Ramblings of Reese's [AKA wolfleben] Writing


What is this?:
A dedicated place for me to gave insight into my writing.

Who are you?:
You might know me as wolfleben but my writing name is Reese S. Jericho. It is a Pen Name.

Can I ask questions?:
If they are in relation to my writing and things I say in this blog, then yes.

How long have you been writing?:
21 years.

How have you kept writing?:
Part will power and part passion. I’ve written everyday for 21 years serious or practice.

What genre do you like?:
Honestly I like a lot of them. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Drama, and Suspense. Those are where I tend to read.

What genre are you writing:
I’ve been cryptic by saying Modern Fantasy that becomes Science Fiction Fantasy… but the honest truth is the real genre this story will be when it is done falls into Military Science Fiction Fantasy.

How long have you been working on this story?:
January 2019 is roughly when I started. I’m working on rewriting the 1st Chapter and writing out the first arc.

How long do you think it’ll take you to write the first arc?:
I don’t know. Its dependent on how long each chapter will be in the first arc and no chapter has a goal as page length. The rule for each chapter is it is as long as it needs to be to tell the story of that Chapter.

Do you listen to music as you writing?:
Yes. Most of the time it’s a custom soundtrack I make. Right now it’s a mix of somber violin songs to help me write the first arc.

What is the tone of the story?:
Somber Dark Hopeful. I think every story I’ll write will always have a dark tone at the core of it. I don’t think of that as a bad thing. There are stories that only can be told with a dark tone and you can write in a closer to what reality is. Realism is important to me as a writer. I like for stories to be grounded or at the least follow the rules they establish.

How long do you think it’ll take you to finish this story?:
Years. I don’t know how many years but based on what I’m planning and time it takes to get edited and published… it’s going to be years. Promise it’ll be worth it though. Beside I’m in good company of writers who took a while to write a story but it was a really good one.

What advice would you offer to an aspiring writing?:
Keep writing. If you can keep writing and don’t stop you’ll be amazed at the stories you can tell. Ignore the part of you that is criticizing what you are writing. It’s a first draft and it’s okay to make mistakes. Just keep writing.

Any downside to writing?:
Lack of time to read. I miss the time I use to spend reading. Now I spend it writing. That said. I do schedule 30 minutes to read everyday. It’s not as much as I use to. That said I do enjoy the writing.

Would you work with another writer?:
I thought long and hard on if I’d ever collaborate with another writer and my answer is honestly I have no idea. I know there are some books where two writers work together [The Expanse Books is two writers]. I’ll think more about this after this story is published.

Anything else you want to say about the story your writing?:
It’s actually apart of the Epic I’ve been working on for 21 years. I’ve talked about my Epic before. The problem the Epic always had a giant writers block on it. I’ve gone through 14 drafts for it. This story now came about as a result of starting off as a practice story while I worked on the outline for the Epic. The problem with that outline was I still had the block. This story though I at first thought of it as practice but then I looked at it and thought wait this has a good foundation. A bit rough but if I got feedback and wrote an outline then I could have something special. I had no idea it was going to turn into being a part of The Epic. That wasn’t my intention. But when I sat down and wrote my timeline. At one point during the writing of the timeline I went Wait if I have this happen at this time it’d lead to my Epic… I was stunned. I had cracked the writers block and destroyed it. Now this story does change the Epic. It provides the necessary world building and backstory for it. And it’s a stand alone even though it is part of the whole Epic. Much like you could read the Odyssey without reading the Iliad but both are part of each other.
There is a reason I said years. It’s because I intend to write the whole Epic. I as a reader hate the fact of planned stories that haven’t been finished [Stares at both A Song of Fire & Ice and The Kingkiller Chronicles]. I don’t want that for my readers. When I finish the Epic. I’d have this story released one year and the other story the next year. The stories are connected in a way but they are also stand alone. I don’t want to talk about the other story just yet because I don’t want to spoil it and hint at it.



The Beginning - The Importance of the first page

Of all the things to get right as a writer, how I start is critical. I want the tone and what type of story it is the reader is reading from page 1. The reader will know a couple things from page 1:

  • Who is the main character - This includes what they look like. Here is a type for any writer on describing characters. You don’t need to describe every detail as to how the character looks. I don’t do that. Elmore Leonard never did it. Instead I give enough of a description that you have a good idea as to how they look.
  • The tone - This is critical. A writer should never lie or deceive the reader. I’m writing a dark somber hopeful tone story. Question: How do I convey that info to the reader? At the start. I figured out what the setting of the starting point is and this story does start off very dark and bleak. Isn’t somber the same thing as dark? yeah it’s kinda of my way of saying this is a very dark story. Is hope in the first chapter? Yes. I don’t outright say this is why things are dark or this is why there is hope. No. I respect the reader. I understand the reader can get the info from what they are reading.
  • A rough idea as to what type of world the story takes place in. In helps that I can kinda cheat on this a little thanks to who the main character is. By describing who they are I am telling you in a way what this world the story takes place in.

One thing I do find as I work on rewriting the first chapter is even that I’m past the first page now, everything I’m writing now is built on that first page and I ask the important question all writers should ask once I finish a page? : “Would a reader keep reading?” If the answer is no. Rewrite.
Now as I write more of chapter 1 I’m further expanding on the world building in a natural way. I remind myself my character has thoughts of their own and it is my responsiblty to protray that and I can use it to expand on the world. It also allows me to show how the main character thinks. What matters to them. And yes I do this in third person.

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It’s normal for me to rewrite often

I’m still hard at work at rewriting Chapter 1. I’ve written 4 pages so far. I’m working on rewriting a portion of page 1. There are two reasons: Pacing and a moment on the first page seems out of nowhere. I believe I can achieve the tone I have without that moment. In fact I figured a way to convey the message to the reader of that moment to the reader in a more effective way at a later time in the chapter that I haven’t written yet.

I’m not as far as I’d like to be with the chapter. However I believe in going with a better idea if I come up with something and rewriting when ever it strikes me as appropriate. This is something I didn’t do with Sam’s Wasteland Within and that was a mistake. It doesn’t take that long and I end up with something better.

I do want to finish writing the chapter this week but I think the end of this month is more realistic. Partly due to how much time the night class time is taking but I I know it’ll all pay off.

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Hey look I already have a blog here:

Needless to saw lots of things have happened since I last wrote in this…


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. In a lot of ways it pushed me to be better.

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?

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 with Arial Size 10 font single space. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Yes I know that’s a lot to take in. I’ll post on this blog about once a month. If you got a question on my writing process. Feel free to ask.