Wolfelben's Evolving Process of Writing, Book Recommendations, IT Certs & Projects

Have you ever wondered what a writer reads while they write a story?

Curious about what it’s like to write a story? How to get started?

Well maybe you’ll find some answers here.

I’m Wolfleben a writer, tinker, and avid reader.

Sam's Wasteland Failure

This my story. I wrote this. It should not have seen the light of day. There were so many ways it went wrong: I didn't have the skill, I didn't get enough feedback. Mistakes were made. I pulled it off the market quickly and shelved it indefinitely. This did not mean I gave up on writing.

How I did writing

I tried binders. Wikis. Notes in Moleskins. Following some kind of outline. Thing is all those projects and reattempts crashed and burned.

How I reached the way I write now

in 2017 I started writing the darkest meta self narrative. Part Fiction. Part Self Reflection. I took a long and hard look at myself. What did I want? What did I dream of? Where was I going? What I stood for? What I believed? This exercise got me to develop the skill to write better and to write in first person.

How I write now

I write 1 paragraph everyday without fail in a text editor, VS Code. No outline. Nothing written out as to where it is going but I don't need it for this story. Been doing that since September. I know how the story ends and it is just going to be one book. I just got to keep writing till it reaches that end.

What am I writing

1st person science fiction story. That's as much as I'll give you till it is done. I'm not going to hype it.

How long will it be and how long will it take you to finish

This will be a long story. Each chapter will be as long or as short as it needs to be for the story. As to how long it'll take to finish. It's going to take me a few years to write it. It'll be worth the wait.

Are you self publishing again?

No. Never again. Not worth it.

Have you let anyone read this story?

Yes. I let about 20 people, some people I know outside the internet, read what I had written so far. I asked them for feedback and they gave it. It helped me immensely to improve on what was written and become better. I am going to keep getting feedback as I write it.

How much is currently written?

The 1st chapter which is 6 pages. Along with the start of the 2nd chapter which is just one paragraph right now. Single space. Arial Size 10 font.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Start writing and keep writing. Give your writing to others to read. Take that feedback and use it to make yourself better. Even while you wait on that feedback, the biggest key is don't stop writing. Write a little everyday because it does add up like compound interest and soon enough you'll go from paragraph to page to chapter.

What about those failed or incomplete stories

I got stacks of unfinished stories. It is possible I could use parts of them in other stories I write. I've never thrown away anything I wrote because I do think maybe just maybe I might want to try to write it again and I can use the original as inspiration.

Books I recommend

These are books I've read while I written. Some you may have heard of. Others you have not. I'm only recommending the ones I read while I was or have written with a brief description:
  • Stories From The Twilight Zone by Rod Serling - Rod Serling takes the tv scripts and expands on them. I really like the Where is Everybody in this book. It’s just so perfect. The pacing. The tone. The character.
  • Pronto by Elmore Leonard - I always have the first page of this story open while I write. Elmore Leonard is a craftsman when it comes to dialogue and only saying what needs to be said. Not a word is wasted.
  • The Vatta War Series by Elizabeth Moon - Who know a series that started off with Space Trading would be so engaging? No I’m not joking. It starts with space trading and it is all well written. The casts in the book are all great.
  • The Honorverse by David Weber, first book is On Baslisk Station - Do you want a military space epic? This is one. 15 books. I’ve only read the first 10 but I plan to read the rest. It’s solid.
  • DUNE by Frank Herbert - I don’t need to explain why I’d read Dune while writing.
  • The Horus Heresy Saga by Various - Look I know this is Warharrmer 40K lore fiction books. They are great. I’m rereading Horus Rising as I work on my current story and enjoying every moment of it.
  • The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer - I often return to read and reread these two stories. A part of it is knowing, we don’t have the whole story. Yes dear friends chapters are missing and these two are part of a much larger epic that is incomplete. I often wondering about that whole epic and what it would be like to read it.

IT Certs

I did get certified in Comptia A+ in 2019. Currently though I'm on a different path. I'm on the Azure learning path with the end goal of being DevOps for Azure. I'm going to take the Azure Fundamentals Exam this month or the start of next month. Basically I know enough to tell you what Azure is and i can do basic level things with Azure such as deploying a Virtual machine.

Purpose of Blog

Occasionally I'll talk about my IT projects I'm working on. Such as I just resetup my own personal local only cloud with a Raspberry Pi. Sometimes I may want to dive into aspects of my writing. Or I may want to talk about where I am on my IT Certs. Those book recommendations may get added to as I write and read. Bare in mind I am busy with learning and writing. So this won't be a daily or weekly blog. More likely a monthly update blog.

What about questions?

You can ask questions related to writing, what it's like to get an IT Cert or what I've learned, and my projects. I'm fairly open. Just know I'm not getting into the details of what I'm actually writing just yet.

Longterm Project - Recording thoughts about each Chapter

It will be a while before I share this. When I finish writing a Chapter, I'm doing an audio recording of a deep dive into the process. Cover different aspects without spoiling what comes next. It's true the published final version will be different but the story will remain the same. When will this get released? When the story gets published.

Sudden Stop vs Natural Stop - Ending Chapter

Ever read a chapter and it suddenly stops. As end suddenly out of nowhere it just ends. This can be done in writing a story but should be avoided to repeat it. A natural stop point is better in my opinion. This is where the chapter flows toward the end. The reader won't know how the chapter ends when they start to read but as they do they will see the end is probably coming up. Where to end a chapter can be tricky but in first person it is a bit easier. Few Examples of ends for a chapter in first person:
  • Main character going to sleep
  • Heading out to a new location
  • Just arriving to a new location

Story Flow - One Natural Thread

I wanted to touch on this for a moment. As I write this story I'm mindful that it must flow. From one sentence to the next. The reader is easily able to follow from one point to the next. More importantly this keeps the reader engaged with what is happening. They want to keep reading as a result of this flow. While the story I'm writing now has many arcs, it has one natural story thread for the whole of it. This natural story thread is critical to maintain and be mindful. The world I'm writing has rules. The main character actions in earlier arcs will impact later arcs. TLDR: Be mindful to have your story where It all flows together to tell a cohesive story.

State of the Story

I've written 2 pages for Ch 2. Total written is 8 pages including the 6 pages from Ch 1. I'm expect Ch 2 to be a bit longer than Ch 1 due in part to what will happen in Ch 2.

Retiring from buying TV Shows, Film, Anime, Video Games, Manga, Comics, and books.

I've decided to put my house in order so to speak and spend as much time writing & learning. There will be a few of these I'll buy to finish off collections and rare exceptions but I'm done with entertainment. My backlog of books to read is now just what I own which will take me about 2 years to finish. This is a decision I'd be mulling for months, so not suddenly out of nowhere for me. To be honest this has been a long time coming. Overall this a very good thing for me. I enjoyed the time I spent with the entertainment fiction I did. It helped influence me to pursue my passion for writing. Now I want to spend more time creating fiction that hopefully others will enjoy. I would like to write more than 1 book in my life and this decision helps with that. I've always enjoyed challenging myself to learn more and there are a lot of things I want to learn in IT. This also helps with that.
1 Like

Concerning the Dialogue Trap

There is one thing you can fall into very easily as a writer and that is something I call The Dialogue Trap. I don't know if that's the actually name for it. How it works is a character starts a conversation with another person and it just goes for pages... I fell to this trap many times with past stories I did. Most of those have been abandoned for now. With the story I'm writing now though, I don't have to worry about it for one very important reason:
  • The story will have very little dialogue because there is no reason for there to be much of it.

In fact, there will be several chapters with no dialogue. Here is the trick though, since it’s first person the main character in truth in this story is talking to themselves and not the audience. It makes for an interesting story as a result.

State of the Story

I’ve written 4 and half pages for Ch 2. Total written is 10 and a half pages including the 6 pages from Ch 1. Not as far as I would like to be. The 2nd chapter also looks like it’ll be just as long as the first. A lot has happened in the 2nd chapter but it didn’t take me many words to describe it out. Curious to see if each chapter ends up as just 6 pages. I’ll find out.

How much do I have planned out?

Honestly nothing is written out on what is going to happen. I just know what is going to happen and I write as the main character on how the experience it. And yes I know how the story ends. I do know how many chapters the first arc is:
  • First arc of the story is Ch 1 - 5/6 roughly.
  • 2nd arc though got no clue cause the span of time is a bit longer. As for the rest of the arcs… well I don’t want to tell you how many arcs I got planned. I’ll leave that as an unanswered question till it is published.