New Releases!
  • Upgrader: Adaptation
    Upgrader: Adaptation
    by Terry Tibke, Shannon Eric Denton
  • Upgrader: Re-Engineered
    Upgrader: Re-Engineered
    by Terry Tibke
  • Armageddon: The Battle of Darkening Skies
    Armageddon: The Battle of Darkening Skies
    by Terry Tibke
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the writer's dojo

VBlog - Part 2: The Script

Part 2.


4 FREE Copies of Armageddon - The Battle of Darkening Skies!

It has been a significant amount of time since I've been able to give propper respects to blogging. I, unfortunately, have a number of jobs, not the least of which is writing the second book in the Armageddon series. If I'm going to take time out to write, shouldn't I be working on an actual novel?

Despite the success its had so far, a book like The Battle of Darkening Skies should not be living such a sheltered life. There are so many people in the world that I'd like to have the opportunity to read this story, and today I've decided to do something I haven't done before.

Today I'm going to be giving away 4 signed copies of Armageddon - The Battle of Darkening Skies, absolutely FREE! Each hardcover copy will also include a small sketch of one of the Armageddon characters in The Battle of Darkening Skies -- just to make it all the more sweet!

All you have to do to get a copy, is reply to this article. At 4:00pm Pacific time, I'll raffle off 4 copies of the book to 4 separate individuals. Please be sure to leave your name and email, and you'll be contacted if you win in order to provide shipping information. I'll announce the winners later in the week.

Best of luck to everyone who plays!

Terry Tibke




On Illustrating My Own Writing

This third part in the deconstructing Armageddon series, takes a topic discussed on a forum I belong to, The Fifthwind Here I've fleshed out some of the thoughts I had then.I think the difference in writing flow from straight forward writing to doing combined illustrations with writing is certainly up to the author, but I can definetely state my own preferences and experience. There were definitely times during writing that I decided to cut down on the amount of description going into characters because I knew that they'd be depicted in an illustration, or already had been. This wasn't a rule by any means, and because several of the illustrations get done after the writing is done, I don't always know that I'll have an illustration for that part of the book. When it comes to clean up and cutting though, I definitely can scrap descriptive passages a little harder than your typical non-illustrated novel. Its just one of the benefits of being an artist as well.

As for timing of when drawings are done, I work on illustrations before writing, during writing, and finish up the remaining ones after writing -- all for different purposes.The ones I do before the writing help with the visualization of characters and (sometimes) places. I do this mostly for my own benefit when I'm writing about any of said character's. I get a feel for who the character is when I'm drawing them, based on the design of their armor, clothing, hair, skin, and body type etc. Many of the drawings I begin with have been done in rough form, from anywhere between 20 and 5 years ago. I clean these up and color some of them, and ultimately put them in the book as well, but its for a visual aid to myself more than anything at this point (I also like to have teaser art to post on my Deviantart site ).

The illustrations done during the writing process, are done to keep me from getting burnt out, and done in more of a production mode to ensure I can get them all completed. There have been several times where some of these drawings depicted a particular scene and I modified the book to capture or align with the illustration. A lot of background/landscape type illustration gets done at this point as I decide there's a place that should really be visually depicted. I'll have a site written in the book that I can work from, or hand to another illustrator even (I don't do a lot of background stuff myself, as there's others who are WAY better), and then I can take the tiny details that show up in the illustration and go back to the passage where I described it and make it feel more real with those details.

And at last, I do illustrations after the ms is completed as well. Part of this is because there's just so many illustrations! The other part is because I now have secondary characters that need a visual depiction that I never had drawn before, or because there's specific scenes that I'd like shown. Its at this point that I have a solid idea of how many illustrations I'll need for the page count also.

In Armageddon - The Battle of Darkening Skies, there are over 130 illustrations in both greyscale and black and white lineart. If you weren't aware, I began work on the Armageddon Online Card Game (which is still in production) a short while before I began work on the novel. Because of that, I had closer to 350-400 illustrations that were created for the Armageddon OCCG, but a good number of those simply didn't fit in the story of the first book. I had intended to ask the publisher to help pay for some additional freelance work to help pay colorists so that the first book had more illustrations, but my publisher, Eloquent Books, isn't a publisher who has the resources to do that sort of thing, and so I settled on a lesser amount for this first book. Will I do more for the second book, The White Steel Peaks? I'd sure like to. I fully intend to, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Thank you all who give this blog an occassional read. I had my first comment post the other day and was glad for that! It means someone's reading at least, and that's all that matters. Have a great night everyone.

Terry Tibke


On Magic and Miracles

This is the second article in the Deconstructing Armageddon series, and it's a very special topic we're discussing today. To many fantasy readers, the magic system is the foundation of what makes one's fantasy unique and their world special. I tend to disagree with this statement, and would be perfectly fine with a fantasy world that doesn't even utilize magic, as long as it kept it's foundations deep in the world of myth. Nevertheless, I did choose to use a magic system, but more importantly I choose to follow my own personal beliefs and use a "miracle system."

I was raised in a very religious family and though I think there was a lot of good in that, I also think some of it was a bit misguided. Still, being prevented from ever seeing anything to do with magic, or evil -- to watch He-Man, play Golvelius, D&D, or even watch Smurfs -- all steered me towards developing a monotheistic system of miracle bestowment. Was I simply calling magic another thing: miracles? Perhaps, but couldn't magic just be another name for miracles anyway? And when it comes down to it, I designed the miracle system for the Armageddon RPG I created back then, and with that being the case, isn't it just a bunch of numbers used to calculate damage, or healing, or some other sort of special event anyway? Of course. Yet again though, I've strayed, but isn't that what blogging is for?

When creating Caball, the planet in the Armageddon fantasy world, I wanted to do something that a lot of fantasy doesn't do (I know, with me and all my love for classic fantasy, I did have to change something). I wanted to build the world with a single god, even called The God. There's so much polytheistim in fantasy that I wanted to do something else, something more western based than eastern (in this case). I also asked myself a question: What if everyone was born, knowing they were created by The God, as it were? Its an interesting question, and one that will begin to be explored more as the books go on.

The miracles granted by The God in Armageddon, are all filtered through the Seraphim. If you're familiar with the word, the Seraphim are the highest order of angel, and in the Armageddon world, all of the elements used throughout the universe are filtered from The God, through these Protectors of the elements, or Seraph's. Everyone on Caball knows that the clerics and priests are the most capable of amazing doings, while those who practice magic are frowned upon by The God. Nevertheless, magic too, exists.

The magic is more of a mystery in its origins. There are words spoken to cast spells, but none of the magic users are sure where those words come from, nor do all magi speak the same magical language -- they are varied and diverse. The Gewurmarchs, the evil sorcerors who lead the Dragon Army in the Armageddon series, are masterful magic users. I don't want to give too much away of the ongoing plotlines beyond the first book, but the Gewurmarchs use a special kind of magic more mysterious than all the others. We'll begin to discover what this is starting in book 2 and continuing on throughout the series.

I also mentioned that all folk know that they were created by The God. With that knowledge, all war based on religion is thrown out the window as long as we continue to agree on the statements passed from The God through his angels to the ancient folk of Caball. From that point, anything can happen to the writings that were meant to be written, but primarily, the teachings remain in tact for most people. So war now only hinges on other differences of opinion. Or, war can be started when those who know The God created them, choose to do something other than what's generally believed to be good. Or war can begin at the hands of those evil creatures and monsters that were NOT created by The God (I know I said all folk, but I mean all humanoid folk and animals, and not the evil monsters and goblins and orcs and imps and gnolls that walk the world). You see, quite an interesting question to think about, right?

Hopefully I've given you a bit more insight into what feuled my writing for the Armageddon series, and hopefully you'll one day be interested in reading it, or any other fantasy novel, if you never have.

Terry Tibke