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  2. Anthony Lockwood

    Adopt a premise/story idea

    Leaving some story ideas I've had but never really felt like using. A genius high school girl becomes a feared underworld figure. Her family was killed when she was younger and now, she's out for vengeance. A younger boy with a passion discovers a club that caters specifically to his interests. However, he soon discovers that he is more unwelcome than it seemed and things just get darker from there.
  3. Pinchofmagic

    Adopt a premise/story idea

    Penguinball & Jedi Knight Muse, that would be great! I'd love a thread of ideas to come to when in need of inspiration. The NaNo-forums are definitely what inspired me, but I haven't found these short premise-thingies there lately or at least not as many. There used to be a lot of them back in the day, and so much fun to read. NaNo clear the stuff too every year or something, which is a bummer. So keep'em coming. :)
  4. Yesterday
  5. Jedi Knight Muse

    Adopt a premise/story idea

    Aah, someone else who likes posting adoptable stuff. 😄 I'll have to go through my idea journal, I probably have a ton of these that I've gotten from the NaNo forum and such.
  6. Jedi Knight Muse

    Worldsmyths Million 2019 Discussion

    Awesome! We'll be glad to have you! I'm getting really excited now, too! It kind of snuck up on me - I knew I wanted to do it again this year but then I realized "oh crap, it's January, we need to figure this out so there's enough time for advertising." XD And yes, I wouldn't want to exclude anyone who's outside of the U.S, especially since I think we seem to have more (active) members in Europe/Canada than in the U.S. (but I haven't looked at the Google map lately to know for sure, and not everyone has put themselves on it). Or maybe it's about the same, not sure.
  7. JayLee

    Worldsmyths Million 2019 Discussion

    Yay! I'm already getting excited for this challenge. This year, I'm going to be able to do it! As far as the "prizes" (really just bonus gifts for writing hard as there's no "winner") I'll be offering this year, they will definitely be available outside the U.S. I feel like it's really important that everyone be eligible for them. I've been talking with Jedi about it, and once the rules are all hashed out, I'll come up with the official list of things to offer this year!
  8. Penguinball

    Adopt a premise/story idea

    Oooh I've got a whole bunch of idea fragments! Note to self to post some when I'm back at my computer. Great post!
  9. Pinchofmagic

    Adopt a premise/story idea

    A thread for all those short and sweet story premises/ideas you may have discarded or don't have time to write. Your lump of clay may turn into gold for someone else, or can just kick-start their own imagination, so dump'em right here. :) I'll start with these five ideas: When people die they turn into mythological creatures (maybe depending on what they were like in life). A psychic medical examiner can see flashes a dead person’s every day-life when cutting them open. One day they realise they’re examining something very peculiar. The body looks human, but their every-day life doesn't look at all familiar to the M.E.. A character realises they’re in a very familiar and worn-out plot. Knowing how it will end they do everything to de-rail it. A job coach accepts a higher paying job in a different town, but the clients are not what she’s used to. Neither are the job openings in town. Or the town itself. When a strange fossil is dug up on the border between two warring countries they both start to worship it, but they come up with two very different myths. A poor scholar realises that both myths have elements of truth, and if combined the ancient creature will rise to rule. But that might not be the best idea ever. (Sorry if any of them is familiar to a book/movie already out there. I seem to be bad at keeping up with the current stuff these days.)
  10. Anthony Lockwood

    Worldsmyths Million 2019 Discussion

    Sounds like a cool challenge. Might try my hand at it. Being able to choose a monthly goal is also awesome. I might become a regular.
  11. Jedi Knight Muse

    Worldsmyths Million 2019 Discussion

    I'm planning on trying to get the information written up and hopefully finalized this weekend/this coming week, so hopefully we'll be able to answer your questions a.s.a.p. Also, feel free to go ahead and ask your questions here in this thread, 'cause for all I know there may be something you're thinking of that we haven't thought of, so it would be good to see what your questions are, even if we possibly have already answered them in the FAQs that you'll be seeing a.s.a.p. Also, we have two staffers who are in Europe, both in England. XD
  12. Sooo, I'm watching Top5s channel on Youtube tonight. Is watching poltergeist videos a clear invitation for them to invade your home? Asking for a friend.

  13. Last week
  14. Deep, deep in the editing swamp while I'd much rather brainstorm new story ideas for the 2019 challenge. *sad panda face*

  15. XanthussMarduk

    Worldbuilding Question: Travel

    By boat in my world! The nations of Macalgra are pretty well divided up between islands/continents, so long ago they worked out how to apply magic to sailing more efficiently. The result is magically fueled steamships that ply the waters between the many kingdoms and their cities. Most major cities are coastal or riverside as a result of just how much trade goes by water and how important the sea is to the economy too.
  16. Jedi Knight Muse

    Worldsmyths Million 2019 Discussion

    Like @Manu said, it's based on a trust system. We have no way of validating your word counts, and honestly, even if we did, we would still use a trust based system. If you say you write 50,000 words in a month, we'll go with that. If you say you wrote 200,000 words in a month...it's probably iffy, but we'll believe you. We have no other way to prove it, and we're not going to demand that you send your writing to us just to do so. Like Manu said, it's supposed to encourage everyone to write, so while word count is the goal, it's really more about motivation and fun.
  17. Manu

    Worldsmyths Million 2019 Discussion

    Being in Europe doesn't mean you can't participate, in fact we have a lot of members from Europe, myself and one (or even two?) of the mods included 🙂 Worldsmyths million is trust-based, we don't check if you really wrote the number of words you pledged. The challenge is aimed at motivating writers, and working towards a common goal in addition to your individual goal is what we decided to go for as the additional motivation. You win the challenge when you achieve your wordcount goal, the same way NaNo or camp NaNo works. The conditions for winning one of the prizes will be what @JayLee decides they are, since she is the one offering the prizes. The prizes are just additional motivation, they were raffled off between all members who wrote a certain amount of words last year. All of last year's conditions for winning a prize can be found here:
  18. Emskie-Wings

    Worldsmyths Million 2019 Discussion

    How do you even win? And how do you know we really wrote the number of words we pledged? Also YAY! When there is a competition of any kind I usually can't participate because I'm in Europe!
  19. Jedi Knight Muse

    Worldsmyths Million 2019 Discussion

    Aaabsolutely. 😛 /said with absolute sarcasm Edit: sorry, I just realized how bad that probably sounded. XD It wasn't meant in that way. But yeah, I wish shipping wasn't so expensive, too, it'd be cool if you could make some kind of crafty thing for it.
  20. Penguinball

    Worldsmyths Million 2019 Discussion

    If shipping wasn't super expensive I'd offer up some kind of small crafty thing. Can we rig the test so someone in Canada wins? 😛
  21. Jedi Knight Muse

    Worldsmyths Million 2019 Discussion

    So rather than make a brand new post, I figured I would reply to this and (hopefully) get some feedback. @JayLee has said that she wants to sponsor the challenge again! She wants to offer prizes as part of it like she did last year. Last year, there was a handmade journal, there was editing services...and the top winner got a fully customizable Second Life journal and a custom e-cover. All prizes were, and will continue to be, available to those in and outside of the U.S. So, we need some suggestions for other possibilities for prizes! What are some other things you'd like to see as potential prizes? There's more than likely a limitation on what she and her co-editor are willing to offer again, so keep that in mind, but for the sake of discussion we'll say you can throw whatever ideas come to mind out there. And for those who are curious, here is her website for editing services. Please reply to this post with whatever ideas you have. One of the things she listed was a custom character portrait, and she also mentioned the journals again. Is this something you'd be interested in? Are there any other prizes you can think of that would be useful to you?
  22. Penguinball

    Worldbuilding Question: Travel

    Bump, in case anyone else wants to answer this!
  23. Jedi Knight Muse

    Worldsmyths Million 2019 Discussion

    Yay! We'll be happy to have you! 🙂
  24. Penguinball

    MICE Quotient Tool

    MICE Quotient is a way of thinking about stories, a tool to help making them stronger in both the planning and editing phases. Not only is it a way to categorize stories, but also a loose guideline on where to start and end a story based on how it’s categorized. In his book Characters and Viewpoint Orson Scott Card writes: What are the different kinds of stories? Forget about publishing genres for a moment; there isn't one kind of characterization for academic-literary stories, another kind for science fiction, and still others for westerns, mysteries, thrillers, or historicals. Instead let's look at four basic factors present in every story, with varying degrees of emphasis. Balancing these factors determines what sort of characterization a story must have, should have, or can have. The four factors are milieu, idea, character, and event. Milieu (setting) A milieu story focuses on setting or world. Generally, the story begins when the characters leave a familiar place and enter a new, unfamiliar one, and usually (but not always!) ends when they again return home. Examples: Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit, Dune Idea Idea stories are about the process of finding information. They begin with a question, and end when that question is answered. Books in the mystery genre are often in this category. Examples: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Da Vinci Code, a lot of fantasy and sci fi in general Character Character-based stories center on character transformation. They begin with a character’s dissatisfaction with their own life or circumstances, and end when that character either manages to change those circumstances or accepts them. Example: The Wizard of Oz, most of the Romance genre Event Although events happen in every story, the world in an Event Story is out of whack. It is out of order; unbalanced. An Event Story is about the struggle to re-establish the old order or to create a new one. Examples: Trading Places, Independence Day How to Use MICE: Each of these categories represents a promise. By setting up a character story you are promising that a character will experience a significant change over the course of the story. If the character fails to change, the story falls flat, and is unsatisfying. If you set up a disastrous event where danger is imminent but end up focusing on the character's relationship with their mother, the reader is left wondering if that volcano will ever explode, they wonder why their attention was drawn to it if it isn't used. Ever read a story and feel completely bored and unsatisfied, but you can't put your finger on exactly WHY it wasn't working? It is likely because the story lacks a promise. Using these categories can help you decide what to emphasize, and to diagnose issues when they arise. I personally find them useful for making sure my stories have a satisfying ending, which is the hardest part for me. Ever read a story where there is just too much going on, and you don't know what to focus on or care about? It could be that the story has too many of these categories, and needs to be trimmed so the reader knows where to invest emotionally. Do I need to include all of these categories? Well, a story can have more than one of these elements emphasized. They can be nested and layered to create deeper meanings and themes. But you don't need to include all of them every time. In fact, a short story will likely only have room to explore one or two of these concepts, while a novel will likely have aspects of all of them. Further Reading: Nesting MICE Elements with 'Last In, First Out' (the general idea is that if you nest stories in the order of Character, Milieu, Event, Idea, you would resolve them in the order of Idea, Event, Milieu, Character Writing Excuses Podcasts on MICE Blog Post with Handy Infographic
  25. Penguinball

    What are you reading? [2019]

    I'm rereading the Earth's Children series by Jean M Auel. I read them in high school and its interesting going back. I do enjoy them, but reading with more experienced eyes has me annoyed at all the head hopping and POV shifting. On one page she went from third person to first person in A's head, back to third, then first person in B's head. Totally breaking all the current rules. Her first person is super weak too, all the thoughts sound the same, all these long run on sentences that I THINK is supposed to show flow of thought, but really just makes me run out of mental breath. Still, I enjoy the series, and its close attention to the flora and fauna of an ancient earth. I've got some strong nostalgia for these books too, which helps. They DO go on a bit, I've been skimming. She'll go on these long descriptions of scenery and plants and I'm like OKAY. Can we get back to the story now? But I like them anyway 🙂
  26. I think prologues and epilogues are like any other writing tool, they don't really stand out when used correctly. For me they only jump out and are obvious when I feel they are trying to be too mysterious, they are setting up questions that don't really get answered for a very long time. Setting up questions is great, I encourage it, but it leaves the reader with a kind of tension, when are they answering it? When are they addressing <big mystery>? Oh, not until Book Three? Well, that's exhausting. Another mistake people make with prologues is making them too long and involved. Don't take time to set up a character, make us care about them, only to never see them again or have them be immediately killed off. That feels like an emotional bait and switch, and has the side effect of making it more difficult to get attached to the ACTUAL main character. Epilogues I usually barely notice, but the ones that stand out to me are the 'babies ever after' ones, or 'where are they now' looks into the future. Or the ones where they try to tie up EVERY loose thread in a couple lines and half ass emotional conclusions to story lines. Or where they 'pair the spares' in sudden love confessions just so they aren't single at the end of the book... basically when epilogues are used as rushed extended endings instead of giving us closure for the story. I don't believe in telling people not to use them though, I believe any writing tool should be available for you to use. Just try not to shoehorn too much into a prologue or an epilogue and I'm happy. One last thought, Dan Wells talks about the 'ice monster prologue', and I think that is a great way to do it. The link is below. Basically its a prologue that gives you a hint of the dangers of the story, an idea of the world and future conflict, without giving much away. Its useful for heroes journey stories especially, because when you are starting with a hero who is just starting out, you likely won't get to those monsters and conflict for awhile. Its sets up future promises, and the story feels more satisfying when they are paid off. Its named for the prologue of the first ASOIAF/Game of Thrones book. Other examples are Dumbledore and McGonagal delivering baby Harry in the Harry Potter series, or the opening scene of Star Wars with the small rebel ship running from the massive Star Destroyer, where we are introduced to a promise of space battles and princesses and a secret mission, before transitioning to Luke's boring life. Setting up promises deserves its own post actually... But in conclusion, prologues - use them wisely. https://youtu.be/KcmiqQ9NpPE
  27. Same. I was more anti-prologue when I was younger, now I try to give them a chance. If it doesn't grab me or it's full of info-dumping about a place I have no concept of - especially its ancient history - I tend to skim or jump. It's also annoying when a prologue is really good, and I connect with a character, and then the first chapter starts generations later and we're probably never gonna hear from that prologue person again. But basically, if it grabs my attention and pulls me in I don't usually complain... much. I love Pratchett, but the reason it took me so long to get into his work was his prologues. They were just too spacey, even though the rest of the books were exactly my style, but I didn't get there until I was pretty old. "Maskerade" made me realise his greatness, because it's got an awesome beginning without floating turtles in space. Epilogues can tell too much for my taste, especially if they jump too far ahead into the future. Part of what makes it fun to read a book is to imagine what happens after the story is over, so too much information about the rest of the characters' (often boring) lives is not necessarily my thing. My first attempt at a prologue came about in one of my current WIPs. It's gonna be short and show the discovery of a theft and how a neighbourhood of witches argue about who they're gonna appoint to solve the crime. Right now it seems like a good way to show the style and presenting the mystery which sets the story in motion, along with hints about the witch hierarchy. Then the first couple of chapters shows the detectives who starts to work for the two different witch-groups. No epilogues yet, but they'll probably happen sooner or later.
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