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Re: R Scott Bakker I've not read any of Bakker's books & I've only skimmed the top layer of the ongoing flame-war but the following items bear noting:

i) Bakker is locked in comment-list combat with very extreme individuals from the far right and from the extremes of feminist dogma. Much of what is said about him is filtered through these channels and is undoubtedly misrepresentation at best, and perhaps out-right lies in some cases. On the right he has detractors who think women are breeding machines and this should be enshrined in law. On the extreme feminist side we have an individual who seems to think that doing battle under the banner of anti-racism and anti-sexism allows them to be both racist and sexist whilst keeping up a litany of personal insults. Meh.

http://rsbakker.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/cross-eyed-crosshair-crossfire/

ii) I would bet a vast amount of money that Mr Bakker would not recognise the headline statements in this thread as his beliefs.

iii) He has a blog called The Three Pound Brain where he makes very reasoned posts that attract this vitriol from various extremes. He appears to be a calm, thoughtful, and very clever individual. It's easy to go there and have a read if you'd like to draw your own conclusions rather than have them handed to you by the people targetting him.


Note: None of this is an absolute claim regarding Bakker's views and I don't claim either to have a clear idea of what they are, just an impression which is at odds with the one presented here.

April 27, 2012, 03:33:20 PM
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I come from a faraway land to greet all of you at Fantasy-Faction Greetings, fellow readers of the Fantasy genre,

My name is Miguel, and I'm a young Portuguese man. I'm also an addict to all things fiery and draconic, elvish and arthurian, historical and mythological. If all these can be combined, than I'm in for a heck of a nerdgasm.

I've been an avid reader since my teens, authors such as Tolkien (hello, God), George R. R. Martin, Juliet Marillier, Patrick Rothfuss and J. K. Rowling. Excluding Fantasy, things like 1001 Arabian Nights, Orwell's 1984, or Tolstoy's War and Peace have had a big influence on my manner of writing.

Mostly, they have been books in english, since I find the portuguese language to act awkwardly when it translates fantasy names and terms. Why do I tell you this seemingly pointless fact?

Because I've also finished writing my first book, and I have done it in english. A whole, glorious pile of 160.000 words that are utterly rubbish, but I'm proud of them anyway. So, as I trim the edges of my manuscript, before I finally decide between self-publishing or the good old fashion way, I'm looking forward to enjoying my time here and hopefully learn more about the craft.

I'll be glad to share more about this book of mine in the appropriate thread, as I will also be looking forward to some input from you guys.

May this be the beginning of a long, and healthy, relationship!  ;)

February 28, 2014, 08:40:33 PM
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Re: I come from a faraway land to greet all of you at Fantasy-Faction Bem vindo!
Welcome, fellow portuguese ;D

Mostly, they have been books in english, since I find the portuguese language to act awkwardly when it translates fantasy names and terms.
I find this sooo true - but I will extend it to any book translation (even though my mum did some book translations), that's why I've been reading in english since I was a teenager.

February 28, 2014, 08:45:50 PM
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Book covers / Illustration & Concept Art Hi guys,

I'm Greg, UK based fantasy artist since 2007 and looking to take on some new work this year. Some examples of my work are below, a full gallery can be seen at my website. For good rates and a friendly professional working experience please send me an email.

Gallery: www.gregtaylorart.com
Email: gregtaylorart@live.co.uk

Have a nice day!

Thanks,
Greg







June 19, 2014, 05:48:42 PM
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Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire Book Mark I couldn't find any book mark on the internet for the Broken Empire books, so I went ahead and used Jason Chan's award-winning and fantastic artwork together with one of Mark Lawrence's many brilliant quotes to create this.

Size: 5.5cmx18.5cm

Hope you like it, and feel free to share it with other fans of the books!  :)

Download here: http://tinypic.com/r/2rqobio/8


June 30, 2014, 12:57:18 AM
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Re: Do you avoid 'YA'? What does it mean? As a teacher of middle school English, it's practically part of my job to read YA lit. We had to define the characteristics of YA lit in one of my undergraduate teaching method courses. It really came down to two traits: a teenage protagonist, and the lack of competent adult figures. If you're interested in more detail, you can check out the blog post I wrote about YA lit after I learned that my novel Maiden of Pain had been classified by several libraries as YA.
July 09, 2014, 04:44:17 PM
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Re: Do you avoid 'YA'? What does it mean? YA is definitely a real thing, at least in the US. It's a marketing demographic, not a genre, and YA fantasy is quite popular. It seems like a lot of it is contemporary, paranormal, or urban, but as Abercrombie's new novel illustrates, it works in a secondary world as well.

Some of the "classic" fantasy and SF novels I grew up reading would probably be marketed as YA today (instead of being shelved with either children's books or with the adult SFF). The Harper Hall Trilogies by Anne McCaffrey come to mind,as do some of Mercedes Lackey's fantasy novels.

Some non fantasy YA stuff I enjoyed reading as a kid were KM Peyton's books. I don't think it was called YA back then, but I think they would be today. So were some of Judy Blume's books (the ones aimed at teens instead of grade school kids).

A good YA story can certainly appeal outside of the teen demographic. I've heard numbers ranging from 25%-60% adult readership for YA fiction. It probably varies by genre as well.

These are, I believe, the hallmarks of modern YA.

1. A teen-aged protagonist (usually between 12-18). This is a pretty firm requirement. The character shouldn't age out of the teen demographic during the story either. In the US, this corresponds to what we call middle school and high school aged protagonists, though of course a fantasy world could have a very different education system (or none at all).

2. The actions of the teen-aged protagonist should drive the story.

3. Told in the voice and perspective of the protagonist as a YA, not as an older, wiser version of themselves, and certainly not in the voice of an adult narrator who is judging and interpreting the teenager's values and choices. So deeper first person and third person narratives are common in modern YA (as opposed to mid grade which still sometimes has omni narrators). Harry Potter was interesting, because it started as MG but segued into a YA story by later in the series, but the author maintained her omni pov (though she did spend more time showing us Harry's thoughts and feelings directly than many omni narrators do).

4. Focuses on themes and plots that are relatable to teens. This can include coming of age stories, but other kinds might work too. The character is often learning to navigate the world as an adult. This doesn't mean there can't be danger, high stakes, or issues that are also interesting or relevant to adult readers.

5. Contrary to common belief, YA novels can have swearing, sex, drugs and other "edgy" stuff, at least if they're marketed to older teens. While there is often a message, it's not necessarily couched in preachy or black and white terms. But it may depend on the publisher or target market (there are YA Christian books, for instance).

I'll add the caveat that these are just my impressions that I've pieced together from talks I've attended and agent and editor blogs I've read on the subject. There are probably more specific things some people could add, and of course, different agents or editors might have slightly different criteria for what they personally want.

September 22, 2014, 03:09:00 AM
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Re: Good freelance editors? Great discussion going in this topic so far!

I'm an editor with indie presses REUTS Publications and Curiosity Quills Press, both of whom are SFF-oriented, and I'm also a literary agent assistant at Corvisiero Agency. In addition to that, I co-own a freelance editing company called Bear and Black Dog Editing.

Courtney has given great advice, and I just want to second a lot of what she's said. For a novel of average length, expect to pay somewhere between $1200-$1800 for a full manuscript edit. (asabo, your 80k example would be about $1000-$1300 by my company's prices, depending on what the page count ended up being--we charge a flat fee of $6/page.)

A reputable editor will always provide references and do a free sample--we do a three-page sample for full MS edits. It's really important to find an editor who is not only skilled, but who gets your writing style and your genre.

Many editors these days offer less expensive packages. At Bear and Black Dog, we've got a very popular reader report package that's only $1/page. We don't make actual edits to the manuscript, but we read it and give you an editorial letter detailing the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript, which our clients have found very helpful for guiding their own revisions. Reader reports are what many lit agencies and publishers use to assess a manuscript they're considering signing or buying. And we've just started a new revision planning consultation service, where we IM/skype with clients and walk them through outlining each step of their revisions.

As others have said, some editors will do whatever is needed, others keep clear boundaries between kinds of editing. My company offers edits targeted at either structural or line/copy, but they're priced the same way so if I find that the manuscript actually needs more of one or the other, I go ahead and do it. My company is also able to offer what we call a "twice tried" or publishing house edit. We have two editors, so the pub house edit gets you two passes, in other words, structural AND line editing, for only $8/page--which is nice, because then you don't have to do two separate editing jobs at the $6/page price, which saves our clients money.

TL:DR, a good editor will work with you however they can, because they love the written word as much as you do.  :D

March 16, 2015, 06:26:41 PM
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A Personal Note This is a personal note from the real world, with a link to the Forum and my wonderful experience here.

My step-mother passed away this morning. She'd been with my dad for 35 years, since their mutual mid-forties. She nicknamed herself our WSM - wicked step mother - because she knew and we knew she was anything but. She was one of these folk s who had no patience for fools, made everyone else raise their own bar, and was always trying to do something good for people. She ran a fuel fund for low income folks in the bitter North for the last ten years.

So we all have our personal tragedies and problems, and for the most part we don't flaunt and flag them here. I'm new to forums, and not sure of all the divisions between the "real world" and this actually also real world.

But I wanted to mention here that she's been my primary alpha reader for the last several months of the writing contest, and especially of the Plot Twist story.  She and my wife kept telling me that my early versions made no sense. They kept pushing me to do better. My WSM even started getting plot bunny fits and telling me all the ways she thought Good Dog should go. The last line of the story is hers, almost verbatim. She still hated the story by the end but said it was "better than it started, and don't you dare write another so depressing."

In fact, she would call me on the phone and say "When are you sending me the next story?" And I'd say, "Xi doesn't post it until the start of the next month." She would harumph (almost literally) and say something to the effect that "that Xiagan person or whatever he calls himself" should just get on with it because she was ready to read another.

There will be a lot of people giving up a toast for the WSM, but you're the only ones who'll understand about the stories.


May 01, 2015, 01:47:51 PM
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Depression, Struggles and Light at the End of Every Tunnel Although this Forum is and should be mainly about fun and a shared creative passion, we have a community and sometimes real life intrudes. A forum friend sent me the poem below expressing the debilitating impact of depression. We all know that depression is a physical illness, like osteoporosis, if you will - not a disease of lifestyle or personal "issues." But while there shouldn't be any stigma on it, there can tend to be. Fear of this can reinforce the emotional dark night of the soul for the depression sufferer and make the person feel even more isolated.

Here's the poem:

Quote
Do you know what depression is?
Feeling down, black dog, grey clouds…
No. Wrong.
Depression is an illness, a disease. Faulty brain cells.

Do you know what depression feels like?
Feeling down, black dog, grey clouds…
No. Wrong.
Be thankful you don’t know. It’s different for every single person, every single time.

This time, a switch was installed.
It flickers on and off, with neither rhyme nor reason.
One moment you’re ok, the next you’re sobbing uncontrollably. Tears are optional, just the ragged breathing and the feeling are there.
One moment you’re walking, moving, the next you stop. You’re paralysed. Your legs feel heavy, your arms like they belong to someone else. Everything about you is frozen.
One moment the world is normal, the next the smallest decision feels overwhelming. There’s no future beyond the now.
One moment you’re laughing, the next there’s a knot in your throat and you’ve forgotten what it feels to be ok.
Nothing makes sense. There’s no night nor day.

Chemicals mean hope. Repair.
Weeks pass, months pass, a year or more. And you no longer know what depression feels like.
Until next time…

The friend asked me to share this poem, and doesn't want some big outpouring of "OMG! Are you okay?" no matter how heart-felt and well-intended.

But you may know someone - or be someone - who suffers from this disease, and the words here may be a balm or an opening of the eyes. We hope so.

May 08, 2015, 04:19:12 PM
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