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Sam

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Sam last won the day on May 14

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About Sam

  • Birthday 01/17/1988

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  1. I... have too many characters For the one that the last scene I've written focuses on it's being exiled from his homeland and forgotten by his entire race (or, rather, completely erased from its history). As far as his entire race is concerned, the character has never existed at all, has had no impact on any of their lives, none of his deeds have ever come to pass. If he were to meet a relative or a childhood friend, they wouldn't recognize him simply because they have never been his relative/friend. None of his previous life matters, because none of it has ever happened, and he can't undo it, because the key to the only known way to undo this lies within his homeland, which he can't access, because only beings born in that land can enter it. And since after this exile/erasure he's actually never been born there (or born, period), there's no way for him to get back. Also, since he's never been born, his entire existence is a paradox, so even though in the world he's currently in he gets to break a lot of rules, he's also slowly blinking out of existence, bit by bit, and he knows exactly when he's going to disappear completely.
  2. Project: Tales from the Witch House (a future web serial novel) Goals: Finish and revise the first three arcs so I have a proper backlog and start publishing it online before November. Summary: In the middle of a city that never truly sleeps yet always seems to slumber, there is a big old house. The House isn't safe to live in; all but one of its original residents have left. Others, however, have trickled in. Witches and demons and werecats and other refugees of the occult underground, ones who are hunted or running or lost. Here they gather as squatters, reasonably safe under the protection of an old woman who's known simply as The Witch. Some of them view this place as a temporary pit stop, somewhere to take a breather and accumulate their strength. Some are trying to build a new home for themselves within these grey, moldy walls. None of them have chosen to come to the house. Instead, the house and its mysterious benefactor chose them. To what end? That remains to be seen. If it's even important, that is. I mean, who cares about the deep metaphysical questions when Tim's fur has clogged the drain in the only working bathroom again, in the kitchen the fumes from Delilah's cleansing candles substitute for air, and Leo forgot to get the groceries for the fifth time this week?
  3. For me, the hardest thing isn't even the description itself. It's making it fit into the text. During the first draft, I forget about it for the most part, just living all those "insert descriptions here!" notes for later all over the pages. When I started filling those blanks during revision, though, I tend to go overboard and sometimes end up with paragraphs describing the exact way the warm asphalt felt under the character's hand, and how the rainwater on the rooftops glistened under moonlight, and how the air smelt of blood and gasoline and freshly cut grass, and how the faint sounds of jazz music were coming from a window across the street, and the window itself is a sole warm yellow spot on the grimly dark wall of the house, and... Oh crap, the dramatic revelation that used to be the entire point of this scene got buried under all these details! So I start cutting them out until there's too little left, and then I start putting them back in and there's too much again, and then my cat gets very annoyed by my yells of frustration and it truly becomes a painful process. Good luck with editing, hope that genie shows up. (And when you're done, could you maybe send the genie my way? Tell them I have cookies and a moderately friendly cat?)
  4. That's such a beautiful way to put it. ❣️And I really love your concept of wild witches—that's definitely a story I'd love to read some day. As for music, I personally try to choose instrumental tracks these days for actual writing/planning, because I'm too easily inspired by songs with lyrics, but not in the way I want to be inspired. :D I mean that often, when I'm listening to a song with lyrics, a few lines suddenly kind of stand out to me and give me a whole new plot bunny for a whole new story, which stands in the way of focusing on whatever I'm currently working on. Sometimes, I find ways to fit those plot bunnies into existing WIPs as side plots—it's proving to be surprisingly easy to do with my current main WIP, because of its format and 'urban fantasy kitchen sink' nature—but that doesn't always work out.
  5. I could absolutely use some description magic, too. My first drafts are almost entirely devoid of description. I leave notes to myself in square brackets, too, and I highlight them in yellow to be able to see them easily. I have some pages that are almost half yellow because of this. I do see all the locations and stuff pretty clearly in my head, but it's so difficult to put it into words without distracting the future readers from the plot/action/dialogue in the process.
  6. I definitely use music a lot to get into the necessary mood or headspace. As for books, I don't deliberately pick texts to get me into a certain mood (although that sounds like an idea I should try), but whatever I'm writing at the moment does influence my choice of books to read, and vice versa. When I'm choosing the next book to read, I often unconsciously gravitate toward the ones that have something in common with one of my current projects: genre, theme, certain plot points, etc. Also, I often notice that whatever I'm reading has some sort of effect on my writing. Sometimes it's very conscious: as I read, I tend to analyze what sort of techniques the author's using to achieve certain effects and all that, and sometimes I find those techniques and interesting and want to try and adapt them to my own writing. But often, it's more subtle: like if I'm reading a novel that focuses on characters' emotional experience and inner life over plot, I'm more likely to write quiet, introspective scenes. If I'm reading something with a lot of high-stakes action, I'm more likely to work on something that also has lots of action in it, etc.
  7. @roadmagician I will! I have a number of plot bunnies in that vein that I really should start working on. If only I had 50 hours in a day instead of 24... Meanwhile, have you read The Healers' Road by S.E. Robertson? It's 100% that type of story. Just two healers traveling the country, helping people, reflecting on their pasts and futures and sorting out their differences. It's perfect. Also, right now I'm reading Ravenwood by Nathan Lowell, a story about a number of people in a very small village just going about their lives. I'm only about 25% in, but I love it immensely already.
  8. I'm not sure how unpopular this opinion might be, but I often feel like there aren't enough small-scale fantasy stories. There are plenty of fantasy books about heroes and rulers doing things that influence entire countries, or about people with 'exciting' occupations like thieves or assassins or spies, and all that. And that's great. I love a lot of those stories. I just wish there were more stories exploring fantasy settings from other angles. I'd like to see stories about common people living in those small towns that adventurers often pass through; about teachers at magic schools who have to deal with classes and paperwork and finding time to live their own lives with the addition of magic which sometimes makes things easier and other times harder; about merchants and tavern keepers who are just trying to keep their business going after the hero killed the tyrant, took up the throne, and now sure, everyone's celebrating, but what's going to happen tomorrow with the economy and the laws and the taxes. There are a lot of stories about the movers and shakers of the fantasy realms; I want to see more stories about how the common people live while around them dragons are being slayed and kings overthrown, if that makes sense.
  9. Sam

    Hi :)

    Thanks for the welcome and for the heads-up! :) I've noticed the word count challenge already (I really want to participate in June—can't wait for the sign ups), but I've missed the other one completely while looking around.
  10. Sam

    Hi :)

    @Pinchofmagic Thank you!
  11. Sam

    Hi :)

    Hello, everyone! After a couple of days of lurking, I've decided to introduce myself finally. :) I'm not very good at coming up with stuff to say about myself, so I'll just use the helpful template. Basics Name/Penname: Sam Age: 31 State/country: Russia Education: I dropped out of college after a year because of a family situation. After that, my education has been all over the place: lots of online and offline courses on lots of different subjects. Hobbies and Favorites What are your hobbies? Writing, reading, learning new languages, tabletop roleplaying games, going on road trips with friends whenever time permits, cooking, horseback riding, watching figure skating, occasionally drawing. What is/are your favorite book(s) and authors? The list of my favorite books changes monthly, because I keep reading new books and adding them to that list. I read too much. :D Listing favorite authors would probably be easier, so here goes, in no particular order: Seanan McGuire Robin Hobb Mark Lawrence Stephen King RoAnna Sylver Sharon Shinn Megan Whalen Turner Michael J. Sullivan N.K. Jemisin Scott Lynch What is/are your favorite movie(s) and TV show(s)? I don't watch a lot of movies, but the two that spring to mind immediately are The Princess Bride (a childhood favorite) and Only Lovers Left Alive. As for TV shows, I do watch a lot of them. My current top-5 probably looks like this: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Jessica Jones Stranger Things Babylon 5 Dollhouse Writing How long have you been writing? Since I learned how to write. Before that, I was making up stories in my head and sometimes asking adults to write them down. What was the first story you wrote that you remember? (Is it finished, and has anyone read it?) I have a very foggy recollection of it (that was one of the stories I made up as a very small kid and asked my father to write down for me), but it was a retelling of a bedtime fairy tale. In the original fairy tale, a strong and cunning hero killed a dragon who was terrorizing a kingdom, or something like that. In my version, the hero decided to talk to the dragon instead, convinced it that killing people was bad, became the dragon's friend and I think they went on some kind of adventure together, possibly to convince an evil king from another fairy tale to stop being evil and to become their friend, too. The story was widely read and praised by my entire family. :D Tell us a little about your favorite character to write about. This is a very complicated question that I'll probably have to skip. The truth is, every character of mine is my favorite. There are some who are harder to write than others, but I really love all of them, even the villains. (Sometimes especially the villains). Tell us a little about a fantasy world you've created. The world itself is probably a rather generic "medieval fantasy with a bit of renaissance," but I like the magic system I came up with for it. The effect isn't very unusual: it simply allows the users to imbue various items with unusual properties (a charmed quill that only allows its user to write the truth even if they try hard to lie; a knife that makes any food cut with it turn fresh even if it got rotten already, that sort of thing). The catch is that it has a price, paid in memories. For every item they create, the mages forget something: maybe the plot of a book they once read, maybe a type of animal they often encounter, maybe their own birthday—it could be anything. It's impossible to predict by any widely known means which memory is going to be lost. That's why mages tend to be very smart and well-traveled: they spend a big part of their lives learning as much as possible about the world around them and experiencing new and new things so they have more things to forget. It is believed that the more things one has to forget, the smaller the chance of forgetting something really important, like whether you have a child or who your own mother even is. Tell us a little about your current work in progress. How's it going? I have several (I always have several). The main one is a slice of life urban fantasy about a bunch of young mediums, shifters, vampires, ghosts, friendly neighborhood lovecraftian monsters and other supernatural creatures squatting together in a mysterious house protected by a witch's spell because they have nowhere else to go. It's sort of a collection of novellas, each centering around a particular character and loosely connected by an overarching plot. The setting is basically a kitchen sink of urban fantasy tropes; there are mysteries, magic, and supernatural politics, but mostly it's just a character-driven new adult story about finding your place in the world and learning to accept others as well as yourself and all that. It's not the most original thing ever created, but I'm having a lot of fun with it. Once I've written and edited a few parts/novellas, I'm planning to start putting it online as a web serial. Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? If so, how has your experience been? Yes, several times. I finally won for the first time in 2018, a fact I'm still very proud of. Worldsmyths How did you find out about Worldsmyths? I'm part of a writing game site called 4TheWords. A short while ago I made a post on the forums there asking if anyone knew of an online writing community and was directed here. What made you decide to join? I really love NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo for the sense of community it provides: it makes writing stop feeling solitary. So I've been looking for some sort of community that would provide the same feeling for more than three months a year, and I'm hoping this might be it. What do you hope to gain from Worldsmyths? (Examples: Find a beta reader, get feedback, motivation, a sense of community, fine-tuning the craft, etc) A sense of community; motivation; eventually feedback, once I feel brave enough for that. :)
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