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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/27/2018 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    I've been into dinosaurs since I was age 4. My parents attribute it to Barney at the very beginning, although Jurassic Park certainly helped contribute to it (I saw the latter when I was between four or five years old). I spent six years of my childhood as an expat in Singapore, and I remember the tropical flora and the muggy equatorial climate very vividly. If you're wondering why so many of my stories have tropical settings, that's a big reason why. Also, the multicultural population of Singapore (as well as Hong Kong, where I spent my high school years) made me used to ethnic diversity. We studied ancient Egypt when I was in second grade, which is what sparked my interest in ancient history. Playing games like Age of Empires and Pharaoh a lot as a kid further kindled that interest. Hence why influences from ancient Egypt and other historical civilizations are also commonplace in my stories. Studying biological anthropology at uni has come in handy for world-building, especially when designing human ethnic groups and their cultures. During my grade school years, I had a few unpleasant confrontations with teachers and fellow students who wanted to impress their fundamentalist interpretation of Christianity onto me. I was already an atheist before then, but those experiences didn't exactly endear me to the Abrahamic religions. I'm not exactly a militant anti-religious type, but I'm generally not fond of worlds (e.g. C.S. Lewis's Narnia) that show a strong Judeo-Christian influence. I've left this for last since it deals with sensitive subject matter. But I'll never forget the day I first stumbled onto neo-Nazi and white supremacist websites while browsing the Internet in my early adolescence. It was a shocking experience to discover whole communities of people who not only embraced racist worldviews, but who went out of their way to justify their prejudices using pseudoscience and historical revisionism. Not only did that shape my personal politics, but it also led to my increased interest in African history and anthropology, since so many of these scumbags would insist that Africans were naturally incapable of civilization or cultural sophistication. As I said before, I was already into history even before this event happened, but it was probably what made me more focused on Africa.
  2. 4 points
    - 2 new novels published - 2 novels, a poetry and a short stories volume ready for publishing, to appear in 2019 - poetry published in 2 anthologies (3+4 poems) - short stories published in 3 anthologies and several literary magazines. - First prize won at a literary competition for short stories.
  3. 4 points
    Taekwondo to yellow belt, boo yeah? I remember how to tie the belt, and a couple of the moves, but its all pretty blurring. I was like 10 soooo... I did synchronized swimming for a couple years but I can't see how that would be very useful, it is super specific Lived in a teeny tiny town for summer jobs, out in the wilderness. So some experience being more disconnected and isolated, getting to know your neighbors. That same tiny town was also an old gold rush town, so I learned a lot about pioneers and living rough and carving homes out of wilderness, which I think is useful for a fantasy setting. Oh! And last time I visited I went on a stagecoach ride, which was super educational. Got a video on my up on it, from the drivers perspective. Hotel front desk and exposure to how shitty tired people can be. Editing to add - Helped my mom through a manic episode caused by drug interactions, was very educational experience to see how a person's personality can just be flipped because the dosage of a pill was incorrect
  4. 4 points
  5. 4 points
    Finally decided on a university major after 2 years of debating and questioning myself.
  6. 4 points
    In the hopes that Saturdays are a little freer for most people, Advent Saturdays will be for Flash Fic. Write a piece of flash fantasy fiction with a soft word limit of 500 words. (If you go a little over, that's fine, but the goal is to keep it short.) Your challenge response can be posted as a comment on this calendar event, or you may post it in the Library and tag it with "advent day 1" so that I can find it easily! The goal is to get it done December 1st, but late writing is better than no writing, so if you miss the deadline submit it anyway! This isn't a challenge we'll vote on, so there's no need for a hard deadline. Keep track of all the Advent challenges here! Your prompt is an AND/OR situation: "They say when you can't sleep at night, it's because someone is thinking about you." AND/OR
  7. 3 points
    When you think back, do any of your past experiences stick out as things that have or will impact your writing? Are there any that you thought at the time or right after the experience "Wow this is going (to help) in a book someday"? Any that you didn't think much of at the time, but in retrospect have had an influence on your writing? Some examples for me: Taekwondo. I didn't really think about it at the time, but practicing taekwondo or another combat sport can help with understanding things like combat fatigue, adrenaline, etc. That time I as an atheist (more of an agnostic now) fell for a Christian guy, and though it never really mattered in my case I wondered what it would be like for a devout Christian and staunch atheist to fall in love, and wanted to write that story. Military basic training. I went in knowing it would be an experience that could help me understand characters with a military background, military organizations, etc. Learning Korean, visiting Korea on language immersion; I actually thought these would be more influential than they have been so far, although I'm sure they've helped with my grasp on foreign cultures in worldbuilding. Horseback riding over Thanksgiving break, for sure. Nothing like experiencing it for real to help with writing about characters on horseback. I got polygraphed Monday and just... that experience is going to help in a story someday, I know it xD And I'm sure every relationship I've had, every job I've had, everything will contribute in some way, but those are the things that stand out to me at the moment! You?
  8. 3 points
    @Penguinball, you've got some real neat ones on your list, like the stagecoach ride! Also, I'm sure the experience with your mom was challenging and awful while you were going through it 😞 It's cool that you got something out of it beyond the hard memories. @Manu that's a lot of things, and such a cool analysis of how so many different things in you life have impacted your writing! It's so interesting that you never really thought of it before, but that in investigating the question you were able to recognize so many different ways your life experiences have influenced you as a writer. Also, like I mentioned in mine, I learned Korean, so I'm keenly aware of the challenges of using a non-native language, and can I just say that I'm super impressed that I doubt I'd have any idea your native language isn't English without the little note in your signature?!
  9. 3 points
    That's such an interesting question - in fact I think I just learned a few things about me while I was thinking about an answer, so thanks for the thought-prpvoking impulse! Since I have never thought about this before, most of these are thing I realized just now, I can't recall ever having thought "This will help with a book". Becoming a biophysicist and working in research for a couple of years. It has changed me in so many ways it deserves a bullet list of its own. Since biophysics crosslinks biology, biochemisty and physics, I was trained in all of these and in crosslinking information from different sources that seems unrelated at first sight - I think that helps a lot when it comes to combining ideas or looking at things from a different angle. Analytic thinking. I've always been a rational person, but studying sciences has definitely trained my analytic thinking skills. It helps a lot when it comes to figuring out what doesn't work in a story and why it doesn't work. It's probably also the reason why I am a hardcore planner. Physicists are trained in dissecting an unmanagable problem into smaller, managable ones. Helps with a lot of things in life, but when it comes to writing, it helps me to structure stuff and approach things strategically - connecting the details with the bigger picture, and figuring out which details the bigger picture is made of in the first place. Working in research labs has tought me how to figure out patterns in huge masses of data. That helps a lot when it comes to figuring out story structure. It has also taught me that you have to be critical about your own theories - if you want to publish a paper, you have to be one step ahead to survive the peer review process, you have to ask yourself what weaknesses sceptics will find in your data and design experiments to prove them wrong even before you start writing the paper. Helped a lot with figuring out logic stuff and avoiding or killing plotholes. Also helps with designing magic systems or worldbuilding. Scientific writing. It has shaped my writing a lot, both in positive and negative ways. I have difficulties with embellishing a scene, but I am great at delivering relevant information in the correct order. Other things that have influenced my writing: Roleplaying. It helps with worldbuilding, and also with figuring out coherent character actions (because I was GM most of the time, and had to figure out what the players would/could do in a scene and how to react to that) Mental illness. I know what it means to struggle, and I think that helps with making a character's struggles authentic. Time spent in psychiatric hospital. It was a tough time back then, but retrospectively, it has broadened my mind in so many ways. I met people from all societal classes, who I would have never met otherwise. I gained insight in other people's ways of thinking during group therapy sessions, in a way you rarely get the chance to outside of therapy settings. I learned to analyze and question my own behavioral patterns, and reflected on the events in my life that have made me the person I am today. So many experiences, and I'm sure all of them help when it comes to characterization. Not proud of it, but: Growing up in a dysfunctional family. "Write what you know" implies for me that none of my characters have normal, happy families. I simply don't know how to write one. Rock climbing. I've written a character who is good at climbing before, and I probably wouldn't have without my own experiences. Having a small garden and grwoing my own vegetables. Gives me an idea of how much work it is to feed yourself, and how devastating it can be if something destroys your harvest (I had a rabbit in my garden once - just a sinlge one, but it was very hungry. In another year, it rained so much that the plants grew poorly, and 2018 was incredibly hot and dry. I'm so grateful my survival doesn't depend on my harvest!). Oh, and does saving a cat qualify? My cat is s former stray that I rescued 😛
  10. 3 points
    I quite enjoy conventional fantasy tropes but with a little twist; eg I have an asthmatic knight who doesn’t like to ride horses but who slays a dragon using explosives.
  11. 3 points
    The ragtag bunch becoming a family is a major theme in my heist novel, found families are great. Is double cross with a change of heart a proper trope? Where someone betrays the team then changes their mind and comes back at the last moment to save the day? If it isn't it should be, because I'm using it 😛
  12. 3 points
    Well, the one that springs immediately to mind is the subversion of the Death God/Goddess trope of being a dark, pale, spooky, grim/glum person. Instead she's a brash, emotional person with red hair, green eyes, and a full figure. I didn't do this because I thought the trope was bad. I liked the dark/grim/mysterious deities of Death. But I just wanted to see what a world would be like without one.
  13. 3 points
    How does one pollinate a penguin? Not wanting to get too ... erm ... technical or pornographic, of course.
  14. 3 points
    So my faeries work a bit like ants, they work as a group and they dont really go outside their norm. They can't go out of their forest either, and thanks to my antag years ago, their numbers have dwindled. And so Adesi wants to right things by creating a child who can live away from the forest, who has faerie magic and human/demon type magic, and from there she can either cause chaos or help the faeries. She could help them get out of the forest and wreck the demons as revenge for destroying their numbers. However her creating this chimera child causes so many issues for the demons and humans which have had a relative peaceful time, it hasnt been as bad as it has in the past, and most demons want to keep it that way. They just want a space to live and food to eat (it just happens that some of that is human...) Sevastyan, my antag, says fuck off to all that. He wants to be the strongest so he can have some weird control. This chimera child could be stronger than him if genetics turns out well. Adesi picks a demon with fire magic so the child will have faerie abilities, plus demon strength, and fire magic. She could be the cause of a war, easily. A bit of a prophecy child, but I'm flipping the trope. She will be born, but she's not as special as everyone is scared of. At least not right now. I don't know what her future holds.
  15. 3 points
    Here are my answers for Court of Shadows: "Derric"/Ivar - Here's the funny thing about "Derric"'s secret: even he isn't fully aware of it, not until the last half of the story when he starts to slowly piece things together and realize that his memories have been messed with. So at first he's basically bombarded with a bunch of memories that come whirling back to him and he's like all RAWR ANGRY REVENGE (except not really). So then when Alana finds out, she feels kind of betrayed (even more so than she already has because at this point she's already aware that he's been spying for the dark fairy queen), but she kind of slowly accepts it because she knows it wasn't really his fault, and everything starts to dad up. When Harrow finds out, he actually puts the missing pieces together pretty quickly, because he has a magical attachment to the royal family (aka Ivar) due to being a former bodyguard for them, and he's like "OMG THE PRINCE IS ALIIIIIVE!" 😛 And here are my answers for Storms of Magic: Arris loves Queen Cressida. It's a secret that he keeps deep down, 'cause he knows it's never going to happen due to her 1. being engaged (it's a forced engagement, though, basically) 2. being queen and his not (knowingly) being of noble blood. But his best friend, Merek, knows Arris well because, well, they're best friends. He is probably going to end up smacking Arris on the head for being a dummy when it comes to this. I haven't figured out if anything else is going to happen regarding this (i.e. the guy she's being forced into marrying finding out), though.
  16. 3 points
    There's literally nothing on the forum that you have to pay for in order to access it. There are features that are optional that can be paid for via donations, but those are separate from any of the other features that we currently have. We would never add a feature and be like "oops, you can't use this unless you subscribe!" or something. If we add any features that have to be paid for by donation, it'll be because people were awesome enough to put the money towards it so that everyone can enjoy and use it and not only certain people who choose to donate.
  17. 3 points
    Agree could be a simple thumbs-up sign, or a tick perhaps. As for the original topic, I still don't know how reputation is gained. Kherezae has +43 at the time of writing this. Mynoris has +16. Do we need to do a certain amount of posts to get +1 reputation? Or do we have to have people liking our posts? I remain an enigma without reputation. Perhaps I should endeavour to stay that way.
  18. 3 points
    Worldsmyths Advent Calendar Writing Challenge I did a bit of research into Advent, and it turns out there are typically four main themes of Advent. There can be some variation, but I went with a common set of four: Love, Joy, Faith, and Hope. So I've split our Advent Calendar into four arcs with these themes, and I'll post them one arc at a time to give people with complicated holiday schedules a chance to work ahead if they need to. The goal here is to do something small and writing-related every day, in this case based on a brief Advent prompt. I'll be putting the Advent challenges on the calendar, and you can respond to them directly there -- or, if you write flash fic and want to add it to the Library, tag it according to the instructions on the calendar event! I'll keep track of people's entries here. Day 1: Love Flash Fic Heartsong by @LivvyMoore Keeping you awake. by @Kenaron Fleeting by @Mynoris Insomnia by @Manu In Dreams by @kherezae Day 2: Love Magic @Manu (commented) @Mynoris (commented) @kherezae (commented) Rekindled Lies by @LivvyMoore @Penguinball (commented) Day 3: Love Character Trespass by @kherezae @Penguinball (commented) @Manu (commented) Day 4: Love Tradition @Penguinball (commented) @kherezae (commented) @Mynoris (commented) Day 5: Love Plot @Penguinball (commented) @kherezae (commented) Day 6: Love Mythos @Penguinball (commented) Day 7: Joy (Writer's Choice) @Manu (commented) Day 8: Joy Flash Fic Day 9: Joy Magic @Penguinball (commented) Day 10: Joy Character Day 11: Joy Tradition @Penguinball (commented) Day 12: Joy Plot Day 13: Faith Mythos Day 14: Faith (Writer's Choice) Day 15: Faith Flash Fic Day 16: Faith Magic Day 17: Faith Character Day 18: Faith Tradition
  19. 3 points
    There’s a free map making software called Inkarnate. It has a really nice interface once you get used to it. Here’s a couple of examples of things I’ve made for it. With a free account, you can save up to 10 maps to the account, but you can make and save to your computer as many as you’d like.
  20. 3 points
    Exactly. Alright then, I will spearhead this activity 🙂 As I said it will depend on how my healing is going, I will keep you all appraised.
  21. 3 points
    The Tree and the Work is coming of age modern fantasy (or what's that term, magic realism?) where the protagonist, now in their late teens, must decide to put away childish belief in the magic tree that was their escape from a stressful childhood. They must join 'the real world' and get a boring office job at the company their mother works out of, and put away dreams of travel and settle for the soul crushing monotony of cubicle slavery. But along the way to their first day of work they find an acorn, shed by their childhood tree, and picking it up sets of a a whole series of adventures in motion, leading to them finding a balance between dreams and reality. My New Book Title Is: So Much Fun with the Alternate Universe
  22. 3 points
    Good question bdcharles[/member]! I will try and think up an answer... kherezae[/member] The position of scientists in your project is interesting, I like the idea of their privilege being fragile. For mine... I'm still working this out. My current WIP has many gods with many priests, and those priests are highly integrated into society. Pretty much anyone can join any temple, so there are fewer barriers for joining that social class. I'm thinking there will still be a ruling class comprised of nobility and monarchs, which will vary from country to country. There will be a highly developed merchant class, as certain gods are constrained to physical locations, and their followers need to import goods to use their powers (forge god followers import metals from the mining god's city for example). These merchants also dominate sea travel, as the last war of the gods centuries ago torn the land apart, and some countries can no longer easily reach their neighbors through overland travel. Different priest classes will have higher social status depending on which city they are in. A mercenary priest of the god of blood will be treated like a beggar in the city belonging to the goddess of herbs, because the goddess of herbs has an alliance with the goddess of healing, who has a feud with the god of blood... But in his own city he will be treated with great respect. I'm thinking: Ruler of the Country Administrative/Noble class Merchant Princes Merchants Priests (vary up the scale) Regular people who aren't pledged to a god, working class I'm trying to make the whole god/priest thing highly integrated into society and its making social class very complicated.
  23. 3 points
    Do you have any examples in mind from other magic systems that don't really use the word "spell"? For instance, in Marie Lu's The Young Elites books, the main character's power manifests as strings she can see connecting everything, and she pulls on/manipulates the strings as necessary. It's never described as casting a spell, so much so that it's weird to think of it that way, but when it boils down to it that's basically what she's doing. In Mistborn they ingest metals and burn the power in them, then use the power to Push or Pull on whatever attribute is allowed by that metal. This might be Pushing or Pulling on emotions (dampening or inciting them), or on their physical senses/abilities, or on metal (sort of like really powerful, specific magnetism). In the Stormlight Archive there are various magic systems, but the main one that comes to mind is Lashing, which is sort of like gravity manipulation. The character draws in Stormlight as fuel, then Lashes themselves or an object to another object, changing the way gravity works for that object. By Lashing themselves to the ceiling, for instance, they can fall to the ceiling and then walk there. In Shadowhunters, they draw runes on themselves, and each rune imbues them with a different ability. Stamina, or healing, or enhanced sight, etc. It's also possible to draw runes on other things and use the power that way. So as others have said, if you're using 'manipulate' and 'manifest' to describe what they're doing for yourself, perhaps it's as simple as that. If they don't think of what they're doing as casting spells, then kind of cut that step out entirely. Do they see it as interacting with nature directly? Would something as simple as "(S)he drew the shadows in around her/himself," work? Or if you want it to be more explicit, something along the lines of "(S)he reached out with the power welling at her/his core, finding the slippery energy of the shadows and coaxing them in to surround him/her." ? My personal preference is for streamlining the magic use as much as possible, so that might be coloring my suggestions. I really enjoy magic systems that steer away from "casting" and "spells" in favor of something more unique and/or something that is a natural extension of what we do.
  24. 2 points
    I joined World Anvil a couple days ago! I like how it looks so far. I like being able to link everything together but what I like MOST is the templates, they are making me answer questions about each topic in more depth than occurs to me on my own. I was concerned about the privacy too, but access to your world is protected behind a password as far as I know. Your new entries show up in a feed of everything new but disappear super quickly, so people aren't really finding your worlds unless they are looking for them. Their discord channel also seems super helpful, they've got like 5 worldbuilding channels that people are using constantly to develop ideas. Plus the dev is super active on there, and very responsive. I I've only been using it a couple days but I'm impressed so far!
  25. 2 points
    Another fan of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles! Two books in and I adore it ❤️ Definitely adding Seraphina to my reading list!!! The lack of humans is really interesting! To be honest, I’ve concerned doing something similar with my series—cutting out humans and making the races entirely different types of elves. (My other favorite fantasy race…) Also, I understand what you mean about dragon riding! For me, it’s only okay if they are a) an animal race with no conscious thought, or b) there’s a bond of respect/partnership between them and their rider, as in the case of the Inheritance Cycle and—if I remember right—Pern.