June 18, 2019, 12:44:42 AM

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Re: A thousand years here, a thousand years there I trust you guys all realize that we Homo sapiens spent our first ~190,000 years of existence as a distinct species as hunter-gatherers with barely any metallurgy, don't you? Granted, in that time there still would have been cultural adaptations reflecting environmental changes, but that only goes to show you that necessity has always been the mother of human invention. You need a reason for people to break out of their cultural "stasis" and innovate. I don't think we can extrapolate our own experience of constantly changing technology as affluent First World citizens in the 21st century onto earlier time periods.
April 05, 2015, 05:18:17 AM
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Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Unfortunately, people from the medieval period aren't going to be the ones reading my book. I've been looking around at forums, including this one, and trying to gauge what the average male reaction would be to my writing. From what I see, most guys seem to be squeamish when anything related to love or sex shows up and its not "warranted".
I'm a dude, and I would think a lot of guys would appreciate sex scenes at least. Sure, we often gravitate towards more visual media like porn, but those of us with imaginations wouldn't mind a few sex scenes as long as the chick* is hot.

But yeah, I agree with everyone who says you should write what you want first and foremost.

* Or dude, for gay readers.

May 31, 2015, 05:37:26 AM
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Re: Calling All Maps! I love making maps, but it's something of a guilty pleasure for me since the projects they're associated with usually go nowhere. And most of them draw heavily on real-world geography anyway. I'll just share the most recent map I've uploaded on DeviantArt:


The idea here is that this world has more extreme differences in climate across latitude. The polar regions are colder and drier, but the tropics are hotter and wetter (don't ask me what could plausibly account for this).

August 30, 2015, 04:56:42 AM
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Re: Favorite part of writing fantasy? A lot of the fantasy I write and draw could be considered more like a "customized reality". That is to say, I draw a lot of inspiration from the real world, but then modify it to better fit my personal liking. I always had a love-hate relationship with reality; its fundamental paradox is its ability to amaze beyond our imagining and to disappoint. What I like to do is take in what I like about reality and leave out or change the disappointing parts. This technique would fit more snugly into fantasy than any others.
November 15, 2015, 03:02:42 AM
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Re: Female Fantasy Readers thoughts on Male Protagonists
...having a named, important female character automatically makes you stand out, but there are also points to be gained for sexuality, ethnicity, and other diversities.

That's interesting because I'm largely the opposite.

Personally, I tend to ignore books which make a big deal about this sort of thing, because it leads me to think the author has a lack of understanding as to what things are central in the composition of human identity (Which leads me to think they probably have poor characterization).
For what it's worth, I believe going beyond the "straight white male hero in faux medieval Europe" has the potential to be a welcome change of pace. Hell, some of my favorite works in this genre have African or otherwise non-European characters and settings. Notice though that I said potential, as in the author shouldn't neglect other aspects of storytelling and treat diversity or some other activist agenda as their only crutch. There's a difference between letting your politics influence the storytelling and letting them take over.

January 21, 2016, 06:08:54 PM
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Re: Female Fantasy Readers thoughts on Male Protagonists
Hmm. One thing I'm wondering: what's the line between the book making a big deal vs merely having it in the narrative, and between just having it in the narrative vs the reviews going 'oh holy shit we actually have a WoC female lead who is disabled, SIGN ME UP'.

(Example taken from a sci-fi book that should have hit all my buttons, and instead....read like there was a list of numbers to be pressed without the author remembering to have a compelling story. It read like a draft that needed another go to smooth it out. So very disappointing.)

I ask, too, because while I'm very pro diversity and whatnot (as, uh, I'm sure people have gathered), in my work, I try to make fit in until in the narrative its not that remarkable. It's just how the world and these characters are. But I'm starting to get the impression that even just having a cast where, say, no one is white or one of the female protagonists has a wife, will get people going 'NOPE, YOU ARE MAKING A BIG POINT!!!' instead of it just being a feature.
Even if an author tells a perfectly effective story that happens to be "diverse", they don't have total control over how the press reviews and promotes it. Certain activists in geek journalism are going to play up the diversity angle no matter what. Is that necessarily undesirable? Clickbait journalism is still attention that can be diverted to the story itself, and even people who find clickbait activists obnoxious can appreciate a diversion from the genre's usual stereotypes.

The important thing, I think, is to write a good story with characters who aren't offensively one-dimensional caricatures.

January 21, 2016, 11:56:45 PM
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Re: Female Fantasy Readers thoughts on Male Protagonists
They're small, but they're loud. And can flood your social media with negative responses. For alot of people non white non straight non cis non male needs to be  justfied as to why you're portraying them less than positively. The perception comes about that there may be some bigotry in there. If it was a straight cis white man that question wouldn't even be on the table. Which is why alot of writers just default to that. And when they don't, they go for the Strong Female Character, or the Wise Ethnic Character in fantasy/sci fi genres. It's well trodden, safe ground.
I know what you mean, but unfortunately being trolled on social media for whatever reason might be an inevitability in this day and age, no matter what position you take. And the truth is that people criticizing your work for whatever reason is going to be an inevitability if you're a writer. Do you have to take all these criticisms to heart if you decide they're unfair? No. You have the right to ignore them if you decide they're not useful. But as much as such critics' self-righteous attitudes can be obnoxious, they probably won't go away anytime soon. So we shouldn't let them interfere with our storytelling.

January 24, 2016, 07:50:38 PM
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Re: Favorite Animal Tyrannosaurus rex. Always has been, probably always will be.
February 12, 2016, 09:50:47 PM
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NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux I had an earlier art thread in this forum a few years back under the username Taharqa, but apparently you're discouraged from posting in thread over 120 days old. So instead I'll just create a new thread with updated work.

I'll start with a Youtube video showcasing my best stuff so far:
[youtube]tkZiRmvKydc[/youtube]

Some more recent output:

Narmer the Founding Pharaoh of Egypt


The Emancipator


The Thunder Rolls


Egyptian Valentine

You can find more on my Wordpress blog.

February 16, 2016, 06:09:27 PM
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Re: NinjaRaptor's Art Thread Redux
This sketch was inspired by Beyonce's recent "Formation" song which she sang at this year's Super Bowl (the pose is based on her dance in the official video). The song itself is all right, and I actually don't like how the "albino alligator" line sounds like an anti-white slur to me (I hope it's meant to be ironic or non-serious). However, I wanted to express my endorsement for the song's proud and pro-black sentiment by sketching some fan art for it. Happy Black History Month!

February 16, 2016, 11:43:20 PM
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