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Manu last won the day on August 13

Manu had the most liked content!

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About Manu

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    Please don't read this, it's private.
  • Birthday 06/28/1986

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  1. Glad to read that you decided to keep going! Anyway, a little encouragement can never hurt, so I'm going to post what I was about to post anyway 🙂 While I get the frustration of playing in someone else's sandbox and having to do so much research to get all the facts right, I think you might be running into perfectionism issues nevertheless - there's absolutely no need to get everything right in the first draft, and it's totally fine to add a note to yourself, skip a description you can't write down without further research, and fill it in while you're editing. Keep going! And since "running into a block at chapter 19 of ~30" heavily reminded me of it, I'm going to post a Neil Gaiman NaNo peptalk from 2007:
  2. Manu

    Micro Arcs

    Oh, I as a reader, I love those little details that tie scenes together or reference previous scenes! I don't use them consciously in my own writing - probably I should put more conscious effort in little details like this! Earlier decisions backfiring on characters is something I have done a couple of times - I guess that would count as a micro arc 🙂 @Banespawn How do you implement micro arcs? Do they just come to you as random inspiration during drafting? Do you plan them in advance? Do you add them in during editing?
  3. I've been there, several times (and I'm in a similar situation even right now). I guess like with almost everything when it comes to writing, it boils down to finding out what works for you. For quite a long time, I felt so empty inside that I couldn't think of anything worth writing down, my creativity was completely gone and even thinking about writing goals made me more depressed because it made me feel like a failure. Looking back, I was severely depressed during that time, and not writing was the right thing to do back then - setting even mininal writing goals would have just been additional pressure at the time, and deciding to pause writing for a while was what felt right. I've also had phases of depression that weren't quite as severe, and writing actually helped during those times - a goal was what I needed at that time to keep me going. I never worked towards wordcount goals except for NaNoWriMo, I'd rather set myself a goal like "work on my WIPs for at least 30 minutes a day" - which could be anything from brainstorming, to plotting, worldbuilding, writing or editing. I've read a blog post (that I can't find anymore, by an author I don't remember...) that dealt with writing and depression. The author said that what worked for her was setting a minimal wordcount goal of 200 words per day - and that goal wasn't just about writing, it was more about fighting depression, because those 200 words every day were proof to herself that she was stronger than depression, and that depression could make writing harder, but depression couldn't take writing completely away from her. She compared it to 200 middle fingers that she'd hold up towards her depression every day by writing those 200 words. 😄 In addition, I have a page in my writer's journal where I wrote down why I write and what it is that I love about writing and creating stories. When I lack motivation, reading that page sometimes helps to remind me of what I love about writing, and to spark some motivation to get me going. I hope you feel better soon, and find a way to deal with it that feels good for you - I'm sure your inspiration will come back as soon as you feel better!
  4. I would have pronounced it Mee-as-mah - lucky strike by a none-native speaker, yay 😄 I can shed some light on this - it actually even makes a lot of sense when you're familiar with the old German alphabet. "ß" sounds like the "s" sound in English language (because German "s" sounds like English "z", and German "z" sounds more like "ts" - so those letters are already taken by other sounds). The "sharp" pronounciation (English "s") was written as the combination "sz" for a long time. In the old alphabet, "s" looked like "f" missing the horizontal stroke, and "z" looked a bit like "3", so "ß" is really just those two letters merged into one. It is even named exactly that - when spelling a word, "ß" is literally named "s-z".
  5. I have a pretty busy schedule right now, it'll take another week or two before there's a chance of me finding the time to check it...
  6. That's impressive! Out of curiosity: How many more manuscripts do you have left to transcribe?
  7. So, what do you guys think? What's the easiest way to handle this? Should we give those who wish to give more detailed feedback the option of doing so in a Google doc rather than in a public matter? Yes, absolutely. Reading a piece of writing and being able to add comments at the same time makes it much easier to give detailed feedback. With the current library system, line edits or feedback like "I like this sentence/how you worded this" is very hard to give, since we'd need to quote it first, which will make us jump to the review text field, and then scroll back and search for the part where we stopped reading in order to read on. In fact, it has stopped me from reviewing stories before. Should he be able to request feedback on all ten submissions at once, and make ten different posts requesting feedback? Or should we have a cap of, say, five submissions that he's allowed to ask for feedback for at once? I think that it's common sense not to spam the forum like that. It also depends on what kind of story someone is looking for feedback for - say member A posted 5 chapters or stories with 5k each, while member B is looking for feedback for 10 flash fiction pieces with 500 words each - member B is actually posting far less content than member A, but wouldn't be allowed to ask for feedback for all of them if there was a cap. I'd not put up any rules for that at the moment, they can still be added if it turns out to be necessary. Do you have any feedback for the rules for requesting feedback that you can think of and should be added? In the form it says "feedback" where it should say "critique" instead according to the definition you made at the beginning of the rules post. There's nothing I can think of that should be added at the moment.
  8. Hi everyone, I made a spreadsheet to help track wordcount and goals for a whole year (or even several years with minimal tweaking) that I posted in the Discord a while ago. Since those who are already using it haven't complained about bugs yet, I'm sharing the hopefully bugfree version here for everyone who's interested. Features: can track a new goal for each month of the year allows you to either input your latest total wordcount or the words you want to add for the day provides some NaNo-style stats like daily goal, words left to write, words per day left to write, average words per day written built-in how-to-use instructions If you'd like to use it, simply make a copy in your own google drive and start tracking. If you discover any bugs or have questions, feel free to post them here. The spreadsheet link is set to allow you to add comments, so you can also leave a comment directly in the spreadsheet if you think something needs fixing. If you have suggestions for additional features you'd like to see, feel free to post them here - I can't promise I can implement them, but I'll give it a try! Happy wordcount tracking! Click here to view and copy the spreadsheet!
  9. Structure-wise, they can all be boiled down to the same basic structure. It has been linked on this forum several times before, but Dan Well's videos on story structure are awesome, and he does exactly that: Analyzing stories from different genres and boiling them down to the Seven Point Strutcure he uses (which is really just a more detailed version of the Three Act Structure - the plot turns mark the endings of the first two acts): Edited to add another video link: Rachael Stephen uses an approach called the Plot Embryo, which is pretty much a different version of the Hero's Journey - the first and last quarter of the plot embryo are acts 1 and 3, and the other two are act 2. Aaand, since there hasn't been enough stuff to get confused about yet, there's also a different version of the Three Act structure, in which all acts have roughly the same length, as explained in this video (it's still the same structure, it just draws the lines between the acts differently):
  10. Being a fan of the snowflake method, I have used the Three Act Structure probably every single time I have plotted a story. Randy Ingermanson summarizes the Three Act Structure as "three disasters and an ending": The first disaster ends Act 1 and forces the lead character to commit to the story (also known as first plot point, first plot turn, or point of no return). The second disaster happens in the middle of Act 2, it's also known as the midpoint - it causes the lead character to change their thinking from a false Moral Premise to a true one (also known as "shift from victim to warrior"), the lead character commits to a new way of thinking and acting. The third disaster ends Act 2 and forces the lead character to commit to the ending (also known as second plot point or second plot turn, and depending on the source sometimes also known as dark night of the soul or directly followed by dark night of the soul) Act 3 is the final showdow, ending with the resolution It has helped me a lot in the past to make sure my stories have a solid framework and that they work structure-wise - one thing less I have to worry about while I'm writing!
  11. I'm pretty sure that's the explanation - words with hyphens, words with apostrophes, stuff like that. The wordcount output is an algotithm that counts stuff in your document, and it depends on how it is coded what exactly it counts and whether it defines words like "I'm" as one or two words. At least around here, nobody is interested in wordcount, editors, agents and publishers all work with page count. I'm not sure if that's a typically German thing or if it's an international standard, but a manuscript page is defined as 30 lines of text with a maximum of 60 characters (including spaces) per line, which gives you a maximum of 1800 characters per page. I don't think a dicrepancy of 3k words in a 65k novel will be noticed by a beta reader, to be honest (or an editor, or an agent, or a publisher). If you tell someone "It's a short story of 500 words", and it's 3.5k instead, sure, they'll notice, and they might be pissed that it's 7 times longer than you told them. If it's 68k instead of 65k - I think it's unlikely someone will be bothered by it.
  12. Here are some final stats for march: Worldsmyths users have written: 607,495 words so far, that's 19,597 words per day on average! Congrats, everyone, and have a wordy April!
  13. Update done! Worldsmyths users have written: 244,539 words so far, that's 10,632 words per day on average! @DaVinci You are not in the spreadsheet for the challenge and this check-in is your very first post in this forum, which tells me you haven't signed up for the challenge yet. For March it's too late - you can sign up for April, but the words written in March can't be counted for this challenge, unfortunately.
  14. I found this one quite hard to twist, since the most obvious twist is almost a trope in itself: The sidekick is not brave, but simply stupid 😛 So I came up with a more original twist, but it's rather tragic than comedic - the sidekick is suicidal and what looks like bravery is in reality someone who's trying to get themselves killed on purpose. Trying to twist that one to make it a little more funny, here's what I came up with: The sidekick has recently lost a relative and desperately wants to reconnect with them in the afterworld. The problem is: Killing yourself doesn't get you to the afterworld, but to the underworld, so that is not an option. The sidekick joined the hero's quest in order to make their own death meaningful - dying a martyr and for a good cause, achieving both their own goal to get to the afterworld, and helping save the world. Only... it didn't work out as planned, and no matter how risky their actions seem, the sidekick miraculously survives every single time they risk their own life in order to save the hero. Now the hero even thinks they are deeply indebted to the sidekick, and tries to protect their companion wherever they can in return. The sidekick silently curses both fate and the hero, and they are running out of ideas how to get killed. New trope: The evil overlord who wants to destroy everything. Because... well, because they're evil.