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XanthussMarduk

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XanthussMarduk last won the day on March 6

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About XanthussMarduk

  • Birthday July 12

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  • Writing History
    Most of my life.
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    Depends/other. Send me a PM

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  1. XanthussMarduk

    What Constitutes a Good Magic System?

    a) A 'good' magic system is honest any one that works for the plot at hand. They can vary extraordinarily, from barely there (George R. R. Martin) to the whole point (Harry Potter). The system needs to make internal cohesive sense, and fit the type of world. Imagine how different Tolkein's writing would've been if he had a D&D magic system. The whole plot was after all about the common man. b) Deus ex magica. A system where the characters can, at any time, gain new miraculous powers to save the plot. Perhaps that is more a failing of the author than the magic system though. c) Tips and Tricks - always always always consider the repercussions. A lot of the time it will make your world less generic for it. d) Avoid overcomplicating it. The more rules, the more loopholes that characters can abuse. If they don't abuse it and your reader sees it, they'll call buillshit on the plot. If they do, you risk falling into the Deus ex magica issue. e) Hmm. I quite like the system in the Sumage Solution. Essentially based on magic congregating in the body from the environment, until it needs to be expelled. Some mages are capable of doing that at will, some have to wait until it builds up to an explosion of raw magic. I have a whole blog post with questions I wrote down that I use to make magic systems, if anyone wants to check it out. http://sorcereroftea.com/2019/02/03/developing-your-magic-system/
  2. XanthussMarduk

    Immortal/Long Living Characters

    To counter the idea of vampires going mad due to age, I do enjoy the idea Doctor Who explored with Lady Me. Her brain coped with too much information by forgetting things. So she wrote journals to chronicle her long life and remember things.
  3. XanthussMarduk

    Best (and Worst) Writing Advice?

    You put that into worlds so well. I've struggled to explain that to people SO many times.
  4. XanthussMarduk

    Real World History Geek-out

    I hate learning history in an educational environment. They make it so goddamn boring. Many of the important people are boring people who did boring things, and people mostly only write about because they benefit a certain narrative that the curriculum wants to tell us. Usually some form of "The West is Great". Even the interesting ones, we only get to hear the boring stuff. Alexander the Great is toned down to yet another generic boring conqueror man, not a wildly intelligent 20 something year old, who's teacher was Plato, and who had a life long love affair with his best friend. There are so many interesting people, amazing events, crazy things and strange stories from history. My favourite period of history is probably the ancient world. Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Persia, ancient China and Japan. We know both so little and so much about those periods that there are so many cool ways to work with it in writing. Plus, the architectural style of the period set the standards we still use today, and the characters were interesting.
  5. XanthussMarduk

    Best (and Worst) Writing Advice?

    Best Advice Keep everything you write. One day, it'll spark a new idea. I did this, and ended up writing a 100,000 words based on a short story I wrote when I was 15. Worst Advice Two fold a) "LGBT characters should be characters first, gay second" - I've had this spouted at me constantly, as I write LGBT fiction. Usually by straight people, sometimes by misled LGBT people. The concept sounds fine on the surface, but usually it comes from someone objecting to an LGBT relationship in your work, which is what they define as "LGBT First" : The mention they're gay at all. It's usually followed up with "we don't need to know their sexuality! It shouldn't come up!" All it does is push young LGBT writers into feeling they have to suppress their need to be out and proud in their writing. Real people mention their sexuality, real people get into relationships. Hell, most of the heterosexual work ever written is motivated by romance. Avenging the dead lover is a popular cliche in every genre. But apparently when you're LGBT, you're not allowed romances. b) "Don't use tropes". Usually from people who don't understand what a trope is. A trope is a building block of a plot. Sometimes overused with no originality. But unless you're writing a blank page, good luck avoiding tropes.
  6. XanthussMarduk

    What are you reading? [2019]

    I'm presently about half way through Good Omen's by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I read super quickly, so expect that to change soon though! I'm enjoying it, though I admit I don't see much Gaiman influence. It feels like a very Pratchett novel. Not that that is a bad thing, as he was a fantastic writer. It's urban fantasy I suppose, but it doesn't really fit within any of the genres tropes. I'm not sure what I'll move onto next. I wanna find some good urban fantasy.
  7. I have to say I love the boundaries you can break with fantasy. There are very few limitations. I also love being able to create worlds that you can look at earth issues through an allegorical POV. You can explore those isues without coming off as too preachy, because you can move the issues from their original context. Hate? "Serious" fantasy has an obsession with the medieval period. It also has a serious problem with rehashing old tropes. But the one that annoys me the most in high I've read is the edginess some people try to insert into their fantasy, especially 'serious' published authors. Fantasy is often not very fantastic. Too much death and murder. I've put down multiple fantasy books when they decided to pull out the gratuitous brutality for no describable reason early in a story. Especially if it involves children or women getting killed or worse, as I've encountered at times.
  8. XanthussMarduk

    Worldbuilding Question: Travel

    By boat in my world! The nations of Macalgra are pretty well divided up between islands/continents, so long ago they worked out how to apply magic to sailing more efficiently. The result is magically fueled steamships that ply the waters between the many kingdoms and their cities. Most major cities are coastal or riverside as a result of just how much trade goes by water and how important the sea is to the economy too.
  9. XanthussMarduk

    What constitutes a steampunk novel?

    I love the documentary "Vintage Tomorrows". It does a great job explaining the ethos of Steampunk. It's on netflix I believe, and well worth watching. To me, the aesthetic is the easiest part to get down. But the feel of Steampunk is harder. It mixes a lot of optimism about technology, in a time period where everything was vaguely understood enough that religion and science compete, and often overlap in explaining the world and technology. Social politics are important, too. The clash of classes, and the effect technology has on both the rich and poor. Combine with some zany inventions, and a sense of adventure, and I think you have the atmosphere for a good steampunk setting in my opinion.
  10. XanthussMarduk

    Organizing Your World Building

    I use WorldAnvil to organise my worldbuilding. Previously, I used Google Docs but I found they got unwieldy and slow around the 10k words area, and just didn't organise very well. I tried honestly . . . a lot of options. Evernote, TiddlyWiki, Wikia and it all was just too difficult to get started on. I have a tendency to lose my steam if I have to stuff around with logistics before I can start writing. I enjoy worldbuilding for my writing, and often my world ideas come first, and the characters and plots evolve from the world. As a result, just being able to start without worrying to much about organisation is super helpful to me and World Anvil has been the first service that let me do that.
  11. XanthussMarduk

    Another Dumb Question

    I still cannot see it. Is it behind a reputation requirement?
  12. XanthussMarduk

    2018 Accomplishments

    Finally decided on a university major after 2 years of debating and questioning myself.
  13. XanthussMarduk

    Howdy oh fellow writers

    Yep! I do a few worldbuilding and writing streams. And there is a whole community of authors who stream - writing workshops, write-ins, or just discussion groups. Thank you ❤️ Yep! I love it. I have a WorldAnvil, still barebones, for my Wip here https://worldanvil.com/w/witchverse-XanthussMarduk. Honestly most of my worldbuilding I've just done for fun so doing it for a novel is a new experience. Work is important! Thanks for the welcome. I usually write high fantasy, I admit, but I really felt like taking on urban fantasy this time. We'll see how it goes. I am Australian, so I guess it reflects writing what you know best.
  14. XanthussMarduk

    Howdy oh fellow writers

    Heya. I'm Xanthuss, you can also call me Isaac. I'm a gay man from Australia. I write mostly high fantasy, worldbuild for fun, and I'm the social media manager at WorldAnvil - a worldbuilding platform. I'm working on my WIP, presently in the 4th restart - the Witchverse. Hopefully one day a series. It's urban fantasy with a LGBT spin, exploring the adventures of an Elf Witch in Australia and his misfit gang of friends. I'm also studying Publishing & Writing at university. My favourite author is Gail Carriger, a steampunk writer. My present binge-show is She-ra and the Princess of Power, and I spend my time writing, worldbuilding, helping out at WorldAnvil, sometimes doing Twitch writing streams, and gaming (I'm on a Dark Souls stint at the moment).
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