The American/English Spelling Technique

It is important to know the nature of the English language…

Advertisements

The English language is broad. Being the second-most spoken and most diverse language,  it comes to no surprise that it differs from region to region. A person from Portland, Oregon will likely understand what a person from London is saying, but they might speak in a different accent and even a different dialect. It is important to know the nature of the English language as a writer.

One thing I had to be aware of when writing dialogue is the accent the speaking character will have. In The Tales of Draco, I use the typical American spelling (honor, color, scepter, etc.) in the narration because the main character speaks in that accent. But I use English spelling (honour, colour, sceptre, etc.) for characters with foreign accents, though that doesn’t necessarily mean the character’s accent is English. The spelling can also be changed in a way to put emphasis on how a character pronounces certain words. An example of the American/English spelling is used for Clipper. Clipper speaks with a Canadian accent, and words are spelled in the English style in Canada. Even though Clipper’s accent slightly differs from Jacob’s, it is still similar; so I still use American spelling for his dialogue. This contrasts with some of the dwarves and other characters where I use English spelling.

As I’ve mentioned before, when I use English spelling, it doesn’t always mean the accent is English. I use this spelling to indicate that the accent differs from Jacob and Clipper’s accents. You’ll see this American/English spelling more in future books in the series. When a character has a foreign accent, I use English spelling, even if the accent isn’t English. Sometimes the spelling will change in another way depending on the accent; it isn’t always English spelling.

I’m not saying the American/English technique is the correct way to add accent in dialogue. I’ve read plenty of books that use one type of spelling, even in dialogue. I just use the American/English technique in dialogue, depending on who is speaking. I only use American spelling in the narration.

If you ever decide to use the American/English technique, just remember to do it appropriately. Be aware of how you spell words in dialogue and most especially in the narration.

What’s Jordan’s Life Outside Writing?

When I budget my time, I can continue my schooling with ease without putting The Tales of Draco to the side. I still have plenty of time to write and edit. That is the reason why no matter what I do, I have dragons, dwarves, fairies, and other creatures flying around in my mind.

Every author has more to do than writing. For me, I spend as much time as I can writing and editing (I really need the editing) as possible. I avoid procrastination the best I can and try to make my work the best as it can be. My entire life is practically surrounded by dragons and magic. But I also have other obligations other than writing. I still go to school, work outdoors, and enjoy some leisure time. So what do I do and how do I get the time to do it? The best way to fit many aspects of life is time-budgeting. Here are a few things I do when I’m not writing…

  • School… As I have said before, I’m still in the process of education. I spend seven hours for five days a week in school, plus whatever homework I have. I love school. Learning is something that I have a passion for. If I was to say what my favorite subject is, I would say History or Fine Arts, with English and Science not far behind. As of 2016, I am attending West Side High School in Dayton, Idaho.
  • Theatre… For those who know me well, they may know I have a great love for theatre. I’ve been in many different stage productions since I was eight years old, from the magic mirror on the wall to General Genghis Khan Shmitz. I love the rehearsals, no matter if they are at three o’clock in the afternoon or six o’clock in the morning. It’s very exciting when I have to push myself to be in a stage performance. You’ll learn more about my life on the stage later, for I am going to be in another performance. As I enjoy writing and acting, maybe I could write a play someday?
  • Work… I live in Idaho, in a very “spread-out” town of less than 500 people. This is because its in a very agricultural part of the valley. I occasionally do farm work, but I mostly do yard or industrial work. One day I mow a pasture, the next I split and stack wood. It’s the life I live and I certainly don’t mind the work.
  • Walk/Run/Bike… With a very open region, I like to travel either on foot or on bike. Walking is very helpful if I every get writer’s block. The fresh air opens my mind. Sometimes I wander by the railroad tracks or up in the mountainous canyons. The paths throughout the Bannock Mountains are filled with a sense of adventure. What better way to get inspiration to write?
  • Basketball… I’m not a legend when it comes to this fine game, but this is still my favorite sport. I usually play for fun and not for competition. Basketball also runs through my family. My dad is 6’6” and could touch the top of the inner square of the backboard when he was in high school. My brother Christopher and I enjoy playing this game. I don’t play on any major teams though, but basketball is my favorite sport just the same.
  • Friends… I don’t really spend much time doing anything recreational, so doing things with friends every other week is something I always look forward to. My best friend and I occasionally play Minecraft or NBA ShootOut 98 if we find the time. Other times we ride bikes or bake something delicious.
  • Read… Being an author, reading is important. I usually read fantasy or science fiction or historical non-fiction. (Click here to see a few of my favorite authors…)

So these are a sample of things I do, but with another potential edition of Rise of the Dragon coming out, the sequel I’m currently editing, and the outline of the rest of the series, I cannot procrastinate. If you ever have a lot of things on your plate, budget your time. If you have to make sacrifices, so be it. I love theatre, but I usually perform about one production every year, maybe two. I don’t play on any major basketball teams, but I can still play on smaller organizations. When I budget my time, I can continue my schooling with ease without putting The Tales of Draco to the side. I still have plenty of time to write and edit. That is the reason why no matter what I do, I have dragons, dwarves, fairies, and other creatures flying around in my mind.

Point of View

When it comes to different scenes in The Tales of Draco and the point of view, it’s like watching a roller coaster versus riding it.

We all know the basics of “point of view” when it comes to writing. First-person means the narrator is one of the characters in the story. In contrast, third-person is when the narrator follows the characters around. In a third-person narrative, the narrator can be omniscient or limited. Third-Person omniscient means the narrator knows all. He knows the thoughts of every character and their emotions. Third-person limited means the narrator knows the thoughts of at most one character. In The Tales of Draco, the story is in first-person, set in Jacob’s point of view. You don’t really see the word “Jacob” unless in dialogue.

To be honest, I have made a few novice mistakes in the point of view. The biggest problem is that thoughts, emotions, and even out of scene dialogue are present when they are not supposed to be. One example is when a dwarf complains about Jacob’s presence when Jacob isn’t supposed to hear it. My point of view mistakes are being addressed in the next book and upcoming editions in Rise of the Dragon.

There is, however, one aspect in “point of view” that I intentionally do. These are the other scenes that Jacob is not present, for example when Monty is making plans of an ambush or when Sally searches for information to where her friends are. I’m perfectly fine with this aspect because it gives valuable information needed for the plot. For example, we now know Monty’s motivations for ambushing Jacob and Clipper. Other books series changes scenes like this all the time, especially in the Redwall series. Brian Jacques switches scenes perfectly. This is what keeps the reader into the book. It makes the reader want to know what is happening in both places at the same time.

So what is the logic behind the point of view in The Tales of Draco? The narrator is Jacob, yet he also narrates scenes where he is not present. This element explains itself in the prologue in Rise of the Dragon. Jacob tells the story to Yselliar. In fact, Jacob once said to Yselliar that he would “hear the adventures of others” (this phrase has been edited out though). This explains that even though Jacob did not know what was happening in other scenes, he is still able to tell them in the book.

When it comes to different scenes and the point of view, it’s like watching a roller coaster versus riding it. Which would you prefer?

 

(The photo at the top is a P.O.V. photo of The Boss at Six Flags St. Louis. I have ridden this roller coaster before. Though it was a rough ride, I enjoyed every moment of it.)

The Many Creatures of Elsov and Beyond…

What’s a good fantasy series without mythical and mysterious creatures?

What’s a good fantasy series without mythical and mysterious creatures? One thing I really enjoy writing about are the different creatures, whether they are familiar in our culture like dwarves and dragons or creatures many have not heard before like grøls. In this blog, I will show you what some of these creatures are and why they were created. One thing is for sure: the best source of information about these creatures is the appendix at the end of Rise of the Dragon.
First of all, we’ll talk about dragons. In my previous blog, I discussed the appearances of dragons. So why does The Tales of Draco follow a dragon as the protagonist? There are many reasons. If you have read books or seen movies about dragons, they are secondary characters or the main antagonist. I thought a story with a dragon as the main character would make the story unique. Another reason why I chose Jacob to be a dragon is because of his internal struggles. Jacob’s breed is evil, making him have evil traits like his short temper. Jacob represents the internal war we all face. Confucius once said that men are naturally evil. However, we can overcome this evil, just like Jacob is able to. He may be a black dragon, but he doesn’t have to live like a black dragon. This internal war symbolism also arises in the main villain of the series. It’s not Triathra, but I won’t say any more.
If you have read Rise of the Dragon, you may have noticed that dwarves also play a big role. They are the hostile Monolegions led by a sorcerer. These dwarves are not as short as one may think. The average height for a Monolegion is about four feet. The Monolegions also wear Viking-style clothing with horned helmets. Now you may have seen Gustav Malmström’s depiction of the horned helmet worn by the Vikings. In fact, the Norse raiders never worn such helmets. It was the Monolegions who lived the same area who did. Yes, the Monolegions were enemies to Jacob and Clipper, but there are also good dwarves. They will be seen later. These dwarves are quite friendly and they dress more formally than their Monolegion counterpart. As I have said, the sorcerer is the Monolegion leader. Sorcerers are basically hostile wizards. With the right magical relic, they can be very dangerous.
Now we get to a race of people that is unique to The Tales of Draco. They are the grøls. As I have mentioned many times in the past, grøls look much like garden gnomes. Most are short, stocky, and jolly. And let’s not forget their “Yip!” when they are excited. The reason why I decided to have grøls on the mystical land of Elsov is for Jacob to find something eccentric in the strange world. This world is new to us as it is to Jacob. We people are not used to short, stubby figures living in houses inside trees. It’s odd to us. Grøls are the symbols that remind us that Elsov is a strange world and that there can be magic and mystery there.
            Finally, we start diving into the origins of Greek Mythology. If you ever read Greek myths, you are likely familiar with nymphs. In Greek Mythology, nymphs are the spirits of nature and are generally in the form of young maidens. The nymphs in The Tales of Draco are different than this. Nymphs are about the same height as dwarves, but a few inches shorter. They are excellent in war and battle strategy. Also unlike the nymphs of Greek Mythology, the nymphs of Elsov can be male and female, not just female. Their colonies are high in the trees. This gives newcomers the thought that nymphs are one with nature, hence the legend of the nature spirit.
            These are the creatures and people mentioned in the first book, but they are not the only creatures that will be mentioned in series. In the sequel, you’ll know more about elves, kangrui, goblins, unitaurs, and more. I really enjoyed writing about these creatures and I hope in The Tales of Draco: The Six Pieces, the creatures will dazzle you as much as the ones in the first book did.

Music and Writing

Is music a help or hinder when writing?

For as long as I can remember, I have had a passion for music. Whether it be the rhythm tickling the eardrum or the mood of the song that can make anyone happy or sad, listening to music can be either help or hinder when writing.

When writing or revising in The Tales of Draco, I usually listen to classical or cultural music. Most often I would listen to the soundtrack from the video game series Civilization. I love the concentration each track gives me. The sweet peaceful English theme, I Vow to Thee; My Country, can help me paint the picture of the colorful Pearl Forest at night as Jacob searches for the nymphs. The war version of the Indonesian theme, Udan Mas, can intensify the scene where Jacob and Clipper stumble across the dwarves on Komodo Island. Other music that I listen to are from the Age of Empires series, the theme song for National Treasure, the beautiful music by Enya, or the upbeat pieces by Mannheim Steamroller.

Now one may ask how music is able to play such a role to many authors. Well, music is like a story, except that it is in sound rather than words. Many authors will listen to music to move them forward. When I was writing an early chapter in an upcoming sequel to The Tales of Draco, I was creating a scene where Jacob and Clipper are battling a Minotaur-like monster. While I was molding this scene together, I was listening to Spanish war music. The way the castanets and harmonic violins played, this musical piece practically wrote the scene for me. Music inspires people, and the reason why authors write stories is because they are inspired. While listening to the theme song for Star Trek, for example, a science fiction author can find it easier to shape out the way the weary ship drifted closer and closer to the violet surface of the alien planet.

As music can be a great help, it can also be distracting. It’s really hard for me to write a wonderful scene in the fjords of Elsov when I’m listening to Crocodile Rock by Elton John (though the song alone is fun to listen to). The music that I’m usually careful with are the ones with lyrics. Of course many songs with lyrics can work, I often prefer orchestral pieces. That’s just my opinion, however. If you ever want to listen to music while writing, try to listen to a song you would think is helpful to you, not me. If it does, embrace it. Let it inspire you. If it is too distracting, try something else. It’s better to write in silence than in distraction.

If you want to listen to my favorite music when I work in The Tales of Draco, you can visit the playlists on my Youtube channel, Jordan B. Jolley. They are… Civilization Overture: Music That’s Good For Writing and Other Music That’s Good For Writing. The music in those playlists have helped me a lot. Of course it won’t satisfy everybody. We are all different. Whatever music helps you write, listen to it.

–  Jordan B. Jolley

Welcome to the official site for The Tales of Draco.

Pearl Forest . . .
“It was a quest I had to venture to know why I was loved here in this strange world. But it did not feel strange. It felt like I was home. As I began my adventure, I was all alone, but I did not mind. The meadows were so peaceful. Once in a while I would hold perfectly still and just listen to the birds singing and the nearby forest inhabitants scurrying through the underbrush. But the feeling of joy seemed to dissipate as I covered more ground. The peaceful ambience died away and silence engulfed the atmosphere.”

The Tales of Draco is a new fantasy adventure series. It’s an epic story about dragons, dwarves, and other creatures you may or may not have heard of. This website features news and information about The Tales of Draco. You can find updates on upcoming sequels or where the author, Jordan B. Jolley will be visiting.

Join Jacob Draco, Clipper, and the rest of the characters as they battle hideous monsters, travel to familiar and strange regions alike, and defeat the advancing forces of evil. The first book in the series is Rise of the Dragon. When you read this tale, you will find magic and adventure in this world and the world of Elsov, the mystical continent far away.

Do you enjoy adventure, fantasy, magic spells, dwarves, fairies, nymphs… and Dragons?

This is the post excerpt.

The Tales of Draco is a new fantasy adventure series. It’s an epic story about dragons, dwarves, and other creatures you may or may not have heard of. This website features news and information about The Tales of Draco. You can find updates on upcoming sequels or where the author, Jordan B. Jolley will be visiting.

Join Jacob Draco, Clipper, and the rest of the characters as they battle hideous monsters, travel to familiar and strange regions alike, and defeat the advancing forces of evil. The first book in the series is Rise of the Dragon. When you read this tale, you will find magic and adventure in this world and the world of Elsov, the mystical continent far away.

41c0m+hmQfL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_