City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett is one of the books I enjoyed reading the most this year. It left a lasting impression on me not only through its skillfully chosen main characters, the strong prose, and the memorable worldbuilding. What I enjoyed the most is the realistic cultural worldbuilding of the two nations and their enmity to each other. The way the cultures develop and how they came to be at this point in time of this book is a step above most other books. The author has a keen understanding of how cultures and nations react and interact and that made the book a treat unlike any other for me. Continue reading

Writing Day #2

As with last sunday, I’m planning to make another writing day tomorrow and you’re welcome to join me!

I probably won’t manage as much as last week (8.000 words), as I’m invited to a birthday party tonight that will probably go on until the early hours, I’ll be sleeping late and will be exhausted tomorrow too. I’ll be on twitter the day and keep everyone updated with my progress, this time not with the #8k8hr tag, but rather with the common #1k1hr one.

Still, getting a few thousand words in for NaNoWriMo is important, especially since I’m behind (as always).

Shield and Crocus by Michael R. Underwood

Reading this book took me a long time. I’d bought it mostly because the author frequents /r/fantasy and it was on a steep discount at the time. I had a hard time getting into the book at all. It seems like a great idea: a superhero team fighting a losing battle against the tyrants to save their city, with a plethora of different races in a steampunk universe with sentient machines and grapple hooks. Continue reading

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

The new novella from Patrick Rothfuss The Slow Regard of Silent Things about Auri, the mysterious character from his Kingkiller Chronicle series has been awaited very eagerly not only by myself, but by many other people. His first series is an incredible success and many people are waiting for the third and final book of the series The Doors of Stone. The novella is a book to bridge the waiting time and it’s a pleasure to read something new from Patrick Rothfuss.

Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Writing Day

NaNoWriMo makes for a rather busy month of writing. About 1.600 words every day might not seem much, but if you miss it once, you’ll be forced to write more and more words to catch up. I’d that problem in Camp NaNoWriMo a few months ago and only barely managed to catch up while writing more than 3.000 words a day for the last week.

To not repeat that experience and for once either stay in the timeline or actually get ahead of it, I’ve been thinking about making this Sunday, the 9th November, a writing day for me.

This is the official appeal to join in to anyone interested. Write with me!

How much or how long? That’s your call! But to get ahead of the NaNoWriMo schedule and write a good chunk of your novel, a few hours working should be the minimum. It’s sunday, so even those of you working over the week might find some time to participate.

I’ll be going for a “workday” of writing, meaning about 8 hours in total over the course of the day. Starting at 10am, with a long pause for dinner and smaller pauses whenever necessary. Can’t have your brain overheat on such a day.

8 hours writing would mean about 8.000 words, as it’s said that in one hour of writing you can write 1.000 words on average. I’m at about 1.200 words per hour and have written as much as 1.700 words per hours when I was in the zone. Not sure how much I can write in my native language, as most of what I’ve written over the last two days has been in english.

Whatever you hit first, the 8 hours of writing, or the 8.000 words written (or your personal equivalence) is your goal for that day.

As Twitter is a great way to stay in contact with other people, I’ll be tweeting about this on sunday with the handle of #8k8hr, similar to the often used hashtag for writers #1k1hr, which means writing 1.000 words in 1 hour. If you want to participate, you can find me on twitter under @MikeAWants.

This post is for me a promise to hold myself to, to sit down next sunday and write, write as much as possible. If I don’t manage the full 8.000 words or 8 hours, that’s okay, as long as I sit down and write as much as I can manage. That’s the important part here, starting to write with a distant goal in mind and getting as far as possible.

If you want to participate, comment here or reach me somewhere else. Make your own promise and stick to it and hopefully we’ll all be writing together next sunday!

Willful Child by Steven Erikson

Imagine my surprise some weeks ago when I noticed a book with a very familiar name on the cover: Willful Child by Steven Erikson, the master storyteller of the acclaimed Malazan series. As that is my favorite series of all time, it was clear to me that I had to read this new book by Erikson. I was lucky enough to get an ARC. I can already tell you that I had a blast reading his new Sci Fi book and it was definitely a book that had me rolling around laughing at times. But (there’s always a but) I’m not sure how well this book will do on the main market and with fans of the Malazan series.

NaNoWriMo 2014 started!

Today this year’s NaNoWriMo started. I’d already written a few words about it and have finally decided to try my luck. While the overall goal of NaNoWriMo is writing 50.000 words, I’ve set my personal goal to 30.000. In Camp NaNoWriMo I’d already managed to get 50k, but only barely and with a lot of work in the last week of the camp. This month I’ve neither as much free time as I’ve got energy to write, so I’ve got to set my sights a bit lower: I’ll be shooting for 1.000 Words a day. Depending on how well it does (and I at least managed about 1.000 Words today, so fingers crossed), I might hunker down again for the last week and try to get to the real goal, but that’s a distant prospect.

In Camp NaNoWriMo this year, I’d written one of my english fantasy books, but I decided that this november I’d write in my native language. This is a result of my lack of time too, as I know that writing in german takes considerably less time. I’m able to write in english somewhat fluently, but I like to double-check words and spellings, which I don’t have to do when I’m writing in german. That’s a huge time saver, especially in regard to large projects that take tens of thousands of words to complete.

What I’m writing about actually hasn’t got anything to do with fantasy, which is a surprise for me too. It has only mild tendencies towards Sci Fi too and shapes up to be something that might be called literary fiction. I’m not sure, I don’t read that. I’m a pure genre nerd. Well, let’s see where this takes us.

I know I haven’t been very active the last weeks and while I have a lot on my plate with NaNoWriMo I’ll try my best to get some new posts up here. As always, I’ve got a lot planned, now I just need to write all that!

If you’re taking part in NaNoWriMo I hope you have a blast and write the words needed to win it and more on top!