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JannyWurts last won the day on March 2

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  1. When 'value' decisions are made only on money, with no other virtue taken into consideration, what you get is a desert. Whether the environment, a game, publishing, or you name it, the money driving corporate purpose is a disaster. It will consume and leave nothing. Up to us to base our decisions on sounder values, more vitally important. Money is the tail wagging the dog. To wrest that power away, it takes a village, caring, constant effort, and choosing every day based on more than cost, more than price, more than profit. Whenever I see small companies with great ideas get absorbed and merged, it makes me furious. Fury is the impetus to act. Sometimes we may not know how, yet. But money alone will leave a desert. In all ways. This is not the symptom, this is the disease, when the heart goes out of choices. It is the struggle of our times, come to a head, and no time to abandon ship. Gaming, stories, all began as a niche market. It may become so again. Be the dog that wags the tail, look to the grass roots of what made what you love great to start with - the driving force beneath that impulse - creativity - IS NOT GONE. Just usurped. Don't fall for the voices that say it is lost - it is ours, has been ours, and will be ours. Time to think deep and reach outside the box. Corporate and mass culture does not look at the fringe and that is where the movement IS. I remember when Magic, The Gathering was a tiny group of gamers sitting in the corners of conventions - brand new - and the players were utterly entranced and absorbed. To find them, you could not follow the current crowd, the current trend - and a great man and editor, John Silbersack (now agent) perceived the intensity of the focus on this game - he was the first to 'move' it into HarperEntertainment's attention (stories related to game)...there will always be that visionary, then the person seeing profit - then the bigger players with NO understanding of fantasy (not like John, who was a reader long before his career)...time to disconnect from the mass and seek for the visionary. Over and Over, even in the art world of 'collector prints' I have seen corporate greed overstep what made a thing uniquely valuable and start to milk it for profit - and every single time, they created a desert. Your interest is the steering force; the vultures after profit always follow. Know who you are, know your power, choose your interests with a wider span of values than just 'money' - that is where the treasure, the creativity, the enthusiasm and the love reside. Hasbro bought the golden goose and proceeded to smother it - why am I not surprised? No need to follow the lemmings over the cliff.
  2. For me, the intervals where I lost interest in reading was during times of change. What I valued was shifting, what was meaningful was in flux, and as my perspective was fluid from one stage to the next, the 'old things' that used to excite me missed the mark. I had trouble identifying with what I was reading because my identity itself had evolved. Finding where that shift was going, or just waiting it out without fuss made the difference. Time sorted it, and eventually, I was able to reconnect to other books, or, relate to the content in a different way. Perspective shifts as we grow in experience, and if the books I thought I 'should' be reading didn't keep pace with that increased depth of expectation and perception - time to switch it up to books that matched with the difference in values to stand more on what I thought mattered.
  3. Hands down, that title goes to C J Cherryh's Voyager in Night - a slim little volume from the outer extreme edge of her Alliance/Union universe, where the strange meets the known at the verge and ships disappear without trace. The story involves one such ship - and what happens to the crew is beyond chilling. I am not a horror fan. This book is both terrifying and unforgettably haunting.
  4. Wow. Breathtaking. Thank you for uplifting my day! Steve - the way you incorporate the sky/landscape blend is gorgeous! - and Blue and Black Collar Reader - the whales! wow. The mossy statue was also quite evocative. Wonderful thread!
  5. Frank - thank you for posting this! Anyone: if you watch this: strap IN! It makes grimdark look tame. Every bit as impactful as it was, on my thinking, at age 20.
  6. If it's a short story, you can do it pretty organically. The mind is associative - this reminds us of that (similar or opposite) event we experienced in the past. So your intro would be 'whatever keyed your character's moment of past reflection' - introspective cue or external stimulus. You could use various styles or punctuation to handle the interface - where the present steps into reflection of the past. Endling a line with an elipsis (three periods)/then a line break, then another elipsis - go into your flashback. If you want this format, you can also make it even more obvious by putting the flash (if it is short) into italics. Then end the flashaack with another elipsis - line break - elipsis and into the current timing resuming the scene. A plain line break on each side with italiics can do it, too. Or if you want the past reflection tightly integrated into the text, then shift to italics for the backflash - Or, some people (if it is just a cue or a fragment of a reflection - would use an Emdash. If you are running two parallel timelines (as in a novel) -- dating them at a chapter break works, but, a reader in a rush may skim over that and miss the transition. There is a very detailede chapter (tool box/how to construct fiction) in the best book for this Ever: Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain/available from University of Oklahoma press - this is a superb book on fiction writing technique - NO other book like it. Not only does it cover flashbacks (when to use them, how to use them, when they are most effective/disruptive) - it also is a nuts and bolts manual for construction of fiction, LINE BY LINE to form a scene and how to stitch scenes into chapters. Invaluable book - highly recommend it. I'd have been in print TEN YEARS earlier if I had stumbled on this book sooner.
  7. Wow - that's amazing ! Congratulations! That's amazing, and here's me rooting for you to make the next round! Certainly gives you a boost, and the feeling you have the right stuff going forward. Thanks for sharing your success! One person's happiness touches everyone.
  8. A Critical Dragon - Dr A. P. Canavan has selected a non-spoiling passage from Curse of the Mistwraith for an in depth prose analysis. His sharp eye deciphers how word choice and prose style build story, character, and atmosphere, and how to unlock the depth. Whether you are looking to write, or whether you are seeking deeper comprehension, A P's insights are a treasure in the field. Few booktube channels examine words and writing in this manner - if you like what you see from him, he also details prose from other major fantasies and SF works in the field. Enjoy!
  9. There are two types of editing for a fiction manuscript going into production: Story edit comes first, with the aim of improving and sharpening the story itself, it would look at flow, tension, suspense, logic, and IF the story needed adjusting for greater impact or a missed stitch, the story edit would cover this - suggest where areas might improve, sometimes with comment - the author would be in charge of making the changes. Fiction editing is very very different from non fiction editing - so expertise in this specific area would be paramount. Copy edit follows story edit, it is definitely a production step. Copy edit looks at grammar, spelling or word use errors, punctuation, hyphenation, and also consistency - (did the author have a character lying down or reclining in a scene, and a line or two later stamping their foot? did this character have brown eyes on one page, and near the ending of the manuscript, changed to blue?) Fine line inconsistencies/incorrect word use (they're, but the author used their - rein used instead of reign - author used peeked or peaked, when the correct word should be piqued). It's a picayune job, requires a sharp eye - and also - needs a person who understands STYLE - and can be flexible where appropriate...some books don't follow exacting grammar rules for a Reason, and the copy editor who marks something up end to end perfecting grammar - would be too intrusive/no allowance made for style - and that wastes time on all counts, since somebody would have to 'undo' the overly fastidious changes. Rules change - spellings change - copy edit would have to know the DIFFERENCE between American use of hyphenations and spellings, vs UK variations (this is not at all straightforward, the 'styles' are very different.) Likewise, style of manuscript - some use the Chicago manual, others use a different style, and this would affect punctuation every which way. Copy editors have to know this, and also: proofreader's marks, so the 'marked changes' are recognizable to the next person down the line doing production. (My website has a PAGE of proofreader's marks, and also: a long list of 'common word use errors' picked up by Copy-editors Bob and Sara Schwager in the course of their decades' long career. You can find them under tips for writers/and are encouraged to print them out - just those lists and that page save everybody a ton of work in corrections, they were provided FREE for this reason). 'copy edit' is a learned skill - and a bad one can make a total MESS - a copyeditor who adds exclamation points or em dashes where they are Not Needed becomes a horror show for the author and story editor...Knowing what to 'fix' and what to 'stet' (leave alone) is not something everyone can do - and some people just don't have a sharp enough eye to catch detail at this level all the way through (Was the author consistent with capitalization, start to finish....did they change spellings with a 'unique' name or word (fantasy is full of these). A bad story edit, likewise can make a horrible mess....either pedantically forcing TOO much clarity and all the liminal mystery is removed - OR - you get the picture...did the story actually NEED a change or was the change needed better presented ON ANOTHER PAGE/in a prior scene.... A GOOD story edit can make an average manuscript shine - and understands the author's voice. A GREAT copyedit can catch detail everyone else missed, and save the day - as well as even out style and punctuation so the book is to standard and consistent. Not sure where to send you to 'learn' this stuff - having seen nonfiction writers try to make the 'shift' to writing fiction - not as easy as it sounds. The approach is not at all the same - likely academic writing may no provide all the background you may need to excel, but there would be books on the subject, and plenty of professional expertise to be shared, editors do have blogs, give panels, and even, correspond or have social media. Networking would be a great place to start! Best of wishes in your endeavor!
  10. Nope, nope and hard nope. Rather spend my time here than spend my money on being manipulated.
  11. For anyone who wants to see way deeper into this world, and the 'magic' - earlier on (the series will unfold it, but this 'shows' a snapshot in history where the fractures were strained, but the system was not 'broken') - this novella will open up a way wider view of Athera and its differences to what you may assume. For those reading Curse of the Mistwraith, this is Verrain's backhistory - it will give you vastly greater depth into his personality and his place in the bigger series. For any who are curious about the world of Athera and not inclined to jump into eleven huge volumes, this story stands quite well on its own. The characters and what they face will carry the story and the action well enough, and the connections you don't see without the wider familiarity with the series won't bog you down. It is actually a good opener for the series itself, and will make the first half of Curse of the Mistwraith connect a lot quicker....some like it this way, some prefer to read the series first - all fine and good! Thank you @chibipoe for posting this link, and thank you to Johanna, Philip Chase, and @P.L. Stuart for hosting!
  12. 'A whisper of thought rose, dredged like memory from the grief silting her mind. "mM tale is over, wild daughter. What ending would you write for yourself?" Paige Christie - Storm Forge - Legacy of Arnan book 4 (forthcoming)
  13. In discussion folks were wondering if the lyranthe was a traditional instrument or an invention natural to Athera - the answer is, it is natural to Athera. If you look it up in the glossary, there are indepth details on how it is tuned and strung. Fourteen strings - yes - if you are familiar with 'courses' (or doubled strings, either set unison or in octaves, think like a 12 string guitar, some are unison courses, some are octaves) and also, the two outer strings with no fret board behind them - drone strings, also in courses...more detail in the glossary. If you have any sort of question I will answer if it is not spoilery....otherwise I will leave you to read and draw your own conclusions. If you have a request, ask me here directly BY NAME - otherwise I will assume it is simply a discussion musing for talk among yourselves. FYI - you have about reached the tipping point, things will start to converge.
  14. If their interest is genuine, I am genuinely pleased to fit it into my schedule if I can. If it involves talking about a work I am not familiar with, or read awhile ago, I always make sure I have time to read the book ahead. Sometimes the schedule is set 'too close' for me to do that, in which case, I would decline rather than make a botch of it. Having something intelligent to say matters, and that means, taking time to know the subject.
  15. I have watched this topic rage all over the internet - and honestly? 'when' you are a 'real author' is something gatekeepers care about. Where the line is drawn, inclusion, exclusion, and in my opinion, you can fight the whole day long and never change a single mind, nor influence the hordes of new minds who come fresh to the argument. My take: it isn't what the 'crowd' or what 'anyone else!' thinks - it is all about what you think. Creativity is highly individual, how it is expressed is as different as we are - and what common ground we share. When you set off to create a work of any kind, you definitely leave the pack. It is a solo flight, unless you are working in collaboration. There will be those who encourage you to leave the pack and do your thing - they are pure gold. There will be many many more who want you to STAY within the lines, and not venture out where it is NOT safe (others will have opinions, and Oh My, they may not be NICE.) Well. Let that be their thing. With the advent of the internet and worse 'the like' button, the 'crowd' thinking is all over in your face. This can make it extremely hard to 'leave the pack' as what the pack thinks is not sheltered. (Not every group is as kindly and wonderful and thoughtful as this forum Steve has made - hats off to Steve). The LABEL does not matter! What matters, always, is what you do with what you have. And what you think about it. Sometimes crowd interactions are helpful, many times they are just plain mean, or just plain noise. Not everyone will like what you do anyhow, so why fret over a TERM for it. Write your work. Be the author you believe you are. Hone your craft. Worry about what matters. In this case (a label) I'd imagine what other people Call you doesn't matter a bit. Just my take...
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