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  • #134433
    Fitz
    @fitz

    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    Pleased to meet you as well 🙂 and thank you! If you are curious, my prologue/creation story is in the Fantasy section of the forums (it might be burred at this point though, lol)

    So Marissa Meyer and Francine Rivers are among my favourite authors.

    I haven’t heard of them, what kind of books do they write?

    Irish and Celtic mythos are fun to draw from, and contrasting that with what sounds like a very ‘hard’ magic is pretty interesting. And we can always use more stories of grace and redemption 🙂

    #134434
    Neasa
    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    @fitz

    Oh excellent, I must see if the prologue is still there! I do love a good old creation story 🙂

    Marissa Meyer wrote The Lunar Chronicles, basically sci-fi re-imaginings of fairytales. If you’re into that sort of things, definitely check it out! And Francine Rivers writes Christian romance, her series Mark of the Lion is about Christians during Ancient Rome, and the first book A Voice in the Wind is just my everything. She also wrote Redeeming Love, a retelling of the Book of Hosea. That is also very much recommended!

    Thank you! I am Irish myself, so I want to do justice for my country’s folklore and heritage. Also it doesn’t hurt that Irish mythology is very Christian 🙂 The ‘hard’ magic was actually a decision I made rather recently. I was inspired by some shows I watched recently where magic is more of a power that adheres to the rules of physics and chemistry. I decided that it was best to create a clear structure for magic in my world, at least then I’ll have rules I’ll need to abide by instead of creating a magic system that’s convoluted and airy-fairy. I’m still trying to work it out, because I know very little about science haha so wish me luck. I might change my mind in

    I agree, I do love a story of redemption and grace, they never get old. That’s something we can probably all relate to in some shape or form! I might post an excerpt or two here, I would very much appreciate any feedback for my WIP 🙂

    #134435
    Fitz
    @fitz

    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    If you can’t find it, I can always link it 🙂

    The authors’ works sound very interesting, I might just check them out.

    Very cool! I’m an American from sunny southern California, but most of genetics are Scottish/Irish and I have the sunburns to prove it, lol.

    Your magic system sounds a bit like Full Metal Alchemist, or some of Brandon Sanderson’s books (both of which I am only passingly familiar). Tell me more about it.

    And yeah, your totally welcome to post some of your work here 🙂

    #134451
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @fitz

    HAHA “Well, you see, we don’t know what that skull is, so the black blob really is just our fear of the unknown which we must confront with courage and logic.” – that potter trying to get his piece sold, probably.

    LOL, exactly! “It represents the fear of the unknown and the depth of the— Umm– humanity?” I wonder if potters and artists used to do the entire complicated symbolism thing too XD

    Never heard of that book, is it any good?

    It was kinda cool! It’s a middle-grade by Ellen Raskin. What I did like is that she actually put effort into the characters, and they’re all different. It isn’t a deep book, more of a lighthearted mystery. I liked that there were multiple converging plotlines, each with different themes.

    The premise is that a group of people with seemingly no connection are all proclaimed to be heirs of a millionaire who has died. They’re told that whoever solves the mystery of who killed him will inherit the fortune.

    It isn’t one of my favorite books, but it was still fun and the author did seem to know what she was doing. The mystery was surprisingly good, though it’s better when you reread it. It was hard to keep track of, because of all the plot lines.

    But it sounds like you may be able just to write it all out and then trim down whatever doesn’t work. I find trimming down to be easier (and better looking) than needing to add content.

    Definitely! In my first book, I have very little plot material, so I end up expanding on everything a bit. It’s really, really hard since the plot turned out really simplistic and boring. But it has potential and I’ll get it right! (Eventually. Hopefully XD)

    hahaha, Untitled Goose Game anyone? Seriously though, how did that happen to your character?

    LOL! To summarize, the castle (Who is a sentient, semi-malevolent force/ disembodied voice in that game) told all the characters that they have to guess what the goose’s three powers were. And my character, Chantara, decided it would be a good idea to try and befriend the goose. It did not go well. XD

    The goose wasn’t my idea, but it’s sheer genius because it’s caused the most chaotic situations so far. XD

    If you are doing first person POV, have you tried describing things from a third person POV in a separate space? So, spend your time writing it out in a different page or document, almost as if you would put it in the book, but that becomes the reference for what your character actually sees? That way, you can focus on just imagining the thing itself and play with different words while not feeling pressured by the rest of the scene. (I write mostly on computer, but spending time outside with a pencil and paper just describing things has been very helpful).

    Oh, that’s such a good idea! I’ve got to try that at some time or another!

    Yeah, and then you are hit with the fear that if you actually start to admit that it is good, you are going to come off as some arrogant blowhard, lol. This is honestly where a lot of my actual work with writing goes into, looking at God and allowing him into the underlying cause of the feelings.

    Oh, yes! I totally get that too XD And whenever I’m writing out of my comfort zone (Literally all the time) I constantly think “Whatever made me believe I could do this? I can’t write about this!”

    I have never head of that phrase before, what does it mean, exactly? Also, sounds like you do/work on a lot of outlining, I’m honestly more of a pantser (is that how you spell it?), and if so, what is your process for that?

    (Yep, that’s how you spell it! Whenever I use that term to non-writers they always look at me like ?:/ XD)

    Oh, Save the Cat is an outlining method developed by Blake Snyder for screenwriting. It’s since been adapted for novels as well. (They also call it the ‘Blake Snyder beat sheet) It’s a variation on the three-act structure, but it’s a bit looser since there are only fifteen points you need to hit, even though there are guidelines for what needs to happen in-between. That’s what I use for outlining.
    (There’s a really good book about it, I use the “Save the Cat! Writes a Novel” book. It’s great and I still use it for reference every time I outline)

    I actually improvised the last half of my first book, since my initial outline was a useless mess. (And I ended up changing a lot!) I generally don’t enjoy improvising, it just doesn’t work for me, but it’s cool that it does for you! It’s definitely a valid method, it just doesn’t work for me personally XD

    My process for outlining is that I use the fifteen plot points and roughly decide what needs to happen with each one. That sounds simple but it usually involves a lot of dead-ends, brainstorming, and frustration. I usually just start with the catalyst that launches the character into the story, pick a midpoint, (Often a plot twist) and decide on the low point. From there it’s easier to figure out the other points. And if I happen to have two storylines, I do that twice.

    I often still have big blank spaces when I start writing, but they come to me while I’m working on it.

    I also plot out the major character arcs and work them into the plot. When I have both together, I’ll usually have 75% of the chapters loosely outlined. The rest… ehhh… I deal with it when I have to XD (I’m actually completely missing a climax on my second book XD I have a very, very loose idea of what needs to happen, but that’s all XD)

    You know, if you would like some feedback, I would be interested in reading some of what you have written.

    Thank you so much for offering! The issue is that my chapters are more than 3000 words, and I don’t want to copy an entire one in. I might be posting a chapter for critique at a later point, but it isn’t at a level where I’m ready for critique yet. (I have a bunch of things I need to fix) Thank you for offering though, I really appreciate it!

    From an outlining perspective, it certainly makes sense to get that done for the series before seriously putting pen to paper. Again, as a pantser, I have a plan (and we all know how well plans go, lol) to basically write the whole series as one draft, and then rewrite. I know I have a problem with letting the work and the process be messy, even while most everything in LIFE is messy; even cleaning is usually more messy before it is finished.

    That’s a great idea! It’ll make it easier to edit once you have the first draft written. Even though I’m abandoning almost half the scenes in the first draft of the first book, I have a much clearer idea of what I’m going for, so it was helpful after all, even if it was terrible XD

    I love that deadline quote. Another one I really like is: “Sucking at something is the first step in learning how to be kinda good at something.”

    That’s such a good quote! I constantly need to remind myself of that! Every so often I give myself a “Yes, this is trash, but it exists and that’s progress. You can edit the trash later” pep talk XD

    That is probably the hardest question you have asked, lol. My writing is first and foremost about my walk with God, and that has already subverted my goals and plans. I had to put my WIP down for a year or so, only picking it back up now, but that time was necessary and really good, but certainly not what I had planned. So, honestly, idk; I want to get this draft down by the end of this year… but yeah, we’ll see.

    LOL, plans are there to be broken. No, wait, that isn’t right… Whatever, it works XD And sometimes a break from writing will actually really help. I remember last year I had to take a few weeks off because of other priorities, and now when I read it, I can see right where I took the break because the writing after it is much, much better.

    What genres do you generally read, or if you haven’t read many, which ones would you like to read?

    My favorite is fantasy when I can find good ones. I love historical fiction and anything Sci-fi. I don’t read many contemporary mysteries, but when any of the aforementioned genres involve mysteries, I love it XD I do read classics occasionally. Dickens is really good but much better as an audiobook, so you can go about whatever you’re doing while he describes something for three pages. XD

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

    #134452
    Neasa
    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    @fitz

    Thank you, actually that might be easier if you linked it, I’m still learning how to navigate this forum haha.

    I’ve always wanted to go to California myself. I had the chance to go do an college exchange trip but, it was SO expensive so I had to drop my hopes real quick. That’s so interesting, I love meeting people who have Irish/Scottish ancestry. It’s certainly something to be proud of 🙂 Oh I get sunburned too lol. It’s awfully annoying isn’t it!

    Omg Fullmetal Alchemist is exactly what I was going for hehe. I finished Brotherhood just there a few days ago, and I loved it. It mainly inspired me to think harder about the world I’m creating, to challenge my own imagination, test how far it can go. I also watched Shadow and Bone recently, which also inspired me a lot. I have never read Brandon Sanderson, what books does he write?

    So in my world, only those with particularly durable DNA structures can use magic. Some people see it as a form of evolution, basically something you inherit from your ancestors, but others see it as something deliberate, something that only a divine being could be responsible for, because it’s very random. A Fae family could have magical abilities for several generations, and yet down the line, a Fae could suddenly be born with weaker DNA despite the fact that their ancestors all had it. Humans have weaker DNA, but there could be rare cases where out of the blue, a human is born with stronger genetic codes even though it’s nowhere to be seen in the family tree. That human could go on to have children who are completely normal. In my world, Fae, despite being more or less superior to other species, are weaker because they’re no longer born with the ability to possess magic. So it’s basically a phenomenon that is mysterious but can still be explained by science to a certain extent.

    That’s it so far, if anyone has any suggestions, I’m willing to hear it. Science is so not my strong point. I’m still figuring it out really. In six months, I might backtrack and think oh no that’s not working after all haha. Who knows?

    Thanks! Once I have my opening scene finished, I will definitely post it here 🙂

    #134457
    Fitz
    @fitz

    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    No worries 🙂 https://storyembers.org/groups/fantasy-writers/forum/topic/prologue-to-my-wip-book-series/

    Yeah, California is expensive… Beautiful country with diverse biomes… but an absolute pain to live in, lol. Also, if you get sunburned in Ireland, USE SUNSCREEN HERE. Fortunately, you can get SPF 70+ stuff that works like a charm. I burned so bad one time I literally tanned the layer of skin under the one I burned, and later peeled off. With all of that said, I still very much would recommend a visit at some point if you can, from bright beaches to cool mountain ranges to high deserts and most everything in between, I love the nature here. Just avoid the major cities, they’re kinda crap atm, lol. Also bear in mind the state is about of size of Italy, so don’t expect to visit every place in a single day.

    As far as we can tell, our ancestry goes back to the McMillan clan (on one side). We also have Reynolds and Hannah’s on the other. But our forebears where not exactly… picky, with who married, so there is a lot of other bloodlines mixed in there as well XD (not exactly surprising considering they ended up in France before making their way to America, lol)

    I never could get into FMA, mostly for the main character, but I did really like the magic system. As for Brandon Sanderson, he has written a lot (mostly fantasy from what I can tell, and none of which I think I have read, lol), so a quick search will pop up his works in no time.  His magic systems, however, are some of the most acclaimed I have seen, he even has some lectures on creating magic systems on youtube you can look up!

    Never heard of Shadow and Bone, what is it about?

    As for your DNA idea, kinda sounds like recessive/dominate gene traits. Where, sometimes and rarely, you can have recessive genes manifest in a child and it makes them look very different from their parents. We have also found that there are spare bits of RNA (I think it is RNA, it might be DNA) that are basically dormant until certain conditions or stresses are met, and then the modify the DNA to basically adapt to the environment. I do love science, but biology is not one of my strong areas, lol, but I would recommend looking this stuff up! If nothing else, it can give you some good ideas 🙂

    You know, that is what the drafting process is for, and I look forward to it 🙂

    #134460
    Neasa
    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    @fitz

    Thanks for the link! I read your prologue just there, and wow! So biblical and very imaginative. I could really hear the voice of David Attenborough reading the words. I look forward to reading more of your work 🙂

    The thing is about us Irish is that we like to pretend that we tan, and that lots of sun is good for us. That’s been my experience with peers anyway. I was usually the only one in my past friend groups who put on sun cream, only because my parents hammered it into me. Oh gosh your burns sound utterly painful. That has thankfully never happened to me. Swollen red skin yes, but that’s it really. I will certainly take your advice to heart if I ever go to California.

    Yes I agree, the cities in California do look very unattractive, but the beaches and nature spots look so beautiful! I would love to go there someday. Speaking of California, my WIP is actually set in San Francisco, so I had to examine some of the scenery there. As an Irish person, its still hard for me to wrap my head around the enormity of the US, let alone California. You could drive for three hours over there, and still be in the same state or city. I drive for three hours from Cork and I end up at the Giant’s Causeway haha.

    Your family history sounds fascinating, I love that sort of thing. As the family genealogist, I have yet to track down several ancestors. I have only tracked the Looneys all the way back to the 18th century, the others are very hard to track down because Ireland barely has any surviving records. But I do know a lot about my German side of the family, because my great-grandfather documented most of his family up to the 17th century. I doubt I can go farther than that. I also might have ancestors stemming from Prussia (modern day Poland), though that has been quite difficult to confirm. But I like to say that I am Celtic, Viking, Norman, Scottish (maybe), Germanic and Slavic 🙂

    Oh yes magic systems are fascinating. They bored me before, but now I love reading about their complexities. And Brandon Sanderson’s books look very interesting, I must see if my local library has them. I’m always open to new fantasy and sci-fi books.

    So Shadow and Bone is a new Netflix series, starring Ben Barnes from the Narnia films. It’s based on a book series (I tried reading them, but I didn’t like them very much). Basically it has a magical system called Small Science in which those who use this power can only manipulate what already physically exists.

    Wow I have never heard of this recessive gene trait phenomenon. Well, not surprising, considering how little I know about this subject. Sounds like something worth examining. Thanks so much for telling me about it, I will definitely have to dedicate a day or two for research in this RNA subject. After all, I have to at least pretend I know what I’m talking about without sounding like an absolute idiot.

    Another aspect of my magical system is that good magic abides by the laws of conservation of energy and mass. It has laws because that is how it was created in the first place. But bad magic doesn’t have laws, because it is unnatural and comes from a place of evil. You sacrifice a human in order obtain a little bit of it, and it turns into an obsession. The villains immediately want more and more, it’s never enough for them. Which is the main conflict in the story.

    Thank you, I’m looking forward to getting feedback that isn’t from friends or family haha 🙂

    #134461
    Fitz
    @fitz

    @rose-colored-fancy

    LOL, exactly! “It represents the fear of the unknown and the depth of the— Umm– humanity?” I wonder if potters and artists used to do the entire complicated symbolism thing too XD

    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.

    The premise is that a group of people with seemingly no connection are all proclaimed to be heirs of a millionaire who has died. They’re told that whoever solves the mystery of who killed him will inherit the fortune.

    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.

    But it has potential and I’ll get it right! (Eventually. Hopefully XD)

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

    The goose wasn’t my idea, but it’s sheer genius because it’s caused the most chaotic situations so far. XD

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

    Oh, that’s such a good idea!

    Thank you, hope it helps 🙂

    Oh, yes! I totally get that too XD And whenever I’m writing out of my comfort zone (Literally all the time) I constantly think “Whatever made me believe I could do this? I can’t write about this!”

    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.

    but it’s a bit looser since there are only fifteen points you need to hit, even though there are guidelines for what needs to happen in-between. That’s what I use for outlining.

    I might look into that. I have always had a good instinct for stories and story structure, and most outlining I have see has been so… rigid, and I couldn’t stand it. That sounds like it might be a nice middle-ground. And honestly, I hit blank spaces and frustration too (I don’t know of a writer that doesn’t, lol). Maybe the difference between being more of a pantser and outliner is when I do hit those times, it is a sign I need to take a step back and let my heart mull on it for a while, it will usually come up with what is wrong and what will work.

    And hey, use what works for you! 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.

    I also plot out the major character arcs and work them into the plot. When I have both together, I’ll usually have 75% of the chapters loosely outlined. The rest… ehhh… I deal with it when I have to XD (I’m actually completely missing a climax on my second book XD I have a very, very loose idea of what needs to happen, but that’s all XD)

    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.) 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.

    The issue is that my chapters are more than 3000 words, and I don’t want to copy an entire one in

    Word count doesn’t scare me XD, and you can always you something like google docs to link it (or some other equivalent). In any case, you are very welcome ^_^

    I have a much clearer idea of what I’m going for, so it was helpful after all, even if it was terrible XD

    Well, crap does make the best fertilizer XD

    My favorite is fantasy when I can find good ones. I love historical fiction and anything Sci-fi. I don’t read many contemporary mysteries, but when any of the aforementioned genres involve mysteries, I love it XD I do read classics occasionally. Dickens is really good but much better as an audiobook, so you can go about whatever you’re doing while he describes something for three pages. 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.

    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.

    #134462
    Fitz
    @fitz

    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    haha, thank you! I can’t say I pictured David Attenborough while writing it, but I will definitely take the compliment XD

     

    The thing is about us Irish is that we like to pretend that we tan, and that lots of sun is good for us. That’s been my experience with peers anyway. I was usually the only one in my past friend groups who put on sun cream, only because my parents hammered it into me. Oh gosh your burns sound utterly painful. That has thankfully never happened to me. Swollen red skin yes, but that’s it really. I will certainly take your advice to heart if I ever go to California.

    Really? I didn’t know that was a thing. I mean, yes, sun is good for you, just wear sunscreen, lol. And if they still don’t want to, you can tell them that I personally discovered that if you burn as bad as I did, you actually sear your skin’s nerve endings. The burning of which doesn’t hurt at all, them growing back, however, is the problem. It was a mix of pain, itchiness, and static-y sting cranked up to close to the maximum capacity that nerves are capable of… across my entire shoulders. On the list of most physically uncomfortable situations, its somewhere in the top five.

     

    As an Irish person, its still hard for me to wrap my head around the enormity of the US, let alone California. You could drive for three hours over there, and still be in the same state or city. I drive for three hours from Cork and I end up at the Giant’s Causeway haha.

    Eh, three hours in traffic and you might still be in the same block XD lol, that only happens with accidents, though. In all seriousness, if you want to picture it’s size, the contiguous US is on the same scale as the whole EU (this doesn’t include Alaska, which is mini Canada and a whole other can of worms). So, somewhere like from the coasts of western Spain to the boarders of eastern France. To put it another way, I once took a ‘tour’ of the western states with my family. Over the course of two weeks in the car, spending at least 6 hours each day driving, we traversed about 2000 miles (I don’t remember the exact conversion to Kilometers and am too American to look it up atm XD ). This was enough to take us from our home state of California (the south-western most state) on a one-way trip to Main (the north-eastern most state)… Heck, I think Texas itself is a little bigger than Germany. Though, the southern and western states are by FAR larger than the north-eastern ones. If you go to the east coast around the original 13 colonies, you can easily go through 3 states in as many hours.

    As for San-Fran, I have been there once on a vacation about 10 years ago (I live around the LA area, so, it is about a 4-6 hour drive there). I could give some details of my visit if you would like, but I will say, much of the beauty it once had has diminished of late… out of necessity, the city government has literally created a workforce to clean up human feces, for example.

     

    Your family history sounds fascinating, I love that sort of thing. As the family genealogist, I have yet to track down several ancestors. I have only tracked the Looneys all the way back to the 18th century, the others are very hard to track down because Ireland barely has any surviving records. But I do know a lot about my German side of the family, because my great-grandfather documented most of his family up to the 17th century. I doubt I can go farther than that. I also might have ancestors stemming from Prussia (modern day Poland), though that has been quite difficult to confirm. But I like to say that I am Celtic, Viking, Norman, Scottish (maybe), Germanic and Slavic

    I didn’t know Ireland’s records were that spotty. Though, given the time period you tracked it back too, I would hazard a few guesses as to why, lol. All the same that is way cool! Most of our estimations of heritage are just that, estimations. We only have a solid understanding for few generations back, and past that it is just tracking the general movements of populations, last names, and tartans.

    You know, thinking about it, I think many Americans have a love of their heritage partially because we don’t have the history in the ground in the same way. I mean, we love to compare and contrast lineages and ancestry because we are a melting pot, and that convergence is fascinating. But if you just look at cities like Paris or Rome, there really is a feeling of the history that has been rooted there for thousands of years. We don’t have that here, and as much as you want to visit California, I would love to visit Ireland.

     

    So Shadow and Bone is a new Netflix series, starring Ben Barnes from the Narnia films. It’s based on a book series (I tried reading them, but I didn’t like them very much). Basically it has a magical system called Small Science in which those who use this power can only manipulate what already physically exists.

    Ah, ok. Also, it is amazing what you discover you like in the process of writing. For me, that discovery was linguistics.

     

    Wow I have never heard of this recessive gene trait phenomenon. Well, not surprising, considering how little I know about this subject. Sounds like something worth examining. Thanks so much for telling me about it, I will definitely have to dedicate a day or two for research in this RNA subject. After all, I have to at least pretend I know what I’m talking about without sounding like an absolute idiot.

    The trick is to learn enough to understand the basics of the topic without needing to take a full on college course. This means you can be authentic and make it sound like you know what you are talking about even when read by those who know the subject, but not delve too much into it that they can see where you don’t, lol.

     

    Thank you, I’m looking forward to getting feedback that isn’t from friends or family haha

    Yeah, same, it is exciting though XD

    #134480
    Neasa
    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    So this is an excerpt from the first chapter or prologue of my WIP. The person whose point of view is being shown isn’t the main protagonist, but its not going to be a case where a meaningless character is introduced in the first chapter and then they’re killed off in that same chapter or something. I plan on bringing in this character again later in the story. Any feedback at all is welcome! 🙂

     

    Prologue/Chapter 1 Excerpt

     

    I was alive, I realised. I was truly – alive.  Though I certainly had a bad dose all right, if the agony in my muscles and bones was anything to go by. Even so, the hold this spell had on me had been broken. Thank Dēwos. I wasn’t evaporated into nothingness. I let out a soft cry of relief, smiling faintly. Death had certainly not gotten the better of me yet.

    I could see bodies scattered around me, dark shapes fading in and out of my gaze. And an orange red light, flickering and dancing. Fire? Where did that come from?

    After several excruciating moments, I regained some of my sight. Blinking the hot dampness from my eyes, I tried to take in my surroundings. The asarlaithe were all lying in crumpled, broken heaps, as if they had been struck down like dominos. Dead? Or maybe just unconscious. I couldn’t help hoping that the former was true. I smirked. So much for their colossal power.

    To my right lay the battered remains of a vehicle. Its rear lights were on, glowing like rubies. Well – at least I knew what the ‘fire’ really was. Stinking gas was rising up into the air, meaning that engine was banjaxed of course. I blinked the sweat from eyes, my mind whirring. Someone had driven that jeep right in. And in doing so, had saved me.

    I had to be saved. From weedy sorcerers of all things. I gritted my teeth in frustration. There had never been a lower point in my life than this moment. <i>”</i>Mortifying,” I muttered to myself. “Someone had to save you as if you were a wee lamb, eejit.”

    Remembering the brutal twinging in my right arm, I turned to see it still pinned into the wall, the glow still emanating from dagger.

    I wasn’t stupid. I recognised the symbols carved on it, the faint circular lines splaying out and splitting my skin. I spat at the ground in disgust. The sigils of Crom Cruach. I couldn’t help shuddering when I thought about what they had tried to do to me. Until I was abruptly saved by a jeep of all things. A stinking jeep. If that didn’t reduce my honour to cinders I don’t know what did.

    Blood sacrifice. They attempted to destroy my body, my life, in order to attain forbidden power from a bottomless pit of chaos. I had never witnessed one up close before. Until now. In the worst way possible too. Crikey. At least I knew now what it felt like. I let out a bitter chuckle, which turned into a hiss as the pain in my right arm intensified.

    Hazily, I turned to examine my left arm, wondering why I felt such numbness. At first, I didn’t register the empty space, the wispy ash floating in the air, the blackness covering my bicep. I stared, my breathing becoming shallow.

    No.

    I blinked, hoping it was a mistake. I was suffering from hallucinations. The intense pain was making me see things. I had to be wrong. Because – there was no way.

    My shoulder twitched, and flakes of blackened particles fell off the stump. White noise deafened me. I suddenly found it impossible to control my breathing. Where – what

    I wanted to roar with rage and horror, but no sound came out. Just this hoarse choking sound as I stared at the blackened stump that looked as though it was about to crumble even more.

    It was gone. My arm – was gone.

    “Gone,” I whispered, my vocal chords straining. That word was the thing that undid me completely. I let out a strangled yell, a crescendo that split my head open and made my eyes water.

    I don’t know how long I was roaring for, effing and blinding as if there was no tomorrow. I might have thrown up a couple of times too. Oh yes, my honour had most certainly been sucked down the drain.

    I looked around frantically, hoping against hope that my arm was sitting here somewhere, and I had just missed it. My eyes fell on a shape lying motionless several yards away from me. The body of someone much smaller than all of the warriors. Someone who wasn’t wearing the embroidered Grim Reaper attire of the asarlaithe. Limbs spread eagle and face down.

    My gaze moved towards the smoking jeep that was lying on its side, its windshield smashed. Calculating the distance between the wreckage and the small body, I knew it was a no brainer who the person was and how he or she had gotten here. A human, from what I could sense.

    A part of me wanted to move closer, to crawl to that human and check for signs of life, even though I knew it was a lost cause, but my pinned forearm prevented me. Besides that, the agony in my legs, my torso – every part of my muscle – was excruciating. I tried to move my left leg slightly and ended up screaming through gritted teeth.

    I wanted to move off this blasted circle. The longer I stayed here, the worse chance I had for escaping. Any moment, the portal could be restarted somehow. I couldn’t be sure that the sorcerer-freaks were all dead. But I couldn’t move an inch without feeling that burning pain.

    And my arm was gone. I shook my head vigorously, numbness filling me. “This isn’t real,” I muttered to myself desperately. “My arm isn’t gone. I’m dreaming, it’s all just a brutal dream-“

    I heard a soft groan. I blearily moved my head in that direction, seeing movement out of the corner of my eye. The small figure was stirring ever so slightly. My heart rate sped up. The little human responsible for the failed ritual – who had knocked the wretched wizards down like dominos – who had quite literally smashed through a windshield – was still alive?

    #134491
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @fitz

    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.)

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

    #134516

    @fitz

    ¡Hola! Welcome to the community of Emberlings!

    Even the smallest person can change the course of the future. -JRR Tolkien

    #134581
    Fitz
    @fitz

    @irishcelticredflowercrown

    Hey, sorry for the wait, I had a really long week.

    I read what you wrote and I really liked it! It is engaging, tense, and makes me excited to read more!

    There were a few things that took me out of the story a little bit. First – and this really could just be a ‘me’ thing – introducing a fantasy setting and then a modern setting felt more confusing than introducing it as a modern setting first with fantasy elements. The first three paragraphs very much set it up as a fantasy setting and then suddenly there is a Jeep right over there, lol, it made my brain do a little bit of a double-take. You could easily mention something like a broken wrist watch, blood on a pair of jeans etc, that informs the readers what we can expect while also introducing the fantasy elements (this scene was a great way to do that, by the way 🙂 ). Again, this could be more of a me thing, so keep that in mind.

    I would also dial down the use of proper nouns or setting specific lingo just a touch. This opening is engaging, and I want to know more, and hearing a proper noun or something setting specific when I don’t know what it is takes me out of the scene a little. For example, the sentence: “The asarlaithe were all lying in crumpled, broken heaps, as if they had been struck down like dominos.” doesn’t tell me what I am actually seeing through the characters eyes, are they people? are they creatures of some kind? If I see physically what he sees, it draws me in and will make me more excited to hear more later, but right now I just want to be with him in what ever the hell the just happened, lol.

    Lastly, don’t be afraid to slow down the scene a little. A paragraph or two in the beginning describing the general layout of the scene or the environment beyond the ritual spot would be awesome. Is it a warm summers night alongside a dirt road in the middle of nowhere? Is it in some trash-strewn back ally in the worst part of town? What does the ritual circle look like? Your writing is already engaging, describing these things will only add to the immersion and the tension.

    I hope my criticisms aren’t too harsh or overwhelming, it can be hard to convey tone over text. Because, like I said, I do really like it. This kind of scene is a great setup the tone of the book, for the magic that will play a pivotal part in the part in the story, and it makes me really excited to watch the setting unfold. Um… yeah, can’t wait to read more 🙂

    #134582
    Fitz
    @fitz

    @rose-colored-fancy

    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

    I think the edge the Victorians have is A) they had years of (less) blemished history to draw from and B) they decided to wear it. Not only that, but have grand paintings of them wearing it. 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!)

    Don’t know who Turtle is, but it sounds like fun 😀

     

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

    Yeah, I know what you mean.

     

    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.

    Those scenes are great, brings in the ups and downs of real life.

     

    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.

    That sounds like some serious Outline-Fu XD I guess for filling in the blanks you can always go back to Themes, world building, and most importantly, character development. They say to trim out everything that doesn’t have a purpose – and that is true – but spending a little time getting to know the people or the world goes a long way.

     

    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

    It really does. I don’t multitask very well with audio books, but I love just lying down and listening to the story unfold…

     

    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.

    Movies like Casablanca and Cast Away are great, but boy did Australia and Pear Harbor feel like the length of a book, lol. My favorite Drama show (and Anime, coincidentally) is Your lie in April. If you like stories centered around art (music, specifically), trauma, and growing up, its a good watch.

     

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

    The problem with that question is that it implies I read the whole thing, lol. If I don’t like a book, I just wont finish it XD. While I know there are worst books out there, the worst book I have read any quantity of has got to be Twilight – yes, THAT Twilight. I scrolled through the pages playing chauvinistic bingo before tossing it in the trash, lol.

     

    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.)

    Never heard of the first; the second actually sounds funny in a really bad way (like watching B class movies XD); AND HEY! Island of the Blue Dolphins was the first book I had to read for school that I actually liked 😛 lol. In all seriousness, I hardly remember anything from the book (I was no older than 10 at the time), but I do remember it being more of a character journey sort of story.

    #134583
    Fitz
    @fitz

    @olivia

    Thank you 🙂

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