About D. Wolfin
Not only do I love fantasy literature, but ever since I was small I have always had a vivid imagination. It has been almost like I could play a film of my own creation in my head at times, creating fantastical scenes that I feel the need to put onto paper before they disappear from my mind.
The very first thing I ever wrote was in school when I was about 11 years old (nearly 23 now!) if I remember correctly. My teacher gave out the assignment that we had to write a short story of up to 1500 words. I couldn’t write something so small however and became completely immersed in the project. I returned a week later with chapter 1 written of the best fantasy novel in all of history! It was in a staple bound A5 book, and went for 31 pages.
Funny enough, my story never even received a name, it was just called ‘Chapter 1’. My story was about some guy who found a mysterious forest clearing covered in fog. In the clearing was a small hill with some strange symbol floating about 5 feet off the ground. As he approached it, it turned into a blue mist and entered his body. It turned out this symbol ingrained itself on his body and gave him a mysterious power (I honestly can’t remember what I gave him, something awesome I bet though!)
I wrote a little more in chapter 1, but I had planned out whole scenarios of travelling to parallel worlds, searching for all these strange symbols. There was also only one per world/dimension, some were already taken by other people, some were decided by a battle etc…
I also remember it was heavily inspired by the book Eragon, by Christopher Paolini. Back then, I absolutely loved that book. I think I read it like four times! I plan to go back and relive my childhood again one of these days, but the movie adaptation to the book slaughtered my imagination for it and made it hard for me to read without envisioning it. (Sorry, but that movie was horrible in my opinion)
Since then I grew up, did school, got a job like a robot. But I injured myself at work, my back in fact. It is not that serious, but it prevents me from doing physical labour for extended periods of time and employers won’t even employ someone who is previously injured! It is not exactly fair, and they will never say they that they are prejudiced, but it happens.
I did plenty of things I enjoyed during that time, making youtube videos of minecraft and vlogs, but it got to the point where I felt like I was forcing it, and didn’t even know what to talk about. After all I am generally quite a reclusive person.
Since I wasn’t being employed I decided I would do something I love, writing. I will usually start mid morning, and work till midnight. I also tend to walk around the house often, talking to myself and having imaginary conversations or creating the next part of the story in my head. I have even talked to myself a lot about what to say to everyone on this page too!
Sometimes I have wondered about all the books I have read before, and what had the biggest influence on me.
To go into that I would probably have to begin with my local library. It had four shelves of fantasy books and I chewed through them at an unbelievable rate. The first big influence was in 2006 when I read Ian Irvine’s new book, ‘Torments of a Traitor’. Alas, the rest of the series wasn’t out yet.
I did however find the prequel series to that book. I requested the first book of the series, ‘Geomancer’, through my library network and luckily enough, it was sent across the city for me free of charge! Once I got into that book I fell in love with the series, to this date I still plan on going back and rereading the entire series.
Another fantastic book was called ‘The Ill-Made Mute’, by Cecilia Dart-Thornton. The title did not interest me much, nor did the synopsis. I had three failed attempts at getting into it, but no matter what something told me that this book was one I would enjoy.
Finally getting through the first part I finished the first book and was hungry for more. I became obsessed with it, even taking it to school to continue reading. And I don’t just mean during food breaks, but during class too.
Before long I had finished the third and final book, ‘The Battle of Evernight’. It was when I closed the book that it hit me, the emotional turmoil the book gave me. Nothing had ever affected me like how this book did. Finishing the story I cried, I cried like I had never cried before. To me this is a piece of fantasy literature that I will never forget, a masterpiece in my mind.
There are as many books as the stars that I have enjoyed and treasured, some more than others. Out of all of them, ‘Magician’, by Raymond E. Feist is probably the one that I have read the most. To this date I have owned three different copies and read that book a total of seven times.
I find that my writing style is quite unique to me. I am sure there are other people who are the same, after all there are seven billion people on this plant. Assuming there is no one like me is a little bit far fetched, but I have not heard of anyone else with a similar style.
For my writing, each chapter is given a rough script. A short list of notes planning out what happens in each chapter, which are then broken down into more detailed descriptions. It is similar to:
\- Event A details A
\- Event A details B
\-Event B details
Bare in mind, this here looks a lot nicer than my scribble. I also have a bad habit of throwing in horrible dad jokes, commenting on my own notes, even throwing arrows around everywhere with extra notes/rearrangements. In the end, it is just a big mess. Well, to anyone else it would be. It is almost like my own secret code. “I can understand it, but you can’t!”
But you know what? I don’t even use it! Honestly, each design works for me to gather my thoughts in thinking up each chapter. Well, I do often look back on the plan during my progress, but it has little effect on the story. Each chapter also affects the next, from how the characters act to the way events are spanning out. I daydream the story in my mind, and use words to record it.
Perhaps the best way to explain my feelings of not being the one who determines the story would be to reference it to a daydream. When you stare out the window and imagine yourself as someone else, in another place. Or of a vibrant world that has less limitations. Maybe you can cast godly magic, or have an earth shattering strength that everybody fears and respects. It could be as simple of dreams of being with the perfect girl/guy.
These thought are not things you plan out and create a video of in your mind. It is simply the imagination working its miracles, portraying you in another place and time, extending your world with fantasy at your fingertips. The possibilities are endless, just like trying to assign a numerical value to infinity.
This is how my story comes to life. I let these daydreams decide the direction that it travels, only using logic and reason to make sense of the abstracts thoughts. I don’t even know how my story will plan out, yet I hope that it continues to be interesting, probably even more so than all of you.
Each chapter usually takes about 30 – 40 hours. In the usual case it would be to plan, write, and proofread. Except for me I have a fourth step, so my process becomes plan, imagine, write, proof.
I use my emotions as I write, similar to colouring in a black and white picture. Putting all my happiness, sadness, love, and anger (The list is too big to write all of them) into the words, I try imbue them in the story so that all the readers can feel them too, immersing themselves into the world I have created.
Has anyone ever tried writing half asleep? If you have, do you find it difficult?
I tend to do this quite frequently. Reading makes me sleepy, to the point where I can’t keep my eyes open (This is why I have an awesome pair of glasses). When I get in this state, I often do my best work. Closing my eyes, my thoughts become even more clear than ever before. So with my eyes closed, I write.
When I first started End Online, to be honest it seemed really daunting. After all, there is the game system, the characters, real life. Every name I came up with just sounded silly and horrible. I worried that the story was no good. I even had one of my friends tell me to scrap it. It was a 2/10, and the text boxes were just too silly. Safe to say we had a bit of an argument (I was very unhappy that he said how bad it was but didn’t say what was bad about it), but I know he meant well. And it was the very first piece of feedback I got, so I will always treasure it.
From there I got stuck into it. I had no job at the time and kept working hard, trying to write the best material possible, while my bank account was hitting the negatives. I started coming up with names, places, even events that should take place in the future, almost like guideposts to the ending of the story that I have already planned. It is gonna be a good one ^.^
I think it would have been about a day after putting book 1 up for sale, my partner left me. That whole situation was incredibly messy and I really felt the knife in the stomach over everything that followed. The only thing about it I will say, it made concentrating on my story and writing it incredibly hard. Since then I have gained my own peace of mind, a change of lifestyle, people I spend it with, my diet etc… After everything, I even found some feelings I had forgotten I had. The world, all of a sudden, seemed more colourful.
From there I have picked up an offer for a full time job, doing something I love, and even being able to continue writing. Most of it is done at home, but there are some parts that I do at work. Although, I only try to do what I need to in regards to writing at work. After all I do love my job, almost as much as writing!
I have always wanted to fly, not in a plane or helicopter, but like superman. I have also wanted to do the kamehameha, ever since watching dragon ball Z when I was 8 (Then again at 13, 17,18,19,21), but that one is even more far fetched than flying. I call it less realistic, but we aren’t exactly comparing these things on any form of realistic scale so how are we to properly compare the two.
Now you may be wondering where exactly I am going with this. It is simple. I am talking about dreams.
Basically, there are so many things I want to do in the future. I must have dreamt of millions of scenarios of how I want things to be when I am older. I have had an incredible number of inspirations that have lead me to try so many things. Nearly all of them have childish dreams, and all of those have been destroyed by reality. But there are still a lot of dreams that I want to accomplish.
Despite the fact that I am only in my early 20’s, there was one point where I got lost in thought about death. Don’t misunderstand, I was not seriously ill or injured. It was any other another ordinary day that I was thinking about this. What I felt at that stage was that there are so many things I wish to accomplish in my life. Not only that, but I also had the most primordial kind of thought. That I want to live forever.
I am quite the realist at the best of times. I understand that one day, there will be no more me. From there I started to consider the things that I can do. The future I envisioned from that, had the thought of family. I had the dream of being able to build a family and turn that into something unique. I still want this, to be able to pass something on to my kids that will be then pass on to their kids and have it continue down the family tree.
Due to various personal reasons that were already present, including the thought of creating a whole new family, I changed my surname. Now it is something unique that as far as my knowledge extends, nobody else has.
What I decided I wanted to provide my kids was language to pass down the generations. And I am not talking about being especially adept at English, but a multitude of languages. Throughout their childhood, raise them as well as I can and also fill them with the knowledge of these languages. I would have left behind a legacy that would not only speak English, Japanese, Dutch, French, Spanish but also understand the importance of the family and that the family is always what comes first. Don’t think that those languages are all or the only language I plan to pass on, nor the amount of languages, it is just an example.
I started learning Japanese actually. Unfortunately I have incomprehensible memory issues that I can never remember the words or kanji, but this is one of the difficulties of self study. Once I am well out of the reach of debt, I will probably take a few courses on languages. But I have already built an incredibly strong base in japanese, and it feels like I am missing a few more pieces of the puzzle until I fully understand it. I have a couple of large piles of flashcards I need to master before I move on to heavy kanji studies. My current progress in them is at about 70 – 80%, but the last bit is the hardest.
I also wish to travel the world with my writing as my income in order to learn the world culture behind these languages and be able to perfectly pass them on to the next generation. Now I am held in one place with my work at the moment. But I am happy, I don’t plan on having kids until I am 30 – 35 and as for world travel, right now I am looking at 5 years in the future. Nothing set in stone for now though, I’m not exactly planning on leaving my job.
I also don’t want to control my kids lives, I want them to be able to do what they want. All I wish for my kids is to be able to take these languages with them, maybe further them after they leave home, pass them on, and always put family first. I won’t go into to much more about the grand master plan right now.
I thought I might discuss on how I started writing End Online and then putting the books up for sale. It was actually about 6 months prior to writing the first chapter that I had a spark of insight into what to write about. While I may be naive and possibly didn’t think down the finer details as much as I should, the general principle was good.
Originally, I never even had the thought to start selling my books on amazon. It all stemmed from the idea of changing the general public opinion of my work from being fan fiction into legitimately recognized novel. My next step towards this goal is to improve the editing of my books, as we all know everyone hates poor grammar and it seems amateurish.
I recall when I discovered Zectas had also published books; the first of which was published a short while before my first book. Now, I would hate to say that I followed suit, but I honestly didn’t know about it until after publishing my book.
In a sense, I do feel a kind of rivalry through amazon sales and story quality with John Nest at first. After all, my opinion was that we were basically the first people to put our books onto amazon. Given that we both basically came to the same conclusion of selling books around the same time, I’m sure there are plenty of others before us who have done the same, I just do not know of them. Especially in the litRPG genre. Do take not, I am talking about direct to English ‘amateur’ works, not translated novels that already have a large fan base; such as those from Russia.
I did notice that after our two works were up there, a lot of other stories began to appear in the listings. Mostly works from royal road and a few other ‘amateur’ works. I’m not sure if John Nest and I started a trend or not, but it is good to see. ^.^
I thought I would bring up with you all a little about distractions, well, what distracts me at least. What distracts me is very simple… everything. I am the most impulsive @#&%! you can imagine. If I see something I like, I must buy/have it! There was one night where I had a few drinks and several hours later ebay made me the new owner of a 42″ TV, old school ps2 (The fat one, not the slimline), several games for the console, and enough cables and adapters to be absolutely certain I could plug such an old system into my new TV. For your reference, the description on ebay didn’t say if it had an AV input or not. Considering it was such a cheap TV, I wasn’t entirely confident in guessing either.
One of those games was Champions of Norath – Return to Arms, my childhood favourite. Now, I played this game back when I was 12. I remember renting it from the local video store for 2 days and 1 night, at a cost of $6! After me and my friend got the game, we made the most of it by pulling an all nighter. Playing this game on a 22″ tube TV all night is probably one of my fondest childhood memories funny enough.
All it takes is one stray thought and poof — my animal instincts will take over me for hours. I also have the tendency to do things in large quantities. If cooking food, I generally slave away in the kitchen for hours until I have enough food to provide dinners for a week. If it’s reading, I will continue reading a book from anywhere between half a day and a full day.
My usual distractions involve:
– reading (manga, web novels, original English novels)
– watching TV series/sitcoms or anime
– watching random rubbish on youtube (One video may only go for 7min average, but there are a lot of recommendations from those!)
– re watching movies that I have collected over the years
– playing video games (Usually Titan Quest, funny enough)
– searching for new games/reading material/tv shows/movies (This usually ends in failure, but I spend HOURS trying nonetheless)
I actually feel really bad after I do these. Not because I feel doing them is bad, I just have a complex about not being productive. If I don’t build or create anything, I start beating myself up (not physically!) and feel an incredible guilt. Contrary to that, when I finally finish a chapter or finally get the next book formatted with artwork, ISBN, metadata, and up on amazon — the feeling is like ecstasy. Nothing makes me feel better than that. Seriously, writing is my drug; and when I go without my drug, I get hateful withdrawals. ^.^
This time I thought I would discuss the concerns of motivation. As I am sure you are all aware, we all have moments of high motivation when we can do a lot of writing/work/gaming or any of the many other aspects of life. However, this is a two sided coin where when we are not motivated, we push ourselves but often do less.
My situation is often a little different from that. When I want to do something, I need to maintain an extremely high motivation. If I am not completely motivated to do something and attempt to push myself to do it, I fall asleep. Sitting, standing, writing etc… no matter what it is, I fall asleep if I try to do something that my body doesn’t particularly feel like doing.
You will often see some days where only 1 – 3% of a chapter is written. Excluding the mornings before work when I don’t have as much time available, falling asleep is nearly always the case.
My motivation will always return though, especially with my writing. Whenever I go a few days without writing, it feels like I haven’t done anything for weeks! This is often a massive boost to my motivation that will get me pumped and writing between 20 – 30% of a chapter a day (During the working week!).
I’m not sure if I have mentioned where in Australia I am from, but I am from Melbourne. I thought I would mention a few things on myself and being an Author in Melbourne.
As an author, it is a shame I am often cooped up at home while writing. I am somewhat of a shut in. I lost contact with most people some time ago, not because I don’t like seeing them, but more because I am more happy to do my own thing. Some of my friends look at me strangely and ask why I don’t go out and so forth. My own view is that “you are someone who strives to always be going out with friends, family and so forth, it is as difficult for you to understand me as it is for me to understand you.”
It isn’t that I don’t go out at all, however. One of the great things about Melbourne is the food and coffee. When planning a chapter, I am a strong enthusiast of taking my notebook down to a local cafe to plan out the chapter over coffee and often lunch too. Our bars are a lovely place too, only perhaps not a good spot for planning the next chapter of my book!
I hope to go watch many shows/performances, but they do indeed cost money so I will hope to refrain myself. I’m still searching for people to join me when I go to these things, and a little while ago I learned of several social groups; people from around the city getting together for certain events. I’m sure other places in the world have the same/similar things, but this is a great opportunity to meet new people in the greater city of Melbourne. P.S You can ignore Sydney, they may have the Opera House and the Harbour bridge, but avoid its suburbs like the plague.
Next week, February 5th, I will be attending the Lunar Festival in Melbourne, trialling what is supposed to be many asian and other pop up food stands. I read something about a parade happening, but the festival goes for several afternoons and I can’t imagine that they will be doing it every day.
My final expectation of what I want to go see would be theatre productions. They are possibly the most expensive to buy tickets to, but I should be able to indulge a little bit, right?
Just so you all know, I also have a twitter! ^.^