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About Elena

  • Rank
    a ship captain looking for crewmates
  • Birthday 04/07/1968

Personal Information

Writing Related

  • Penname
    Marina Costa
  • Writing History
    since first grade.
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  1. Elena

    Quitting a book

    I always finish what I start. Books included.
  2. I wrote words!new total: [10777] words as per tonight
  3. @Manu, I appear in your spreadsheet with more words than I had actually written. You took as words to add what was actually the new total (because I am not updating on the site every day my words, and I am always telling the new total, because it's easier to make a sum in Excel than other complicated calculations). I wrote words!new total: [6878] words as per tonight
  4. Elena

    Deductive vs Inductive Story Telling

    I'm deductive. I am a planner. I sketch the framework, then I make the story happen through choosing the right characters for it.
  5. I wrote words!new total: [5888] words
  6. Elena

    The Writer's Journey

    My achieved milestones are: come up with a story idea finish a first draft consistently finish first drafts for what I start receive feedback on something I've written without a complete meltdown (this one was hard) sieve through feedback and recognize what is relevant and what is someone's personal opinion/pet peeve incorporate feedback into a second draft edit a draft beyond first draft finish a project from inception to editing, 'publication ready' published the books and short stories obtained a writing prize correct major story structural problems in your work without tossing the project recognizing your own process, from outlining to editing (this involves a lot of trial and error, but I think once you know what works for you, its a major writerly boost) ability to read writing advise and recognize what would work for you, and what doesn't (partially about knowing your own process and partially about knowing enough about writing in general) Still not achieved: give constructive, useful feedback to others ability to recognize story structure and arcs in your own work knowing what motivates you, and using that to get yourself out of a writers block low phase learning efficient ways for book marketing
  7. Elena

    Goodreads Profile Links!

    [url=https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7301931.Marina_Costa]This is mine[/url].
  8. [color=green][b][u]I wrote words![/u][/b][/color] [b]words to add:[/b] 2,000 words [b]new total:[/b] 2,000 words
  9. Elena

    MC Genders

    Like @Mynoris, I'm female and I think I have a somewhat higher ratio of female MCs to male MCs. However, I seem to be most fond of a dual MC dynamic, often with one being male and one being female. Also, any story of mine with a main male character will be third person. I wouldn't try to write a different gender than male or female, because I don't understand it. I accept they exist, I have read about them (I have learned only in the latest 2 years that they exist), but I can't relate at all, this is why I say I don't understand. When young (at 8-10 years old) I had a time when I went dressed in shorts or trousers and, as I had short hair, people said I was a boy and I pretended I was a boy. But it wasn't anything... permanent. On one side, it was the amusement that people were falling for the trick (I think it started first when I had a hard time to convince a grown up that I actually was a girl, and this gave me the idea to play pretend), then the realization that life was easier for boys than for girls (and yes, I have heard since young that my mother would have wanted me to be a boy and I grew up in blue baby clothes, also because "a boy has his way through life easier"). But this was all, and growing up I had to accept I am a girl and nothing would change it, even if I am more of a tomboy than a classical lady. So I don't understand disphoria or other things connected with gender differences.
  10. I want to write, i.a., in March, 3 short stories with Arabic influence/ theme. Two of them will happen in a shop in Marseilles, in France. One, in a shop in a Middle Eastern town. (I have left hints for readers to believe it is Istanbul, Turkey, but it actually isn't. It's the old town of Jerusalem, for which the same landmarks apply, in the way I named them. Those who know it, would recognize it. But more people here are familiar with trips to Turkey since 1990. Funny, I never was there.)
  11. I'll pledge 15k for March. This month it will be mostly RPG posts and short stories.
  12. Elena

    No romantic subplot?

    I think romance develops better a character. Even unrequited love, if not a complete love story. I like romantic subplots in the novels, and my stories have it, without being romance-focused, but more adventure-focused. (Except the one which I am writing now, The second shuttle boat - this is a contemporary romance per se, and the only one mine).
  13. Usually, when I start writing, the first chapter, or at least its start, has already been written a hundred times in my mind. I have some ideas what to write more, even if I don't have yet ideas for the whole novel, but only up to a point. (Or I know the beginning and the ending, but I am not sure yet how to arrive to that ending). As for the words not coming - it can happen at any moment. Usually it's a sign that I am tired, angry, disappointed, something had happened in my life, and until I solve that, I can't write. Other times, when the problem is with the story, not without me, it's a sign I need more research or brainstorming.
  14. Elena

    Real World History Geek-out

    My debut novel was based on the historical assumption existing in the late 20-th century that Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent Aztec god, described as blonde and bearded and whom the natives thought he returned when the conquistadores arrived, was Viking. (There had been another idea that he might have been Phenician, too). So my Vikings, in their search for a new homeland (the novel is titled The wanderers of the seas) are told to go seek some islands beyond the big strait (probably Canaries or Azores) but they are facing a big storm, then they lose their direction, get pulled by the sea current and get to Mexico, into Veracruz area (where there were local ballads about the Gods' arrival). There, among the Totonac people, I both researched the Aztec civilisation/ culture/ traditions/ daily life and their mythology, as the plot of my story is somehow linked with the Aztec mythology (so my Sigurd became Quetzalcoatl and he fought the old chieftain, Xolotl, on life and death, after the old chieftain had plotted against him. The goddess of water, Chalchiuhtlicue, who is Marina, my main character, marries Tezcatlipoca, the local god of war - in truth, a prisoner foreigner chieftain's son who was kept one year in order to be sacrificed in the temple to the god Tezcatlipoca - and becomes a widow after one month, when he is sacrificed, etc.) And yes, I am trying to keep them as historically accurate as I can. There exists, however, the so called writer's license in order to write a good story in the historical environment. Also, the short story collection I am launching soon has a 20 pages story titled A road (or trip) into history, which deals with a modern student of history who gets to travel into the Inca Empire after the conquista, during the reign of the last inca, Tupac-Amaru. (It isn't as much fantasy, since at the end it shows that the trip into history was a strange sort of dream caused by the vapours of a ceremonial drink their old host was brewing for the next day's holiday festivities). LShelby, I don't succeed to reply you below, only above the quote - unfortunately you can't read mine, since they aren't in English. I am just telling people about them...