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  1. Well I think all of this is normal. You can get excited at the beginning of the project, then it becomes a chore/work like everything else. Because you don't 'feel like it'. Then if you actually finish it, you have to do your second, third drafts/edits, changing bits. By this time, you are thoroughly sick of the whole thing. Then you write the next one. I'm sure there are some people out there who don't find it a struggle at times, but they are the lucky exception.
  2. Just saw a post on this by penguinball. I've written a brief article on the Self-Published fantasy blog-off, with suggestions on the best novels that have come out of this contest http://jamieedmundson.com/index.php/2018/08/25/the-self-published-fantasy-blog-off-spfbo/ Sorry, someone needs to teach me how to do links :-[
  3. OK tried inserting a link in text but don't know how :-[ https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16712129.Jamie_Edmundson
  4. Well, this is getting philosophical. Might we not also ask the question, Why DO we post? I'm not being completely facetious here. If this is a forum for fantasy writers, which posts are actually valuable? I will make my own decisions about which posts interest me, or seem useful, or I have an opinion on, or I can offer some advice/experience. Others I'll skip. I don't know who else read this advice from Andy Weir on the nanowrimo site?: "And, finally, I have this advice: Resist the urge to tell friends and family your story. I know it’s hard because you want to talk about it and they’re (sometimes) interested in hearing about it. But writers have a dirty little secret: We are mainly motivated by our desire for people to experience our stories. We want an audience. We need it. Telling your story to friends verbally satisfies that need for an audience, and it diminishes your motivation to actually write it. So make a rule: The only way for anyone to ever hear about your stories is to read them. You can still give it to them chapter by chapter—so you get the sweet, sweet external validation that you crave during the process. But no telling the story outside the pages. If you do that, you’ll at least finish the book." From my own experience, I think there is a lot to this, though obviously everyone is different, and sometimes getting mini-feedback and encouragement can help you to write more. So, I will tend to avoid posts that are an invitation to discuss your characters/story, because I think - is this helpful? is it procrastination? is it actually unhelpful?
  5. It looks better to me, I used to struggle with where to put stuff and have got it wrong more than once. On the first one, I would feel a little lost about where I should post a story - Feedback/Revision - or - Submissions - or - Librarium - but this is quite probably my problem and not a universal thing.
  6. Being a white, heterosexual man myself, writing a fantasy series with the traditional medieval European setting, I think there is a danger - if that's the right word - of unthinkingly making all my characters the same as me. I think most writers want to achieve some diversity, not necessarily from the point of view of checking boxes, but presenting characters with some range - different personalities/backgrounds. So I have at times asked myself - are people from this area white, or could they be some other colour? Why have I made this character a man, or straight? As a result I have changed things from time to time. It hasn't changed the story very much. In a fantasy world, being a different race doesn't necessarily lead on to racism - that's a decision to be made by the writer, partly down to whether they want that kind of story line in their current work. But still, I think it's better for it to be a decision than just something you haven't considered. Of course, there was racism in the medieval era e.g. towards Jews, albeit of a different kind to modern era racism (more focused on religion than genetics). What fantasy settings often have is other humanoid races, and part of worldbuilding is considering what these races think of each other. How readers react to what you write isn't under your control, but we are writing for people to enjoy what we write and for SOME people this issue does affect enjoyment, just like style, spag, levels of sex/violence/swearing, POV, etc etc all do for some people. You get some feedback on all these things - someone who gave me a positive review said they liked that there were women who were heroes, villains, and in between, and that they liked how they were portrayed. There are readers out there who will respond positively to the same thing for race, disability etc. So as writers I think we do our best - it might not be our strength, or it is something to improve - but we do our best just like we do our best with all the other elements that go into writing a story.
  7. Marketing is, in effect, the hardest part of the equation, and it's hard to know where to start if you haven't researched this area. Totally agree with the points above. I think a great place to start is Lindsey Buroker's website and her SFF Marketing podcast, since she is a successful self-published fantasy author. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkgP6WIFsg3vWga2XVs619w Biggest takeaway I have got from learning from others who have made it: write a fantasy series, at least 3 books. Only people with a following are going to sell a personal anthology in big numbers.
  8. OK JKM so gonna reply here, but could maybe message each other after this. I'm not feeling singled out and hoping you take this in the positive way it's meant. 1. Yep that comment on the forums was meant to be a general one rather than a specific suggestion - I have no idea how exactly to organise it and am happy to leave that to your good selves. 3. I'm up for doing more to help in general, focusing on my writing more now rather than trying to do that and working as well, so should have more time than last year. I've made a start, I've even joined up on Discord, though not sure that is 'me'. However, I still think there are some crossed lines here, or a chicken and egg thing, re the purpose of worldsmyths - when you say you want more activity, fundamentals, participation, it's not necessarily clear what it is you want (at least to me). If you are frustrated that a few staff are doing all the work I'm definitely up for taking some responsibility and moving forwards with the anthology idea. I'm not suggesting right now, but maybe in the New Year, we could put out feelers and start a sub-group of interested writers. Anyway, that's my suggestion/offer. In the meantime, I'm happy to do some occasional critiquing/beta reading. There's a big load of stories now since the last time I looked, not always clear to me which ones are a priority/still want feedback, so if anyone wants to message me for a critique or a swap or whatever, happy to do that. Jamie/Lord Aetius
  9. Those things are useful, though I tend to believe that a lot of storytelling conventions like this are in our DNA anyway.
  10. In my fantasy series personal names and place names fit together logically - so one country has Germanic names, another Greek etc. With a few liberties thrown in. Naming can be a chore to me sometimes, but if I'm reading a book and the characters names are just random with no thought I can struggle with it - it can be a sign of a lack of depth to the world building.
  11. Hi bdcharles Lots of good stuff here, but most of my comments will be on possible improvements: Nothing wrong with a literary style per se, but always the danger it can dominate the story if there's too much of it An atmospheric, mysterious beginning sucks you in 4 brothers, difficult to distinguish who's who in this short chapter. Is it worth developing characters a bit more first? In addition, because we don't get to know the characters that well, their deaths have less impact I struggled to place the era - mention of dreadnoughts suggests quite modern, other aspects seemed to contradict that Lal Chu - called Lan Chu at one point, why this name? Asian? Seems at odds with other names Once Lal Chu finds Echo the POV seems to shift between them both, the reader doesn't know whose eyes we are looking through any more Final part of chapter feels rushed. The conversation between Echo and Lal Chu feels a bit forced/unnatural. Will they have a funeral? There is a mention of the mother but we never meet her? Is the younger brother missing? Have they conducted a proper search for him before Echo leaves? Would the other nearby population not help with this? Have the demons disappeared? Do demons regularly attack? Are they likely to attack again and kill the rest of the family? I'm not sure what Echo's job or education in the city involves - making things? Odd introduction of 'Old Mrs Soponon' and 'Day' at the end Hope this helps, feel free to message me if you want to chat about it Jamie/Lord Aetius
  12. 1. Agree with the points about the forum, too many topics for me, I'm never sure where to post or look. Could there be one place for writing support, one place for general non-related chat etc then people know where to go to get the thing they've come for. 2. Agree with the friendliness/nice atmosphere. 3. About the USP or purpose of Worldsmyths - this is an issue. Presumably people come here because they are fantasy writers and want to develop their craft. I get that we don't want it to become a critiquing site per se, hence the limited critiquing of stories - if it's purpose is not primarily critiquing, people won't critique much, they will look elsewhere for that. That's not going to change. Equally, presumably we want it to be more than simply a place to chat and play games, the social side should be an extra benefit and would happen more naturally if people were on more regularly. I've mentioned this before, and bdcharles I think referred to it, I think a good option would be to work towards publishing a Worldsmyths anthology. When I suggest this, I don't mean the admins do it all - if we had an audit of members, we might find a few of us with some kind of publishing experience, I'd certainly be happy to take a role. If we did this, there would be a purpose to work towards, a reason to share/critique stories and everyone would benefit in some way, whatever their current level of experience. Not everyone will want to get involved, but if we have 12+ members who are interested I think we could pursue it.
  13. Hi, really appreciate the work you guys have done by the way. I've made some comments in the past about the general direction of Worldsmyths, so won't repeat those, so just from my personal activity: 1. I would be most likely to participate in an active Facebook group because I am on there for other things anyway. 2. I am an occasional visitor to the Forums only, and in all honesty that's not likely to change, I only have so much time like everyone else. In general going to the forum is a big proactive decision and there needs to be a reason - often it's when I see a Facebook call like JKM's. 3. Very unlikely to use Discord.