Writer’s Favorite Things (Pt Two #17 to 31) — Derek Barton – 2020

  • 17. Notebook: I am very much into the digital age so I don’t use notebooks, journals or anything that I have to handwrite. I used to have a much better penmenship but these days, it is clear I’ve not used a pen often. I probably couldn’t write cursive to save my life!
  • 18. Favorite Work In Progress: Every WIP is your favorite at the time! You pour your blood, sweat and tears into the work. Of course, you want the writing to be the best every time. It doesn’t always turn out that way and you will find yourself wanting often to go back and rewrite passages or chapters in your books, but like children, sometimes you have to let them go, cherish them as a whole including flaws.
  • 19. Writing Group/Buddy: I don’t belong to any writing group currently. That’s something to think about though. I do have a small circle of people who read the work and critique it for me on occassion but I don’t have anything formal.
  • 20. Writing Spot: No “spot”. I have more of a “get it down and done” philosophy than a Zen Garden spot for writing. I have bought a new writing desk which I am absolutely in love with but it’s not a necessity for me to write.
  • 21. Writing Snack: My key ingredient to a lengthy writing session is caffeine so I tend to mainly drink instead of snack. I do have plenty of favorite snacks but I hold off of those while writing.
  • 22. Ways to Prewrite: I am a big proponent for backstory and character depth. If you can visualize or get into the heart of the character before the story writing takes place, you’ll have a better understanding of that character’s POV and how they would realistically react. One of the infernal sins of any writer is to have unrealistic or unlikely character actions. If the action slaps the reader in the face then they are thinking it over in their mind versus being in your story. You lose credibility and story immersion in one fell swoop!
  • 23. POV to Write In: That’s easy. 3rd person. I have some 1st Person but it definitely is a challenge for me.
  • 24. Pantser or Plotter: I have covered my eccentric, obsessive need for outlining so there’s no way I could even pretend to be a writer that flies by the seat of his pants. I have at the very least a simple “beats outline” to write by and keep me on track.
  • 25. Favorite Villain: Far as movie villains — the usual list of suspects being The Joker, Pinhead, Pennywise the Clown, Jack Torrence. My own written villain would have to be Auste, the Pale Chaos Mage, from Consequences Within Chaos. He had cause to want vengeance but the means that he took made him so hateful. It was that core of pure evil in him that turned another character, LLasher, from the evil path to the repentent hero.
  • 26. Favorite Bookcover: I wish I could say it was one of the ones I have done for my books, but to be completely honest, my favorite is The Bleeding Crown’s book cover done by artist Joy Landa. It truly brought to life that character. One look at the cover and it just pulls you in!
  • 27. Favorite Heroine: Signorney Weaver’s portrayal of Ripley in the Alien franchise was always a fantastic inspiration on how to write a female character. Strong and independent one moment, sensitive and compassionate the next. I think that many women have the mix of the two and many men portray only one side. My favorite heroine that I wrote would be hands-down, Princess Letandra. I am really chomping at the bit to write the third installment of The Wyvernshield series and give you all a glimpse into the hell she’s been put in and what she must do to save Wyvernshield.
  • 28. Writing Cup: Nope. Don’t have one. I think it’s because I don’t drink coffee or tea.
  • 29. Favorite Book on Writing: The writing book Save the Cat that I did a blog on has become very instrumental to my writing and I would still credit, Structuring Your Novel and Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weland as a fantastic set of reference books to help any manuscript!
  • 30. Favorite Writing Inspired Quote: Not much of a quote person. I like some but don’t memorize them.
  • 31. Favorite Halloween Tradition: My father and I started making my Halloween costumes at a very young age (I think maybe 5). It was the chance to really explore my creativity and imagination. The holiday meant a lot to me and I still like to dress each year.

FREEBIE FRIDAY! — DEREK BARTON 2020

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Rory, a missing child case of three years, has fallen under her protection. Someone — or something — wants him back.
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Stepping blindly into a horrific murder scene, a young ex-con, Vicente Vargas, must flee from the police while eluding the real killer who continues to pin more bodies on him in this intricate cat-and-mouse game.

Cut off from all friends and family, tried and convicted by the press, Vic must survive on his wits and cunning on the gritty streets of Phoenix, Arizona long enough to clear his name.

The city of Wyvernshield is under siege. A horde of beasts in the thousands threaten utter destruction.

Taihven, an untested sorcerer prince has one chance to save his country and family.

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Writer’s Favorite Things (Pt One #1 to 16) — Derek Barton – 2020

Here’s a little peak into my world as an indie writer.

  1. Introduce yourself: My name is Derek Barton (no middle name – my parents hated theirs and didn’t want to curse me with one too!). I live in Peoria, Arizona (a suburb of Phoenix) and I have a family of my wife, two teenagers, and a fiesty yet adorable five-year-old. They are the core of my entire world.
  2. Writing Goals: My goals are to actually publish the Evade Series by the end of the year. Next year to wrap up the Wyvernshield Series (my fantasy trilogy). But my biggest goal is to get back into writing. It’s not a writer’s block situation, but more of a lack of motivation. I am pushing myself where I didn’t used to have to. That’s why it has become my biggest writer goal.
  3. Writing Tool: I am using my writer’s site for blogs and short stories, using Word for my shorter works (novellas) and using Scrivner for my long fantasy novels. Google and YouTube would also be listed as my best and most used writing tools.
  4. My Favorite Character Written: OOOhhhh that’s tough. That’s like choosing a favorite child, of course. Vicente from Elude would probably be one of the favs due to his resilience, he streetwise drive. Yet Letandra for her constant love and support for her wayward brother and the independence streak in her soul.
  5. My Favorite Book I’ve Written: Another really tough question. Consequences Within Chaos was my first born so a natural favorite, but Elude Part III was awesome as well — wrapped up the series in stunning fashion and it was the hardest to write due to the pressure to be perfect! It’s not perfect, but I love the work all the same.
  6. Favorite Reading Spot: My car has become my pocket library. I pop on an audible book everytime I’m alone and driving in the car. I wasn’t one to normally read a book (I love them, but couldn’t put the effort in getting them out or finding time to actually reading them). I would maybe read six a year if I was lucky. With the audible books I am “reading” one a month at least.
  7. Favorite Genre: I love reading epic fantasy like Game of Thrones, but writing horror is what I get the most satisfaction from.
  8. Favorite Trope: I guess I would say the hero’s journey. You know he’ll fail and yet in the end he always finds a way to victory at the end. Corny, predictable, yet satisfying.
  9. Favorite Author: Still the King, Stephen King that is, of course. Dean Koontz, R.A. Salvatore, Lee Child and Brian Sanderson are close runner’s up.
  10. Writing Fuel: The same fuel to get me out of bed! Diet Rockstars. If they ever outlaw caffeine, I am in such deep shit!
  11. Favorite Place to find Inspiration: Music has been a big part, but also I found inspiration in art and lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is the key to your story reaching out from your subconscious to you. It wants to be told and only you are able to free it!
  12. Favorite Writing Music: Epic fantasy requires epic classical music (my all time favorite is the collection called Cronos by Jo Blankenburg). For other works, horror especially, I put on background upbeat or suspenseful modern music (like dubstep).
  13. Writing Advice: Pay attention to your dreams (especially intense or lucid dreams) as you can mine some amazing and awesome stories from there. Stephen King was once asked about “Dream or Writer Journals” and he said he didn’t believe in them. Summarizing, he said that if you can’t keep the story in your head or if it doesn’t keep at you constantly, then they aren’t a powerful enough story to write. If you forget them easily if you don’t write them down, then they weren’t meant to be!
  14. Favorite Genre to Read: I said this already, but I read a ton in the two genres, fantasy and horror. I wouldn’t be able to say which one I like the most however.
  15. Favorite Book: The Stand by King is an alltime classic, but favorite fantasy novels are Homeland (the entire Drizzt Series) by R.A. Salvatore, or the Mordant’s Need series by Stephen R. Donaldson (incredible story of magic vs technology universes).
  16. Favorite Fiction Hero: Stu Redman from The Stand resonates with me. A simple but good man transformed to a great leader in a time of chaos.