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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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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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Site Survey

Hey guys!

Hope you’ve had a good few weeks! Sorry I haven’t been posting as much these days. I’ve had a hectic last couple of weeks.
This week I decided to send out another survey. I did one several months back, but viewership has increased since then so I thought I’d see what you guys’ thoughts on the site were! It’s not a long survey, probably will only take you five to ten minutes tops.

Thanks again guys for filling out the survey! It helps a lot!


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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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Taking a Break

Hey all!
I’ve decided to take a break from posting this week. I’ve been insanely busy this past week or so and haven’t had any time for writing whatsoever. I don’t want to delay posting because it will end up being rushed. So I’m just taking the week off! Thank you all for your patience and I’ll see you all in two weeks!

-Titus Watson

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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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Book Review Reading

Book Review – The Hero of Ages

Spoilers for The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson to follow!


Well, this review is gonna be tough. I noticed with my last couple of reviews, I haven’t done a very good job of criticizing what the book didn’t do well. I hate to be overly critical of books, but at the same time, it is good to see what they didn’t do right. The other problem with this is, this book does not have a ton that I can criticize. In fact, this might be the best book in the series, maybe even surpassing Mistborn: The Final Empire. I would also like to put a disclaimer before you read this article. What I say here is not set in steel (anyone?), it is merely my opinion of this book. It is not to be taken as fact. In fact, some of my criticisms may have just been things that I noticed, not everyone may have the same issues with them as I did. So, before I keep on rambling, let’s get into this.

The Hero of Ages was a supremely well-done book. Aside from a couple of things, it was a flawless read. The ending was perfect for the characters and it leaves you with the hole that needs to be filled by more time spent with these characters. It does struggle at some times with pacing and certain plot lines being confusing. But, those issues could have been my own due to the fact that I went weeks without reading it at one point.

So let’s get into this! First, let’s look at what I didn’t necessarily enjoy about it.
1. The Pacing – All Sanderson books tend to struggle with this issue, but it does tend to make up for itself in the end. It is still worth pointing out though. The book starts off very quickly with a good amount of action to hook the reader in (though, why are you still reading if you haven’t liked the series so far?). But, as you get into the book, the characters stay in the same place and I got a little bored with it at times and it just felt slow. It’s not that things weren’t happening and the story wasn’t being developed. In fact, these scenes had some tremendous set up for the end. But things felt very monotonous at times. Which leads to my second point here.
2. The Scenes – Don’t get me wrong about this point. Every scene revealed something new and some brought some spectacular action sequences to it. But, there were several points where I felt like I had already read this. It felt similar to previous chapters. Characters were doing similar things, and the settings became similar. Now, don’t get me wrong, these scenes were brilliant at times even if they felt the same. But I definitely feel that this affected the pacing of the book for me as it seemed like it dragged at times.

These were my two big issues with this book. I’m sure that if I reread it, I’ll find other nitpicky issues that I had with this book. But overall, those are the two biggest issues that I had with it.

Now to get to some of the good stuff. Let’s look at what worked in this book for me!
1. The Characterization – This book has some pretty dang good characters. In fact, the characterization may be near perfection in this series. Each character had a completely realistic arc and the ending for all the characters fell in place perfectly. Everyone got the ending that they had been foreshadowed (though where it was foreshadowed, I cannot tell you. I’ll have to reread the series just to look for that piece alone!) and that they had reached a conclusion that fit for each of the characters. Even the surprise ending for Sazed felt perfect. The entire book dealt with his depression and loss of faith, then in the end he regained it in the best possible way. Which leads me to my second point.
2. The Writing – The way this book was written was the best of the entire series. The prose succeeded tremendously. Sanderson really hit his stride in this book. I think one of my favorite lines from any piece of literature comes in this book. In Chapter 56, Spook is talking to Sazed about faith and he answers him in this way: “Faith,” Spook said, “means that it doesn’t matter what happens. You can trust that somebody is watching. Trust that somebody will make it all right.” When I first read that line, I just sat there for a moment. I had to reread it again, and not only did I reread it once, I reread it five times. Not only is this line great in of itself as it is a great explanation of faith to Sazed, but it also foreshadows to the end of the book where they have to place faith in Vin to “make it all right.” The prose and dialogue in this book were just marvelous and I enjoyed it immensely.

As I have already touched on similar highlights in my last two reviews, I’ll briefly cover them here. The setting of The Final Empire is highly unique in this last chapter of the first era and influences several plot points. The plot is also highly original from what I have read in fantasy and is executed to perfection, even if it is rather slow at parts. The ending is a shocker, though well set up.

All in all, this book is one of my favorite fantasy reads. It’s not a perfect book, but it overcomes its struggles and makes for a killer ending. I cannot decide if I like it better than the first book, but both are pretty dang good. This trilogy was a great introduction to the Cosmere and I look forward to reading more of it!

Have you read any of the Mistborn trilogy? If so what were your thoughts? Leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to reply!


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

May 2020 Update On My Projects

So, it’s been another month. That means a new update on my projects.

Yes, I know. It’s an easy out for an article. But, I’ve been super busy just with life lately, so an easier article was needed. I’m hoping that the next one I publish will be a book review on The Hero of Ages, but don’t quote me on that.

The Epic Fantasy Project – #tIRS

I’ve made a lot of progress here in the last month. I’m now close to reaching 40k words in the rough draft. I’m still only about 30-35%ish threw the story. But, I finally finished writing Chapter Eight (which clocked in 35 pages in length and 7,601 words). Chapter Eight was immensely fun to write, but I have a feeling that it will be edited a lot. But, it was a nice break from my protagonist and now I’m glad to be back with him on his journey. I may have said this before, but Book One is by far the most trope-filled book in the series, but it also has a few scenes that are big implications for the rest of the series. It is definitely going to take a lot more work to finish the rough draft, but I’m feeling confident. I don’t know if the rough draft will actually be finished by the end of the summer, but I’m hopeful it will be.

Short Story Collection

Not much progress here I’m afraid. I haven’t finished outlining the first story yet, nor have I started writing it. But it’s because I’ve been writing a good bit more in #tIRS, which is a good thing.

The Science Fiction Project

Same as the short story collection, not much progress. Which, this story I won’t be putting a lot of effort into until after I finish the first book in #tIRS.

The Screenplay

This is a new one! I’ve had an idea for a screenplay for a movie. I’m sort of in an ideas phase. It’s not outlining yet, but it’s not on the backburner either. I’ve been reading a few books on screenwriting to prep for writing it, and I think it’s gonna be fun! It’s nice to be able to change which medium of writing I’m working on at any given moment. It’s gonna be a fun experiment for sure. The story is one I’m super excited about. I could write it as a book, sure. But, as a film the end of it will be even more gut-wrenching and touching. Before there is speculation on what it is, it’s not a fantasy or science fiction movie. I actually haven’t figured out which genre it fits in, but I will. I just need time to learn the genres.

So overall, it was a fairly productive month. Granted, I still didn’t write as much as I wanted too, but I did write a little more consistently. My goal is to start writing better articles here. I have several that are in mind, but they will take a good while to write.
I want to hear from you guys though! What type of articles would you like to see more? Would you rather me focus on my novels and other projects and not be as worried about the content on this site? I really want this to be a community where you guys feel safe to post questions and such. And please, email me with questions on writing! If I don’t have an answer, I’ll find you one!

From my pen to your paper, may our swords never clash.


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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On Writing Reading

The Importance of Chapter One (or the Prologue)

So why is the first chapter so important? The first chapter is many things, but it ultimately helps the reader decide if they want to keep reading. As writers, we want our readers to keep reading our story. The first chapter is our best bet at getting them to keep reading.

So, what can we do as writers to keep readers interested in our book? Well, there are a few things that I’ve seen done in other books that are good examples to follow. We don’t need to do every single one of these things as writers, they aren’t rules you must follow. They are just things that other writers have done that helped their book.

The first thing the first chapter can do to successfully keep their reader is to hook the reader. You might ask, “what is the hook?” Well think of it this way, it’s like what a fisherman does. You put something that the fish will want on the hook so that the fish will bite into it and the fisherman can catch the fish. Well, we as writers want to “hook” our readers. Generally, the hook comes in the first couple of sentences. And one of the best ways that a writer can “hook” their readers is by getting the readers to ask questions. Let’s look at an example:

“Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world. A tall Shade lifted his head and sniffed the air.”
-Prologue of Eragon by Christopher Paolini

While this is not technically the first chapter of Eragon, it is the first thing that the reader is going to read so its goal is still to hook the reader. Notice how Paolini is getting the reader to ask questions with these first two sentences. Why would the scent change the world? What is the scent? What is a Shade? Is he human? We want our questions answered, so the only thing to do is to keep reading. Paolini has now hooked us.

The hook also contains action. We as readers can infer that action is about to happen. And a good hook makes us wonder why this action is happening, thus motivating us to keep on reading. This is a greater hook that can carry on for the entire chapter, and sometimes even a good bit of a book, maybe even a series (apparently, the classic fantasy series The Wheel of Time’s prologue isn’t fully explained for a couple of books). This is a greater hook that gets us to finish the chapter, and sometimes even the book.

Let’s look at another example of a hook from a fantasy classic:

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”
-Chapter One of The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

This one gets us to ask questions, but an action scene is clearly not taking place. So how does Tolkien hook us? Well, he makes us ask a big question, what is a hobbit? He goes on to describe where the hobbit lives, but he still gives us very little information on hobbit’s themselves. We as readers keep asking the question, and so we keep reading. This is a good example of using description to hook a reader. Chapter One of The Hobbit doesn’t do much at the beginning of the chapter but describes the lives of hobbit’s, particularly Bilbo Baggins and his family. By the time we have found our answer to “what is a hobbit?” we want to know more about Bilbo, and so we are successfully hooked as readers. This leads us to the next point.

The second thing the first chapter can do to successfully keep their reader is to get the reader to want to know more about your protagonist, especially by teases. You don’t want to give away the whole backstory of your protagonist in chapter one. If you are able to keep teasing the reader, they will want to keep coming back for more.

As I tried to think of an example of this, I thought about the Prologue of Mistborn: The Final Empire. It successfully teased Kelsier, giving us just enough information for the readers to want more of him. Sanderson gave us teases of Kelsier’s backstory while setting a scene that made us fall in love with the character. By the end of the chapter, we’re hooked and want more of Kelsier.

The last thing the first chapter can do to successfully keep their reader is to start the chapter with a bang. I touched on this a little bit in my first point, but I wanted to expound on it a little more. When we as readers are thrown into the middle of an action scene, it can be a little much. So you really have to give a balance of the action and explanation of things. It can draw the reader in, or will turn them away. So you have to be sure to enter in the right place and give just enough information that the reader won’t be too confused. And an action scene doesn’t have to be a sword fight or gunfight, it can be someone driving down the road to the grocery store!

So in summary, great first chapters (or prologues depending on the book) have shown us how to start off books well in three different aspects. They successfully hook the reader at the beginning of the chapter. They successfully tease the protagonist, giving the reader just enough to want to know more about them.

So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with me? Let me know in the comments below!

From my pen to your paper, may our swords never clash.


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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