Adversity

Why is adversity so important, especially in writing? If you really stop to think about every single story you’ve ever read, few stories are truly happy ones. Yes, the ending could be a happy ending, but how they got up to the ending (the plot), is most likely not a happy story. There is inner struggle, some kind of conflict, and usually drama. Depending on what you’re reading, there could be action and maybe some romance (though not all books have romance in it and that’s okay), and maybe even some funny parts. I’m pretty certain almost everyone knows this, though I have read some books that are questionable, well-developed characters need hardship. It helps create the story you’re trying to convey. These hardships or adversities help create the character and allows the reader to get a true sense of who they are.

So, one might ask themselves what kind of struggles could my character(s) face? There’s loads of them to choose from! Trust me! If you have to, use your own struggles in life to write about. It’ll make it feel more real. Some of these adversities are illness and death, maybe a horrible accident occurred that left a person’s left side completely paralyzed. Some might even include desire that hasn’t been met. Frustration. Being lied to and you believing those lies because you didn’t have any reason not to until shown otherwise.

A big adversity many like to use, even us, is relationships. And I’m not talking just about the whole romance relationship. I’m talking about the everyday relationships people develop. Like with family, friends, work colleagues, pets, a person you see on the street everyday on your way to wherever. These relationships matter, especially when the relationship isn’t quite right. These types of relationships help define who your character is and who they strive to be.

Remember, the adversity is there for your character to overcome. Without it, I guaranty you that your character and story is going to be oh so bland. In our early writing, we didn’t go into character adversity much. Both, and this was before we met each other, were tentative with it. As a result, our early works barely had a story with a plot and the characters were all similar. Of course, no one told us this. Or, they did but in a polite way that we just didn’t get. This is why it’s so important to read and write. Reading helps us know where our own writing lacks. It also helps to find a few brutally honest friends.

However, I will say this. It’s important not to have adversity all the time. That gets a little boring and annoying. Let some good things happen, too.

Writing Update

Just wanted to update everyone with what we’ve been working on. It’s awesome being a husband and wife writing team, while one of us is working on one project (if we’re not working together) then the other is working on a new project. Our two WIPS are Hartland 4 (yet to be named) and The Hunt.
 
All the while of working on these two, we have come up with several ideas for other stories. One of the long running projects we have planned is called Just Plain Lost. This story will frequently go from fantasy to science fiction. It will be a lighter story than the others we have already published, which is one of the reasons we are so eager to work on it. But sometimes, other stories have a stronger calling. The other series we’ve been working on as well and this is just a tentative title until we can figure out a different name (who knows we might just go with it) is called Journals of the Dead and this is a dystopian type novel where the world has ended as we know it and a new world takes its place, along with 11 new species of mankind that must learn how to work together.
 
Writing is such fun and we cannot wait to share these works with you. It’s one of the reasons we try to keep our prices low. Whereas other indie authors will charge more for their paperbacks, we try to keep it at $9.99. We have also seen other authors charge $2.99 to $6.99 for their ebooks. Our first novel of the series is always priced at just 0.99c and the books after that $1.99.
 
Whereas, we would love to offer our novels for free all the time, we would like to make a career out of this. Until you’ve written a novel and edited it like a billion times, you’ll have no idea how much time, effort, heartache, headache, wrist aches, irritation, and anything else you can imagine writing a novel takes. It’s one of the reasons authors love reviews. Even if you only can rate the novel a 3 or a 4, we still want that review. We’re not looking for a perfect review, but boy would that be nice! If you can’t say anything nice about the books we’ve written and you don’t want to write a review for it because of it, you can private message us about it. We’d still like to know.
 
I’ll leave you with this. Being an author is a difficult path, but one we’ll never stop pursuing.

All Over the Place Today

As I work on book 4 in the Hartland series, my thoughts about the story are all over the place. I keep coming up with ideas for future parts of the story, some of them aren’t even for this book. Although it’s slowing me down a bit to keep having to make notes, I’m thrilled my mind is looking ahead in the story. It means I won’t stagnate on it for a while, maybe never. There is something about this series and the different way it was written from other Works in Progress that keeps me moving forward. Don’t get me wrong because of the way I wrote it, giving pieces of the story through characters, it can be difficult to write. It is one of the things that excites me. The challenge.

I have been working on book 4 now for 5 days and am already 17k into it. The problem is the ending is only vague. I know generally how I want the book to end but that’s it. No big epiphany has come to me yet. Maybe when I’m further into it, the ending will start taking shape.

I have also come up with a few ideas for other new WIPs. Sigh… The writer’s life. I don’t think we’ll ever get through our to be written list, but it’s sure fun trying.

Book Review: Forged in Death

Forged in Death (The Death Wizard Chronicles Book 1) by [Melvin, Jim]

I have rated this book 2 out of 5.

Forged in Death (The Death Wizard Chronicles Book 1) by Jim Melvin was just barely interesting enough to keep reading. There were several times as I was reading, I kept asking myself why I was reading it and then something a little interesting would happen and I’d keep going. In retrospect, I should have just stopped. It wasn’t really an enjoyable read.

There were several good places in the book, followed by something I didn’t care for. However, what kept me reading was the story line, though I think it could have been written better. At least, there weren’t grammatical errors upon errors as I’ve seen in other books.

What chased me away from this epic fantasy book was the fact the main character was practically invincible to everything. I kept wondering why have a character that has skin that can’t be penetrated by almost anything? It kind of takes the fun out of the hero for me. He seems like a God, but isn’t… The Torgon, or Torg for short, is the main character in this book, and although invincible, the reader can at least connect with him on a few levels. Other than that, the characters in this book were one-dimensional. I didn’t really get a feel for them, despite the annoying background information on the characters that felt more like filler than anything else. It felt as if I was just reading about this world and wasn’t part of it.

I won’t read books 2-5. If I barely made it through the first book, I would hate to force myself to read the others. During some parts of the books, it seemed as if I was reading a book for children, due to the writing and attempt at humor, and then bam an adult scene, which confused me because it didn’t seem to go with the story. It was almost as if they were placed there just because the author could.

I had high hopes for this book and left it sorely disappointed.

The Wytch King Chapter 1

Arem

“It’s good you’re awake,” Trester said calmly somewhere beside him. His voice sounded distant. Arem blinked and looked toward him. His head ached. He could barely focus. “You have some answers I need.”

Arem blinked again, staring up at the tent covering. Everything seemed so vague, so confusing. And then, everything seemed to flood back toward him. “Where’s Mercea?” he asked.

“Gone.”

“What? You mean you didn’t kill her!” He started to rise, but a woman forced him back onto the bed. His head pounded, threatening to make him black out. Closing his eyes for a moment, he took in a several deep breaths. When he focused on the woman’s blurred face, he could barely make it out. “We have to…”

“That’s right. She’s gone. Now, about those questions.”

“Wait. Wait,” Arem said, frowning, interrupting King Trester again. Nausea rose up in the back of his throat. He closed his eyes, fighting back the feeling. “What do you mean she’s gone? What did you do?” Trester didn’t answer, making Arem snort. Even that made pain erupt through his head. He took in several more deep breaths. “Why didn’t you listen to me when I told you to kill her? Couldn’t you see she was different? She has a demon inside of her. We have to kill her. We have no choice. She’ll be the ruin of Hartland.”

Trester stared past him, lost in thought. Arem wished he could shake the man just so he could get one word from him. Instead, he was forced to endure the silence. Lying motionless was the only way to make the throbbing more bearable. Besides, he didn’t think the woman would allow him to rise just yet. Arem looked over at Trester again, seeing the evident worry in the man’s face.

“There’s something you’re not telling me. What is it?” Arem asked, breaking the silence. The woman with short black hair nudged him in warning. Arem ignored her as he studied Trester. “What did you learn, Trester? Tell me.”

“That’s your Majesty,” Galtrand growled. “He is King of Cascade and deserves respect. Show it.”

“Respect is earned. Keeping me detained here is not the way to earn my respect or trust.” Arem looked to Trester again who still hadn’t said a word. He could see the worry in the man’s brilliant blue eyes and the lines which had formed around his frowning mouth. “Well, your Majesty, what did you learn? What’s troubling you?”

“I’m not entirely certain,” Trester answered in a gentle voice. He sat down and met Arem’s eyes. “Mercea, or whatever she is now, seemed to recognize me for something. I’m not sure what or who, but I know it frightened him, her, or whatever she is now.” He placed his hand over his mouth, squeezing his lips together, as he sat in deep thought. Arem continued to stare, waiting for the man to explain further. “It doesn’t make sense. I know it. It had thought De’Nae had killed me. I sensed it wanted, no, it needed me dead. I plan to discover what the reason is. It also said I was related to Mercea.” He fell silent once more, staring at the far wall of the tent. Arem guessed the man was replaying the conversation he’d had with the demon. “It said I had no idea what I am and why I’m so important. The creature wouldn’t give me an answer. It might have told me had you not told me to kill it. It was all just poor timing.”

Arem laying there, thinking back to the battle. He barely remembered anything after Mercea had choked him. No. Not Mercea. It was the demon. Part of him wondered if she hadn’t enjoyed it a little herself though.

“Tell me, you at least tried to kill it.”

“I did, but she vanished. Admittedly, I don’t know how to feel about it. I…” Trester took in a deep breath and sighed it out. “I want to save Mercea. She doesn’t deserve such a fate. I don’t understand how this happened to her.”

“I don’t either. The Servants are supposed to be protected against such things,” Arem stated, remembering everything he had learned about the Servants when this had begun. “De’Nae must have found a way around it. She had power I couldn’t possibly begin to describe.”

“As do you. I know no other wytch who can do the things you can.” The statement came out more as an accusation.

The tent fell into silence again as they remembered the battle outside of Dawn Stone. It had gone by in a blur as they tried to remain alive and see the war ended. Arem remembered entering the king’s chamber and finding the glass globe empty. He remembered the fear racing through him at what it had meant. He remembered seeing Mercea down on the steps to the palace with demons bowing to her as she slaughtered them.

“He said something to me as well.”

Trester looked to him, frowning. “How do you know it was a he?”

Arem studied the king. Somehow their future was intertwined. He just didn’t know how yet. “He said I must know the secret then. When I asked him what secret, he told me it didn’t matter. He could feel its presence inside of me.”

“How do you know it’s a he?” Trester repeated.

“I came across a few things while researching the Servants which led me to believe the demon inside the globe was Verite.”

Trester scrutinized him for several moments. “What presence in you?” he finally asked. “You aren’t one of them, are you? It’d explain your different abilities.”

Arem laughed. “No.” He sat up, surprised the woman had allowed him to. He looked between the three in the tent with him. His eyes widened. It was so obvious now. “Of course!” As he rose, two sword points met him, making him remain where he was. “Is that really necessary?” he asked them. “I’m a wytch. If I had wanted to harm King Trester, I could have done so from where I was.”

“Tell me what you know. It’s the only way you’re leaving here. I’m done playing games. We’re running out of time.”

Arem sighed heavily. He met Trester’s eyes and knew the man would use his magic on him.

“About a month ago, I discovered demon’s blood increased my power. I was using it throughout the fight to augment my abilities to ensure the men who traveled with me and I survived until we had accomplished our goal.” He fell silent, realizing he didn’t know what had befallen Relyck or the other man. “They survived, right? Verite didn’t kill them, did he?”

“They’re outside, waiting for me to release you. They were going to try to stop me from taking you, but something changed their mind.” Trester shook his head, smirking. “They said I had no right. I suppose they were right, but here you are and you still owe me answers.”

“I’m surprised.” Arem had never expected such loyalty from them. Trester looked to him for an explanation. Arem knew he didn’t owe the king anything, but something compelled him to explain. “When I first learned about this… this ability, it had been in an accident during a skirmish with some demons at the Desert border. I killed some of the soldiers. I couldn’t control the power and it made me crazy. The first time it happened, I remember very little of it. It took nights of me experimenting with it to learn control.” When he saw the woman and Trester glance at each other, he was curious. “Anyway, they hadn’t trusted me. I didn’t blame them. All it would really take is an accident and I could kill them all. So, that they’re outside, waiting for me, is a bit of a surprise.”

Trester met the woman’s eyes again who stared at him accusingly. Trester turned back to Arem with a grim face. “I had a similar accident out on the battlefield. When the blood first touched an open wound, I sent out ice crystals in every direction, killing several demons, and unfortunately, some of our own men. It was an accident and I wasn’t sure what it had meant. However, I believe it’s worth exploring. After the initial surprise of the increase to my power, it was easy to control. It seems the demon inside of Mercea sees something to fear of it, even if I find the idea disgusting.”

“You were able to control it just like that?” Arem felt a twinge of jealousy. Trester stared at him for several moments. Arem sighed again. “I’d like to know what the demon meant by secret. I don’t expect you to know it, but is this the secret? Also, why would demon blood augment a wytches’ power? I’ve been asking myself this for a while now.” Trester turned from him and nodded toward Galtrand. Arem watched the guard approach him. “Trester, please. What do you know? What aren’t you telling me?”

The King of Cascade met his gaze. A deep worry had settled into his brilliant blue eyes. He gave a single nod to Galtrand before looking toward Arem again. “I must swear you to secrecy on the matter before I can tell you anything. The world isn’t ready for such information, especially after everything that has happened. Even if you swear it, I’m not certain I can trust you. Mercea never could. You must have given her reason for that.”

“I swear my silence,” Arem stated. Trester stared at him long and hard, making him sigh. “I will swear an oath of blood if I must.”

Trester didn’t respond immediately, still studying him. Arem met his stare. “No. I don’t think it’ll be necessary.” The king looked toward the others in the room before meeting his eyes again. “Somewhere in our past, our ancestors mated with demons to form wytches. It’s why being a wytch runs in bloodlines.”

Arem had no idea what to say. It sounded impossible. What human could possibly want to breed with a demon? Had it been by choice? Did the demons make it happen in an effort to control humans? There were too many questions racing through his thoughts to properly form. He looked to Trester, hoping the man had an explanation.

“Why would they do that, your Majesty?” he asked when silence ensued. “I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t see myself being… uh…. intimate with one of those monsters.”

Trester gave him a half-smile. “From what I understand and from what the book I read told me, wytches were created to help the Servants fight evil. It might not have been a choice for some people.” Trester shook his head. A distant look came to him before he sighed. “It doesn’t matter. The Servants couldn’t trust the wytches because of our heritage, so we were cast aside. Because of the power running through our veins, the rest feared us. They still do. If they were to discover this information, I’m afraid the fear would only grow.”

Arem met Trester’s serious eyes. “Am I free to go?” he asked. Trester nodded. As he took a step forward, he stumbled. The woman caught and held him upright. Arem blinked back the pain.

“I have a Mender coming to the tent to look over you. I suggest you stay and allow him to see to your wounds.” Arem sat back down on the bed, thinking it a good idea. “All I ask is you stay near. We’ve discovered something remarkable and I think we’re going to need each other before the end.”

So, Trester had felt it, too. When Arem met the king’s eyes, he saw determination in them. “Are you planning to go after Mercea?”

“Yes. If she is in fact my ancestor, the only remaining family I have left, I owe it to her.” Trester fell silent for a moment, playing with the hilt of a dagger at his belt. “Besides, she’s a Servant. If we can somehow save her, wouldn’t it be worth it? How often has Mercea saved Hartland? How often has she risked everything to make certain we’re safe? We owe it to her. If I have to, I’ll make the others see it as such.”

Arem hesitated in answering. He’d been through a lot with Mercea. She had never trusted him. She had made certain he knew it. Now, he knew why. Mercea was one of the oldest Servants still alive. She probably understood more about wytches than a wytch did. She certainly knew about their ancestry. He also wondered who in Mercea’s family had mated with a demon. It could explain her distaste for wytches.

A small smile twitched at the corners of his mouth as he imagined the look on her face if he was the one who discovered a way to save her. He imagined it would be much the same look when she saw him standing there, behind her, planning to kill her.

“You have my word, I’m not leaving.”

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