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  • #133959
    Fitz
    @fitz

    A little about me:

    Basically been trying to/struggling with writing since I was about 6-7 years old. As I grew and bounced between different things I loved and thought I wanted to do/be in life, writing was the thing that never went away. In fact, it would always come back with a vengeance the more I tried to run away from it. Since that time, I have written and dabbled (and sometimes even finished, lol) everything from fantasy, poetry, song lyrics, movie reviews, political commentary; tabletop RPG systems, adventures, conversions; and probably some other things I am forgetting.

    Truth is, while I come from a family of avid readers, I’m not much of one myself – probably due to the dyslexia while growing up. But I am a lover of stories in most genres and in any format, and the unique differences in the manner in which stories are told between books, movies, shows, plays, songs, art, video games, or pen & paper RPGs has always fascinated me.

    If I had to pick a favorite author, it would probably have to be C.S. Lewis. His plain and direct form of apologetics is amazing, and his demonstration for the simple love of innocence in the Chronicles of Narnia is unmatched by any I have seen – except perhaps by Mr. Tolkien himself, which should come as no surprise.

    My current project is a fantasy book series The Last of the First, which explores the fall of man. In it, Lucifer has already fallen, taking with him the wild and untamed parts of creation. God, while having created the first ‘batch’ of humans souls, has not finished putting them into bodies. So, he gives the mantle of authority to humanity to reclaim the wilds while also withholding the same choice from them until all souls find their body. We get to watch a slow, intimate, day to day point of view of the leaders in this limbo humanity as the Last of the First is born and choice returns to the world and the plot unfolds. The point is to really dig into the nature of choice, good and evil, God, and our humanity; and, as could be guessed with such a project, its undertaking is a slow and intimate walk with God to do my best to stay in truth. I was thinking about posting my first draft’s prologue, if ya’ll are interested.

    And um… well, I guess that’s about it. I would be interested in getting to meet all of you. 🙂

    #133960
    ScoutFinch190
    @scoutfinch190

    @fitz

    Nice to meet you! I am relatively new to the forum as well!

    I would love to see your prologue! Is it set on earth or another world? I know you said it’s a fantasy, but I was wondering if it was an alternate earth.

    C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors as well. Did you know C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were friends? I love Lewis’s Space Trilogy, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and Till We Have Faces.

    My current WIP is a sci-fi short story series following a troubled criminal and several of the people he holds dear and the villain they have to fight (that I need to flesh out more besides his ego and plan to make humanity morally pure… and the world in general). I predominantly write fantasy and some poetry, so this is kind of branching out for me… but it’s interesting.

    What are pen and paper RPG’s?

    We crazy people are the normal ones.

    #133961
    Fitz
    @fitz

    @scoutfinch190
    Good to meet you too 🙂

    Technically fantasy, it is set on a different world and it does include magic and dragons, but otherwise I am trying to make as alternate history feeling as possible. Partly to demonstrate how the unfallen world should have been, so much of the art and culture of the different human societies are straight from the different ones here on earth.

    And yep! I am interested in delving into other members of the Inklings as well, Charles Williams in particular, have you read any of his stuff? (oh, and if you want a great book about the Inklings, check out Bandersnatch)

    Sounds interesting, have you posted any of your story here on the forums?

    Oh, pen & paper RPGs are things like Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Dungeon World etc. they can run the gambit between heavy emphasis on gameplay mechanics to heavy emphasis on storytelling. They are sometimes called cooperative storytelling games, as the players make characters and the GM (gamemaster) puts them into the world. It is quiet a bit different from other mediums of storytelling as you can imagine.

    #133962
    ScoutFinch190
    @scoutfinch190

    Hmm, very interesting. I thought RPG had to do with art.

    I haven’t really delved into the inklings, is there a book by Charles Williams that you particularly recommend?

    I want to post part 1 of my short story for people to critique her pretty soon, in the topic Character Descriptions/Critiques game, I’ve shared two excerpts describing a creature my MC (Jade) encounters.

    That makes your story sound even more interesting! So does it follow a particular character or is it more about the world and the situation in general? Are there any cultures in particular that you are using? what are your favorites?

    By the way, I love your contact photo!

    We crazy people are the normal ones.

    #133964
    Fitz
    @fitz

    Nope, it stands for Role-Playing Game, in this context (it can also stand for Rocket Propelled Grenade, lol).

    I haven’t ready any of his works, I was curious if you had. His character as described in Bandersnatch makes me want to investigate his works, though.

    Ok, very cool. I’m still getting used to the forums structure here, but I will try and look into it when you do!

    It follows several characters, but the main character (of the first book) is Glenesh, advisor to King Xerxes. I have essentially divided humanity into ten loose super-cultural groups, mostly based upon their real-world region.

    First is the Atenaptrans. They are fertile crescent/middle east. Egyptian, Hebrew, Persian, Hittite, Babylonian, Sumerian etc. they are also the most powerful of the groups and is where the vast majority of the story takes place.

    Second is the Themacians.  They are the second most powerful and are based on the Mediterranean peoples, so Roman, Greek, Carthaginian, etc.

    Third is the Bythigals,  they are mid/northern Europeans, so the norse and gaelic tribes.

    Forth is Marjahi, which would the Indian, Indonesian, and Camobidian peoples.

    Fifth is the Hyunjin, which is the far east, so Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean etc.

    The Sixth is the Svulic, which is everything from the Russian continent, so the ancient Scythians to the Mongolians.

    Seventh is the Zukali, which is the large assortment of African tribes.

    Eighth is the Mautuka, these are your islander peoples, like the Polynesians and Micronesians.

    Last two are the Tawa (the north American tribes) and Iztotia (Mesoamerican peoples)

     

    So, the most of the story is going to be in a middle-eastern type setting (with some of my own fantasy flair),  but between some politicking that might happen or the journey of some characters, I am hoping to really explore some more of the regions. I don’t really know if I have a favorite per se, the different expressions of culture and art can all beautiful if they are done out of the purity God originally intended, and that is one of the things I hope to show in the serious.

    #134124
    MelancholicWriter
    @melancholicwriter

    @fitz

    Hi it’s nice to meet you! I’m also a joiny from this year.

    Your WIP sounds cool! I would love to read the prologue.

    I have a few WIP going right now. I have a coming of age, a fantasy about a girl who gets pulled out of earth to a world called Genoa. She has to go on a quest in order for her to be able to get back to earth. Then she finds out that the king’s son is an imposter and has been fooling everyone with magic for years. She must work with the real son (the only one not fooled) and defeat him. My third WIP is a Cinderella retelling.

    "Courage is found in unlikely places." JRR Tolkien

    #134128
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @fitz

    Welcome to the forum! Pleased to meet you!

    Your concept sounds fascinating! I love the themes you chose, there’s a lot of room for depth there. The ten cultures also sound like a great idea, I can see how that would work amazingly because you can explore various cultures without splitting them up so much that it becomes unmanageable. The names are also great, and suit the cultures really well! How did you come up with them?

    I’m currently in the middle of editing the first part and drafting the second part of a trilogy. I have some faint ideas for the conclusion, but I’m trying to finish the first parts before I continue. It’s an action-adventure/fantasy set in a medieval North-African-inspired setting.

    I decided on a tribal system for the country because it would create some very interesting civil conflict. It’s split up into seven independent tribes, two of which are nomadic. I’m having fun figuring out how cultural drift, etc. would influence the different cultures. Even though that’s only a backdrop to the actual story, I just think it’s interesting XD

    Random question: What’s your favorite character dynamic to write?

    I especially enjoy writing sibling relationships and enemies-to-friends arcs, though friendships are always great.

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

    #134152
    Fitz
    @fitz

    @melancholicwriter

    Good to meet you too 🙂

    And thanks! I posted it in the fantasy part of the forums if you are interested.

    Have you posted any of your WIP on the forums? If so, you can link them and I give them a read-through when I have the chance.

    #134154
    Fitz
    @fitz

    @rose-colored-fancy

    Pleased to meet you too ^_^

    Thank you. It has been an idea that God has put on my heart for a long time, and in no small part because these are the kind of questions I myself want to understand.

    Yeah, the sheer quantity of individual cultures is enormous, and yet when you start delving into many of them you start to see through-lines between ones even thousands of miles apart. What always surprised me when I would watch documentaries about other cultures was not how different we were, but alike we were. Like language, innocent cultural facets are, at its core, not an expression of our differences but a different expression of our similarities. I think this is kinda what guided me to boil down their purest cultural flavor (for lack of better words) in an attempt to honor the range of true human expression.

    Speaking of language, I have some interest in linguistics, so I pretty much just played with common phonemes that sounded right for those people groups and wrote them down. There was some inspiration from real places or names for some of them, but for the most part, I just made it up (and googled the names to try and check that I didn’t accidentally create something obscene, lol).

    ooh, medieval North-Africa sounds like a fun setting; it gives you lots of space to play with horse-riding cultures, naval societies, desert wanderers, and even through in some crusader-esq aesthetics. And yeah, backdrops are great fun 😀 is the civil conflict a primary driving force for the plot or does it more provide a general danger and tension for the protagonist?

    oof, that is a tough question… Its funny, while I feel as though dialogue is my strongest point as a writer, I think my favorite character dynamics to write are the struggles or dynamics, the relationship between the internal and external (if this isn’t cheating the question lol). Those moments from great anguish where something finally breaks, for good or ill; those times where temptation becomes overwhelming and the character must choose between the sweet deception or the painful truth; or the joy when the suffering they endured finally gives way to accepting comfort. Those terrible and beautiful moments when something changes, those are my favorite. 🙂

    #134159
    MelancholicWriter
    @melancholicwriter

    @fitz
    Here is where I posted it…it’s lost in there though so I can just put it here if you want…

    https://storyembers.org/groups/fantasy-writers/forum/topic/stories-and-fantasies/page/5/

    I read your prologue and LOVE it!

    "Courage is found in unlikely places." JRR Tolkien

    #134161
    Fitz
    @fitz

    @melancholicwriter

    oh geez, burred is right, lol. I couldn’t find it, feel free to post what you like here.

    and thank you so much! ^_^

    #134168
    MelancholicWriter
    @melancholicwriter

    @fitz

    This is what I have so far…I kinda ditched it right now for my Cinderella retelling…

    Prologue

    When I stepped into the room, fashionably late as usual, I first laid eyes on what I thought to be the hottest guy ever created. He caught my eyes and I blushed. A little smile flitted across his face. This guy was so hot. I quickly made my way to an empty seat, far from hot guy. Partway through the game, which I did not understand or see the point of, we were told to go find new seats. I went to a corner and sat between a couch and chair, against the wall and hidden from view. Hot Guy came and I found out that it was his seat and he always sat there so I moved to the arm of the couch I had been sitting by. I was hot from the thought of sitting by Hot Guy. I wasn’t sure how to hold the object for the game. Hot Guy must have seen me fumbling around because he took my hand and wrapped his fingers around mine in the way I needed to hold the object, his hand holding my fingers gently, but firm. I flushed. Gently, I tried to pull my hand away but he didn’t let go. Instead he moved his hand into a more comfortable position on mine and grinned up at me. He didn’t seem to notice how sweaty my hand was from nervousness. I was in love. Love at first sight, so cliche, I know. Some time during the night I ended up sitting on the couch and Hot Guy moved next to me, and there was no Bible distance apart. Later that night I learned that his name was *(haven’t figured that out yet)

    Chapter one

    I don’t know how I got here, I just woke up one day. My name is Mercedes Louis Benz. Ya, my parents, wherever they are, named me after a car. That was back on earth where they did have cars. Here travel is unicorns and pegasus’, ya they’re real, and if you’re lucky you could persuade a fairy-yes they’re real too, don’t listen to what people tell you, I used to, and, um, I see they were wrong-to zap you somewhere. Oh are you wondering where this place is? It’s Genoa where dragons roam, don’t worry, most won’t eat you, and no modern day comfort exists. I can’t even wear pants, it’s all dresses and corsets here. I used to want to leave but now I don’t. I’ll rewind and tell you my story.

    I woke up with a splitting headache and sat up with a groan.
    “Where am I?” I said to myself, looking around. I started. There were creatures peeking at me from behind trees. I could not call them humans or animals, for they were neither, though some more-or-less resembled one of them. I saw unicorns, dwarves, and what looked to be elves. I even saw a pegasus!  But still, I had no idea where I was and cried out in alarm.

    One of the Elves, who looked to be the leader, stepped toward me.

    “Who are you?” he asked, “and where do you come from?”

    “I’m Mercedes Benz,” I replied, “and I’m from earth. And the real question is, where am I?”

    “Mercedes, that’s a queer name.”

    Wow, I said to myself, they must be old fashion if they use that word here.

    “And to answer your question,” he continued, “you are in Gaus. I have never heard of your earth before. How rude of me, I have not introduced myself. I am Gayin, king of the Elvin.”

    So that’s what they are.

    “Can you get me back to my world?”

    He looked thoughtful, “No, I cannot, but King Cranaus Ismail might. He is the king of a race like yours and all the kings and crowned princes have sorcery powers.”

    “Can you bring me to him?” I asked hopefully.

    “Yes, but first I must get you some clothes. It is shameful to be seen in such garb.”

    I looked down at my jeans and tank top. I wondered what was wrong with my clothes until I looked at Gayin. He was wearing a forest green shirt and dull brown pants. His clothes looked like something Robin Hood would wear. No, they looked more like the clothes of Tolkien’s elves. Do all Elves dress like this? I wondered if they were as agile as Tolkien’s Elves.

    Gayin started speaking again. “Now you cannot wear the clothes of our woman. They are not the garments of your race and I do not believe they would fit you anyways.”

    I took offense at his at first but then realised how fair in stature this Elvin was. If they were all like that, including their women, there was no way I would fit in their clothes, as thin as I was. Hight wouldn’t have been a problem, as I was short for my age, only five foot three inches, but they were much too slender.

    “But clothes will be no problem,” he continued. “We shall just take you to Mistress (need to find a name still) She is a tailor who specializes in dresses and will certainly have your size for she always has much clothing ready for unfortunate souls who are in need of garb. Follow me and we’ll give you a unicorn. It’s a two days ride from here.”

    I followed him to his village, which I had landed by, and they gave me a black unicorn, whose name they told me was Spartan, to ride. While they were grabbing provisions, I looked around me. The village was small, unlike Tolkien’s great Elve cities, but the houses were nice and they seemed to lack nothing. Small children, who were playing in the streets, stopped their games to gaze at me. I must have been a strange sight to behold in my deemed ‘unfit’ clothing. I smiled at them and they quickly looked away.

    A young elfin came out of Gayin’s house. He introduced himself as Conall, Ganyin’s son and said he would be accompanying me along with one other Elvin man.

    “My mother is, my father is unable to leave my mother,” he said, correcting his error.

    I had my guesses at what he was going to say, and took a stab at it in a kind way.

    “When?” I asked.

    He hesitated. “Any day.”

    I was right. These Elvin were not comfortable with speaking about pregnancy.

    “We shall be off at once,” Conall said once our companion had joined us. ‘This is Haki. Haki this is Mercedes.”

    “Mercedes, that is a-”

    “A queer name,” I interupted, “ya, I know.”

    Haki turned to Conall. “She isn’t the most polite one here.”

    I glared at him. “I’m sorry. Would you explain what I did wrong?”

    “Feisty too. I like this one. But yes, I will explain. I don’t know about where you come from, but here we do not interrupt.”

    I wanted to fight back with, “Ya but where I come from we don’t make fun of people’s names,” but I thought better of lying. Instead I just apologized.

    “No matter,” Haki said, “all is forgiven. Let us be off. We are wasting precious time.”

    "Courage is found in unlikely places." JRR Tolkien

    #134213
    Fitz
    @fitz

    @melancholicwriter

    I like the story idea and where you are going, the interplay of the mundane modern world and the fantasy faerie-tale leaves a lot of space for quirky adventure. I know you said you dropped the project for the moment, would you like some feedback?

    #134220
    MelancholicWriter
    @melancholicwriter

    @fitz

    Thanks! Sure I’d love feedback! I’m always in for criticism and help.

    "Courage is found in unlikely places." JRR Tolkien

    #134229
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @fitz

    What always surprised me when I would watch documentaries about other cultures was not how different we were, but alike we were. Like language, innocent cultural facets are, at its core, not an expression of our differences but a different expression of our similarities.

    Exactly! I’ve noticed the same thing, also in history. No matter how long ago, people have always been people and we’ve always done the same things. Many things were lost to time, but it’s amazing these little human touches you find everywhere, like how medieval scribes used to doodle while testing their pens or how they once found Viking runes high on a cave wall that read ‘this is very high.’ (Honestly, I still think that’s hilarious XD)

    Speaking of language, I have some interest in linguistics, so I pretty much just played with common phonemes that sounded right for those people groups and wrote them down. There was some inspiration from real places or names for some of them, but for the most part, I just made it up (and googled the names to try and check that I didn’t accidentally create something obscene, lol).

    You did it really well! They suit excellently! I usually translate words from a language in the approximate same region until I find something I can change into a name. And then once again translate them back just in case, like you said XD I’m fascinated by linguistics and languages in general, but I haven’t tried creating an actual language for a book.

    ooh, medieval North-Africa sounds like a fun setting; it gives you lots of space to play with horse-riding cultures, naval societies, desert wanderers, and even through in some crusader-esq aesthetics. And yeah, backdrops are great fun

    You guessed all of them correctly! The MC’s tribe is the nomadic horse-riding culture (So much fun to write!), there’s a naval merchant tribe (They don’t feature much though), and I have a city and two tribes that are strongly based on Alexandria and classical North-Africa. The city is aesthetically closer to Jerusalem, but the tribes’ cultures are closer to classical.

     is the civil conflict a primary driving force for the plot or does it more provide a general danger and tension for the protagonist?

    Well… both, in a way. It’s the primary driving force of the plot at large, but my MC is usually pursuing a more personal goal that is linked to the war. The personal goal and more general goal do usually tie together though, so she does end up influencing the war. (Often accidentally XD)

    Here’s the one-sentence summary of the first book (Oh, dear, here we go, I hate doing these XD): The king of a nomadic tribe is captured in a raid and his younger sister has to rescue him before it turns into an all-out war.

    Those moments from great anguish where something finally breaks, for good or ill; those times where temptation becomes overwhelming and the character must choose between the sweet deception or the painful truth; or the joy when the suffering they endured finally gives way to accepting comfort. Those terrible and beautiful moments when something changes, those are my favorite.

    That’s an amazing answer! Those moments are fun to write, but they’re really hard to get write. I often end up agonizing over them endlessly and then messing it up anyway XD Though writing something badly is always better than not writing it at all and since I’m that much closer to getting it right, I don’t actually mind.

    What’s your favorite part of your current WIP?

    I’d say my favorite would have to be my main character, Liorah. She’s the most chaotic character I’ve ever ‘met’ XD She’s sarcastic, stubborn, and reckless. Let’s just say she has a lot of room for character development, LOL. She’s still my favorite character since she’s actually really kind and caring deep down, she just hides it well XD

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

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