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Topic: Mooch and Radnen are writers. (Read 1150 times) previous topic - next topic

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Mooch and Radnen are writers.
What the topic title says. I know I can talk peoples ears off for hours about my writing, so I figured I'd make a separate topic for just that.

Quote from: "Radnen"
I too am an unpublished writer! :) I am currently writing several novels... But I'm mainly sticking to a main one right now. It's a King Arthur novel (They seem like a dime a dozen, I know) but I'm incorporating some interesting elements, including characters from the Welsh Mabinogion, which fits well with Arthurian legend in some narrative vein. I have even begun creating a new language that borrows from both normal English pronunciation and Welsh/Gaelic words (native Welsh words are unkind to our humble English attempts at pronunciation).


Have you read Gene Wolfe's "The Wizard Knight?" It's an absolutely fantastic Arthurian-inspired, though original, fantasy. It's two books, confusingly The Knight as the first and The Wizard as the second. It's incredibly straightforward for a Gene Wolfe novel, which is refreshing from his normal Byzantine, labrynthine Gordonian knots of novels.

I'm a conlanger, too! I just love linguistics and the creator in me can't help making my own. I'm more of a conworlder, I'm pretty lazy as a conlanger, but I really don't have any intention of making a singular, perfect, fully-formed conlang. I'm perfectly happy doing just enough to make something visible and showable, and even just playing around with grammatical concepts.

I conworld and conlang for the sake of it, as well as sometimes for my various stories. Well, I guess technically any time I write a story that's not set on Earth I'm technically worldbuilding, but most of the time that process is naturalistic. I only really call it conworlding if I sit down and actually come up with what the world is like unto itself.

Quote from: "Radnen"
Another novel of mine takes place between the golden age of piracy and the Revolutionary War in an era known as the era of privateering. Most notable for the Seven Years War. The story follows one Adam Wright, a son of a carpenter who goes on a glorious adventure, but with privateers, slave traders, and the American Revolution. It revolves around a special (fictional) document that predates the Declaration of Independence and sets into motion the events of people in three continents (England, France and the American Colonies). Characters like Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin and Henrietta Howard make appearances and the fictional characters of Adam Wright molds these characters in small to large parts by merely being in a part of their history. This is put on hold now since I want it to be great, but I need to do a lot more research to make it the way I envision it. Unlike code, people are unwilling to read v2.4 of the story when I update it.


I'm not into historical fiction but that sounds pretty neat. And I also have stories I'm putting off because I'm not good enough yet. I'm actually currently working on a Young Adult novel (well, multiple, plus a children's fantasy series) which is both more marketable and less demanding of whatever talent I may possess.

Which isn't to say I think of them as lesser! All my stories are equally important to me (well, that's a lie, but it's close). It's just, all things being equal, writing something along the lines of Sabriel is less daunting than writing something along the lines of Lord of the Rings.

Not that I work principally in fantasy, but that is what my first few planned releases are. I actually just finished the extended outline for my one YAF novel the other day. Now for the comparably-arduous task of actually sitting down and writing it, lol.

Here's a question for you. What's your...relationship with your stories like? I very often hear published, professional writers speak of their books either like their precious babies or their temperamental lovers, and neither is remotely true for me.

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Re: Mooch and Radnen are writers.
Reply #1
Kid Arthur and the Locket of Avalon
For the King Arthur book, my relationship with it is very interesting. It was a love/hate relationship brewed out of efforts to complete NanoWriMo 2014. I only finished half of the story at 50,000 words, but then I scrapped nearly all of it because the story had a huge lack of planning and plot details. I began to rewrite it and am nearly at the same place as before, but with far more lore, and a better understanding of the druid language, Avalonian.

My inspiration for this comes from T. A. Barron who wrote the Young Adventures of Merlin YA novels. And from J. K. Rowling and her urban fantasy.

My King Arthur book follows a 16 year old kid named Arthur after his father who was the King Arthur of old and died on a great battlefield by the hand of Lancelot (not Mordred as the Welsh annals have shown). This 16 year old kid actually is from the present times, 1983 United States, but he was transported here by Emrys (Merlin) to protect him from the evils of Lancelot in a corrupted Avalon. Eventually Arthur meets Morgan a young girl bearing magical talent and re-enters the land to search for a missing boy. Turns out it becomes a lot more involved and he may eventually take over the throne to claim his father's kingdom for himself.

As for the language I'm making, it's not going to be fully fleshed out. Unfortunately, Tolkien was a linguist and I am not. But that still doesn't stop me from creating rhyming patterns, nouns and small couplets. The magic spells for instance are all welsh inspired words.

Gwynd = vines
Taan = fire
Mwy = great

So Mwy-Taan means "great fire" and could be used as a spell by a druid bearing the gift of greater magic (Merlin, Morgan, Vivienne, etc).

Adam Wright
As for the historical fiction, it's not a YA novel and is far more mature and darker. I'm trying to write it like an HBO show, keeping the mature themes of Starz's Black Sails, or Game of Thrones in mind.

There is an interesting history here though that has never been done before. There is a privateer, endorsed by Thomas Paine who wrote the pamphlet Common Sense. That privateer was known as William Death, and he was no fake. He took on contracts in the English Chanel and eventually dies in combat one day. I'm trying to mold him into a drinking, heavy-hitting, swashbuckling pirate privateer who does not do things "by the books". Adam Wright finds himself aboard his ship, and starts a grand plot involving secret societies, the French and a plot to take down the idea of a "United States" before the concept ever came about.

William Death hates the french, and stops at nothing to seek revenge. He is one of the characters in this book that are a part of a secret society started by Henrietta Howard, who was the King of England's mistress. She dislikes the English rule, and so started this society to turn the American Colonies into an independent nation. No "taxation without equal representation" as the Tea Party members said. Now in my book, I'm thinking of having Adam Wright, the main hero, mutter these words first, and so therefore starting a small blip in history. I want him to be the "Vessel of Instigation". Much like how Forrest Gump was through a later era of American history.

This book was NanoWrimo 2015.

For NaNoWrimo 2016 I'm thinking of doing something Sci-Fi, but probably won't complete it until these others are finished.

My King Arthur book has been in and out of production for nearly 12+ years! I started a book way back in early middle school. So it has been a long, long journey to get to where I am with it today. I think I'm on my 4th rewrite. The first attempts were just really bad.
  • Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 02:22:07 am by Radnen
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  • Mooch
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Re: Mooch and Radnen are writers.
Reply #2
Quote
My King Arthur book follows a 16 year old kid named Arthur after his father who was the King Arthur of old and died on a great battlefield by the hand of Lancelot (not Mordred as the Welsh annals have shown). This 16 year old kid actually is from the present times, 1983 United States, but he was transported here by Emrys (Merlin) to protect him from the evils of Lancelot in a corrupted Avalon. Eventually Arthur meets Morgan a young girl bearing magical talent and re-enters the land to search for a missing boy. Turns out it becomes a lot more involved and he may eventually take over the throne to claim his father's kingdom for himself.


Oh yeah. You definitely need to read The Wizard Knight. It's about a teenage kid from around 1950s or '60s America who, on a camping trip, wanders out into the woods and ends up in an original, but Arthurian-inspired fantasy world. The twist with this one is, when he wakes up there, he has the body of an adult. So that's how people see him and treat him. At first he just wants to find a way back home, but he ends up getting caught up in the affairs of the kingdom.

It's treatment of elves and faries and magic is particularly interesting, as is the conceit of a child trapped in an adult's body as the main character. It's multi-layered world is also something very fascinating that I haven't seen done elsewhere. I'm sure it has been, it's just rare enough that I haven't encountered it.

The whole book is framed as an epistolary from the boy to his older brother back home in America, so it's strictly first-person, which both allows the story to move at a very brisk pace (if something didn't happen directly to him, even if it happens moments later to a character he was just speaking to, it doesn't happen on page) and cover a lot of ground in two relatively-short books, and lets us have direct insight into this boy-in-a-man's-body as he deals with that complication.

Quote
As for the historical fiction, it's not a YA novel and is far more mature and darker. I'm trying to write it like an HBO show, keeping the mature themes of Starz's Black Sails, or Game of Thrones in mind.


Ooh, if you're doing something HBO-ish, have you tried writing in unusual ways? Because I also have a story that's intended to be HBO-like (actually, my inspiration is ABC's Lost), and I've actually decided to write it as a script first, and then fill in narration to make it a book.

I'm a very lazy, negligent writer, and I've found in recent months that breaking away from writing prose in the typical fashion helps. I'm writing another story as a play-by-post forum RPG, but with myself, and that's also coming along nicely, as is the script-y one. Both coming along much more nicely than my traditional efforts at writing prose in the typical way.

Quote
There is an interesting history here though that has never been done before. There is a privateer, endorsed by Thomas Paine who wrote the pamphlet Common Sense. That privateer was known as William Death, and he was no fake. He took on contracts in the English Chanel and eventually dies in combat one day. I'm trying to mold him into a drinking, heavy-hitting, swashbuckling pirate privateer who does not do things "by the books". Adam Wright finds himself aboard his ship, and starts a grand plot involving secret societies, the French and a plot to take down the idea of a "United States" before the concept ever came about.


Will your William Death be played by Johnny Depp? :p

This is actually sounding like something that would get picked up by HBO. Or maybe the History Channel...once they get bored of Ancient Alien shows.

Quote
William Death hates the french, and stops at nothing to seek revenge. He is one of the characters in this book that are a part of a secret society started by Henrietta Howard, who was the King of England's mistress. She dislikes the English rule, and so started this society to turn the American Colonies into an independent nation. No "taxation without equal representation" as the Tea Party members said. Now in my book, I'm thinking of having Adam Wright, the main hero, mutter these words first, and so therefore starting a small blip in history. I want him to be the "Vessel of Instigation". Much like how Forrest Gump was through a later era of American history.


You could be cute and switch it around. Have Adam, in some private meeting, say something like, "until we secure equal representation, we shan't accept taxation," and then Ben Franklin, being the smooth speaker and trisky Hobbit that he is, at some public event whips out "no taxation without representation." Adam could even be on the sidelines with a "jerk stole my line" look on his face.

It breaks heavily from actual history, but a scene like that would be gold.

Quote
My King Arthur book has been in and out of production for nearly 12+ years! I started a book way back in early middle school. So it has been a long, long journey to get to where I am with it today. I think I'm on my 4th rewrite. The first attempts were just really bad.


Yeesh. It's crazy how long it can take to write a book.

I've been working on my big children's fantasy series since the summer of 2006. I'll never forget it, because it's a multi-book series and when it was first coming to me and I was coming up with titles for the books, the final book in the series was going to be called "The Four Deathly Kings." It's a play on "four heavenly kings." However, mere WEEKS later, Jo Rowling announced the title for the final Harry Potter book. "The Deathly Hallows."

I was like, "aww, come on!" Because my series is about a boy who stumbles into a parallel magical fantasy world, so I knew regardless of how different it might be, in a post-Harry Potter world, it's invariably going to get compared to Harry Potter. So there's no way I can use that title.

It's fine. I've come up with a different, cohesive naming structure for the series altogether since then, but still. There'll always be a silly part of me that's like, "Jo Rowling stole my adjective!"

~ ~ ~

I meant something a little different by "relationship to one's books," though. I meant in a more abstract, general sense. Like, I mentioned how a lot of authors say that their writings are like their children, for example.You hear a lot of talk like, "oh, I don't have a favorite among my books, they're all equally important to me," and they'll say they religiously avoid reading reviews because reading a negative review about their book is like someone saying something terrible about their children and they just can't bear to hear that.

Or you have a lot of authors that talk about their books like their lovers, guarding them jealously and passionately. These are the types who make a fuss about fan fiction "ruining" their books, or bemoan film or television versions of their book for "sullying" the story by changing something. These kinds of authors typically do read reviews, and occasionally, react very badly to a negative review, attacking the reviewer for failing to see the brilliance of their book, in the same way you might defend a spouse if someone slung an insult at them.

To varying extremes and degrees (and acknowledging that it's a continuum, not an either-or), I see these attitudes a lot. A lot a lot. The wide majority of writers I know say that their books are like their children. That's a very common sentiment. And I just don't remotely feel that way.

My books feel more like...partners, or old friends. Entities that I adore, but respect, and trust to be able to stand on their own. I don't feel the need to protect them like they're precious babies, or justify them to people who don't like them. I've just never felt a super-emotional response to criticism of any of my writings, or existential dread at the notion that someone might think they're completely lacking merit.

To be fair, I have not yet published any of my works. Very few people have seen any of my writings, and almost all of those who have have been face-to-face with me. Maybe once I put my first work out there into the world and an online reviewer tears it to shreds, I might become more jealous and defensive.

But for me, right now, I feel like, "my work can stand up on its own." I don't feel the need to hold its hand like a dottering preschooler and guard it from the harshness of the world and explain to the other parents that it's "gifted" and complain to the teacher when it doesn't get first place. I have faith in my writing. I'm eager to put something out, let it leave me, and watch it blossom.

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Re: Mooch and Radnen are writers.
Reply #3

Oh yeah. You definitely need to read The Wizard Knight. It's about a teenage kid from around 1950s or '60s America who, on a camping trip, wanders out into the woods and ends up in an original, but Arthurian-inspired fantasy world. The twist with this one is, when he wakes up there, he has the body of an adult. So that's how people see him and treat him. At first he just wants to find a way back home, but he ends up getting caught up in the affairs of the kingdom.

It's treatment of elves and faries and magic is particularly interesting, as is the conceit of a child trapped in an adult's body as the main character. It's multi-layered world is also something very fascinating that I haven't seen done elsewhere. I'm sure it has been, it's just rare enough that I haven't encountered it.

The whole book is framed as an epistolary from the boy to his older brother back home in America, so it's strictly first-person, which both allows the story to move at a very brisk pace (if something didn't happen directly to him, even if it happens moments later to a character he was just speaking to, it doesn't happen on page) and cover a lot of ground in two relatively-short books, and lets us have direct insight into this boy-in-a-man's-body as he deals with that complication.


Got ya. I'll check it out then. I just finished reading Lord of the Rings the other day, which is actually the first time I read it. I knew of the story from watching the movies, but I had never ventured so far as to actually reading the books. Partly because of how expansive the story is in both plot and lore. I think books like that, after you finish reading them, make you a better author. I really have far more respect for the journey that a person goes on. Because my Arthur book is an adventure novel, I wanted to take inspiration from one of the greatest adventures ever told. Proir to this I have read the Hobbit, however so I knew things from that story too.


Ooh, if you're doing something HBO-ish, have you tried writing in unusual ways? Because I also have a story that's intended to be HBO-like (actually, my inspiration is ABC's Lost), and I've actually decided to write it as a script first, and then fill in narration to make it a book.

I'm a very lazy, negligent writer, and I've found in recent months that breaking away from writing prose in the typical fashion helps. I'm writing another story as a play-by-post forum RPG, but with myself, and that's also coming along nicely, as is the script-y one. Both coming along much more nicely than my traditional efforts at writing prose in the typical way.


I know the feeling. I have written in script fashion before, sometimes dialog between people to flesh out mood and personality. But altogether I had written first drafts of my Adam Wright novel as diary entries. I still keep a bit of that format around by writing in first person and dating each chapter with a time and place.


I meant something a little different by "relationship to one's books," though. I meant in a more abstract, general sense. Like, I mentioned how a lot of authors say that their writings are like their children, for example.You hear a lot of talk like, "oh, I don't have a favorite among my books, they're all equally important to me," and they'll say they religiously avoid reading reviews because reading a negative review about their book is like someone saying something terrible about their children and they just can't bear to hear that.


Oh so as for that kind of relationship, I did hold my older King Arthur stories close, but on this latest rewrite it has just become an old friend, because technically that's what it is. My other writings like the Adam Wright story I feel detached from and sort of alien to. If that story tanked or got huge I wouldn't really care either way, though certainly I'm hoping it'd be big someday.

In fact I held on to my stories so close I actually didn't read much else in terms of fantasy. It may have been my favorite genre but I had fears I'd read something I did that was done already. Nowadays, I rather enjoy reading new fantasy, not because it was done over and over again, but because it can help me offer new perspectives, new insights into what may or may not happen.

I would take criticism on a book. I feel I don't get enough of it. I think of myself as a perfectionist, but truthfully it's really a matter of how the public perceives it and I can only be so good.

Stephen King, for example, is an animal. He says things like, "If you hadn't finished a novel in three months, there's no way you're willing to go back to it and finish it off... Might as well start a new novel." But, dammit, I'm not a plot-providing machine! Sometimes a good story has good lore and it my mean taking time away to think of these new histories and areas. And I'm not a writer by trade, it's just one of very many hobbies that I have. I could write easily a chapter a month and finish in 4 years.
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Re: Mooch and Radnen are writers.
Reply #4
Never finished Rings myself, but maybe I should. Especially with as many modern fantasy authors trying to distance themselves from it and maybe even talk a little smack on it. I watched a panel on magic systems on Youtube the other day and there was a little bit of an anti-Tolkein bent. Like, "here's what he did wrong, and that's why my magic works this different way." And of course George RR Martin says a lot of "with all due respect" stuff about Tolkein, and he's a pretty big voice in fantasy at the moment. I wanna read it to confirm my suspicions -- that it's actually WAY better than any of the stuff of any of the atuhors smacktalking it.

Rings was too...advanced for me last time I tried to tackle it, but that was a long time ago. I actually hated reading as a kid, only started in college.

I know what you mean about LotR making you feel like a better writer, though. Wolfe's Book of the New Sun made me feel like a smarter person after reading it, let alone better writer. I've since heard it described of him that "he's smart to make you smart" as opposed to show off how smart he is and lorde it over you.

Who's your favorite author?

Quote
Oh so as for that kind of relationship, I did hold my older King Arthur stories close, but on this latest rewrite it has just become an old friend, because technically that's what it is. My other writings like the Adam Wright story I feel detached from and sort of alien to. If that story tanked or got huge I wouldn't really care either way, though certainly I'm hoping it'd be big someday.


I don't not care either way. Given that I'm semi-abled and have no hope of ever holding a normal job, I really, really care if my books are successful, heh. It's just, that's a practical concern, not an emotional one or a yearning for validation. I won't talk in terms of good and bad, but I'm happy with the kind of writer I am, so I'm not looking for praise or accolades. Though success enough to live off would be nice.

Quote
In fact I held on to my stories so close I actually didn't read much else in terms of fantasy. It may have been my favorite genre but I had fears I'd read something I did that was done already. Nowadays, I rather enjoy reading new fantasy, not because it was done over and over again, but because it can help me offer new perspectives, new insights into what may or may not happen.


I think all writers are like that at a young enough age. If you visit writing forums, you'll see that a lot -- "hey, I have this idea but I don't want anyone to steal it, but I want some critique, so sign this contract and send me an encrypted email if you wanna look over my stuff." I was like that, too.

Quote
Stephen King, for example, is an animal. He says things like, "If you hadn't finished a novel in three months, there's no way you're willing to go back to it and finish it off... Might as well start a new novel." But, dammit, I'm not a plot-providing machine! Sometimes a good story has good lore and it my mean taking time away to think of these new histories and areas. And I'm not a writer by trade, it's just one of very many hobbies that I have. I could write easily a chapter a month and finish in 4 years.


He said in a back-and-forth with George RR Martin recently that he writes six pages a day, every day. That's how he writes so many books -- if you think about it, that means sixty pages every ten days, about 180 pages a month. Factor in variable lengths and editing and that's four books a year.

His style allows for that sort of thing, though. He doesn't write second world epic fantasy, which requires hugely planned and plotted backstories and such. He just sits down and starts writing and whatever comes out comes out.

I'm currently aiming for one complete "scene" per day.

Sorry if I'm talking your ear off, by the way. All my RL friends have heard me blab about my writing so much that I'm starting to feel guilty, lol. And I'm not a member of any writing forums.

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Reply #5

Never finished Rings myself, but maybe I should. Especially with as many modern fantasy authors trying to distance themselves from it and maybe even talk a little smack on it. I watched a panel on magic systems on Youtube the other day and there was a little bit of an anti-Tolkein bent. Like, "here's what he did wrong, and that's why my magic works this different way." And of course George RR Martin says a lot of "with all due respect" stuff about Tolkein, and he's a pretty big voice in fantasy at the moment. I wanna read it to confirm my suspicions -- that it's actually WAY better than any of the stuff of any of the atuhors smacktalking it.


Those authors smack-talking Tolkein have no idea what they are talking about. "Magic Systems" in my humble opinion is the death of magic in fantasy, and it stems from Gygax who completely fucked up magic for all for ever by putting points, scales, cooldowns, counters, rests, etc into the minds of people. Screw that. Magic is magic, it is used, it is scarce and by all means it should not ever be a "Deus Ex Machina" unless there was a reason for it. Magic in Tolkien is severely downplayed and has far reaching, but subtle effects like the draw of the One Ring, the glow of the Light of Eärendil, etc. Gandalf had Deus Ex Machina moments, such as the bridge scene with the Balrog, but in all honesty it's not that bad.


I think all writers are like that at a young enough age. If you visit writing forums, you'll see that a lot -- "hey, I have this idea but I don't want anyone to steal it, but I want some critique, so sign this contract and send me an encrypted email if you wanna look over my stuff." I was like that, too.


I'm still like that at times. Because a good idea is literally worth a million bucks these days. And if Hollywood is going to continue to look toward Authors to make inspiring movies, I would definitely like to have some of my ideas under lock and key until they are published. But random pages and transcripts and other things I wouldn't mind sharing.

I mean I created some fictional herbs called Lathá and Menyá. I can talk about that because I doubt someone will steal that concept since these are unique words in my world. I have a name for the moon, Theád, a feminine object that emits it's own light and is 5 to 6 times bigger than our moon (Luna).


Sorry if I'm talking your ear off, by the way. All my RL friends have heard me blab about my writing so much that I'm starting to feel guilty, lol. And I'm not a member of any writing forums.


Have you ever tried NanoWrimo? It's a contest where you write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. There's a community with a forum and you can set your daily goal and check in your progress. I have done it the last two years and may do it again this year.
  • Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 10:31:12 pm by Radnen
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