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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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

#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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#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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#aSotS #tIRS On My Writings

April 2020 Update on My Projects

Well, another month has passed by so it’s time for me to give you an update on my projects. You may have noticed that I haven’t titled this article “April 2020 Update on #tIRS” and I did that for a reason. I now am working on two projects at one time. I’m still working on #tIRS, but I’m also working on a short story collection as well.

The Epic Fantasy Project – #tIRS

Not much has happened here I’m afraid. I’ve put in a few words here and there, but I’m still at about 26k words. While I am very proud of what I’ve written so far, however rough it may be, I decided to take a break from it for a couple of weeks. This is because I have passed a major plot point in the book, and I feel I did much better writing the first act of the book this time then I did in my first attempt. My goal is still to finish writing the rough draft by the end of the summer, and I think I will accomplish that goal. But, writing the second act is probably going to go a lot slower as I will need to accomplish a lot not only to set up the climax but to hint at what’s to come in the series. This first draft really is only me putting the story down on paper, but I do want it to be the best it can be that way I don’t have a lot of work to get done. As I write it and come up with more and more ideas, I am beginning to realize that the first book is going to be the shortest in the series by far because the rest of the series will have more viewpoint characters and grow more complicated. I think when I go to outline book two, I’ll need to outline at least books two and three so I can properly foreshadow what’s to happen at the end of book three. After I finish book three, I will probably work on some other projects before finishing off the series.

I think I will say that while my goal is for these to be published books one day, I do not write them solely for the purpose of publishing them. If they get published, awesome! If they don’t, that’s fine. I love writing and this story is one I want to write. So I won’t stop writing #tIRS if I don’t get it published. I will definitely continue writing it.

Short Story Collection

I’m fairly certain that this is the first time that I have mentioned this project in one of my articles. So let me give you guys a brief description of what it is. The book is going to be a collection of short stories. These short stories all have the same two main characters and several recurring characters. The story is set in America in the 1950s. The short stories will all be mysteries and each short story is a different case. The idea spiraled out of me when I began to think about classic detectives such as Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, or Father Brown. All those characters weren’t set in America and none of them were set in modern times or close to modern times. So I’ve been exploring the idea and have come up with some really good stuff. I am still working on outlining the introductory short story which will most likely end up being closer to a novella. But, I have already finished the second short story in the book. My goal is for this to be a good project that I can take quick breaks away from the intensity of #tIRS (it takes a lot of brainpower to keep up with all my characters and places) and write a quick story and then return back to #tIRS. I don’t know when I’ll say that this collection is complete, but there definitely won’t be just one collection.

The Science Fiction Project

This project is going to take the back burner for a while. I might begin outlining it once I finish the rough draft of #aSotS, but I doubt I will even start until I’m completely finished with #aSotS.

I know, that’s quite a lot of projects! I don’t want to give estimates on when I will have them out for you guys to read because I will be submitting #aSotS to agents and publishers first, and from what I read it can take a while to get responses. I hope that it will be sooner rather than later for these projects, but before I start thinking about publication, I need to finish writing them!

I also want to take a moment and thank you guys for reading. I may not have many readers of this blog, but the few of you that do are faithful readers and read almost every article. While the numbers are still few, I am very thankful for all of you guys.

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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