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Hello and a Question I'm new here and I don't know what to say about myself. I guess since we're SFF people I shouldn't be too worried, really. We like books? Yes, we shall bond over our love of books!

First things first, I suppose. My name is Jack but you can call me either that or Mehman as I answer to both equally well. I'm here because I've been spending so much time on the FF website soaking up information lately and I thought: why not join the forums? Hopefully y'all don't bite. Much.

Currently, and for the foreseeable future until either Ragnarok happens or I perish and join my ancestors, I'm a writer who also happens to be disabled. That was a fun happening a few years ago that no one saw coming, especially myself. Chronic genetic disease: can't live with it, can't live without it. Anyway, I can only assume there are a few other writers on the forums.

My reading interests include: fantasy romance, romantic fantasy (yes, they are different), epic fantasy, grimdark everything, space operas, science (especially physics and botany), history (mainly Viking era), military and survival manuals, and any GURPs supplement I can get my hands on.

I know I'm new here but I was wondering if I could ask anyone who reads this a question. I can? Excellent! Is there a thread on the forums that has a list of good romantic fantasy / fantasy romance books? I ask because I've run into a fair few that just don't do anything for me. Especially the YA books. I search on a certain search engine for "Good Adult Romantic Fantasy" and it comes back with YA books because 'adult' is in its name >:(.

The term 'good' is rather loaded but it's somewhere to start. Books I've read that were enjoyable in the genre: Master of Crows by Grace Draven, The Winter King by CL Wilson (don't judge it by the cover), and Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan. Anywho, any help would be much appreciated!

October 19, 2016, 05:22:16 PM
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Re: Gods, Magic and Wonder I would like to give two of these three questions a shot, if I may. I have to preface what I'm about to say by stating that I have no credentials in the area of writing - fiction or otherwise - and barely any in the area of thinking. Still, maybe it will help someone. Also, this is my first post of some substance so thanks for getting my mind juices flowing!

The gods feature so prominently in Fantasy because they are usually the Prime Movers - they are the idea makers, sometimes openly engaged with and sometimes they're more cerebral. A people group at some point in time developed civilization in your world. Is there a temple or some other holy ground located around or near to this newly-formed civilization? If they believe in some manner of "the divine" - gods, goddesses, ancestor spirits, etc - I bet there will be a holy man / woman and a holy site to ensure the divines are appeased. Right there the gods have started forming ideas in this civilization.

The civilization grows throughout the ages and so does religion and the way people view the divine. Maybe it started out as ancestor worship but slowly evolved into the more popular theory that three gods / goddesses control everything in the world. The people spread these gods to other lands and other gods are spread to them through trade, immigration, and warfare. Again, the gods have shaped the unconscious minds of this civilization to favour or not favour certain people groups, customs, ideas, etc. We haven't even mentioned if these gods are real or not.

So, what are we left with after so much time has passed? We have a protagonist whose mind has been shaped by growing up in this civilization and he / she sees things through the lens of where he / she was born. The stories of the gods are there to tell us as a society and people group what to think and how to act in certain situations.

I really hope that makes sense. If not, I'll try to explain it differently somehow.

As to the second question (and I'm sure most of us differ), in the worlds that I create, magic is definitely more than a different science. Wizards study magic to be able to repeat the same spell with the same result. Do they truly know what they are studying? No. Discoveries into the magic system are like happy accidents. Or, you know, unhappy if you accidentally summon a greater demon of hate when you just want to disappear from sight or something.

I've made a magic system that, on first glance, looks scientific, but it is very far from it. Too many conditions need to be met to be able to perform something wondrous and/or wondrously explosive. That doesn't mean it can't happen. It just takes some studying and luck to pull off.

October 26, 2016, 12:33:04 AM
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Re: What should JMack do with this? You can put your gaming dice in there. It'd be great for when you GM a game or two, also. That is if you engage in the hobby / blood sport of table top RPG gaming. You could totally GURPS with that thing or, you know, D&D like a fiend!

I'm not good at this "idea making" thing. I'll just stick to writing Fantasy books.

October 29, 2016, 07:36:32 PM
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Re: Darkness - how dark is too dark? It's not dark, my example, but it's where I can't go. Not yet. Maybe not ever. It's funny that your mind, your imagination coupled with past experience, is the real enemy. I digress.

It's when things get too real. I watched American Sniper when it was in theaters with my father and I don't know exactly how I drove home afterwards. I called my wife, balling my eyes out, and couldn't speak. It was if I was transported back in time and I couldn't handle it. Hell, I'm barely handling it now and I'm just typing about it. War: I can't handle it.

So, yeah, it's the realism factor that gets me. Thankfully, I haven't found many books that can immerse me to the above level. Although, come to think of it, I have read books that are just gore soaked with needless torture, rape, mass killings, etc, and have put them down. I don't know if that is because they're "too dark". I think I put them down because the author seemed to be trying way too hard to be "edgy" and "dark".

October 29, 2016, 08:49:35 PM
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Re: New Author in Town Welcome to the fold! We had some punch and pie but I ate it all. My deepest apologies. Well, maybe not - it was pretty good :P.
November 03, 2016, 06:54:59 PM
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Re: Hello! I don’t like doing these introductions but here goes… Welcome to the commune! I usually say you have to pick a fantastical name to be here but you already have one! (In all transparency, I don't actually say that. In fact, I've never said that. I could always start, though.)
November 03, 2016, 10:55:13 PM
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Re: How much did you write today? Right then, I seemed to have managed 1562 words today. And to think, 3k words and counting for one sex scene. The revision on this one will be hard but someone's got to do it!
November 07, 2016, 02:15:22 AM
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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world My wife told me I couldn't write a rant. She said I wouldn't make any friends if I did so I'll just shut up, nod my head, and smile.
November 10, 2016, 02:06:15 AM
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Re: Depression, Struggles and Light at the End of Every Tunnel Listen, I don't know anyone here. All of our experiences are different and how we view things is tinted by those experiences. Ethnicity, creed (or lack thereof), past betrayals, etc. I come to put this down in what I feel is the appropriate thread but, if it's not, feel free to delete or disregard at your leisure. Be forewarned: there might be profanity and hatred shown to your fellow man in what I'm about to say. I just need to vent or I'll explode and this is the fifth time I've tried to write this down on the forum - not for any glitch, but because I don't know if I should or not.

I wish I had something to fight like cancer. At least with cancer the outcome can be two different things: remission or death by the disease and/or other related ailments. People like you because they think that they can relate to you. It seems like everyone has been affected by it in one form or another. My wife's best friend has cancer currently and, hell, even my grandfather had it. I was raised as a young lad in a cancer center as my mother worked as an oncology RN. So, yeah, I understand cancer and its little nuances with intimate knowledge.

I've got Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (or EDS as it's affectionately known) and it sucks. Not only do I have EDS, but I've been blessed with the chronic variant that affects only a small minority. I don't have the vascular form of the disease so my aorta won't decide to come undone one day, but I wish I did. Along with the above syndrome, I also have Type II Diabetes, POTTS (para-orthostatic, not Diabetes related), Bipolar II, ADHD, and a touch of PTSD. I'm trying to think of anything else I've missed but it's quite clear that I'm right and proper fucked from that list alone.

EDS is... the epitome of painful. Think of bone cancer level pain and then multiply it by an arbitrary number. I've had to make another pain level chart just for it. The normal 1 - 10 "How are You Feeling?" chart doesn't apply. It's genetic so no treatment will work, which is great news. Best of all, though: you can't die from it. Well, short of putting a hole in your head from your gun you've named Hospice. Feel free to look it up if you'd like. I'll wait here.

Back already? Great! I hope you learned a lot. Now you're an expert in the syndrome and know everything the doctors know. I'm not being a smart-ass, either. Researchers know nothing about EDS and doctors just ask their patients what they need when it comes time for pills and then dole them out without question. I'm the royalty of the medical community.

Anyway, I tire of my medication. One medication I take makes me forget things. Important things like taking the medication. See the irony there? The manic depressive medication and sleeping pills are the only things that work regularly and they only work half the time. I've got enough stimulants running through my body that could give a draft horse the jitters and I take enough morphine to kill a silverback gorilla. I'm not joking - that's the sad part. I've got enough medication that could kill someone ten, thirteen, twenty times over and it does fuck-all when it comes to handling this pain.

The depression that comes alongside the syndrome is a huge laugh-fest, too. You see, you're born with EDS but it doesn't manifest until your teen years. That happened to me big time. I couldn't finish high school the normal way - had to have a teacher come to my house. She gave me a cupcake when I graduated so I guess that was alright. Then, the syndrome hides in the background for years until it just fucking decides to manifest again, but this time it's for life. There is no more remission for me. I would do the whole "Right to Life" bullshit and take the suicide pill except that I hate life so much that I have to spite it by being alive. Well, that and my state doesn't offer it. Against the bible or some other made-up fairy tale horseshit. Got to love Texas!

I got sidetracked, didn't I? Goddamn meds. I was talking about depression, yes? Well, we're mostly writers here so let your imagination run wild. I think this post is long enough, as it stands, so I won't bore you any longer.

Just remember: it can always get worse - you could be like me.

November 11, 2016, 12:59:49 AM
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Re: Depression, Struggles and Light at the End of Every Tunnel Thank you for your comments, everyone. I don't vent a lot but something has been weighing me down for a month and this had to come out. If only I knew what that weight was then maybe I could do something about it. No matter - the venting happened and I guess I feel better, really.

Thank you all for allowing me a bit of self-indulgence.

@ScarletBea - I'm 30 years old.

November 11, 2016, 06:18:48 PM
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