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Everything posted by Pinchofmagic

  1. 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.)
  2. 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. :)
  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.
  6. 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! :)
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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!
  10. Pinchofmagic

    Daydreaming, Stories, and You

    Blimey! There are people who don't day dream? Now I'm blown away too. I definitely tell myself stories all the time. I'd be so bored if I didn't! 😄 Day-dreaming is usually how I develop a story idea, or it can bring unexpected ideas which can be combined with the current story, so yeah, many end up written down in some form. But if it's unrelated to any current story, or not good enough to be developed into one, I don't write them down - but I do continue them sometimes. I can also fall into obsessive thinking about things that I don't want to think or worry about, so to shut that up I conciously day dream and make up a story to distract me. Storytelling is powerful. It's like a mind-vacation. Writing works like that a lot of the time too. :)
  11. Pinchofmagic

    What do you want to write?

    Very timely question. I just gave up on my supernatural dystopia story, an idea I've been carrying around for a few years. I still like the backstory, but I just didn't get anywhere. I realised, it's not what I want to write. Dystopias; not so funny, apparently. Who knew? 😛 Instead I went for a new idea. It just flows so much easier and I can feel there is an ending there (that's usually a good sign). It's an idea where a lot of comedy and adventure can fit in nicely. It seems I really need those two ingredients to enjoy writing a whole book, and I can't (and don't want to) write stuff that's too solemn/bleak, gritty/violent, or ethereal. If I definitely don't know what to write I go wild online and look at random stuff, articles, lists, writing-blogs, forums, ghost-videos on Youtube, anything... I hate not having something to write. It's hell. I sometimes go genre-hunting (sub-genres of speculative fiction mostly) on TV Tropes. Or I look at tropes that I don't like, and see how they could be twisted into a story I would enjoy. The stuff I hate to do irl, or really boring places, can inspire too, like "What could happen that would make this a lot more interesting?" I usually don't have to list stuff I'm generally fond of, they seem to appear in the stories anyway. It's more the premise I hunt for, the What If?-question. I hope you'll crack your idea-block soon. It's tough to be without a writing project while itching to write, I totally feel that. Good luck!
  12. Hi! My last two novels had multiple POVs, so I wanted to stick with one this time (if I can), but I go back and forth on who the main character should be, so... Maybe a dance-off? Question: Did you ever pick the wrong main character/s for a story, and changed it later? If so, why was the new one better than the old? What makes a main character interesting to follow (in your opinion)?
  13. Pinchofmagic

    Who's telling this story, anyway?

    I think that a lot of story ideas actually come with a strong character voice attached already, and that's the inspiration. I've had that in the past, and never had to think too hard about who the MC should be... until I started with the two POVs. O, gosh, I would love to write an omniscient narrator. I started once, but chickened out and changed it to close third, lol! But one day, I will. 😄
  14. Pinchofmagic

    Who's telling this story, anyway?

    Lol! Dishrags are no fun, and it's amazing how a switch can make all the difference. I tend to pick the spunky ones too, they have the kind of personality to drive the plot instead of just reacting to it. :)
  15. Pinchofmagic

    Organizing Your World Building

    That sounds great, and I'm all for getting on the excitement train when picking stories to work on. Also, if the stories take place in the same world, then ideas for your other story can be a nice side-effect. :) The best of luck with them! By the way, Dean Winchester is like my favourite TV character ever, so thank you for brightening my morning with that gif, lol!
  16. Pinchofmagic

    Organizing Your World Building

    Yeah, I've had the same experiences with NaNo, that major plot revisions can cause some real blockage when the schedule is so tight. My plot can change a lot during writing, because new shiny ideas come along and attack. Being surprised is fun, but during NaNo... I don't think I actually went back to many NaNo stories because the pace kinda made them extremely rough. Might do if I run out of ideas someday though. :) I also relate to the different projects. Going in to edit something old can actually be scary when it's a mess. The time and the work... Sheesh! And standing at almost the same place with two stories is a challenge for me too. I try to have my projects at different stages, so that I'm just beginning one (fun!) while finish up editing on another (sigh!), but sometimes they do end up at similar junctions. It's a bummer. OH! Thank you for the link to your NaNo summary, that was great! It was very clear, and the excerpt was like Indiana Jones exciting. I thought the characters had great motivations and had truly interesting, deep back-stories. I really hope you attack that project again, like a dragon. :) I was also excited by the wandering in your story, because the story I'm editing now has that too. Sort of. It's about Talented People (witches, astromancers and racontours) who were traditionally wanderers. The wandering is going out of style in my early 19th century inspired world, so they mostly ride the stagecoach, but they still call themselves Wanderers because it sounds romantic. :)
  17. Pinchofmagic

    Who's telling this story, anyway?

    I am definitely leaning towards the female character myself. She's got a bit of a heroine-complex and messes up a bit initially when trying to rescue some folk, so she turned out to be the more interesting one. Your FMC bites?! That is awesome. 😄
  18. Pinchofmagic

    Who's telling this story, anyway?

    I love this! To pick the personality who can filter the world in a way you need, that is great advice. And it reminded me how a POV personality affects the feel of the whole story so much. It was also really interesting to hear how the switch influenced your view of other characters in such a refreshing way. Very cool. When I had two POV's in previous stories, I picked the more driven one to head the more action-filled chapters, and as for slower chapters I picked the one who had the more entertaining way of looking at life and normal stuff. I think that's why I'm struggling now, I got into that habit, so I can't choose. But you gave me a lot of good stuff to think about and I'll keep to my one POV-plan. Thank you so much for sharing, and for the great insights! The best of luck with your book series. :)
  19. Pinchofmagic

    Who's telling this story, anyway?

    I found this really interesting, it just shows what a squirmy thing a story is and how many ways there are to write it. It's almost strange how anything gets written with all the choices we have. I'm so glad that it helped to switch, and thank you for your advice on trying both characters. You inspired me to write them each a short beginning chapter, and see who brings the most interesting stuff to the table. Thank you! And as for picking a main character that isn't too serious... *High-five* and female... *Double high-five*
  20. Pinchofmagic

    Organizing Your World Building

    Wow! I am in awe! That's really fun too see. The T-Rex of worldbuilding files! In comparison, mine haven't even crawled up from the mud. But Fairies and Dragons are really interesting, and I have to say your files made me curious. How far along are you on the Court of Shadows? I really enjoy worldbuilding, but only in the context of a story. I don't structure huge systems of stuff if I don't have to, I just I focus on the parts that makes it seem real when my characters deal with it. I think Brandon Sanderson calls it "Smoke and Mirrors". Basic every-day things are a lot of fun: What they eat (and why! Climate, geography, etc.), how they live, travel, work, what their culture/society is like when it comes to entertainment, unspoken rules and social stratification. I also like to build the mythology of the supernatural/magic. The amount of higher politics, religion, history and judicial system depends on how much it affects characters & plot. Personal guidelines for worldbuilding are probably: Relevant to the plot/character - Enriching the world to make it feel real/plausible - Interesting or entertaining stuff. My worldbuilding docs are usually few (with very short notes/names/links), but my novels are only stand-alones, and never high/epic fantasy where big worldbuilding is very popular. Maybe that's why my worldbuilding files screenshot would require a microscope. :) Right now I'm working on my dystopian fantasy, so I'm figuring out the mythology of my beasts, where they came from, and how they fit in and interact with the modern world (a future, tech-progressive world). A dystopian novel (my first) seems to require more pre-planned worldbuilding than I'm used to, so quite challenging, but a lot of fun!
  21. Pinchofmagic

    Reading outside the fantasy genre?

    I read maybe 50% outside the Fantasy area, but my choice of books almost always tie in with what I'm working on at the moment (which is always fantasy). I recently read "Dear Leader. My Escape from North Korea" by Jang Jin-Sung, which was so interesting and also heart-wrenching. It's been on my TBR-shelf for a while, but now when I'm looking into Dystopia I finally read it, because seriously, North Korea... Very Orwellian. Basically, I read a lot to inspire my own writing these days. I have favorite fiction writers I go back to again and again because of their style and descriptions. I always look for ways to make descriptions interesting. I'm kind of a sparse writer, and discriptions are not my favourite thing to do, but I constantly work to make them less boring for me (and hopefully for the reader). I also get inspired by the amount of storytelling joy or energy I see in the text. If I can sense that they had fun when they wrote the story, that tickles my own storytelling bone. Annie Proulx, George Saunders, Wodehouse, Noir-writers, Anne Tyler are a few (mostly) non-fantasy writers who tick those boxes for me. George Saunders write a lot of strange stuff though, some stories are kinda fantasy/sci-fi.
  22. Just finished "Dear Leader" Jang Jin-Sung. It was heartbreaking. 

  23. Pinchofmagic

    Subverting Fantasy Tropes

    O, that sounds like a great twist. I definitely feel the being influenced-part, I think my first witch story was based too much on Eva Ibbotson's Which Witch? But hey, that's how we learn. :) I reckon the M/M romance in that plot has some brilliant potential though. I really hope you get to the point where you can't resist it any longer. I'd love to read that.
  24. Pinchofmagic

    Why We Don't Post

    Oh no, I get that I need to create a new post. I was mostly concerned that similar subjects would be frowned upon in the new forum. :)
  25. Pinchofmagic

    Why We Don't Post

    O, great. Because it wasn't all that long ago those topics were discussed, which also gave me pause, but you're right that we do change our minds and new people do join. Thank you so much for replying. :)