The Wishful Writer: WORLD-BUILDING

As a Wishful writer I am constantly wishing up great kingdoms, Interesting races/ cultures and unique worlds full of mystery. I want to make worlds that I could get lost in for years creating stories for each person that inhabits it. I wish to make a world that is far more interesting than our own. I want unthinkable monsters, Romance to die for and questionable hero’s. I wish to have a map as revered as J.R.R Tolkiens Middle-Earth.

I have always had a great fascination with maps, ever since I came across the great Middle-Earth. As far as World-Building goes physically creating the world is my favorite part. I love slapping down landmarks and daydreaming about all of the things that go on there. I like giving kingdoms strategic advantages or disadvantages, like being nestled into the mountains or teetering on a cliff. And most of all I love how it helps drive my creativity for the story that is set in this world.

Having a map helps me keep track of where people are in my story and places they can explore. It also might help me find problems that my characters may run into while going along their way. Having a map also helps with little things like what the weather may be in a certain region. For me a map is a necessity

Unfortunately for me I am also some what of a wishful cartographer. I am even worse at drawing than I am at writing. My drawings of land always come out looking like blobs. Very unattractive blobs. Not weathered shores that hide the tales of a lost traveler. This map here is my only passable world that I have kept. everything else was abysmal.

This map created many threads of story for one of my projects and maybe that is why I am so partial to it.

Even after I created this “Masterpiece”, I continue to struggle just getting a decent shape for my lands. My edges are either too smooth or too exaggerated. Never the weathered look all land inherently has. I have tried following tutorials on youtube, but still my lack of skill shines through. I thought to myself there has to be a better way to do this. So, I fired up the ole Google machine and behold I came across brilliance! One of the first sites I came across was Inkarnate.com. In all honestly this is the only fantasy world builder I found. If you know of others I would love to try!

I spent a couple hours on the free version familiarizing myself with all the tools. I quickly found myself wanting to have the pro version just too see the other stamps I could get and it just made things like placing trees easier.Frankly the free version is more than enough but I just like having extra goodies.

Inkarnate is great for things like building maps for Dungeons and Dragons as well. Actually I believe that was the intended audience when they created it. But it’s the perfect tool for writers as well as those who want to dabble in their own world building. Heck, even if you do neither of those things it’s fun just to play around with.

These are some of the maps I have created for a couple of the stories I am in the progress of “Writing” and the other is just one I am fooling around with.

When It comes to the other aspects of world building I tend to push them off. I am no world building expert but damn do I love making maps. What are some of your favorite aspects of World-building? Are you good at making up cultures? Are you a political master? Or are you a map head like me? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!

Did this pandemic break Me?

Has being laid off and stuck at home for the past month broken me? I suppose that all depends on my definition of broken. My definition is the sense of feeling lost and not being able to decide what I want or should being doing even thought I have an abundance of time and can do whatever I want.(In my house that is.)

Being without a job is nothing new to me. In the past I have quit jobs and couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I was depressed and anxious. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life or even with the 24 hours of the day. I was my own definition of broken. This time around, being unemployed is a little different. This time it is of no fault of my own. Unfortunately for most other people they seem to be in the same boat.

To answer the question did this pandemic break me? My answer is twofold, because 2 weeks ago my answer would have been a resounding yes. I was lost, I stopped being productive at all, and I wasn’t even getting myself into my hobbies. I had all this time in the world, but chose to do literally nothing. When you spend a lot of time alone with your thoughts you realize there is a separate person in your brain (maybe it’s just me). Negative Neddy, as I like to call him. He stopped by to hang out for a little while and tell me how much of a piece of shit I am. (were not very good friends.) Which leaded me down a slippery slope that could only end in depression.

Thankfully though there is a second part to my answer (Which leads Neddy to an ass whoopin’). That answer is hell no it didn’t break me! After being lost for 2 weeks I remembered I had a map. (That’s right, Cartographer Myles is what they called me in preschool!) I had been in almost the exact same situation before many times before but worse.

So, I followed my map back to the promise lands, which was a 36 hour trip that included 24 hours of all the self hatred I could handle followed by 12 hours of cleaning (not even close, but drama baby!) That act of cleaning helped me think of something other than my undesirable situation and helped scrub my thoughts and show me the un-majestic path I was following.

Within a day or two I was back writing, reading , working out and walking my dog. Keeping my self active and busy helps with excuses when Negative Neddy tries to come over for a drink. It also helps me stay moderately sane (too sane and your writing sounds like a textbook).

There it is, I was once broken and now I am whole, once lost but now found……..Sorry cliche I know, buuuutttt I am winning now and I hope you are too! Stay safe and thanks for reading!

This Years Writing Goals

2020 is well under way and I haven’t started any goals. Mostly because I didn’t make any and also because I have been in a slump. But things are looking up and I would like to set out some to crush.

Goal one is to write for fun and write for me. Something I feel that has always held me back from writing is thinking about making money from writing and having my life changed by being published. It’s nice to have dreams and something to strive towards but it shouldn’t be the reason I am doing it. I started writing for fun. Because I wanted the stories in my head to become something. I wanted to create stories for my significant other. And then it changed. It is time to go back to the beginning and have fun with it.

Goal number two is to find my groove. I have never been a consistent writer. I always write in spurts with long breaks in between. Those breaks always ruin my flow and usually make me want to start something new. I need to get into a daily habit and work on my project. Even if I only write 100 words a day I would be happy. If I ever want to complete a novel in this life time, I am going to be way more consistent.

The number one thing that destroys my confidence and my consistency is always critiquing my work as I go. I always seem to question the story after a few pages and think maybe this isn’t that great or this part just doesn’t make sense. Which has lead a lot of my stories to their unfortunate doom.

So, my third and final goal this year is to be less critical to my work, especially when it is still just a poor little infant.

I have recently started a new project and I am having fun with it. I just need to stick to my goals it should hopefully make it out of the infant stage.

To recap my 3 goals are:

  1. Have fun
  2. Write consistently
  3. Don’t be so critical

Do you have any goals this year? Let me know! And thanks for reading. Have a beautiful day.

The Wishful Writer: Affliction or Sabotage

The only time I have picked up my pen This year has been to write for this blog. There are many reason– Nope. There are many excuses holding me back. I have quite a few Novel and short story ideas on the backlog that very well could be in the process of being written. My pen Just became too heavy to hold.

Lately, the well of ideas (and maybe life) have run dry. Which shouldn’t be a problem because as I mentioned I have a stockpile of ideas waiting to be written. Yet, the lack of new ideas feels like a lack of creativity. Something I fear to be catastrophic to my stories.

Along with my creativity slithering away right in front of me, so too has my passion for those aging stories. Somewhere in time the honeymoon phase faded with these stories. Maybe I was never in love. But now I feel like I have to settle with these because who knows when the next love will come along.

People write blogs as a way to make money and some to help others. I write blogs to practice my writing while trying the spark creativity and confidence in my work. (while loosing money on this beautiful website.) I Wrote this post in particular to show myself how ridiculous my problems are. By writing this I have shown myself the only problem is me.

The pen might be heavy, but if I keep picking it up I will build the strength to carry my stories to wherever it is they need to go.

Book Review: Abomination by Gary Whitta

Welcome back to another book review. As always I will give you my opinion about the story without giving away to many spoilers. I believe reviews should be short and spoiler free. This one is Abomination by Gary Whitta, so lets get into it!

This story is Historical Fiction or Horror or Fantasy or all of the above. This book is set in England, 888 AD when the vikings were invading. The King, Alfred the Great, finds himself in a spot of inevitable defeat. King Alfred’s Archbishop Aethelred comes upon some ancient scripture that taught him a kind of magic, (like turning animals into monsters.) Magic he believed could win the war.

Aethelred seems to be consumed by the dark magic and making the perfect abomination to defeat the Danes that he seemed to have forgotten his humanity. Alfred sees this and tries to put a stop to it. In comes the main character Wulfric, who is the kings greatest warrior, but secretly hates killing.

Eventually Wulfric is cursed to become an abomination every night and live out the rest of his live slaughtering villages and hating himself more and more. The rest of the book is 15 years later, hes found ways to control or rather contain the monster. But when the order he founded to slaughter the beasts stumbles upon his trail it gets harder and harder to stay hidden and keep innocent people safe.

That is about as much detail as I will go into. The way Whitta writes kept me engaged and wanting more. I have read other reviews that the beginning of the book was too slow, but I found it very interesting and fast. It is a fairly easy read, some books I get lost in what is trying to be said but, it was very enjoyable.

It was gory in parts, sad in parts and happy in other parts. Not many books I have read can make me feel even the slightest emotion but, this one did it. You can’t help but feel for the main character, as all he ever wanted was a family and a farm.

All I have left to say is it’s a solid 8/10. I would definitely read it again and would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy in historical settings or just fantasy in general. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope you do too!

The Wishful writer: Writers and Education (Chapter 2)

Welcome back wishful writers. Today I am throwing a question your way. To be a successful author do you need formal education in it? I know the answers will probably be split but I would like to hear your reasons.

Now as someone who has never liked school, you might think my answer would be no you don’t need education to be a successful writer. But as I get further down the writer road and watch other more experienced writers talk about writing tips and tricks, I am starting to sway to the idea that you do need education. I am not even sure if the people I watch have formal training but it sure seems like it.

When it comes to writing I would consider myself a novice, a beginner, someone who doesn’t know exactly what he is doing. Maybe I have forgotten the few things I learned in high school or maybe I never learned enough to begin with. So, furthering my education could perhaps have gone a long way into shaping me into a capable writer.

In the same breath I have already spent money on school for what I thought was going to be my career. All I feel I was taught was how to pass a test. I never felt like I learned enough to be proficient at the job. I learned everything but doing it. In no way did school benefit me.

I believe its hard, if not impossible to teach creativity. Writing though, is so much more than creativity. you have to be able to articulate the movie playing inside your head so other people can have it play in theirs. you have to know how to organize your words so they come out beautiful and people hang onto each one of them. you also need to know who you are writing for because if you write for the wrong crowd they won’t understand your story. All of this I am clueless on and maybe school could teach me.

I am at a point in my life where it seems impossible to go back to school as well. I don’t have the money and it probably wouldn’t work with my schedule. Does that make me doomed? will I only be just a writer and not an author?

If I did have the possibility to go back to school I know most writers will never make money off their writing or become well know authors. So, how can one justify spending thousands of dollars to go back to school? I, like many others, always dream of selling my story to publishers, but I know my writing doesn’t come close to being anywhere near as good as published authors.

Have you gone to school? has it benefited you greatly? I pass the question off to you once more. Do you need to be educated in writing to be an author? I am very curious what you all think and whether school has helped your writing journey. So, let me know in the comments and have a wonderful day Wishful Writers!

The Wishful Writer

Welcome Everyone! Today I would like to start a new series for this blog. I shall call it The Wishful Writer, because that is who I am and I believe a lot of others feel the same way. I intend to talk about all of my struggles and success’ on being a writer. I want to have conversations with all of you and build a community where we can all share advice or just vent about our struggles!

Why am I calling myself a wishful writer? Well, if it isn’t obvious enough, I always wish the best for my writing but rarely doing anything about it. I can create wonderful and destructive worlds, I can day dream about ridiculous love stories I can kill off the favorite character but most notably I can only ever do this in my head.

I always look to the greats and daydream of being in their positions and how lucky they are to have come up with that one great idea. Yet, I always fail to realize they actually sat down and put the idea on paper. I bet I could sell a book. (My wife would buy it!) It’s just that I am too tired to write it today, I had to work today, my favorite show is coming on. (Because Netflix)

So, this series is for any writer wishing to be an author. This series is for the writer who binge watches Netflix daily. This series is for the writer who hasn’t had their coffee yet or of course the writer who procrastinates more then they do anything. (ME!)

What are you wishful for? The perfect Idea? Time? Energy? Inspiration? Someone to write your book for you? Let me know in the comments and let me know of topics you would like to discuss. Let’s stick together and help one another survive the dread of writing our masterpiece! Make sure you hit the follow button on your way out and thanks for reading!

TBR List 2019!

Welcome back everyone! Last year I set a personal record and read the most books I’ve ever read. A whopping 11 books! I know an astronomical number. So, This year I set a goal to up my game to 20 books. I though it would be a cool idea to come up with the reading list and come back to it at the end of the year and see how I did!

So, here it is:

  1. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (read)
  2. King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (read)
  3. Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (read)
  4. Coldfall Woods by Steven Savile (reading)
  5. The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
  6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien
  7. The Two Towers by J.R.R Tolkien
  8. The Return of The King by J.R.R Tolkien
  9. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling
  10. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ( I’ve surprisingly have never read!!! If you wanna read about why click here.)
  11. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  12. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  14. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
  15. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows
  16. Halo: Smoke and Shadows by Kelly Gay
  17. Abomination by Gary Whitta
  18. Dead or Alive by Blackwood
  19. World of Warcraft: Wolfheart by Richard A Knaak
  20. Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Aaaaand there it is, My list of books to read this year. I won’t say it is concrete because a lot of times I just don’t “feel” like reading particular things. I will try and write reviews on the books I read or do a full series review. Sounds good to you? Then follow along! Any suggestions? Like books I shouldn’t read? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Book Review: Prince of Thorns

Hey, everyone! I have officially read my first book (In January!) of the year. and what better way to celebrate it than by reviewing it!

So, here we go! the book I read in January was Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. This is not the first book I have read by Mark Lawrence but this was his debut novel as an author. I found Mark Lawrence by strolling through the book store and ultimately not wanting to leave until I bought a new book. I had no idea what I wanted to buy or even what I was in the mood to read. So, I strolled through the fantasy section. I picked up Prince of Fools and loved the cover. (yes I always judge books by there covers :p)

After reading the synopsis I immediately thought “I am going to love this book the main character seems like a douche!” Ultimately I did love the book, as well as the other two in the series. at this point in time, I would even say the Red Queens war is my favorite book series and as a by-product Mark Lawrence my favorite author.

After reading the series and expressing my deep love for it, I was gifted the Prince of Thorns. which ended up sitting on my bookshelf for about a year. “why?” you might ask. Well, because I was scared I would love that book as much as I loved the other ones but I didn’t have the sequels for me to immediately drown myself with. So, alas it went unread.

For christmas I was given the sequels! Hallelujah! So, I allowed my self to read away! I will try not to give to much away but, just in case you haven’t read the books or hate spoilers. This is my disclaimer. THERE MAY BE SPOILERS or they may not be……… read on at your own risk.

The story follows a young prince by the name of Honorous Jorg Ancarth. For a boy of fourteen he is very mature.( more so than I am at 28) He’s smart, serious and driven by revenge. He ran away when he was only ten and has been roaming the lands with a group of misfits. they go from town to town pillaging.

Jorg left the castle for one reason. to kill the man that killed his mother and brother. He feels that his father should be more angry and wanting blood but he just sits in his castle. So, Jorg puts matters into his own hands.

I’m not going to lie for about half the book I hated Jorg. He was way more serious than the other prince I had previously read about(prince of fools) I have never been fond of stories about children as I don’t find them particularly believable. Especially when that child is more mature, smarter and all around more put together than I am at double his age.

Throughout the book though you are peppered with his past and the reasons he is the way he is. To get to a black berry you need to get around the thorns. and Jorg has more thorns than your typical black berry bush.

This book is definitely not suitable for younger audiences as there are some very suggestive scenes and at times he can get really dark. I was going to list off all the things I disliked about this book but somehow they all turned into likes. I Don’t care for his so called “Road brothers” they are characters I just don’t care about. well there was once but of course they killed him.

I was going to go more in depth about the book. but I like people to read for themselves. I don’t like giving to much away. If your are a fan of fantasy, especially Dark Fantasy you will love this book. If I were to give this book a rating out of 5 swords I would give it a 4.5. Its not as good of a book as prince of fools in my opinion but its still a damn good book. Jorg is a character you hate in front of your friends but love alone!

Thanks For Reading! If you like this kind of review make sure to give it a like and let me know in the comments!

The Meaning of Life

The meaning of life is a topic many, if not most people have discussed. As time moves forward the meaning always changes. There is no Definitive answer to, “what is the meaning of life?” and that troubles a lot of people.

“The god that we created plans our destiny, Because life without meaning is our sworn, enemy!”-Beast in Black

People make up stories and will continue to make them so that there is meaning to their life. Now, what I am getting at is, what if life had no meaning? How does that make you feel? would your life change drastically? Would it change at all?

The beautiful thing about humans is our quest for answers and the beautiful thing about the universe is its abundance of secrets! its like we were made for each other! We dedicate countless lives unraveling its secrets. Some things have been studied for hundreds of years and still, there is no concrete answer.

Our drive for knowledge and better lives have made us who we are, but why does everything need a meaning? what if you chose the meaning of life? what if you created your destiny and it wasn’t created for you? What if the universe always existed and there was no beginning of time? what if every religions real message was that you were God?

2020 has been uncomfortable

2020 has been an uncomfortable year. Its brought a Pandemic, Violence and riots and money problems for most people. It’s showcased how you can’t judge someone on their uniform. Most of all it has shown me that still nobody knows what we are doing other than surviving..

Despite all the negativity 2020 has wrought, it has been on of my best years. I continue to become mentally stronger and not let my depression and anxiety control my life. I also got married to the only person who can handle me at my worst and still support everything I do! She makes my life infinitely better.

For most of the year I have avoided posting anywhere. I feel like I don’t have a voice worth listening to on most controversies and ultimately I am not well versed enough about subjects to argue my position. nor do I want to argue it. Everyone has their own opinion on everything and humanity will never agree on anything 100%. So, instead of me adding fuel to fires I will keep quiet.

To make up for my absence and my silence I have decided to participate in Movember. I will be growing a glorious mustache to raise money for men’s health. It’s something I have never participated in but I am excited. I knew they were about raising money to research testicular cancer but they also do for prostate cancer and mental health.

I will be documenting my stache growth and my donation growth over on instagram @mylesgrahamwrites. and if you would like to contribute to a great cause please use my link https://movember.com/m/mylesgrahamwrites?mc=1

I will try and get more content going up on this blog. But I will also be working on my nanowrimo project. I know I know, I said I would probably never do it again. But I needed it to get back into writing and so far it has done exactly what I needed it too. Anyway more on that on a different day!

Thanks for reading and please please please Help me get to my goal of $200 for Movember! Take care!

Fly

Find your wings and fly

For this plain will be a tomb

At no fault of gods will

But for the traitorous species we have become

One for one and none for all