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  1. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    Through the Brambles-Thorn's Journal

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Thorn Cylenchar, Sep 23, 2019.

    Drip drip drip. Trying to do a little witting each day. I first started this story over a decade ago. I know, that sounds really bad, but it was more I had started the notes on it. About five years ago I wrote out the first version of the story and then just.... got busy and set it aside. Now, I finally have the time to take it back up. I had made more notes on it and started rewriting. The first try was about 90K words. So far I am 42K in on version 2. Things have changed quite a bit. Renamed characters and groups, reworked characters and their motivations. The major goal posts have remained the same but everything between them has changed.

    It's kind of funny, when I made my notes, my 2nd lead at that time was a good guy. The story that got written had him as a rude bastard but still a good, if unpleasant guy. The third version... yeah.... Rude, abrasive, insulting, homicidal, genocidal(successful), genocidal(proposed) and definitely not a good guy.

    Now I end up researching odd things for the story. In the past month I've researched how fast a person on foot can travel, how far a person on horseback can travel, Slavic mythology and now plate tectonics..... definitely an odd mix.
     
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  2. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    Floundering in the swamp. I have one section of my main story that I'm struggling to write and keep interesting. I'm pretty sure that it will need some major rework once it's done but it's hard to get the motivation to even write it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
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  3. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    To try to keep things going I started a short story that had been rolling around in my mind. It's a 'careful what you wish for' tale. I'm trying to get over my tendency to want to explain everything and do a more broad strokes overview but damn, it's hard to fight the urge to add just one more word to the descriptions or dialogue.
     
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  4. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    Almost done with the short story, or at least the initial draft, will probably be a hair under 3000 words. It's a nice change to have something done, or at least mostly done versus in progress to infinity. I have a few more short story ideas, maybe once I have a few done and polished I'll try submitting one to a contest.
     
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  5. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    Started another short story. This one is taking me down the research rabbit hole of weapons, attire, trapping of Native Americans.
     
  6. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    I've been doing pretty well with the writing everyday. I have had issues with travelling to fast and needing to be able to charge my laptop. I'm a full time traveler so traveling too fast means solar panels not getting out to charge the battery=no power. This also means that internet may be a no go despite the booster (you'd be surprised where you do and do not get signal. Right now I'm at 10K ft elevation in the Rockies up a 16 mile washboard road that gained 3K ft elevation.
     
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  7. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    With my new short story I am trying to balance a couple features: 1). Be historically accurate to a point. 2). Simplify. These two are in conflict a little bit. The premise of the story is in the future we have developed video games that are full sensory-aka you see, feel, touch, taste and smell. problem is it worked to well and people dying in the game died in real life as the brain couldn't handle it(system has micro needles that are implanted into the brain directly). Now, you have illegal games using these systems for huge stakes. The current game involves 4+ players being assigned a random persona from a historical group(Native American, Picts, pirates, mobsters, cowboys ect(with different bonuses) and being placed in an arena(each contains two or three different regions/ areas) like woodlands, plains, urban. The arena type also assigns bonuses/negatives to each group.

    Problem is, some of these groups are massive and varied and I don't want to 1). Make it sound like I think all Native Americans are the same or 2) Misrepresent one of the tribes and come off offensive/belittling. I might be overthinking it because the reader will know it's in a game, and games do make generalizations. *sigh*
     
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    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    You could make some offhanded comment about the lack of historical accuracy the developers "accomplished" at the mouths of one of the gamers.
     
  9. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    I ended up having the character pull up his profile to see what his stats were and have his group listed as "Native American (NE)(Composite)*" and have him go "What the hell is (NE)(Composite)? "


    "*Traits/Weapons/Skills taken from multiple groups of Native Americans from the Northeastern United States.(Iroquois Nation, Algonquin, Chippewa, Huron, and others)."

    "Ah, okay, so it wasn’t from one distinct tribe. Well, what do you expect from a game?"

    This becomes more relevant as one of his opponents ends up being assigned to the group "Native American (SW)(Composite)" which ends up being your great plains and SW American groups like the Apache and Navajo.

    The differences come into play that one is from a more wooded area so 'Woodland' Arena types give bonus, other is from the great plains and desert SW so gets bonuses in those areas.
     
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  10. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    Finished the most recent short story. About 7500 words. This one was interesting as I had no idea what I was doing with it when I started. It ended with the secondary protagonist trying to arrest the pov character, before they both realize they are both undercover agents from different agencies who were both working to take down an illegal gambling/money laundering ring.
     
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  11. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    Starting a rewrite of another short story. Though it might as well be new as the old save file got corrupted so is now gibberish. This one is entirely told as journal entries and letters the narrator is writing.
     
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  12. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    Is it a bad sign that I forgot about my own journal? Yeah. maybe.

    Haven't been good about writing daily. I have one WIP that has died a slow death as I have lost any interest in it. I decided it was boring and not worth the effort of the major burn down, scrape and rebuild that would be required to make it fun. Maybe later.

    I started a world build, and by started, I mean from the ground up. First step was the creation story. This is a fantasy setting(duh), so I have three races so far that showed up in the creation story. I have a rough sketch of the human empires, and am developing the magic system. With the magic, I am trying to balance it without making it overpowered. I plan on doing a few short stories based in this world, and maybe a longer story or two. We'll see.

    In addition to that I have a romance(never thought I'd be able to say that!) that clocks in at 8666 words after first draft.

    I'm also trying to do my own version of a flash fiction contest-give myself a prompt and write a sub-500 word story in one night. If nothing else this will help with creativity and force me to work on my tendency to pretend I am Charles Dickens and paid by the word.
     
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  13. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    Not remotely writing related(unless it inspires a revenge plot), but I need to rant about this: Someone went into my camp site and stole my camp stove, 15 lb propane tank, connector hose and BIC lighter. I travel full time so I need these if I want to eat, so had to go buy new gear today. So I am little bit irked. I can't complain to parents, inlaws or most of my friends as they already are paranoid and think that doing the travelling is really risky because of all the 'bad people' out there.
     
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  14. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    okay, back to your regularly scheduled program. I had written six additional little flash fiction stories and they all have a bit of a supernatural theme, so I decided they are all based in one world/setting so I am developing the setting. I've dubbed the setting '14 Realms' and so far here are the things I have decided:


    • There are 14 realms including the human realm.

    • Arranged in a circular pattern, the human realm in the center. Each of the other realms can only access the two neighboring realms and the human realm in the center.

    • The human realm has access to the long road, the path that allows access to all the realms.

    • The doors of the long road only allow access from earth, though once in it you can get into any realm, you just cannot re-enter the long road.

    • All realms/beings have magic at one level or another, most to minor to be useful, but many races feed on magical energy by consuming the flesh, blood or energy.

    • The long road feeds on the magic of those who enter it. Humans are immune from this effect, other races are not. Believed to be deliberate setup by those who created the long road to keep realms somewhat isolated. Those exposed to the long road end up desicated husks as the magic drains life force from them in matter of days. Within a week turn to dust.

    • The inhabitants of other realms have long used earth as a pass through, many have settled here.

    • Due to the fact that realms can only access Earth or adjacent realms, if mobilizing for war with any other besides neighboring, will have to move forces to earth or realm adjacent to target before launching attacks.

    • Some Realms inhabitants are friendly to others, some our not.

    • Many of the Realms have established various secret societies and cults. These groups allow them to open more doors to earth and travel more freely. Allows them to meet and pass information as well.

    • There are doors that allow access between realms but most are well guarded by whatever faction controls the other realm. Hidden doors to the long road exist as well.

    • People(or beings, not necessarily human) are unsure what allows some to access the doors, some not to.

    • Appears to be tied to magical ability and subconscious thought.

    • Some need the cults to provide bodies, or sacrifices they can assume control over to survive/pass over to the human realm.

    • Many of the realms are at war with each other.

    • No one knows who created the realms, or the long road. Many myths claim that the human realm was the first and the gods created the other 13 to house their individual creations.

    • Legends also state that there are multiple ‘outer’ realms beyond the 14, but number is unclear. The only thing the legends agree on is that it is bad news if the ‘outer’ realm starts to act in the inner 14.

    • Some legends state outer realms are where gods reside now. Others state the inhabitants of outer realms killed the gods.


    The 14 realms:

    1. Earth.

    2. Giants- Realm of giants, ogres and trolls. Giants are intelligent, others are more animalistic. Giants use the others as labor/troops. Maneaters. Among giants, intelligence is on par with humans. High level magic abilities. Their legends state they were the first creations of the gods, before humans, but they were to arrogant/powerful for the gods, so they were replaced. Due to this hate humans.Preparing for war with Goblinoid realm who they view as pests to be exterminated. Once they acquire that realm, would either Great Serpent Realm who they view as Rivals as chosen children of the gods, or go after acquiring human realm as they view them as usurpers of rightful position.

    3. Elemental(fairy): Fire/water/earth/air. Look mostly human with larger eyes, vibrant coloring and wings(sometimes). High level of physical diversity among clans. Each clan has control over their unique element. Each occupies their own land. Until recently had been at war among themselves, now united under a single emperor, starting to prepare to try to expand their territory. This has sent ripples through the other realms as others are also gearing up for war either to protect their own territory, or to take advantage of chaos to seize more territory of their own. Allies of Chimera(or at least some clans with some related species. Well not at war with, view Plant fairies as weak, will likely seek to enslave them.

    4. Plant(fairy): Look mostly human with larger eyes, vibrant coloring and wings(sometimes). Have control over plants. Can cause to grow quickly or much larger than normal or die. Most prosperous of realms do to thriving natural resources. Can use poisons, extrude thorns. Using plans can make living siege weapons, thick bark armor. Have strong presence on Earth. Mostly peaceful. Interbreed with humans. Allies of insects. At war with Goblinoid and Rodent.

    5. Ash(demonic): Need offerings to create bodies on earth and cross over. In our realm their initial bodies look like flayed dogs or giant cats. Absorb negative emotions like fear, sadness, terror. Will hunt and torment their prey. Have established several cults that offer them sacrifices. As bodies formed of ash, weak to water. Attracted to magical power, which when they consume can allow them to take more permanent bodies without weakness to water. Once have permanent bodies, can absorb other lifeforms and reshape the bodies to their will. At higher level can take on fully human appearance, but require blood from living source to sustain it(taking blood also allows them to absorb the magic, so actively hunt more powerful magic users).

    6. Goblinoid- Man size or smaller orcs, goblins. Cowards who rely on backstabbing, poison, numbers to take prey. Life in underground tunnels. Allied with rodents. Tribal/secretive. View human and fairy flesh as delicacies. At war with Abomination as their underground living brings them into conflict as they are taken as ‘riders’.

    7. Rodent: Can assume the shape of a giant rodent, or seperate into multiple normal sized. Live in elaborate underground burrows. Have interbred with humans, the offspring show signs of their animalistic nature, can commune and control their breed of rodents. Allies of Goblinoids. At war with Abomination as their underground liiving brings them into conflict as they are taken as ‘riders’.

    8. Insect: Natural form is of giant insect, or horde of bugs. Some are predatory, some mostly harmless. Can morph body to appear human. Can Interbreed with humans, but offspring always appear as insect. Allies of plant fairies.

    9. Nightmare: No material form. In out world appear as cold winds. Individuals are weak by themselves, at most person will feel weak, cold for no reason(hence stories of ghosts and hauntings). A group can kill by dropping body temps, absorbing magical energy. Expert wielders of illusions. Once human is killed by them, can pull soul out to add to their strength(if in human realm). If human has wandered into their realm, soul becomes one of them Can be mischevious or malicious. Only can be kept out via wards. Functionally immortal in their own realm. In human realm strong enough wards can kill them if they are trapped within it

    10. Atlantis: sentient semi-machine people. Like to tinker and ‘improve’ everything, including themselves and people from other realms. Like to abduct and use those from other realms without consent. Not malicious, just see all the other realms as beneath them. Enemies of insect and Flower Fairy realm. Have recently started gearing up for war and in doing so made enemies of Great Serpent Realm who did not take kindly to them adbucting young Drakes for augmenting to use as part of armies. No permanent allies, will assist occasionally if others can tempt them with a suitable reward. Currently ‘allied’ with Giants by turning ogres and trolls into armored machine units.

    11. Great Serpent- Dragons, wyverns, eastern dragons, midgard serpent. Very powerful, long lived. Highest magical ability of all realms. Mostly indiffernt to other realms. Can be helpful or destructive. IF you manage to piss them off, go for scorched earth level retaliation. Obsessive-throw a handful of grains, must count them. Attracted to shiny objects. Have recently started preparing for conflict with Atlantis. Not at open war yet but unless Atlantis manages to appease them. View Giants as arrogant wannabes

    12. Chimera: Biggest of the realms. Arachnids/harpies/gorgons/minotaurs/centaurs-The half breeds of mythology. Most are very active in human realm. Can change appearance to look fully human. Most diversity in terms of personality/outlook. Tend to adopt humans and other races. If humans are considered part of their ‘tribe’ they are fiercely protective of them.

      1. Sirens: water dwellers. Interact less with other realms as tied to water. Can take human form for short period to walk on land. Curious about other races, but skittish, do not approach openly. Like to acquire knowledge. Fascinated by ‘land dwellers’ technology. If you can get on their good side they are useful allies.

      2. Wereanimals. Tribal, secretive. Mostly keep to their own realm. Most in human realm wandered in by accident. Males can interbreed with humans well in human form, or their animal kin well in animal form, but children are always same as mother. Cannot ‘turn’ others.
    13. Mirror: Masters of illusion and mind control. Can use powers to make victims see scenes from their memories over and over again. As have no material body of their own, like to ‘ride’ in the mind to experience the emotions of the host. The stronger the better. Once host dies, they move on to next host. Some will take a host at birth and ride along to death assuming no or minimal active influence. Others will take host at any point in life and drive them to take actions so they can experience it. Will sometimes make host do things and block out memory of it to create confusion. Sometimes will allow host to be fully aware but unable to control themselves.Allies of Ash realm as will possess victims, create illusions so both can feed on the fear of the hunt and kill.

    14. Abomination: parasitic burrowing worms, live underground, Look like 3 ft long worm pasty white earthworm with tentacles at one end. Tentacles secrete acid to dissolve rock. Surround round leech like mouth filled with diamond hard teeth used for burrowing. Blind and deaf as no use for these underground. Covered in thousands of white hairs that can extend. Use these to sense air movement, vibrations. These will pierce through the host to allow it to control them. Will burrow into hosts. Blind by themselves, can sense heat of living animals. Sensitive to cold, but less sensitive when have a host as host body helps warm them. Cannot swim. No spoken language, communicate using psychic ability. At war with Goblinoid and Rodent as those are common hosts they acquire.


    Outer Realms:

    1. Chaos: Lovecraft comes to life. Powerful, twisted beings. So alien to us that nothing on inner realms can comprehend them. Their children occupy the Ash and Abomination realms. Through them access human realm as their presence would destroy it.

    2. Heaven: Home of the gods? Stands empty. Where have they gone?

    3. Others? Nothing yet.
     
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  15. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    Thinking about trying something for the next couple short story contests. If I start now I might be able to get something done and edited in time.....
     
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    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    3740 into a short story. It might end up being the February submission.
     
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    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    Fun with writing prompts: story started one way then took a turn so prompt no longer fits....
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
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  18. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    current short story started out fairly light but keeps getting darker.... right now I am trying to tell without telling too much so the reader can imagine what happens.....
     
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    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    I have had a section of a short story that has held me up for the past week. I needed something horrendous, but I wasn't sure what to do, or how to describe it without making it seem overly over the top. Today, I had the realization that I didn't need to. I just will describe the reaction of the character to it. The readers will fill in the gaps. They know it was something horrible and what they visualize will be much more vivid than anything I can write as they will each put their own spin on it.
     
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    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    My current short story is starting to feel more like a part one than a complete story. If I complete the arc, it will likely end up more at the Novelette level(7500-17999) or a very very short Novella(18000-39999) length. So, what do I do? Do I go back and tighten it up, or do I expand and let it run crazy?
     
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    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    Trying, unsuccessfully, to start next short story. I know the character I want to introduce, but not yet sure how to go about it.
     
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    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    well, my attempt at the may prompt won't work. 8000 works and counting, so need to look at starting another story to meet that prompt
     
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    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    Your strongest, staunchest ally is known as the Betrayer. What could possibly go wrong?
     
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    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    How do you make a star go supernova? Feed Cthulu to it.....
     
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  25. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    Not remotely writing related but I need to vent: I am currently stuck in a Wally World Parking lot as a rat nested in my engine and chewed through the shift cable(maybe). I can't shift into park, can't start the car and can't remove the key. As it is sunday, waiting for the auto shop to open tomorrow at 8:00 am. At least it happened here vs at the campsite this morning(no cell, no internet, at the bottom of a heavily rutted road) that would be a five mile plus hike out to where you can get cell and internet. Sigh
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020

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