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 Post subject: Any writers here?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, '14, 9:56 am 
I think we had a forum member here who made a couple of books, unless I'm misremembering.

But yeah, this is a topic to talk about your own personal writing projects and how you're working on them.

As for me? I have an idea I've been cooking around for a while but I feel like I need to read a lot more literature in order to be competent enough to pull off the idea I have. I feel like its something that'd be really hard for a 1st time writer to do well and I don't think I'm at that skill level yet.

Any of you guys doing any kind of writing?


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 Post subject: Re: Any writers here?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, '14, 12:18 pm 
A lot of people here write. I think it's extremely common for gamers who adopt a game series like we did with PS to write fanfics or other related texts to a certain degree. Some of us have seized the moment and taken this craft to the next level.

I have a non-PS writing project that I plan and plan but to be honest, with the amount of ideas I have balanced with a life with work, school and kids, I don't see it evolve beyond the planning phase anytime soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Any writers here?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, '14, 8:10 pm 
I've written a number of books (of varying lengths) that are primarily in electronic form, and I also have one print anthology credit under my belt. Actually, I just finalized the contract for my latest novella yesterday, and I am SUPER pumped about this one!

I totally get what you mean about feeling you need to be at a certain level to properly convey ideas via the written word. No matter how long I've been at this (ranging from the first fanfic I wrote as a teenager to that contract I just signed), I always always always want to be improving. And there were certain stories I'm glad I never attempted in the past as I don't know if I would have done them justice.

I primarily write romance, often in a fantasy or sci-fi setting. (Or maybe I write fantasy and sci-fi with romantic elements. It depends on how the publisher markets, I guess. :wink: ) I also maintain a blog/website that has information about my publications and my musings on the writing process (so I don't turn this post into more of a wall o' text).

In addition to reading more (always good!), the best way to be a better writer is to WRITE! So GET WRITING! *cracks the whip*


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 Post subject: Re: Any writers here?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, '14, 9:12 pm 
augmentedfourth wrote:I totally get what you mean about feeling you need to be at a certain level to properly convey ideas via the written word. No matter how long I've been at this (ranging from the first fanfic I wrote as a teenager to that contract I just signed), I always always always want to be improving. And there were certain stories I'm glad I never attempted in the past as I don't know if I would have done them justice.

I primarily write romance, often in a fantasy or sci-fi setting. (Or maybe I write fantasy and sci-fi with romantic elements. It depends on how the publisher markets, I guess. :wink: ) I also maintain a blog/website that has information about my publications and my musings on the writing process (so I don't turn this post into more of a wall o' text).

In addition to reading more (always good!), the best way to be a better writer is to WRITE! So GET WRITING! *cracks the whip*


My idea is mostly a dark fantasy (Closest thing I can think of since "Fantasy with Philosophical/Psychological aspects" isn't a real subgenre yet) with my own psuedo-intellectual musings. The hard part is getting down the more pretentious aspects of my idea without actually sounding pretentious. That's why I want to keep reading to see how some of the better authors handle it.

As for writing, I'm buckling down on actually starting an outline since I've scrapped my previous writings on this thing because I don't think they're very good. I kind of suck at writing outlines, but hey, at least its something.


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 Post subject: Re: Any writers here?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, '14, 4:15 am 
I write fantasy and science fiction and the occasional horror story. I just signed a contract for my latest short story today, for an anthology coming up in November, for which I'm very happy. Unfortunately, the vast majority of story submissions I make don't result in an acceptance, so I know from experience it takes a lot of work (and a lot of heartache) to start to feel comfortable as a writer. I wrote two novels before feeling comfortable enough to submit a third one and get occasional bites from agents.

I second augmentedfourth in that it's very important to read widely and to write often. I really think writing is a kind of developmental thing, it's not something that can be learned overnight and not something that can really be taught. It's very ephemeral, kind of a middle space between something artistic and something academic. Keeping well-read is always helpful, it creates ideas and provides a model and can just be inspirational. You have to read the kind of things you want to write, but also stuff outside of that; reading science fiction to write science fiction, for example, helps to form an understanding of what the genre appears like and what it expects, but reading history and nonfiction scientific articles and more conventional literary texts would probably provide more depth and humanity.

I definitely think an outline is a good idea, I'm really casual about my writing and I don't believe in a rigid structure, but an outline really helps give shape to a longer novel and is great for those "What the heck was I doing here?!" moments. Speaking of the novel, Hukos, I'd be curious to know more about what you were thinking on your novel. I love dark fantasy, and I really love to toss around ideas and hear what other writers are thinking.


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 Post subject: Re: Any writers here?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, '14, 6:24 am 
I enjoy writing science fiction and Phantasy Star fanfiction... both of which I have been very neglectful in doing as of late.

I also enjoy writing pen and paper roleplaying games based on a very stripped-down rules-lite version of Dungeons and Dragons called Microlite20, but here's the catch: I haven't finished a damn thing. Not yet.

What I need is a good week or so off work, secluded in something like a Best Western hotel room, with whatever food I can scrounge up from a Wawa and a laptop that actually works (this thing was in my garage for God knows how long, roughly 50% of the time Windows XP refuses to load on it, the rubber(?) detailing on the case is extremely sticky for some reason, and I think I turned the rubber into a smearing blackened mess thanks to my noble intention to clean it with rubbing alcohol.) in order to get out one scifi novel or one actually completed RPG.


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 Post subject: Re: Any writers here?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, '14, 10:45 am 
Bragatyr wrote:I definitely think an outline is a good idea, I'm really casual about my writing and I don't believe in a rigid structure, but an outline really helps give shape to a longer novel and is great for those "What the heck was I doing here?!" moments. Speaking of the novel, Hukos, I'd be curious to know more about what you were thinking on your novel. I love dark fantasy, and I really love to toss around ideas and hear what other writers are thinking.


WALL OF TEXT INCOMING YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

The whole idea behind was this psuedo-intellectual/pretentious (I use these terms in a very tongue-in-cheek fashion) allegory for how I interpret the world. I'm at the point where I'm a cynical, jaded old man and see the world in terms of how I perceive hatred from everyone, including the common man. So I wanted to personify that hatred into a singular character, a malignant narcissist who is extremely nihilistic and self-destructive. And that character is the protagonist, or at least a villain protagonist and the whole story is from her point of view.

The goal is to make as despicable a character as I possibly can, to make the audience revile and despise them. And then to see if that character can actually turn into a somewhat decent human being over a period of time (Because if they can't then that implies all the hatred I perceive in the world is unchanging and permanent, but if they could be a decent person then that implies that hatred I see doesn't have to be that way). This is why I chose the main character to be narcissistic, because narcissism entails an extreme degree of self-loathing that's justified by self-destructive behaviors and a false sense of grandiosity. And that's kind of how I see the world, a lot of senseless hatred bordering on nihilism. And really, this novel is definitely a reaction against that, as I don't want that kind of senseless hatred to overcome my worldview but at times it seems almost futile to fight against.

The actual story on the other hand, features the main character Rebecca who leads what is essentially a gang that uses magic to achieve whatever ends she wants. It's noted that she's incredibly abusive (both physically and psychologically) to members of her own gang, using her own magic to intimidate them. Her gang focuses on a lot of very shady dealings, not limited to human/sexual trafficking, assassinations, taking in, etc. She's also extremely pretentious, believing herself to be better than everyone for very petty reasons and unable to grasp why her own failures in her life have happened because she's convinced its always everyone else's fault.

All in all, Rebecca is an absolutely terrible person.

Another aspect of the novel is how magic works. Now, the magic in this book isn't super high-fantasy type of magic, for the most part its largely controlled in very strict manners by x local government and breaking those laws gets you into a lot of hot water. Which is precisely why her gang is a thing, because it focuses on the unrestricted usage of the magic. What Rebecca half-heatedly knows but ignores when its convenient is what magic does in this universe to a person's psyche. Low level magic is pretty chill and doesn't amount to much if anything, but something that's high-powered (IE, if someone drops a raining inferno over a city) can even cause something akin to a psychotic breakdown and potentially permanent psychological damage. The type of damage depends on the kind of magic used, the main character uses a dichotomy of fire and water magic, with the fire type known for making its user have literal hallucinations of power and grandiosity!

Of course, being a pathological narcissist she doesn't really care if her subordinates have a psychotic breakdown or not, as long as they get the job done and if they can't, she'll just get rid of them. What makes this even worse is the few times that even she has suffered the same thing, she completely ignores it as if nothing had ever happened and then abuses her own subordinates for the exact same thing

The majority of the novel focuses on her narcissism and how she deals with it. The idea is to eventually make he go from villain protagonist to tragic villain to Byronic hero with a shot at redemption at the end.


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 Post subject: Re: Any writers here?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, '14, 2:46 pm 
Bragatyr wrote: I just signed a contract for my latest short story today, for an anthology coming up in November, for which I'm very happy.


Just wanted to say congratulations to Bragatyr on the above! :clap:

And to Hukos, I am no writer but I do love to read and from what I read of your description of Rebecca she sounds like an interesting character and where you want to take her in a story sounds highly intriguing as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Any writers here?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, '14, 7:55 pm 
Congratulations, Hukos, you have your first outline! :D A lot of my ideas start that way, where I'm just "thinking out loud" to my friends and bouncing ideas off them, and they can tell me what they think is good and what needs reworking. As far as more organized/official outlines go, it depends on the project. Usually I at least keep a notepad file to jot down ideas so I don't forget them; for longer novels, I've started doing brief chapter outlines. Since I write in order (which not everyone does), I find that not only is it helpful, but it's satisfying to take the chapters out of the idea file as I write them and see the list shrink as I get closer to the end.

I may be jumping the gun here, but have you given any thought as to what point of view you're going to write in? For something that's as philosophical and representative of your own ideas, first-person (either present tense or past tense) seems like the natural choice, but I get that it's not everybody's thing. I used to write mostly in limited third-person (past tense), but lately, I've been shifting more towards first-person and liking the results. (The challenge, though, is making sure that not every character sounds like me!)


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 Post subject: Re: Any writers here?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, '14, 12:07 am 
augmentedfourth wrote:Congratulations, Hukos, you have your first outline! :D A lot of my ideas start that way, where I'm just "thinking out loud" to my friends and bouncing ideas off them, and they can tell me what they think is good and what needs reworking. As far as more organized/official outlines go, it depends on the project. Usually I at least keep a notepad file to jot down ideas so I don't forget them; for longer novels, I've started doing brief chapter outlines. Since I write in order (which not everyone does), I find that not only is it helpful, but it's satisfying to take the chapters out of the idea file as I write them and see the list shrink as I get closer to the end.

I may be jumping the gun here, but have you given any thought as to what point of view you're going to write in? For something that's as philosophical and representative of your own ideas, first-person (either present tense or past tense) seems like the natural choice, but I get that it's not everybody's thing. I used to write mostly in limited third-person (past tense), but lately, I've been shifting more towards first-person and liking the results. (The challenge, though, is making sure that not every character sounds like me!)


Yeah, I already know it'll be 1st person past. For what it's worth, I'm pretty bad at writing in 3rd person. I need a character's immediate perspective to "color" my prose, otherwise my writing tends be pretty damn bland.


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