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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/21/2019 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    I just finished listen to this (link) Writing excuses podcast about Internal Motivation for characters and they talked about some things I found useful. The whole episode is good but it is the Role, Relationship, Status, and Competence axes that I want to share with you guys. The idea is that each character has a Role, Relationship, Status, and Competence, and that these things come into conflict with each other, causing the character to struggle in some way. (Using 'you' because its easier, but I mean your character). Role - Your career or occupation, like being a city guard or a baker, that you have responsibilities for. Relationships - Your duty to other people, a character can be a brother, a wife, a mentor, a friend. You have responsibilities to these people. Status - Your class or place in social hierarchy. You have to do certain things because of that status, you have to obey or show deference, or you may be derisive to someone 'lower'. Competencies - What you are capable of, physically, mentally, and what you are skilled at, including the expectations you have for your ability to do things. Your character has a self identity built up of all those things. They are a baker, they are responsible for the quality of their goods, but their heart isn't in it because their mother forced them to follow in the family business, so their desire to please their mother is in conflict with their ability to fulfill their responsibilities as a baker (Role and Relationship). Your character is a noblewoman, and is expected to be able to manage her estate, but her low self confidence causes her to bungle the accounts because she expects herself to fail (Status and Competency). This is a great way to think about characters, what drives them, where to find the room to grow and change . If their self image in any of these categories abruptly changes, what happens to them? As an exercise, reply with one character and what their roles are.
  2. 4 points
    This is something I've been thinking about lately as I approach the issue of editing, and realise that the reason I stop at a first draft is that I don't know where to go next, and it's 'easier' to stop there instead of struggling with something I don't know how to do. Writing is a mental exercise. Because it's mind-based, the mind can be our most helpful tool but also our worst critic and saboteur. So one aspect of writing I don't really see discussed as much is how to create a mindset that's conducive to writing. How do we deal with mental barriers, beyond just 'aahhhh writer's block begone foul demon!' The term 'writer's block' doesn't describe why we're blocked in the first place. What limiting beliefs, thoughts or mindsets related to writing have you had to deal with? How are you tackling them? For me, the following beliefs and mindsets were an issue. And here's how I tackled them: Everything has to be perfect or 'just so' before I can start. This extended from everything to the writing space (let's rearrange the furniture!) to caffeination (one more cup!), to worldbuilding (I have to complete these 365 questions of varying relevance and build an entire author's bible before I can start). Really, this was just a form of procrastination. You can't fail if you never start to begin with. There's something alluring about an idea resting perfectly behind glass like Grandmother's special occasion china, but sometimes you've just gotta use the fancy plates for pizza, dammit. I have to keep rewriting before I share it. Another variation of the above. It's just another way my mind tries to protect my ego - after all, I can never be criticised if I never get around to sharing it! It has to be just right first. Writing is an Art, on a higher plane of existence, unable to be comprehended by mere mortals. Artists are visited by the Magical Writing Fairy who blesses them with magical writing dust. You just gotta wait for the muse, man. The 'mystique' around art sounds cool, but I realised that there's an actual process and method involved. It's a skill and it can be learned. I don't have to just shrug and go 'welp guess I can't write time to die' Writing is something you're just good at. You've either got it or you don't. Related to the concept of 'Art' above, it's this idea that Artists are just born geniuses who fart out masterpieces. With writing, you usually see the product (a book sitting on the shelf), and not the process (the hard work it took to get there.) What helped was listening to interviews with some writers who shared their processes and helped demystify it. If you're not immediately good at something, why try at all? Ahhh, thanks, education system! This was just another way of trying to protect myself from hard work. When in reality, all learning takes effort and everybody is a novice at some stage. Nothing gained without a risk of failure. And failure itself is valuable in what you can learn from it. REAL writers do/are... They wear black. Except on Wednesdays, when they wear pink. And they never, ever write genre fiction. Reality: There IS no secret illuminati cabal of Real Writers who will grant you access to their treehouse if you know the password. The 'magnum opus' effect aka. THIS manuscript is The One that will be amazing/perfect/wildly successful! Dude, stop putting so much pressure on yourself with every first draft. It's just a novel! Chill! I'm A Writer. This is harder for me to describe but I guess it's the realisation that I've invested a lot of my identity/self-worth in what I was praised for being good at (writing). But what if I lose my hands? What if I lose my voice, or my speech, or my ability to string a sentence together? Do I stop 'being' a writer? Still working through this one, but two things I've realised: 1) writing is a process, not a fixed state of being, and 2) your identity isn't any one thing, impermanence, zen and memento mori, etc. etc. What if I just secretly suck at writing and everybody's too polite to say anything, and then I end up on the writing equivalent of American Idol making a national fool of myself? I mean, at least you had fun? I figure if I open myself up to being wrong and ask for concrit as something that can make me better, then I'm already avoiding the reality-TV route. You're not 'allowed' to want to write. Writing is juvenile/just a hobby/not something people *really* do. Look at this giant list of stuff you SHOULD be doing that's more important than your silly writing. Ugh, this is the most damaging one. Reality: I am allowed to write. I am allowed to want to write, and to pursue writing as something more than a hobby, because it matters to me. It matters deeply to me and I love doing it, therefore it has value and enriches my life. I can devote time and energy to the thing I love without feeling guilty for it. Honestly, I'm still dealing with all of these on-and-off but even just writing them down and articulating them helps in fighting them off. How have you dealt with these or similar mindsets?
  3. 4 points
    I don't know enough about the biology of it to be able to really answer the more technical questions. What I gathered from that article, and others I read, is that the male/female dichotomy is the easiest way to explain things, as we don't really have language that describes the spectrum. At what point does a person stop fitting in the male category, when there is such a range of ways that sexual characteristics can be displayed? I personally think male/female as concepts are completely valid, the majority does fall into those categories and it is an easy way to explain things. The nuance of what lies between is very difficult to capture in English. But just because the majority does fall into those categories doesn't mean other options aren't useful too. Having words and concepts to explain these things helps people know that they aren't alone, it gives language to describe a shared experience that is otherwise difficult to explain. As far as I understand it, nonbinary boils down to the rejection of fitting into the 'male' or 'female' boxes that are used by most societies, of choosing a third option. I could be wrong though, I don't personally know any nonbinary people and haven't done too much research myself. I agree that this is useful for writers (and everyone to know). Representation is important- respectful, sensitive representation even more so. So as far as writing genders that our outside of our lived experience, I think it is important to find resources written by people who HAVE lived it, to make sure we are telling some semblance of truth. From a more technical writing perspective, we want to avoid tokenism, we should show multiple viewpoints of other genders to avoid making it sound like we are trying to make a statement about that group. And we should keep in mind that we may represent what is truth for one person in a group may not be the truth for another, as everyone embraces gender in different ways. All we can do is try to be fair in our representation.
  4. 4 points
    Charic <NeedsALastName>: Role - He's a thief, like his father before him. Responsibilities as a thief? He would tell you it is to steal something impressive and get away with it, all while making a name for yourself. That's all he wants to do. 'Great thief' is an important part of his self identity. Relationships - His father was a thief, and he wants to make Daddy proud. If only his father would stick around long enough for Charic to tell him about his OWN adventures. Mother on the other hand is a strong, upstanding citizen, a former ship's captain. She disapproves strongly of Charic hanging around shady characters, and would probably disown him if she found out he followed in her ex-husband's footsteps. Still, as much as they fight he loves both his parents, and wants to make them proud. Status - He's low class, and that bugs him. He has to bow and scrape for every little lordling that passes by. Still, its a free world, and he means to take advantage of the upward mobility that money can buy. Competencies - Charic IS a great thief, when he's in the right mood. But he's past 30 and no one knows his name. They are singing songs about some 17 year old that jacked a bottle of wine from the temple of the God of Celebration, and that kind of thing can mess with a guy's confidence. He always manages to wiggle away from authority though, even if it means leaving a partner holding the bag. How does this lead to internal conflict? Well he sets high expectations for himself, and when he doesn't meet them, he falls into self doubt and despair and drinking, which makes him a worse thief, which spirals into him in a gutter, passed out drunk. A major part of his growth is learning to put less importance on his status and impressing his family, and finding satisfaction for his own sake.
  5. 4 points
    Here's my story. I noticed a real impact that social and media portrayals of gender had on my writing. As a young kid my characters started off as "better" versions of me, what you might call Mary Sues, who ran around having fun adventures and super-special magical powers with the "better" version of my best friend at the time. Later on as I grew up a little and my writing grew up too, I (unconsciously) looked around for examples of characters in media as a base for how characters should be written by default, how they should behave, etc. As an adult I can see that this was a form of "modelling". I wasn't explicitly taught writing, I picked it up from a love of storytelling, and so at first everything I "learned" was unconscious. Younger me looked around and saw that most of the interesting and pivotal characters were male. Male characters more often seemed to have complexity, inner conflict, the beating heart of story. At around this time I was also growing into the type of teenager who "wasn't like other girls" and I was developing a distinct discomfort with my gender and how I was perceived. Female characters in media, especially of my age, were often so stereotyped as to be unrelatable to me. Additionally, a lot of fanfic tended to be centred around male characters (since they were often main characters to start with, tended to have the most personality and backstory for writers to work with.) These all became models for my own writing. This reflected in my characters, of course. I can see a distinct shift, reading back my own writing, where my main characters stop being special versions of me, and become guys with suspiciously teenage levels of angst and a tendency to faint at dramatic moments. So for a loooong time literally all I wrote was white male characters, because that was what I learned to write. It made sense to me. Eventually I got over the "not like other girls" thing and realised that there were people I had a lot in common with, and some of them I could be friends with, wow! Cool! And eventually I decided hey, maybe I'd try my hand at that "writing female characters" thing. CUE BLANK WHITE PAGE. I had no idea where to even start because my mindset had been so focused on one type of story and one type of character. For a while this made me frustrated and sad and angry at myself. Why couldn't I write characters who were like me? What was stopping me? So I did a lot of my own research into crafting characters, and did a lot of thinking and practice. I read/watched a few works that had a big impact on me (Mortal Engines is one I remember in the YA genre, the play Hedda Gabler, and the book The Well - all feature female MCs who are flawed and tragic and unlikeable at times. Terry Pratchett's Discworld, too, though I'll admit he's not perfect.) Also, this feels like embarrassing advice, but it honestly helped me when I couldn't get unstuck and had no idea how to write: I wrote male characters and flipped their gender. Like, what if Indiana Jones was female? That sort of thing. (Eventually I found this could take you far but only so far as you start to consider how gender impacts character expression, etc... but that's an entire other essay.) I still feel like I have too many sausages on the plate, unless I make a concerted effort not to. Definitely need to work more on writing characters from different cultures and races! This is harder because it involves research. But the effort is rewarding because it has such fascinating results! So much more character depth and interest comes forth when you start to consciously examine your characters and play with tropes. It's another form of listing ten ideas and not just stopping at the 1st idea you have. The inverse of this: more and more of my characters these days are LGBT+ and I'm struggling to identify which ones aren't. TL;DR - I personally noticed an improvement in character development when I started to consider gender, because it forced me to stop and think about how I was writing characters.
  6. 3 points
    The mentor without a clue. So, fantasy has so many tropes, and playing around with them has become more and more popular. Here's a thread for turning the old tropes into something with a comedic twist for inspiration. Pick a trope, any trope. The runaway princess: Instead of having a run-away princess, maybe everything runs away from her. Maybe she loses everything, literally. Not only pets and objects, but she lost a suitor in the garden maze (never to be seen again) and a hand-maiden at the county fair (she probably ran off with the toffee-apple vendor), and now it seems she lost her way back to the castle. Curse? Or is she just careless? It's becoming a real problem though.
  7. 3 points
    I am looking at Charic and Mailyra (I used them in the Internal Conflict thread too). In the story they are thrown into working together, and at first they just rub each other the wrong way. Marx Brothers - They laugh at the same things, to their surprise. They both enjoy the street shows that happen daily outside the temple of the Goddess of Theater. Monogamy - They agree that they aren't working together by choice, that they both just want to get the job done so they don't have to deal with each other anymore. So they do technically line up at the beginning. This changes as the story goes on and Charic starts to warm up to Mailyra. He wants to be friends (and more) but Mailyra doesn't trust him as far as she can throw him, and this causes increased tension as they work together. Manners - Charic grew up in a rough neighborhood, and was heavily influenced by his thief father and uncle. His mother did teach him the 'proper' manners that Mailyra lives by, but he mostly chooses to ignore them. Mailyra is endlessly annoyed by his rudeness. Money - Charic is bad with money. He tends to be a social drinker, and before he knows it he's bought everyone a couple rounds and has drank all his money away. Mailyra runs the accounts for her employer and is very spending-aware, especially because she is living under an assumed identity. She saves up her money so she can be prepared to run at a moment's notice. Charic teases her for bringing a lunch every day, even on spying missions, when there is a street vendor selling tasty pies RIGHT THERE. Mind - They are both quite smart, savvy, good at reading people. When they do get along and work in sync they can communicate with a small nod of the head and get the job done. So as we can see here, there is a LOT of conflict at first. They will begin to align more towards the end of the book, as it becomes apparent that Charic's spending and rudeness all come from his sense of inadequacy and his simultaneous desire to both buy friendship while not letting people get too close. Mailyra will learn to be more trusting and less prone to quick, cutting judgements of people. Their friendship (and eventually romance) will happen slowly though, as seen in the Internal Conflict thread, these people have a LOT to unpack. So thinking no kissing until at least the second book.
  8. 3 points
    I come from a family where reading/writing is not important at all, so this thinking that "writing is lazy" is completely ingrained in me and I constantly feel useless for choosing it. I'm working really hard at writing books, like every day for hours and hours, but it's not visible work, so it's like having a dirty secret, lol! But I decided to give it all anyway. I don't care that no one cares. It's all I ever wanted to do. I find it really odd that art is so looked-down upon, because people encounter it everyday, but they don't seem to understand that someone probably has been working at it for years and years before creating that thing that became visible. A difficult mental thing for me is the fluctuation of self-doubt that comes and goes so fast. One minute everything is fun and inspiring, and the next I'm doubting the entire book. Then I just try to write through it, because I learned it will change back again. I'm usually not a particularly fast writer when it comes to novels so the time it takes is really depressing. I always feel time is running out, and that can stress me to the point where I get idea-blocked and feel really brain-clogged. That one is perhaps the hardest one to deal with, and I mostly feel it during the first draft (like a stress to get a story together), even though editing often is a more time-consuming thing. Still haven't figured out how to go to bed not feeling I should have gotten further with the story that day.
  9. 3 points
    I struggle with this a lot. I tend to be a perfectionist and often find myself in a mental state of "This has to be perfect on the first try, second drafts be damned!" This, of course, leads to my procrastination habit to skyrocket. However, I find that by telling myself it's okay to have a messy first draft helps quell my urge to write perfectly on the first try. It's not a one-and-done deal, but I managed to write some stuff down without being held back by the cycle.
  10. 3 points
    Some of these really spoke to me, and I'll go into my perspective on them. I'm a Writer: I've been labeling myself as such for a great many years now. While I started writing for myself when I was about 12, I probably didn't start thinking of myself 'as a writer' until about 14ish. But there was a strong compulsion I had to write then, and I was VERY prolific at starting stories (I'm not going to claim they were good). But then I realized that I was less of a writer, and more of a story maker. I can't help but make these stories, but I struggle now with actually writing them down. So writing became more what I do (from time to time) than what I am. Still, I can't help but feel a sense of loss at this. What if I just secretly suck at writing and everybody's too polite to say anything? I think this about myself...but not just when it comes to writing. But this is largely due to the fact that a lot of people in writing groups seem to fall into two categories: being brutally truthful and crushing a budding writer's hopes or being supper supportive, and sometimes I have equal trouble believing in either view point. Now, that's just a generalization, but the human brain has a habit of taking generalizations and painting them as truths, not necessarily out of malice or anything, but because it's time consuming to go through every individual piece of evidence all the time. You're not 'allowed' to want to write. Writing is juvenile/just a hobby/not something people *really* do. Look at this giant list of stuff you SHOULD be doing that's more important than your silly writing: This one is mostly a problem I have, except the juvenile/silly part. I have a lot of health issues, I'm a divorced mother of a 9 year old autistic son, I rely a lot on my mother for help, and I'm on social assistance. Oh, and I'm depressed. And many times my depression tells me I don't have a RIGHT to write. I should be doing something 'useful' or bettering myself, or at least that if I'm writing, it should be with the sole purpose of eventually getting published and therefor being somewhat 'useful' in the 'real' world. I don't know how to tell my brain to shut up and leave me alone as far as this one goes. I find myself waffling between patting myself on the back for doing ANYTHING productive (even if it's 'just' writing) and mentally yelling at myself for writing because it just lets me sink deeper into the fantasy rather than facing ugly, cold reality. My mother is extremely supportive, and always says she's happy when I'm writing because I enjoy it. But I always try to argue with her, I try to diminish what I'm doing. But that's probably more from mental illness than from any real flaw with writing or my writing process. My other big issue is the conceit that if I don't push myself to do things in a certain order or within a certain time frame, that I'm not a 'real' writer. I'm terrible at actually finishing any story, let alone getting to the editing part. I don't fully know all the reasons for this, but I'm generally really harsh with myself, and just say it's a lack of discipline combined with a lack of energy.
  11. 3 points
    I'm cisgendered so I am far from the voice to properly address this, but I want to chime in to say that biological sex isn't actually a binary, it is a range, and a very complicated topic. https://slate.com/technology/2018/11/sex-binary-gender-neither-exist.html The above article has an interesting story about an athlete that illustrates the complexities. https://www.genderspectrum.org/quick-links/understanding-gender/ This article breaks down some terms that help understand the confusion between sexual identity and gender. Identity isn't about doing what is easy, it is about doing what is true to your own self. I don't want to digress too much either but I urge you to do some research on your own to ease the befuddlement and to try and understand things outside of your scope of experience.
  12. 3 points
    To counter the idea of vampires going mad due to age, I do enjoy the idea Doctor Who explored with Lady Me. Her brain coped with too much information by forgetting things. So she wrote journals to chronicle her long life and remember things.
  13. 3 points
    When I was initially brainstorming my books I played with consequences for immortality before settling on longevity. An immortal race of beings didn't make sense, even though I toyed with introducing Celtic fairies for some of my mythology. I had a lot of fun crafting story lines for characters who obtained longevity rather than being born into it. Whether it was their own fault or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I decided to keep the spirit of the fairies in the consequences. In my world magic can cause longevity as it has an awareness and penchant for chaos. Belief also feeds into magic, so sometimes gods happen because they were people who became heroes and then legends and then warped into beings (a lot of) people prayed to. As such there are gods who didn't sign up for that particular gig but are bound by the chaos of belief to their stories, even when the stories change. As gods fall out of fashion for new stories they get forgotten, but they don't die easy. Gods and their stories tend to bleed into each other as time passes, so they get entrenched in the world until all seeds of their story disappear from the tellings. My main characters experience this in a backward sort of way by meeting raw wild magic face to face and their belief in each other is all that saves them. As time goes on they find they are fully capable of dying, each time ending up in a sort of pocket dimension world of their own making between the veils. They find their way back to the regular world but time moves on without them so it could be days, months, or decades between their departures and returns. Having to get used to all the advancements and changes is hard, but what's worse is knowing that even though they always come back they never get to stay. I like the idea of exploring life and death as fluid states that compliment each other and cycle together rather than being at opposing ends. I also want to dig into the idea of Becoming. Instead of 'character vs nature' turn it into 'character becomes nature'. I'd like to use the vehicle of longevity to explore what it might mean if people stopped holding themselves separate from the world they were born into and learned to be it. I think it's going to bring up a lot of interesting questions to play out, especially what it means to be human.
  14. 3 points
    “Do you know who I am?” the condemned witch screamed as the noose went over his neck. “I’m a master of witchcraft, a professor! I teach, I don’t kill!” “The people of Sparrow Down say otherwise.” The executioner slapped the horse’s rump and the witch swung beneath the cottonwood. 49 words!
  15. 3 points
    "The fire's gone out." A glance at the hearth confirms Maranda's words. It has indeed gone out. When, I couldn't say. She doesn't suggest relighting it. It is simply a shared truth between us, one that I'm content to live with; the chill has long since settled into my bones. 50 words exactly. I wrote it at 58 and had to trim it down. Contractions help 🙂 Edit: I just realized this doesn't have any fantasy elements. I'll leave it up, but maybe I'll try again.
  16. 3 points
    Rain splattered on the hood of his cloak and he shivered, palming the small silver broach in his hand. Not worth enough for the effort he’d endured. He watched without blinking. A pocket watch gleamed from a stranger’s sleeve. He pocketed the broach and headed out into the night. 49!
  17. 3 points
  18. 3 points
    Good Q! Not an expert here but these are my thoughts: I think going into rules that aren't relevant - especially early on in the book - can slow down the pace. Rules need to be simple at the start - but often rules are not - rules have exceptions. If that is the case - don't go into all the exceptions to the rules until they become relevant. Just state the rule simply and then build on it later. Often having a "clueless" character, or young/new-to-the-world character helps as they need to have these things explained and it can be done through dialogue which at least allows for some opportunity to build character voices. However, I see lots of published books where the character providing the info LOSES their voice whilst seeming to recite what the author wants us to know. Like they got possessed by the author and thus making it about as worthwhile as an infodump. In a series I am writing, my main character will be aware he is a magical being from the opening line, but due to age and lack of education he won't actually start to learn the limits/rules around using his powers until the third book. There will be magic and accidents and attempts to recreate but a whole lot of mystery and uncertainty - just got to make sure these magical bloops don't solve all the plots points and are more to keep reminding the reader of the growing desire for the magic itself to be expressed. Laws and customs can be used to help explain why a character is the way they are. If Billy, who happens to be the only character from the nation of X, reacts differently to a situation and gets angry or upset, then this provides an opportunity to help readers understand his unusual behaviour due to a rule or custom of his people that makes him see the world differently. I believe David Eddings did this well... if memory serves, it's been about 20 years since I read his books.
  19. 2 points
    I know this may be a sensitive topic, and if I could have approached this better, please let me know. But a person's identity (all aspects of identity, not just gender) is KEY to their character, and so I just want to see more view points on the subject. It seems to be a common conceit that the majority of main characters are male. Is this still true? How many of you default to male main characters (if you're not actively trying to do something differently or avert/subvert/invert tropes?) Do you find that your own gender identity changes what you write? Is there any gender/gender spectrum you're not comfortable writing? As for myself, I'm female and I think I have a somewhat higher ratio of female MCs to male MCs, which seems very natural to me. However, I seem to be most fond of a dual MC dynamic, often with one being male and one being female. I will say, though, that I've never written a first person story from a male perspective; any story of mine with a main male character will be third person. So far I have not attempted writing any main character that did not have one of the sex/DNA derived genders (male or female). This is for two reasons. 1) When I first started writing (note, I was 12 and this was in the early 90's) I had no idea that there was such a thing as a person who wasn't male or female. Most of my stories originate from that time and there's only been a handful of truly 'new' stories that I've started since learning more about the subject (I still have a lot to learn). 2) I have yet to do the research enough on the subject to treat such characters with fairness, sensitivity, empathy, and not be dismissive to people in those groups. I'm not going to write a demographic I'm not really familiar with just to say I've done it; it will take a lot of information before I would be comfortable enough to tackle it. And, to be honest, I'm worried about offending people if I have too many questions.
  20. 2 points
    I already live in the real world. I don't care much for it. I'd much rather explore the possibilities behind the tantalizing question of 'what if'. Also, and this is probably not the best thing, when you make your own world, as long as you're consistent WITHIN it, it's hard for people to just tell you, "That's not the way the world works." It works that way because I say so. Whether you find my worlds compelling is up to you. But I've always felt rather 'out of touch' with the real world, not so much in that I can't tell reality from fiction, but that it always seemed there were so many cues I missed, so many assumptions that I couldn't find the basis for. And because I often felt out of step with my peers, it was much easier for me to construct a new world than it is to shoe horn any of my imaginative stories into the real one.
  21. 2 points
    Hi there! I'd like to share two resources which help me when I have run into a wall with my writing. The first is an online writing motivator: http://writtenkitten.net/ Every 100 (or other set) words, the site will give you a new adorable kitten picture (or another type of picture, if you specify). With the Million Word Challenge coming up, I think this will be a useful way to get me going to add more words to my story. The second is a more specific tool for finding words: http://chir.ag/projects/tip-of-my-tongue/ This tool helps when there's a particular word blocking you from moving forward. It gives multiple ways to look up words in their sort-of-thesaurus, so if you have a specific term that's just on the tip of your tongue, you can use this to look for it. Hopefully these can be helpful to y'all as well 🙂
  22. 2 points
    (I'm not sure if we're supposed to be responding to each other's snippets, or if we're just supposed to post them in here.)
  23. 2 points
    “You know, it’s funny. I’ve spent all this time wishing for home, and now that I stand in its shadow… I find myself afraid.” She had changed much since she left. Did she even belong here anymore? She took a breath. There was only one way to find out. - 49!
  24. 2 points
    The great red dragon burst from the lake. The wizard raised his hand, an ice charm encasing their band. The dragon arced down, opened its maw... and unleashed a wave of dragonfire. And thus, another band of adventurers fell to the dragon of the north. 45! 😄
  25. 2 points
    I think a lot of it is also a person's experiences. I started writing when I was 12, and I had very little interest in writing anything romantic. I didn't start writing that sort of thing until I was maybe 16 or 17, but the romances never went very far. As an adult, I'm much more invested in having romance, but I don't feel a compulsion to add it to every story. Sometimes characters just develop in a way that it makes sense for romantic involvement. As I rewrite older manuscripts, sometimes I find a romance that needs to be removed, but in other stories I find an excellent opportunity to add one. In essence, I don't think there should ever be a 'forced' romantic scene, and it shouldn't be used as filler material. Each story has to be its own example on whether or not romance fits with it. And each author has to find the best way for him/her/etc to tackle romantic writing, or decide that he/she/etc doesn't want to tackle it at all.