Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

— Omaya and Mesago help plan the battle and Omaya show’s his friend a book —

Omaya and Mesago walked into the main banqueting hall, filled now with waiting officers. At their head, stood a large map table, and behind it sat Lord Tarian and his brother, Barian. Trays of food and beverages had been placed at one end of the huge, oak table and a chandelier with over a hundred candles swung ever so slightly above it, disturbed by the draft when the two new arrivals had entered.
“Take a cup of tea!” Tarian added, gesturing to a tray.
“Tea?” Omaya and Mesago said together, astonished.
“We’ve just managed to import the first crate,” Barian said. “Zeeland is going up in the world!”
“I tasted it once!” Mesago said, sipping from a white, china cup. “Mm.”
“Mm,” Omaya repeated. “It’s good. I heard of it. I tasted chocolate once.”
“Ah! Chocolate. I haven’t tasted it since I was a kid,” Tarian said. “Where?”
“Currency Palace. The Princess gave it to me.”
“So you did know her well,” Barian declared.
“I was her slave,” Omaya replied.
“Pleasure slave!” Mesago murmured, just loud enough for Tarian to hear.
Tarian nodded, with set lips but a slight smirk around the corners of his eyes.
“And now he’s buying books!” Barian added.
“Are you thinking of taking those with you?” Tarian asked.
“Yes. To read on lonely evenings.”
“Soldiers should never read books!” Barian said.
“They say books quicken the mind but slow the hand,” Tarian added.
“Though women do the opposite!” Barian said.

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Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

Omaya and Mesago meet Lord Tarian Bow to discuss how to defeat the Currencians. Omaya notices a strange man, who turns out to be from his own City, Currency.

A man in a top hat with a wooden leg that ended in a fixed wheel raised his hand and turned to leave the room. Omaya hadn’t noticed him before but now that he had seen the strange appendage, he couldn’t take his eyes away. The strange man, also wearing a coat with tails, which looked like it had been mauled by dogs, didn’t hobble but walked quite adeptly on the wooden leg.
“I keep him as a butler!” Lord Tarian said. “Not much use for anything else except good stories – mostly porkies. He has an accomplice somewhere. Can’t see him now. Strange fellow but good as a pickpocket and spy.”
“White wine for me!” Omaya replied.
“Don’t be stupid! Soldiers drink red! Bring the good stuff Smithy!”
“Yessir! Coming right up! Screwthumb!”
“I like your idea!” Tarian told Omaya. “Are you an engineer? I mean; could you build this thing? And how long would it take?”
Omaya hesitated. In truth, he didn’t want to see the end of the Currencians. He had a grudging respect for The Dragon, particularly his love of books and dreams of building a new power station. Most of all, Omaya could not get the sight of a working light bulb out of his head. He cleared his throat to reply but the butler cut him off, handing each man a glass of red wine from a tray.
“Here you are gentlemen. The very best red wine!”

Rip-Find the Magic Key: 2nd longest Western novel at 1 M+ words. Subscribe http://bit.ly/LazloFerran | Buy Vol 1 http://bit.ly/ripvol1 | Understand more http://bit.ly/inforip

Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

This is Issue 1 of a daily news update of News in the seven worlds of Rip – Find the Magic Key.

Omaya and Mesago scale the walls of the last Currencian stronghold, while Brina suffers as a pleasure slave in the President of Tasman’s Palace

Omaya stripped naked and rubbed damp mud all over this skin. By the time he finished he looked like a clay man.
“Ready?” Mesago whispered, incredulous.
“Let’s go.”
Both men bit onto their knives and picked up the coils of rope.
“Neither of you have done this before, have you?” Barian whispered. “Tie your knives around your necks!” He handed them both knives on cords and backed away.
“Damn, these are heavy!” Omaya moaned, trying to adjust the weight of rope.
“Stop being a cry baby.”
They hunched and crept from behind the eucaly bushes up to the base of the cliff. On its other side waves of the Tasman sea crashed against vertical cliffs that the President’s best soldiers hadn’t been able to scale.
“Not many handholds!” Mesago muttered.
“Follow me. I’m lighter.”
“Makes sense. Sort of!”
Omaya felt with his finger tips and began the long ascent. Everything became a blur to him as he fought for breath at the half way point. He knew he had reached half way because he couldn’t see the ground nor the top of the cliff in the gloom. The pale rind of a waxing moon didn’t give off enough light to help much.

Rip-Find the Magic Key: 2nd longest Western novel at 1 M+ words. Subscribe http://bit.ly/LazloFerran | Buy Vol 1 http://bit.ly/ripvol1 | Understand more http://bit.ly/inforip

Cover Reveal for new Historical Fiction Release: Screaming Angels

Cover Reveal for Screaming Angels

Screaming Angels cover

Screaming Angels cover

I’m very pleased and proud to announce that my latest book, Screaming Angels, will be published by A-Argus some time in the summer. This story is a historical account of one the strangest deals the British ever did with Soviet Russia, with a romantic twist. If you love romance, this will be right up your street. And if you love aviation tales, especially about Cold War jets, you will also love it.

On a personal note, this book has caused my quite a lot of strife! I already knew about the Rolls Royce Nene engine fiasco, and then I had a strange dream. This became the inspiration for a new book, but the first draft didn’t electrify me, or my beta readers. It seemed to lack emotion, and the plot needed a twist. I sought inspiration in classic romances like Wuthering Heights and Lady Chatterley’s Lover and, six rewrites later, it has a lot of feeling and a great twist! I think I finally got it right. Read on if you want to sample some excerpts!

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The World is Broken: Rip – Find the Magic Key

“Lots of cool action and drew me well in.” – AHF Magazine.

You can buy Rip Volume 1 (2016) for $4.99 on Amazon, or subscribe.

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There is a RIP in space and time. Om and Bri are trapped. All humanity; wiped out after seven cycles of destruction, Unless Om and Bri can unite to find the source of the rip.

A curtain of rainbow light shimmers and two people see their lives shift, in this tense, epic thriller. Om and Bri gradually become aware that they have met before – in previous lives. They begin to recall a mission that started with the discovery of Iron in ancient Atlantis. A gravitational rip was triggered by the Ischians, and water became impure, causing the gradual loss of memory and the Cup, a grail to hold the Holy blood of the first tree.

The blind Seer predicts that Earth’s health will never be restored until the Cup, the Holy Grail of legend, has been restored.

It’s their last life, their last chance. Om and Bri must find their way back through the rip to Atlantis, and to the cave where the last Val-yr, vampire priests, wait.

But the Cup needs a Key.

“Tolkien like epic with a touch of sci-fi.”

7 worlds. 7 lives. 7 chances for Om and Bri to save Earth.

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How to Write a Good Book – Post 5. Varying the Pace

pen5So you have your plot of Rudolph’s adventures all worked out and you know where the climax and twist will be. Now you are considering writing the climax and want to know how to show tension when Rudolph can’t get the tractor down a narrow alleyway, or gets stuck in a snowdrift. So how do you show the tension?

It’s not as easy as you might think!

Action Words and Expletives

The first rule is to use more action words when you are writing action sequences. These are words like ‘ripped,’ ‘spun,’ ‘yelled,’ ‘wrenched,’ and ‘panted.’

Here is an example. See how this sentence sounds quite calm.

– He knew he needed to get through the door. He put down the axe and walked up to the door. He pulled on the handle and it opened. He went thought the opening and all was well.

That definitely lacks tension. Let’s try it again:

– He had to get through the door. He only had seconds left! He threw his axe down, spun round and leaped toward the door. Grabbing the handle, he pulled and pulled but the door wouldn’t budge. Using all his strength, he gave it one last almighty heave and wrenched the door open. The wood cracked and splintered as the lock broke, and he was through!
“What’s the problem Rudolph?” Santa yelled.
“The door! It’s bloody stuck!”

Okay, so I went a bit over the top there; it’s twice as long. But it’s much more exciting.

Notice the use of words like ‘grabbing,’ ‘cracked.’

Also notice saying ‘had to’ instead of ‘knew he needed to.’ Forget about considered thought in tight situations. People just act and think later when they are desperate. This is one place where we definitely don’t need to know what the hero is thinking.

Also note the use of an expletive (swear word) by Rudolph. You might not want to use expletives in your writing but it’s a fact that people swear a lot when under pressure. Leave swear words out and you risk losing realism.

Short Sentences

For the last reason above, short sentences are good in action sequences. We want simple action, and short sentences tend to increase the pace.

Time

Another trick is to use time. If the hero is not only fighting against an evil adversary or obstinate door, but also against the clock, this will dramatically increase tension.

I used this a great deal in Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate.

Adversity or Obstacles

Elements of adversity of obstacle can also add tension. In the example above the door wouldn’t open easily and he had to wrench it open. Small accidents can also increase tension. He needs a key to unlock the door but he drops it, as people do when tense or in a hurry. Both accidents and obstacles also prolong the tension, which also helps create tension.

Use of Commas

The use of less commas during action sequences can increase tension, but this is a technique not all authors employ. If you try it, you still need to observe good grammar rules.

A Word of Warning about Length of Description

As you probably noticed in my example above, quite often action sequences can make the prose longer. For this reason, you will need to allow a bit more space for describing action, perhaps as much as 50% more space. But on the other hand, if you use short sentences carefully and avoid any description of inner feeling, you can sometimes keep the prose in action scenes as short as elsewhere.

Slowing the Pace

It may sound crazy, but sometimes you will want to slow the pace!

You can’t have climactic scenes throughout the whole book. This would be exhausting to read, and would ignore the whole point of climaxes. But you may want more than one climax. In The Devil’s Own Dice I knew there would be a big battle in the middle of the story. Inevitably this has to be very tense and a climax of some sort. But I didn’t want it to be the final climax. This made things tricky. I got round it by making the lead up to the battle quite leisurely and keeping the tension high afterwards. I also had a strong ‘insight’ scene after the battle, so that we see a previous love affair in detail and how it affected the main character. This kept the pace up, because of the tension of an affair, but also allowed the reader a bit of a contrast to battle. I had to make sure the final climax was even more exciting, but on the whole I think the reader feels they got a bonus, rather than a let down

Using Chapter Breaks and Scene Switching

I put these 2 factors together because they sometimes amount to the same thing.

Because you will want the climax somewhere near the end of the book, each chapter should, on the whole, be more gripping than the last. This drags the reader along and won’t let them put the book down. For this reason, you should normally end each chapter on a cliff-hanger. That is, they should either be just about to learn something, or have just seen some action but not know the outcome. This will make the reader want to turn the next page.

If the book has a large cast and a complex arena of action such as the invasion of Earth in my science fiction book Worlds Like Dust, you might try switching between different areas of action, either at section breaks or chapter breaks, rather than trying to describe it all simultaneously. Allowing yourself to describe one piece of action completely before switching to another increases tension, because the reader is wondering in the back of their mind what has happened to so-and-so in the other scene. Tolkien does this brilliantly in Lord of the Rings. You must handle continuity very carefully when you do this.

So, in conclusion, to vary pace, use:

  1. Action Words and Expletives
  2. Short Sentences
  3. Time
  4. Adversity or Obstacles
  5. Reduced Number of Commas
  6. Chapter Breaks and Scene Switching

Join me for the final part of this series 6. Editing in two weeks’ time.

Let me know what you think of my tutorials by commenting below: