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Xanxa last won the day on December 17 2018

Xanxa had the most liked content!

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About Xanxa

  • Rank
    Psychedelic Purple Chicken

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  • Penname
    Xanxa Symanah
  • Writing History
    Over 40 years
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  1. Xanxa

    Organizing Your World Building

    The Winchesters are fine young men, a little young for me but still cool. I have to confess a liking for Bobby and also a strange fascination with Crowley. I'm actually writing Crowley in a fanfiction crossover. He's been busy turning people into mice and dragons. Great fun!
  2. Xanxa

    Daydreaming, Stories, and You

    I sense a new topic emerging soon.
  3. Xanxa

    Organizing Your World Building

    Still laughing at how Dean Winchester managed to sneak his way into this discussion! I've been building my universe for around 30 years. To keep consistency, I started writing a sort of guidebook, like a Lonely Planet guide, dealing with geography, history and culture. Over the years, it's grown with each new novel that I write. When I started my blog a few years ago, I was stuck for what to include in it. I didn't want to blog about the process of writing, as I felt that would only interest other writers, and not be of interest to potential readers. So I picked topics from my guidebook and turned them into blog posts. You can find them in The Virian Chronicler along with some freebie stories that I wrote in collaboration with other authors. The guidebook posts are among the earlier blog posts but there's a search facility so you can type in keywords like "culture" or "planets" to find them. In fact, I'll make it easier for you: Fenian Culture
  4. Xanxa

    What do you want to write?

    I've got several novels in the planning stages, so I already know what I'll be working on when I've finished my latest round of editing and completed two partially-written novels. I also want to explore a concept which is very much in the development stages and has only been mentioned in passing in some of my novels. It's the sort of concept which could spawn a whole new series, so it will give me plenty of material. For those who need new ideas, I'd reiterate what Livvy said about trying prompts and looking for images. There's also the "adopt-an-idea" forums. There used to be one on here and on the main Nano site. There's also one on the site that I admin and I'm sure you can find them elsewhere. Another suggestion is to take a side-character from a novel you've already written. Try writing their back-story or giving them an adventure of their own. Take the under-developed character and fill in the blanks. Re-write scenes from an existing novel from their POV.
  5. Xanxa

    Daydreaming, Stories, and You

    I daydream a lot, especially when I'm on my way somewhere or stuck in a waiting room before an appointment. I can't imagine what it would be like NOT to daydream. Some of my daydreams are about my novels. I play out scenes from them in my head like a movie. I know what most of my characters look like, even if their faces aren't totally clear. I can imagine their voices, the different accents and slang they use, their mannerisms when talking, even down to the way they walk. Sometimes I'll experiment with a new scene, one I haven't written. Only a few of these scenes make it into novels because most of them are unrelated to the plot. I also imagine conversations with people I'd like to meet. Not only celebrities but some of my online friends. Also when I see someone in the street who intrigues me, I imagine having a conversation with them and getting to know them.
  6. Not heard of Illuminae. The trilogy I have is a new genre for me - Japanese steampunk. The novels are called Stormdancer, Kinslayer and Endsinger. I took a long time reading reviews before deciding to give it a go. Three books this year? I'll have to look out for them. Thanks for the heads-up.
  7. Nevernight! I got that for Christmas, along with the sequel, Godsgrave, and another Kristoff trilogy. Really looking forward to reading them.
  8. Xanxa

    Subverting Fantasy Tropes

    What an awesome idea! That would make an intriguing twist to any story. Definitely worth exploring.
  9. Xanxa

    2019 Goals and Resolutions

    Wishing all denizens of this site a productive and hopefully prosperous New Year. My writing-related goals are: Finish my in-depth revision of "The Unborn Child" Fine-tune, proof-read and format "The Window Man" and get it published (self-publishing) Finish "The Halloriyaan" Finish "Probyt's Progress" If I achieve those, get started on my two planned novels. My other goals are: Get out more socially Attend more events in my local community Continue with helping to organise local events Increase my level of physical fitness
  10. In my current WIP, I'd say the most difficult choice of Anwyn's life is when she supports her mentor, Uncle Claude, in his decision to attack an enemy facility. She knows the family alliance is not fully prepared to undertake such a bold and risky attack. But she loves and respects Claude, so she refuses to go against him. As for what happens during the attack, SPOILERS!!
  11. Xanxa

    Merry Christmas!

    @Zovi - Very pleased for you. I can't imagine how difficult that must have been.
  12. Xanxa

    Merry Christmas!

    Besides the photos, I also got the following books: Joe Abercrombie - Sharp Ends, Best Served Cold, Before They Are Hanged, Last Argument of Kings (I already have The Blade Itself) Jay Kristoff - Nevernight, Godsgrave, Stormdancer, Kinslayer, Endsinger Trudi Canavan - Successor's Promise (to complete the Millennium's Rule Trilogy) Robin Hobb - Assassin's Fate (to complete Fitz and the Fool Trilogy) A quiet time really, just me and hubbie, listening to music on our new hifi system. We're old-school and don't do all this ipod dock malarkey. We prefer CDs and in some cases vinyl. We also watched some DVDs and I managed not to ruin the dinner. Hubbie got music CDs and plenty of spiritual/esoteric non-fiction books.
  13. Several of my MCs in various novels are assassins, so yes, they've committed murders. Often at a relatively young age. Starting with my trained assassins: In "The Window Man", Lyle is fifteen when he carries out his first contract killing - the favoured servant of the man who tried to have his father poisoned. The murder is sending a clear message that it's easy to infiltrate the household. During the course of the story, he commits various other murders. In "Chimera Obscura", Andreas kills a bully at the tender age of eight. It's not strictly murder, since he only intended to give the lad a good beating. However, the build-up of many previous encounters with the bully meant that he became enraged and could not stop. He becomes a trained spy and assassin later, so that's not his only kill. In "The Halloriyaan", there is a "kill list" and several of my trained assassins carry out the murders. The targets are known terrorists who have bombed public places and killed many innocent citizens, so my assassins consider that they're doing a service to the community. In "The Unborn Child" Anwyn is abducted by one of her supposedly trustworthy tutors. She ends up killing the tutor. Although it's self-defence, it later transpires that the tutor was plotting against the family, so it's considered a legitimate kill on behalf of the family. Again, she's trained for such work and goes on to kill others. Those who weren't trained as assassins: In "The Maker" and "Mind Games, the characters become involved in war, so there are multiple killings throughout. In "Neurotic Mothers' Battleship" and "The Virian Fellowship", there are various clashes between rival clans and gangs, resulting in loss of life. In "The Sunshine Acolyte", a mentor kills to protect his protegee. There's also a sorcery duel near the end. Neither of the combatants survives. In "Malachi's Law", Malachi becomes possessed by an evil spirit/demon, leading him to commit murder and destroy his previous good reputation. In "The Crystal and the Nethiyaan", thirteen year old Theo murders a priest and a concubine. There is a fierce battle near the end, resulting in several other killings. In "Carrying A Torch", eleven year old Malawi murders a fellow student because she considers his behaviour towards her best friend inappropriate. Later, she kills her best friend (pre-meditated), a tourist (on a whim) and her sister (pre-meditated). I'm sure there will be others ...
  14. Xanxa

    Handling class in your writing

    Thanks for the compliment. I have many characters who do relatively mundane jobs, like housemaids scrubbing floors and doing laundry, couriers delivering documents and parcels, construction workers and of course waiting staff in cafes, bars and restaurants. Also, in "Chimera Obscura", the mother of my MC works as a volunteer in a hostel for the homeless. Even when she's employed as a housemaid for a wealthy gangster Lord, she continues with her voluntary work at the hostel, because she says the street people need her more than the Lord does. I also have people working in the seedier professions - drug dealers, thieves and prostitutes.
  15. Xanxa

    Handling class in your writing

    One important detail about my world-building and societal structure - you will not find any monarchies in any of my novels. Military dictators, devious political leaders and gangster bosses aplenty, but not a single traditional monarch. (In real life I'm a vehement anti-monarchist and I don't even like writing about them in a fantasy setting). Many of my societies are ruled by those who grab power, rather than those who are elected or those who inherit. Basically, those who control financial institutions, businesses and the media are the ruling classes. Sorcerers who live in enclaves don't generally concern themselves with politics and power-mongering. However, those who live in the outside world often ally themselves to people of power, whether in a mercenary context or because they support specific causes or cultural groupings. I write a lot about the underclasses - the homeless, the disenchanted, those who choose the travelling life. They form small communities who help each other and sometimes clash with other communities. Most law enforcement agencies are toothless or unconcerned. They only act when it suits them and they have become a laughing stock. Social mobility is possible. For someone suitably motivated and prepared to play the long game, they can rise up and seize power, regardless of their origins.