What’s in a Fantasy First Chapter?

(House cleaning tip from Adam over at Write Thoughts on the Fantasy Prologue post: Prologues aren’t always necessary for a hero’s tale, but if included, should come out of necessity, less it slows down the story.)

TL;DR: The first chapter is generally where the main character and the setting is introduced.

If the hero is introduced at a young age, or even at birth, we are generally given a bildungsroman story which always risks the book being shelved under the young adult demographic. The aim in this category is to show a blank slate or innocent that a hostile world/experiences can carve the hero out from. To portray this Tabula Rasa we are given the imagery of fresh, nurturing or growing environments in the beginning. This is why the farm boy archetype was so common in older fantasy, as it can also portray positive down-to-earth traits that can work as the soil from which a hero can grow.

There are many examples of this, David Edding’s The Belgariad, William Goldman’s The Princess Bride, but the one I think is the most generic is Christopher Paolini’s character ‘Eragon’ from Eragon. Continue reading

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What’s in a Fantasy Prologue?

TL;DR: A prologue isn’t always necessary for a hero’s tale, but if included, should come out of necessity, less it slows down the narration. It should also attempt to encapsulate the essence of the story.

The story of a new hero should start with the seeds of the old, beginning and ending, death and rebirth. Therefore there might be a story before the story, a prologue, which, as all good prologues do, contain the essence of the narrative to come so the audience knows what’s in store. We see this in many massive fantasy and sci-fi epics, in many cases disengaging the readers right from the very beginning. Whatever the case, the conflicting ideas of the story are in many cases represented by the old hero and his foe under the black and white, almost indistinguishable dichotomy of good and evil.

Although there are many examples, the best I can think of is the confrontation between Lews Therin Telamon and Elan Morin Tedronai in the prologue of Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World. Continue reading

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Ready… Steady… Sequel Launch! (Dream State Saga Book 2)

DualCoverBack in the Game is now available on Kindle Unlimited over on Amazon!

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Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan [Book Review]

altered-carbon-cropped-598x280The best book I read in 2016, which is about to be adapted into a Netflix series, Altered Carbon is for any fan of sci-fi like Ghost in the Shell or hard-boiled 1st-person narratives like the Dresden Files. Being a week away from publishing my next science fiction book, I think a review for another great scif-fi book is necessary to pad out the posts between the cover launch and book launch of the Back in the Game next week. And what better book to review than the best sci-fi book I’ve read since Old Man’s War? Altered Carbon is a sci-fi mystery novel that takes classic sci-fi tropes and uses them in an entirely new light.

The novel follows Takashi Kovacs, a badass ex-envoy (elite soldier), who is unfrozen from hibernation into a new body to solve the mysterious death of a Meth (someone who jumps from body to body to live longer) who was uploaded into another body and wants to know who made the attempt on his life. Kovacs teams up with Ortega, a police officer who was the lover of the original owner of the body Kovacs is now inhabiting, and together the two find clues to who killed the Meth and the dark reasons as to why. On their investigation they come across the seedy underbelly this new technology created between the rich and poor as well the corrupt paradise that earth has become. Continue reading

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[Announcement] Cover Art for Back in the Game!!

sitg2frontcoverpassFinally I can reveal to everyone what I’ve been holding back for a while now. And I know what you’re thinking: “The hooded guy looks exactly the same as in the last one!” NOT TRUE! Take a closer look and you’ll see that there is a method to my madness. He has turned around ever so slightly. Why, you may ask? I’ll tell you, dear reader. With every book in the Dream State Saga, the avatar is going to continue to turn by degrees to face forward. That way, when enough books have been released, we get a neat rotation of his avatar with the backgrounds constantly changing. Pretty clever, huh? I guess it won’t truly show until there are more than two books to transition between, but the fact that the change is so slight should show you that this series is going to be a long one.

How long, you ask? At least as long as it takes for him to face forward! Continue reading

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Grandia [Game Review]

45ec1554fa03707e7e60e9aeb79f9d8bAlthough graphics-wise it has aged about as well as most classic Playstation JRPGs such as Xenogears, Breath of Fire IV and FFVII, Grandia is a great fantasy adventure game that I had the pleasure to play through more than once during my gaming days and I have too much nostalgia for it to give it a reliable review (just warning you). However, there is something unique about it. There’s a scope and atmosphere of, dear I say, grandness of Grandia, the wide world to explore, hyped music and battle interactions making for a pretty decent frame for a story that is paced in a way to build up expectations and wonder. Continue reading

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Discovering LitRPG

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Turns out I’ve been barking up the wrong tree as far as Stuck in the Game‘s genre goes!
With its science fiction elements, I assumed cyberpunk was the genre I should be selling it under. I had no idea that there was already a pre-made genre with its own community and platform on social media. As someone who has published a book in this genre recently and has a sequel on the way, this is almost the equivalent of getting a soft re-release for my potential series, the DREAM STATE SAGAFor anyone interested, you can check out their hashtagFacebook groups like or website, which I will be appearing on in the future.

As for what LitRPG is, it’s a genre acronym that speaks for itself: Literature focusing on Role Playing Games. This can be executed via science fiction elements with a character interacting with a VR gaming world or via fantasy elements by magic drawing the player into the gaming world itself. Of course, this is nothing new. Many works in many mediums in this genre have been around for a very long time, but the genre has only recently been popularized. As one of the more recent authors to be traditionally published in this genre, I’m more than willing to jump on the bandwagon and promote my books under it.

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