from his blood and into his soul.

Help me! I tried to keep it simple. That’s about the 10th draft! Boiling down a 166K word epic into 259 words is challenging. But does this zing?

Writing a Book: Major Steps and Practical Concerns As Publishing Nears

Made a major step in preparing Blood & Soul for the final pass for my editor. He loved reading it the first time and with his suggestions and edits it improved even more. My yeahbabyb&Seditor and I are contemplating the services of a proof reader. The reason? The book is 160,000 words. We need another pair of eyes for a product that is so epic. Of course, looking for typos is a must but also things like consistency – is this east or west, is it cloudy or sunny, is the secret entrance on the west side or the east side of the wall, did he or she really say that earlier? You’d be surprised what you can forget about a book you wrote yourself.

When you change a character’s name in a 160k word manuscript you will inevitably miss a spot and leave the old name in somewhere. I typed the main character’s name 1256 times. But even a supporting “actor” gets a lot of space and the minor characters sprinkled throughout a 160k words can be missed very easily for a good reason. Even using the “find and replace” feature in MS Word won’t catch everything because you might have misspelled the name you’re replacing once or twice and the feature will miss those. That will derail the reader who’ll be trying to figure out what the heck happened. There’s a zillion little things like that. And, that’s why a fresh pair of eyes is NEEDED. It can become very tedious and fatigue can set in. It’s the difference between a Frankenstein and phenomenon.

 

 

Happily Forging Ahead

bloodandsouledit3-2-14I’m happily forging ahead on Blood & Soul. When I began revising this document it was 611 pages. It’s now 756. It’s not getting longer. Let me explain. In several locations I told the story in a non-linear fashion. I thought it was clever, my editor thought is was confusing – ha ha. I cut and pasted those scenes back into a linear sequence and “rewired” them into place. When you are in the “tracking changes” mode of MS Word it does not literally remove a cut section, it strikes through a section. Therefore it adds pages because if I strike through four pages those stricken pages remain until the change/deletion is “accepted” by my editor. But as I write-through, the goal post seems to stretch away from me but in reality it is not.

Thinking I’ll write a Novella

February 24, 2014 2 comments

What do you think? As Blood & Soul creeps every closer to being unleashed on the public, I’ve begun to outline the next book in the saga – the working title is “Out of Oblivion” – and yes! it is epic and awesome or I would not be writing it.

During a meeting with my good friend Dale Young, he suggested I write a short story or a novella from the same world but outside the series of books I have planned. The purpose being to give it away either by publishing it or getting people to sign up on my blog/website for a series of entries and give readers a taste of my style.

The story won’t be drummed up just for promo purposes. I already have two stories within the world of the Creed of Kings Saga that I’ve been chewing for quite sometime. I have a full time job so it takes me a long time to generate a solid story. I have confidence that both of these stories are compelling enough and should be written at some point. Both have great concepts.But one of my worries is that it will sprawl into yet another epic as I strive for awesome.

Bottom line is I’m giving the idea of writing a short story or novella serious thought. If I can control myself and keep it simple, it would also help with a feeling of accomplishment. It would be gratifying to actually write and publish another story fairly quickly. Let me know what do you think?

The Grindstone

I’ve barely scratched the surface refining this final draft of Blood & Soul. Although I think this story is solid and I’m enthusiastic, refining it to perfection is going to be epic in itself. It is incredibly tedious and time consuming.grindstone

Imagine approving 32,754 punctuation changes in a 158K word document – things like changing from one style of quote (“) to another or approving the deletion of a space or the insertion of one. 705 pages of New Courier font and 750 comments in the side panel, half of them related to format changes from standard to italics. The other half of comments noting inconsistencies or suggestions on info in a paragraph of narration. My editor also caught sentences sprinkled throughout the epic draft left over from the previous versions. I suspected it would be there. It will require a lot “rewiring” so to speak to get everything just right.

As I go through this I sometimes wish I was as nerdy (and I mean that in a good way) or exacting as my editor. It boggles my mind to think he enjoys this. It’s like he is responsible for the training of an athlete. I have the muse and he’s got the mallet that knocks me back to my senses.

Back to the grindstone.

I’m Almost There!

December 15, 2013 Leave a comment
We’re almost there, Allen! Thanks for your patience as I pace my way through this epically epic novel you’ve written. Loving it. Talk to you soon! – To me from my editor in an email Friday.
That doesn’t mean it will be published next week. He will send it back to me hopefully before the Christmas break. I, the slow reader, will reread it and consider all his notes and then begin the process of revisions.
Being that I am a total rookie when it comes to self-publishing, I had not factored in this necessary, crucial and time-consuming step. Delays, delays, delays! Ugh.
I’m guessing I’ll revise and correct, which, I’m guessing, will take me a couple of months because I have a fulltime job that sucks up a lot of intellectual juice. A couple of months is how long it’s taken him to edit the 160k manuscript. I can’t imagine it taking me less time to go through it again. Nevertheless, my spirits are up.
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