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Messages - IWFerguson

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What did you read in August 2019
« on: September 06, 2019, 09:27:44 AM »
Taika Town by Drew Montgomery

The Sword of Kaigen by M. L. Wang

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What did you read in May 2019
« on: June 11, 2019, 07:33:19 AM »
I read The Thief Who Pulled Trouble's Braids by Michael McClung. I liked it quite a bit. I'm a sucker for thief characters.

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Writers' Corner / Re: Grammar Quesiton...
« on: June 04, 2019, 08:04:34 AM »
After reading the question, I initially decided it should be capitalized, like, say, the Aleutian Islands. Multiple places are still places. However, after reading the responses, I'm fully convinced lowercase is correct.

I think, though, that it may depend on the POV and genre. If it's contemporary fantasy and omniscent, maybe caps are correct, but in another world/time/culture with POV character familiar with the term, lowercase fits the bill.

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Writers' Corner / Re: SPFBO 4 has started
« on: May 22, 2019, 07:52:57 AM »
Hey folks, SPFBO 5 has started, and since last years filled up in less than 48 hours, I'm afraid of missing it. Last year, when I first learned of SPFBO, I hadn't published yet, so didn't think to pay attention to the details. Now I'm wanting to prepare as best I can, which leads me to three questions:

1. Where is the opening call announced first (or first-ish)? I signed up for Mark's email list a while back, but I don't use Twitter, and am not on FB all that often. But I can change those facts, at least temporarily, if it will help.
2. Should I research the 10 review blogs, and apply to one, or will my book be assigned randomly, or will they choose their 10?
3. Do I need to prepare a cover letter or anything else to make the application process as fast as possible to get in?

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Writers' Corner / Re: A nice tip for (budding) writers
« on: May 22, 2019, 07:41:39 AM »
What works best for me is to write the first draft for me. Subsequent drafts become a combination of what I want and what the characters want. In the later editing and revising stages, I start to think more about making sense to readers.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What did you read in March 2019
« on: April 13, 2019, 02:53:00 AM »
I read Traiter Baru Cormorant and was super impressed. I was compelled and devastated. Intrigued and immersed. Starting Monster as soon as I can.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Science Fantasy
« on: November 23, 2018, 09:09:40 AM »
Red Sister keeps moving up my TBR list.

I also find the interaction of science and fantasy to be a fascinating realm. So much of science reality feels like it might as well be magic, as far as my ability to understand it goes. I used to rebuild the engine in my Volkswagen because I understood how it worked, but now there's no chance of that. I used to yell at kids to get off my lawn, but they don't hear me now because of their Bluetooth earpods.

Was Mt. Doom the only accessible source of molten lava hot enough to melt the alloy, or was the Ring only going to melt on its home turf because magic? Hard magic systems like Rothfuss's, and soft sci-fi weapons like lightsabers blur the genre borders in fun ways.

I've had it explained to me by learned scientists, but I still cannot comprehend how something like Beethoven's symphonies can be communicated through two thin copper wires. Yes, I know you need speakers etc, but at some point that magic exists in wire. Yes, I know it's wire insulated with plastic coating, but that hardly makes it less mysterious (to me, I mean). As a reader, it feels to me like those old Reese's commercials, where the characters would get upset about the other character getting chocolate in their peanut butter, or vice versa. The two genres go well together, even though it may not seem so at first.

I'm curious to know what others find interesting about science fantasy. In my writing, there are times when the characters don't know which is which, or what to believe, and I find that connects with my real world experience. What do you like best about your favorite science fantasy?

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Small Press & Self-Published / Re: Want to Have Your Novel Reviewed?
« on: October 24, 2018, 09:22:53 AM »
Yes, please! I'm looking forward to getting more feedback on my debut novel. I hope you like it, but a review need not be 5 stars to help buyers choose books that are a good fit for them.

Name: I. W. Ferguson
Email: iwferguson23@gmail.com
Website URL: www.happen.net
Novel Title: Belief's Horizon, Book One of the Lightfeeder Menace Series
Genre: coming-of-age fantasy
Length: 99k words
Format: Paperback and ebook formats (link to "Look Inside" in signature)
Back Cover Blurb: see below...
How Many Copies Available for Reviewers: 5 ebooks available
Stipulations: please post review on Amazon (with an "I got this free for an honest review" disclaimer) in addition to wherever else you want to.

Back Cover:
"Treachery at home. Otherwordly visitors. What else lies beyond belief’s horizon?

Happen Fell lives on an isolated farm deep in the rainy woods on the magical planet Grith. It’s past time for him to go to the annual trade fair to begin his rites of passage, but one untimely trouble after another keeps him from exploring further than his home and the tiny school he attends with his cousin.

And one person seems to lurk behind every trouble: Osgar. Once Happen finally leaves on his journey, he fears his father’s loyal employee will turn up any moment. But when a stranger claims that Grith could be facing a threat from beyond the stars, Happen's coming-of-age journey becomes much more treacherous—and mysterious.

That looming threat is the Lightfeeder Menace, and it could destroy everything. Almost no one on Grith—Happen included—believes it could be real. But what they don't believe might kill them.

Belief's Horizon is the first book in The Lightfeeder Menace series, introducing the world of Grith, where every river deep enough has its naiad, and every sea worth its salt has its dragon."

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Treachery at home. Otherwordly visitors. What else lies beyond belief’s horizon?

Happen Fell lives on an isolated farm deep in the rainy woods on the magical planet Grith. It’s past time for him to go to the annual trade fair to begin his rites of passage, but one untimely trouble after another keeps him from exploring further than his home and the tiny school he attends with his cousin.

And one person seems to lurk behind every trouble: Osgar. Once Happen finally leaves on his journey, he fears his father’s loyal employee will turn up any moment. But when a stranger claims that Grith could be facing a threat from beyond the stars, Happen's coming-of-age journey becomes much more treacherous—and mysterious.

That looming threat is the Lightfeeder Menace, and it could destroy everything. Almost no one on Grith—Happen included—believes it could be real. But what they don't believe might kill them.

Belief's Horizon is the first book in The Lightfeeder Menace series, introducing the world of Grith, where every river deep enough has its naiad, and every sea worth its salt has its dragon.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JWDYXK2, or order a paperback at your local store from the IngramSpark database. Feel free to ask questions by replying here, or DM, or at facebook.com/iwferguson
Or, come chat online at the reddit.com/r/fantasy "Fantasy Writer of the Day" feature on Monday, 10/29/18

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Fantasy Resources / Re: History for Fantasy Writers, 2
« on: July 05, 2018, 05:45:43 AM »
Just wanted to say that I'm enjoying these history articles, and I appreciate the head's up posts here when they become available. I've been waiting for the merchant guild post and saw it here first.
These articles have saved me a bunch of research time. Thanks Skip.

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Writers' Corner / Re: Your Revision Process
« on: August 10, 2017, 11:08:53 AM »
I also use Scrivener, and, after writing the first draft, then break it up into scenes and chapters. As part of my revision process, I try to tackle each scene individually, and ask myself a set of questions:

- are any other senses I can use to describe the setting?
- how are the characters feeling, emotionally, physically?
- how are the characters interacting with the setting and its weather?

If any of those sensory details or feelings are important to describe, I'll add them. I make sure that the scene includes a conflict that's relevant either to the plot or the main character's development. I make sure that each character's reactions are appropriate (in early drafts I often forget to have my POV character react to the actions or dialog of other characters, unless they were directed clearly to him.)

Also, I'll check for adverbs. Often these can be removed if you pick a better verb. I do a search for qualifiers, and check each one to see if I can remove or replace it. My worst offender is "just." Is "it was just getting dark" really better than "it was getting dark"? Most of the time, no. Or, "he was a bit hungry." If it's worth mentioning, he should be ravenous.

Also, I'll read it aloud, at a pace that I would use if were reading it to someone else. Catch a lot of mistakes or awkward phrasing this way.

I'm still trying to find a good way to revise at a higher level. Above the scene level. I've tried outlining after the first draft, and it helps some. I've tried writing a synopsis for each scene and using Scrivener's index card thing, but I feel this part of my process has plenty of room for improvement.

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There are also many helpful books about the craft of writing. My local library has more of these than I could read. Also, there are many helpful blog articles. mythcreants.com has writing help articles that are directed at fantasy writers. I think your retyping Leguin idea would be a fun way to improve one's typing.

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Writers' Corner / Re: So I'm creating a new Fantasy creature
« on: August 03, 2017, 05:04:11 AM »
A spirit being that evolved from a thousand dreams? Poetic but vague. I like the four winged bird idea. It doesn't seem cliche to me (though I'm not nearly as well read as others here), but I agree that wings for carrying doesn't make much sense.
FeatherCab?

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Is "Talent" Subjective?
« on: August 03, 2017, 04:48:47 AM »
Great thread with many good points. I totally agree with cupiscent's total agreement sentence. I also take issue with the conflation of units sold and a writer's talent. There's an interesting slide here, where instead of discussing a writer's talent, we're talking about a book's quality: two very different things, that sometimes go together (like sales and talent).

I think it's much easier to evaluate the quality of the experience a specific reader had with a book, than to evaluate a writer's talent or a book's quality.

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Writers' Corner / Re: Bad writing times
« on: July 12, 2017, 08:20:00 AM »
I would like to second the idea of joining a local writing group. I found mine by google search, and just showed up at a meeting. They've been very supportive and helpful, and I've learned so much. I am fortunate that the group includes a few fantasy writers. When others were questioning my work, the fantasy writers answered that a created world's details are assumed to be the same as our own unless/until otherwise specified, and it helped the others provide better help.

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