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About Ahryantah

  • Birthday December 27

Personal Information

Writing Related

  • Penname
    K. L. Brooke
  • Writing History
    A long time
  • Beta Reader?
    Depends/other. Send me a PM

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  1. Ahryantah

    Reading outside the fantasy genre?

    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.
  2. Ahryantah

    World Anvil Links!

    Here's mine, though I probably won't have much time to work on it until after the holidays.
  3. Ahryantah

    Post NaNo Plans?

    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.
  4. Ahryantah

    Site Upgrade Announcement!

    Those screenshots look great! I'm excited!
  5. Ahryantah

    Alternatives to "casting a spell"

    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!
  6. Ahryantah

    Alternatives to "casting a spell"

    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.
  7. Ahryantah

    Alternatives to "casting a spell"

    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."
  8. Ahryantah

    What are you writing for NaNo?

    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.
  9. 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!
  10. Ahryantah

    Recent movies/tv shows

    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.
  11. Ahryantah

    Site Feedback Wanted- Discuss!

    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.
  12. Ahryantah

    What are you currently reading [2018]?

    I just finished The Sacred Band by David Anthony Durham, the third book in what turned out to be a pretty mediocre fantasy trilogy (I was going to do a review on here, but I don't know if I want to expend any more energy on those books) and IT by Stephen King. Not sure yet what I want to read next.
  13. Aw. :( I really liked participating in the book club. I do kind of want to try again, maybe this time with a book that's a little easier to get hooked into? A Wizard of Earthsea is a classic and also fairly short, but it's a bit antiquated and the dry narration can be off-putting. I think the story really picks up around chapter four, but the chapters before that can be a chore to get through, at least in my opinion. It might also help to have a longer reading period, as we all have multiple demands on our time and having just a month to read a book can be daunting, even if you're already a regular reader. I average about ten books a month, but that's just incidental; I never give myself a deadline (well, if they're library books they do have a deadline). Even with the amount I read I still found having only a month for this book club daunting, because I also still want to read other stuff, and I have to balance that with work, my own writing, my other hobbies, etc. I'm pretty sure I only finished because this particular book is so short. So maybe we could do one book every two or three months, to give people more time to read and gather their thoughts? I did feel like having a separate thread for just chapter one, then another for 2-4, was a little excessive. I can see the rationale behind it: get people's initial impressions after the first chapter, then get into the meat of the story, but there was something about it that didn't quite work for me (but I loved the discussion questions! They helped focus my thoughts, even when I ended up not really answering them in my replies). For me, personally, it felt a little overwhelming, because the chapters 2-4 post went up before I had finished chapter one, and I got that weird feeling of despair that I was already falling behind. I know that's not true, but my brain freaks out at things like that. I almost think it would be better to post all the discussion threads at once, and people can reply to the appropriate ones at their leisure. Or at the very least I can, without feeling like I'm being rushed along before I've really started. But that's just something I think would work for me. I'd like to know what other people think. And also that might make it more difficult to come up with discussion questions, unless the person writing the questions has already read the whole book. So, in that case, maybe it would work to do as you said, have an early discussion post, then a later one for the finished book? It's something to try.
  14. Ahryantah

    Feedback - What do people want?

    For me, it's primarily a time and energy issue, as other people have already said. Reviewing here is something I need to make more of a priority, I know, and that's something I have to work on for myself. I've sort of gotten out of the habit of reviewing, to be honest, after the last critique group I was in went defunct. It also felt like, in a lot of other writers' forums, that I was putting in a lot of work for other people, but I was the only one putting in any effort at reviewing, and on top of that not receiving any feedback for my own work. It's discouraging. I know it certainly doesn't improve the situation to just stop trying altogether, but I think I did get a little disgusted with the general apathy of the writing groups I belonged to and I just kind of faded into perma-lurk mode. Which is a roundabout way of saying it's not you, it's me. I'm cool with whatever critiquing system gets set up here, if any does. I'm not going to be picky about that or super selective in what I read. I just need to make the time to do it, and that's all on me.
  15. Ahryantah

    Self-publishing Discussion/Resources

    Just a note, you do not pay an agent anything. If an agent tells you to pay them for their services, it is likely a scam. An agent gets a 15% cut, yes, but they get that by selling your book. That's the incentive for them to work to sell your book. And the copyright thing does not sound right to me. I think there's a lot of confusion about copyright, subsidiary rights, etc., and a lot of misinformation circling the internet that just causes more confusion, because most of us don't have law degrees or understand the minutiae of copyright law. That's one value of agents: they understand publishing contracts, and good agents (which you would find through research, if you were planning on traditionally publishing) will negotiate for the most beneficial contract for you that they can get, and they also watch out for publishers trying to get away with screwing you over by burying you in legalese. And I know this is a self-publishing thread, but since there is so much misinformation out there, I would recommend reading someone like Janet Reid, who is an actual literary agent who answers commonly asked questions about traditional publishing and what an agent's role in that is, as well as debunking a lot of myths that people have about how the whole publishing thing works.