books · claire m banschbach · Kate M Colby · oath of god · self-publishing · writing

My Way

(I just hear Frank Sinatra in my head…)

Okay…Let’s get started!

I’m not much for handing out writing advice and all that jazz…Mainly because I think some of it can be harmful to the creative process and sometimes takes all the joy out of it as well, so I try not to fall into the trap of appearing as a sort of writing god/know-it-all…

Because I can tell you now, I don’t know everything and I’ve certainly picked up a lot of tips, advice, and techniques since I started writing seriously over a decade ago!

I’m fond of a few good sites and authors, Traditional and Indie, Chuck Wendig,, Kara Jorgenson, Kate M Colby, Kameron Hurley,,, (aka:Steve Turnbull), and many, many more who have inspired me and also offered some darn good advice thrown into the ether of the internet.

However, despite all the advice etc. I know a lot of this writing stuff has to be done by yours truly. Only I can tell the stories inside my head and get them down on the screen/paper. I have to publish these books swirling around inside my head and plunge head first into the unknown world of reviews and star ratings.

I’ve got my novella out and a few short stories, they’ve done ok and have recieved several reviews. I’ve improved over time…I certainly haven’t gotten worse!

At least, I don’t believe so.

Only time will tell on that score.

These days I take my time writing an entire novel because I want to do less editing at the end and less drafts. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it like glue. 😉

I guess, the point I’m trying to make is everyone has their own way of doing things, and writing a story. In my eyes, there is no right or wrong way perse, but there are ways of making sure your story stands out amongst the crowd, of ensuring quality and publishing a good standard of product that readers will enjoy.

On that note…I’ve got a little snippet from Oath of God:

Squeals and screams pulled Valdis up short and he peered over the rock. Reeking smoke rose from the twisting shapes of the worms as they flopped around, their sap covered bodies blackening as the Fire Charm did its work and burned them alive. Valdis covered his nose and mouth as the fumes and stink of charred flesh polluted the air. Gamian retched, but wasn’t sick.

Thank the gods for small miracles, it didn’t last long. The Fire Charm made quick work of their softer forms until there was nothing but a large pile of contorted worm-shaped charcoal.

Helping Gamian down off the rock, Valdis approached the pile of smoking corpses and kicked one of the worm-shaped bodies to make sure it was dead and not about to snake around his ankle and eat him alive. Valdis grimaced as the dark mass crumbled into blackened rubble, puffing up a small cloud of dark smoke. Waving away the dusty vapours, Valdis turned around.

‘Death follows you,’ Gamian said, his expression drawn with sadness. He walked away and headed towards their abandoned supplies, leaving Valdis alone with the demonic Pretara.

‘You don’t know half the truth,’ Valdis murmured, turning away to retrieve his fallen pack, which he’d disregarded so he could save himself and Gamian from becoming worm food.

They’d been damned lucky. Valdis scowled, yes, he’d survived the latest attempt to end his miserable existence shackled to a goddess who put him in danger on a regular bloody basis.

He glanced at Gamian rifling through their stuff, making sure it was all still there. The man was a decent tracker and displayed a good amount of bravery when it was needed, or more like when he was pushed into a situation that forced courage or else die screaming in the Empty.

Except…Valdis frowned, he sensed a secret hung over him like a shroud and was much darker than his mother being an ex-priestess of The Nine. He didn’t fully trust Gamian, not yet, maybe not ever…He still expected a knife to come out of the darkness while he slept or to feel the smothering weight of a blanket pressed across his nose and mouth.

Valdis grimaced, lack of decent sleep wasn’t helping, and was probably why he’d been lax in his attention when it came to noticing the so-called plants were the worms laying a trap for the unwary. Shaking his head, Valdis sighed, this damned desert might end up killing him.

 Looking across at Gamian to make sure he wasn’t being eaten or anything else equally unsavoury was happening to his companion, Valdis flinched as a shadow passed across his line of sight…Going for the ancient sword at his side, Valdis unsheathed the weapon in one smooth motion, twisted on his heel and set the blade against the neck of his stalker.  

Collapsing to the ground, Lilah sprawled on the ground like a broken doll. Her clothes were torn, blackened at the edges as though burned and her matted hair was clotted with blood.

With a curse, Valdis sheathed his blade. Crouching beside Lilah’s unconscious body he lay a hand on her shoulder. Her skin was cold beneath her clothing. The illusion of her drawing breath was the only clue he had that she still lived. Her real reason for being here was a mystery.  

Valdis rocked back on his heels and stared at the sand strewn Emptiness, but there was just the remains of the worms and shimmer of midday heat wavering across the distant horizon.

‘She looks dead,’ Gamian said matter-of-factly, then he wrinkled his nose. ‘The burning smell is familiar.’ He frowned. ‘If I’m right, I’d say it’s magical backlash from a corrupt spell.’

Twisting around, Valdis glared at his companion. ‘Lilah doesn’t have the skills to open an Astral Doorway. If she did, I doubt she’d have sent me here all alone. She’s not that twisted.’

Gamian tilted his head and glanced up at the darkening sky. He had more sense than to point out the obvious. ‘It’ll be nightfall soon. We should prepare camp, if we’re going to stay.’

Valdis was in no mood for confrontation. He nodded wearily. ‘Is the tent still intact?’

‘And that hulking monster you ride. Scared me half to death when it crept up on me.’

Pulling Lilah into his arms, Valdis got to his feet. ‘We’d better wait for her to wake up.’

‘I don’t suppose you have a time frame on that?’

‘How long is a piece of string?’

Hope you guys enjoyed that small and random preview!

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment…


4 thoughts on “My Way

  1. Thanks for the shout out! You really hit the nail on the head here. Writing advice is great, but at the end of the day, you have to sit down, do the work, and refine your own process. Seems like you’ve got it down. Great snippet, thanks for sharing!

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