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Oh, I am sure. Especially because it was Greece, and as we know well today, no one can spin a yarn of absolute BS better than a young philosopher or starving artist. lol.

Combining Greek philosophy and artistry nonsense is the absolute worst thing. I love it! XD And the ancient Greeks (And Romans) were second only to the Victorians in terms of weirdness XD Nobody surpasses the Victorians! XD

That sounds like a fun premise, and if she wove in actual characters for middle-grade, hats off to her! It is a delicate balance making characters both authentic and not boring for middle-grades, lol.

She actually did! I liked the characters, even though there were like… ten main characters, I was pretty attached to all of them, and they all had interesting inner conflicts. (Turtle was my favorite!)

That is what alpha and beta readers are here for! Friends, family, and fellow writers

Definitely! If it wasn’t for them, I might have given up by now XD

That is a great icebreaker, especially for a bunch of villain’s XD, nothing like an angry, super-powered, waterfowl to keep you humble.

Yep! Ice is broken and they’re all merrily trying to kill each other! It’s perfect! XD It’s so vastly, vastly different from the other character castle with the regular characters where they’re basically all best friends XD

Thank you, hope it helps

It totally does! Another thing that sometimes helps for me is looking up reference pictures of what I’m trying to describe, or if I’m working on an important scene with cool imagery, I sometimes draw it and then I describe the drawing.

That’s the thing I kinda like about writing though. I know that if I want to be authentic, if I want to write what is true, it forces me to look at truth and to be honest. It forces me to discover and explore, all the while giving me a place to play, and with the hopes of one day sharing some bits of it with the world. Writing is not like a catalogue or science book where we jot down all the things we already know, it is the journal we take with us into the jungles of the unknown.

I totally get what you mean! It really forces you to get perspective on everything, since you actually can’t write anything properly unless you examine it from all angles.

But, strangely enough, your method of outlining doesn’t sound so different from what goes on in my head: It usually starts either from the visceral, character changing moments; or the broader sweeping story idea and themes. From there, the kind of characters that belong in that story begin to clarify, and then once I have that idea, the catalysts and major points of story arcs kinda just start filling in based around the characters. The day to day, the character nuance, pacing etc. mostly all begin when I am actually in the moment in front of the keyboard. Although, I did randomly start writing what would become a couple of major characters without understanding why until much later, lol.

Yes, that’s actually quite similar! What I like is that it gives me fixed points to improvise between, so I can work out how to get there.

75% is actually a really good number imo, the rest of what is necessary may become obvious once you have written the chapters around it (kinda like a puzzle; or like a sculpture: you aren’t sure what kind of nose the face should have until you have finished the rest, lol.)

Exactly! Sometimes the mood changes in one scene and it shifts the entire character arc. And those things happen and it’s better if you just let them happen.

As for the climax, you could try outlining your book backwards. You have your main character, if you have your themes and basic plot giving you a rough roadmap, and if you know how you want them to develop and how you want the plot to be left off in the next book (or conclude for this one), then you can try ignoring everything else and focus on what you want your climax to be. Once you have that idea, you can outline it backwards, asking yourself at each step if that makes sense from a character and plot sense. Once you have that outline done, you can compare the two. The idea isn’t to marry you to one outline or the other, but looking at it backwards helps give you a strong end point to work towards and different perspective to work from.

That’s a great idea! Honestly, I outline back to front, and front to back, and from the middle outward, or from the beginning and end inward, and in all kinds of weird directions XD For my first book, I had a beginning, but no ending or middle. For my second, I had a middle, but no beginning or ending, and for my third, I have an ending and a beginning, but no middle XD And yeah, I thought about combining them, but they’re all big events that require lots of plot time and buildup, and there’s no way I could stretch one character arc across more than one.

Well, crap does make the best fertilizer XD

Exactly XD

Goodness, you are not wrong. Classic literature can be very longwinded, even Tolkein puts me to sleep when I try reading it, lol.

Honestly, I’m not much of a reader, as strange as that may be to hear, reading can be very tiring for me. I can get really sucked into audio books when I can get them, though. For me, stories happen everywhere, from songs to miniseries to video games to playing table-top games with friends. I think the reason writing appeals, even though reading itself is hit and miss, is because its format allows for a huge amount of information which allows lots of detail and exploration.

I totally get that! I don’t read nearly as much as I used to, I tend to prefer audiobooks since I can keep doing whatever I’m working on without actually sitting down to read. And good voice acting adds a whole new dimension to books! And I do love to see how other mediums approach storytelling. I do analyze the storytelling in every media I watch/read though XD

As for genres, honestly, anything other than horror and soap operas, lol. I will say, while I like almost all genres, fantasy and sci-fi have a special place in my heart (thanks to Star Wars, Star Trek, LotR, Chronicles etc.). But nothing to me is quite as good to me as a well done drama. It is one of the hardest genres to get right (so often turning into melodrama), but when it is done well, it tugs at the roots of who we are.

Ooh, I totally see what you mean! When it comes to movies/series, that’s definitely one of my favorite genres. Maybe it’s because of the quicker format, but I like it a lot better in movies than in books.

What’s your least favorite book/series you’ve ever read?

For me, it’s a close call between the Melanie Dickerson fairytales (I know a lot of people love them, but they’re really not my style), The Youngest Templar trilogy by Michael Spradlin, (I have never seen so many cliches poorly held together by a wonky Macguffin and repetitive banter with no characterization.) And the Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. (Like, that was the story? There was no plot and no ending.)

Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?

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