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Xanxa

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    216
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About Xanxa

  • Rank
    Psychedelic Purple Chicken

Personal Information

Writing Related

  • Penname
    Xanxa Symanah
  • Writing History
    Over 40 years
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    No

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  1. Xanxa

    Subverting Fantasy Tropes

    I try not to have too many ridiculously attractive characters in my novels. It's a trope I've come to loathe. I make many of my characters have scars and other imperfections. I also like to include different body shapes. Not everyone is slim and graceful. One novel that's not yet written and only in the planning stages will feature the farmboy trope with a twist. A young trainee sorcerer will run away from a sorcerers' enclave and for a while, he will work as a farmboy under a false identity and hide his abilities. Some of my families are actually happy, for the most part. My young characters aren't all orphans. In fact I've only used the orphan trope a couple of times, that I can recall.
  2. Xanxa

    Overused tropes that you're totally using anyway

    I have a lot of prophecies in my novels. I don't care that they're over-used in the fantasy genre. I love prophecies, especially the tricky ones that come from ancient times and are difficult to interpret in the current era. Racial tension - yes, plenty of that. No need to go into details. Arranged marriages - tons of them. In several of my cultures, it's an ancient tradition for the usual reasons, cementing alliances and sometimes keeping enemies closer. People of low social status finding out that they're actually of higher birth than they've always been led to believe. The idiot-savant - one of my favourite tropes. People from opposing factions falling in love. Quests, journeys and similar challenges. Ancient artefact of power that has been lost for centuries turning up unexpectedly. (In one novel, such an artefact could have saved an important character's life, but it didn't turn up until a later novel). Sorcery duels. Characters finding out that the person they distrusted was on their side all along. Takes a tragedy to realise that.
  3. Xanxa

    Story Titles

    Chimera Obscura is one of my favourites too. Like the Window Man, it's a code-name for a spy and assassin. The Virian Fellowship is the one where the family secrets are discovered. The Sunshine Acolyte follows on from VF, with a new generation of characters who are the children of the MC from both the previous novels. Carrying a Torch is the prequel to Neurotic Mothers' Battleship, VF and SA. It's what I call my anti-romance.
  4. Xanxa

    Reputation

    Thanks again for the suggestion, JKM. I'll raise the matter with my fellow admins and see what they think. One of them has far more knowledge than me about running forums so I'll let her check it out and see what she thinks.
  5. Xanxa

    Story Titles

    Cool titles! And plenty of them! You've been a very busy butterfly indeed! Out of that list, those that spring off the page at me are: Beyond the Window Darkness of Light Monster Redefined Raised by Death Secrets in Ashes By way of exchange, these are mine: Already published: The Maker Mind Games Neurotic Mothers' Battleship The Virian Fellowship The Sunshine Acolyte Malachi's Law The Crystal and the Nethiyaan Carrying A Torch Still in progress are: The Window Man The Halloriyaan The Unborn Child Probyt's Progress Chimera Obscura And finally, those in the planning stages, not yet written: The Donovan Destiny The Forbidden Sorceress
  6. Xanxa

    Reputation

    Thanks for the info. I'll bear it in mind. I did run a poll of our members to find out what the majority wanted. We put the decision on hold until after Nano, but now it seems members have gotten busy again, posting plenty of new material. I might wait until after Christmas and raise the issue again. But we definitely don't want a paid forum. None of us could afford it. If we moved, we'd copy the posts we want to save and transfer them over to a completely new forum. We're old hands at this. We've done it several times in the past few years. The copying and pasting is a pain in the posterior but with several of us doing it, we managed to salvage the important stuff. It all depends on whether admins and members want the bother of having to start from ground zero again.
  7. Xanxa

    Another Dumb Question

    I don't want to be a roasted chicken! (flaps wings and runs away very fast)
  8. Secrets ... now where do I begin? Malawi is full of them. She killed a bird in the garden and left it in her sister's bed, knowing her sister's cat would get the blame. At the age of 11, she killed a fellow student because she felt he was acting inappropriately with her best friend. Later, she killed her best friend for getting a higher mark in an exam. And at the age of 14, she killed her sister out of insane jealousy, because her sister's dance-card was always full and hers only had three or four names at the most. Well, until her first victim apparently returned from the dead and demanded six dances with her. Somehow she managed to avoid getting caught for any of these misdemeanours. She doesn't have sorcery skills but her powers of persuasion are awesome. Only one of these secrets is ever revealed, due to her sister's ghost appearing in a later novel.
  9. Xanxa

    Another Dumb Question

    Oh, I thought you were specifically referring to the penguins! It's late and I'm tired. Not functioning properly at the moment. And of course our fantasy farm would have plenty of crops, I specifically request an orchard, so that my elderly but spritely couple, Galea and Armando, can chase each other around it and throw apples at each other.
  10. Xanxa

    Another Dumb Question

    How does one pollinate a penguin? Not wanting to get too ... erm ... technical or pornographic, of course.
  11. Xanxa

    Another Dumb Question

    And penguins. We love penguins. I used to collect them - cuddly ones, carved wooden ones, resin or stone ones, even a Swarovski crystal one. And the slippers. Penguin slippers! I had so many at one time and I had to get rid of a lot of them (donated to charity) when I moved into a smaller place. There should also be reindeer on the farm. All year around, not just for the festive season.
  12. Xanxa

    Reputation

    We were on Zetaboards and it was great. Until the dreaded Tapatalk took them over. Myself and the other admins are still trying to figure out how to get rid of the annoying features that no-one wants. We ditched the pop-up chat room a while ago and I got rid of the "dislike" button a few days ago, thanks to someone else figuring out where to go to disable it. Most of our members are students or people on limited incomes so we can't afford to pay for the fancier upgrades. It's a general writers' workshop forum and I've been friends with my fellow admins and the regular core members for several years. Many of them aren't on social media so it's the only way of keeping in contact with them.
  13. Xanxa

    Another Dumb Question

    Purple is my favourite colour. And the chicken part comes from my habit of being in a hurry. As in headless chicken running around. The psychedelic part is because I like psychedelic music and art. No, I don't take LSD or anything like that. Sheep and chickens? Could be a farm, but we won't last long with those dragons around.
  14. Xanxa

    Reputation

    That's good to know. On the forum that I run, we only offer the free features.
  15. Xanxa

    Another Dumb Question

    Yep, the Member Title is there now. It definitely wasn't before. A lot of trouble to go to for a line of text which tells people nothing of importance. But that's typical of me. Can I get another confused face?
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