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Re: If We Wrote Men Like We Write Women Author Amie Kaufman has said that when she's in the final stages of revising a novel, she genderflips all the supporting characters and reads through for glaring ridiculousnesses. (She's also noted that where things seem glaringly wrong when flipped, she leaves the character flipped in the final version.) I really like this approach, actually. It gives you a chance to see where you're relying on lazy assumptions and cliche, and to consider whether you should work harder.
June 26, 2016, 12:04:04 AM
Character concept art based on my story. Hello all, will be using this thread to dump all the concept art of characters from my book "OF IRON AND DEVILS". Currently editing the second book and trying to get sculpts done for the remaining characters. Eventually, hopefully, I'll have some of the creature/wildlife as well. These were sculpted and textured in zbrush, rendered in keyshot and composited in photoshop. Once the story is finished I will probably go back and spend a little more time on the renders. Hope you guys and gals like em.

Clint Godzton


Lucinda Mathayus

June 27, 2016, 04:17:56 AM
Re: Do you avoid 'YA'? What does it mean? I don't tend to touch modern YA (old favourites like Alan Garner's Weirdstone of Brisingamen I will re-read every few years) but I've recently read book 1 and 2 of Taran Matharu's Summoner Series and really enjoyed it, a bit like Pokemon at Hogwarts in an epic fantasy setting. It might be YA fantasy but it still deals with some very serious issues like racism, prejudice, crime and consequences etc
July 04, 2016, 01:51:08 PM
Re: Do you avoid 'YA'? What does it mean?
It might be YA fantasy but it still deals with some very serious issues like racism, prejudice, crime and consequences etc
I'm quite similar to you and found the same with Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking trilogy, that starts with The knife of never letting go - racism, genocide, sexism, individuality, consequences, difference and so on.

July 04, 2016, 03:12:54 PM
Re: Do you avoid 'YA'? What does it mean?
I think a lot of successful YA works are overrated: Twilight, Hunger Games, Divergent, the list goes on. Not to say they aren’t without merit and value, I just believe there’s some conflation.

I think a lot of successful adult works are overrated, The Da Vinci Code being the first example that springs to mind. Or a lot of Bryce Courtney's work. And within fantasy fiction, I think a lot of popular work is kinda same-old, not inspired in language use, nor engaging with interesting issues.

My point being: it's not just YA. So why blacklist an entire category just because it demonstrates similar tendencies to literature as a whole?

July 05, 2016, 02:03:01 AM
Re: A little pronunciation problem . . . As long as you get the audio book right, I'd say leave it.
People will pronounce the words as they want/see.

For example, the way I say Jorg and Riyria is completely different to what the authors say it is, but they're now too ingrained to change, and my way sounds much better, in my opinion ;D

July 05, 2016, 05:10:19 PM
Re: A little pronunciation problem . . .
But sometimes it was "Yorg" in my head and sometimes "Jorg".
"Yorg", of course ;)

And Alex, I love those names :D

July 05, 2016, 08:46:40 PM
Re: [Jul 2016] - Story Generator - Submission Thread Random Story Generator: Grimdark, Witch/Wizard, Tavern, Wand, Too trusting, Their Own Mother, Cake

Word Count: 1191


Spoiler for Hiden:
Just south of the Edrym river lies a solitary tavern, which caters mostly to passing merchants, but also has a reputation for harbouring clientele of a rather darker nature. Rumour, that oft-cited yet seldom trustworthy source, would have you believe that Halfnose Hethec, the self professed bandit lord of the western kingdoms, would often lock himself away in one of the private rooms to scheme and plot his next daring act of robbery. The tavern's name – the Curs'd Gibbet – is often said to be a reference to Halfnose Hethec's absolute failure to keep his hideaway a secret. Nevertheless, the place remains popular among the alleged villains and ne'er-do-wells of the world.
   One such person, who was either a murderer or a deranged lunatic, depending on the person asked, was approaching the Curs'd Gibbet for the first time. Her name was Bannet, a witch freshly exiled from her coven for crimes to unspeakable to repeat. Suffice to say these crimes involved the elderly, a  larger number of knives than was strictly necessary. Alone in the wild, Bannet knew she did not stand a chance of survival, and the crude representations of her scarred young face which had been plastered across every wall and nailed to every tree in the land made certain that there would be no hiding for her among the decent folks of the world. People were surprisingly sensitive about he torture of the elderly.
   And so she had sought aid from the one person who might possibly have some shred of affection for her still, despite her monstrous deeds. Her mother. Like all children, even the bad ones, Bannet loved her mother dearly. Yes, there had been troubling times. Being repeatedly thrown into a lake sprang to mind. But Bannet was sure that her mother had only the best of intentions with regard to her wayward daughter. And she had been proven correct. Her mother had agreed to meet her at the Curs'd Gibbet on the eighth night of the fourth month, which would, by Bannet's calculations, be this very night. Witches like Bannet and her mother had a unique way of planning such things. Never was a witch late, save when she chose to be.
   Bannet pushed open the door to the tavern and surveyed the contents. The usual mix of rogues who always gathered on nights such as this. Cut-throats, pocket-pinchers and murderers the lot of them. Spilled ale on the sawdust floor and the unquestionable stench of stale vomit hanging in the air like a corpse in the gallows. Dull light from a half-dozen oil lamps leaking through the smoky air, plumes of breath and body heat rising from the drunken, half-comatose customers. All told, the makings of a respectable establishment.
   “Where is my mother?” Bannet asked of the barkeep. “Has she booked a room?”
   “”Don't book rooms at a tavern, lady.” The barkeep paused to spit into a customer's drink. “You sees if there's a room when you get here and maybe you can have it for a few hours.”
   Bannet sighed. “Is my mother here?”
   “Don't know about no mothers,” said the barkeep. “But there's some old bird lurking upstairs. Says she's waitin' on someone. That you?”
   Bannet walked away without answering. The stairs were old and stained with an ungodly number of things. Drinks, blood and an alarming quantity of other bodily fluids all mingled to create a swirling pattern of no fewer than seventeen colours. It was almost pretty, and would have been more so were Bannet not able to name each substance trampled into the oak surface. Such were the perils of a good education.
   Upstairs was a single room, more an attic than room in truth. Bannet entered without pausing to knock. “Hello, mother,” she said as she closed the door behind her.
   “Bannet, my dear. Do please take a seat.”
   Mirischam was an old woman, particularly by the standards of witches, who tend to inadvertently kill themselves prior to their fortieth year. A sad but inevitable danger when casting spells. But Mirischam was at least sixty, and still wore that kind grin from Bannet's childhood. The older woman was seated behind a table, facing a vacant chair. There was an object of some type on the table but it was covered by a large sheet of white cloth. “Sit,” said Mirischam a little more forcefully.
   Bannet sat. “I knew you would not abandon me, mother,” she said, her own lips parting in a smile to rival her mother's.
   Mirischam set her hands on the table. “They are calling you a murderer, my sweet. Are the things they say true.”
   “It cannot be a crime if the reasoning is pure,” Bannet replied. “Yes, they are dead, and it was I who moved the blades, but my intention was to create a thing of beauty, and in this I was successful.” She reached into her cloak and pulled out a length of white material, roughly the size of a pencil.
   Mirischam's eyes widened. “Truly?”
   Bannet placed the item on the table. “Truly,” she confirmed. “A wand of pure bone, carved from the corpses of a hundred grandfathers, using only the smallest bones of the inner ear. I doubted at times, but I followed the teaching to the very last letter. Never before has such a thing existed. With this, we can cast the greatest of spells with no threat of harm to ourselves.”
   A silence passed between them.
   “Are you proud, mother?”
   “Yes.”  Mirischam took the wand and caressed it like a lover caresses her husband. “So very proud.”
   The her face darkened. “But now you must prove yourself innocent in the eyes of the gods. Air, fire, earth and water are nothing to witches such as we, so it must be trial by cake, as the old laws say.” She pulled the cloth from the table and revealed a large sponge, two layers divided by jam and cream. “Consume this, and you will be found innocent,” she said. Then she winked. “Do not worry, I baked it myself.”
   Bannet took a slice of the sponge and raised it to her lips. She took a bite, and very nearly spat it at her mother in shock. It was oily, tinged with iron and, and . . . meaty. She lowered it to the plate and saw that it had changed. No longer fluffy sponge, but to slabs of flesh, the same pink as a human's. Grey paste like leaking brain matter glued the halves together, and blood spilled out from the centre.
   She raised her head to look at her mother. “What is this?” she asked, her voice barely more than a whimper.
   Mirischam frowned. “It is cake. Now eat, or the world shall think you a criminal. There is no harm, unless you harbour some crime.”
   Bannet took a second bite, swallowed it against a tide of rising bile. But she did not want to be though a monster, not when she had acted only to further the cause of magic. And so she finished the whole thing, even going so far as to lick the plate clean.

July 06, 2016, 04:42:10 PM
Re: Do you avoid 'YA'? What does it mean?

I am not sure if this is because I hold many young people in contempt, or because I hold their most popular works in contempt (Twilight? That's your generation's iconic work?). Don't misunderstand, I love young people, but I have a strong bias for the non-whiny, ambitious, and talented, and against their weaker counterparts.

My reaction and reply to your post sprang from your initial use of "contempt" in both instances above and applying it in an all encompassing, generalised and critical way.

On my understanding YA age groups for the purposes of this thread was twelve to twenty year olds. An age group still to reach full maturity of action and struggling to understand the multitude of responsibilities required of them. To use a noun associated with scorning and despising about such a generalised group or their reading choices seems to me harsh, patronising and judgmental in the extreme. You have since enlarged on your views but the initial post was uncompromising.

You may have considered YA to apply to a different age group, but my concern at the use of contempt in any generalisation still stands.

You then qualified this to say you loved young people but admitting still with a bias against generalised "weaker" counterparts, thus still implying criticism and that they did not have talent or aspire to ambition.

It was certainly rude of me to assume, and I apologise for my conclusion that your views were influenced by MSM sources that perpetuate the denigration of young people and encourage young versus old complaint. 

It is now clear that you reach your own views and conclusions through personal  experience as you have explained.

I also apologise to F-F for allowing this discussion to intrude on the main thread and consider it closed.

July 09, 2016, 03:12:07 AM
Re: Jokes on the Forum, Goats and Atku God of Goats in particular Jokes on forum?

Doctor I feel like a pair of curtain's

Pull yourself together

July 09, 2016, 08:40:56 PM