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  1. 8 points
    I'm not sure how unpopular this opinion might be, but I often feel like there aren't enough small-scale fantasy stories. There are plenty of fantasy books about heroes and rulers doing things that influence entire countries, or about people with 'exciting' occupations like thieves or assassins or spies, and all that. And that's great. I love a lot of those stories. I just wish there were more stories exploring fantasy settings from other angles. I'd like to see stories about common people living in those small towns that adventurers often pass through; about teachers at magic schools who have to deal with classes and paperwork and finding time to live their own lives with the addition of magic which sometimes makes things easier and other times harder; about merchants and tavern keepers who are just trying to keep their business going after the hero killed the tyrant, took up the throne, and now sure, everyone's celebrating, but what's going to happen tomorrow with the economy and the laws and the taxes. There are a lot of stories about the movers and shakers of the fantasy realms; I want to see more stories about how the common people live while around them dragons are being slayed and kings overthrown, if that makes sense.
  2. 4 points
    I'm not saying any type of portrayed bigotry has no place in fantasy, or fiction in general. One of my favourite musicals(not fantasy but I think still relevant to this) includes a gay lead in the 1960s and it definitely at least mentions the homophobia he's scared of. The difference between that and the type I'm talking about is in the musical it ties into the character development, the theme of secrets throughout the musical, and the subversion of tropes. The type I mean is the one where you read it and you can tell that the author put this into their story not to make any type of commentary or make the narrative stronger, but just because they want it there. It's usually the same type of author that includes horrific slavery, sexual assault, and other things like that under the guise of "historical accuracy" while giving their characters perfect teeth and conveniently leaving out things like smallpox and dysentery. Meanwhile, this accuracy is usually at least partially inaccurate anyway. This just gets to me because you have control of this world you're writing. Make a point about things if you want, use character experiences to tie into their backstories and arcs, but don't make me watch someone get killed for being gay (usually the only gay character in these types of stories) in a fantasy world just because you think that oppression is a universal truth or that this kind of stuff makes your story "hard hitting".
  3. 3 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.)
  4. 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.
  5. 3 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.
  6. 3 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?
  7. 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.
  8. 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...
  9. 3 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
  10. 3 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.
  11. 3 points
    For this question of the day, I thought it would be fun for us to share small snippets of something we've written that we're proud of. It doesn't matter whether it's been super edited or is still really rough or not - the point is just to show something that made us go "wow, I really love how this is turning out" as we wrote it. In this case, I'm going to say that a "snippet" is 1,000 words or less. If 1,000 words makes you cut off in the middle of a sentence or at an awkward spot you can extend it to the end of the sentence. Keep in mind that these snippets may be unedited, so unless someone who is sharing specifically asks for it, do not give any unasked for non-criticism. When sharing your snippet, feel free to tell us what it is that made you proud of it. Was it a particular bit of dialogue? A particular bit of description? Here is mine, completely unedited. I really love how this scene turned out. It's an important moment for the character, Ivar, reconnecting with his court's dragon guardian. There are definitely some bits that need work, but overall I'm very happy with it.
  12. 3 points
    I um... Okay, so there are several reasons I am absolutely against this logic. The age group you're talking about (between ages nine and...what, fourteen?) are not mature by a long shot. As @Penguinball said, their brains are still developing, ESPECIALLY at that age. They're dealing with hormones. Educationally, they really haven't learned a whole heck of a lot. They are minors. They cannot legally: Drive Smoke Drink alcohol Join the army (I know that eighteen year olds in the U.S. can do this, and there's a big debate about the fact that eighteen year olds can serve in the army, whether by volunteering or by being drafted, but they cannot smoke, drink alcohol or gamble, but that's tiptoeing into politics and I am going to firmly push against this becoming a political discussion) Make medical decisions for themselves Gamble Probably some other things that I am not thinking of at the moment There are probably a lot of school systems where the kids have to walk to school, because they don't have school buses and they don't want the students taking city buses. How do you think these students would get to college if they cannot yet drive and are not anywhere close to getting their licenses? Their parents likely have to work. Some of these kids may actually be in daycare still. College is for higher education. Professors do not expect to be babysitting their students (granted, they end up doing that even when their students are in the 18-early twenties range because of the way their students behave, but that's more on the individual student and less on the students as a whole). They expect their students to be able to come to class (on time), listen to the lectures, do their work, and get their grades. They do not want to basically still be teaching the basics that should be taught in elementary/middle/high school. Unless you are a student prodigy (which is rare) who also has the maturity to handle the amount of coursework a college student has to deal with...you have no business taking college classes. (Exception: there are some programs in high schools where high schools can take college classes for credit as part of their high school requirements. I am fine with this, because at this point they're probably 16-18 years old and they're still developing their brains but not to the same extent as anyone in the 9-14 year age range. I was in a class where we had a student who was in high school and taking classes for college credit. He was very mature for his age and got his shit done.) Some college students are taking six classes a day while also juggling their homework, jobs, and any sports they play. There's no way a child in the age range you're talking about would be able to handle that kind of workload. Kids that age need to be allowed to just be kids. It's bad enough when they're staying up until 8-10 PM trying to get their homework done and then having to be up early to be able to catch the bus and spend 6-8 hours in school. So...yeah. I definitely disagree.
  13. 3 points
    Kids are hitting puberty at age 11 these days, that is far too young to move out. And teenagers brains are still developing, they need a lot of guidance. It would be healthier to remain at home, but with increased boundaries and responsibilities.
  14. 3 points
    Maybe the most unpopular opinion in this whole thread: I don't like the epic faux-medieval fantasy. Everything that genre is built on, like the bulky descriptions for immersion, the detailed magic systems, the kings and queens, the quests, the battles and big-scale politics... Basically everything that fans adore about this genre, that's the stuff that makes me squirm: "Get that dragon away from me!" It's a big problem for me. Most of the writers I talk to about writing, yeah, they write this genre, and I have never read any of the books they discuss (except stuff that's really old and I hardly remember because I was in my teens). I also have to explain all the time to people that it's the subgenres of fantasy that I enjoy, because most regular people only think Tolkien and Martin when they hear "fantasy". I don't ever have any advice to give when it comes to sewing your own cloak or if this or that sword is too heavy to lift for a woman. I don't know how a stew is seasoned, or how to skin a rabbit. I'm epically challenged, and thank you for this opportunity to address my troubles.
  15. 3 points
    Thanks to this thread for getting me writing again! I'm fond of this bit because I hope it sets the scene: It was wet and miserable outside the Dark Fortress. The building rose above the tiled roofs of the city, taller than all the rest, like a finger raised in insult towards the heavens. It was an evil thing, carved of black granite and covered in spikes and leering gargoyles. It had earned multiple design awards for architecture, which only made the locals hate it more. Two guards sat outside, one tall and skinny, and one short and stout. (Royal decree stated that there must be two guards at all times, for occupational health and safety reasons.) The tall and skinny one was called Beanpole Ron. He had pants that were too short, revealing pale ankles, and his ears stuck out like a goblin’s. Beady little eyes peered from the slit of his helmet. The other one was new. He got called ‘Fat Percy’ (despite his protests) because he was almost as wide as he was tall. A portion of it was muscle underneath the padding. He had dark skin, a round head, and a dim-witted sort of face. There was a third guard, scarred and snaggle-toothed, who often lounged inside. Officially, his role was to boss the other two around. Unofficially, he made a lot of trips to the pub. He was called Sharky, and he fancied himself a great deal smarter than the other two. After all, that was why he was inside.
  16. 3 points
    This is the opening to a novel that is currently only 1 scene long (it's still in the planning stages, but I had enough to write the first scene). The rest of the scene after this isn't very good, but I like this first bit because of how much information is given to the reader without stopping the action. Natani crouched behind her hut, hidden from all view, and vomited. When her stomach finally stopped heaving, she wiped her mouth and stared down at the effusion of her blasphemy. Her body had rejected the Mother's gift. She grabbed a stone and used it to rub the vomit into the dirt, erasing the evidence. She returned to the Circle where the rest of the tribe sat in quiet contemplation of their meal. It was always a somber experience when consuming the Mother's gift. The bones had been picked clean and for that, Natani was grateful, despite the hollow pain in her belly. She filled a stone bowl with water and went to sit next to Raigan. They shared a spot on the ground, south of the cookfire. The smell of charred flesh lingered on the air with no breeze to chase it away. The Mother, her effigy standing watch over the tribe, held back the wind and the ice and the cold. But She hadn't saved Jogo. Natani drew deeply from the bowl, the cool water washing away the bitter tastes in her mouth, leaving only memory. She had eaten the flesh of the fallen before and taken pride in their sacrifice. Why could she not do the same for her brother? Raigan popped the last of the meat into his mouth and licked his fingers to show respect. His face betrayed no sign of the turmoil Natani felt, nor any other emotion. In a dozen more turnings of the moon, he would be old enough to join the hunt, and then it might be his bones blackening over the cook fire.
  17. 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!
  18. 2 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.)
  19. 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.
  20. 2 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
  21. 2 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.
  22. 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).
  23. 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...
  24. 2 points
    Being erased from existence along with the story-world itself.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 2 points
    I think they're already doing that, at least in my town's school system. 😐 I think they got rid of...I think it was home economics that they got rid of or something. It might still exist, but probably not to the same extent it did when I was in school (god that makes me sound old). And I'm pretty sure they've pretty much gotten rid of the drama group at my high school, which makes me sad because being part of that group helped me come out of my shell in a lot of ways. I don't think it's necessarily because of STEM that they've cut those things, though, it's more like...lack of funding/teachers who are willing to be in charge. 😞 The teacher who directed the group when I was there retired several years ago and I don't think anyone really took his place. One of the great things about him was that he treated students like adults without crossing the line while doing so.
  28. 2 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.
  29. 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. :)
  30. 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!)
  31. 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.
  32. 2 points
    Would it be cheating to ask for motivation? With enough motivation I could improve in all other areas.
  33. 2 points
    Music is definitely one of my biggest go-to media's to get my head in the right place. I create playlists for all of my projects to listen to while I'm writing or planning. I latch on to lyrical phrases and certain melodies so I tend to have those pieces on repeat to reach whatever the piece is inspiring. Epic music without lyrics are also awesome because I can see scenes set to them and get a clearer sense of the emotional foundations for different characters or situations. I like to take a drive out to a nearby park with a lake and just sit while the music plays and watch nature, too. Nature always has a grounding effect on me, and pairing it with the music sets my mind to puzzling out what it needs to and getting to the heart of whatever I need to find. I also tend to watch movies or TV shows that fall with the tone I want to achieve for my project. Even though my characters aren't pirates I've been watching and rewatching the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies. They have a great mix of character development, storytelling, and mythology. Plus, they've inspired this image in my head of wild witches in the western wilderness decked out like a cross between pirates, fur trappers, and tattooed Celtic warriors who rove around in their own little outlaw gangs or tribes. The whole POTC story is about living on the edge of a shrinking wilderness and way of life, which speaks to me and my story on a lot of levels. I don't usually pursue text to set a tone the way I do music. I use it more to unwind, to study, or for research. At the moment, though, I am searching out Supernatural fan fiction as a tone setter. The canon relationship between the Winchesters was what inspired Fred and Taz in the beginning, so going back to my roots, so to speak, has helped me with perspective and realignment with the heart of my story.
  34. 2 points
    Yeah, I definitely have to disagree, too. I work within a school system with teenagers, so I can vouch that, as a whole in the society these kids currently live in, they are not equipped to be considered adults, making adult decisions, or dealing with many adult situations. Granted, life is often contrary and there are students who are forced by circumstance to become more adult than the majority of their peers, but on average that's just not the case. One of the biggest problems I see with your scenario is that the public schools we have do not prepare these kids at that young age for real adulthood, especially pre-high school. They are kept cloistered in same-age environments, may or may not have the resources to interact with people of other age groups to get actual socialization skills, and their schooling is often too focused on the academic areas with not enough opportunities, time, or funding to learn the practical skills adulthood requires. They don't have enough time to even get to know who they are before people ask them to make the big decision of what they wanna do with the rest of their lives. Most of the kids I work with aren't even half mentally prepared for what happens the Monday after their last week of school. And, as others have mentioned, their brains and hormones have not had enough time to properly develop. Our species does not mature at the high rate of others in the animal kingdom. Teenagers need structure, guidance, and parental care. They also need parental protection. Putting young, impressionable minds into a college-like setting would be a disaster for them. They don't have enough world experience to navigate the college scene, not to mention situations where they would be at a distinct disadvantage with people who are older, manipulative, and predatory. It's hard enough at 18. It would be unconscionable to put anyone younger in that position. Now, I fully believe that teenagers and children should be treated with respect, consideration, and common courtesy. But they need the boundaries parents put on them. They need to have rules, limited freedoms, and small responsibilities to build up to what comes later. Otherwise they have no foundation to steady them, no frame of reference once they leave the nest and they flounder. Besides, I have seen what happens to students who decide to drop out, run away, and live like adults before they even grasp what being an adult means. I recognize all their names and faces when they come on the nightly news. They're either being arrested for illegal activities, have died or killed someone because they don't fully comprehend potential consequences before they act, or they get taken advantage of. It's really goddamn heartbreaking.
  35. 2 points
    I definitely use music a lot to get into the necessary mood or headspace. As for books, I don't deliberately pick texts to get me into a certain mood (although that sounds like an idea I should try), but whatever I'm writing at the moment does influence my choice of books to read, and vice versa. When I'm choosing the next book to read, I often unconsciously gravitate toward the ones that have something in common with one of my current projects: genre, theme, certain plot points, etc. Also, I often notice that whatever I'm reading has some sort of effect on my writing. Sometimes it's very conscious: as I read, I tend to analyze what sort of techniques the author's using to achieve certain effects and all that, and sometimes I find those techniques and interesting and want to try and adapt them to my own writing. But often, it's more subtle: like if I'm reading a novel that focuses on characters' emotional experience and inner life over plot, I'm more likely to write quiet, introspective scenes. If I'm reading something with a lot of high-stakes action, I'm more likely to work on something that also has lots of action in it, etc.
  36. 2 points
    I like coming up with chapter titles. I even do scene titles. They are a short-hand for me to know what the scene is about. They may or may not end up in the final draft, or I might just keep the chapter titles. In any case, chapter titles aren't necessary. Many books just number the chapters and leave it at that. I have nothing against naming the chapter after the POV character. I didn't bother me at all when GRRM did it. It let me know right away that the POV was changing and that I could put the book down if I didn't want to start another POV at that time. Yes, the narrative does that anyway and GRRM is very good at that, so the titles probably aren't needed, but I don't think they hurt the story in any way. With multiple 1st person, I can see using names as chapter titles. Yes, each character should have a distinct voice and it should be clear enough from the context who the POV is without naming them, but naming the chapter after the character removes all doubt from the reader. They aren't left trying to figure it out via the context clues. Also, by naming the chapter after the character in 1st person, the author isn't obligated to force the name into the narrative. It's easy to forget the names of the POV characters in 1st person. Having the name as the chapter title helps in that regard.
  37. 2 points
  38. 2 points
    You either die a hero or live long enough to hear cheesy music written about your exploits. XD 49 words.
  39. 2 points
    Gotta agree with Game of Thrones and Tolkein opinions here. I read and liked the Hobbit, but LotR is just so dense I can't get into it. I tried reading the Song of Ice and Fire a little while ago but I didn't get past the first chapter. My biggest opinion are that people who include racism, sexism, homophobia or any similar ideas in their fantasy work for "historical accuracy" are either bigots or cowards. It's fantasy, there's nothing historically accurate about it. If it's part of the plot, whatever I'll suffer through it, but don't have people being horrible to your only female, gay, PoC characters because you can't imagine a world where those biases aren't there.
  40. 2 points
    I don't think magic systems need to be thoroughly explained and detailed in order to be good. (Along the lines of the Brandon Sanderson thing, hard magic vs soft magic.) Related: I also sometimes think less detail is better with worldbuilding and magic. Or rather, just enough. Don't tell me spoilers and don't show me how the magician does the thing with the dove and the hat. An additional unpopular opinion: I don't think magic is necessary for a work to count as fantasy. (I think Gormenghast qualifies for the fantasy genre.) But that's just me lol. Like others, I couldn't get into Game of Thrones and haven't "properly" read Tolkien yet cover-to-cover.
  41. 2 points
    I can understand this sentiment. I still like Tolkein, but his writing is old fashioned, it isnt super palatable to the modern reader. Breaks a lot of the current rules of writing in terms of pacing, plotting, etc. But still of value to read, see where we came from. It's like going to a museum:) I read the first 3 books. The first I read fairly fast but I slowed down after that and began to read begrudgingly. I summarize my thoughts on the books as 'he is clearly in love with his world, and wants to show every nitty gritty detail of it, regardless of how relevant the details are to the actual story.'
  42. 2 points
    I tried reading Game of Thrones and couldn't get deep into it. The writing wasn't necessarily bad, but it did feel unfocused in the way that it seemed to jump between PoV characters without a clear overarching storyline. So I have never been fond of the franchise as a whole.
  43. 2 points
    I've been playing around with the inner story myths Fred and Taz have going and came up with this piece, told in Taz's voice. I have no idea if it will even fit into the overall framework of book two, but it was a fun piece to craft and may end up in a collection of short stories if I don't find a home for it in one of the books. Word count is 545.
  44. 2 points
    -laughs- I love how you build up this lovely peaceful scenic forest setting and then turn it into a shivering anticipation of what will happen next. -reads @Banespawn 's post - o.o' Powerful stuff you have there. I look forward to reading more whenever you have more you wish to share. My snippet...hmm....what to post...I've written so many things I love. Some I still can't believe actually came out of my brain. I think I will go with Berry's dance scene celebrating Prince Aurum's hundredth birthday. While Berry is human, the prince and both his parents are High Fae (elves more or less). The prince is gold skinned and haired, his mother Titania is all blues, and his father Auberon is forest greens. I like color coding my fae, so sue me. lol FYI for those interested: Reginald is human, Starlight is a flitling (tiny barbie sized winged fae), and Kormack is an Ork with drab green skin and a boar's nose and tusks, but not quite a snout. Word count for the snippet is 904 according to my word processor. From Chapter 2 of The New Queen Lady Bell, Mistress of Entertainments, was taking the center stage. She waited patiently for the room to quiet and the minstrels, jugglers, and others to finish their pieces and collect a few coins. "Ladies, Gentleman, and other folk, I have for your entertainment worked closely with our very own Berry to arrange a particularly special performance for this most singular of occasions. Though she has astounded, astonished, and delighted beyond expectation in the past," Berry felt sick as Bell built the crowd's expectations higher and higher, "I am confident tonight's performance will impress even the most critical among you. Without further delay, please welcome Piper Reginald, Drummer Kormack, Illusionist Starlight, and Dancer Berry!" Heart pounding, Berry thanked Bell and bowed to the head table, then to each of the other tables before she took her place in the center of the pentagonal stage. Starlight took off from Reginald's shoulder to hover above the stage. From that position, she would be casting illusion spells to illustrate the story of the performance. Reginald and Kormack had taken up positions on either side of the raised area facing the head table. All four saluted the royal family and guests once more in unison, and upon having their salute acknowledged with slight nods and smiles the show began. Kormack set a slow steady beat as Berry knelt. She forgot her stomach roiling in fear, forgot the crowd of nobles even the head table as she began to rise, hips echoing Kormack's beat. With subtle movements, she began to weave her hands through the air. At the same moment Reel put his pipe to his lips and blew his first soft low notes, Starlight began to cast her illusion magic. A pair of hummingbirds, one with brilliant green plumage the other with sky blue formed in the air near the tips of Berry's fingers. As the Human dancer began to move around the stage, the birds followed the movements of her hands, rising or falling until Berry brought her hands together over her head. Apparently seeing each other for the first time, the birds forgot the dancer below them. Flute and drum began to weave a sensuous melody as Berry circled the stage, hips quivering in time with Kormack's intermittent drum rolls. Above her, the birds began to dart about, the green pursuing the blue. In a climactic moment, they both dove for the center of the stage, and Berry dropped to her knees once more, head bowed, but shoulders and chest still moving and hands continuing to weave through the air. At the moment when the illusory birds would have struck the stage, Kormack struck a resounding note, and Starlight created a burst of golden mist that billowed up and out obscuring the stage in a soft hazy glow. Rising once more to her feet, Berry went into a series of spins as Kormack and Reel played out a joyous tune. The flare of her skirts and her movements as she spun back and forth across the stage matching Kormack's more striking beats with a kick of one foot or the other steadily cleared the glittering golden smoke. As her shadowy form grew more substantial and visible, so too did a cradle sitting where the birds had dove together. Coming to the front of the stage, Berry faced the head table, bending backwards to reach towards the cradle. As her fingers brushed the illusion of a blanket a tiny gold skinned hand reached out toward her. For Starlight, this was the hardest part, the close mingling of a complex illusion with reality. Sweat stung her eyes as she continued to cast, making the infant hand grow to the size of a small child's as a little boy emerged from the cradle. He walked on air, not dancing as Berry did, but following her as she leapt from the stage. This was the true climax of the piece. Kormack beat a mad rhythm on his drum, it's deep tones filling the hall, joined by Reginald's lively piping. Berry's hips moved in a seemingly endless shimmy as she led the illusory boy forward until she was within arm's reach of the table standing between her and those seated on the other side. The little boy had continued to grow with every step until he was a tall young man. Following the direction of Berry's reaching hands, he soared over the table and dove towards Prince Aurum, vanishing as the illusion collided with the reality. For a terribly long moment, Berry stood with eyes lowered before the head table her chest heaving with short breaths as silence filled the massive hall. <Why is no one applauding?> She wondered, as her gaze rose just barely enough to meet Aurum's with growing fear. Slowly, his startled expression gave way to a smile as Aurum rose from his seat and began to clap. Relief washed over Berry as an instant later all other guests followed his lead. Even Titania and Auberon rose briefly from their seats. Dropping her arms, she bowed deeply to the head table before retreating to the stage and bowing to each of the other tables with her fellow performers. Lady Bell's voice was incomprehensible to her as she departed the hall leaning discreetly on Kormack's strong arm for support. "You did well." The tall Ork rumbled in his low quiet voice. "We all did well." Berry murmured with a smile.
  45. 2 points
    So I'm more than a little late getting this posted but here is the April word count roundup! I think/hope I got everything correct, but please let me know if I didn't and I'll adjust it! Purple is the pledge number and green is what was written in that month Orange is for those who surpassed their goals @airrica pledged 25,000 words and wrote 17,298 words for April @Anthony Lockwood pledged 10,000 words and wrote 10,051 words for April @DaVinci pledged 50,000 words and wrote 54,061 for April @EdelBeeRocker pledged 10,000 words and wrote 11,815 words for April @Elena pledged 20,000 words and wrote 21,847 words for April @EliBrightwood pledged 10,000 words and wrote 14,523 words for April @Emskie-Wings pledged 50,000 words and wrote 50,613 words for April @Jedi Knight Muse pledged 20,000 words and wrote 7,728 words for April @Kate Rose pledged 25,000 words and wrote 0 words for April @lorneytunes pledged 25,000 words and wrote 22,158 words for April @M.N. Lanthier pledged 15,000 words and wrote 10,059 words for April @Mynoris pledged 15,000 words and wrote 8,540 words for April @Penguinball pledged 15,000 words and wrote 4,972 words for April @Pinchofmagic pledged 40,000 words and wrote 42,362 words for April @RKM pledged 20,000 words and wrote 0 words for April @Romancegirl pledged 10,000 words and wrote 0 words for April @Sheepy-Pie pledged 7,000 words and wrote 3,087 words for April @Storycollector pledged 15,000 words and wrote 13,890 words for April @Tangwystle pledged 65,000 words and wrote 122,232 words for April @Tigtogiba34 pledged 20,000 words and wrote 12,312 words for April @tllbrinkley pledged 35,000 words and wrote 0 words for April @TricksterShi pledged 15,000 words and wrote 15,157 words for April @TwistedRiver pledged 15,000 words and wrote 15,157 words for April @ZillieR00 pledged 5,000 words and wrote 0 words for April Our total word count for March was 450,465 words! As of the end of April, we wrote 1,063,921 words since March 1st! Congratulations, everyone!
  46. 2 points
    Sweet! I started at exactly midnight and went on a writing spree without sleep o.o time to crash now! I wrote words!Previous total: [0] wordswords to add: [13384] wordsnew total: [13384] words
  47. 2 points
    I re-listened to a podcast a few weeks ago where the authors talked about the blend of familiar and original elements in a story. Some genres have a higher ratio of the familiar, like Tolkien-esque fantasy, where we get a lot of settings and creatures we know and love. Some genres have a higher ratio of the original, like the books of China Miéville and the new weird fiction genre with their ties to fantasy, horror and sci-fi, where we have to take in a lot of unfamilar concepts. That made me think that all writers probably have areas where they enjoy getting a little more inventive and original, no matter what genre they write. Some like to play more with originality in the setting (or specific elements within it), or like their characters to be really eccentric. The magic systems, fantasy creatures and the MacGuffins opens up for a lot of unfamiliar stuff of course. Or it could be the combination of story ideas, or plot twists, or the plot itself. The text can be very original and inventive, or the voice/tone/mood of the story... There are a lot of places for writers to venture into more unfamiliar territory. So, do you have any favourite areas of writing where you enjoy getting a bit weirder than usual (doesn't have to be super-weird or anything), and feel most inventive? Have you ever gone too unfamiliar and had to dial it back, or had any story ideas that were too odd to write? Are there areas of writing where you wish you could go weirder and experiment a bit more? If you enjoy books that stray outside the familiar a lot, do you have any recommendations for people looking to get their weird on? Any other thoughts about the familiar and the original blend in fantasy fiction?
  48. 2 points
    I love getting weird with surreal dreams or beyond-the-veil pieces. I like twisting up things that are normal for a character and mixing them with symbology relevant to their journey. My favorite has to be a sequence of meetings between my MC Taz and a being she calls Woman-not-Woman. Woman-not-Woman appears to Taz in shapes that keep changing every time she blinks -- animals, people, monsters, weather patterns, landscapes, stars, etc., -- and it was super challenging to put down in words that made any kind of sense. I also have a blast inserting personal mythologies my characters have. The sisters created their own mythos as children for how everything began and they are at the center of it instead of the gods everyone else worships. It was their way to cope with their traumas and explain the world around them, then it became Taz's lens through which she viewed the world. In their mythos they were born from the chaos of creation and ran away to a desert called the Shadowlands where they adventured, witnessed the First of everything, fought star killing giants, helped the moon get back into the sky, and other feats. The mythos forms the foundation of how they explore themselves and, through it, the real world around them. I love writing both of those but they are both so hard to put down in words. Sometimes it feels like trying to transcribe a fever dream and it comes out so jumbled and strange, so I usually have to edit and rewrite those sequences a million times before I'm happy with them.
  49. 2 points
    I'd love to write a Borrowers-style story someday, tiny people living under the floors and in the walls, its such a charming idea! And thank you for the compliments, I'm quite happy with my steam sea. It started as a throw away idea of 'oh this sounds cool', then I had to figure out how it works.
  50. 2 points
    😮 A Non-Writing Excuses podcast mentioned? On MY forum? I think my worldbuilding is where I'm weirder, more inventive. Or at least coming up with setting details and cool world concepts is easier for me than, say, creating a magic system. A magic system is tough when you are trying to do more than RPG mana point style. And a bad magic system will absolutely break a system - If power levels aren't managed, the challenges faced by the characters become unrealistic. If the magic system is poorly explained people will get confused. It can break suspension of disbelief, make characters look dumb if they aren't using it properly.... So yeah, magic systems I struggle with, because I have all those issues in my head, and I want to make it good.
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