Mantras, restrictive guidelines or not?

Codes of honor, or mantras are common in both fiction,  and real world history. Are they useful in fiction, or do they limit the actions of your characters?

Personally, I would say there are cons and pros to using one, or not using one. Creating one can be simple in some parts, and other parts can be more complicated.  While you could take inspiration from famous historical code like the Code of Chivalry, the Samurai Bushido code, or the virtues of the Vikings.  On the other hand you could take inspiration from fictional warrior codes, like the Jedi or Sith, or even the Gunslinger Code from Stephan King’s Dark Tower. Most of those I mentioned can be seen in the pictures below.

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While I was writing my short story, that I’m still working on I realized something. That my character would benefit from it, since the world I was building has a post-apocalyptic atmosphere. That allowed me in a sense to create a mantra from scratch, or relatively close to it. The “Bladeslinger,” mantra I made is below:

“One is not a destroyer, one is a peacekeeper

We don’t seek vengeance, we seek justice

One is loyal to the order of steel and lead

Our second loyalty lies to the people

We serve by choice, not by force

A bastion of hope in a broken world

Clad in leather and steel, we walk

Steel, lead, and iron at our hips

One hand on the gun,

The other on the sword

Remembering our ancestors,

Along with our brothers and sisters

Bonds sealed in blood, iron, lead and tested by steel

Doing out best to keep the world just

From abuse of power, and technology of the old world

We roam, as agents of order.”

I’m curious to see how much ingrained code will change my writing, and character building, or if it will limit his actions. What are my fellow writers, and followers thoughts are warrior code? Useful, or limiting? Please post your comments below, I’m curious to see what you think. If you any thoughts on the Bladeslinger mantra, feel free to comment as well.

A long overdue update, and a brief preview of Rise

As the title suggests, I’m massively behind between trying to balance work and my novel. Along with trying to post updates when I can. Outside of that, Everything is going relatively well. I have five chapters left to update and revise. Downside that is still about 60 pages. Even though I have realized two things as I do this. The first being I have underestimated the importance of coffee/caffeine in this process. While the second is much cheaper. I need to invest in large, heavy duty paperclips/binder clips. If only to keep what I have done, and what isn’t done separated.

First Chapter preview  below (ignore the indent problem, it is how WordPress set it up):

I saw my fallen comrades rise from their snow covered graves. Their bodies still clad in battle damaged armor, their weapons still held in place by in their dead hands. Snow clung to their bodies as they moved,seeming to have little effect on my proud fallen brothers. The few of us that remained alive after the battle with bandits, dealt with them as swiftly as we could still dealing with the surprise of our fallen rising. By the end my steel sword was clad with equal mix snow and dried blood. Something told me, deep in my bones that whatever was happening here, this was just the beginning.
That night we sat around a fire as the snow and night fell around us. My eyes scanned the area, ever vigilant for the dead. I pondered silently “How could Disoth do this? Why would a god of death raise the dead?” My eyes moved to the faces of my three remaining comrades, they seemed to be having the same thought. As the night wore on the cold intensified until I felt it in my bones, despite the warmth of the fire. I scanned the area as night dragged on, getting colder as the snow calmed to almost nothing. Something was walking through the snow, making it crunch heavily underfoot. The louder the crunch got the tighter the grip on the handle on my sword got. As the moon started to fall I spotted a solitary figure, standing in the snow. The figure was leaning on,what looked like a wooden staff at this distance. I watched the figure in silence pulling my sword from it’s leather sheath. The man slowly approached leaning on his staff to support himself as he struggled against the thick snow. Slowly and as silently as I could I made my men alert to the strangers presence. They all glared at me but spotted the solitary figured realizing why I woke them from their sleep. I made sure they kept their weapons sheathed, watching the solitary figure in silence. Within moments the figure noticed our state of alert,and approached faster. The tip of his his staff glowing a faint white in the process.
I shouted “Ready your swords now.”
They didn’t question my command, as they removed their swords ready to fight to the fast approaching stranger. The stranger noticed our weapons, pointing his staff towards us releasing what ever he was gathering. In a instant I felt bound by unseen forces, stronger than steel.
The stranger appeared to be grinning, under his white beard as he remarked “Better. If I wanted your group dead I would of done it from afar. Now tell me what are you doing here?”
Silently my eyes darted over this mysterious stranger. The man wore a dark blue robe, that must have been warmer then it looked. In his right hand he carried a staff, that was taller then he was. The staff was empty of color, outside of gemstones that seemed to run up the entirety of the staff. Whatever material contained the stones must have been transparent, and much stronger then it looked from where I was bound. Then it hit me, the man was a wizard. He was a far from Arcania. A hood that was attached to the robe covered his face, outside of a white beard that poked through.
I felt the gaze of my comrades on me, waiting for me to answer this strangers questions since the position of command, was thrust onto me after our leader’s demise. With a growl I answered “Chasing bandits, and burying our risen fallen. Now you answer my questions. Why did our fallen rise? Who are you?”
The stranger responded “My name is Aegis the Wise, Sorcerer of the Forgotten Kings. I may have a theory on why your fallen have risen, but it is grave news if it’s true. You killed them right?”
I nodded before asking “What is your theory Aegis?”
Aegis answered “I hope I’m wrong but, one of the sons of the Forgotten Kings was a skilled and powerful Necromancer. Which is why he and his family banished centuries ago. He vowed his family would get revenge before he left, in a swift, and violent revenge. If not by him, then by his line. His line is still going like some of the Forgotten Kings families. They have just been have been replaced by their sons, and their son’s sons, and the son’s of their son’s sons. Now introduce yourselves,” as I felt the unseen bonds on us release.
I looked at Aegis as I put away my blade back in its sheath. He seemed harmless enough for now, and partly because I was curious as to why he was out here. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw my men do the same following my lead. I spoke my name is “Nicholas Ironheart, leader of what remains of this group since the skirmish with a group of bandits killed our leader, breaking the unspoken peace. Now the anthropomorphic white wolf at my right, is named Arngir Lupaninan. Harm us and, he will rip out your throat,” as he flashed his fangs at Aegis. “The man beside Arngir is Lucas Ings, our groups bowmen and chief scout. His protege Ian Ophile is the young man on my left. We had a few others but, the bandits killed them. We were poorly informed as to the bandits numbers, causing the skirmish to become a slaughter. ”
Aegis’ gaze looked us all over. Noticing our black and red leather armor that we were all wearing, custom fitted for each of us. He studied Arngir more carefully than the rest of us as if he saw someone or something familiar within him. Arngir seemed unconcerned by Aegis’s lengthy gaze.
Aegis queried “You have come here from the mountain kingdom, of Raifare correct?”
Lucas answered “We did,” his fingers running over the cross-guard of the small curved dagger he kept at his waist. His unease was obvious to me.
Aegis smiled as he asked “Are the old dwarven ruins still buried deep inside the mountain? Still locked by a method long since forgotten?”
I answered with a question of my own, “They are, but why does that matter?”
Aegis responded “The dwarves built many powerful magical artifacts with help from the elves. Along with a vast library of scrolls and books holding the secrets of magics only remembered now by the elves and the Great Order of Magi. We should go see the bandits you killed. What is dead should stay dead.”
Arngir asked “Why should we care? Bandits are nothing more than criminals to broke or too stupid to live by the law. They deserve what cursed fate death deals them.”
Aegis seemed unphased by Arngir’s blunt statement before responding “You should care, all of you. The more recent the death the easier it is for a necromancer to raise them ,nd use them to augment their army of the dead. Now unless you burned them to ash ,they can still be brought back until their bodies are burned to ash.”
I restrained Arngir as he growled in his throat at Aegis.
With haste I commanded “Restrain yourself Arngir, we have seen our fallen comrades rise and fall again by our blades. Now keep your anger and grief in check. We have to work out what to do outside of informing our king about this problem.”
Arngir glared and growled at me, briefly flashing his fangs at me. He quickly regained his composure staring at Aegis.
I commanded “We should move once the snow lets up, it will more difficult to move now.”
Aegis remarked “I agree, if I wasn’t a sorcerer, I would of had difficulty spotting you in this falling snow. This blizzard hopefully will end soon, if I didn’t know any better someone is manipulating this blizzard, augmenting the storm’s raw power. We need to find a more permanent shelter I think. We can talk once more when we are out of the cold.”
Lucas said “I agree Nicholas, this storm doesn’t feel natural. I’m starting to feel the cold in my bones. There should be a Grayhok Clan outpost station nearby, we can take shelter there, until the storm dies away.”
Arngir sniffed at the air, as the snow around crunched with the sound of footsteps, rushing through the snow. Aegis scanned the area toward the sound. His staff glowing with arcane energies,using his staff he was able to project a pale blue light over the landscape. Watching some I placed my hand on the hilt of my sword, readying myself for a fight should it come to that. There had been strange things spotted of late from what I was told.
Arngir growled “Trolls. Their scent is heavy in the air, like rotting flesh. Large numbers, I think otherwise the odor would be less noticeable,” as he removed his twin curved, double edged blades from their sheaths.
I looked and saw Lucas, along with his squire Ian ready their long-bows. Arrows already knocked and ready to fire. Aegis turned and looked at the pitiful remains on the fire. Somehow he called the flame to his staff. Readying for a fight or preparing a plan it was difficult to tell. I glanced down at the handle of my sword, before quickly switching to my battle axe. It would have a sharp edge since, I hadn’t had the time to freshen the edge of the blade. The scent got heavier in the air as the footsteps increased in both volume and speed, as if they were running from something bigger. Aegis seemed to notice this as well and projected the flame in a large burst of heat towards the rapidly encroaching footsteps. Multiple deep, piercing scream like sounds started to emanate from the area. They blended into a murderous sound, that broke the still silence of the storm. The ground started to shake beneath our feet as the screams of pain increased in volume. Aegis cut the flame that was erupting from his staff, peering back at us. The screams fell silent, as the snow continued to fall around us. Lucas shivered his breath visible as his eyes moved upwards, close to the top of the treeline.
I demanded “Aegis can you cut a path from through the storm. I would rather not see what could get a large number of trolls from their cave hideaways.”
Aegis nodded in agreement and chanted in a language I didn’t understand filling the air with strange rune like symbols, each symbol glowing with energy as it was made. The symbols grew brighter and brighter before, fading.
Aegis commanded “We can navigate towards the outpost Lucas mentioned earlier. The spell won’t last long, we should move quickly.”
We all kept a constant vigil as Lucas led the way towards the outpost. With Aegis and the rest of us moving behind him quickly, doing our best to stay warm. The snow never let up. It felt like it was intensifying with each step.

Late midweek update or Thursday update for August

thursday gif 2Well its been less than productive since I have been busy enjoying the actually decent weather that has come to where I live, making it actually feel like summer.

I started editing Rise, yesterday after getting what I could printed. It is a slow process since my printer likes to be stubborn. Outside of that I have started a couple new projects. The first is currently titled The Bureau, and is mixture of modern fantasy, science fiction,crime noir,  and paranormal. I plan on submitting for the WEP contest, called Spectacular Settings. In addition to that I have started a short story idea, I titled Spirits of the Forest. It is an expansion of my Six Sentence Story #11.  I will post the first section of it, in the next few days. Hopefully I can write a few more like it as my idea for a horror/fantasy themed anthropology idea, currently titled Strange Tales.

Overly productive weekend and a question.

After almost 4,000 words, Friday split between my current projects Rise (death and a dragon), and Anarchy. Along with an additional 2,500 words over the past two days, I’m feeling a case of the Mondays.

monday gif

Hopefully tomorrow will be better and my spark of creativity and inspiration will return with a torrent of thoughts. It would help if this strange sense of exhaustion will be gone as well, and the hiccups I can’t seem to get rid of today, for some reason.

Now on the question. Despite the exhaustion of my body, I couldn’t shake a thought today. There is old phrase, that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that is true than why are some people so set against counting graphic novels and comic books as actual stories. It doesn’t make sense to me. What are your thoughts? Should graphic novels be counted as complete literary novels, or should they not?  Or are they something else entirely?

Personally I think they should be, but I have some bias as someone who grew up reading comic books, and watching the shows that were inspired by them.  I’m curious to see what other people think on this matter. Please comment below, what your thoughts are. Are you against this? Are you for it? Or something else?

Hmm……………….

batman thinking

I have begun to realize as much as I could make my main focus, 1000 pages and explore the possibilities i have hinted at I write,  It would be doubtful a publisher would take a chance a on it as one book. Especially since I’m not a well known author.  It feels like it would be better to split the novel into three or four parts, with a manuscript of around 300-350 pages a piece. Since I may have inadvertently written the chapter earlier today, that could be used for it. Despite not being near 300 pages yet, but I have yet to space out everything properly. Already at close to 250 pages, once I space out the 30+ chapters it will be there. It doesn’t help that I have hinted at lands across the sea, and another species of bipedal Anthropomorphic race. Along with so much more. Which may lead to a manuscript of close to 800- to 1000 pages, which is probably not a good idea for a new author. Maybe I will write it all at once than break it down into three or four pieces and make it a saga  instead of some giant standalone book.

As to my other current project, Anarchy. it is going well. My inspiration for that comes in spontaneous and random waves, which is frustrating at times. Since I’m more focused on turning it into a graphic novel, I’m writing it like one.I  guess I can’t hide the fact, that I grew up on old superheroro shows. One might say I was geeked at birth.

After 9 days in June…

Looking back at the beginning of the month from where I was there and where I am now. I have defiantly made progress, more than I though I would get in such a small window of time. While Rise (death and a dragon) is my main focus and progressed almost halfway to the goal I desire to reach by the end of the month of getting fifty pages added to it. Currently at 221 pages from the 199 pages it was at the beginning of the month, I’m excited and happy with my rate of progress. My progress in my superhero book/ graphic novel idea has been coming along much more slowly since that isn’t my focus at the moment, but I have manged to add a few pages to that as well here and there. The progress may not have been as rapid as I would like but progress is still progress.

Now to some none book/writing/author related news, I may be getting a job at a comic book store that one of my mom’s bosses wants to open. While I may not have the job yet or am certain I will, the guy wants my help to bring in customers and will pay me in comics. That makes the massive geek/nerd in me ecstatic.

Mini update and a slight observation

Well over the past few days I have written 5,000 words in Rise (death and a dragon), and a few hundred in anarchy since my mind refuses to leave the fictional realm of Talora. Even  though the more I write the more I realize am I approaching the climatic middle of the book. Which means I should probably update the few chapters I put on wattpad. Almost forgot about that, haha. Still trying to figure out how exactly it works but it is what it is. Even though I have thought on going to the local con, next year once I get published, and have a physical product to market. Maybe do drawing for a autographed copy. Not much else to report, unfortunately.

As as I think of setting up other social media pages dealing with my beginning as author. It feels like Facebook would be the most efficient, over Google+ since it’s easier to access to the masses. Google+ is really only works if your fans have a google account. Of course there are other sites like goodreads, and tumblr which seem  more public than Google+. The question which is the easiest to communicate with a fan base, outside using a traditional website. Any other authors I follow, have thoughts on this. Comment below.

Summary of May

Well as we now sit in the final hours of May, it seems an good time to post a general summary of the month for my follower both new and old.  As a whole the month has been very productive in both writing and building a small presence as an author online. Looking At my stats for the month, I was surprised to see views from Austria, Canada,Serbia  and Great Britain. Despite the fact that most of my views come from the states, it defiantly feels good and encouraging that I’m finding views from across the ocean. Hopefully I can continue gaining viewers and followers around the world as I build my online presence as a new author.

Honestly, I have no idea how much I wrote this month, since I’m not sure how many words I ended with last month. I could use math to make an educated guess, but it would be an average at best.  If I had to guess, it’s probably somewhere between 35,00 and 40,000 words.

Much to my surprise my most viewed post for May was something I wrote last month, as entitled “working book synopsis.” Which can be seen by searching the archives, I will work on changing it to a link tomorrow  but I’m having technical issues at the moment.  This feels encouraging and seems to mean people are interested in the book, which it makes finding a publisher a little easier.  The only other thing I wish the stats revealed is how many new followers I have gained since last month, to thank them for following me on this interesting journey.

Well, until I post again. Live your lives by reading and writing as often a as you can.

Post Memorial Day update

After a “long and exhausting,” weekend spent with at my sister’s  house hauling landscaping brick and stone, I was to tired to do much of anything, afterwards outside of shower and relax. This limited my writing greatly getting maybe 500 words at best written over the weekend, and maybe another 1,000 Monday. Fortunately today was much more productive, as the exhaustion and soreness begins to leave my body. Hopefully I can return to my average word rate by the end of the week, as my mind returns to Talora, and manage to make a table of contents/chapter list for the book. Which sounds simple, but something tells me it is not.

Late night update

Well after an extremely productive couple of days. I have managed to write close to 4000 words, which I would continue on tonight but my mind is tired. That means I have about 14,000 word till I reach my goal for May of 100,000, written in Rise (death and a dragon). Which I can keep this pace up, I should achieve that.

Hopefully I can set up a tumblr, for my books tomorrow as well. Of course I need to finish the chapter I’m currently writing before I do. Well, till my next post.