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Pinchofmagic

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Pinchofmagic last won the day on January 21

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  1. I love fantasy because of pretty much the same reasons as many others in this thread, that your own imagination is the limit when it comes to the magic and worlds you can create. That's like mental freedom. I enjoy reading other genres, but when it comes to writing I need some of that fantasy magic to really get excited about a project. It's also open to so many different cross-overs, from horror to cozies, so there is something for everyone. I don't hate much about fantasy, but the more strict "genre tropes" can be really annoying when I'm trying to find books to read. I love the potential of Urban Fantasy, but I dislike the list of main ingredients most UF-books have. However, the repetitive tropes make me more eager to write my own take on that particular genre, which is fun. I don't read a whole lot of epic fantasy, but I recognize what some posters here mentioned about the annoying gender/class/race issues which the author try to excuse through "historical accuracy". Like goblins and that sentient sword are historically accurate, lol! But those social issues (and everything else) are all the author's choices, so they have to personally stand for their views. I don't blame the fantasy-genre itself. Instead, I think fantasy has the unique opportunity to place stories anywhere in history, while showing modern or ideal sensibilities through worldbuilding. It can definitely be done really well as a natural, unquestioned part of the story-world. But like with the UF-books, I have to remember that some writers/readers love the tropes I dislike. All I can do is write my own stories.
  2. Pinchofmagic

    Adopt a premise/story idea

    Oh, this one gave me an idea for the 2019 challenge! Great ideas, thank you for posting them! :)
  3. Pinchofmagic

    An Introduction and a Rose

    Hi and hello from a fellow newbie! I hope you'll have a great time here with lots of support for your WIPs. The members are really friendly and helpful, so don't be shy asking questions. :)
  4. Just submitted my most epic manuscript to three publishing houses, so I'm expecting some super-fun rejections this spring. Got one more (re-worked) script to submit, hopefully I can read through it for the last time this week. Then it's all Million Challenge prep-time! Yay!

  5. Pinchofmagic

    Adopt a premise/story idea

    Yep, that's where this thread should've been from the beginning, lol! Sorry about that. And thank you. :)
  6. Pinchofmagic

    Distinctive Character Voices

    1. How do you feel about character voice in writing? To me it's super-important, and I always try to get better at writing character voices. The most interesting thing in a book for me their voice, that's how they show who they are and also who they want to be. What comes through the cracks in their social mask (like personality traits they want to hide, but can't) can make a character stand out a lot. To me, a character voice is a part of the character puzzle, so finding out or deducing why they talk the way they do is an extra piece of entertainment. If the psychological underpinnings of their speech has a greater meaning when it comes to character or plot, that's awesome. 2. Do you remember any distinctive voices you've read and enjoyed before? Gytha Ogg (from Terry Pratchett's Lancre-books) is freakin' hilarious and her speech is in tune with her character and interests. Pippi Longstocking is one unique kid and her speech is very inventive. Bertie Wooster (Wodehouse) is a definite favourite when it comes to character voice. His optimism and desire to be thought of as clever and a man of action puts him in a lot of trouble, and these are also things that comes out in his speech. 3. Any tips or tricks for creating or writing a distinct voice? I have a few tricks: Based on the character's personality or interests, they notice different things in an environment. The Casanova comments on the attractive person behind one of the counters, the lazy always calculate the easiest way to do something, the animal lover points out the painting of a dog on the wall, etc. Interests can inspire word-choice: the foodie may make jokes and use words/sayings connected to food/cooking, etc. People often circle back to the important things in their life during conversation (children, pets, old job, hobbies, obsessions, etc.). Rooting around in their background can also work for finding a voice. If they have younger siblings, maybe they have the educational mom-voice. Were they the younger sibling? Maybe they don't listen to others anymore, or if they had a lot of siblings they're used to fight to be heard and say stuff for attention. Our social circles growing up have huge influence on us, so it's a good thing to use. I'm not above putting big labels on a character to separate them from others. The person who thinks sarcasm is the height of sophistication will be easily recognized in dialogue without tags. Same with the self-appointed comedian, the optimist, the bragger, the complainer, the coward, the adventurer, the intellectual, etc. Those big labels can be part of their social mask, or be the things they can't hide (like being scared or unsatisfied). It will hopefully blend in with other stuff later to become just one facet of them instead of stereotypical, but it's definitely an easy way to create distinct voices. Hermione and Ron in "Harry Potter" are two examples of characters that are distinguishable in dialogue due to their clear (and opposite) labels: The bossy know-it-all and the swearing slacker. It's not all they are, but that really helped to cement them and to separate them. The way characters react to each other's speech is also a good trick. If someone comments "you swear a lot for such a young girl", that sticks in the reader's mind for easy recognition next time. (I also wanna add, for any beginners reading this, that distinct character voices might not come out properly until the first draft of the story is done, and may be crafted during editing instead. So my advice is to not sweat the character voice too much early on, especially if you write novels and use exploration as part of the writing process. At least that's my experience.)
  7. Pinchofmagic

    Adopt a premise/story idea

    Penguinball & Jedi Knight Muse, that would be great! I'd love a thread of ideas to come to when in need of inspiration. The NaNo-forums are definitely what inspired me, but I haven't found these short premise-thingies there lately or at least not as many. There used to be a lot of them back in the day, and so much fun to read. NaNo clear the stuff too every year or something, which is a bummer. So keep'em coming. :)
  8. Pinchofmagic

    Adopt a premise/story idea

    A thread for all those short and sweet story premises/ideas you may have discarded or don't have time to write. Your lump of clay may turn into gold for someone else, or can just kick-start their own imagination, so dump'em right here. :) I'll start with these five ideas: When people die they turn into mythological creatures (maybe depending on what they were like in life). A psychic medical examiner can see flashes a dead person’s every day-life when cutting them open. One day they realise they’re examining something very peculiar. The body looks human, but their every-day life doesn't look at all familiar to the M.E.. A character realises they’re in a very familiar and worn-out plot. Knowing how it will end they do everything to de-rail it. A job coach accepts a higher paying job in a different town, but the clients are not what she’s used to. Neither are the job openings in town. Or the town itself. When a strange fossil is dug up on the border between two warring countries they both start to worship it, but they come up with two very different myths. A poor scholar realises that both myths have elements of truth, and if combined the ancient creature will rise to rule. But that might not be the best idea ever. (Sorry if any of them is familiar to a book/movie already out there. I seem to be bad at keeping up with the current stuff these days.)
  9. Sooo, I'm watching Top5s channel on Youtube tonight. Is watching poltergeist videos a clear invitation for them to invade your home? Asking for a friend.

  10. Deep, deep in the editing swamp while I'd much rather brainstorm new story ideas for the 2019 challenge. *sad panda face*

  11. Same. I was more anti-prologue when I was younger, now I try to give them a chance. If it doesn't grab me or it's full of info-dumping about a place I have no concept of - especially its ancient history - I tend to skim or jump. It's also annoying when a prologue is really good, and I connect with a character, and then the first chapter starts generations later and we're probably never gonna hear from that prologue person again. But basically, if it grabs my attention and pulls me in I don't usually complain... much. I love Pratchett, but the reason it took me so long to get into his work was his prologues. They were just too spacey, even though the rest of the books were exactly my style, but I didn't get there until I was pretty old. "Maskerade" made me realise his greatness, because it's got an awesome beginning without floating turtles in space. Epilogues can tell too much for my taste, especially if they jump too far ahead into the future. Part of what makes it fun to read a book is to imagine what happens after the story is over, so too much information about the rest of the characters' (often boring) lives is not necessarily my thing. My first attempt at a prologue came about in one of my current WIPs. It's gonna be short and show the discovery of a theft and how a neighbourhood of witches argue about who they're gonna appoint to solve the crime. Right now it seems like a good way to show the style and presenting the mystery which sets the story in motion, along with hints about the witch hierarchy. Then the first couple of chapters shows the detectives who starts to work for the two different witch-groups. No epilogues yet, but they'll probably happen sooner or later.
  12. Pinchofmagic

    What are you reading? [2019]

    Oh, very cool! I definitely get the writing itch when I read Bryson, and he's got a very fictional flair in his descriptions. The Newton one still kind of haunts me. And it is so much fun reading about the old theories about things and how some of the hunches actually turned out to be correct even after modern scientific scrutiny. Fascinating! :)
  13. Pinchofmagic

    Worldsmyths Million 2019 Discussion

    Yay! I'm very interested, because I'm starting a new project in March and this is a perfect kick in the butt to start planning. Wasn't here last year so I don't have any comments on the new set-up, I'll just go with whatever is decided. I'll probably be in the 30k a month-group or something like that.
  14. Pinchofmagic

    What constitutes a steampunk novel?

    I did the complete opposite when I wrote my steampunk, because like Manu, I had a hard time finding books that I liked. I felt the writing style and some of the trappings often stood in the way of a fun driven Steampunk-adventure (which is what I wanted). Instead I focused on the other aspects, like the machines (especially the clockwork automatons) and the mad professors, the quirky details of the aesthetic and the airships. I also love the Victorian city setting, and the Dickens class aspect drew me to the genre. So I just picked what I liked, left what didn't work for me in those other books, and I had such a blast writing it. Some go for romance (gaslight romance), some go hard with the tech, some enjoy the wonder of the genre like time-travel or airship cultures. I did a mix, with a lot of focus on the inventions for the plot. What makes it steampunk for me is that mix of steam-power, mad invention (with a dash of magic/future fantasy powered stuff like plasma-guns), and the Victorian/Edwardian setting & culture. Apart from that it seems a steampunk story could be a lot of different things. It could go very close to Dickens with the soot and the working classes, or fly high with the wealthy classes and their grand inventions. Like Penguinball said, it doesn't have to be all that gritty. Some writers put a lot of horror elements in it too, like zombies or other supernatural beings. I think it's a fun genre for anyone who is drawn to that bustling period in history and there are plenty of opportunities to make it your own, including what kind of language you want to use. I think there are readers for a lot of different takes on this genre. Good luck!
  15. Pinchofmagic

    Daydreaming, Stories, and You

    The thought of losing my daydreaming/imagination is horrifying, so I totally feel this. Writing/day-dreaming stories is the most magical thing I know. The ordinary real-life mundane stuff, well, that's mostly like an annoying commercial break I have to endure. :) This! I definitely watch a lot of stuff just to get ideas for daydreaming, or to see fun characters (and steal some of their traits for my own characters), and I hope that the script/story makes me pumped to write. When a show/movie/book fail to give me anything at all, I get annoyed and feel I wasted precious writing time on useless crap, lol!
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