Due to the murder of my family and the resulting court cases, police investigations, and FBI investigations, I no longer have time to daily update this website.

Likewise ALL novel, short story, and article writing projects are on hiatus.

All book releases, book signings, workshops, and convention appearances for 2015 (and unknown amount of time after) are on hold while the murder investigation of my family is ongoing.

Writing advice an, worldbuilding, character creation, and other writing how to articles are on hold.

From now on, the bulk of updates here will be about the investigation into the murder of my family.

No, NOT just THIS author website, not JUST the EelKat pename, not just self published books: ALL 15 (fifteen) of my penames are on hiatus, that includes traditional published books as well, newspaper reporting jobs, editing jobs, my work for Harlequin Romance Novels, my work for Disney... EVERYTHING is on hiatus. Every publishing house I work for, every series I write, every panname I write under: they are ALL on hiatus, ALL projects.

There is NOTHING being published under ANY penname, not for ANY series, not for ANY publisher, from 2015 onward. EVERYTHING is on hold due to the murder of my family. I do not know when or even if, any of the projects will be restarted or finished.

Yes, BOTH the magazines I owned are indefinably shut down because of this as well, with no plans for either magazine to return. The publishing house I own is also closed to submissions from now on, we will no longer be publishing anything. It is unlikely we will reopen the publishing house either.

All book signing tours, workshops, letures, PAX events, ComicCon events, carnival/festival/state fair/car show events are also canceled. I will not be attending ANY of them. If a venue still has my name listed as a guest/speaker/etc it is because they've not yet removed it. I WILL NOT be there, no matter where it is! 


The ONLY thing continuing from this point on, is THIS website, where I'll post updates on the murder investigation, hopefully every week, but, you know how it is when 10 members of your family are beheaded, it's kind of difficult to have a schedule for anything anymore.

Writing without a twist: how unique does a story have to be?

Writing without a twist: how unique does a story have to be?

Writing without a twist: how unique does a story have to be?

>>there's no big "this is the story that does This" moment anywhere in the book. Does there need to be?

I don't think so. Of course it depends on the audience you are writing for too. Me? I like the Drama type stories, that meander along casually, and don't do the exciting roller coaster up and downs, that many books use. I prefer a quiet read I can relax to, not one that's going to get my heart rate up.

>>Or can a story just have good characters, be well-written, and fun?

Let me tell you about one of my novels. It's volume five of a series. It's Fantasy, about an Elf Wizard and his group of outcast non-Human friends.

The story starts out telling the reader, that they are heading for a mystical volcano that is about 4 months walk from where they are right now. The entire story, is the trip to the volcano. Kind of a hikers road trip travelogue type of story. They cross rivers and and camp under the stars, they tell jokes, they get hurt, they bicker, once a pair of best friend got in a fist fight and then each stomped off in opposite directions then wouldn't talk to each other, they meet travellers on the road and talk to then, they get caught in rain storms.... you get the idea.

The very last thing that happens, they get to the volcano... THE END.

Nothing happens. EVER, in the entire novel. It's just a Slice of Life, look at their trip across the country.


It's Fantasy, about an Elf Wizard and his group of outcast non-Human friends.

And this is volume 5, of a series in which EVERY volume is written like this.

I get an email from a reader one day... saying: "So, I've been reading the series. I'm up to Volume 5. I just finished and nothing happened when they got to the volcano. It just ended. I read the entire book, waiting for them to get to the volcano, because I thought something was going to happen. But nothing happened! And nothing happened in the other volumes either! When does something start happening?"


The whole series is like this. Nothing ever happens. It's just the read watching these characters go through their everyday life.

Now, I know, when people read Fantasy, they expect sword fights and epic battles and government intrigue and all that jazz... but... you know what? While all those big, epic things are happening in the world, the world is still going around and the little people are just living their lives.... and that's what I write about. I don't write the epic battles, the warring kings... I write a little vagabond wizard walking across the country oblivious to the epic battle shit going on around him, because he has his own things to deal with like, where is he gonna sleep tonight, and how will he find food for tomorrow and how long must he trudge through the rain before he finds dry shelter... no big epic quests, no battles, just one little not heor guy living his life.

So, back to your question...

>>Or can a story just have good characters, be well-written, and fun?


In my own example, you see one reader, who was upset because the books were not what they were expecting from Fantasy, but on the other hand, quite a few people like the series quite a lot, for all it's lack of ever doing anything big or exciting. The people who like the series, like it because they like the characters, they have fun reading about his rathe mundane, uneventful life.

So, yes. A book can be just about good characters, be well written, and fun to read, without having something big or epic or traditional happening at the end.

Back to your other question...

>>there's no big "this is the story that does This" moment anywhere in the book. Does there need to be?

No. There doesn't need to be. There are no rules about what a genre must or must not have. There are only reader expectations based of other books they have already read before reading yours.

Well, some people be disappointed? Sure? But you'll get that no matter what you write, so, just go ahead and write it the way you feel is best.

>>Does it depend on the genre?

You might want to look into Literary Fiction. It's not uncommon for Literary to be "Slice of Life" meaning a mundane story about a character's everyday life. He's not a hero. He doesn't save anyone. He just goes about his day while the story is happening. No dramatic endings. No twists. It's not a big popular genre, but it's out there and does have fans who read it.

My own series is considered to be Literary Fantasy and done in Slice of Life style.

>>I'm almost done wrapping up the first draft of a sci-fi novel, and although I really like that it's hit the "feel" I was going for, I'm a bit worried that it's... well, just not weird enough.

If you've hit the target feel you're going for then I'd say you've succeeded in writing a good story.

So, I was over on Reddit, you like I often am, and found this question. And answered it, like I do. However, the answer I initially gave was a simple generic answer. If you want to read my original answer unaltered, simply click on Reddit's embed feature links which Reddit provides for webmasters to be able to post their answers on their websites, while linking back to the original thread on Reddit (if you didn't know Reddit offered and encouraged the use of this feature, look for it in the "share" features underneath every post, comment, and reply on Reddit).

I am answering random questions today about world building, over on Reddit and decided to take my answers from there and expand upon them even further over here. So that's what this page is. Me rambling on about various aspects of world building techniques I use when writing the Quaraun series. The questions I am answering are embedded here. Clicking the link in the embedded question will take you to the original Reddit page where you can see the original answer along with other people's answers. If you wish to comment, you can do so on the Reddit page where a place to do so is provided.

In any case, as with all of my Reddit answers found on my site here, my original post on Reddit is much shorter then the article here.

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