2020: September Update

It’s been a while! Sorry to have dropped off the radar; this has been a strange year. Writing has kept me focussed. Here’s a quick update on some of the things I’ve done, besides going all in at work, and having enjoyed two-months of paternity leave.

Finished a story!

That’s right. I’m polishing up a story for a manuscript review. After dabbling for many years, I got serious about writing in 2016 and have taken committed action to improve my craft through study and practice.

In my own opinion, the story I’ve written between February and September 2020, shows that this effort is paying off. Right now I’m editing the first draft – mostly cutting, ordering and rewriting scenes in light of the ending as it is.

In this case, I’m using the manuscript review as a way to learn how to better edit a manuscript. Writing a first draft is one thing, editing it into a story readers will enjoy is something completely different.


Every writer has to read. I’ve not been able to stick with Ulysses, although it was my plan to finish that book in 2020. Though I did enjoy the first chapter, the story didn’t draw me in, and that’s okay. When the time is right, I will read it. Just like Moby Dick and The Brothers Karamazov. All in good time.

What did I read?

  • Conn Iggulden: The Gates of Athens,
  • Ursula K. Le Guin: A Wizard of Earthsea
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: The Silmarillion (audible)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien & C. Tolkien: The Fall of Gondolin (audible)
  • Frank Herbert: Dune
  • George R.R. Martin: A Game of Thrones
  • Garth Nix: Sabriel
  • Stephen King: The Stand
  • Brandon Sanderson: Elantris
  • George Orwell: Animal Farm (audible)
  • George Orwell: All Art is Propaganda

These are the books I have started and finished. Some, I simply returned after the first chapter. Some books are just not for me.

Over time, what I look for in a story has changed. On the one hand, I am more critical of what I read, on the other hand I am better able to explain to myself why one story works for me, where another does not.

This ability has made more more critical of my own writing, and in turn, a better writer.

Dungeons & Dragons

Every other week, we play, step away from earth, and into a part of Ealisia that I do not write about. As the Game Master, I’m responsible for the adventure. I can tell you that writing adventures is very different from writing stories.

I enjoy this because it calls upon my creative faculties to improvise, and because it is a collaborative effort to tell a story. We have a great group, and I’m glad to be playing with them.

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The tundra in the north of Drestia offers plenty of adventures for the stouthearted. An odd fellowship of adventurers band together to travel across these frosty plains safely, as practitioners of dark arts attempt to summon demons to Drestia. An heir to house Antarem has teleported himself halfway across the world and seeks the way home. The chef of the Grim Coaster mercenaries is out to recruit new grunts. The smith of clan Greatshield has set out to find his dragon. A dishonored general seeks to lift a curse placed upon him by a warlock. Strange things are happening in the tundra. Bold Brigands harass all who travel the roads. Graves are exhumed in the night. After more than twenty years of peace, people whisper of war. And everywhere rumors arise of a dark force that roams the lands. All know that the Old Gods seek to reclaim dominion of Drestia, and that the New Gods have not been seen in millenia. As the adventurers pursue their own ambitions, an eternal power struggle between the forces of order and chaos ensnares them, and before long they carry the fate of all life in their unwitting hands. Hello all! You might know I run a D&D game for a group of friends. Well, their adventures brought the to the end of a chapter, and as I wanted to put aside my regular writing to clear my mind, I decided to write up some of their adventures. Here is the synopsis of the campaign. More to follow soon! #dungeonmaster#dungeonsanddragons #dungeonmasterlife #rollinitiative #5e #dnd #dungeonsanddragons #criticalrole

A post shared by T.G. Ellis (@tgellis_ealisia) on

Well, that’s it for now I guess. Until next time!

T.G. Ellis

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