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Sunday, 12 May 2013

T. M. Shannon's writing process

by
T. M. Shannon


From tiny idea to the book shops. What is your writing process?


Having the idea: 
It’s not always "sit down and let the ideas flow". Ideas pop up when you least expect it, and need to be written down or at least remembered (luckily my memory is good). 



Sometimes an idea would come with such a burst of energy that it’s not only writing an idea down – but twelve pages of the beginnings of a story that goes nowhere. But it’s still saved, idea 001 so to speak, left to return to and either bring to life, or leave to give to dust. 


My other dream is to write a Role Playing Game. Sadly, I don’t know coding, but I know writing. Either way, these blunt ideas were the conception for The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart. 

Author T.M. Shannon
Drafting: 
At first, I had such a urge to write that I did a lot of Hero of Talbadas (Vol 1) on the fly. I began on the PC, creating the idea of the world - what became the Verity in the published version, but then, like most writers, I had a day job to go to. I would leave work early, and take my time getting home just so I could write in an exercise book. Afterwards, I’d re-write it on Word, improving the narrative as I went. The project stalled near the end of the third book in the fantasy trilogy, all motivation gone. What I needed was to look at getting published for that final push.

Revising:
To get an agent or just to publish yourself you need to get the book up to a high standard. It starts making sure you have the book that you want. Revising is simply making sure your work makes sense. As I went with The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart I ended up removing some chapters and putting them in book two, took the start of book two and used it as the denouement for book one, and re-wrote a few things in between. It was just a matter of improvement.

Editing:
Past revising, editing is like “cutting the fat” off a steak. Go through and find proofing errors (I missed some of them and had to go again). Go through and ensure the formatting is good. Go through and make sure it makes sense i.e. delivers the narrative well. And after that, it pays to get it checked out by a fresh set of eyes.

This last step I actually haven’t done with The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart but intend to soon. It’s a bit of a monetary issue, but I wasn’t going to let that get in the way of my dream of becoming a published author


Publishing:

This is it. You’ve written your book and now you want to sell. You look up agents, send a couple of copies out, you get rejected. Twice was enough for me to give up trying about two years ago . . . until I heard about Createspace. All of a sudden, I had the chance to fulfil my dream AND give myself the drive to keep writing.
Past this process, marketing is the only part left. But that’s a blog post for another day, I suppose.
The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart

The Hero of Talbadas, vol. 1

“To a kingdom facing darkness, a Hero will come…”

Amazon.com

As the King of Talbadas nears his end, and treasonous parties seek to usurp the throne, young farmer Halm Dresden finds that his father’s dying advice, the actions of two elves, and a nightmare vision have put him on a destined path.  While impressionable youth and some of his friends join this treacherous league, Dresden has a sword made and prepares for looming conflict…


Author T.M. Shannon works full time, pays rent, and has a head full of ideas. He is currently living the dream in Sydney, Australia with his darling other half, and a 99% well-behaved son.

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Excerpt 1 - “Grab”

Dresden got to his feet, stretched his arms and legs, and cracked his neck and knuckles both. He looked to his family with eyes that no longer showed compassion, but dreadful finality; and he made peace with the possibility that he may never see them again.
“Dresden?” Kethis asked uncertainly. Bindie and Gorden peered at him.
“This will not be,” he said bluntly, his voice calmly level, different. “I will not have my family, nor the people of my town, fear for their lives.” He had nothing else to say; and having uttered those words, he strode for the hallway.
“Mum, where is he going?” Gorden asked excitedly. “Where are you going, Dresden?!”
He moved for the study, his eyes set in cold, calculating slits. “Out for a walk,” he growled…

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