Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Ahryantah last won the day on January 30

Ahryantah had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

10 Good

About Ahryantah

  • Birthday December 27

Personal Information

  • Pronouns
  • Discord
  • Website

Writing Related

  • Penname
  • Writing History
  • Beta Reader?

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. When I was younger I used to pride myself on always finishing a book no matter what. These days, there are just too many books I want to read for me to waste time slogging through something I don't enjoy. I try to stick to the 100 page rule: if I get to 100 pages and absolutely nothing has engaged me and/or the book is making me angry, it's done. The problem is that sometimes I'm too generous with the definition of "engaging," and I'll force myself to the end of a book that I overall dislike but which has something going on that makes me think maybe it'll get better as it goes along. It almost never does, though.
  2. This is really interesting and I've liked reading about all the different ways people incorporate fantasy creatures, traditional or not! I don't really use a lot of fantasy creatures in my writing. When I first started writing fantasy, I went with a lot of the traditional creatures, like fairies and dragons, just because I thought that was how fantasy was supposed to be, but I was never very interested in them for their own sake, so I soon dropped them. The few fantasy creatures I still have are ones I've made up, most particularly two non-human races in my fantasy trilogy (who are admittedly fairly closely based on Tolkien elves, though I've jettisoned the noble and majestic stuff. They are also not immortal). I have another story with people who aren't quite human anymore, but that's because they've been changed by magic, so I'm not sure if that counts. I've done a little bit with creating fantasy animals (as opposed to sapient species), but I need to do more of it.
  3. I've gotten to the point where the only books I buy are ones by authors I already know and like. There are just too many bad books out there, and I can't afford to buy books I'm not going to enjoy (there's always the chance that even an author I like puts out a bad book, but the chance is lower than just picking stuff based on the book jacket description). Like this year so far, most of the books I've read had interesting descriptions/premises (which is why I picked them), but turned out to be awful or even outright offensive in execution. Fortunately they were all library books, so I wasn't out any money. So yeah, most of my books come from the library, and the majority of those are e-books I get via Overdrive (I recommend this to everybody; my reading productivity shot up once I started using it). As for physical books I buy (I have never bought an e-book), those mostly come from Half Price Books, which is still a little pricey, but not as bad as Barnes and Noble. I only go to Barnes and Noble when I really desperately want something and I can't find it at Half Price Books. I used to buy more books on Amazon but haven't in a while. No particular reason, except I guess I just still like the physical act of going to a store and browsing titles.
  4. What have I read so far this year? A whole lot of crap, sadly. I'm making my way through my TBR list, and apparently have just happened to pick a selection of terrible books for January. None of it's been fantasy, though. There was a deeply sexist litfic novel that I only finished because it was short (I think that book officially marks the end of me reading any more literary fiction written by middle-aged white guys); an incomprehensible science fiction book that was trying embarrassingly hard to be deep and literary; and two back-to-back post-apocalyptic stories, one of which literally put me to sleep and the other of which just kind of meandered and ended without finding a plot. I did read a decently entertaining horror novel, but overall this month has had a terrible track record, book-wise.
  5. I've also found myself gravitating more toward "blended" genres lately rather than straight fantasy. Tor.com, every month, has the list of books they call "Genre-benders" that are due to be published that month, and a lot of my current TBR list is made up of those titles, because I really like seeing the unique ideas and plots that fall outside standard fantasy. I've also been reading a lot more science fiction and horror. Of the three books I've read this year so far, two were science fiction and one was kind of a magical realism/literary/fairy tale-esqe story (not a good one, sadly, despite a promising premise). I'm reading one now that's more straight horror. Other stuff I read a lot include literary fiction books (very hit or miss, and a lot of them I think would only be improved with the addition of magic!) and science-related nonfiction. I especially like books about science history. I've got one sitting on my shelf right now about the ten biggest medical breakthroughs in history, and I plan to start it as soon as I have a couple other books off my plate. Overall, I'd say fantasy actually takes up less than 50% of my reading, even though it definitely holds the plurality of my interest.
  6. Here's mine, though I probably won't have much time to work on it until after the holidays.
  7. I met my word count just barely, but still managed not to finish my draft (mostly because a lot of my word count came from other projects, oops). My post-NaNo plans are just to keep banging away on the draft and hopefully finish it someday.
  8. I was thinking of something along those lines while I was writing the post, and that could definitely work. Everything I could come up with sounded so awkward and artificial, but that might just be a failure of imagination on my part. Thanks!
  9. Well, no. My question is more mechanical than that. I don't need Writing 101 advice about show vs. tell; obviously I'm not literally writing "casting a spell" every single time magic gets used in the story. To take your example, in Harry Potter, despite the number of different ways the use of magic is described, a spell is a spell. In my story, despite the number of different ways the use of magic is described, a spell is a ...? That's all I'm really looking for. Something to replace the word "spell" so that it's divorced a bit from "standard" magic terminology. I guess I didn't make that clear enough in my original post.
  10. Hopefully I've put this in the right forum. So in the fantasy story I'm currently writing, some of my characters have magic, though they don't call it magic, and not calling it magic is kind of a Thing for them. Their powers are innate, and anyone who has these powers must be trained to use them properly. The magic users themselves believe their powers come from the gods, but that's just a belief and there is no interaction with any gods or higher powers (or even any indication they really exist) in this story. Magic can be used for different things, but it's all innate (they draw on what they call their "essence"), so there's nothing like magic words, gestures, wands, crystals, etc. Just a focus on what they want to happen and a mental manipulation of reality (using their essence as basically a power source) to make that thing happen. What can be done and how successfully it's done depends on a combination of training and natural talent of the user. My problem is that I want to get away from the more common terminology when it comes to magic. For example, in my world there is no magic that can turn someone completely invisible, but there is a specific manipulation that can cause the shadows to deepen around the user, so that they become unnoticeable/hard to see. So I could write something like, "He cast a spell to draw the shadows to him." But I don't want to say that using the words "cast" or "spell," because to me not only do they not quite fit with what's actually going on, but the characters themselves do not think of what they do as magic and so probably wouldn't use terminology that calls to mind the use of magic. But I'm having trouble coming up with alternate terminology that I think fits more with the world/magic system but would also not be totally confusing to the reader (I could just make up words, but I'm afraid that would prove an ongoing stumbling block to the reader, even if they get what's going on through context). So does anyone have any suggestions for good replacements? Especially for "spell." I have a couple alternatives in mind for "cast" that might work, but I'm totally stumped on "spell."
  11. I didn't have any good ideas for new projects this year, so I'll be working on two separate projects: first, finishing the first draft of the second book of my fantasy trilogy, which I also worked on last year but didn't actually finish. I'm really going to try this year! Second, doing a final rewrite of a science fiction book that's been sitting around for too long. I've barely done any writing this year, so I hope I can manage to get back into the habit during NaNo.
  12. I'll sort of give her the benefit of the doubt, because she does explicitly say in the beginning of the article that she's talking about the "George R. R. Martin kind" of fantasy, so yes, sprawling epic story lines with fifty million characters can't really be condensed into a short story. It also seems to be a rebuttal to an earlier article about out of control fantasy epics, which I didn't read because I am so very tired of these unending, pointless arguments about the value of fantasy or the definition of fantasy or what fantasy "should be." But the whole thing does go off the rails a bit after that, and I agree with everyone else that she seems to have completely missed the sheer diversity in fantasy fiction. If fantasy (and science fiction, which easily suffers from the same "problem" re: worldbuilding) doesn't lend itself to short pieces, then how can there be actual whole magazines and anthologies that are nothing but SFF short stories? A quick Google search will give you dozens of these publications you can submit to. I subscribe to Daily Science Fiction, which is flash fiction and publishes a new story every weekday (and despite the name, also publishes a lot of fantasy, including your standard "knights and dragons and witches" fantasy). So not only can you write short fantasy pieces, many people successfully do so!
  13. I've also been watching a lot of YouTube videos, mostly stuff about hiking/backpacking. I like to watch series about people hiking long trails (Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, etc.) and it's the season for it. I have no interest in TV lately and I'm horribly behind on the shows I usually watch. I'm considering doing a Doctor Who rewatch, but I can't quite get up the motivation to start it. I do want to see the new Avengers movie, but I've missed several of the most recent MCU movies (last one I saw was Civil War) and I feel like I have to see them first before I can see the new one. Which I know is ridiculous, especially since I saw the first Avengers movie after having only watched Iron Man and none of the others, so maybe I can convince myself to go this weekend or something.
  14. Sorry, I meant to respond sooner, but I think katfireblade[/member] has already said pretty much what I was thinking. I've said for a long time that people have to want to make the time for this site (or any other). I think this is a good site and I like coming here, but I don't really have suggestions for what the mods can do. I think you guys have done pretty much everything you can do, short of offering monetary rewards for challenges or something (which I know you can't do and isn't something I think you should have to do). I have my own excuses for not participating, and they're just excuses, but ones that I feel are a real barrier to participating more on this site. But that's down to me, not the fault of the site, so nothing you guys can fix. I know the mods have done a ton of work to keep the site going, and I appreciate that. I hope it sticks around.