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  1. 5 points
    That's exactly the point people are trying to make. We don't HAVE to base a created world off of ours. Just because our world happened to evolve the way it did doesn't mean others would too. The way gender roles evolved is a complicated issue, with more influences than just biology. I don't want to siderail this conversation too much as it has vast potential to get heated, but I'll leave it as saying that one world (ours) is too small a sample size to say that the way gender roles evolve in an intelligent species is correct. But ANYWAY. A created world has a history vastly different from our own. We have the freedom to deviate. That is what I love/hate about fantasy.
  2. 4 points
    Best Advice Keep everything you write. One day, it'll spark a new idea. I did this, and ended up writing a 100,000 words based on a short story I wrote when I was 15. Worst Advice Two fold a) "LGBT characters should be characters first, gay second" - I've had this spouted at me constantly, as I write LGBT fiction. Usually by straight people, sometimes by misled LGBT people. The concept sounds fine on the surface, but usually it comes from someone objecting to an LGBT relationship in your work, which is what they define as "LGBT First" : The mention they're gay at all. It's usually followed up with "we don't need to know their sexuality! It shouldn't come up!" All it does is push young LGBT writers into feeling they have to suppress their need to be out and proud in their writing. Real people mention their sexuality, real people get into relationships. Hell, most of the heterosexual work ever written is motivated by romance. Avenging the dead lover is a popular cliche in every genre. But apparently when you're LGBT, you're not allowed romances. b) "Don't use tropes". Usually from people who don't understand what a trope is. A trope is a building block of a plot. Sometimes overused with no originality. But unless you're writing a blank page, good luck avoiding tropes.
  3. 4 points
    Hi everyone! We are very excited to announce that we've (hopefully) finished finalizing all of the important information about the Community Writing Challenge, which means that we can finally give everyone who's interested in joining the needed information! First, you can find a more detailed blurb here, where you'll find the important links about the challenge. If you want to help us advertise about the challenge - which we would certainly appreciate! - you can link to this Google doc to make things easier. The most exciting thing about this year's challenge is that we have TWO sponsors! @JayLee and her friend have agreed to sponsor the challenge for a second year in a row, and have some fun prizes they're offering! In addition, WorldAnvil is also sponsoring the challenge! They are offering a 10% discount code to all participants, in addition to two three month memberships! You can find more information about the sponsorships here. You can find the FAQs for the challenge in this Google doc. We've created a Club, which you can find here, for anyone who wants to join in on the challenge. This is where all important announcements, all check-ins, discussions, etc will happen, so please make sure you join it! In addition, we also have this post, where you are welcome to ask any questions about the challenge that the FAQs do not currently cover. I think that's about it. We're really looking forward to this year's challenge! If you'd like to help us advertise, please see this post in the club!
  4. 4 points
    I have to say I love the boundaries you can break with fantasy. There are very few limitations. I also love being able to create worlds that you can look at earth issues through an allegorical POV. You can explore those isues without coming off as too preachy, because you can move the issues from their original context. Hate? "Serious" fantasy has an obsession with the medieval period. It also has a serious problem with rehashing old tropes. But the one that annoys me the most in high I've read is the edginess some people try to insert into their fantasy, especially 'serious' published authors. Fantasy is often not very fantastic. Too much death and murder. I've put down multiple fantasy books when they decided to pull out the gratuitous brutality for no describable reason early in a story. Especially if it involves children or women getting killed or worse, as I've encountered at times.
  5. 4 points
    I love fantasy because of pretty much the same reasons as many others in this thread, that your own imagination is the limit when it comes to the magic and worlds you can create. That's like mental freedom. I enjoy reading other genres, but when it comes to writing I need some of that fantasy magic to really get excited about a project. It's also open to so many different cross-overs, from horror to cozies, so there is something for everyone. I don't hate much about fantasy, but the more strict "genre tropes" can be really annoying when I'm trying to find books to read. I love the potential of Urban Fantasy, but I dislike the list of main ingredients most UF-books have. However, the repetitive tropes make me more eager to write my own take on that particular genre, which is fun. I don't read a whole lot of epic fantasy, but I recognize what some posters here mentioned about the annoying gender/class/race issues which the author try to excuse through "historical accuracy". Like goblins and that sentient sword are historically accurate, lol! But those social issues (and everything else) are all the author's choices, so they have to personally stand for their views. I don't blame the fantasy-genre itself. Instead, I think fantasy has the unique opportunity to place stories anywhere in history, while showing modern or ideal sensibilities through worldbuilding. It can definitely be done really well as a natural, unquestioned part of the story-world. But like with the UF-books, I have to remember that some writers/readers love the tropes I dislike. All I can do is write my own stories.
  6. 4 points
    I love that fantasy can let me do ANYTHING in a world, have it be as crazy and out there as my imagination allows. I love being able to escape into worlds with magic, where the common person can rise up and change their destiny. I love the tropes, chosen ones and dragons and star crossed lovers. I love that fantasy allows us to examine our own world through a sideways lens and get a better look at ourselves. I dislike that fantasy can get stuck on tradition, specifically having the pseudo-medieval setting that is wildly inaccurate. We can do ANYTHING, why stick to castles and england-like settings? WHY do we also have to keep the gender roles of that time? Fantasy builds off the past, but so many people just can't seem to get away from Tolkien. Who I love, and I love a lot of pseudo-medieval stories. But variety people! Lets branch out! More women warriors! More strong female characters who don't need to be beaten in combat to fall in love! It is getting better for sure, but some of the gender stereotypes just WON'T DIE. It is an invented world, make it so that women can fight!
  7. 3 points
    Best advice: From Chuck Wendig's blog: Finish your sh*t. Also, writing is messy, imperfect, and doesn't always work. Learn what you can from it and keep going. His humorous and profanity laden posts have a lot of great practical advice. Worst (unsolicited) advice: You'll never be successful if you write XYZ. People won't like your work if you don't include good values in the narrative. My own advice to newbies: Write what makes you excited to sit down and pound out words. Whatever that is seek it out and don't stop until you've written your way through to the end. You are your first audience, so make sure you're entertained, enraptured, and satisfied.
  8. 3 points
    The best advice I've seen is that writing is less about what you do wrong and more about what you do right. It doesn't need to be perfect, but if you can do some things really, really well, then you can find success. If you have a great character with a great voice and interesting conflicts, you'll find a lot of readers who don't care about the generic setting. That's not to say that you shouldn't try to make all aspects of the story as good as they can be, but readers will forgive/gloss over the imperfections if the overall story is good enough. The worst advice I generally see is any advice that points to a book written in the past and says, if they did it, you can do it. I feel like the people giving that type of advice are often just trying to show how well-read they are, but more importantly I think they do a disservice to new writers. Writing has changed over the years. What readers are accustomed to and what publishers and agents are looking for has changed. Writing has evolved. I wouldn't recommend to someone that they include a prologue in their book that explains their world to the reader, no matter how much I liked Lord of the Rings. The standards of today are different than what they were in Tolkien's day. Writers need to understand what that their choices mean and how they will affect the reader, and this type of advice doesn't help in that regard.
  9. 3 points
    "Said is dead!" "Never use adverbs, ever! Any -ly word is the sign of a hack writer!" Same people saying these things, WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!? I think this is a symptom of people regurgitating writing advise without being experienced enough to hear what they are saying. I partially agree with the adverbs, too many of them does make a piece of writing seem weak, but you don't need to get rid of ALL of them, every time! Its become popular to dogpile on a writer at the first adverb, and that kind of thinking is just toxic.
  10. 3 points
    I have so many WIPs cause last July was start a WIP month for my head. I like adding elements of humour in my writing so they will all have something like that. I'd share some of my novel which definitely will have humour but it'll take me a while to find a good bit. I can however share a rough snippet of something I worked on a while ago... a lot of comedy likes to pop up in flirting when I write it... oops! A soft knock at the door drew my attention, and for a moment I thought about ignoring it. Chucking the book on the chair arm, I returned to the door, Vittoré smiled as I opened it. “What are you doing—” Vittoré glanced down at the grapes in my palm. “Planning to share, Otavio?” I met his eyes, lingering longer than I should have. “Not my food.” “Perhaps it’s not food I’m after. Can I come in?” I stepped aside and Vittoré pinched a grape as he entered. “Care for a little fun?” “D-Depends what you mean by fun,” I managed. “A little bomb making, maybe some metallurgy, or did you only want sex?” I regretted having food in my mouth at that exact time; out came a ridiculous splutter and half a chewed grape. Thankfully it hit the wall. “What?” “What was it you said? ‘And if I don’t?’ Well, Otavio.” Vittoré smiled and stepped close. “This is what happens.” “I meant the bombs…” I squeaked. “Oh.” He pursed his lips. And then a tiny bit later on; “It’s too risky. No bombs.” “Not even little ones?” “No, Vittoré. No bombs. Not even little ones.” “Huh.” He clacked his tongue against the roof of his mouth. “So just sex then?” I glanced down at the folder in his hand. “You’ve got the plans there haven’t you?” “Well of course. Do you really think I’d turn up to your room without an idea what I want to do to you?” “I’m still talking about the bombs.” Heat burned at my cheeks and Vittoré leant over to my ear. “I wasn’t.” “I know I—” He pulled away and growled, “Otavio. Stop confusing me. Do you want this or—” “You came in here talking about bombs! I’m more concerned that you are going to strap a bomb to me and—” “That can be arranged, I mean, if you are into that kind of thing.”
  11. 3 points
    From what I vaguely remember, I do remember watching some movies...but they were mostly documentary-types and boring as hell. I think I was in 6th grade history class and I remember learning about Neanderthals, and watching some kind of documentary...and falling asleep, haha. I remember watching The Patriot and The Last of the Mohecans in high school, but it might have only been specific scenes in order to make a specific point regarding the lesson. So, here's what I didn't mention about my hatred of history: in 2012, I was finishing up my first college degree and I had to take a history class. Initially I registered for some history class that I totally would have bombed (thank God for websites like ratemyprofessor.com, because I looked the professor up and he was basically a hard ass and if I remember right very few people passed the class because of it). I told my dad, who works at the school (not as a professor), and he was able to get me into a different class. It was technically an advanced history class, but because it was essentially 100% writing and my best subject is in English (and I had probably taken whatever the prerequisite classes were), I was able to take it. The way this class was structured was perfect for me (except for the fact that it was a night class and I live 20 minutes away so I'd be driving home at like 9:45 PM). You went in, he would talk for a few minutes, we'd hand in our homework (which was responding to the questions at the end of each chapter in the book...let me tell you, some of those questions were weird and ridiculous, though I can't remember specifics any more), and then he'd put in a movie that was related to the chapter that we'd had to read before the class. We watched Gandhi, we watched The Last Samurai, we watched...crap, I can't remember the name of it now. It was like a TV show or something, kind of like a mini series, and it was basically about slavery, but it was an actual movie and not a documentary or anything like that...OH! It was called Roots. We watched like the first and second half (for some reason I don't think we could watch the whole thing...probably because it's so long). You went home, you wrote a response to the movie, and that was it. No quizzes. No tests. No final exams. I did fall asleep in that class a few times, but that was mostly because it was a night class, I was usually coming to class after working a shift, and the lights were off so it was easy to fall asleep during the movies we watched if I was bored. 😛 But the professor never seemed to notice. The only thing we had to do at the end of the semester was a 7-10+ page research paper. I'd never really written a research paper before (I mean, I probably did for an English class, but it had been SEVERAL years since I last took an English class). What I was really worried about was the MLA formatting, because like I said it had been several years since I took an English class and MLA had changed a lot since then. Initially I wasn't very good about keeping my notes and sources organized but I eventually got the hang of it. I wrote about the Irish potato famine, and I had a LOT of help from my uncle who...I think is a former history professor. He had done a TON of research on the famine, so he had all sorts of sources and quotes that I was able to use for my paper. I ended up getting an A- on the paper and an A+ in the class (or something along those lines...pretty sure I got an A+ in the class). I can't remember what the professor wrote on the paper itself but he told my dad that he was really impressed with it, or something along those lines. It was really fun learning about the potato famine (but also depressing because of everything the Irish went through when immigrating to America) because I'd had no idea what the details of it were. I probably have ancestors who came over from Ireland during the famine, so it was cool to have that aspect of it (and I think I mentioned it in my paper). During the same semester, I also took an intro to cultural anthropology class (also not really a class I would have expected to get a decent grade in or have any remote interest in, but it ended up not being that bad) and I think I got a B+ in that class, which got me on the dean's list. tl;dr I really, really love the way this professor structured this class, because it was perfect for people like me who are taking it as part of a requirement for graduation and otherwise have 0 interest in it. I wish more professors would structure it that way instead of expecting everyone to take tests and listen as they lecture and somehow memorize the things they're saying and be able to pass tests.
  12. 3 points
    I found this great blog post on tumblr about filter words, so I thought I would share it here. Eliminating filter words is a great way to make your writing a lot stronger. Its one of those things that's hard to put your finger on as your reading, WHAT makes this published book sound so much better than my own WIP? Well, reading about filter words has really helped me figure that out, and is a fantastic tool for editing. Rather than just linking the post (which you can find here), I'm just going to copy paste the body of it, with credit to Publishing Crawl.
  13. 3 points
    This is really interesting and I've liked reading about all the different ways people incorporate fantasy creatures, traditional or not! I don't really use a lot of fantasy creatures in my writing. When I first started writing fantasy, I went with a lot of the traditional creatures, like fairies and dragons, just because I thought that was how fantasy was supposed to be, but I was never very interested in them for their own sake, so I soon dropped them. The few fantasy creatures I still have are ones I've made up, most particularly two non-human races in my fantasy trilogy (who are admittedly fairly closely based on Tolkien elves, though I've jettisoned the noble and majestic stuff. They are also not immortal). I have another story with people who aren't quite human anymore, but that's because they've been changed by magic, so I'm not sure if that counts. I've done a little bit with creating fantasy animals (as opposed to sapient species), but I need to do more of it.
  14. 3 points
    In terms of writing, I love the fact that you can make any place or vision real via the medium of the fantasy novel. In terms of reading, I love the fact that you can go to all these far flung places where fantastical stuff happens. There's not much I dislike about the genre other than the proliferation of derivative work, themes, ideas etc. But even those I quite like :)
  15. 3 points
    I see fantasy as a genre with far more potential than many of its own authors realize. I agree with everyone who said that fantasy is the genre that allows you to create your own worlds. I would say that the world-building ranks high on the things I most enjoy about any fantasy book I read. This sort of limitless potential is why the tendency of fantasy books to regurgitate one another with regards to setting, characters, and tropes is all the more frustrating. So much more can be done with it than what we usually get. It's actually rather ironic that the genre with the most room for creativity is the one most commonly perceived as cliched and hackneyed.
  16. 3 points
    I love that there are so many aspects of fantasy that you can take and twist into something new or different. That you can set it in the past, present, future, or alternate world and just kind of go wild with it. I love how fantasy can be used to transport people to a world that was created in someone else's head, that they are often so vast and rich that they inspire other people to explore it and then go create worlds of their own. I love all of the sub-genres branching off of the main roots. I love the way fantasy can speak to the core of a person even if the story is set on an alien world following a host of people (or not human people) who live vastly different lives. I dislike parts of fantasy that get stuck in certain ruts, which has already been mentioned. I also dislike the lack of diversity on all fronts, and the Battle of Good and EvilTM that fantasy is known for. That trope has always rubbed me wrong for its oversimplification of the world and all its inhabitants. It also takes the challenge out of the conflict for me. When its Good vs Evil it eliminates a lot of potential development and growth. It eliminates the possibility that other perspectives, values, and cultures have worth and are worthy of consideration and exploration at the cost that it might change our own previously held views. I find that sometimes 'evil' is thrown around to be synonymous with 'those who are not us'. I get enough of that from fundamentalist family members; I hold the fantasy I produce and consume to higher standards.
  17. 3 points
    I love that the fantasy genre literally means you can write about anything and it doesn't matter if it actually makes sense (if you're also creating the setting/world), because you don't necessarily have to apply real world rules to that world. If you wanna have purple clouds and gravity doesn't exist and you can float in space without dying, then you're free to do so. It allows you to do whatever your imagination desires with your writing. Of course, you still need to be careful and make sure to balance the less realistic things out with things that are more realistic, but still...it's your world, it's your characters, it's your plot, so you make the rules, and I love that. I love not being limited to the real world. The real world is boring, and crazy (especially these days). I write and read fantasy to escape that. I don't think there's anything that I hate in the fantasy genre? Hate is a strong word. There's certain things that I don't like, like certain creatures and certain tropes (i.e. rape, and sometimes love triangles, though I suppose it depends on how much of a focus they are in the plot. I can deal with it if they're a sub-plot and the story doesn't revolve 100% around the triangle and whom the girl/guy is going to end up with). I can't stand vampires (except for ones played by David Boreanaz 😛 ).
  18. 2 points
    Good advice: This has taken me forever to internalise: Not everything you write will be The One True Novel!!!!! Related: practice is valid. Just because the writing you're doing isn't *for* anything doesn't make it pointless. Corollary: practice can also sometimes feel boring, or hard. Practice is how you improve at stuff. (Sucking at something is the first step to being sorta-good at something!) Writing will be hard sometimes, even if you really really love it. Fall in love with the process and the hard parts. Enjoy solving problems. (I agree with Pratchett who said that some people like the idea of having finished more than the actual writing.) Bad/useless advice: Usually anything taken out of context or applied to EVERYONE for ALL TIME. Style in writing changes. "Write what you know."
  19. 2 points
    Well, I was trying to work on my GRIM and SERIOUS spaceship thriller WIP and then I tripped and fell into this fantasy-parody. I've been rewriting this one fantasy story with this bumbling monk protagonist for three years now, in different iterations... a mystery, an adventure, a different location.... nothing quite seemed to fit. But now that I'm taking the parody route the ideas are flying at me like I'm in a Hitchcock film. Old characters from previous iterations are getting reworked, I can see where the antagonist's backstory fits, and the main character finally makes sense. One beautiful game of Jenga. It's a universe where the main characters are going up against the story itself and the notion of the Chosen One. In a world where things are decided by fairy godmothers (for the good of the narrative), we'll see how that works out.
  20. 2 points
    History has always been one of my favorite subjects. When I was in fifth grade I was seriously bummed out when we got to a short snippet about the mystery of what happened on Roanoke. It was so intriguing but it was only two paragraphs and then we moved on. Once I was homeschooled I was actually in charge of my schoolwork. Needless to say, I found a lot of pieces of history interesting so I skipped around learning about whatever caught my eye. History about the American West was pretty much always present. I grew up and now live back in Texas and that part of our history is everywhere you look. There's a local place that hosts a Rendezvous and rodeo every year. The Rendezvous is always awesome, basically historical cosplay where people who Know Stuff about history dress up, camp out, and hold mini lessons on frontier life, like blacksmithing, lighting a fire from flint and steel, etc,. That inspired a lot for my Witches of Texas series I'm writing. One period of history I desperately want to write in is the golden age of piracy. I fell in love with Anne Bonney and Mary Read and I've always wanted to tackle a female pirate story. I actually got to live in Beaufort, NC for a while a few years back. Blackbeard's ship rests off shore nearby and it has a rich pirate history which is celebrated every year with a series of pirate festivals similar to our Rendezvous in Beaufort and all over the islands of the Outer Banks. It was so cool to walk the same streets and beaches where pirates once tread. I really hope to move back one day, as much as I love Texas the coast and the sea (and all its history) is addicting.
  21. 2 points
    That's awesome, that means I can simply submit my January challenge piece that I didn't finish for the February challenge 😛
  22. 2 points
    With the Wordsmyth Million Writing Challenge coming up we thought we should get a second opinion from you, the participants, on which method of tracking word count month to month works best. We have two options, resetting each month, or continuous word counts. Please make sure to thoroughly read the following before voting! Also feel free to reply to the post with your thoughts/any questions you may have! 1) Resetting Monthly Counts - You would still have a total challenge goal, like pledging 90k words, but we would focus more on words written per month, with your monthly total rolling back to zero while still tracking your continuous words in the background. A 90k goal puts your monthly amount to hit par at 15k words. If I wrote 16,427 words in March, at the beginning of April my total would be 0 (16,427). The logic behind this is to avoid feeling discouraged if you get behind, to better allow you to adjust your monthly goals to hit the overall target, and to make people jumping in halfway through feel more welcome. For example, if I have a bad March, and only write 10k, my April total could adjust to 20k, or I could split the deficit equally over all the months. 2) Continuous Word Counts - What it says on the box. Your word count reflects your progress on your total pledge regardless of the month. So if I wrote 16,427 in March, and 21, 995 in April, on May 1st my total is 38,442 words. This allows easier tracking of my pledge, so I know how much I've written more easily. There are pros and cons to both so please let us know which you prefer! Please make sure to vote in the poll! I'm also tagging everyone who responded to the previous post about the challenge, but we invite and encourage everyone who didn't respond and is interested in the challenge to vote and let us know what their thoughts are! We'll give a few days or so to give everyone a chance to give their feedback before making any final decisions about this! @Manu @Penguinball @Autumn @TricksterShi @kkmorgan @Titania @Emskie-Wings @Pinchofmagic @Elena @Dreamcatcher @Anthony Lockwood @JayLee @tllbrinkley @electric
  23. 2 points
    I believe I've said it before, but I tend to draw inspiration for creatures from Earth's prehistoric past. I've always loved dinosaurs more than dragons, and some of the other animals that once roamed our planet can be wondrous to behold too. If I do use creatures from folklore or mythology, I like to make them something that could plausibly be the product of natural evolution rather than pure magic. Like, a dragon might be a monitor lizard that evolved the ability to fly and spit scalding venom, whereas a sea serpent would be a large snake adapted to live in the sea and prey on whales. Alternatively, more chimerical creatures like a centaur or pegasus might be the product of artificial hybridization (sorcery?) rather like how the Indominus rex in Jurassic World came to be. Either way, there's a certain influence of science and sci-fi in how I approach these fantasy creatures.
  24. 2 points
    So, I realized that I haven't updated my intro post, and rather than trying to edit it, I decided I may as well make a new one. 😛 Especially since the old one says I'm still 30 years old (if only). So, here we go! Basics Name/Penname: Ally/Jedi Knight Muse (well, that's not really a pen name, but it's my online handle I've been using for several years 😛 ) Age: -Sigh- I'm going to be 33 in roughly 23 days, according to my countdown app. State/country: Connecticut, United States. Education: High school, and two associates degrees. One in "general studies," and one in graphic design. Hobbies and Favorites What are your hobbies? Writing. Photography. I used to be into online role playing, but I realized that my "regular" writing was suffering, and I wasn't working on my novel attempts as much any more, so I decided to "retire" and focus on writing. I wanted a writing community that would help me get that focus back, so...that's how Worldsmyths was born! What is/are your favorite book(s) and authors? Juliet Marillier, Kristin Cashore, J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Rick Riordan. I love Cashore's Graceling realm trilogy. I love Marillier's Sevenwaters series. I did read 2/3rds of her Shadowfell trilogy but I never finished. What is/are your favorite movie(s) and TV show(s)? Game of Thrones, Supernatural, Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Golden Girls, Gilmore Girls, Criminal Minds, The Resident, Star Wars (original trilogy+Rogue One+Solo+new trilogy+prequel trilogy...mostly in that order), Labyrinth, The Princess Bride, various Disney movies, Ever After...a bunch of others. Writing How long have you been writing? XD Seriously, though, I think I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, so like...somewhere between 7 and 10 years old. I remember I wrote a "script" based on a game I used to play with a girl who lived down the street from me, and then it just kinda...spiraled from there. Especially once I got into Star Wars in 5th grade. So we're talking...25 years? Give or take? (Holy crap.) What was the first story you wrote that you remember? (Is it finished, and has anyone read it?) The first thing I ever remember writing was the "script" I mentioned up above, but the first story...hm. It's hard to say, because I barely remember any of them any more...which is actually really kind of sad. Tell us a little about your favorite character to write about. Hm. I love writing Merek. He's very fun, but that's probably because he's basically the male version of me, with magic. XD Super loyal, shy, kinda keeps to himself outside of close friends, smart. But it's been a long time since I've written anything for him. Arris is fun, too, but it's been a long time with him as well. For my current characters, Ivar is pretty fun. Honestly I'm not quite sure that I've nailed down any of the voices for the three main characters in the project they're in (Court of Shadows), though. Tell us a little about a fantasy world you've created. Fairies! Magic! Dragons! Medieval inspired lands! Um...yeah. 😛 I've been working on Kytherra since like...2011, but it's not very well developed by a long shot. I only just really recently (within the last year or so) started trying to work on world building, and right now I'm just focusing on the world building that's, like, relevant to my main project, Court of Shadows. So right now I know there's fairies, lots of magic, and dragons, and...such. Tell us a little about your current work in progress. How's it going? So, I got to 25k during NaNo 2018, and after NaNo ended I WAS going to focus on my other main project, Storms of Magic, that I've been working on for...almost three years now, but apparently my muse had other plans and I decided I wanted to work on Court of Shadows (aka my NaNo) instead. So now I'm working on...trying to re-figure the last half of the story, since part of the reason I stopped at 25k was because I started second guessing what I'd had outlined, and am going to work on continuing the first draft. I'm getting feedback from an alpha reader so that I can at least get a general idea of whether or not it's going in a good direction and such while I'm writing, and then...I'll probably end up putting it to the side once I finish writing it. My plan for Camp NaNo in April is to write a side novella-thing that would be like a prequel to Court of Shadows, so by March I plan on starting to outline for that...we'll see how far I've gotten with Court of Shadows by then, though I do really want to write the prequel thing. Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? If so, how has your experience been? Yep! I think I've participated since...2006? 2007? I don't even know, I lost track. Either way, it's been a long time. 25k was the most words I've ever written for it. Usually I end up giving up due to frustration/losing interest/getting stuck, but I was able to write a good chunk of it this time. Worldsmyths How did you find out about Worldsmyths? I created it. 😛 What made you decide to join? See above. What do you hope to gain from Worldsmyths? (Examples: Find a beta reader, get feedback, motivation, a sense of community, fine-tuning the craft, etc) See above. XD
  25. 2 points
    Character voice is important to me both when writing and reading. I'm very character oriented, so I want to hitch a ride with a character whose personality is both distinct and easy to access. That's why I end up writing in first person so much. I can get to the heart and soul of a character much quicker if they're telling me the story in their own words. I do use third person sometimes, but not as much, though I have no trouble reading it so long as the characters followed have easily definable personalities and voices. For me, character voice makes or breaks a story. A character can go out and conquer a country with nothing but a rusty spoon and an ill-tempered ferret or they could go to a coffee shop and snark with the barista they secretly crush on, I don't care which, as long as their voice is identifiable and engaging enough to keep me interested. The best distinctive voice that comes to mind is Miriam Black from the Miriam Black series by Chuck Wendig. She's not the kind of character you get to read too often. Abrasive, raw, self centered due to survival instincts, getting dirty because dirty gets stuff done, etc. She has the gift to see the details of someone's death when she touches them. She turns this horrible gift to her advantage by writing down what she sees and showing up when it happens to pick the money off the deceased. She's a great example of a character who isn't nice or morally right, but who is a full human being with a horrible history she's used to keep herself alive at any cost. It's hard for me to read those books, I have to be in the right frame of mind due to some of the subject matter, but if I closed my eyes and picked up a random page from a book to read, I would know her voice within the first few sentences. Scarlett O'Hara is another. I absolutely detested Gone With The Wind because of her, but her voice was another distinctive one that sticks with me. As far as tips or tricks, the only one I have is to get to know your character. Write tons of stuff from their perspective, even if it changes or never makes it into the official story. I've spent ten years with the current set of characters I'm now getting to publish and though their backstories, world, and relationships have changed completely they still have their own voices. One way I like to practice is to just write dialogue. Nothing else, no tags, actions, or descriptions. It's like sitting in a cafe with your back to everyone and just listening to who is talking. What kinds of words and inflections do they use? Are they shy or boisterous? Do they butt in or let someone else finish? Do they cuss or use clean replacement cuss words? Are they sarcastic? Serious? Do they get humor or take everything literally? What slang do they use, or do they keep their speech professional, or academic? Have fun with it. Experiment. The more I do it the more I learn about the character, and it makes slipping into their heads much easier.
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