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katfireblade last won the day on September 11

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About katfireblade

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    Chaos Wrangler
  • Birthday October 18

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  1. It's one of the best things I've seen. So, of course, they cancelled it two seasons into a six season run. It's very unfinished, cliffhangers and all, but I still consider it well worth the watching. Plus I've never manages a re-watch without being attacked by plot bunnies. 🀣
  2. Have you seen CarnivΓ le? It's an unfinished series (much to my sorrow), but they had a fascinating take on this.
  3. Though it's not part of the forum thread posted here, the Discord discussion that this came from brought up an amazingly good point. There was an interview with an old hand in the movie industry, an actor, who was recalling various things about his career. The outtake I saw mentioned his discussion with a director. The director said he'd never seen someone do a convincing Hitler because people came at the role with the idea that the man was pure evil. But the thing is, in his own mind, Hitler was not evil. In fact, in his own mind, he was a hero, and was doing the right thing to save his country. To himself he was not a madman or a murderer, but a savior. And, like him or hate him, we couldn't be who we are today without him. His actions set off a chain reaction that is directly responsible for everything from our current technology to redefining many of our ideas on morality. Plus, he couldn't be who he was without us. He cribbed heavily from common eugenics ideas of the time period, especially ones the USA practiced back then, and continued to practice even after the end of WWII. In fact, we were still doing them into the late 1970s, and we weren't the only industrialized, was actually a part of WWII, and should-have-known-better country doing such things. And there are still cries for it even now (putting gays in concentration camps, killing all the Muslims, Australia and it's solution to the refugees on their shores, Brexit as a reaction to the influx of minorities and Muslims, etc.). There's no black-and-white here. Hitler did good things, some of them, yes, deliberately, while we continue to support extremely evil ideas that should have died with the man, and even accept these toxic notions unquestioningly into our societies and cultures. Every time someone says "all blacks are criminals" or "all Asians are smart," or even jokes about "all blonde women are stupid"...yeah, that idea that someone's looks or race can predict what kind of person they are? Those ideas we fight, we embrace, and we even joke about? Those are all based in the debunked science of eugenics. You can also look at Vlad Dracul for another example. To the world outside his country he was a monster, but within his country he's revered as a hero. Why? Because he used terror tactics and psychological warfare to keep at bay two large world powers who wanted to conquer his teeeeeeny tiny country. And he managed it. To this day they never submitted to anyone's rule or became absorbed by the larger powers surrounding them, despite being outmanned, outgunned, and outclassed. He kept his people free. He was respected, feared, and even loved in his own time because of many improvements he made, including, it is said, pretty much eradicating crime. He probably wasn't the most mentally stable savior (understandably so), but for generations of people, millions of lives, he was the best and only one they had. And that's the problem with the idea of pure evil--it rarely is. To the Iraqi child who just lost her father to a US soldier, he is the embodiment of evil. To the soldier who's life he saved by killing a man from the opposing side, he's a hero. And the sad fact is, both of them are right. I must not be normal then, because I find this amazingly easy. Even if their reasoning doesn't make much sense on a level of pure logic, they do use reasoning. They often chase what feels good, whatever that is. Manson loved controlling his followers, as did Jim Jones. Serial killers often do it for sexual thrills. Narcissists' first care is making themselves seem wonderful--they get off on the feel-good accolades and the prizes it brings. Genocide is done for power, control, and wealth. Inferior products and polluting factories are done for profit and the power that goes with wealth. Dictators love power, wealth, and control--and sex, because with power comes other types of conquest. The same could be said of any other scenario where power is involved. Even rapists gets their thrills from the control they have over the other person. All evil tends to come down to acting on animal instincts. Everything is about food, power and mates--and keep in mind, food is what we need to survive, that's "security" in the wild. Strip away everything from health care to our homes, and you'll find we don't need any of it to live, just to live well. But food is a must, so any mention of food here can also be considered "security," the security you'll live to see another day. Power brings food (security), territory, and mates. Wealth brings food (security), territory, and mates. Control comes from one form of power or another, and while it may not always bring food (security), territory, and mates together, it often touches on at least one of the three. Examples? Serial killers often have "hunting grounds" (territory) and do it for the sexual thrills (faux "mates"). Sociopaths use their charm and ability to blend to get...you guessed it, territory, food, and mates via power and control. Narcissists are generally after the same thing as sociopaths. Cult leaders carve out communes (territories), live off the wealth of their followers (food & power), and engage in sexual congress with their flock (mates). Pedophiles, like rapists, get sexual highs from their domination of their victims as much as the sex itself (power, control, faux "mates," and they also often hunt in "safe territories"). Psychopaths are the only wild card, and can be thought of as the "rabid dogs" of human societies, but even then it comes down to the same three basics, just coming at it backwards. Like that shooter who gunned down a college and left a manifesto about how he was getting back at the girls who wouldn't sleep with him (perceived lack of mates). Columbine may have occurred because of school bullying (trying to take back a loss of perceived power in what would have been part of their home territory). Those assholes who run down Muslims in the streets then screech they're doing it for America are trying to take back what they perceive as their land (territory & food), protect their families and homes (territory, food, and mates), and are willing to kill to keep the mainstream culture, values, and morals they grew up with alive and untainted (power & control). Psychopaths don't seek to acquire survival basics, they seek to get revenge/cause chaos because of what they feel they don't have or are in danger of losing. But it's still all food (security), territory, and mates. We really aren't much more than animals.
  4. Hello also from the PNW! Did you know NK Jemison has a new book called How Long 'til Black Future Month? I haven't read it yet, but I have added it to my collection. πŸ™‚ Glad to have you aboard!
  5. Totally voting lion king with mermaids. Nano is an excellent time to have fun with new ideas you know you'll have to second draft. Plus, this just sounds amazeballs. I am less jazzed about The Star Mirror because i totally understand writing and rewriting a story to get it right. It seems like Nano would be great for that sort of thing, but if it comes out imperfect or a hot mess again, I suspect you'll be headed for draft 4. You might want to move a little slower on that one, maybe challenge yourself *after* nano with their new website tools instead of making it an actual Nano project. Honestly, Bring Back the Green sounds the *most* Nanoable WIP. Personally I just like the mermaid concept better. But if you were going for a minimum of setup before Nano, this is what you need. ...aaaaaand now I have The Fiddler on the Green stuck in my head.
  6. I'mma be the odd man out and say I'm all about not using real life names unless my piece is firmly grounded in history and/or modern day. This is another world, not ours, and if I run across a character named "Steve" as the reader, I will be supremely unimpressed. The way I see it, they should have different names, because they have entirely different histories from ours, with different important names (heroes, kings, gods), and different languages. It doesn't mean names don't have rules, though, and they change for me from world to world. I usually start most of my worlds with a little bit of basic language building. This is easy, just reduce your alphabet by a few letters, decide on a few common word patterns in the spelling (ou ie, gh, jh, th, da, etc.), and boom, you have a language that looks just foreign enough with very little effort. Cribbing from existing languages is fine. Then I'll make a few simple words like "village," "town," "city," "fortress," "ocean," "desert"...you get the idea. Then I'll add by need--if I want to call a place "The Dark Fortress" (fortress = dois), I'll make a word for "dark" (niann). It could be Dois Niann or Niann Dois or Doinias, whatever combination best serves my needs. But if every place that has a fortress has a "doi" somewhere in the name, readers will pick up on that pattern. Characters are much the same. I'll pick out a name meaning (magical flower) and I'll make just the words I need for that name. They'll become cannon in the language, but from there I'll also convert them. I'll pick out the words (oursu = magic, uimi = flower), then squish them together in various ways (oursuimi, suimi, uimoursu, uimirsu, usuimi) until I come up with something pleasing to the eye and that feels like the character (Usuimi). When I don't have a language (and often when I do), I'll make up some rules. The easiest is how a name ends. In Spanish, for example, a female name might end in "A" (Roberta) while a male one will end in "O" (Roberto). With this in mind I'll pick a handful of suffixes for either gender, then stick to them. Another, as someone else said, is to do the "son of/daughter of" modifier, and you can pick whatever modifier you want. I came up with names like: Chymu ga Momoino – Chy Sakinsu ga Payosu – Saki Maigi ga Suyau – Mai Ttwuiw un Ttongeun – Ttwui Motaim un Waimot – Mot Hyutus un Koluss – Hyu There's a lot of rules with these names. First, female names end in vowels, male in consonants, always. The only exception is nicknames, which can end any way whatsoever for any gender. Then there's the way people are addressed. To strangers you are always your last name, so if you were looking at the first name on the list, a stranger would call her "ga Momoino" or, more literally, "daughter of Momoino" out of respect (women are traced through mothers, males through fathers). More informal situations--family get-togethers that include distant relatives, work environments where people have known each other for years, etc.; anything that is closer than acquaintance but not close enough to be a personal relationship--can be called by first name; so to those people she would be "Chymu." To those closest to her--deep friendships, closest family like parents, her lovers, etc.--she would be "Chy." Any use of names in this book will tell a reader instantly how close two characters are as well as hinting at social structures and social mores. Readers will also be able to peg rude or rebellious characters very quickly, as they'll flaunt and break these rules. I've also used modifiers to denote castes. Or "castes," since it denoted a complicated mix of wealth, status, and job. The names would look something like this: "Il-Aizahs." The dash was put in for the reader, to let them know it's safe to ignore the first part of the name and concentrate on the suffix. With the dash it looks like two names conjoined instead of a single one with an all too common prefix. In this case, "Il-" denotes a soldier status, and it's one of the few prefixes that can be gained and lost in a lifetime. "Aj-" is only given to kings, "Eni-" is food based (farmers, grocers, bakers, and the like), merchants can be "Ira-" or "Ir-," "Ir-" must be bestowed and denotes the merchant is trustworthy, craftsmen are "Ani-," and so on. I love leaving nifty breadcrumbs for astute readers to follow, and breaking the patterns sometimes to denote something special or have an reader question why. Even those who don't will generally pick up on some basic rules unconsciously, and those rules will "ring true" for them, making the world seem more real and complex. Here I have months of the year: Fukaas Uzuaas Uaxiaas Sirikaas Niaas Riaraas Sekikaas Vexikekaas Uiuaas Xaaraas Ihoaas Sasaas Zenisaas Iu Here I have clan names: Hohniinas Ajahlzi Vlexiinas Ajahlzi Rahliinas Ajahlzi Tixaliinas Ajahlzi Yoltiinas Ajahlzi Isliinas Ajahlzi Xoziinas Ajahlzi And here I have deity names: Arturus Malixa Ixiana Enkin Aloxin Vilja Ziriukixian See the patterns? Note the exceptions? I also have a story in which the name "Alise" is common; so much so that when my MC has a glamour cast on her to disguise her as another woman (against her will), no one thinks it's unusual she also already shares a name with the woman she's replacing. I even put in points in the book where she will turn in a village when her name is called only to see a child running home or a shopkeeper respond. In that world the name "Alise" is as common as "Sarah" is here. This requires some literary juggling (Alise-goose-girl or Alise-my-wife depending on who is being referred to in scenes where the other MC must talk of both), but it was a really fun challenge. And the common name is also key to her character, that the MC is ordinary, a nobody, not even deserving of a unique name. So...yeah, I have a lot of fun with character names I guess is what I'm saying. πŸ™‚
  7. Welcome! Great to have you here! I really like the sound of your city; I hope you share more! No worries, several people here deal with more adult themes. We do have a group set up for talk about more mature stuff. There hasn't been a lot of traffic there as of yet, but if you ever need to bounce something with an R-rating off people, I'm always more than happy to talk to folks there. I'm not exactly light-and-fluffy either. πŸ™‚
  8. Ask them; they've been pretty responsive to complaints. My icon changed to my previous one, and I think that was on purpose in response to me flipping out about the black and white one.
  9. Start a new WIP every time you get a new idea. You don't want to forget anything.
  10. https://preview.nanowrimo.org/participants/kat-fireblade Still trying to figure out how to set up the danged webpage.
  11. Not sure yet myself, though I may well become a NaNo rebel.
  12. Yeah, far as I can tell the site is live but still a bit buggy. I saw them say elsewhere that they were planning on fine tuning the site before November.
  13. Final update of the website seems to be complete. The new site is a go, so it's safe to find buddies and such. πŸ™‚
  14. My greyest hero-type character (well, anti-hero) I'm still trying to figure out how to write. He is not a nice man, but his heart is on the side of good. Or, at least, on the side of his people. As a child he watched his parents, the royal family, brutally tortured and killed, then was kidnapped to a far off land. This happened in part because of traitors from within the kingdom. His brother was set up as a puppet king who eventually rebelled and was murdered in a terrible way for his trouble, so they set our hero up as the next puppet king. At this point, wanting his kingdom secured and more than a little in the mind for revenge, he does the classic of inviting everyone for a lush royal dinner, killing most of them and keeping the rest as slave labor, then when the project he wanted completed was done, he hoisted the rest up on stakes a-la Vlad Dracul style. He also did this to any soldiers he captures in the battles for control of the country. They have an extremely small country surrounded by very big powers who can whomp them into the dirt, and he's using this method of death as a terror campaign to scare the bigger countries away. It's working. I was always fascinated by that aspect of Vlad Dracul's reign, that he managed to fend off large powers and keep his country free through his actions, and thet everything he did might have been actually very carefully calculated, because he did actually succeed. He took back his country and kept it free. I wanted to write that. Of course, my king also wound up marrying a five year old (to save her life plus it's politically beneficial) and has to eat human flesh to survive because he's part ghoul. So...maybe a few differences there. I don't know who the villains are in this story yet because...yeah, how does one top that?
  15. This came up on Discord, and it got me curious.... There aren't any black-and-white people in the world. Murderers save puppies. Saints hate people of other religions. A good person also shoplifts. A bad person saves a child from a burning car. Much as black-and-white may make writing (and life) simpler, certainly the most fun characters, the most powerful and sympathetic ones come from personalities that have a lot of shades of grey. So here's a chance to shamelessly geek out about your writing! Keeping in mind that everyone is the hero of their own story, even the worst of us, share your best flawed hero/ines and your worst villains who think they're working on the side of right. Who is your most flawed hero/ine, and what are their flaws? How do they better suit a bad guy? Why does your bad guy think he's working on the side of angels? What has he done or what habits does he have that are normally associated with a good guy?