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Topics - ZRWilliams

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Writers' Corner / What's in a city?
« on: September 24, 2013, 06:38:39 PM »
I mean this in a very literal way and I feel like an idiot for asking it. When writing a fantasy city, be it medieval or Renaissance era or what have you, what is in a city? I know there are a few obvious answers like inns, taverns or a blacksmith, but what else is there? I've tried to do some research on it and haven't found much in regards to specifics. I get much more about general irrigation, waste disposal systems and trade routes. I want to build a city that's realistic and am honestly looking for a little help. Any good resources better than just googling random questions?

Writers' Corner / A Strange and Possibly Insane Idea
« on: August 23, 2013, 11:24:50 PM »
So I heard the term Web Series the other day and it has sent my mind into wondering. I realize that most often web series are videos but I wondered if it could be tweaked into a book format. I have no clue if this sort of thing has been done, at least online before, so if anyone has seen something like it I'd love to see it.

The Basic Idea:
I was thinking of writing a book online in partnership with a few other authors and all converging on the same plot line. To make it more interesting, each writer would be solely responsible for a character(s) of her/his own creation. So I could never write the character that another person was working on, only my own. I think this could add an interesting depth to the characters, and world for that matter, since they all would sound so different.

I was thinking of having each writer turn in say 5,000 words a month and putting those chunks of the story online on a monthly basis. If enough writers are involved that's actually a fair amount of content.
I realize there are obvious things to consider. The world would have to be developed as well as the over arching plot, we'd want to know the length we were moving toward, who (if anyone) would write the good guy or bad guy but I think after that hump it could be fun. Additionally we'd have to worry about quality content and would probably have to concern ourselves with one another's sub-plots to assure it doesn't mess with the grand plot which could complicate the creative process, but still...
Any thoughts? Is this insane?  Is there something I'm not considering here? I honestly wouldn't know where to begin to start something like this but it's been on my mind constantly.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Is Fantasy Changing?
« on: June 11, 2013, 12:36:44 AM »
Recently I had one of my beta readers ask me concerning my book, "So where's the magic?" I was actually quite flattered by this and he didn't understand why. I like the Sanderson, Weeks, Farland, Rothfuss systems of magic (Yes, I'm sure I'm missing a ton of other authors). Systems with laws and limitations to the magic often based around science. However on thinking about this I found that many of these books don't have the classic or cliched parts of the Fantasy story. Upon asking my beta, who is typically a sci-fi reader, he said he was assuming dragons and wizards were going to be in there at some point and that he liked the fact that there weren't any.
Up until recently I worked at a bookstore for nine years and I found that there are very few "classic" style fantasy books being published through mainstream publishing houses anymore. Those that are published tend to be from established authors while new authors are writing either urban or this different branch of fantasy in the tradition of Rothfuss and Sanderson. I haven't done any research to see if this is true, it's just what I have noticed.
Do you think this is the case? Are we seeing less wizards and elves for the sake of more Mistborns and sympathy magic? Is this a bad thing? A note on that last is that my beta now wants to read fantasy with complex magic where before he had very little interest due to his own presuppositions. So does this broaden our readership or hurt the genre? Neither?
Just something that's been on my mind recently. :)

Writers' Corner / How do you get inspired?
« on: April 14, 2013, 04:44:35 PM »
In this I'm not talking about story ideas, but what is it that makes you sit in the chair and write? I'm primarily a discovery writer, so it doesn't take a lot for me to sit and pound out the first twenty pages of an idea. Revision and rewriting however is a different story. I constantly find myself making up excuses not to work on my main project and instead have fun with my other developing ideas.
I've found what inspires me are interviews with authors. These interviews can either be about their books or about the craft itself. Things like and the Storyboard sessions with Patrick Rothfuss have helped inspire me greatly to get the rewrite of my novel done. It always helps to hear people that have the same complaints or questions I do. This, of course, is why I joined Fantasy Faction since it is easier/better/helps me keep my sanity to hear from authors that write in the same genre I do.
What about you?

Writers' Corner / Limiting the muse in shorts
« on: April 04, 2013, 06:10:40 PM »
So I have been attempting to write some shorter pieces and am having a very difficult time with it. My general works have almost always ended up being around 200K by the time I finish them. I would like to write short pieces (4K-15K) but I can't stop the little muse from coming around and planting an idea in my head that's way too big. What is your advice on writing short stories? Best practices? Anything really helps. Thanks!

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