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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/20/2018 in Posts

  1. 5 points
    Ooh, let's see... Writing goals (not necessarily all in this order): Edit/rewrite Storms of Magic Plot out and write sequel (depending on how things go with editing/rewrite, try to do this by March-June, just to have the full outline) Come up with outline for overall trilogy Do more world building Try to do some side stories involving Arris/Merek etc to get back into their heads again. Submit the first 1-3 chapters (after editing/rewriting them) to the library for feedback. Get more alpha reader feedback. Apparently I'm going to be printing out my NaNo novel (aka Court of Shadows: The Forgotten Throne) so that at the very least I can go through and edit and make notes, even if I don't plan on actually doing anything else with it right away. Standalone novel (possibly for Camp NaNo in April 2019) - The Raven Prince Start outlining in March Story of Ivar, prince of the Autumn fairy kingdom, and the events leading up to the attack on the kingdom and up to the point when Alana comes into the picture (most likely) Work on world building Maybe start exploring more with this character/what I've done for world building with him/his kingdom so far...i.e. the dragon guardians that the fairies are allies with. Story of prince who becomes a partial golum (possible short story) Rewrite/Continue Court of Shadows: The Forgotten Throne Goal: maybe by summertime Rewrite/continue Mageborn (old project) Try to submit something somewhere again at some point Write more stories focusing on fairies, because I'm really finding it to be fun, overall. Life goals: Find a full time job. I've been in retail way too long. I'm going to go crazy if I'm stuck in the same job in the same position for another year, and I deserve to know what it's like to actually work a full time job. I have two degrees, I should be able to use them towards something without having to go back to school for a third time to get my bachelor's degree. Start getting more serious about my photography. Take on more clients to do photo sessions with. Maybe find someone to mentor me about the business side of things. Lose weight.
  2. 3 points
    Happy New Year, Worldsmyths! I wish all of you a happy New Year, all the best for 2019, and I hope you will reach your goals and make your dreams come true! Speaking of which: What are your goals for 2019, writing-wise and in life?
  3. 3 points
    None of that should be a reason to shy away from posting - you don't owe anyone who answers in your thread that you finish the story, it's even completely fine to brainstorm with others and then decide that you prefer to write a different story! And... is there such a thing as "the typical fantasy writer"? I don't think so 😉 Don't make assumptions about what everyone wants to hear, you might be surprised 🙂 In fact, I think you did bring up a couple of interesting questions in the past and your posts are usually well-thought-out!
  4. 3 points
    I like the sound of that, witches in general are just fantastic and fun to play with, there are so many tropes for them, both with them being good and bad. Rereading old notebooks, I found a short story subverting the 'prince rescuing a princess from a dragon trope', where two princes go to rescue the same princess, who is actually quite happy where she is, and the princes end up teaming up to figure things out. In hindsight this story is REALLY influences by the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede, and it actually quite derivative, but to be fair, I did write it when I was like 16 so... Its still a fun idea to play with. If I ever rewrote it I would probably make it a M/M romance but that's pretty low on the backburner as far as ideas go.
  5. 3 points
    My next goal for my writing journey is to get better at editing and polishing. I've proven to myself in 2018 that I can complete first drafts of projects, it is time to move beyond that. Overall goals: Write more than I did last year. I re-tallied everything and wrote ~134k words last year, so 150k words would be a nice round goal (that includes notes and outlines as well as prose) Publish something and get paid for it More specific goals Write a novel outside of NaNoWriMo Edit all the short stories in my to do list Edit The Star Mirror and polish it up for beta reading Make nice thorough outline for untitled Heist story Write more short stories and polish them for submission Try writing fanfiction again
  6. 3 points
    Writing goals: January Write, edit, submit a story about invisible illnesses Submit application to the Room 204 Writer Development Programme February Edit Ramblings... to submit General Finish writing half finished stories Edit pieces which aren't ready to submit Continue to submit to places Finish writing the first draft of my novel once I have gone back and mapped out the list of events so I can add back in some scenes (as I can't continue right now) Edit said novel Write more short stories Try to write more to my short story anthology on the Zodiac Be more active on Twitter Life goals: Basically do better Try and deal with the mess which is our front room and bedroom Try to not let some opinions get to me <- that one is a big one
  7. 3 points
    2019 is going to be the year I focus more on the business of my writing and get it going to start making income. Writing goals: Finish 'Heart of the Darkness' draft, put through edits and rewrites, then self publish. Start next book in the series Outline stand alone projects (Mermaid Radio, Hellside Diner, and Butterfly Bones) Blog on my author website consistently. Find a few social media platforms I can consistently use to connect with an audience. Nail down a consistent schedule for everything above. Life goals: Walk my dogs on the weekends when it's nice. Start building a savings. Read more. Work on some art decorations for the walls.
  8. 3 points
    This is great! Thank you so much for sharing this incredible index. I love tvtropes, they have good resources for genre writers, and I really like their "So you want to write a..."-articles. "So you want to write a... magnificent bastard?" Why, yes. Yes, I do. :)
  9. 3 points
    Wishing all denizens of this site a productive and hopefully prosperous New Year. My writing-related goals are: Finish my in-depth revision of "The Unborn Child" Fine-tune, proof-read and format "The Window Man" and get it published (self-publishing) Finish "The Halloriyaan" Finish "Probyt's Progress" If I achieve those, get started on my two planned novels. My other goals are: Get out more socially Attend more events in my local community Continue with helping to organise local events Increase my level of physical fitness
  10. 3 points
    I decided that I want to take writing more seriously, and I have several goals how to make that happen: Make my author homepage (high priority), and maybe social media accounts (low priority) Since I submitted my very first short story in 2018, my goal for 2019 is submitting more short stories than in 2018 - I'll still have to make up my mind if I will be fine with two or if I want to set a higher goal. I was planning to finish a novel in 2018, which RL interfered with. I will try to finish the same novel in 2019. I joined a feedback group, and my goal is to actively take part, and see if I can learn something there. Other goals in life: Learn a lot of new stuff in my new editing job (which still isn't 100% sure I'll get, but I hope so!) Take more time for my garden (the same RL stuff that kept me from reaching my 2018 writing goals also kept me from taking care of my garden, so lately it has rather been a jungle). Do a lot of sightseeing and crazy stuff with my new partner. Exercise regularly again and hopefully get rid of my back and neck pain. Enjoy life.
  11. 3 points
    Do you have any examples in mind from other magic systems that don't really use the word "spell"? For instance, in Marie Lu's The Young Elites books, the main character's power manifests as strings she can see connecting everything, and she pulls on/manipulates the strings as necessary. It's never described as casting a spell, so much so that it's weird to think of it that way, but when it boils down to it that's basically what she's doing. In Mistborn they ingest metals and burn the power in them, then use the power to Push or Pull on whatever attribute is allowed by that metal. This might be Pushing or Pulling on emotions (dampening or inciting them), or on their physical senses/abilities, or on metal (sort of like really powerful, specific magnetism). In the Stormlight Archive there are various magic systems, but the main one that comes to mind is Lashing, which is sort of like gravity manipulation. The character draws in Stormlight as fuel, then Lashes themselves or an object to another object, changing the way gravity works for that object. By Lashing themselves to the ceiling, for instance, they can fall to the ceiling and then walk there. In Shadowhunters, they draw runes on themselves, and each rune imbues them with a different ability. Stamina, or healing, or enhanced sight, etc. It's also possible to draw runes on other things and use the power that way. So as others have said, if you're using 'manipulate' and 'manifest' to describe what they're doing for yourself, perhaps it's as simple as that. If they don't think of what they're doing as casting spells, then kind of cut that step out entirely. Do they see it as interacting with nature directly? Would something as simple as "(S)he drew the shadows in around her/himself," work? Or if you want it to be more explicit, something along the lines of "(S)he reached out with the power welling at her/his core, finding the slippery energy of the shadows and coaxing them in to surround him/her." ? My personal preference is for streamlining the magic use as much as possible, so that might be coloring my suggestions. I really enjoy magic systems that steer away from "casting" and "spells" in favor of something more unique and/or something that is a natural extension of what we do.
  12. 2 points
    I love Karen Memory! I found that book through an anthology of weird westerns call Dead Man's Hand by John Joseph Adams. There's a sequel to Karen Memory called Stone Mad, but I haven't read that one yet. Steampunk Fairy Tales by David Lind is another anthology I liked. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. I haven't read the whole book yet but the setting and the way she twisted the history around the civil war (and added gas-poisoned zombies and airships) was really cool. Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories by Kelly Link, this book got me started on the genre, lots of good stories in it. Most of Gail Carriger's works seem to be steampunk and Victorian science. I've read one of her Parasol Protectorate series books and loved it. It's a romance, which is outside my normal comfort zone, but there's a ton of good humor and fun characters (including werewolves and vampires) in the middle of the posh and mannered Victorian era. These are a few I can think of off the top of my head. If you have access to Netflix (and it may even be on Youtube) there's a steampunk documentary called Vintage Tomorrows that is an excellent source of finding not only novelists who write steampunk but people who are involved in making steampunk things and examining the subculture and history around them. Truly fascinating stuff.
  13. 2 points
    The last book I've read was Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, which I would best describe as historical fiction with some ethnographic qualities. Pretty good for the most part, even if the MC was a bit hard to like (he has a nasty habit of beating his wives and children as punishment, since he's intent on appearing stronger and more manly than his "impotent" father). I believe reading outside the fantasy genre can benefit a fantasy writer because it will expose them to fresh new influences not common within the genre. In case people haven't noticed already, fantasy gets lambasted all the time for its cliches and overdone tropes. I would attribute much of that to the genre's self-cannibalizing tendencies since its writers don't read much outside of fantasy. If more fantasy writers examined stories outside their genre comfort zone, we'd have more variety in the influences and tropes within fantasy. In fact, I probably read outside of fantasy at least as often as I do within it. Don't get me wrong, many of my favorite novels and short stories are fantasy works or have fantasy influences, but I find that the subjects and tropes I'm most fond of aren't commonplace in conventional fantasy. More often, they're in adventure, sci-fi, or historical fiction.
  14. 2 points
    Feel free to start a new topic about the same subject! If you are interested in continuing the conversation I'm sure others are too. A lot of interesting things may have been said already, but a lot of those users aren't really active anymore, and I think its valuable for the newer/more active members to be able to talk about the topic and add their own opinions. On the old site we could raise posts from the dead but if the new software doesn't allow that then I don't see any problems with starting a bunch of new topics.
  15. 2 points
    That sounds really interesting, I love it! I also really like characters who feel they caused deaths. Guilt; it's the most delicious thing ever in a story. Like butter. Good luck with your story! So, to the question: My main characters usually don't kill, and I always feel super-awkward if they have to. I do have a close secondary character killer, an army assassin who murdered two fellow soldiers to save my two MCs from being hanged for slandering the new prince. He has a hard time quitting his old ways, and his suggestions to serious problems are usually a swift knife to the throat. But he's a swell guy though. Loves animals and just wanna settle down in a cosy cottage in a nice village. He got what he wanted in the end. I'm nice like that.
  16. 2 points
    Why not just write "He drew the shadows to him." Just cut the rest. You don't need it.
  17. 2 points
    @Burnstein Check out a book called Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. It sounds right up your alley 🙂 and it's one of my favourite books! Now, where do I even start with this?! Seriously?! My MCs often kill people for all sorts of reasons, food, survival, by accident, because they are the goddess of Death 😛 It's a huge theme which hangs around me, I can kill any character off, I'm not afraid to, I'm as murderous as my own characters 😮 In my novel Sarett must kill demons or be killed herself essentially, the demons kill humans for food. It's rarely a human vs human thing with me, although one short story MC sort of killed another by leaving their consciousness in a void. She had killed other men before that though, all for her own gain as she was building an army. Only one character kills more senseless and that's my antag of my novel, he's a grade A twat. He does have reasons though, I dont have any characters who kill for no reason. And of course all my characters feel different ways about taking another life, the demons see it more as normal and gathering food - so more way of lifey. One MC accidentally caused a death (which isnt so true, it was more her fault than his) and it's stuck with him forever, so much that he is very careful and gets panicky at people close to him dying. He keeps all of this under this cool layer of jokey fun to hide it from everyone.
  18. 2 points
    I love my secondary character Kali, he's one of my favourites, such a cinnamon roll. He totally wears his heart on his sleeve just like me, and yet is tough and strong, and has this heart of gold. He's fiercely loyal to his sister who he has had to protect cause of her declining health, against their sister (they are triplets) who thinks the other sister should be basically left where other "weak" demons go. But Kali will fight to his dying breath to stop that, even if that means doing ridiculously dangerous things to keep her safe. He definitely doesn't pay attention to himself enough, cause he's too busy caring for others. And when romantic attention comes his way, he's a bit naive 😛 He goes with the flow and takes it all in his stride, as if he knew what was going on all along. He's also such a mummy's boy, so he has a biiiiig sad cause he lost her a long time ago.
  19. 2 points
    One of my characters from the story I'm outlining is being blackmailed, she accidentally killed someone important in the past, and this group is holding it over her head to force her to betray her new team, as she would be put to death if the murder was discovered. But the group pushes too hard and she has to decide between preserving her own life and preserving the lives of the team that is becoming like family.
  20. 2 points
    Ooofff, what would hurt most there is the knowledge that if you support your own father, you could end up with the death of your friend's. Just thinking about having to make a choice that big hurts my soul a little! I can't even imagine getting into that sort of situation. My book is still very young, so so far the hard choice is for Alma to decide to rely on Aevum. She doesn't trust his morals (his moral compass allows him to do "bad" things in the name of "good"), but he may have the only kind of magic which can help her.
  21. 2 points
    Money, chocolate, and a small toy dragon. And the blessing of some family members as I came out as transgender to them. And their appreciation of a musical performance for them, finally, instead of just dealing with me and my usually-abrasive music. Falling into more complete love for narrative at the forefront of art brought me to the folk harp the past few months, and that helped considerably for me to get to that point with them. I have already used some of the money I received to buy a very pretty dress I have had my eye on for months and a few other smaller things, mostly to complement it. So I guess mostly I received self-reassurance. And also a lovely toy dragon. That is also important.
  22. 2 points
    In Traitor: Xire: yes. She was enslaved as a gladiator and taught herself to shut down her emotions to deal with it. She's very practical and survival oriented, so she would not hesitate to kill again if it seemed necessary. Tirin: yes. He got into a fight with his father and it escalated to violence. It seriously screwed his life over and messed up his self-perceptions. He regrets it and sees himself as irredeemable. He doesn't want to kill anyone else, but since he already has blood on his hands sees it as selfish to avoid necessary violence. Isar: not consciously. there's some weird possession stuff going on with this one 🙂 Shae: no, but she would. She tried to kill her best friend because she testified against Shae's brother. She failed, but would try again given the opportunity. Well, actually, she did make a giant sinkhole and probably killed a few soldiers that way, so I guess the answer might be yes. No regrets on her part. In Ashes Fall Down: Blaze: yes. He's a soldier, so he's killed people in battle. Evahn: no, and she probably couldn't. Given that she already blames herself for several hundred deaths, most specifically the death of her bodyguard. Actually killing someone else would wreck her.
  23. 2 points
    I've been into dinosaurs since I was age 4. My parents attribute it to Barney at the very beginning, although Jurassic Park certainly helped contribute to it (I saw the latter when I was between four or five years old). I spent six years of my childhood as an expat in Singapore, and I remember the tropical flora and the muggy equatorial climate very vividly. If you're wondering why so many of my stories have tropical settings, that's a big reason why. Also, the multicultural population of Singapore (as well as Hong Kong, where I spent my high school years) made me used to ethnic diversity. We studied ancient Egypt when I was in second grade, which is what sparked my interest in ancient history. Playing games like Age of Empires and Pharaoh a lot as a kid further kindled that interest. Hence why influences from ancient Egypt and other historical civilizations are also commonplace in my stories. Studying biological anthropology at uni has come in handy for world-building, especially when designing human ethnic groups and their cultures. During my grade school years, I had a few unpleasant confrontations with teachers and fellow students who wanted to impress their fundamentalist interpretation of Christianity onto me. I was already an atheist before then, but those experiences didn't exactly endear me to the Abrahamic religions. I'm not exactly a militant anti-religious type, but I'm generally not fond of worlds (e.g. C.S. Lewis's Narnia) that show a strong Judeo-Christian influence. I've left this for last since it deals with sensitive subject matter. But I'll never forget the day I first stumbled onto neo-Nazi and white supremacist websites while browsing the Internet in my early adolescence. It was a shocking experience to discover whole communities of people who not only embraced racist worldviews, but who went out of their way to justify their prejudices using pseudoscience and historical revisionism. Not only did that shape my personal politics, but it also led to my increased interest in African history and anthropology, since so many of these scumbags would insist that Africans were naturally incapable of civilization or cultural sophistication. As I said before, I was already into history even before this event happened, but it was probably what made me more focused on Africa.
  24. 2 points
    Some words I've heard in various fantasies are: invoke, channel, spin, weave, and will as far as the 'action' used to create the effect. So, you're right, spell is a little harder to find a substitute word for. Manifestation or just power can work. Using 'effect' would be a rather neutral word to use that doesn't lean towards science or magic. If they believe it's from the gods, they might even consider them a Blessing or Gift. ie. She invoked a Blessing. He channeled a curse. The effect of darkness was woven over the hiding place. Etc.
  25. 2 points
    I roll my eyes at just about every argument against having more characters who aren't white straight men. These are different worlds with different rules. You can't just import the rules of our world when arguing about what's realistic. Like the argument you mentioned about Eragon. It needs to be about the world that was presented to us. Is it necessarily one that would discriminate based on race? It's possible that there's a history that would lead to them having different attitudes about that. The arguments tend to be based on a very cynical view of humanity that I don't share, one that expects people to hate more often than not. I do agree that we have a natural tendency to categorize people on whether they're in our group or not, but there's no reason to assume that would manifest the same way in every society. I also don't really get the whole "forced" thing. Isn't everything we decide to put in technically forced there by us? That attitude also assumes that having characters that aren't in majority groups doesn't happen naturally, that you have to consciously decide to put them in, more so than with other characters. But that's not how it works for me. Most characters I create start as some kind of queer brown woman. For whatever reason, that's become my default and I have to decide if I'm going to change from that. If anything, it's anyone other than that that I would be "forcing" into the story.