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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/18/2019 in Posts

  1. 5 points
    Mynoris: Project - Necromancer (working title, not intended for final use) Goals - Write another 50k, or finish, by the end of the year. (I have no clue how long it will be, or how much content, so saying to finish by the end of the year would be foolhardy of me.) Summary - Addric goes with an adventuring party into a forgotten castle. When things don't turn out, he's abandoned to his fate. This fate is listening to a female necromancer tell her story, which starts out in her childhood, goes through her experiences training to be a concubine, and her life as a concubine, where things go sour and put her on the path to becoming an infamous necromancer, known as the 'Terror of Avendrow'. (It's a frame story.)
  2. 4 points
    I've posted this before, but I am almost done my outline and I find this really inspirational. This chart is a reminder that it doesn't take that many words per day to get a novel going. A few hundred words a day and you'll have a novel draft in a matter of months. It can seem like a like long when you are staring at a screen, but its completely doable!
  3. 4 points
    Project - The Perilous Hunt Goals - Finish the first rough draft of the book by January 4 2020. Summary - Inspired by the tv show "Supernatural". A father's wife and the mother of the their two daughters is killed by a werewolf. So the father and two daughters hunt the werewolf across the country.
  4. 4 points
    Project: Tales from the Witch House (a future web serial novel) Goals: Finish and revise the first three arcs so I have a proper backlog and start publishing it online before November. Summary: In the middle of a city that never truly sleeps yet always seems to slumber, there is a big old house. The House isn't safe to live in; all but one of its original residents have left. Others, however, have trickled in. Witches and demons and werecats and other refugees of the occult underground, ones who are hunted or running or lost. Here they gather as squatters, reasonably safe under the protection of an old woman who's known simply as The Witch. Some of them view this place as a temporary pit stop, somewhere to take a breather and accumulate their strength. Some are trying to build a new home for themselves within these grey, moldy walls. None of them have chosen to come to the house. Instead, the house and its mysterious benefactor chose them. To what end? That remains to be seen. If it's even important, that is. I mean, who cares about the deep metaphysical questions when Tim's fur has clogged the drain in the only working bathroom again, in the kitchen the fumes from Delilah's cleansing candles substitute for air, and Leo forgot to get the groceries for the fifth time this week?
  5. 4 points
    Project - untitled POS is what I affectionally call it Goal #1: write up all the scenes of the 50k I wrote for nano so I can work out how to fix the mess Summary - oooof. Um. Humans, demons, faeries, people trying to attain their wants while I laugh and deny them. Sarett wishes for love, Luna wishes for family, Dmitri wishes for his children's protection, Sevastyan wishes to continue being the strongest. And somewhere a faerie is stirring, her eyes settling on just the right person to give her a chimera child... Bonus points; Kali and Dmitri are in my sig banner
  6. 3 points
    Being Weird on Purpose - Writing Speculative Fiction, as presented by Candas Jane Dorsey. This was my favourite panel of the conference. She talked about speculative fiction - What it is, and some tips on how to do it well. Her talk was quite dense and I know I missed writing down a lot, but here are the key points. All fiction is speculative. Even if it takes place in this reality, it is never 100% accurate. Towns are made up, dialogue is constructed. Inner thoughts and feelings or real people are speculated on. Humans love allegories. We generalize from experience until we see meaning in patterns. Speculative fiction offers patterns. Allegories can bypass human defenses and biases Realistic fiction is actually quite new, and was not the default historically. The term 'speculative fiction' first was used to be more inclusive of other languages and cultures that use a variety of terms to describe the same sort of thing There are many lists of things not to do, but all the 'don't do this' rules can be broken by a clever writer - you can break the rule if you do it WELL Spec fic vs literary - In speculative fiction the journeys the characters understand (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc) are often longer, and they tend to have outcomes. A literary story may cut short or not be fully resolved. A quote from someone I missed - "Fantasy is a self-coherent narrative', meaning that it doesn't subvert the elements of a story, it moves in a predictable way (of course there are examples of more experimental stories, but generally speaking). 'Delaney's Levels of Subjunctivity' Subjunctivity - The relationship between something proposed or portrayed (especially in science fiction) and reality; degree of realism or probability. She talks about Delaney's three levels of Subjunctivity as a way of figuring out if something is speculative fiction or not. 1. Reportage level - This writing described things that did happen, factual events. This covers things like memoirs, newspapers, news reports (barring fake news of course) 2. Realistic Fiction - Things that 'could have happened'. The didn't, but they don't violate the rules of our reality. So this is things like from modern mainstream literary fiction to romance, high literature, pulp fiction, coming of age stories adventures. They may have made up towns or people, but the rules of the world and the setting are largely the same as our own. 3. 'Could NOT have happened' level - Elves do not exist, dragons do not fly. No matter how realistic the setting (urban fantasy for example), it is impossible for this story to have happened. As soon as a fantastic element is included, it infects the story with this level of subjunctivity. Think LOTR, Harry Potter, ghost stories, paranormal romance, magical realism, surrealism, horror, fantasy, etc. Sci fi fits into a strange place with several levels of subjunctivity. It sits at 'could not have happened' based on reality right now, but extrapolating trends could push it into 'has not happened', or even 'has not happened YET'. Spec fic, and especially fantasy, has internal rules. You have to change the rules of your world so the cool thing you want to happen falls into the 'could have happened' level. If it falls into the 'could not have happened' then your world is either poorly explained, or you have a plot hole. Our worldbuilding when we first start out, often is like fanfiction of our own world, its incomplete, not fully realized. You get the DnD style of characterization, Bob has 12 strength points. But WHY is Bob strong, what made him that way? Your worldbuilding too will have consequences, your characters shouldn't trip over cool ideas and mess up the plot. She talks a lot about the work of Samuel Delaney, who has several books and essays that Dorsey uses to teach this subject. With spec fic you can say things that are metaphorical in the real world, but are interpreted literally in fiction. Consider "She gave her heart up willingly" The background is equally as important as the foreground with spec fic - ie, the worldbuilding that is needed to explain how this world works. "The door dilated" is the sentence she gave as an example. That one word, dilated, tells us so much about the setting. Doors are different here, perhaps designed to accommodate a different shaped being. Humans don't need round doors after all. What can we infer about the world from that one word? "The red sun was high" - This tells us that maybe there is dust in the air, or a sunset. But that's not the whole sentence. Heinlein wrote, "The rest sun was high, the blue low." - This tells us a lot more, there's two suns, so its not earth. This world might have different gravity, plants, ways of life. Even the shadows would be different. So much worldbuilding with just a couple words. It is unnecessary then to explain that 'Bob lives in a binary star system' Your own language is such an important tool in spec fic, you can use it in a very short way to create a whole world. Another example "The city floated over the plain this week." - The addition of 'this week' tells us that not only does the city float, but it is mobile and doesn't stay in one place. Spec fic readers love the detective work of piecing together the details. This is another reason why info dumps are bad. It removes the mystery and feels so clunky. Exercises: 1. In your WIP, find a lump of exposition/info dumping, and see if you can find one adjective, one verb, and one noun (at least one of each) to tell this information in a descriptive sentence instead. Are there are ways to use the senses to make it all snap into place? 2. For the people of the world of fairy, or Mordor, the things we see in the books are normal. They don't require extra information and backstory. For them, magic (as an example) is normal. From your WIP, find a secondary or background character and write a short scene in which they go about their day. All the extraordinary things of your setting are normal for them. Show them being comfortable in your world. 3. Interview your characters, ask them 'Where is the voice coming from" - Why do they say what they say, do what they do, what shaped them? They shouldn't be there to dress the set, no Red Shirts or Spear Carriers. 4. Interview your 'really cool idea' too (your worldbuilding premise, the 'what if' question you are asking). To make this idea work, what needs to be different from our world to this one? Pin down what research you need to do. What are the long term effects of the idea? What plot elements have to happen to cause the idea, and what are the consequences of those plot elements. 5. Put two characters in a fairly commonplace setting, and put them through the 3 levels of subjunctivity in short scenes, or even a few sentences. What happens, what needs to change? How do the characters change in response to changes in the setting? Example - "A kid is sitting under a tree reading a book." Example - Meeting to talk about writing here and now in this room is very different compared to meeting to talk in Cambodia in 1076 when the Khmer Rouge were executing all artists and thinkers. Changing the setting changes the danger the characters are in, the tension, the choices they've made to even BE in that place.
  7. 3 points
    First I think we want a distinction of what we are looking for, by summary you mean the 'back of the book blurb'? As opposed to a more detailed synopsis. The advice I've read says a good blurb should be focused on your main character - Who are they, what do they want, what obstacles are stopping them from getting it. If you've got two MCs they could get a paragraph each, but I wouldn't do more than two, there's only so much space. I've also read that as far as plot, you generally want to talk about the first 3rd of the book, the initial problem that is set up (because we know story problems tend to grow or get worse as the story progresses). That way you still have your hook, but you aren't giving away the ending. But if you are writing a synopsis, like for querying an agent, you'd want to include the ending and more of how the character arc develops, because you are selling them the whole story, not trying to entice them to read with the first 3rd. The synopsis might also be a lot longer, some people use synopsis to mean a 1-3 paragraph description of your story, others are looking for several PAGES.
  8. 3 points
    This is good advice. But not necessarily the way it was intended. Usually it's seen as write the things you know from reality. Don't use things you have no experience with. Now, that is terribly unhelpful to fantasy and sci-fi writers who, by definition, have to write about things that we have no experience with since they don't exist, or don't exist yet. But we can still use this as a useful catch-phrase for writing, at least in a first draft. So here it goes: Write What You Know. You have a story idea in your head. Write that down because you know you have the idea. Don't worry about things that you don't know yet. If you haven't decided what technology your world has, or how big the country is that your story takes place in, don't sweat it. Write what you do know. Keep that pen, or those fingers, writing the things that you already have in your head. Write them until you don't have any of those things left. Then you can worry about sorting out the other stuff. I know this approach isn't for everyone, and that's fine. But, for me, I often get caught up in trying to make things make sense immediately, or trying to write things in order. But when there's something in my head further down the road in my story, I need to remember to write it down while I know it, or else I might forget it. Losing ideas can really set us back, so we should write what we know when we know it. Even if it has to be fixed later, or even tossed out entirely. Because if we don't write what we know, and fixate on what we don't know, we might actually be making more work for ourselves. Just a thought.
  9. 3 points
    I wouldn't say there's anything wrong with using "as", but it depends on the execution. If you are using it a lot, maybe you aren't varying your sentence structures enough. Or maybe you are combining 2 things via "as" that really can't happen at the same time. John smiled as he finished his beer. It's kinda hard to drink and smile at the same time. More likely, the character is doing one and then the other, and the wording should reflect that. Of larger concern is the use of prepositions in general. Again, this isn't something to avoid, but some writers overuse them. Consider this sentence: The keys are in the desk drawer. This sentence creates a relationship between the keys and their location (the drawer). Each prepositional phrase extends that relationship. The reader has to keep straight where everything is in relation to everything else. Let's look at another example: The keys are in Boston, in my mother's old house at 31 Main Street, up the stairs, on the left just past the bathroom, in the desk drawer behind a bunch of letters. This is an extreme example, but I think it illustrates why using too many prepositional phrases can be a problem. It's too much for the reader to keep track of. If you need more than 2 prepositions in a sentence, it's probably better to divide the sentence up. Sometimes prepositional phrases are unnecessary and can be cut. Example: Mike had told him that the keys were in the drawer. John searched every inch, even going so far as to dump everything onto the floor, but found no keys in the drawer. The last "in the drawer" can be cut. It has already been establish where John is looking. There's no need to repeat it. So yeah, there's nothing wrong with using "as" or any other preposition. As with most things, it's really a matter of how they are used.
  10. 3 points
    Project: The Pirate Witches of Deadwater (Middle Grade Fantasy Novel) Goal: Rough outline done by May (which is about now), first draft of 30k-40k hopefully done by the end of June, then editing until complete. I hope that's sometime before NaNo this fall. Summary: After a string of foster-homes 12-year old Beata discovers she has inherited a house together with a distant cousin in the pirate-witch village of Deadwater. The village is in decline because the witches are old and childless, and a developer try to seize the opportunity and turn Deadwater into a hot summer-vacation spot with hotels and casinos. Beata's house has a ghost (like houses do) and hopes it's her dead mother trying to communicate, but finds it's her cousin's mother; a witch trapped on a ghost ship in another dimension because the magic anchors to bring her back were stolen. Beata finds it's really difficult to rebel in a pirate-witch village, take orders from a bossy apparition and hardest of all: find a summer-job that doesn't involve collecting leeches. How hard could it be when the only other kid in the village managed to get a sweet gig as a bread-delivery man and won't stop bragging about it? She also has to help her cousin pass the magic entrance exam for the prestigious village council called The Crew, which will give them a lot of advantages and might be their only way to avoid having to sell their house. The end: By the use of very old knot-magic Beata manages to pull the ghost ship back into the real world, with both the lost witch and an incredible pirate treasure onboard. Beata earns the empty chair in The Crew and saves the house, while the treasure saves the village.
  11. 3 points
    Project: The New Trilogy, Book 1 The New Queen. Book 2 The New Priestess. Book 3 The New . . .not sure yet. Goals: Finish first draft of Book 1 and publish by the end of October. Start Book 2 for NaNoWriMo this year. Summary: I created an original world that blends folk lore from around the world, though what's presented in the book is predominantly anglo-saxon, celtic, and Germanic inspired with a little sprinkling from the middle east and eastern Europe. In this mythical other world the daughter of a witch is traded to a goblin by her mother for a rare magical ingredient that will help save the lives of her coven and many other innocents (thought has crossed my mind of writing this up as a separate novel that is sort of a prequel to the trilogy, like The Hobbit to LoTR). Shortly after acquiring the child the Goblin is killed by a slightly delirious Fae fleeing his exiled people who were forced into the eastern mountains and deep underground long ago. He adopts the human infant who grows up among the court until she's about twenty. At that point a seer informs the queen that a gathering darkness threatens every life in the realm ( I still haven't settled on a name for the Fae country -_-') and the human Berry is key to preserving the land, though how is unclear. It's important she travel South before it's too late and do so with the Prince (who has just turned 100 and is officially an adult though he's still pretty immature in a lot of ways) and her adoptive father. Unfortunately, Berry's father was just sent North as a spy and can't be conveniently reached because he's spying on allies and if he's caught spying it could push the two countries into another war since the new king in the North doesn't like the Fae as much as his predecessor. phew. That's about it without going into spoilers.
  12. 3 points
    I forgot I posted this, so maybe I should answer it myself. The coastal village of my WIP is called Deadwater, and I'd visit the broken ship of the first pirate-witches who settled there: Matilda and Grumpy Octavia. The part of the ship with the captain's quarters is now the meeting hall and has an observational deck. Then I'd walk on the beach to see what kind of stuff floated ashore since the currents are affected by magic and lots of fun stuff end up at the shore-line almost every day (finders keepers!). The Bone Witch House, constructed by old whale bones and fossils, is a must, and then I'll probably go with the Captain of the village on her daily "inspections" of the small brewery before heading out to the big evening barbecue on the beach.
  13. 3 points
    Subtlety can be considered an extension of "Show, Don't Tell". It is the art of saying something without saying it, implying rather than stating. One of my favorite books on writing, "The First Five Pages" by Noah Lukeman, has this to say about subtlety: "Although the focus of this book is what can be wrong in a manuscript, if we were to stop and ask what best signals the proficient writer, the answer would be subtlety. Subtlety is the mark of confidence and is thus by far the hardest thing for a writer to achieve. A writer who is confident need not prove anything, need not try to grab attention with spates of stylism or hyperbole or melodrama. A writer who is subtle is in no rush; he can pace himself, prolong tension, suspense and even dialogue for hundreds of pages. He can hint, foreshadow ever so slightly, set things up hundreds of pages in advance. He will often leave things unsaid, may even employ a bit of confusion, and often allow you to come to your own conclusions." "The unsubtle writer will condescend to the reader, hit him over the head with obvious information, tell him things he already knows and generally repeat things (sometimes to the word)." "...the unsubtle writer will often tell in addition to show" The varying degrees to which you imply things within your story is a measure of subtlety. You may want to be less subtle when steering the reader toward a red herring, while you might want to employ a larger degree of subtlety when foreshadowing something that will prove to be critically important later in the story. How do you employ subtlety within your story? What things do you imply that you want the reader to pick up on, either at the time or later in the story? How do you use subtlety to get the reader to go where you want them to go, to come to the conclusions you want them to have?
  14. 3 points
    Project - We Can Be Heroes Goals - finish rough draft by end of this year Summary - in Generic Fantasyland, a crew of misfits, NPCs and throwaway characters are hired by a mysterious employer. Their job: stop the Chosen One from fulfilling the Prophecy. (I'm also aiming to speed-draft an SF locked-room spaceship thriller by end of May/June.)
  15. 3 points
    Facing death is facing death and that happens frequently enough to many of my characters. What's worse? The loss of the soul, perhaps — though strictly speaking my stories do not allow for a 'soul' as many understand the word, ones physical essence might be trapped eternally in another world, which comes to much the same thing. My Donzalo character faces that threat at least once, and it is implied that is the final fate of the sorcerer who tried to inflict it on him (to be explored in the sequel, of course). And then there is poor Saj who faces a fate worse than death when he is threatened with marriage.
  16. 3 points
    Project - Lilith Goals - Finish the first draft by the end of 2019 Summary - Lilith is torn between two vampires who both have a claim to rule the vampire kingdom. Zane wants to stop killing humans and live and work together. Caleb wants to farm humans and believes they are a lower class than vampire-kind. Meanwhile the angels start a war between humans and vampires to claim control of the earth. Can Caleb and Zane settle their differences to stop the angels and humans from destroying them while also competing for Liliths heart
  17. 3 points
    Project: Heart of the Darkness (Witches of Texas #2) Goal: Finish the stupid thing by the end of July. Summary: The wagon train has reached the abandoned settlement of Sparrow Down and must hurry to not only make it livable but to plant, grow, and harvest a crop to help them survive their first winter. Taz and her sister are pulled in different directions: their witching services are required all over for healings, animal tending, charm settings and mendings, and there's no time to think much less explore the new connection and power they obtained from the lightning storm. As the season grows cold strangers become neighbors and Samhain, the last harvest, looms. But there is something else lurking in Sparrow Down. A presence, a secret, and it has found a powerful ally in Eckbert Hummel, a boy with no empathy, conscience, or hesitation about unraveling a life to see what lies under the skin.
  18. 3 points
    Project - Uh, untitled novel Goal - Finish the first draft by the end of the summer Summary - Chiara lives in a world where each person has a magical gift related to an aspect of their identity. Her gift is to speak to ghosts so she's found herself working in the morgue where her affinity for the dead is meant to be useful, but she's not sure she's making the most of that gift. Her first criminal case involves the murders of two shapeshifters who had made themselves look like the leading candidate in the mayoral election.
  19. 3 points
    Project - Darkness Within (Heavensfall Book 1) Goal - finish the first draft by the end of the year. Summary - Sorien's brother has been taken. He plans to get him back and destroy anyone that gets in his way. The demon God has declared war on the world and Sorien might be the only one that can stop him but going against a god means putting his brother in danger. So the choice is his brother, or the rest of the world...
  20. 3 points
    That's such a beautiful way to put it. ❣️And I really love your concept of wild witches—that's definitely a story I'd love to read some day. As for music, I personally try to choose instrumental tracks these days for actual writing/planning, because I'm too easily inspired by songs with lyrics, but not in the way I want to be inspired. :D I mean that often, when I'm listening to a song with lyrics, a few lines suddenly kind of stand out to me and give me a whole new plot bunny for a whole new story, which stands in the way of focusing on whatever I'm currently working on. Sometimes, I find ways to fit those plot bunnies into existing WIPs as side plots—it's proving to be surprisingly easy to do with my current main WIP, because of its format and 'urban fantasy kitchen sink' nature—but that doesn't always work out.
  21. 2 points
    June Writing Challenge Prompt: Masquerade or 'Pick a Sentence' prompts We have two prompts to choose from this month. The first is to include a scene featuring a ball, masquerade, or dance. This can be anything from a simple village party to a grand event hosted by an Empress. The second prompt is 'Pick a Sentence'. Below are three sentences, start a story with one! Change the sentence as needed to fit your style/POV, but keep to the general spirit of it. -The echoes of screaming birds resonated throughout the valley. -The moon shone down onto the mist-laden castle, endowing an ethereal illumination upon its face, as reverberations of a crowded in ghostly array about the battlements. -“The Elves! The Elves are attacking!” Deadline: Saturday, June 30th by 11:59 PM GMT-5 Word count: 5,000 words max Submissions: To submit to the challenge, please submit to the library, under the "flash plus" category. Please make sure to use the tag "monthly writing challenge" where it asks for a tag in the form. You're welcome to write and submit something brand new for the challenge or use something old/from your current WIP as long as it fits the challenge prompt. If you have any questions, please send @Jedi Knight Muse or @Penguinball a PM. Please reply to this post with the link to your library submission.
  22. 2 points
  23. 2 points
  24. 2 points
    You can do it! I'm a big fan of decluttering. This may benefit your writing in the long run- in the process of going through and transcribing you may find old ideas that you lost! 🙂
  25. 2 points
    Charic has low self esteem and likes to brag and tell exaggerated tales of his exploits so I think he might have some charisma based powers and/or minor psychic abilities to make people believe him, Persuasion check winning. Depends how I want to play it, at the beginning of his character arc he would probably be shorter/less impressive but at the end of his arc once he gets over a bunch of issues he would look closer to how he is physically. Mailyra would look different physically for sure, for most of her character she is feeling broken and beaten down and bitter and cynical. I can picture her developing some kind of exoskeleton, maybe with spikes Her powers in my world are to do with brewing potions, she can identify the properties of reagents and strengthen their effects. It's an important part of her that she lost in my story, so she would probably get that back
  26. 2 points
    I say know what you write, i.e. do research your subjects thoroughly. From the perspective of a writer having interest in different historical periods and countries, this functions best.
  27. 2 points
    I think I would skip ahead in my books and visit Granny Ness' witch camp in the Rockies. Of all the witches who disappeared/escaped after the War with Mexico Granny Ness was by far the most feared and still has a standing warrant out for her execution. She's one of those few witches who has delved so deep into magic that she's become attuned with its very core essence, and it with her. She keeps a hidden camp far up in the dragon infested Rockies, only reachable by traveling hidden roads and paths half in this world and half in the next. Her camp is a sprawling nomadic collection of witches and their families in a series of caves and floating houses on a lake where she rules it all uncontested. I would love to spend the day with her taking a walk through the camp and around the mountain just listening. She's older than any other character, possibly by a couple hundred years if some of the stories are true. I bet she has more than a little bit of wisdom and history to drop on willing ears.
  28. 2 points
    I'm still struggling with getting a better overview of my novel outline, so to avoid having to roll out a huge piece of paper on my floor and fill it in by hand (Ugh!) I did a bit of googling today for outlining Middle Grade novels. Turns out that J.K. Rowling has a way of outlining that looked good, which was super-easy to emulate with the Web-layout and tables in my word processor. The blog post connected to it wasn't giving me much, but the image of the transcribed outline for some of the chapters in The Order of the Phoenix was very helpful: https://writelikerowling.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/transcribed-rowling-outline.png It really worked well for me, because I could see gaps in my outline and it was easier to see what I could add to lean chapters. So today I learned about, and copied, the J.K. Rowling method. :)
  29. 2 points
    Oh, that's a cool name for a genre, more or less, since I don't know how it would sound in your language. 😄 I still don't know what genre I write. One day I hope someone can help me solve the mystery that is genre. Anyhow, I find that if I world build first, I never get to the story, so I write the story first, and I've never finished and revised enough to get to the world building portion. I have done world building for table top role-play and such though, so the experience isn't new to me. It's just very tertiary when it comes to my writing.
  30. 2 points
    I am still refining my process with each thing I write, and what I'm learning is that for me, writing is a LOT easier when I know the story pretty well as I'm drafting it. If I go in completely blind and pants it and let the story lead me, I end up with a huge messy draft that needs a lot of work (see: the things I wrote for Camp NaNo last year). So writing what I know means I have to be familiar with the characters, what they want, how they intend to get it, and then the story flows out more organically, and doesn't require as much editing. Well, it will still need a lot of editing, but generally when I have the shape of the story in my head, it won't have as many structural problems on the other side. I differ from @Mynoris's post in that I don't just dive in with the few bits of information I already know, I take my time outlining and getting to know the characters and absorbing the story before I start, so the 'what I know' pile of knowledge is larger. Both are valid ways of doing this, and really depends on where your weak spots are. If starting (and finishing!) a story is tough, then diving in as soon as the idea is born is good. If you are like me and are paralyzed by a first draft that needs a lot of editing, getting to know the story better before starting is useful.
  31. 2 points
    Welcome! Join this club is you are writing a novel in 2019 and want some company! Introduce yourself below and tell us about your projects and what you want to accomplish. Penguinball: Project - Beneath the Steam Sea (new novel) Goals - Write the first draft of BTSS by the end of 2019 Summary - Charic is a thief with a big family name to live up to, and so far, he is having trouble creating his own legend. His chance at fame comes when he is recruited by a group of smugglers who need a thief to break into the warehouse of the mighty God of the Forge, to steal his enchanted weapons. Pirates, steam ships, scheming, backstabbing gods and their followers, and more!
  32. 2 points
    I really like this, Mynoris, and it gave me the image that writing really is like a puzzle. Early, you see the pieces that fit together because of strong details, and then you have the ones that are more indistinct. They need to be in the puzzle eventually, but you don't have to worry about them immediately. It's so easy to get overwhelmed when thinking about all the pieces at the same time, and a lot of those indistinct pieces will get clearer the more I write and they will eventually find a good place. And like Tangwystle said, strenghts (the stuff you do know) can be really powerful bits that will shadow weaknesses. The passion you have for certain areas of your story, that joy will shine through for the reader and make it more interesting to read. Just because something is a staple trope in a particular genre, like riding horses, doing something completely different can be really fun. Example: I wanted to write about pirates because there are aspects of them I find really interesting. However, I know nothing about old ships/boats, and the research is just way too massive for me (i.e. I don't have the proper passion about the minute details of a ship). So I made my characters descendants of pirates who settled down on land, but they still live by the code and steal/pirate stuff in their own way. That way I can explore the things that do intrigue me about pirates (their independence, lawlessness, irreverence, kinship, lingo and democracy... along with some awesome coats and hats!) without having to spend years and years reading about ships. I just need to spend enough time on them for some in-world history, and can avoid that whole scrubbing the deck and careening and eat moldy hardtack biscuits...
  33. 2 points
  34. 2 points
    I was hoping the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh would have had more ideas, but all they had were early modern toys and creepy dolls 😞 There aren't really children in the stories I've written so far so it hasn't come up, but when it does I'll go to the games you see on a playground, tag, hide and go seek, rhyming games. I feel like everyone can relate to that.
  35. 2 points
    GOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL! Words to add: 1,221 New total: 25,697
  36. 2 points
    Project: I have plans for up to four of them. They include the novels: "Dark Secrets", "Hunger", "Dark Revenge", "War and Death", "Angel on the Edge" or "The Good Die Here" Goals: I plan on doing 320,000+ words between May and the end of the year. That should give me enough to finish up to four of the above projects. Summary: I can't even summarize the stories as the only one I know is Dark Secrets because I'm already 65,000 words into it. I'm trying to work at a 40,000 word a month pace and upping that to a 50,000 to 60,000+ over the next few months. So many projects, so little time. This doesn't even include the probably short stories I'll write in between. Lots of writing to do!
  37. 2 points
    I'm kind of a mixture between pantser and plotter. I've run the gamut of outlining techniques, but I'm still trying to find one that works best. Once my day job is done and I'm off for the summer I'm going to work on a physical story binder to get down all my notes and world building in an organized place, and use it to tinker with the current project's outline. I had to scrap everything on it I wrote during NaNo through December or January because I wrote it all in the wrong POV. So I pretty much had to start fresh and then change a lot of things that didn't work anymore, so it's basically all brand new again. One of the major things I wanna work on is a timeline. But in short story form. The flash fiction prompts have been awesome for getting me to write when I was stuck on the main story, so I think I'm going to dedicate time to writing snippets about events and people to serve at the timeline instead of note-form notes. I think they might stick in my head better that way and I'll be able to spread them out on the table when I need to get a good look at them all. I pretty much have the beginning and the ending solidified, but the middle is a bag of angry, wet cats.
  38. 2 points
    I'm going to be rewriting the chapter, though, and it's pretty likely that I'll be changing the first few lines...and if not all of them, then most likely the ones about the 'voice' in her head, so that's most likely a place holder. I think the "just keep running" dialogue is a good opening hook, but not sure about the rest of it.
  39. 2 points
    I... have too many characters For the one that the last scene I've written focuses on it's being exiled from his homeland and forgotten by his entire race (or, rather, completely erased from its history). As far as his entire race is concerned, the character has never existed at all, has had no impact on any of their lives, none of his deeds have ever come to pass. If he were to meet a relative or a childhood friend, they wouldn't recognize him simply because they have never been his relative/friend. None of his previous life matters, because none of it has ever happened, and he can't undo it, because the key to the only known way to undo this lies within his homeland, which he can't access, because only beings born in that land can enter it. And since after this exile/erasure he's actually never been born there (or born, period), there's no way for him to get back. Also, since he's never been born, his entire existence is a paradox, so even though in the world he's currently in he gets to break a lot of rules, he's also slowly blinking out of existence, bit by bit, and he knows exactly when he's going to disappear completely.
  40. 2 points
    Project: Dreams of a Breathless Dragon Goals: Get at LEAST a decent chunk / majority of it done by the end of the year, if not all of it. But that seems unlikely. Summary (rough): Edylzi, a Tower Dragon in the Greater Region where dragons lived, was an outcast and hermit of a dragon was able to experience something other dragons only had heard about in myth and legend: Edylzi dreamed. Feeling more alive in dreams than in waking, Edylzi condemned themselves to a life of somnolent solitude. However, after an unusual night with their only friend, Edylzi discovered something that could change their lives, and the lives of all the dragons in the Greater Region, forever. But could Edylzi's wandering mind keep up with the cascade of events that were sure to follow? This novel is in the same universe as the short story I submitted back in December or January or whenever that was ("Pymyre, Weaver of Dragon Souls"), though that story was standalone and has nothing to do with DoaBD, which is the "main event" in a way that occurs after the events of that story.
  41. 2 points
    I guess motivation is the thing for me, or more specifically, butt in chair. I feel like my writing is good enough to be published, but I'm not committed enough to get the writing done to the point where anyone would publish it. One of the axioms I've heard is "fake it until you make it", which basically means, act like you are a professional writer until you get to the point where you actually are a professional writer. That is where I typically fail. I have a hard time getting to the end. Description for me isn't really a problem. I probably don't focus on all 5 senses enough, but I do well to incorporate description into my narrative. The key thing with description is to not think of it as something separate from the rest of the story. If you weave your descriptions into the action, then it becomes 2nd nature to include it.
  42. 2 points
    Unwritten yet, but I have a scene planned where my heist group is in the Forge God's city, which is at the bottom of a burned out ocean, under a shield that protects the city from the steam. There has just been several revelations and betrayals, and the team is scattered, some have ran, some have been canceled. The MC, Charic, has been captured and thrown into a jail cell, and the Forge God will be coming to pass judgement on him at any moment. The Forge God will mostly likely kill him, he is filled with emotional pain and self doubt, and has had all of his thiefy tools confiscated, and no way to get out of the cell. Its the planned lowest part of the novel before things start looking up again (the person who betrayed them has second thoughts, and double crosses someone else, and goes back for her team mates instead of escaping for safety).
  43. 2 points
    For the one I am writing now, she is taken hostage by the local mafia. He is a sailor, he had been through a shipwreck and through being saved by a smugglers crew...
  44. 2 points
    I'm a little stuck like Rohierim on this one. If my characters aren't facing down death, I feel like I'm doing something wrong on some level. Let's see... The New Queen Berry gets infected with a curse that very quickly begins killing her with a high fever and draining her life essence, so that was a pretty nasty close call. Her other big close call in this book is facing down Shah Davvyd in the final chapter when he's so smitten he's decided to turn her into one of the Sanguinari (living vampires sort of). She ends up half blooded, so infected, but manages to avoid being fully turned thanks to the timely intervention by a throne stealing plotter and her guards/friends. Soul Eater In a totally different setting, my main character in this one actually dies, but because like a handful of others in the world Death refuses to claim her soul (or her soul refuses to be claimed) and she ends up losing all memories of her life when she reanimates. Her biggest moment of danger is when she faces another of her kind who is attempting to devour what remains of her soul. I haven't written that part yet, so I'm not sure if she "survives" the encounter or if that book will end with a MC dying in combat.
  45. 2 points
    The destruction of her entire universe. Not sure if it can get more dangerous than that. The only way she survived was because of the sheer number of people that died all at once.
  46. 2 points
    Bands of witches ( just that is so freaking cool!), looking like a mix of pirates, fur trappers and Celtic Warriors, that is just the most amazing mix I've ever heard of! I just got really excited reading your comment, because the witches in my Middle Grade WIP have a pirate heritage even though they've settled in a small bay community now. But that community has deep roots in the old pirate traditions, so yeah, I definitely watch Pirates of the Caribbean for that, lol! Pirates and witches have so much in common, like the love of freedom and independence, and like you said about POTC; a particular way of life that's disappearing. Being despised, feared and hunted, that goes for both of them too. The mythologies are so much fun in those movies, very magical and fantasy-esque, I just love them. And of course, a lot of cool sea/pirate slang to work with. :) Music is fantastic, and the epic music you talk about is definitely like a call to write, because it's filling the head with new worlds magically. I listen a lot to the album Rogue's Gallery now (old sea shanties recorded by modern artists) and there are definitely lyrical phrases, like you talk about, that are super-inspiring. There's one song about a sailor complaining about a bad fiddler who's ruining the day and just won't stop playing, lol! It's a funny song, but inbetween the whining about this fiddler, there are some beautiful poetic lines: Summer deep, embowered in flowers silent music, in the hours in the east a feather moon... and that fiddler out of tune! It makes me wanna write some sea shanties for my old witches. 😄 Also, I loved to hear about the Supernatural-connection in your work. Big fan here, and it's an amazing source of inspiration. The different character relationships are so much fun, and also the legends and myths used in that, it really kickstarts the imagination big time. :)
  47. 2 points
    Inquiry-based learning is definitely becoming more of a Thing in education, and that's good. More and more jobs are complex, information-based, and involve a ton of problem-solving, and in the modern world we deal with more information than we have ever had to sift through in the past. Additionally, I know more and more teachers are experimenting with stuff like brain breaks, nature play, the outdoor classroom etc etc. Not always feasible depending on how your school is designed and the downward influence of neo-liberal capitalism on education systems as a whole (particularly the pressure of international league tables)… But definitely a breath of fresh air for education spent too long inside and with worksheets, as opposed to applied knowledge. Creative thinking will also probably be a bigger thing. I hope they don't forget the arts and humanities, and critical and creative thinking, in their push for STEM. (Though the way STEM has been made fun lately is so exciting!)
  48. 2 points
    While I'd agree that the focus of school and especially the way schools prepare kids for the art of living needs to change in order to better reflect the realities of the world right now..... basically everything else @Jedi Knight Muse and @TricksterShi said. There was in the past an attitude that teenagers (or even children) were basically mini-adults, and treated as such. The 'invention' of childhood is at least partially responsible for the stopping of practices such as child labor (children working as chimney sweeps, in factories and cotton mills). So, that's a thing. There's also the importance of early childhood education and the first few years of life and the way caregivers bond and interact with their children, but that's a whole other tangent. As we learn more about ourselves and our development, we've discovered that this is not the case. The frontal lobe reaches full maturity in the late 20s, https://www.nature.com/articles/nn1099_861 The frontal lobe governs things like foresight, impulsivity, planning and motivation, which are important for making the Big Life Decisions characteristic of adulthood. (Like, say, financial saving, house buying, marriage, working in a professional environment while refraining from yelling at your coworkers…) Meaning that yes, a lot of people will continue to make dumbass decisions well into adulthood! Additionally, your idea of graduating straight to college is flawed in that the time-management and independence of learning required for college/uni (doing your own assignments and readings, showing up to classes, critical thinking skills etc etc) are not automatic. High school can be thought of as a scaffold for the skills needed for college/uni. (Whether it fulfils that in practice is another story, but hey.) My point is that learners don't go from the highly supportive and structured environment of primary school, straight to the unstructured and relatively independent (and stressful!) environment of college/university.
  49. 2 points
    Would it be cheating to ask for motivation? With enough motivation I could improve in all other areas.
  50. 2 points
    He said he thinks they should be sent to college as soon as they hit puberty, though. They hit it as young as nine or ten years old and as old as thirteen or fourteen (I haven't googled the exact age range, but I'm guessing based on the fact that I do know that kids sometimes get it really early), so he still would be talking about early teens rather than late teens. What would "late teens" mean in this case, though? "Late teens" is more like 17-19 years old, and there are already high school kids who are 17-18 years old who, like I said, are able to take college classes for credit before they graduate. I thought of another thing to add to my list: you can't get a credit card at the age you're talking about, and you probably can't get an ATM card until you're at least 15-17 years old, though I suppose it depends on the bank. I want to say I was probably around 18 when I got mine. I was definitely in my early twenties when I got my first credit card, though. Let's see...when I was in school, our grades were: Kindergarten-3rd grade was elementary 4th and 5th grade was in our middle school 6th-8th grade was junior high 9th-12th grade was high school They've made a lot of changes since I was in school, though, and they built a new elementary school and the elementary school that I went to is like...middle school? I don't even know, because even I get confused. My stepbrothers are in 8th and 10th grade (although the older of my stepbrothers should actually be in 11th grade. He was kept back because his grade level was lower than what it should have been due to his father making him go to a Catholic school when he was younger). I can guarantee you that the youngest of my stepbrothers would NOT be ready for college at his current age. He's only just sloooowly starting to become more mature and take school a little more seriously. The first half of this school year, he was getting in trouble a lot and his grades were suffering because he was spending 98% of his time playing video games. Now he still spends 98% of his time playing video games but he's keeping his grades up and not getting into trouble like he was in the beginning of the year. He made the honor roll, and he's going to the same tech school my other stepbrother is next year. Tech school will be good for him because it's a mix of the typical classroom environment where you sit and listen to a teacher and take notes and hands on work, and he does better with hands on work. If anything, I think school should be more like that. Less forcing students to sit in a classroom taking notes and listening to a teacher give a lecture and more hands on activities (without relying 100% on group projects for "hands on" stuff, especially at the college level when not everyone has the same schedule). It would be good for those students like my stepbrother who get too fidgety and bored by sitting in a classroom having to take notes all the time. And I mean, there are classes at his school where it is more hands on, but not to the same extent as it is at the tech school he'll be at next year. Basically you rotate through and do a few weeks of classroom stuff and then do workshops for another few weeks.
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