June 20, 2019 at 11:27 am #91801
Hello! My name is Mark and I recently stumbled upon Story Embers while doing some research for my current WIP. I was trying to figure out how to deepen my worldbuilding when I found a post here on Story Embers (found below).
As I was perusing the article above, I happened to glance up at the top of the page and read the subtitle under the Story Embers logo. I was stunned and thrilled to find I was on a Christian writers website.
I have been wanting to find a critique partner/small writing group for a while and have even looked into finding one but never seemed to find anything that would fit what I was looking for.
Being a Christian, I wanted to join a group of like-minded individuals that share the same values that I do. This is why I am so excited that this site, Story Embers, exists.
I’ve been writing for nearly 3 years even though I’ve had the desire to write for much longer than that. I didn’t actually start working on the craft until stumbling upon Brandon Sanderson’s (who happens to be my favorite author) 2016 lectures online. This prompted me to begin my writing journey.
Since then, I have completed 2 Novelletes, 1 Novella (first draft), and have 4 unfinished novels (including my current WIP).
While writing is incredibly rewarding, it’s tough at times to fight that inner critic/heckler that rears its ugly head when you’re in the middle of a project. I look forward to interacting with members of this community and hope to be received into a guild where I can provide and receive feedback on writing projects.
My favorite genre to read and write in is Epic Fantasy, particularly stories that have an undercurrent of hope no matter how dark things seem to get.
My Favorite Novels include:
The original Mistborn Trilogy
The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive Book 1)
Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive Book 2 – The best book in this series so far in my opinion)
My Favorite Movies include:
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy
The How to Train Your Dragon Trilogy
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Most of the Marvel Superhero Movies
Favorite TV Series
Avatar: The Last Airbender
That’s it for now (sorry for such a long post, but thank you for reading this far!). I look forward to interacting with other members of Story Embers soon. 🙂June 20, 2019 at 12:13 pm #91802
Hey Mark! I am SO glad to see you here.
As might be expected, I too am a writer. I’ve been writing heavily since November of 2016, and it has been a wonderful journey indeed! I’ve written one novella, am in the middle of the second draft of a novel, and have a large handful of short stories that I’m still growing, to this day.
You are no stranger to writing, so I’m gonna cut to the chase. Within writing, what do you see as your strengths, what things do you struggle with. I think as writers, in receiving feedback, one of the most important things to understand is what we do well. After we know that, it usually makes a lot of sense what we struggle with.
I’ll not flood you with a bunch to reply to, so for now I’ll send this, and eagerly await your answer. 🙂
P.S. Huge fan of Tolkien, and I enjoy Sanderson.
-Wordsmith- Author of short stories, Reader of many books, Student in writing, and Lumenite!June 20, 2019 at 3:13 pm #91810
Hi, Buddy! Nice to meet you.
You raise some very good questions.
My story ideas tend to come in as plot ideas and as such, I feel I am a fairly good plotter, though even here I feel like I need to improve.
I generally know what themes my books are about either before I start writing or shortly thereafter.
I think I am average on creating characters and settings. These (in particular, setting) I feel like I need to flesh out more.
I struggle with worldbuilding as I see rich worlds in other works like Tolkien (whose books I also love) and Sanderson (See Mistborn and The Stormlight Archives) and feel my worlds need to be fleshed out more.
I know I am comparing my unfinished works (and in some cases, finished works) to published authors’ works whose books have gone through revisions in order to make them ‘perfect’ but it’s still something I know I need to improve on.
There are probably things I am forgetting, but that is a good list for now. As a fellow writer, what are some of the things you excel at and struggle within your own writing?June 20, 2019 at 7:16 pm #91817
Hello, nice to meet you. Wow, you answered all the usual questions. I’m impressed.
It looks like you’ll fit in well here.
Who’s your favorite Marvel superhero?
How we chose to fight is just as important as what we fight forJune 20, 2019 at 8:13 pm #91823
@ryowildfire Hello and welcome, fellow Sanderson Fan! I’m Jess, and also am a mad reader of Epic Fantasy. In April I started to tackle writing my first ever Epic Fantasy novel. *happy claps* Aside from that, I have around ten other novels I have unpublished drafts for, and about that many short stories. Not to mention the thousands of ideas I have every day…
I’m going to assume you like magic systems? Have you got any amazing ideas or favourite concepts you’ve been playing around with?
Writer | Freelance editor
InspirationJune 21, 2019 at 9:25 am #91837
@ryowildfire Dude, you have a cool Emberian origin story. xDD (I just got an email from some blogger I follow and was like cool! I’ll join. 😛 xD)
Hey! Welcome to Story Embers! I’m Evelyn (duh). Random quick introduction: I like rain, elephants, dancing, reading, writing, listening to music, working with kids, and painting here and there.
I also love stories that, no matter how dark they become, have an undercurrent of hope. On that note, I love the Christopher Nolon Batman series! It is absolutely brilliant. Just soooo good.
I see you mentioned your favorite books, movies, and TV series. What kind of music do you enjoy?
I’m glad to meet you! And I’m glad you’re here.June 21, 2019 at 9:20 pm #91886
Nice to meet you, too!
Although he is not a Marvel superhero, Batman is my Favorite superhero, particular the Batman from the Christopher Nolan films. However, my favorite Marvel superhero would have to be Spiderman. I love the fact that he is a down-to-earth everyman character while also being a superhero. His stories are often very uplifting as well. I loved Homecoming and out of the Tobey Maguire trilogy, the second movie was the best. Also, J.K. Simmons made a perfect J. Jonah Jameson in those movies.
Who is your favorite superhero, Marvel or otherwise?
Epic Fantasy is the best, though I will concede that other genres have some cool stories, too.
Congrats on starting your Epic Fantasy novel. Yay! I started my current WIP (Epic Fantasy) back in February and it’s been quite a rollercoaster. It’s interesting how ideas can come to you as you write and it’s like, oh yeah, if I did this it would make the story sooo much better than I had originally planned.
I do love magic systems. They are one of the things I struggle with fleshing out in my Worldbuilding. The system in my current WIP uses gemstones charged with magical energy that a person who can use the magic can draw on to perform the magic. The energy of the stone is limited and once the energy is gone from the stone it can’t be used to perform magic until it’s recharged. These stones can also be inserted into different objects such as special swords or magical compasses in order to power them. I haven’t fully figured this system out yet.
Do you have any cool magic systems you have developed or played around with? Sanderson makes it look so easy. 😛
Hi, Evelyn! Nice to meet you, too.
I don’t know if my origin story is that cool, but I was definitely excited when I realized the post I was reading was on a site designed to help Christian writers thrive in their writing. Besides, joining through a bloggers recommendation works just as well as stumbling upon the site on your own. 🙂
Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is fantastic. It is just so good (Recently rewatched it as well).
As for what music I like, I like a variety of things. When I write, I tend to listen to epic fantasy music/Celtic music (Epic Fantasy Celtic music? Yeah that, too). I typically like upbeat music and I recently came across Rend Collective and I love their songs, particularly Build Your Kingdom Here and More Than Conquerors.
What is your favorite genre, to read in or otherwise?
Thank you all for the warm welcome to Story Embers.June 21, 2019 at 11:17 pm #91895
Steward of the Pen
@ryowildfire Welcome, Mark! I’m so glad you stumbled upon SE! It truly is an amazing community, filled with a lot of writers seeking to glorify God through storytelling.
Fantasy is also my favorite genre to read and write. I love Tolkien, but I haven’t had a chance to read much Sanderson yet (only Steelheart and Firefight). Have you read the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson? That series is a dear favorite of mine.
I first saw that you enjoy listening to Celtic while writing, and I was excited because I do too, but then I saw that you also listen to Rend Collective and I was even more excited! xD I’ve been listening to them for about a year and a half now, and they’re by far my favorite band. “Second Chance” is one of my favorites, but they’re all so good.
What’s your current WIP about, if you don’t mind sharing? That’s a cool sounding magic system. I’m trying to work out my magic system right now. It’s definitely the hardest part of building this world, mostly because I’m having a hard time getting the components of it to work together (fire, moons, Beta stones, and certain pine trees?) It’s so much fun though. What’s your favorite part of worldbuilding? I love creating new cultures, inventing slang, and weaving in little sparks of details to make the world come alive.
Welcome again, and nice to meet you!June 23, 2019 at 3:22 pm #91935
@ryowildfire Hullo! Welcome to Story Embers! My name’s Ariella, but most folks around here call me Ari. 🙂 I’m also a fan of HTTYD. The first movie is my favorite of the three, though the third was the only one to actually get me teary-eyed. 😛
I’ve heard a lot about inner critics lately. My friend @noodle-mum can probably relate a bit more than me (just ask Wilbur) but I myself am an “obsessive editor.” That can be a good and a bad thing at times.
I have written a fantasy series of five books, a sci-fi short story, several Aetherlight and HTTYD fanfics, and my current WIP is a fantasy book with the theme of freedom. I also have an idea bouncing around my head for a sci-fi/fantasy mashup. I haven’t gotten past the planning stage of that one.
Fantasy writer, obsessive editor, illustrator, citizen of Parimi Alca
*disappears into the shadows*June 23, 2019 at 4:22 pm #91937
Nice to meet you. 🙂
The Reckoners series (Steelheart, Firefight, and Calamity) is a really good series (honestly, I like most of Sanderson’s works). If you love fantasy, I’d highly recommend the original Mistborn Trilogy (Books 1 through 3) as a good starting point for Sanderson’s fantasy works (though The Way of Kings is a good starting point as well if you are used to the larger epic books like The Wheel of Time or Lord of the Rings).
I’ve never heard of Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson (until you mentioned it), but after looking it up I put it on my “To read” list. It sounds like fun in almost the way Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates Trilogy by Caroline Carlson is (albeit they are different types of stories). As a side note, Caroline Carlson does some cool things with mixing in letters to and from individuals between the narrative that I hadn’t seen before.
There is something about Epic Fantasy music and Celtic music that works so well to write to, especially when writing Epic Fantasy (go figure). And I am so glad I found Rend Collective. Their music is just so good.
Here’s kind of my pitch for my current WIP (though the pitch is a WIP itself as well!):
“While searching for a special kind of energy stone used as a resource for her city, a woman finds an ancient seal on a dark prison which holds an evil force.
Thinking it is a new kind of energy stone, she accidentally breaks the seal with an ancient magical sword that belonged to her father, trapping herself in a realm that is in between worlds.
She must now find a way to communicate with her fiance to let him know that she is still alive and work with him to stop the remaining seals from breaking.”
Interesting to note is that my initial “lightning strike” idea for this book was “A woman gets turned into a magical sword in front of her fiance”. I had trouble figuring out a way to give her agency (proactivity) being trapped as a magical sword so the initial idea changed through the planning and writing (and more planning and more writing) process and it developed into she is actually bound to the magical sword as kind of an anchor to her world while being stuck in the “in between” realm between the worlds. This also gives her some interesting access to the magic system (hint: the magical sword she is bound to is something special).
Magic systems as fun to try to build (btw, your magic system sounds pretty cool, too), but it’s hard to make something unique or feels different from other magic systems that we’ve seen before. I definitely don’t want to make a generic magic system. So far the most fun I think I have with worldbuilding is coming up with the backstory for a setting. Like, this place had this happen to it and now that is why this city is in ruins, that kind of thing. Worldbuilding is something I really would like to get better at, while also knowing what aspects of worldbuilding to focus on for the novel I am working on at the time (instead of going too broad and building things that don’t serve the narrative). Part of this is also providing more detailed descriptions which usually happens in revisions for me.
So what is your WIP about (if you don’t mind me asking)? Again, it’s nice to meet you.June 23, 2019 at 4:34 pm #91939
Hello, Ari! It’s nice to meet you.
The first HTTYD movie was definitely my favorite. Honestly, at the end, when it shows Hiccup and Toothless walking out of Hiccup’s house and both Toothless’ lost tail fin and Hiccup’s lost foot are on the same side it brought tears to my eyes.
Yeah, inner critics can be brutal. It’s like your internal editor turns itself on while your working on your book but only tells you negative things about it. It’s hard to turn that off sometimes and just write. Obsessive editing can be a double edge sword for sure. I’ve heard of eternal drafters who never get past the first few chapters of their book due to constantly rewriting them. On the flip side of that, if you can harness that powerful editor, you can make a really solid completed book from those revisions.
What kind of fantasy books have you written? Did you publish any of them yet?June 23, 2019 at 5:36 pm #91943
Hey there! I’m new here too. 🙂 I’m happy you found this place. I know you will fit in perfectly.
Your WIP sounds awesome! Fantasy isn’t my normal genre, but I have been tempted to try my hand at it. Any tips for developing a magic system?
P.S I love Rend Collective too! My favorite song is probably Counting Every Blessing.
June 24, 2019 at 8:16 am #91983
- This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by ShadowWriter161.
@ryowildfire Hey no way! I also recently just re-watched those movies. Just a couple weeks ago…
My…. Joker disturbs my soul. And every time it gets worse. So well made… I just wish it hadn’t taken a toil on the actor.
Yes! Epic fantasy soundtracks are the best! Any favorite soundtrack? Any favorite composer? I am a big fan of Hans Zimmer’s Inception, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Sherlock Holmes, but really just any of his music. xD
And then of course… Lord of the Rings is hauntingly beautiful.
I have heard a little about Rend Collective but never have listened to their music… I’ll have to check those songs out!
As for music I enjoy, I lean toward folk and acoustic stuff and oldies (from the 50s, 60s, and 80s mostly…), but listen to a large variety. (I’m from a big family so lots of music tastes here…)
Your WIP sounds very interesting! How long have you been working on it?June 25, 2019 at 8:30 am #92064
Welcome and glad to meet you.
Fantasy is a fun genre and can have really deep storytelling. As for tips on developing magic systems… I’m not sure how much I can help at this point. That is one of my weaker points that I am still trying to figure out. However, Brandon Sanderson has some laws of magic he developed that may be useful. One big tip I find useful myself is from his second law (which is evident in his works): The limitations of a magic system are more interesting than its capabilities. What the magic can’t do is more interesting than what it can.
You can find his 3 laws (plus the Zeroth law) in the article below.
It’s nice to see so many Rend Collective fans on here. 🙂 They are such a good band.
What kind of genres do you write in? What genre is your favorite to write (and to read) in?June 25, 2019 at 8:42 am #92066
I agree. Heath Ledger’s Joke is really creepy, he did such a good job. I was saddened when I heard the news of what happened to him right before that movie came out.
I don’t know if I have a favorite soundtrack for epic fantasy, but most of those you mentioned I’ve listened to and like. I usually go on youtube and find a good 1 to 3 hour long playlist(s) of Epic Fantasy music to listen to while I write. I have a saved Epic Writing Music playlist of some of my favorites that I like to cycle through.
That’s a wide range of music you like. 🙂 I don’t listen to as much music as a used to, other than when I am writing. When I am driving to and from work I usually am listening to an audiobook instead of music (or perhaps a podcast).
I’ve been working on my current WIP since February. I’m nearly 40K words into it at this point. It’s gone a little slower than I’ve liked (aside from when I first started the book, but that seems fairly normal) but I’m determined to finish it. I believe I have enough ideas for this work to have a completed book.
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