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My Works On My Writings

Red Swords, Integrals, and Longer Days

When the days get longer, I feel more exhausted. It could also be because school is getting close to being over (I’m in exam week right now) and I’m just sleeping less.

I was thinking to myself earlier this week about how little I really use my website to engage readers and talk more about my writing. I’m always using social media now, and I kind of hate that. I would much rather write a blog post than a social media post. But, a lot fewer people read this. In fact, if you’re reading this, you’re probably one out of three people, and the third person is probably a family member. As a compromise for myself, I have decided to post a new blog post on the first of every month. We’ll see how long that lasts.

The month of April was interesting. I’m not sure if it was a good interesting or a bad interesting.

School is almost over, and at the end of every semester, I start to get less and less motivated to do work in every aspect of life. I begin to feel stretched thin from all of the work I’ve put into school and life and I just want to rest. I typically read and write less too, but that depends on how stretched I am. I’m a little nervous about exams (specifically my Basic Multivariable Calculus class), but I’m doing fairly well grades-wise up to this point so, hopefully, it won’t be too bad.

On top of that dragging feeling that is school, I started writing my second book! Right now I’m titling it The Branded Blade. It’s got this name for a few reasons. The first is that it sounds kinda cool. But, since that’s not a good enough reason, it deals a little bit with some of the character and world-building. The main character, Jamie Franklin, carries a red-bladed sword with a branded mark on the hilt. The fact that it is a red blade is significant to the world. But, if you want to know why you’ll have to read about it if it gets published. (For more details on the book’s plot, you can read my last blog post here.)

This book really has me excited about writing again. The story feels more unique and it’s a lot less complicated than in my last book. I enjoyed writing multiple POVs, but it is a lot more challenging than just working on one. Plus, the stress of making sure to foreshadow and plant the seeds for events to come in the seventh book in a series while working on the first can be a little much at times. Especially for it being my first book. But, that pressure is gone for The Branded Blade.

I’ve learned a lot since the last time I started a book, and the process here feels a lot smoother. For one thing, I’ve been writing more consistently. My goal is to finish the rough draft of this book by late August/early September. Right now I’m at almost 11k words and I started writing it on April 12th. Not doing too bad considering all the school I’ve had to do.

If you’ve made it this far, I feel like you deserve a bit of a treat, especially since no one reads this blog. So, here’s the first paragraph of the book. It’s not perfect, and it’s still a rough draft, but I feel like it is a good start for the book.

Jamie loved interacting with and studying the many creatures that roamed the lands, but he liked it more when they weren’t trying to kill him in the process. They always seemed to look so docile and friendly in the drawings. He needed to stop trusting the drawings.

The Branded Blade

That’s all I have for this month. Hopefully, I’ll have written some more or done something interesting by the time June rolls around.

That’s wild to think about. June is next month. I feel like 2022 just started.


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#aSotS #tIRS On My Writings

Poetry, Books, and New Magic

Hello everyone!

It’s been a while since the update, and I have a feeling there are a couple of things that you would like to hear about.

A lot has happened since my year in review. As a complete shocker, I haven’t really followed the schedule that I laid out in the review. But, I have been productive nonetheless.

First, I finished writing the rough draft first book in my series, The Inner Ring Saga. It was a long road to get here. But, the sense of accomplishment that comes with writing a nearly six hundred-page novel is pretty incredible. The novel is a little over 151,000 words long. But, I will be adding about eight or nine viewpoint chapters and a new character in the second draft. There’s a lot of work to go in the book, but it’s one step closer to being finished.

This is the rough draft printed out in its entirety. A lot of editing to come!

Since I finished writing the rough draft, I’ve decided to let it sit and rest for a bit. I’ve worked hard on that book for nearly five years and I need to be away from the story for a little bit. I’m in no way done with it, but I do need some space before carrying on with the second draft.

So, what am I doing in the meantime?

Well, a couple of things.

First, I started outlining a new fantasy book in a separate universe from The Inner Ring Saga. This world is very unique and has some interesting dynamics that will be fun to play with. This book I’m outlining is the first in a trilogy (and it will stay a trilogy because I can’t write another seven-book series. It’s not viable for publishing). The story is like The Witcher meets Sherlock Holmes and the main character has just come out of the world’s school for magic. Speaking of magic, the magic is based entirely on the mind. There are several different types of magic (which you’ll have to read the book to find out) but they’re all different aspects of how the mind operates. It’s set in a pre-Victorian era style world which is a setting I’ve always found super cool. As far as the actual outlining is going, it’s gone rather slow. Which I’m totally okay with, I don’t want to get burned out again.

Second, you may have noticed I have been posting some poems here on my website and on my Instagram account (which you can follow here). I’m trying to branch out a bit in my writing style, and poetry and short stories are giving me a new style to take a break from the longer fantasy novels I have typically been writing. Right now I’m working on writing a short story and poem collection called Seasons. Each part of the book will be centered around Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring. I want there to be at least one short story and four or five poems for each part. It’s a super fun project to work on. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it when I’m finished. I don’t want to publish it traditionally, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to self-publish it either. We’ll have to see what happens. First I’ve got to finish it.

I hope to start posting more to the blog here, but I can’t really make promises. To keep up to date, the best bet is to follow me on Instagram. I’ve been more consistent with posting there than anywhere else.

As for what I’ve been reading lately, I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like. School has taken a pretty decent chunk of that time. But, I did start reading the Stormlight Archive and the Green Bone Saga, both of which have been excellent. Kaladin is quickly becoming a favorite, and the intrigue of what happened in the prologue has me hooked on Stormlight. The Green Bone Saga also has some really interesting character dynamics and the plot being like crime lords warring against each other is pretty awesome.

Well, that’s pretty much it for now. Until next time!


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My Works

Stories

The teapot whistles.
Water begins to boil.
The sun shines over the treetops.

I set the spine-cracked book
On the aged wooden desk
That sits before a large glass window
Overlooking the mountains of mist.

I pour the boiling water
And stir my cup
As I set it down and watch
The sunrise over the peaks.

The water cools
And as I sip,
I flip open to the last page
I journeyed through.
A page where an old man
Made unlikely friends,
Where children became kings and queens,
Where crimes were solved,
And where magic was real.

Each day, new pages to absorb,
With new places, new friends,
And most of all,
New stories.
All at my aged wooden desk,
Never traveling farther than the kitchen.

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My Works

Clouds

There is a cloud that hangs over everyone.
It hides in the shadows where no one can see,
Trying to destroy anyone caught in its darkness,
Tearing at them with its wind and rage.

There is a cloud that hangs over everyone.
There is a cloud that makes one feel
As if the darkness has swallowed them whole
And that there is no one else in the storm,
That no one else is flying without being able to see,
That no one else is burdened with troubles unbearable,
That no one else wants to fly with them.

There is a cloud that hangs over everyone.
There is a cloud that makes that one mistake
Seem as if the world will end.
That there is no recovery from the sentence misspoken,
No recovery from the accident,
No way to finish the work in time,
That there is only the cloud,
Clinging to the thoughts inside of you.

There is a cloud that hangs over everyone.
There is a cloud that makes a day
Switch in an instant.
A day that was bright and full of fun;
A day that you wished would never end,
Turn into one you wish
You could roll over and forget.

There is a cloud that hangs over everyone.
But behind the clouds,
There is a light.
A friendly smile telling you to have a good day,
A text from a friend asking you to lunch,
A conversation where you’re heard,
A laugh at a joke you know isn’t that funny,
A boss or teacher’s congratulations on a job well done.
A light.

The light casts its gaze over the clouds,
And after a while,
The cloud begins to fade,
Rain begins to dry,
Blossoms begin to bloom,
And the sun begins to shine on another day.
A day with new growth.
A day with new life.
A new day.

Categories
On My Writings Reading

2021 – A Year in Review

I hate writing introductions, so I’m going to keep this brief.

The year may not be over, but if I don’t write this yearly wrap-up now, I’ll probably forget. I tend to forget to do things on time. I’m working on it. I’ll start by summarizing what I did this year and then talk about some of my goals for next year.

2021 In Review

It’s been a year of accomplishment for me. I’ve gotten a lot done and I’m very close to hitting quite a few of my major goals for the year. There’s been ups and downs like any other year, but looking back I can see that even though there were some major downs, I had some big ups.

The first big up for me was that I finally caught back up on my schoolwork after being behind for what seemed like forever. It’s amazing how much stress goes away when you only have a few assignments to accomplish a day. It frees up so much time to do things. Well, my overachiever self decided I wanted to graduate High School a semester early. So, instead of graduating in the spring like most people, I finished school this month. I am done with High School. It feels like a much bigger accomplishment than it is. There’s still a good way to go before I’m done with school, but it’s one step closer.

In 2020 one of my big goals was to read more than I had in 2019. I decided I wanted to do the same thing this year. And being the overachiever/unrealistic person I am, I decided I wanted to double what I had read in 2020. I only read 20 books in 2020. So that left me to read at least 40 books this year. Not too challenging. As of my writing this, I have finished 41 books. And let me say, I have not been bored in my reading this year. I didn’t read many books I didn’t love.

Of the books I read, I have an easy top-five, though I do feel the need to include honorable mentions. They switch their position on the list in my mind quite a bit, but as of this writing, this is how I view them. I may do a post on them later, I may not.

My top five reads:

  1. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  2. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  3. Dune by Frank Herbert
  4. The Murderbot Diaries (Books 1-4) by Martha Wells
  5. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Honorable Mentions:

  • Kindred by Octavia Butler
  • The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
  • Crooked House by Agatha Christie

I read so many more and if I wanted to I could write only about what I read and what each book has taught me. But, alas, that is not the point of this wrap-up. Maybe another post.

Another goal for 2021 was for me to finish writing my first novel. Well, haven’t quite gotten there yet. But, I am only four chapters away from doing that. I may be able to by midnight December 31. While I haven’t finished it, I have written well over 85 thousand words in the book. It’s not perfect by any means. But, as I’m writing the end of it, I must say that it feels like a huge accomplishment. Threads have started to come together. Foreshadowing from early chapters is being paid off (even if it needs to be made clearer in the second and proceeding drafts).

In addition to working on my novel, I worked some more on my scripted comedy show. I haven’t written another full draft of an episode. But I’ve got pretty much the entire first season laid out and the scripts planned. I just need to sit down and write them. I also worked on writing a couple of short stories and planned for my next novel.

2021 was fairly productive now that I think about it. I could have done more and used my time better, but I’ll probably say that every year to some extent.

Goals for 2022

My biggest goal for 2022 is to be a published author in some fashion. Right now I’m thinking that means trying to get a short story published in a magazine. It’s a small step to take, but I think it’s reachable. This would mean that I have to make sure I am doing my best to make my writing the best I can, and doing it consistently. Doing this for short stories would help me to perfect my skills and I can take the lessons learned and use them when writing novels.

But, writing short stories is not all I want to do for a year. That sounds kind of boring, and it won’t feel like I’ve done as much even though I have. I also want to get a couple of more drafts through my first novel. I want to get it to the point where it’s the best that I can do on it without taking it to the next level or someone else. My goal is to do this at the beginning of the year. But, I may take a couple of weeks off from writing at the beginning of the year just so I can breathe after finishing Book One.

I also want to begin work on my second novel (I’ll explain the premise of it more once I finish writing my first novel). I think it won’t be nearly as long as the first draft of my first novel has been. It will also be easier to accomplish because the plot is not nearly as complicated and (as far as I know right now) there won’t be viewpoint shifts. I want to get at least halfway through that book.

  • January to March

    Start and finish the second draft of my current novel (#SotS).

  • April to June

    Start and finish the third draft of my current novel (#SotS).

  • July to August

    Work on planning my second book while writing short stories simultaneously.

  • September to December

    Start writing my second novel.

This is a very loose schedule. I am big on writing when I feel like it. If I’m in the middle of reading a really good book and have a lot of school work, I’m more likely to read than write. It helps me decompress and relax more than writing does.

As far as a reading goal for next year, I haven’t decided to be completely honest. My over-ambitious self wants to set a goal to read 100 books. But, my logical self says that’s stupid and impossible to reach if I want to pass all of my classes and hit my other goals. I want to read at least as many books as I did this year, that’s for certain. But beyond that, I’m not sure.

Overall, 2021 was a pretty good year from a productivity standpoint. Hopefully, 2022 will be even better and I’ll have even more to talk about!

Until next time,

Titus Watson
December 2021

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Uncategorized

Another Update, Kind Of

I am doing a terrible job of updating this blog.

Oh well.

Anyways, I started writing (another) book, but I don’t care as much about this one. So, I’m going to be posting the chapters as I write them. They are going to be rough draft chapters, so there will be mistakes and continuity errors because I am human and am not perfect. Feel free to comment on the chapters! Click here to start reading!

As for my other projects, I did a long thread on Twitter recently updating my progress on #tIRS. In summary: I have over 110k words written so far. I’m getting close to reaching the third plot point. I’m hoping to be finished with the rough draft by the end of the summer.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading as well. I’m currently sitting at twenty-two books read this year. That’s already two more than last year. My favorite has definitely been The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. That book is one of my favorites of all time. Other notable reads have been the Murderbot Diaries and the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The Witcher series has also been an amazing continuous read.

My other projects are going slow. Best way to summarize those is that I’m pretty much at the same spot I was last time.


Thanks for reading! If you want to get updates on when new blog posts come out, subscribe to my newsletter, “The Raven,” and be the first to get updates and exclusive updates on my writings! If you want to contribute to the conversation, please comment below! I will try to respond to all comments!


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Uncategorized

The Long Expected Update


It’s been quite a while since I updated this blog.

In short: I’ve been busy.

At the beginning of December, I kept telling myself I was going to post one long wrap-up for the year. I outlined it and everything, but then I ended up working full-time (not by choice) and having to do a lot of makeup work for classes.

To be honest, it’s just been a rough few months. I haven’t had the mental energy to put effort into working on this blog like I want to.

But, while I haven’t been working on the blog as much, I’ve been spending more and more time in Enaxelet (the world that book one of #tIRS takes place in). The progress has been rather slow some weeks, others I accomplish a lot. Yesterday, I finally crossed the 70k word mark, and, as soon as I finish the current chapter, Part One of the book will officially be done, and I’ll be over halfway through it. My goal is still to finish the rough draft by the end of May, but school is still a priority for me, and I really need a summer after this last year.

I’ve also been reading a lot more. My goal for 2021 is to read 75 books. I know. Ambitious. But I’ve already finished seven. It’s not nearly as many as I need to have read according to Goodreads, but it’s nearly half of what I read last year (I only read 20 books, mainly because my workload increased when the pandemic hit, not decreased).

I want to update this blog more. I really do. But I can’t make promises that I won’t be able to keep. I have sent out newsletters about two or three times since the last post on the blog. So if you want to get more frequent updates, I suggest you subscribe to that. I also post various updates on my reading and writing on my social media pages.

I hope y’all’s years have gone well so far! What are you guys reading? Do you have any goals for your writing or reading? Let me know in the comments below!


Thanks for reading! If you want to get updates on when new blog posts come out, subscribe to my newsletter, “The Raven,” and be the first to get updates and exclusive updates on my writings! If you want to contribute to the conversation, please comment below! I will try to respond to all comments!


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#aSotS #tIRS On My Writings

July 2020 Update On My Projects


Well, it’s been a couple of months since I updated everyone on the status of my multiple writing projects (subscribers to The Raven get monthly updates). So I figured I’d go ahead and update you guys!

The Site
I’ve got a couple of several part article series in the works. I want to write them in their entirety before I post them just so I can make sure that I’m coherent all the way through them. So be on the lookout for those in the next few months!

The Epic Fantasy Project – #tIRS
I made some decent progress in #tIRS this past couple of months. I’m at about 35-40% of the way through the story with nearly 50k words written in it. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve written so far. I’m not unhappy with it. I know it’s flawed, but it’s a rough draft. What else should I expect? I’m about to be taking a break from writing it for a month or so while I work on one of my other projects, which I’ll talk about below.

The Screenplay
My goal for the fall is to have this entire screenplay written. This is why #tIRS might take the backseat for a month or so, I’ll need to outline the screenplay. I don’t think that it will take as long to write the screenplay once I finish outlining it. I’ll update my progress on outlining on the site and on Twitter (so be sure to give me a follow if you haven’t already).

The Backburner
– Short Story Collection: Still about where I was last time. Not much progress done. Hopefully this fall I’ll knock out a couple of stories in it.
– Science Fiction Project: Needs to be outlined before any work on it is started.

I haven’t been nearly as productive in my writing lately as I’ve wanted to be. I’m hoping to manage my time better this fall and create good consistent time to write. We’ll see what happens!


Thanks for reading! If you want to get updates on when new blog posts come out, subscribe to my newsletter, “The Raven,” and be the first to get updates and exclusive updates on my writings! If you want to contribute to the conversation, please comment below! I will try to respond to all comments!


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Book Review Reading

Book Review: The Last Wish

This is a Spoiler-Free Review.


I decided to take a (very brief) break from reading Sanderson. But I still wanted to read Epic Fantasy (. I like short stories, and I had heard that The Witcher series started off with short stories. And what with the show coming out recently, I decided, “why not?” It was a short read anyway. If I didn’t like it, it’d be over quick. I didn’t go in with low expectations, but I didn’t go in with high expectations either.

But, that book was one of the best fantasy books I’ve read.

The Last Wish is the first book in The Witcher canon. It is a collection of short stories that give an introduction to the protagonist of the series, Geralt of Rivia. Geralt is a Witcher. But what is a Witcher? A Witcher is a mutated human who uses magic to hunt monsters for coin. They travel across the Continent looking for work so that they can make money. Witcher’s live by a strict code for monster hunting that Geralt does his best to follow. The short stories are great page turner’s and there aren’t needless dumps of information (something that can tend to happen in high fantasy books. Not that I don’t enjoy the dumps, but they do drag out the reading a bit). They tell the stories in concise ways giving us small details into the world.

Now, there is a timeline piece that can be a bit confusing at first, but once you get further into the book it will make more and more sense. It is a little bit off-putting at first, so that is something to keep in mind. Push through, and you’ll be fine.

I personally enjoyed the book immensely. It was fun to have a different way of reading high fantasy (fantasy that takes place in a completely different world). I enjoy short stories like Sherlock Holmes. It was entertaining to see my favorite genre mix with one of my favorite styles of storytelling. The characters were also compelling and different from what I’m used to seeing in fantasy. The magic system was a soft magic system that I felt left room for development of other things, such as the monsters. Every monster Geralt came across was unique and it felt like we hadn’t seen them before.

All in all, I enjoyed this book immensely and I would recommend it to those who are fans of the fantasy genre. Someone who doesn’t enjoy the genre may not enjoy this book as much as I did.

If you’ve read The Last Wish, what were your (spoiler-free for the series, I’m still working on finishing the series!) thoughts?


Thanks for reading! If you want to get updates on when new blog posts come out, subscribe to my newsletter, “The Raven,” and be the first to get updates and exclusive updates on my writings! If you want to contribute to the conversation, please comment below! I will try to respond to all comments!


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A Writer's Tool On Writing Writing Tools

A Writer’s Tool: Note Taking


Earlier this week, I toyed around with this idea that I got a few months back. It all started while I was watching the Brandon Sanderson BYU lectures on YouTube (a great resource that you can access for free on his channel). In the lecture (I don’t remember which one) he talked about the writer’s toolbox. These are just tools/methods that different writers use. He then went on to say that even if you don’t necessarily use every single tool, it’s good to know them. So this past week, I’ve been thinking about my “toolbox.” I then began to think, “maybe I could do a series on different ‘tools’ that I use or that other writers use.”

So here we are!

Today, I’m going to go over something that most people might think a simple tool that doesn’t require much thought, but it truly can be invaluable to writers. That thing is note-taking.

Everyone has taken notes in some way, shape, or form. Whether that is in a classroom, church, a meeting with your boss, or just a reminder for something you need to accomplish later. Everyone takes notes.

But why do writers take notes? Why should they take notes? What should writers take notes on? I’ll go over these questions one at a time, but both answers are quite simple.

Why do writers take notes? This question really doesn’t apply just to writers. Why does anyone take notes? Well, we forget things quite easily, so we write notes to remind ourselves of something. Sometimes we write notes so we can access all the information in one place, and sometimes we write notes to organize our thoughts.

But, why should writers take notes? Well, if you’re like me, you probably get the best ideas for stories at the most random places and times. One of the things I like to do is to carry some form of note-taking wherever I go. More on that in a minute though. Another reason why you should take notes is for reference purposes. I like to go over my notes from different writing videos just to review them and refresh my thoughts on the subject. That’s why it’s good to title your notes! It helps you know what you took these notes on.

What should writers take notes on? Alright, this one will take a bit more time. I don’t want this to be an article that says “just take notes on everything important you hear and that comes to your mind.” Because the best ideas tend to stick with you for a while. If the best ideas are gonna stick with you, why should you write anything down? Well, one big idea for your story isn’t the whole plot! It’s a good idea to write down ideas that you have that you think might be good. But really, what notes you take on your work in progress is really up to you (It could also be called outlining, but we’ll go over that in-depth in a later post). If we’re talking taking notes in classes, videos, or books, I tend to take notes (or underline in a book. Only non-fiction books though!) to help me concentrate on what I’m reading or listening to. I tend to like to write down the main points of the speaker and key tips and tricks that they give. But don’t try and find the key tips and tricks that others got from the video/book/lecture, listen close and write down the tools you find helpful. If I’m watching a video, I go back and write down the exact wording of the speaker. Notes are just really helpful to you when you’re like, “what was that guy saying about this?” And just because you take a note on something doesn’t mean you have to use it later. I’ve taken numerous notes on ideas and I open it a week later and I think to myself, “what in the world was I thinking? That’s an awful idea!” That’s just how it goes sometimes! Writers don’t only get good ideas, they can get bad ones too. You don’t have to use every idea. I tend to only use the ones that I am passionate about and will enjoy writing.

What are some tools that you can use as a writer to take notes? It really will come down to your personality to how you take notes. I use the notes app on my phone to take notes on the go frequently. I also have several different notebooks that I bring with me when I go somewhere to have a writing session. Another tool I’ve used is Scrivener (I use this program for writing my books. I might write an article on it at a later date. Basically, it’s a word processing system built for writers). For several projects (mainly the science fiction one, the screenplay, and the short story collection), I have a running section in which I just fill it with ideas. I know of some writers who just use sticky notes and stick them in places that they can see so that idea stays fresh on their mind. It just comes down to your personality and what works for you. There is no wrong way to take notes!

Note-taking really comes down to the writer. How you take notes is based on your personality. What you take notes on is what you as a writer feel is important to note. I personally have filled up an entire notebook on just different aspects of Enaxelet (my fantasy world) whether that is creatures, history, character, etc. I also have a notebook dedicated to just taking notes from different classes I take on creative writing. Then I have a few documents on Scrivener I just list different ideas for those projects on.

I encourage you to experiment a little bit and find your way of taking notes! What works for you as a writer? What do you feel the need to take notes on? How do you take notes? Let me know in the comments below!


Thanks for reading! If you want to get updates on when new blog posts come out, subscribe to my newsletter, “The Raven,” and be the first to get updates and exclusive updates on my writings! If you want to contribute to the conversation, please comment below! I will try to respond to all comments!


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