Tag Archives: The Shadow War

Magebane Launch Day

Magebane is here! 😀

(Today and Saturday only, grab it for 99 cents from any of the major online retailers! After that, it’ll go back to regular price.)

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

Magebane is the continuation of The Wishing Blade series, picking up where The Shadow War left off. Only this time Siklana has a larger role to play, as does Shevanlagiy.

But don’t fret! Toranih and Daernan still have their own stories to tell as well.

Find out what happens next in…

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

“Magebane”

The Wishing Blade Series #3

YA Fantasy

Magebane Book Cover

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

Will magebane save the world?
Or destroy it?

In Shevanlagiy’s quest to save her childhood friend from death, she has destroyed numerous worlds. Sometimes on accident. Sometimes as revenge.

She’s close to achieving her goal. Daernan is still alive.

But for how long?

When a goddess grants her a vision of a deadly substance—magebane—being shipped across the kingdom, Shevanlagiy realizes her carefully laid plans to protect Daernan are falling apart faster than she can rework them.

Daernan has magic from the gods, magic that will not only kill him if it comes in contact with magebane, but will start a terrible chain reaction that could unravel the fabric of this world—

A world she’s not yet ready to destroy.

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

Delve into the danger of Magebane by reading this exciting continuation of The Wishing Blade series today!

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

Add to Goodreads

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

Not quite ready to buy?

Click here to download the first five sample chapters!

Enjoy! 😀

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Meet Siklana – The Wishing Blade Series

I’ve been having a bit of fun learning Daz, a 3D modeling program. Long story short, the base program is free, but you can buy additional assets–clothes, hair, facial morphs, etc–that allow you to customize your characters.

It’s fun, because it’s been giving me freedom to create characters from my stories that I can pose and light without searching through endless stock photos. (There are other limitations compared to photomanipulation, and avoiding the uncanny valley is tricky, but each type of art has its trade-off).

A few weeks ago I grabbed a bundle on sale for face and body morphs, and it’s been giving me a lot of room to tweak characters how I picture them.

The first character I completed (face, anyway), is Siklana Covonilayno from The Wishing Blade series.

Siklana Covonilayno

SBibbPhoto - Siklana from The Wishing Blade Series

Siklana is Toranih’s sister. While Siklana plays a fairly minor role in the first two books (Magic’s Stealing and The Shadow War), she has her own point of view and plays a major role in book three… Magebane.

Excerpt from Magebane:

After Shalant paid for a room at the nearest inn, Siklana and Daernan left their horses with the local stable girl and went upstairs to a small, square bedroom that offered little privacy. Mid-afternoon sunlight filtered through a window’s canvas covering. Shalant ordered them to unpack anything important from their saddlebags into the room so he could ward the area for protection.

“Perhaps we could ward the stable instead?” Siklana suggested. The cramped room hardly had enough space for all the books and scrolls stashed in her mare’s saddlebags.

Shalant glanced up from tucking a bag of dry goods into the corner beside his bed. “The stable hand wouldn’t be able to tend to the horses.” He pushed the bag aside, stood, and then dusted his knees of dirt. The smoke from Ashan had brought a thin layer of soot to everything in town.

Siklana shared a nervous glance with Daernan. The mage would find out about the books eventually. “I doubt we can fit all your word magic scrolls.”

Shalant turned around, puzzled. “Word magic scrolls? What are you…” His sentence trailed, and from the flicker of his eyes to the door, Siklana suspected he was using scrying ribbons to see what was in those bags. He gave her an incredulous glare. “You brought my library?

She smiled sheepishly. “The books might help us find a way to bring Toranih back from the shadow realm. Besides, if Ashan has been overrun by Lord Menchtoteale, do you really want him finding your books? Imagine what Isahna could do with them.”

“You brought my library,” Shalant repeated, as if the notion couldn’t register in his brain.

She nodded. “Obviously I couldn’t take everything, but I tried to grab the ones that looked useful. There are still a few things left in your attic.”

SBibbPhoto - Siklana Full Body Render

 

This is a full-body render using only image-based lighting (IBL).

It’s the first test run of Siklana’s 3D model with her new outfit (trying to find something that reasonably fit her character, which I didn’t initially have). I need to find and fit shoes for her, too, but this is a start.

I’m still learning Daz, so more work needs to be done, but it should give an idea of her character. 🙂

Interested in seeing the development process? Let me know. I have some notes on the process, and I’d be happy to go more into it if anyone is curious.

TWB - Magic Swirl Glyph

In the meantime, keep an eye on this blog for more news about Magebane, which is coming soon.

Let me know if you’d like to see more characters rendered in the future! 😀

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Join “The Legends of Cirena – Collaborative Adventure” Facebook group!

Exciting news! 😀

Do you want more stories from the world of The Wishing Blade?

(The books below are all part of The Wishing Blade universe):

sbibb-stoneandsting_cover_blog Wind and Words - Book Cover

SBibb - Magic's Stealing Cover The Shadow War - Book Cover

Want to get a look into the “legends” of Cirena?

That is, the time period before “The Wishing Blade” series and “Stone and String” series, back when the gods still had a large presence in Cirena, the Divide hadn’t yet risen, and Ruetravahn had not yet made a deal with Listhant-Nsasrar to give word magic power to the Cantingen language?

Then come join my new “Legends of Cirena – Collaborative Adventure” Facebook group!

Legends of Cirena - Collaborative Adventure Facebook Group

Originally, I planned to do this just for my newsletter subscribers. Then I realized that it would probably make the newsletter super long, and if I did a Facebook group, I’d be able to do it weekly instead of every other week, and I’d also be able to use the polling feature.

Plus, if you aren’t really into newsletters but use Facebook, this is the perfect way to get involved and get your input into a story!

This is a new, experimental process in which I’ll post a new story segment every Tuesday to the group. (This week, I’m starting with four polls that will decide the character for the first story).

At the end of the story segment will be 2-4 choices as to what the protagonist is going to do next.

Want to influence what happens?

Cast your vote before Friday at midnight! (This weekend it’s going to be Saturday at midnight, since the group is just getting started).

Then, based on the most popular response, I’ll write the next section of the story, post it on Tuesday, and the process repeats.

Once the story is complete (which may or may not be canon to The Wishing Blade universe), I’ll polish and publish it.

(Those of you in the group, of course, will get access to grab the polished version for free). 😀

Sound like fun?

Then click the link below, join the group, and make your choices!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/289873391615430/

I hope to see you there. 😀

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Thoughts on Writing – Using Music for Plotting (The Wishing Blade series)

When writing and plotting stories, I like listening to music. (Not so much when editing… then I prefer to see how the story is speaking for itself). Listening to music helps me set the tone of the scene, and it provides inspiration while I’m plotting, whether I’m stuck in a scene, or just want something to help convey the tone. Another benefit I’ve found is that if I listen to music while plotting, then listen to the same song again later when writing, I can reintroduce that feeling, that mood I was in when I originally crafted the story. (For this, playlists are extremely helpful).

For example, I’ve used music constantly while writing and plotting The Wishing Blade series. There are certain songs I listen to when I want to be reminded of specific characters and their motives. For example, “The Other Side” by Blackmore’s Night is one I’ve recently found useful when I want to think of Shevanlagiy’s character arc (since there’s a particular character she’s trying to keep from dying again that drives her motives).

As for influences on the world of the story in general, “Shadows” by Gordon Lightfoot, and “Rainbow Connection” from the Muppet Movie (I must admit that I’m not a fan of the original recording; I heard a different version of it when I was taking singing lessons that I became a fan of), both influenced the world. “Shadows” inspired some of the longing of Daernan’s character in The Shadow War, who sees that the world is no longer what it appeared, and it influenced how he sees the war affecting Toranih. “Rainbow Connection” pushed me toward the original idea of the Wishing Blade and more importantly toward the idea of there being some unnatural call (in this case, Magic’s Lure) pulling characters in directions they hadn’t expected (though the call in the story is a bit more sinister than that of the song).

But not all of the songs that influence the story and character arcs are ones I listened to in the early stages of writing. Aside from “The Other Side,” which was a fairly recent discovery, I enjoy several versions of “Luna’s Future” that fans have covered from the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic TV series. When I listen to the song, I enjoy picturing it as a dialogue between Madiya and Shevanlagiy (minus the names of the ponies involved, since neither characters would wish to be caught in a musical, or as their equine counterparts…). I also enjoy “Elf Glade” by Meg Davis, which I picture as a dialogue between young Lord Menchtoteale and Shevanlagiy… despite the fact that there are no elves in the story, and that I can’t go into too much detail about why I see this song with those characters without giving potential spoilers.

If you listen to music while plotting, consider the reasons for it. Does it inspire a certain mood for you? Help you picture scenarios between characters you hadn’t pictured before? If you’re stuck on a certain plot point, try putting together a list of songs that have influenced your story, or look for new ones in a similar vein to help inspire you. (Just don’t do like I do and discover that a couple hours have passed with nothing written, but with a host of new songs added to the playlist).

Another joy of plotting while listening to music is misinterpreting lyrics. The first time I heard “The Skye Boat Song,” I heard “Carry the lad that’s born to be king, over the sea to die” rather than “over the sea to Skye.” Though the plot arc that resulted hasn’t appeared in the current version of The Wishing Blade series, it led to a concept that played in the original draft, where a young boy who was stillborn was brought back to life by the high god so that he would later become king. There was no sea involved in the plot, but the character played a large role in the original story. (And who knows… he may later play a role in the world of Cirena, even if he doesn’t appear in The Wishing Blade series). Likewise, “Kingsword” by Heather Dale also makes me think of that particular story arc.

Have you found any songs to have given you story ideas because you didn’t quite hear what was being said? Or because there are variations on the song?

There were certainly other songs that influenced the world of The Wishing Blade and helped shape it into what it is today. Most of the stories I write have been influenced in one way or another by the songs I listen to (and the songs I listen to have been influenced by what I write).

If anyone’s interested, I’m considering looking at how music has influenced the other stories I’ve written and that I’m working on. But, for now, do you listen to music while you plot, and have you found any songs to be helpful in writing a particular story? 🙂

 

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Book Signing Today (Saturday) at Sedalia Reader’s World!

Isaac and I will be at the Reader’s World in Sedalia, MO, signing books from 2 – 4 pm. Stop by and say hi! 🙂

 

40654-distant-horizon SBibb - Magic's Stealing Cover The Shadow War - Book Cover

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Thoughts on Writing – Trickster God’s Deleted Scene from “The Shadow War”

I’m not much of an April Fool’s Day fan, but it seemed like the perfect day to post a deleted scene from The Shadow War, one which involves the trickster god, Isahna.

While I loved the scene, I ended up cutting it from the book because we didn’t really need to see Isahna’s point of view and it wasn’t quite matching the tone needed at the point in the book where it was relevant.

Be warned, there may be a few minor spoilers in this, but since this scene was cut in mid-edits, a few things have changed as to what is actually happening behind the scenes.

The overall event does still happen, though… much to Isahna’s displeasure.

Deleted Scene from The Shadow War:

Isahna held the precious oil-skin bundle in his hands. He toyed with the fabric, savoring the anticipation of seeing the shodo’charl in its full glory. He couldn’t use the stone, not yet, but once his shadows had killed the minor gods, their combined powers would give him what he needed to harvest the stone’s power—and maybe even figure out how the whole “time travel” part worked.

Or maybe he’d just dangle the stone in front of Shevanlagiy’s nose and watch her throw a jealous hissy fit. Maybe he could even work a blood deal out of her. A little more info about her past in exchange for this handy-dandy all important stone…

He grinned.

That would be worth her rage, surely.

He rubbed his hands together, made sure no traces of shadow magic were on his person, and then tossed the oil-skin back.

His jaw dropped.

He didn’t have the shodo’charl.

In its place was a piece of shiny black obsidian. Beside it, a small roll of parchment tied with a thin, curly ribbon.

Isahna tore the ribbon from the parchment and cast it into the swirling mist around him. The ribbon vanished, lost forever to the fog of the Immortal Realm.

He unrolled the parchment. In Cirenan script, each letter written precisely by a careful hand, was a note penned to multiple recipients:

If Daernan: I apologize for the inconvenience of taking this stone, but it is needed elsewhere. Too easy that a god might trick you for their own nefarious purposes.

If Cafrash: I apologize that I did not stay and guide you from Shevanlagiy’s plans. I realize you must be hurting now, and I shall try to end this as soon as humanly possible.

If Shevanlagiy: Please go back to your realm and leave us alone. You have caused us enough trouble. Thank you.

If Isahna: *See Daernan above. Oh, and I am thrilled to proclaim that I have made the first move.

If anyone else: I highly advise you avoid pick-pocketing powerful mages. On the bright side, you now have a decent sized lump of obsidian which you might sell for a small fortune.

Isahna cursed and shredded the note. He twisted his lips and tapped the table, trying to decide what to do now. The note was obviously written by someone familiar with his work, and if he were to guess, the culprit was one Nihestan Nivasha.

Did the man still have magic?

After the whole chesnathé incident, Isahna couldn’t be sure.

He rapped his knuckles on the table, then nodded decisively. He would “let slip” Nihestan’s presence to Shevanlagiy. That ought to keep her busy. With her out of the way, Isahna would have no one to stop him from taking over Cirena with his horde of shadows.

But he sure would have liked to dangle the stone in front of her nose.

Another time, another time.

Happy April first… and I hope you enjoyed the scene. 🙂

Have you ever deleted any scenes from your stories? If so, why?

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Thoughts on Writing – Developing a Fantasy Language (Interrogative)

For my short story, “Stone and String,” and for The Wishing Blade series, I’ve been trying to develop a functional conlang (constructed language) to add flavor to the world and for use as plot points. However, I ran into a problem… how do I ask questions in my Cantingen language?

See, I’ve been developing this over a period of time. Figuring out potential words and jotting them down for future use… figuring out a grammar rule (researched a whole slew of grammar rules from various languages to figure out the previous grammar rule)… and adding them to the dictionary as I go. I already had verb conjugations figured out (at least for an imperative style phrase in present tense), numbers, possessives (sort of) and adjectives. Apparently I already figured out adverbs, too, but hadn’t realized it. (And so I jotted that down, too).

But then it hit me that I hadn’t figured out how to ask a question in the Cantingen language.

I considered not having them use questions at all… then decided that would be just a bit too bossy for them. While word magic based on the language isn’t likely to use questions (though Isaac has challenge me to figure out how they might make it work) since it’s based on commanding magic to do what they want, the casual speaker is going to want to ask questions.

So I did some quick internet research on interrogative language stuff… (it may become quickly apparent that while I am trying to learn what the various mechanics are, I have trouble remembering the names for those mechanics)… and began formatting how to create the questions.

First off, I knew that I couldn’t use tone to imply that something is a question. That’s because word magic is intended to be read and still be clear… without the use of a question mark. I didn’t want to mess with swapping sentence structure around to make a question. And I didn’t want to inflect the verb in order to suggest that it’s a question.

Somehow, the result ended up reminding of an elementary school English lesson:

How does the dog run? The dog runs quickly. The dog runs how? Quickly.

And thus I decided on these rules:

  1. Questions are to be phrased so that the interrogative portion of the question replaces the who/what/etc portion of the question.
    1. (Ex. The dog runs how? vs The dog runs quickly.)
  2. To form a question, the who/what/etc suffix is attached before the word quéth, thus forming the phrase which replaces the part of the sentence in question.
    1. (Ex. nanlli mean “how,”quéth indicates that the sentence is question. Together, they create nanlliquéth.)
  3. Because the question is indicated in the sentence, there is no need for a question mark.
    1. (Ex. In English, it would look like the person says: “The dog runs how.” It should read flatter, without the rise in tone that a question in English would have. )
  4. Yes/No questions simply attach quéth to the verb in question.
    1. (Ex. hasil is “dog” and nivé is “to run.” “The dog runs,” translates to Hasil nivétra. If you say “The dog runs?” in English, you would say Hasil nivétraquéth. in Cantingen.

 

The questions ended up looking something like this:

 

Who – ka 

Who is that girl? Edyli is that girl.

Kaquéth dratethol ali doran. Edyli dratethol ali doran.

*
What kas

That sound is of what? That sound is of leaves.

Ali runin dratetha so kasqueth. Ali runin dratethtra so inarame.

*
Whenvésa

We leave when? We leave soon.

Yliav vésaquéth. Yliav jano.

*

Whereuru

The scroll is where? The scroll is in the box.

Kev dratethtra da uruquéth.Kev dratethtra da vari.

*
Whyji

She weaves why? She enjoys to weave.

Walol jiquéth. Kaviol wal.

*
How  – nanlli

She weaves how? She weaves quickly.

Walol nanlliquéth. Walol naf.

*
Yes/No Questions

This is the girl I seek?

Éda dratetholquéth doran somaria.

It’s still rough, and probably needs some polishing, but that’s what I have so far. It came in handy while working on The Shadow War. While there aren’t anyone asking questions directly in the Cantingen language, there are a few times when the main characters are speaking to people who are from the Cantingen Islands. Knowing how their primary language worked, I was able to change the sentence structure to add to the voice of those character.

For example, there’s a scene that takes place at the marketplace outside of Ashan.

The merchant bowed politely to the horses. She spoke softly in a Cantingen dialect, nothing Toranih understood, before finally turning to her customers and smiling. “Something attracts your eye?” she asked. Her Cirenan speech was articulate and careful, common among the Islanders. A rich blue sash wrapped around her hips and across her slender, bronze shoulders. Her dark hair had been pulled into loose curls and silver ribbons.

Daernan gestured to a pastry with a flaky, golden-brown crust, apricot paste, and streaks of yogurt frosting. “I’ll have that.”

Though I use the question mark here to mark correct English grammar, note how the question is phrased… “Something attracts your eye?” rather than “Does something attract your eye?” or “Do you see anything you like?” Theoretically, you could read it as a statement: “Something attracts your eye.” But if the merchant were to be speaking in the Cantingen language, she would use “quéth” to designate the question. “Eliaved nicolquéth naenlli.” (Literally, it translates to “Unknown sweet bread attracts your attention.” but the merchant knows enough Cirenan to phrase the question in a more familiar way).

* * *

I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂 Have you tried constructing your own language, and if so, what problems have you run into?

If you want to read more about conlangs, I also have a post about Developing a Fictional Language (Cantingen) and Developing a Fictional Language (Maijevan).

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