General Writing

  1. A Phantom for My Opera?

    Some days when I doubt myself and my abilities to write I think of employing a ghost writer. But in a bit of a different setup. I will write the first draft and then the potential ghost writer can refine it to a readable/enjoyable state. I love storytelling, and I love the creative process. But my produce just isn't up to par most of the time. Training is like trying to teach an old dog new tricks. I read, I watch, I practice... I learn? Yeah, sometimes I do learn. But I will continue to...
  2. Clarity, Power, and Discovery in Writing

    This is actually stuff I've known and been doing (and promoting in here) for a long time. I usually talk about it in relation to journaling and what I call 'writing about a story before you write the story.' In each case they're ways of exploring, structuring, and developing your thoughts about a subject. You can also do that in freewriting if you keep it to a subject and don't just slap down pure gibberish (which is an extreme form of freewriting). I often start a writing session with some...
  3. Something to say?

    Must a writer always have some underlying message in their fictional works? Or can they exist as mere entertainment and information? I don't know. Personally, I write to entertain and bring people to another reality, another universe. But even if I don't consciously implement messages, they are still there. In the shadows of my words. There is a suicide in one of my works and it seems portrayed like a pointless death. So, is that my eternal message about suicides? Not at all. I hold no...
  4. Old, Brown, Run-down Home

    Back in 2007 when me and my siblings were still children, my parents built a beautiful home for all of us to move into and live in. The home had several small balconies (as many rural homes in Greece do) and one very large one. The large balcony faced a field. And in the middle of that field, surrounded by overgrown trees, was a colourless home. It had the ash-like colour wood takes when you leave it outside in the rain for enough years. Nobody lived in it. It was just an old, brown,...
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  5. Self Plagerizism

    Anyone ever look back on their old work and realized they've duplicated scenes? Even bits of dialogue. It's freaky. I've been typing an old story from paper into my computer to preserve it. I haven't read the story - fully - in decades and I'm shocked to find I've duplicated several scenes. In my old work I have a young girl talking to an older man - she asks am I ugly? - he says fishing for compliments? I gave the same scene to my younger man and his director - two decades later. Creepy....
  6. World building

    I am continuing to go back through the "Wandering inn" Series by Pirateaba. This series is a fascinating case study in world building. Since the genre is fantasy, the author has multiple races to deal with. There is a detailed profile for each race, Drakes, Gnolls, Goblins, Antinium, Humans which are the main races on the main continent in the story. Each race is detailed in culture and politics. Things are gradually revealed using an ignorant character, learning about the world. The culture...
  7. The world as a character

    This is likely more of a genre item, for SciFi and Fantasy, but it is something worth considering. How much attention do we authors pay to crafting the worlds we write in? I ask this going beyond simple logical continuity. I occasionally run across works that the world itself is almost another character in the story the way it engages the reader. It is well fleshed out and engaging, in such a way that it has the reader wanting to learn more about the world itself. Granted this gets deeply...
  8. Geometric or Geomatian Numerals

    These are called Geomatian Numerals and were created by Countess Aductuine as her only good and lasting achievement. Countess Aductuine was born into a monarchy in the Bevarianne galaxy. She was raised to be a commander in the monarchy's fleet. Throughout her years, she schemed her way to power and fortune, leaving behind her a trail of sorrow. She was a slave owner who kept captives from many various cultures and alien races. Problems occurred when teaching her slaves to count, she found...
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  9. Side stories in a novel.

    I have begun to take a closer look at an idea I encountered in "the Wandering inn" Series by Pirataba. The main story is on the theme of the fool triumphant, save the cat story type. But in addition to POV shifts between characters, the author also inserts side stories into the series, which have different characters are are shorts embedded within the novel. These shorts are related to the fantasy world of the story, but instead of distracting from the story, serve to flesh out the story...
  10. Wip 2

    I have wip2, at about 55k, and am going back through turning narration into scenes. I am finding that by using a generalized narratio0n of events I can make the transition from pantzing to outlining a bit easier. It does mean more editing but I can live with that since the process of outlining is becoming easier. I was able to sit down and create a story board outline for wip3 from this experience. The cork board in scrivener is allowing me to plot scenes with a sentence to paragraph of...
  11. Results

    I didn't get any comments about those short scenes being head hopping so that eases my concern on that issue. Beyond that, I'll see how it goes when it gets to the beta readers. When it comes to beta readers that is an entirely different frustration. For some reason I picture the old Budweiser commercial with the frogs in the swamp, when it comes to Beta readers. The frogs are either croaking "Loved it", or it is just the crickets in the back ground. Book 2 is stuck at about 55k...
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  12. Current status

    Currently working on a fantasy trilogy, I think it will be a trilogy, but you never know an idea may hit that extends it beyond that. Book 1 has the MC and companions sucked into a prophecy, the MC doesn't believe in, and is basically forced into helping with. For the gamers out there it is a basic escort quest. The story uses an onion villain, though at this point we only really see the outer layer villains. This work has been through a few edits, and is currently out to beta readers....
  13. Angela Carter on the Tale vs the Story

    Getting back to my posts concerning different kinds of stories, here's something I've posted on the board that I'd like to be able to find, so I'm putting it here in my online notebook (the first part is by yours truly): Fairy tales are not like regular stories because they're archetypal. They're about types rather than individuals. Even if an individual has a name in a fairy tale, they represent a type. The names are often strange, like 'Horsehair went to wash himself in the creek as he...
  14. A Word on the Opening Paragraph

    I'm not a terribly experienced writer. I came to the forum a few years ago as a demonstrably poor writer who wanted to get better. Through the encouragement (and occasional head bashing) I found here, my writing improved. I want to pass that along. I said elsewhere, and I'll say here (in particular because I'm not the first person to say this, but it bears repeating): The sole job of the opening paragraph is to draw readers in; to tell them that they want to read more. It doesn't matter...
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  15. Progress and living matter.

    My fictional universe is science fiction with a blend of fantasy. Immortals, dragons, gods, intricate architecture, billion year old civilisations spanning multiple galaxies, various alien species, and humans. I'm soon done with the fourth draft of my first book. Just two more chapters. It's still only around 65 000 words, so I need to get creative and add more scenes. It is very problematic that the main character's love interest only has around ten lines or somewhere around that in the...
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