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This year's comic expo was a blast! There were so many guests to see, so many vendors to spend money on, and so much fun to be had. I wish that I thought further ahead and purchased a four day pass for this event. Oh well, maybe next year!

My wife and I drove down to Calgary to attend this year for three reasons. Manu Bennett, Karen Gillan, and the great Matt Smith!! The Doctor! Really?! Yeah, I couldn't pass that one up. I've been a long time fan of Doctor Who, and The Eleventh Doctor is one of my favourite doctor's to ever pilot the Tardis. It was truly something else to finally meet the man in real life. He is exactly like the character he portrayed on TV, and I melted into a bubbling puddle of fanboy goo when he said "Hello!" to me.

Karen Gillan was great to meet as well, and she is surprisingly bubbly and full of energy in person. It was bizarre to see her sitting less than a meter away from me. I watched this girl hang out with the Doctor for three seasons, and she is still as gorgeous as ever.

Even with all my gushing over meeting The Doctor, there was another guest that blew my wife and I away.

Manu Bennett surprised us with his personality and the sheer fact that he really enjoyed meeting his fans. He knew people that lined up just to meet him, and you could feel the energy and joy emanate from him when he signed autographs and shared a few words with us. Andrea and I were fans of this man since he first appeared in Spartacus, and he's pretty much the reason why we started to watch Arrow on a regular basis. His portrayal of Slade Wilson/Deathstroke is a captivating performance, and I really hope that he continues to land more roles that truly turns him into a superstar.

The expo was a blast, and I spent a good chunk of change buying all the nerdy collectibles that I've always wanted or couldn't find anywhere else for a decent price. The day flew by so fast. I really really wish I purchased a weekend pass, or at least a VIP for a single day. Next time! There is the Edmonton Expo coming up this September, after all...

I better start saving my Rupees.

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Juanita Kees Blog | The Other Side

Juanita Kees just posted an interview she did with me. Check it out in her blog!

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I'm very happy to announce that my second novel, "The God King", has been accepted for publication through Damnation Books. Love those guys. I can't wait to see this one come out.

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When it comes to forming a plot for your story, every writer has their own way of doing it. Their own process. None of them are wrong, but you should figure out what works for you.

You could come up with it on the fly, typing like mad on your laptop until you take a step back, nod in approval, and go to bed. You might come up with something bold and new, something that came together out of the ether, just waiting for you to grab a hold of it.

Personally, I like to have some of it planned beforehand.

I come up with the basic idea of the story. I think about what genre I want to write and what kind of writing style I want to follow. Should it be written in the third person or the first? Will it be filled with action, a dash of romance, mixed in with something supernatural? Will it take place in a war? Are there zombies? I know there are in mine.

Second, I like to come up with a theme for the story. For me, the theme will be the central focus of the story. Everything that happens will revolve around this in some way becoming, in essence, the keystone that holds it all together. What's the message I want to send? It can be perseverance despite endless adversity. It can be about the innocence of a child that slowly fades away as he gains maturity through the course of the story.

After I let these thoughts stew for a while, I start to form the basic structure of the story. I try to come up with a beginning, middle, and an end. I like to come up with certain key events that will, and must, occur. These scenes are moments that need to be there to advance what's going on.

The fun part is coming up with the remaining 80%-90% of it on the fly. With the basic structure thought out and plotted, I let myself run free in this little playground I've created. So, in a way, I do write a lot of my stories on the go, but they always follow a certain structure, a certain plan.

I believe that plotting out every inch and detail of your novel can make the actual writing process a little stale. Writing fiction is about creating. With the basic plot laid out beforehand, you can spend the rest of the process having fun and filling in those gaps with the rest of the crazy ideas that might pop into your head. Good or bad.

Hopefully good.

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Say What You Want To Say

So when is enough, enough? When do you take a step back from your writing and tell yourself that you've said what you wanted and maybe it's a good idea to stop now? It can be a hard thing to do, and when you're in the mood it can be impossible to limit yourself or stop at times. There's nothing wrong with wanting to add more to your story, to add more details to your characters or their surroundings. There's nothing wrong with that at all. The trick is knowing what is excess and what to trim out during the editing process.

The more you write, the more you start to see what is important in your story. You want to drive your story forward and not mire yourself in a gluttonous amount of detail. Detail is important, but too much detail can be a chore to read. Have fun with it, but also try to keep it focused on what you really want to say. Trust in your reader to be able to assemble the settings of your world with their own imagination, and add a few hints and details in your story to help guide them to see your vision.

Instead of describing each and every sequin on a lady's dress, just describe the colors, its beauty, and the intricate patterns woven into the fabric of the shoulders, etc. The joy of reading fiction is allowing yourself to enter an imaginary world. Trust your readers and their imagination. Simplify your storytelling a little, and help it flow at a good pace.

Do this and you'll cut down on your word count, make your editor a little happier, and you'll finish writing more stories in no time! Have fun!

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