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Topics - J.R. Darewood

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Open For Submissions / Anthologies looking for stories
« on: August 04, 2018, 05:26:40 AM »

So this came across my facebook feed... couldn't tell you a whole lot more about it but it might interest some of you guys.


Unexpected Heroines:

Why is it always the teenage girl who is the heroine?
These are the stories of female protagonists who are never cast in the feature films. The awkward, the old, the forgotten, the different.
Their adventures were never meant to be. Their save-the-world expeditions shouldn't have happened. They are the ones who stepped forward when no-one else would.
Our unexpected heroines.

Forgotten Sidekicks:

We all know what happens when the hero saves the day, but what about their sidekicks?
Too often the hero is held high and celebrated whilst their sidekicks and comrades are brushed to the side; their own battles forgotten, and their actions airbrushed to nothingness from the tales of victory.
These are the stories of the ones who aren’t remembered; the ones who helped save the day, and got cast aside; the ones who don’t want the applause, and the ones who deserved the applause and never received it.
These stories didn't make the headlines - but they happened, and they're glorious.

Lost Gods:

They have slept for centuries. Buried. Forgotten. Lost.
Until they awake. Or are awoken.
When the deities of old return, will they bring blessings or destruction to a time that no long remembers them?
Should they be left to lie in peace, or used for our own ends? Are they gods, or monsters?
What lies out there in the realms of the lost gods?

Submission Guidelines:

The submission window will run from 1st September until the 30th November inclusive.

Submissions to be emailed to:

Lost Gods – lostgodsanthology@gmail.com

Forgotten Sidekicks – forgottensidekicks@gmail.com

Unexpected Heroines – unexpectedheroines@gmail.com

All fantasy sub-genre and styles will be considered – comedic, epic, grimdark, noblebright etc. We are particularly keen on diversity - think older characters, LGBTQ, ethnic minorities and those with disabilities

Submissions should be (ideally) between 4-7,000 words (10% leeway given either side) and either 1.5 or double spaced and in an easy to read font such as Times New Roman or Arial size 12/14. Please include your contact details at the end of the story, along with a short bio and details of any writing credentials and/or social media handles.

We are aware that this is a long submission window, but hectic lifestyles for both writers and editors means that we must be patient. Editors will be reading submissions as they are received but final decisions are unlikely to be publicised until the end of December 2018 at the earliest. This allows there to be a reasonable amount of time for reading and selecting the final line-up.

Payment will be £15 per story and a physical copy of the final anthology for which the story appears and, should you also wish, copies of the eBook for your own private use and not for resale or lending.

Any questions relating to submission guidelines – please do ask away!

Introductions / Nice to meet you all!
« on: July 23, 2018, 06:14:51 AM »
Hi I'm J.R. Darewood.

I like Skyrim and ice cream and I read fantasy bc I miss being 10 and playing Dungeons and Dragons.  Anyway I look forward to meeting you all for the very first time, since this would be my very first introduction. And no my name isn't Redwood I have no idea what that's about

And @ScarletBea if you write out my name it still summons me even if you don't get a cool popup
@J.R. Darewood.

General Discussion / Motorbikes
« on: July 17, 2018, 09:50:45 AM »
Thanks all spent the day looking at broken bike working out how its going to get me round Holland in a couple of days time   :( Apart from that a good day will be celebrating in a couple of weeks time too much going on at the moment.

What kind of bike is it?

If you'd like to exchange feedback / get feedback on your entry this month, drop in here and say hello!

Fantasy Movies, Comic Books & Video Games / Deadpool
« on: May 21, 2018, 07:05:52 AM »

Best song from the OST:


Saw it in 4D, moving chairs and all that. The water spraying on your face when there was blood splatter was SO GROSS, but also really fun.


I posted this on fb too but I thought I'd also vent here.

Ok so I never read the comics these movies are based on (I was into Spidey but never the Avengers) but even implied science is important b/c there's a lot of f**ed up policy out there.

** The human strain on finite resources is about two things 1) Over-consumption 2) the ratio of population growth rates to death rates. There are plenty of real life disasters that have shown the actual number of people on the planet after some sort of disaster is irrelevant if growth rates are high.

Over-consumption. 1% of the world's population consumes the vast majority of it's resources, so this whole discussion of over-population is actually missing the point. Our environmental crisis stems primarily from rich people in the US, Europe and China decimating the world, not poor people having too many children. A subsistence farmer in an Amazonian village consumes less than 0.04% of their biological environment in comparison to an American, who in a 15 minute trip to the grocery store decimates natural systems around the world via mining, petroleum, plantations and whatnot. But hey, we'll sideline this one for the moment and look at how killing half of everyone wouldn't solve over-population either.

Population science. Stable systems (in homeostasis) have mechanisms to either keep growth rates down or death rates high. Rats have tons of babies. They also get eaten by tons of stuff. Pandas, orangutan, cheetahs, gorillas have low birth rates b/c they don't have a ton of predators. The trick is looking at under what conditions humans have low birth rates.

Human birth rates vary. For wealthy people, or people in secure environments, birth rates tend to increase-- people put more energy into each offspring and try to keep it to 1 or 2. Eg. for the wealthy sub-populations in US and Japan, population growth rates have gone down over time as wealth has increased. In insecure environments (read: deepening poverty, after disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes or war that kill tons of people) humans tend to have lots of kids. Consequently, killing off half of humanity would result in increased birth rates. If long-term insecurity resulted from that shock (wealthy places didn't recover, insecurity remained geographically widespread a generation later) there could be a long-term acceleration of population growth. (side note: keep in mind what I said above are generalities coming out of human biology that can, in practice be culturally mediated)

The environmental crisis is the result of disembedding our consumption from natural systems. Globalization allows Europeans, Americans, Chinese etc to set up infrastructures that lay waste to much of the world, turning ancient jungles into toilet paper, and oceans into a toilet. The natural consequences are felt by the rural poor of the 3rd world who, as a result of being displaced by armed men setting up banana plantations which you purchase in your grocery store, have tons of kids b/c there's a high chance some of them will die. The wealthy, who drive the ecological crisis, are disembedded from the consequences of their actions and thus destabilize what was previously a homeostatic ecological system.

Anyway, when Thanos is like "look your planet is now better off" to Gamora, I know it was a single line in a piece of fiction, but that's simply not what would happen if half the planet died, and the belief that it would is just more fodder for jackasses who promote policies that make our environmental problems worse, not better (which has happened in many places). So even if nature somehow works differently in Marvel's fictional universe, it leaves audiences with a implicit misunderstanding of over-population that makes me really angry.

I guess, what I'm saying is that whether or not it works in the Marvel Universe or not, the movie left viewers with the impression that it might work-- these ideas about overpopulation weren't explicitly challenged and Thanos wasn't painted as being completely misinformed about the long-term consequences of his actions. We get images of Thanos's own planet destroyed from inaction, and an unchallenged narrative about how "bellies are full" in Gamorra's planet now. Fiction is, well, fiction, so anything can be changed, but the thing that upsets me here is that there's tons of people out there that might not want to kill everyone, but understand overpopulation in the same terms Thanos used, and it upsets me to see that misapprehension spread because there are real consequences to people not understanding our current ecological crisis. Choosing to build this in as a character motivation spreads jackassery irl. To me it's just as upsetting as if I saw racism or sexism built into a narrative in a way that left it unchallenged as bad in the audiences mind.


So looks like we're getting a 5-season LoTR

I've been pretty disillusioned with intellectual properties lately.  I mean on the good side, they did a great job with, say, Harry Potter.  On the bad side, you've got Disney murdering Star Wars, after it had already been bludgeoned to death by it's creator. Don't get me started on spiderman or batman's 3000 film iterations.

I feel like there's some great IPs-- I read shitons of Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms books as a kid and they obviously ranged in quality, but I liked them.  But when you get a studio buying up a recognizeable name to milk it... it just sounds like bad news.  The first 3 LoTR films were great, but the Hobbit trilogy seemed like a preview for what they're going to do.

I feel like TV studios have gotten even more aggressive with the idea that it doesn't have to be good, it just has to have a marketable name to sell.  I wish things were art-inspired... like they would just wait until someone has a good script instead of leading with the intellectual property.

I'm not hopeful. How about you guys?

Writers' Corner / To name or not to name like a pornstar...
« on: April 06, 2018, 12:03:19 AM »

So I can't do a poll, so I'll just ask for qualified opinions.
Bradley Darewood sounds a bit like a pornstar's name.  Should I keep it, or change it?
If I change it, I could make a subtle change like "Bradley Darewyd" or try to go full on writerly like "Lance Wryter"

Writers' Corner / Pitch problems SOLVED
« on: April 03, 2018, 08:46:13 AM »


Mine is a

Keenly observed trilogy about a depressed mother's mission to explore her father's murder.

General Discussion / Dogs and Cats
« on: March 30, 2018, 08:36:53 AM »

Science has officially determined the answer to the rivalry between dogs (errr dog people) and cats (errr cat people). We finally have undisputed proof as to which animal is better.

"Why dogs really do love you, according to science"

"Your cat doesn't love you"

"How cats used humans to conquer the world"

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Stray thoughts on LoTR
« on: March 27, 2018, 06:57:25 AM »

So the eagles thing in the Hobbit, LoTR and Beren and Lúthien... could they be a metaphor for the US sweeping into WW1 and WW2 at the eleventh hour?

Fantasy Movies, Comic Books & Video Games / Black Panther
« on: February 23, 2018, 08:32:17 PM »
I just noticed we're missing a thread on this. Have you guys seen it yet? There are a lot of things this movie did right

Writers' Corner / Diversity in European Legends
« on: January 21, 2018, 05:06:12 AM »

So I would be surprised if I'm the first person to post on this.  I knew that there were black knights of the round table, but I hadn't read this guys blog before and it's really really enlightening.


"First off, six percent of the Knights of the Round Table were men of color. Granted, that’s only three out of 49 men, but the entire expanded United States Congress is hovering around 13% people of color and only has one black Senator."

Writers' Corner / Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
« on: January 12, 2018, 11:33:30 PM »
I feel like writing poetry, even bad poetry (especially bad poetry), is practical practice for making musical your prose, capturing lyrical rhythms to unleash later in your not-yet-finished narrative masterpieces. 

Plus it's just fun.

Anyone want to join me and periodically post their prose-poetry here? I know you want to @Jmack and @The Gem Cutter !

Writers' Corner / How to know which crits to listen to
« on: January 09, 2018, 01:18:17 AM »
So I just posted my new opening 150 words in a private facebook writing group, and I got some advice from one person who had some very formulaic (first sentence hook etc) advice, which made logical sense so I changed everything. A few hours later, two more people were like-- "the very first version is by far the best because xyz" and I'm like "Yes! That's exactly why I wrote it that way in the first place!"

Of course different people, different opinions that's what makes the world interesting BUT I WANT A RIGHT ANSWER LIKE IN MATH.

Anyway Ursula Le Guin says: "Group criticism is great training for self-criticism" and "The judgment that a work is complete... can come only from the writer and it can be made rightly only by a writer who's learned to read her own work."  The whole thrust of her section being that you have to learn to hear what's wrong with your piece yourself.

I've been doing this for quite a long time and I *still* haven't figured out how to tell which advice to take (and not to take).  What's the secret????

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