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  • #135223
    Noah Cochran
    @noah-cochran

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Thanks for the welcome Brian!

    I have not heard of Steve Berry, but I just looked him up and his books seem right down my alley. I will definitely be trying to get my hands on some of his books.

    I have seen the second of the two films starring Downy as Sherlock. It was a decent movie (helped greatly by the fact that Downy is a very entertaining actor), but I personally didn’t feel like it did a great job capturing the essence of Sherlock. It felt more like an action movie, and Downy seemed to be acting more like a fists flying superhero (some habits carry from movie to movie I guess xD).  I did appreciate the way Moriarty’s plan was well crafted and had a sound goal.

    Have you published any books Brian?

    Thanks once again for the tips and welcoming spirit!

     

     

     

     

    #135224
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @noah-cochran

    I have a Work in progress here:
    https://excavatia.wordpress.com/

    Also the Audio of my first scene is in the “Audio Cinema” topic in the Fantasy Forum group.

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135225
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @noah-cochran

    That’s an intriguing plot. How long have you been writing the first book? It sounds like you’re making great progress. How many pages do you write a week?

    Thank you! I drafted the first book in… about six or seven months. (That’s counting the month or so when I took a break from writing)

    My daily goal is 1000 words a day, but sometimes I can’t get beyond 500, and other days I draft 2000 in a single sitting. It depends on the day and how easy the chapter is.

    Sooo… I write between 4000 and 5000 words a week, on average. (That’s 16-20 pages) However, I used to write much slower when I just got started. Drafting takes practice, and visualizing the scenes over and over and plotting out where you want to go in each chapter does help.

    My only advice on drafting is don’t compare your word count, just stick with what’s realistic for you, remind yourself that it’s the first draft and it has to be terrible, and if you’re having a tough day, writing sprints work really well for me.

    I set a timer for 15 minutes and aim to write 250 words in that time. I force myself to finish that sprint before I take a break. Anyway, just an idea 😉

    I read a bunch of books and watched a lot of youtube channels on writing before starting. Both of those sources taught be a lot about story structure and character building (though a lot of it was already intuitively built into me from reading). So yes I am using a story structure, though I am a little more loose with it. But in my book’s most condensed form, it follows the traditional story structure.

    Awesome! Sounds like you really did your research! I’m sure you’ll get on much easier because of it!

    Okay, I’ll look into character castles. Thanks for the tip. :p

    Okay, cool! I’m in Character Castle 2.0 and the Villain’s character castle. Both have spots free, and it’d be cool to see you there!

    What is your outlining process?

    Hmm, it involves a lot of coffee and frustration, but here we go! I don’t particularly enjoy outlining, though I do need an outline to write XD I tend to rush it and get the basics down, then I start drafting and work out the details later.

    I use the Save the Cat method (Blake Snyder’s beat sheet) and it works really well for me. I usually start by writing down what I already know and try to guess which beat it would fit into. (I usually plot the Inciting incident, Break into act 2, and Midpoint first, but that’s a personal preference.)

    Once I have the ideas down, I work out the main character’s arc and then try to plot the rest of the book. (I might end up with some blank spaces, but they’ll come to me while I draft)

    After that, I flesh out my main character and the characters I need for the plot.

    This is usually the place where I lose all patience and start drafting XD I might end up jotting some more detailed scene ideas or changing around some stuff.

    During drafting, I also spend some time with my characters, usually in a character castle, but also just daydreaming.

    Anyway, that’s more or less it!

    How about you?

    I also saw in your conversation with Gracie that you’re also a small-scale farmer! That’s so awesome!

    We have a smallish property where we raise meat turkeys, (In case you were wondering, the stereotype that turkeys are dumb is one hundred percent true. They always amaze me by surpassing their own stupidity.) and chickens. (I have no idea who decided chicken should be synonymous with coward. I mean, animals who have no problem cannibalizing each other and will actively hunt and eat rats aren’t cowards XD)

    We also have a huge vegetable garden and an orchard that never bears properly.

     

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

    #135229
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @noah-cochran

    Hi Noah,

    Replying to your:

    Sorry for just jumping in here like this, but your audio cinema challenge sounds really interesting.  Where can we find the Topic Challenges?

    The challenge is usually placed in the first post when a New Topic is started, (at least that’s how it appears to be on any of the others I find).  Here’s the link to the “Audio Cinema“.
    There are also some Scene review questions that I proposed in the second post, following the challenge that make this challenge useful to the brave who dare to share a scene. 😉
    It doesn’t have to be perfect. These are raw so it just allows us a chance to hear the scene the way you might imagine it in your mind.  Have fun with it.  Employ your “serfs” to… [ahem]…act it out (read a part) with you, if you wish.  You might find that your “indentured servants”…[Uh, I mean]…family members…might be bribed…[uh]…become encouraged to give you more writing time, if they become enthused with imagining with you as a contributor to your creative process.  They may even encourage you to write more of “their” character so that they can “play along” more often.

    [Tips from a prior post…]
    I can point you to some free…[Yes, I said FREE]…resources that I use, if you are interested.

    I use “Voice Record Pro” on my Apple i-Phone.  It is free in the “App Store”.  Makes great recordings that can be sync’d and uploaded as an MP3 file to your Google Docs folder, or to your One Drive if you use that.  I think it may be offered on an Android phone too, but you’d have to check.

    I then go to the recorded result file and “Edit” it using FREE audio editing software called “Audacity”.
    Here’s a link to their website, if interested. Audacity Free Open Source Cross-platform Software
    Here is a link to the Audacity How-To Manual if you just want to check it out first.  (See if it is something you might want to try out.)
    I always start with just recording the Reading first–Get that cleaned up (i.e. removing long pauses, background noises, coughs, etc.)–Then Amplify the audio where it is too soft or quiet so that the vocal comes through clearly.
    Next, I label the areas where I might want to add a background sound effect.  Just highlight a section of the vocal audio and do a Ctrl-B and label what effect I want behind the vocal track.
    Then I record the second layer audio of blank noise so that I can paste audio clips along it and line them up with the labels below the first-row audio track–the labels are the visual cues for where these need to come in.

    If I want a third row of ambient white noise, say forest sounds, I can add that in below the vocal and effects layers.  You can view the sound mixer and adjust the audio levels of each audio row, so one does not drown out the other.  (Hint: My vocal track is always the loudest.)

    And lastly, you can add in a dramatic musical score behind all of these, creating a full cinematic effect.
    I personally love the work of “Argsound Background Music” on YouTube.  A brilliant musician with some very powerful works that are (no copyright, no royalty) productions as long as users follow the terms of use and do not try to monetize the result.  He does have a Patreon account for like thirty per year, if you want to donate.

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135230
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @imwritehere1920

    I am sorry Lily,

    I replied to Noah, but saw you asked the question about the “Audio Cinema”.

    Got my wires crossed in the threads.

    Here’s the link to that.
    https://storyembers.org/groups/fantasy-writers/forum/topic/audio-cinema/

    The challenge is usually in the first post on a Topic.  (At least, that seems to be the practice from my observation.)
    I also included some potential questions that those who hear it and read it can answer for you as a great feedback benefit.

    There is something about hearing it back that allows us to perceive our own writing in a very different way. It is something more than just reading it aloud to ourselves. Engage the family in it too, if you want them to do different character voices. It lets them in on your creative process and they become even more excited for what you are doing. You may find they enjoy it so much they are more willing to let you have some “me” time to write scenes that include some of “their” characters.

    Have fun with it. Doesn’t have to be fancy, but if you want to add in sound effects and background instrumental mood music you can do that too.

    I can point you to some free…[Yes, I said FREE]…resources that I use, if you are interested.

    I use “Voice Record Pro” on my Apple i-Phone.  It is free in the “App Store”.  Makes great recordings that can be sync’d and uploaded as an MP3 file to your Google Docs folder, or to your One Drive if you use that.  I think it may be offered on an Android phone too, but you’d have to check.

    I then go to the recorded result file and “Edit” it using FREE audio editing software called “Audacity”.
    Here’s a link to their website, if interested. Audacity Free Open Source Cross-platform Software
    Here is a link to the Audacity How-To Manual if you just want to check it out first.  (See if it is something you might want to try out.)
    I always start with just recording the Reading first–Get that cleaned up (i.e. removing long pauses, background noises, coughs, etc.)–Then Amplify the audio where it is too soft or quiet so that the vocal comes through clearly.
    Next, I label the areas where I might want to add a background sound-effect.  Just highlight a section of the vocal audio and do a Ctrl-B and label what effect I want behind the vocal track.
    Then I record the second layer audio of blank noise so that I can paste audio clips along it and line them up with the labels below the first row audio track–the labels are the visual cues for where these need to come in.

    If I want a third row of ambient white noise, say forest sounds, I can add that in below the vocal and effects layers.  You can view the sound mixer and adjust the audio levels of each audio row, so one does not drown out the other.  (Hint: My vocal track is always the loudest.)

    And lastly, you can add in a dramatic musical score behind all of these, creating a full cinematic effect.
    I personally love the work of “Argsound Background Music” on YouTube.  A brilliant musician with some very powerful works that are (no copyright, no royalty) productions as long as users follow the terms of use and do not try to monetize the result.  He does have a Patreon account for like thirty per year, if you want to donate.

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135232
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @noah-cochran

    Noah,

    I thought I’d mention G.K. Chesterton as a good faith-based author to check out.
    I believe he wrote the “Father Brown” mystery novels.

    I have a book deal (with WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishing) awaiting completion of my manuscript which I began writing as a Blog back in July 2017.  The story is online, but I am going back and editing (in stealth) each Chapter post.
    Probably not the best way to do this, but it has been a kind of “Gideon’s fleece” before the Lord to give me some accountability to “finish what I started”.  I am an incurable panster who had to write through to find “the story”.  Also, I am married and have a 8-6pm day job in the corporate world of Medical Device companies.  Had to grab a minute here and there, between responsibilities that actually produce a “now” income.  Am finally getting back to writing again, after what I call my “Jonah Journey”, because God’s calling persists,…and I am afraid I am being tracked by a rogue whale. 😉
    I have the full uncut drafts of Books 1 and 2 out on my WordPress Blog, linked in my Story Embers profile page.
    I have, for better or worse, been recording and performing audio scenes as MP3 files of “the novel” along with my “2nd, 3rd,…48th?”…stealth pass of editing the online work.  I don’t promote the site too much because it IS still being edited, and I reserve the right to “change” or omit what doesn’t seem to work right yet or “fit”.  I sometimes chase rabbits like a bull terrier… 😉

    I initially wrote it as a kind of devotional using a made-up fantasy story as a vehicle to deliver what God was revealing to me about me.  Eventually, the story became something more than just that.
    I always want to encourage Christian writers to stay with it and pursue God’s glory by exploring the talent God gave them.  I want them to avoid the wasted years of a “Jonah Journey,” if they can.  Kingdom seeking by following Jesus and learning how He loves us and others should be the priority for us.  Sharing that needs to come from a personal and real place in us as we abide in Him.

    Its time that message got out through any and all means necessary. God tells me that it is time I shared like He did. In parables.

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135239
    Noah Cochran
    @noah-cochran

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    The synopsis of your WIP intrigues Brian, let me know when you finish it. Thanks for the recommendations as well. How long have you been writing? You appear to be rather competent in this arena. 🙂

     


    @rose-colored-fancy

    I skimmed the “Save the Cat” book,  it’s a good one. It sounds like you have a solid system going. 🙂

    Well, as I told Gracie, an outlining process made up in a few days by a guy who has been writing for a few weeks is not particularly noteworthy. 😆 But I’ll give you a quick run-through.

    First off, I came up with a plot idea, I then brainstormed the gist of the story in my head. Getting that at of the way I did the outlining in this order: Made character profiles; did a chapter by chapter outline for the plot/external events with very short summaries of each chapter; make a outline for each of my protagonist’s character arcs going through the chapters in chronological order; then fit it as neatly as possible in the traditional story structure system (since my mind works similar to the story structure system already, that was pretty easy, but I fit it  loosely into the story structure, meaning it didn’t fit perfectly, mostly due to fact that my book has multiple main characters).

    After that, I made short outlines/descriptions for various miscellaneous events or places, such a descriptions of major places of action, character’s relationships, and the antagonist’s plan. I got ideas from many other authors but I mostly just made up an outline that was intuitive for me. We’ll see how it goes.

    Oh Rose, I also have had to experience the stupidity of turkeys. I raised about 10 of them last year. If a coyote wanted one for dinner all he would have had to do is knock on their coop’s door and they would have happily let him in. 😆 As for chickens, they don’t just occasionally turn cannibal, they  also literally go mad once in a while. We have had them start running back and fourth into fences out of no where  and for no reason. 😂 I made a petition to the NCCA (National Chicken Care Association) to start an asylum for chickens. 😉

    For the past few years I have been raising a small vegetable garden; we also have a small orchard, it has finally been bearing fruit. I guess the trees just weren’t hearing enough sermons…. 😉

     

     

     

     

    #135249
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @noah-cochran

    Thank you, Noah!

    I began writing little “notebook paper” booklets with bread sack twist-ties when I was a kid (about 6 or 7).  Continued through HS and college, but I didn’t put myself out there, because I believed I wasn’t any good.  But…I couldn’t shake the compulsion to make up and explore stories.  I have always been an avid reader.  I have collected books over the years and have read most of them.  I have hundreds of pounds of them….but never enough shelf space. (I can never move again because it might cost a fortune in cardboard. 😉 )

    I wrote two sci-fi novels with a biblical worldview, but never published them.  I did have a literary agent once for a year, but never “sold” the novel. Self-publishing was “cost-prohibitive” back then.  And publishers did not feel it was worthwhile to take a risk on a 16-year-old writing a Christian “space novel”.  I continued working on it off and on while in college pursuing my BA in English and American Literature.  Post-college my “fiction writing” took a backseat to work a “real job”.  I eventually went back to University to pursue a Master’s degree.  Taught Freshman English as a grad student, but ended up finding my life take a different turn out of secular academia.  Eventually fell into disillusion with what was being taught in the Universities and realized many of the PhDs there had no real idea or appreciation for what “good literature” truly was.  They just drove nefarious and godless agendas, and I could stomach none of that or pretend that I could.  I was raised in Church. My father and mother are the “real deal” Christians, meaning they lived out their belief both publicly and privately in the home before me and my two younger brothers.  I personally accepted Jesus at a young age and that reality could not be bottled up or kept silent.  So I left… I later got married, went to work for a medical device company founded by a strong Christian physician, and the company went global, went public, after the founder retired, and eventually was bought by a secular firm whose “progressive” ideas continue to plague the company through HR.
    My dad is a country preacher and has been in the ministry for 40+ years and still going, but the “Farm blood” still pulses through him along with the gospel.  He keeps chickens, and just recently switched from a flock of goats to about four cows and a bull.  (Brangus stock)  My grandparent and uncles were cotton farmers in the North Texas panhandle.  For years I had abandoned writing thinking I needed to “put away childish things” but God re-defined that for me, and rekindled the passion.  He does not give “wants” that He does not have a “good answer” for.  I am called to write fiction for His glory, not my own.  Even fantasy fiction, which I am working through now.

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135250
    imwritehere1920
    @imwritehere1920

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Oh, don’t worry about it.  And thanks so much for the links!  I greatly appreciate it along with all the advice on how to do it.

    We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

    #135253
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @imwritehere1920

    Lily,

    I think the links for Audacity may have been dropped from my post, but it is easy enough to find them using a “Google” search with the following terms: “Audacity Free Open Source Cross-platform Software”

    Let me know if you can’t find them.

    Cheers!

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135261
    imwritehere1920
    @imwritehere1920

    @imwritehere1920 Lily, I think the links for Audacity may have been dropped from my post, but it is easy enough to find them using a “Google” search with the following terms: “Audacity Free Open Source Cross-platform Software” Let me know if you can’t find them. Cheers!

     


    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Okay!  Thanks telling me!  I found it right away.  🙂

    We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

    #135307
    Lona
    @lonathecat

    @noah-cochran

    The George MacDonald who write the Flashman series?

    No, actually. This is the George MacDonald who influenced a lot of C. S. Lewis’s writings.

    My favorite Christie book would have to be either Murder on the Orient Express, or The Murder of Sir Roger Ackroyd, but there are many other fantastic Hercule Poirot books.

    Nice! I will have to look into those. 🙂

    #135310
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @lonathecat

    @noah-cochran

    Hi Noah and Lona,

    I believe Lona is referring to George MacDonald the author of “Phantastes”, “Lilith”, “The Princess and The Goblin”, “At The Back of The North Wind”, etc.
    So many good ones by him.

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135311
    Noah Cochran
    @noah-cochran

    Ah, okay. No I haven’t heard of him, I look into him. 🙂

    #135316
    MelancholicWriter
    @melancholicwriter

    @noah-cochran
    Hey Noah I’m Tasha. Can I call you prof?😆🤣 (as you can tell from that comment I am one of the weird wacky ones on here)

    Well a little about who I am…I’m a wanna be fantasy and romance writer from Canada. I have to WIPs right now, a Cinderella retelling and a fantasy that I am trying to re-bond with my characters.

    "Courage is found in unlikely places." JRR Tolkien

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