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Pinchofmagic

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Everything posted by Pinchofmagic

  1. I really like the "There, when no one else would be"-trope, whether it's about danger or the character just acting like a brat and alienating their friends who turn up anyway (That's probably the Friend in Need-trope). Another favourite is the "More than flaws", when someone got used to their new aquaintance's flaws and starts seeing awesome things that outweigh what previously annoyed them. Also, when people risk their social image/status (or their need to be right) to be friends with someone or encourage them, that's neat. Just putting away their selfishness/own agenda/nitpicking because they see the other/s needs in a certain situation (which makes them grow as a person), I'm a total sucker for that.
  2. I love these moments and I always try to put them in. In my current story it's when my MC uses some really effective knot-magic and pulls in a 400-year old ghost ship into present day, complete with an awesome treasure. Oh, the Force was in you all along, Luke! ๐Ÿ˜„ It solves so many things in the story, and it's the big beginning to several smaller moments of awesome. But that's the crowning moment for her both externally (the village & her house is saved, she really is a witch) and internally as she gains insight to the loss of her mother. Tips: The laying of proper groundwork for greatest satisfaction. Like, something they've tried and failed at, something that caused them misery and worry, something that they are so close to failing at again (with high stakes behind it) at a really crucial moment, and then the pieces just click into place. If it just comes out of nowhere, it's not as effective. Ideally for me, it should be something the reader has been waiting for/wished for to happen in some way. The moment doesn't have to be at the climax of the story either, it can definitely come before that, like when the character changes and decide to take charge as it leads up to the climax, or they find that piece of the puzzle that will solve their tricky problem and they can move forward, or someone previously inactive finally acts (like trained human weapon River Tam, who's been afraid of hurting her friends when triggered into violence, finally uses her kick-ass skills to help the team in Serenity). One of those movies where I really got stand-up-and-cheer chills are the court-room scenes in "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest"(Millennium Trilogy-movie), when the conspiracy and malpractise against Lisbeth Salander (that we've seen all through the trilogy) is revealed for everyone and the right people are finally arrested/punished. AWESOME!
  3. Writing a scene (mindset-thingy):

    What's gonna make this scene a reader's favourite scene in your book?

  4. I'm still struggling with getting a better overview of my novel outline, so to avoid having to roll out a huge piece of paper on my floor and fill it in by hand (Ugh!) I did a bit of googling today for outlining Middle Grade novels. Turns out that J.K. Rowling has a way of outlining that looked good, which was super-easy to emulate with the Web-layout and tables in my word processor. The blog post connected to it wasn't giving me much, but the image of the transcribed outline for some of the chapters in The Order of the Phoenix was very helpful: https://writelikerowling.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/transcribed-rowling-outline.png It really worked well for me, because I could see gaps in my outline and it was easier to see what I could add to lean chapters. So today I learned about, and copied, the J.K. Rowling method. :)
  5. I agree, sometimes it's unnecessary and a bit forced. But it's part of his online persona now, so it's the price we pay, I suppose. ๐Ÿ˜„ But he's way less vulgar in the writing books, I noticed that when I got The Kick-Ass Writer (which really is a kick in the ass for new-ish writers, and I recommend it).
  6. I do like genres as a way for the internet-era writers to promote themselves and to find like-minded, but yeah, it's tricky to put down a genre on one's own story sometimes. So easy to get tangled up in the genre-jungle these days. Occasionally I have to go with a short pitch instead, like "storybook witches in the modern suburbs" or something like that. :) It was interesting to hear that you skip worldbuilding for story, and vice versa. I've heard that some writers write almost their entire first drafts with only dialogue, and then add stuff in editing, so the ways to write a story are numerous. Everyone works differently and that is so fascinating to hear about.
  7. Omg, yes! It's a strange brain phenomenon, where we know (we so know!) things will be fixed in editing, but still it's nerve-racking to start a big project. In an attempt to get us there I summon the immortal words of NSFW-Chuck Wendig: (hidden for a bad word) May the mighty naughty pen-monkey kick our ass into gear. Good luck! :)
  8. My novel idea came from my May project about a bunch of witches opening a summer camp, and I realised that if I write a stand-alone prequel to that, this could be a middle grade series... which made me really nervous since I have never thought about series before. I've plotted way more beforehand than I usually do, because Middle Grade came with some very different challenges. The story needed a very strong thread going through, like solid from start to finish, which made the plotting trickier than usual since I'm mostly a carefree plantser-type. It has taken up a lot of my time for the last couple of weeks and everything else has just fallen by the wayside. One of these days I really should vaccuum the house... Apart from the plot I've notes on the world-building and I wrote a legend for the history (I'll see if I get it done for the WS-challenge), and right now I'm actually ready to write my middle. If I can stop procrastinating. This is the scary part, to go from pre-writing to actual writing, where all the hopes and dreams of writing the story I picture in my head crashes and burns.
  9. I'm doing close third for my main character Beata throughout the book (because she's very much at the center of everything and it just came about naturally), with the exception of the prologue. That's more omniscient as the developer arrive to the pirate-witch village with the intent of just demolishing the houses and put up vacation rentals, but he doesn't know that moving witches is ripe with trouble. I don't know if the prologue will stay, but right now I like it. I tried to play with the bonus question, but I can't see right now how anyone else in the book could tell this story, not even the cousin who has some things on the line here, so... Yeah, changing POV's would lose a lot of drama, comedy and mystery. Maybe I will include some more POV from my developer since he's one of the villains, and I have never included a villain's POV before. That could be an exciting experiment. :)
  10. Project: The Pirate Witches of Deadwater (Middle Grade Fantasy Novel) Goal: Rough outline done by May (which is about now), first draft of 30k-40k hopefully done by the end of June, then editing until complete. I hope that's sometime before NaNo this fall. Summary: After a string of foster-homes 12-year old Beata discovers she has inherited a house together with a distant cousin in the pirate-witch village of Deadwater. The village is in decline because the witches are old and childless, and a developer try to seize the opportunity and turn Deadwater into a hot summer-vacation spot with hotels and casinos. Beata's house has a ghost (like houses do) and hopes it's her dead mother trying to communicate, but finds it's her cousin's mother; a witch trapped on a ghost ship in another dimension because the magic anchors to bring her back were stolen. Beata finds it's really difficult to rebel in a pirate-witch village, take orders from a bossy apparition and hardest of all: find a summer-job that doesn't involve collecting leeches. How hard could it be when the only other kid in the village managed to get a sweet gig as a bread-delivery man and won't stop bragging about it? She also has to help her cousin pass the magic entrance exam for the prestigious village council called The Crew, which will give them a lot of advantages and might be their only way to avoid having to sell their house. The end: By the use of very old knot-magic Beata manages to pull the ghost ship back into the real world, with both the lost witch and an incredible pirate treasure onboard. Beata earns the empty chair in The Crew and saves the house, while the treasure saves the village.
  11. I really like this, Mynoris, and it gave me the image that writing really is like a puzzle. Early, you see the pieces that fit together because of strong details, and then you have the ones that are more indistinct. They need to be in the puzzle eventually, but you don't have to worry about them immediately. It's so easy to get overwhelmed when thinking about all the pieces at the same time, and a lot of those indistinct pieces will get clearer the more I write and they will eventually find a good place. And like Tangwystle said, strenghts (the stuff you do know) can be really powerful bits that will shadow weaknesses. The passion you have for certain areas of your story, that joy will shine through for the reader and make it more interesting to read. Just because something is a staple trope in a particular genre, like riding horses, doing something completely different can be really fun. Example: I wanted to write about pirates because there are aspects of them I find really interesting. However, I know nothing about old ships/boats, and the research is just way too massive for me (i.e. I don't have the proper passion about the minute details of a ship). So I made my characters descendants of pirates who settled down on land, but they still live by the code and steal/pirate stuff in their own way. That way I can explore the things that do intrigue me about pirates (their independence, lawlessness, irreverence, kinship, lingo and democracy... along with some awesome coats and hats!) without having to spend years and years reading about ships. I just need to spend enough time on them for some in-world history, and can avoid that whole scrubbing the deck and careening and eat moldy hardtack biscuits...
  12. You'll get there, Mynoris, if you want to. :) You also might be a writer who enjoy interpersonal stuff in your writing and doesn't need a lot of scope in the world/setting to tell the story (in my country it's close to a genre called chamber-drama).
  13. I forgot I posted this, so maybe I should answer it myself. The coastal village of my WIP is called Deadwater, and I'd visit the broken ship of the first pirate-witches who settled there: Matilda and Grumpy Octavia. The part of the ship with the captain's quarters is now the meeting hall and has an observational deck. Then I'd walk on the beach to see what kind of stuff floated ashore since the currents are affected by magic and lots of fun stuff end up at the shore-line almost every day (finders keepers!). The Bone Witch House, constructed by old whale bones and fossils, is a must, and then I'll probably go with the Captain of the village on her daily "inspections" of the small brewery before heading out to the big evening barbecue on the beach.
  14. I had real doubts yesterday about my first draft. The plot-path I'd chosen wasn't raising stakes and it was only tied to setting and backstory, not to goals or internal stuff, so I just had to scrap it and got really stuck. I needed magical glue, something that would fit into all the aspects of the story, and boy, that's tough sometimes. If I don't have a really solid plot (along with a character who can make interesting choices), I don't move on to editing, so... thinking cap on! I brainstormed by myself (other people's input for larger problems can make it even worse for me), and made lists of things that could happen in the story from the point where I got stuck. Then I just stepped away from the computer and listened to a writing podcast (Writing Excuses), because when people talk about writing my gears start turning better. After that I went back to the basics: Why was I excited to write this story? What was my vision for it? What kind of mood do I want for it? What was the immediate impression I got from this character? I found that my mood was all wrong because I was focusing on the tragic backstory a bit too much, and I eventually found my magical glue-/idea that could do everything I needed to move forward at a much better pace. But it took me like 8 hours, and I still doubt it a bit. To get there can take an awful lot of try-and fail cycles, so I'll just try anything and everything to get past that hurdle, and it's not always the same stuff that works. But when the plot feels good over-all, I don't sweat scenes where I know what needs to happen, and I can push through those with just a few notes in the MS and write them later. In some cases it might be better to hold off writing them, bc I'll have knowledge of my setting later, so yay, a lot more exciting choices as to where the scene will take place. But having plot-doubts, that just the worst.
  15. It depends on the thing I want to foreshadow. If it's a fatal flaw in a character, I try to show that in a very light way at first, like in their reaction to something or in a piece of dialogue, but not so full blown that it screams "Fatal Flaw!" (more like a hint that this person might have a hard time dealing with criticism, or are prone to jump to conclusions, etc.). If it's a clue in a mystery, burying it within other pieces of information is probably the standard way. If it's a big event to foreshadow, like something will blow up, a small kitchen fire in a pan or an instable boiler or something else that can nudge the reader towards that. Right now I have this old ghost ship that will turn up (or pulled in by knot/wind-magic) at the end of my middle grade novel, so I put in some troublesome knots, like on shoes and grocery bags, and the sea wind tugging at the bed sheets hanging out to dry, and the wind suddenly blowing a door open, stuff like that. I hope that's a subtle way to hint at coming events in my story before it's spelled out in more concrete ways. I enjoy that sort of stuff though, it's great fun.
  16. I had to rack my brain a bit, but yes, in my first completely finished books I had a toy-maker who made mechanical (well...) stuff out of wood. I remember he made a toy with four small wooden trolls in each corner of a wooden board. When you turned a button they all moved towards the middle and knocked their heads together, because that was how trolls said "hello" apparently. He made a lot of stuff, but that was the one I remember the most from that story. Like Mynoris, I also have to remember to put this stuff in more, because how kids play can say a lot about a culture, and most characters were at one time a child, so... Awesome question! :)
  17. Some characters are just stubborn, lol! For me, main characters are the most stubborn. Sometimes I don't know them fully until I finished the whole first draft, and then I have to add a lot of their voice in editing. It works, but man, it's annoying when they hold out on you, especially when you depend on your MC to drive the plot a lot. I find side-characters a thousand times easier to develop. Best of luck with Alana! :)
  18. I didn't mean "us" as in "all writers", I meant the others in this thread who called on the description genie. I can only speak for myself here, but I do see most things clearly when writing a scene, but the immense work it takes to make those descriptions really interesting and entertaining for others to read... Well, that can be really intimidating. Even though I work hard on descriptions late in the editing process, trying to making them crisp and precise and entertaining, I often struggle to be 100% pleased with them. You're lucky you can write all your descriptions in the first draft in a way that pleases you. I'm jealous. :)
  19. Yeah, what is about description that makes us fight it? Maybe because if it's done badly it really drags down a story, and we feel the pressure of that. Keeping my fingers crossed for that genie to appear before I get into editing. :) Oh, very true, all we need is proper motivation. We can definitely get better at most everything in writing, with enough practise, but it's so much more fun to just write and lean on the stuff we're already good at... I'm definitely guilty of that, lol! Ditto! ๐Ÿ˜„
  20. Bands of witches ( just that is so freaking cool!), looking like a mix of pirates, fur trappers and Celtic Warriors, that is just the most amazing mix I've ever heard of! I just got really excited reading your comment, because the witches in my Middle Grade WIP have a pirate heritage even though they've settled in a small bay community now. But that community has deep roots in the old pirate traditions, so yeah, I definitely watch Pirates of the Caribbean for that, lol! Pirates and witches have so much in common, like the love of freedom and independence, and like you said about POTC; a particular way of life that's disappearing. Being despised, feared and hunted, that goes for both of them too. The mythologies are so much fun in those movies, very magical and fantasy-esque, I just love them. And of course, a lot of cool sea/pirate slang to work with. :) Music is fantastic, and the epic music you talk about is definitely like a call to write, because it's filling the head with new worlds magically. I listen a lot to the album Rogue's Gallery now (old sea shanties recorded by modern artists) and there are definitely lyrical phrases, like you talk about, that are super-inspiring. There's one song about a sailor complaining about a bad fiddler who's ruining the day and just won't stop playing, lol! It's a funny song, but inbetween the whining about this fiddler, there are some beautiful poetic lines: Summer deep, embowered in flowers silent music, in the hours in the east a feather moon... and that fiddler out of tune! It makes me wanna write some sea shanties for my old witches. ๐Ÿ˜„ Also, I loved to hear about the Supernatural-connection in your work. Big fan here, and it's an amazing source of inspiration. The different character relationships are so much fun, and also the legends and myths used in that, it really kickstarts the imagination big time. :)
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