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katfireblade last won the day on August 9

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About katfireblade

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    Chaos Wrangler
  • Birthday October 18

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  1. Australia, eh? My ex-husband was from there. Australia is still on my bucket list of places to visit, and possibly move to permanently. Don't worry about the name, you aren't alone. My brother still has his, hilariously enough. He goes by socksthedeadhobo, so it definitely could be worse. Besides, my handle has everyone here beat for how ancient it is--it comes from the dawn of the internet when all that existed were *gasp* BBSs and MUDs. Welcome to the forum! Be sure to also check out Discord, as people hang around there all hours of the day and night, too. Sometimes it's more active than here. πŸ™‚
  2. This is perhaps my favorite piece of writing advice ever. Every time I read it, it gives me such hope. This is normal. This too shall pass. It's wonderful. πŸ™‚
  3. Well, if you're interested, they say it almost constantly in the dubbed version of Inuyasha. It's pronounced "mee-as-mah," which is also the way it's pronounced in British English. However, apparently us backwards Americans pronounce it "mye-as-mah." Except for those of us exposed to foreign TV.... >.> For reference, you can check out pronunciations at this finely crafted link. πŸ˜„
  4. All right, so apparently I missed the boat on laughing about this back in June, but in case anyone else is as out of touch as me...here, have a laugh! So, apparently 20,000 Christians petitioned Netflix to cancel the Good Omens TV series (based on a book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) because, well, of course they did. πŸ™„ Apparently according to some particularly clueless folks, ye olde great creator somehow created humor but is devoid of having any himself. The funny? The show only airs on Amazon Prime. The truly funny? Nextflix's response: And Amazon Prime's thoughts?: All I have to say is it's a good thing these people don't read manga, because hooo-boy, the depictions of Christianity there would make their nose hairs curl. I'm just saying (below cut): Heh heh heh.
  5. Edit: Old post below cut, leaving it because otherwise the conversation afterwords makes no sense. Formatting issue is fixed and the link thingy worked for me!
  6. Oh, I forgot (sorry for the double post). Shake up your brain. And this will sound silly, but I mean it. Wear socks on your hands. Walk backwards, or navigate your home with your eyes closed. Eat with your off hand. Brush your teeth with it. Try writing with it. Shake up your routines and start doing things in a different order every day. Go shopping on a different day. Stand on your head (or drape yourself upside down on a couch) and study the world around you. Take a different way home and don't hurry. Wear a piece of tape on the end of your nose. Anything that can shake you out of old patterns of thinking will help. Also remember things you liked doing as a kid that you never do now--jumping rope, watching the moon, playing in a bubble bath, going roller skating or on long walks, whatever. Then go do them. That one is weird, it's like rediscovering a person you lost. But if nothing else, I highly recommend doing tasks with your off hand--that actually had been proven to help creativity and even depression. No joke.
  7. Oh yeah, for years. I felt scraped dry and thin, rattling around all hollow. What got me out of it? The first thing I did--and that you unfortunately might have to do--is suck. Badly. I went through a period where I wondered if I'd lost my ability completely, because everything I was banging out was truly terrible. Not, "I'm an artist and hypercritical of my stuff by default, even when it's pretty good" terrible, no, it was "I wrote better than this at age nine" terrible. Even looking back with fresh eyes on what I did during that period, I still think I sucked. I stank so bad they could smell me in Taiwan. Please also keep in mind I stopped writing for literal years, and it sounds like you've only lost a few months, so you might be more in practice than me and have a lot easier time. But part of what tripped me up was exactly what you're describing, no motivation, no ideas, high levels of depression, and a terminal case of something that was less writer's block than it was writer's blah. I was forcing words on the page, hammering and chipping them out of a brain that didn't want to cooperate, and that's what kept causing the stink. But I hammered at it, a little something every day--and by "little" I mean some days three sentences was all I could manage--skipping only the days where I hated myself and my writing so bad that doing so might have done more damage than good. And I wrote about what-the-frick-ever, without caring about churning out an actual finished story. In fact, that was important--I was reteaching my brain to play, and that it was safe and okay to do so. I sometimes suspect I was also doing a little brain rewiring, though I have nothing to base that on. So, if it happens to you, forgive yourself. Hammer through, because your brain recalls. It's all in there, how much you enjoy it, all the talent and creativity and desire, it's just currently on a bad alternator. The more you chip away at it, the more you're repairing that alternator, and there comes a day where you turn the key and your creative car starts smooth as silk. The other thing I did was read. I actually reread old favorites. I picked up Anne McCaffrey and flew the skies of Pern. I reread about the fading talent of pensing in Green Sky, the plight of the Erdlings banished underground, and glided around in a shuba. I wandered around with vampires that had been transformed to immortality by the venom of angels on an alternate earth, and engaged in a war between shifters, humans, and the emotionless psychics who wanted to enslave them on another. Anything that reminded me of why I picked up a pen in the first place was what I indulged in. And anything that sparked an idea--you know, the: I'd like to write a character like that; I want to write about that situation and put my own spin on it; I could totally write that better than this author; why did they drop this subplot, I want to go finish it; that ending was stupid, I can rewrite this and end it properly--I'd sit down and do. No holds barred. This can also work with TV, video games, and other media. I got an entire horror story out of Sophia the First, a saccharine-sweet princess show aimed at five year olds. 🀣 You could also try writing other things just to get the brain juices flowing, like forum posts, blog posts, formulating long answers in comments sections (just don't check for replies or you'll lose your mind), stuff like that. On other things I have used at other times in my life to get creative juices flowing: The Creative Whack Pack The Artist's Way Workbook (you may or may not need to get the associated book, I didn't) Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (left/right thinking has been debunked and this is for drawing, but some of the exercises are cool nonetheless) Writing the Breakout Novel (and associated Workbook, well worth getting both) Everything but possibly the Whack Pack can be found at a local library. And hands down the best lessons in writing, creating, and shifting my thinking I ever took was Holly Lisle's How to Think Sideways class. It looks like she's giving away some lessons free, so you can try before you buy to see if you like her style of teaching (and hey, free stuff!). I never regretted the money I spent on the classes and I'm not typically a joiner. Caveat--the classes I took cost a hella lot more now than they used to. I mean, astronomically, so only do it if you were leaning towards something like this anyway. If not, check out some of her stand alone books; they cost like ten bucks and are just as good. Heh. This wasn't offered last time, but she does have a new book/course called Writing When Your Life Has Just Exploded: A Step-by-Step Class in Getting Your Writing Back on Track After Disaster. To put that in context, in her first lesson she shared with us how she discovered her husband had been molesting her children, left him and filed to divorce his ass, only to have this very rich man try to rip her life to pieces by telling everyone they knew she divorced him just so she could get her hands on his money. And a lot of people believed it. So she knows about writing through some shit. It costs 14 bucks, and I think I'm gonna give it a go myself. I can let you know what it's like if you want. That's about all I can think of. Good luck; it will get better. Just give it some time, and don't pressure yourself too hard. ☺️
  8. 🀣 Of course it is. I think I'm gonna flex my google-fu skills and see if any pre-built stuff is out there. But, man, kudos on a great job. Excel is a bitch of a program. I truly expect it's no easier in the Google format, and is probably harder.
  9. If I came across as condescending, I'm sorry. Part of that was a reaction to a lot of people wondering how they could "make up" such a trait, which...*shakes some happily ignorant college students until their teeth rattle* Multiculturalism, we has it not. πŸ˜› I...might be a bit cranky at educational systems lately. It's strange and a bit terrifying to see the devolvement from when I was younger. It spills over. But honestly a lot was just plain giddiness to know someone used it in a movie--I missed that one. Now I might have to look it up. πŸ˜ƒ I don't think I've seen this done. Now I want to see this done! *cocks head* ...now I have to figure out how to portray this in a book. I do like the expansions of this one, when it's taken out of religious context and you get to play with the possibilities. That can be a lot of fun, storytelling-wise. I guess my biggest problem with it, though, is that there's never an explanation given as to why they can't be seen. With the religious context the reason is very definite, but almost without exception, authors usually handwave their version of it with; "Its a vampire thing...right?" It's pretty obvious they never researched it, don't understand it, and therefore can't properly subvert it with alternate explanations. I did mention it was personal preference, but to me that gap of explanation, of not even understanding the source of the legend is like nails on a chalkboard. I mean, it's not like it's hard to find out. πŸ™„ On silver, though--you really want to keep a halpless hero/ine guessing...silver is also used in developing photos, and in film in varying quantities. So if a vampire can be seen in some mirrors but not others, on some film (maybe there isn't enough silver) but not others, reflected in new silverware but not in the old, real silver kind, and so on, you could have a full blown "are they/aren't they" dragged out for half a book with your MC having very good cause to doubt. Oh, and can you imagine the confusion when a vampire shows up in cell phone and digital camera photos (no silver) but not when those photos are printed out (silver is used in processing them)? I always wanted to play with that at some point and drive an MC to madness. 🀣
  10. What POV are you using for your current project? How many POV characters do you have? I'm doing third limited, mainly from my MC's POV, but with pinches of other secondary characters as the story needs. I like it best for being both personal and flexible, so you aren't forced to peer over one character's shoulder the whole story. Bonus question - If you have to change POVs, what would you change to? How would it change your story? It could swing wildly from omniscient to first person from multiple different people The latter might actually work better for the needs of this story.
  11. I usually start a story with a couple of conceived-of characters (if I'm lucky), a few situations I want to explore, and some key scenes I want to write (that often have little to do with the main danged plotline). So I worldbuild. A lot. I consider a world the spine of the story, and often the blanks I can't fill in can be filled by the world. More than once this has gotten me through a rough spot. Overall I'm a pantser, but I do try to pants to "landmarks," that is have some major goalposts in the story to aim towards. It helps when I get lost in that murky, swampy middle of doom. Which I have done far too much. I laughed at this so hard my cat fled the room. At least that's one cat down. 🀣
  12. Did you make that chart or find it somewhere? Is it a program anyone can use or just a graphic? Please tell me it's not excel. I just learned how to do stuff like that in Excel and I loathed every second of it. I'll just stare at your graphic if that's the alternative. *looks leerily at the world's most evil program* πŸ˜›
  13. My first three lines: What do you think of them? Overall I like them, though I'm not adverse to some future tweaking. What are you trying to evoke with these lines? I want to draw readers so far into this dream/memory the reader lives it with the characters and I want to catch them there with sensory input. I want it to echo their own memories of childhood, even if they grew up in another area. Are they likely to stay your first lines, or are they place holders? So far the plan is to keep these, though there's a distinct possibility this scene might be moved farther into the novel in the future and something else will take it's place. I won't know until I manage to get more written. I may have missed it, but I don't think I saw a reply to this one? I actually quite like this as a beginning. It's the third line that really pulls the other two together; without it the first two just don't work. I will say the first line is the weakest, and I'm not sure I'd be much interested in it if I hadn't already read excerpts of your story and had some idea what it was about, but I'm also not sure how it could be improved. I'd say let this rest as-is and come back to it later, with a clearer head and more written, but I'm betting you knew that. πŸ™‚ I don't feel like this would never work as a hook--the third line does because we've all been there, either as the barista or the customer. In some cases both. That's what draws me to it. The first two, however, are pretty awkward, which makes sense considering what you told us about how and why they were written. You could keep these in mind for a spiffier rewrite in the future to see if they could become hooks, or just plunge them a few paragraphs in. I'm with Mynoris; I quite like them overall. I don't think I saw a reply to this one either? The first one made me snicker, the third line functioning as a sort of punchline. I love it! Less enamored with the start of the inner story, however. It actually is a concept I've seen done before, and the three sentences don't bring anything new or intriguing to the table. Then again, it may not have to do so in the first three lines. I assume the inner story comes a bit later in the novel? Heh. Mynoris already covered Jedi Knight's pretty well. πŸ™‚
  14. Welp, I could use a fire lit to my as--buttocks or at least some accountability, so here goes. Project: *sobs uncontrollably* No, no, wait, let me try this again. Project 1: I have no freakin clue. Recently I have been leaning more towards my hopefully urban fantasy, A Scar of Moonlight, so probably that one. Goals: Money. Any, which is why I'm having so much trouble. I need to supplement unemployment, or even make up for it with some form of income stream when it runs out. I don't need a full-time-work paycheck, just enough to supplement what I'm getting or potentially a future part time or gig job or (horrors) loans so I can keep going to school uninterrupted. But I suck at writing with the idea of a future paycheck in mind, so we'll see how this goes. I'm somewhat hooked on 500 words a day just to keep the writing rolling even on tough days. Summary: The moon scars have been a worldwide phenomena since the dawn of history. taking up great swatches of land and sky, they seem like nothing more than hardened light that's spread for endless miles. No one knows what's inside them, or even if there is an inside. But some say they're the source of all magic, and that brings the power-hungry, the desperate, and the curious to try to find a way inside. One person has managed the feat, though; Poe's best friend Maya. And now she's trapped in there and in desperate danger. Searching for help, Poe finds Raven, a professor at the local college, a mage, and a man that Poe's been having dreams about. Worse, erotic dreams, dreams that seem more like memories, but memories that aren't hers. Oh, and he hates her. With everything turned against her, Poe must find a way to do the impossible in order to bring her friend back alive and, hopefully, unchanged. Project 2: Starlight Cove, a fantasy/romance cross-genre series that, yes, was conceived as a quick way to grab money and get a fan base that can be rabidly loyal if wooed right. However, the more I create it the more I see some very fun possibilities. I'm enjoying creating the world more than I ever expected to, and I already have some fantastic ideas for stories. Goals: Secondary project I can leap to if stalled on my main project or just work on the worldbuilding on days where I truly don't have any time to write (hello finals projects!). Summary: A magical town that is also a little bit alive, sentient enough to hide itself from the world. Magical creatures of all types coexist there, sometimes uneasily. I want an overarcing plot to wind through all the smaller stories, like a hunt for treasure or averting some disaster, or one leading to the other, or some weirdness. I haven't worldbuilt far enough to figure that out. Aside from worldbuilding, any projects associated with this are on the back burner. Project 3: Erotica, any. No I won't post anything about it here more than to say if I've advanced on a piece or finished it. Goals: My forays into this started as a cynical money grab. It stands that way, despite the fact I truly do enjoy writing naughty fantasies. The problem is I seem genetically incapable of writing the sort of quick-and-dirty terrible-fic I often see in erotica, so I'm trying to find what works for me that'll still sell. This is supid-hard. Some days this may be my 500 words instead of my main project. Summary: Yeah no. You reeeeally want to know, you can ask privately. Just expect to maybe get some strange details. Money is mentioned a lot. Money is an issue. I'm at a point in my life where I'm not playing around anymore. I can't afford too, broke was a few miles back and around the block. I'm drifting on the edge of desperate, and writing is one of the few marketable talents I have. I liked it better when this was a fun hobby.
  15. Just FYI on time limits--I am currently in midterms, and finals will be about mid-August. in the meantime I'm going to be doing a couple of big projects, so any writing challenge is going to fall to the bottom of the barrel until school is over. That said, I'd still love to participate in one if it can be jiggered right, or if you don't mind a late entry. πŸ™‚ Unfortunately, grades come first.