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u/TempestheDragon · 1 pointr/fantasywriters

Hey BamBam! :-)

Usually, with my critiques, I tend to separate things that can be improved on and things that I like in different segments. But because there are so many things that I liked about it, but at the same time can be improved on, it's hard to split them.

>The fire before him blazed high and bright, a beacon in the dark of night. Derek only hoped it attracted whom he wanted.

As interesting as this intro is, I'd feel it could be revised. For example: "The fire before him blazed high and bright, a beacon in the dark of night." doesn't show me any mood of the story. It just gives me a very... sterile image of a torch at night.

Then goes on,
> A host of beings, man and beast, prowled the rolling hills...

I felt the entire first paragraph and even a good bit of the first page don't really convey any fear or doubts. Right now, he's in the middle of a beast nest with a torch. Is he wiping his clammy hands on his wolf pelt? Is he looking left and right? Is he having doubts about being there? I want to feel the story, BamBam.

3) I feel the dialogue at the beginning of page 2 could be a just a bit more lively. It's noted that Bruin is sarcastic, so it would be great to hear just a smidge bit more sarcasm and snappy come-backs. It would make a cute contrast between DEREK THE RUGGED RANGER and Bruin the pest. :P
But this opinion is purely personal.

>“I think that’s what worries her. You a man, and one now womanless. She said a woman keeps a man from doing foolish things.”
Derek guffawed, nearly falling back with laughter.

Hehe. I just love me some good humor. :-) But one thing that seemed odd is how Derek reacted with humor when just a few paragraphs earlier, he was reflecting on fond memories with his wife and daughter.

At seeing him laugh when reminded of his dead wife, I felt a pang of annoyance and didn't like Derek as much. Perhaps... he could be laughing on the outside but on the inside he's sickened with painful memories. This outer and inner of Derek can give his character a lot of depth. But that's just a suggestion. :-)

>“I should go.”
“Too late for that now, boy.

My heart lurched at this. Really, it did. In paragraph one, you talked of monsters, guys on horseback, being seen miles away, then of the town not being safe. You built up to this point beautifully, BamBam. I have a sickening feeling that Bruin might die.

>“You’re about to find out. Keep your mouth shut. Speak only when spoken too.”

How does Bruin react to this? I was hoping for a snappy comeback from him.

>They mean to surround us.

How does Derek emotionally react to this? Is Bruin going white with fear? Is Derek thinking about protecting himself or is he racking his brain, wondering how to keep Bruin safe? Is he doubting his choice coming out here?

8) I really like the way you portray the horsemen at page 3.
>we hill men are more interested in women.” A thunderous laugh rose from the clansmen.

Just in that bit of dialogue spoke volumes about the men and their lack of morality. Instead of saying: "they're rapists and bad people" you showed me it. Good job. :-)

> Gon rushed him. “How do you know that name? Are you an ally of his?”
“Enemy,” Derek said.

Right around at this point, I'm wondering how Bruin is taking all this in. Is he shifting awkwardly from foot to foot? Is he still standing tall or is he shrinking away, intimidated by the information and the clansmen?

>“Don’t worry, Bruin.” I’ll figure something out. “I thank my mother for sending you. The Lord works through her. Without you as a hostage I doubt I would be able to make this deal, now go. Karbok has honor. You will be safe.”

Seeing this Derek's insensitivity to Bruin's fear makes me not like him. Derek is willing to risk Bruin's life for a trade.

Maybe try this same sort of thing, but have it be different. Perhaps, one of the horsemen swoops in and grabs Bruin. When Derek tries to get him back, other horsemen come in.

11) I really liked the duel in the beginning of chapter 2. It gave insight to the culture of the tribe and introduced another tribe member. I also love Bruins' snappy comments about Oda's wife.

12) On page 9, the dialogue in Tarrik's tent is a bit lacking. Not so much in words but more in feeling. Is Tarrik glaring at Oda for suggesting war? Is Oda stepping back at Tarrik's annoyance? In that scene, I don't feel much tension between tribesman and tribes master.

13) I really like Oda's character. I get the sense that he's a traitor which makes the plot... just as juicy as the lamb he just ate. Well done!

Overall I felt it was very well-written. You did a good job of giving context only when it was relevant and not just random info-dumps. There are some descriptions that can be a bit more detailed, but that can be changed.
But there are two big things I didn't like about it. First is Derek's insensitivity. Sure, some insensitivity can be forgiven, but this... willing to risk Bruin's life is unforgiveable. I also feel there is a overall lack of emotion, mood, and tone in most of the story. But just zooming in a bit more on showing how the characters feel can help.

Another thing... as much as I liked this part of the story, I feel these two chapters could be the middle. Personally, I'd think the best beginning would be a nice bit of daily life before hell breaks lose. It would be cool to see Derek, his daughter, and his wife being chill, I start to like them, then... BOOM! They're dead. It would be amazing to see Derek's grief and growing thirst for vengeance.
But it's just a suggestion. :-)

I'd also highly recommend The Hero With A Thousand Faces to give a hand with story structure. :-)

But yeah, assuming from the up votes, you've been PMed other critiques. So I'm really curious to see how it's updated and goes on! Just wondering, how long have you been writing, BamBam?

Anyway, you did an amazing job building up tension. I like how you began with a strong conflict and made me ask wonder what's going to happen right off the bat. Sometimes, when I read unpublished work, I get bored quickly... but no, your writing kept me very interested. For every one thing that I felt could be improved on, there were many more tidbits that I loved about your work. You have some serious potential as a writer, BamBam! :D

u/behemothpanzer · 7 pointsr/fantasywriters

You have talent, keep working and you'll be fine.

The harshness,

You're making simple verb-tense errors all over your piece. Is it taking place in past-tense? he fed small grapes into her mouth
Or is it taking place in present-tense? she pouts to him, before he looks to her with an icy scowl

Both are acceptable. I personally prefer present-tense because I feel it adds immediacy and tension, but that's entirely a personal thing and should have no bearing on your own choices, but you need to make a choice and stick with it.

You need to format your writing properly before you show it to people. Things like paragraph breaks and indentations for lines of dialogue, and there are a couple of sentences where meaning completely breaks down, To an outside observer, he might seem slightly schizophrenic with his self affection, and quite considerably moronic of Strel, there was an observer. I have no idea what the second part of this sentence is supposed to convey.

There are a few points where your sentence construction gets a little clumsy, where the words get in the way of meaning or feeling, Strel made a vicious grin as a robed and turban-bound being huddled where it once was. (Made a vicious grin? Where what once was?)

wild were the actions of the people enamored with it (Enamoured with the market? How were their actions wild?)

However, there is a clear sense of creativity in your writing and a sense of determination to put words together in interesting ways that is impressive for someone of your age. If I were your English teacher, and I teach High School English, I'd be encouraging the hell out of you to keep writing because I think there is a lot of potential here.

Right now my suggestions would be to read everything you can. In particular, look beyond fantasy to books which are highly regarded for their literary merit. I'd strongly recommend Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses), Orhan Pamuk (My Name is Red), and Hillary Mantel (Wolf Hall).

As a fantasy fan there are things to really like in all of these books, and they're all examples of what writers at the absolute peak of the craft are capable of doing with language.

The second thing I'd suggest is to practice writing short pieces. It's all well and good to leap into a novel, but the ability to structure a beginning, middle, and end to a story is vital. If you can get classic story-structure skills mastered at a young age you're way, way, way ahead of the curve.

Finally, read The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. It's a non-fiction book about what Campbell calls "The Monomyth." A classic mythical story-structure repeated over and over and over again in mythic tales from around the world, and utterly essential reading for anyone who wants to write Fantasy.

u/philter25 · 1 pointr/fantasywriters

I know it's hard to hear that your story isn't up to snuff. Seriously, I get it. I spent seven years writing a novel and had some guy stop reading it after the first paragraph. You're in the submitting game, my friend. Your story is ONLY as long as people are willing to read. I know you technically wrote more, but you gave zero reason for anyone to stick around, so yes, your story does not progress beyond the first couple hundred words, at best. That's the honest truth. I took time out of my day to convey that--agents usually don't. So I encourage you to refrain from showing frustration directed towards future readers.

Since you brought up The Hobbit, I would also encourage you to dwell on two things. One, the difference between Tolkien and you is that he is published many times over. The Hobbit is not a manuscript. The story goes on with or without a magazine's opinion, or a redditor's opinion, on whether or not it should be published.

Secondly, go back and read The Hobbit, or any book for that matter, and compare and contrast with what they have written and what you have written. You will find no published author doing what you have done. That's usually a good indication that some heavy editing needs to happen. And even if I were to not read The Hobbit after its first page or so like I did yours, The Hobbit does not start out in a room with nothing happening but talking. In fact it throws out many amazing images and action, lots of sights and sounds that move quickly from one paragraph to another. It's not some dude drinking tea. Making comparisons between oneself and a prolific author is dangerous grounds to not be taken seriously. I know your heart is in it, but since you want to be published I would advise you look into how you're responding. How you respond to criticism is probably more valuable than the actual critcism.

Below is a link to a good book for beginning writers that comes highly recommended and I think could help you. "How Not to Write a Novel."

Many books out there are people's personal opinions on how TO write a novel, but this book takes the opposite approach and shows everything that gets writers almost instantly rejected. I think it's a great read.

u/crowqueen · 1 pointr/fantasywriters

I'd enjoy reading the rest of the story. It's always good to see people bring their creations to life. However, How Not To Write A Novel puts dream sequences into its list of things it doesn't think belongs in literature (of any genre). (Seriously, it's hilarious; everyone serious about writing should read it. It's not infallible, but it's a complete gas.)

Dream sequences are odd beasts (2 links). Sometimes, they can be too specific, and sometimes too vague; the problem is, dreams in real life are far too abstract to make sense of at the time, and aren't often terribly interesting at the point at which they happen. People put them in stories to give the reader an abstract prediction of what's going to happen later on, because they have to be relevant to be included. This can heighten tension, but equally, when they're just random sequences of events (is there going to be an actual rotting man in the story? if so, you've just spoiled us. If not...why write one in?), it can seem like a waste of words.

Thing is, I can't remember reading a professionally-written/editd book where I saw into a character's dreams except for the purposes of psychic action (such as the excellent Twinborn series by our own /u/JSMorin, where dreams have a mechanical reason to exist and operate with consistent rules, events within them being perceived accurately). I experiment with waking moments of precognition --- a man in my WIP has a psychic insight through the shock of walking in on two people engaging in an intimate moment, rather than sleep. Dreams make it into Morin's book because they add to the magical mystery of the book. I've used characters sleeping to scry on someone else. So used sensibly, dreams can add rather than detract from the story.

I think a more interesting device could be a PTSD flashback. If the character once saw a man rot from inside (say, from gangrene or tuberculosis) and this is a relevant situation for the story or to depict a person suffering from past trauma, then yeah, that fits the tone of the book. You could show this as a waking nightmare, which could cripple someone at an inopportune moment, or it could alternatively offer them an immediate insight into what's hiding in plain sight. But just running across an abyss --- what is the relevance to the plot? why show us this metaphor when you could show us concrete reflection in the waking world?

Bascially, all this scene really tells us is that a great trial awaits Jaen. All that word-count and imagery just to tell us, essentially, what we know because Jaen is a character in a fantasy novel. It's like someone writing a scene in which the characters are planning something - is there really a need for them to walk us through the events of the next scene?

So what you've got to ask yourself is, how much does this add to your story --- how much does it really add --- and how much does it just strike you as a pretty piece of writing shaped like itself without a real purpose except to give us some hallucinatory imagery and basically what we already know.

u/alexsbradshaw · 1 pointr/fantasywriters

Hey everyone,

I've been working on an anthology of stories that have won the Monthly Challenge and I've finally finished it :)

It's got loads of brilliant stories, from right here in this very subreddit, and is obviously free. I really love the stories and it's so nice to be able to help get some of the work of the brilliant members of this subreddit out there.

Here's an image of the cover. (also sorry the resolution may be massive).

And here's the Smashwords link.

Here's a link to Amazon UK, and to Amazon US.

If it's not showing up as free on Amazon I would really appreciate it if you could report a lower price using the Smashwords link so that we can get it permanently free on all platforms :) (I couldn't set it to completely free).

u/lonewolfandpub · 5 pointsr/fantasywriters

Congrats on making it this far!

Here's my constructive criticism: Your concept is cool, but your prose is stilted, clunky, and awkward, and you need a more evocative cover to draw a buyer's attention.

I really think your book would benefit from a professional editor's touch; the feedback would vastly improve the quality of your writing, and it'd help you achieve your goals of learning and developing as a writer.

If you can't afford an editor's services, please buy a copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style for your personal reference. It's 90 pages of wisdom that will change your writing for the better; it won't be the same as getting an editor's feedback, but it will be a distinct improvement.

u/AuthorSAHunt · 5 pointsr/fantasywriters

I can tell you what doesn't work.

Writing good books doesn't work because no one will read them regardless of how good they are unless you give them away for free.

Giving books away for free doesn't work because no one will value a free book, and even if it's good they won't tell their friends about it unless you hound them mercilessly. And freebie downloads don't boost your Amazon rank anymore because Amazon broke the algorithm. So you'll give away two thousand books in the space of an afternoon and flip back over to a Paid rank in the hundred-thousands.

Paying for adverts doesn't work because people either ignore them or AdBlock them.

Blog bullshit like blog-hops, guest spots, etc etc doesn't work because readers don't read them, other writers do. Unless it's a YA or romance book, and even then it's only a little less than a crapshoot.

Tooting your own horn doesn't work because nobody likes a book-plugger.

Engagement doesn't work because you're not supposed to plug your own book and spam everybody, but nobody knows you even write books because you never mention it. You might as well just be Some Dude.

Getting lots of great reviews doesn't work because nobody pays attention to good or bad reviews thanks to trolls and sock puppets. Look at my reviews. Great, huh? I'd say about four-fifths of them are asked-for reviews from books hand-delivered to individual readers. The rest are from a BookBub promotion. I sell, at most, 3-4 books a week. And that's a good week.

u/bugontherug · 2 pointsr/fantasywriters

> Thanks so much for the lesson!

Strong, active voice construction. Good start.

> This is going to be a huge help.

Avoiding passive voice will make a huge difference in your writing. But it does take conscious effort. "To be" just comes too naturally to people.

If you don't already own a copy, pick up [this book]( /dp/020530902X) ASAP. It reads fast, and will improve your writing ten generations overnight. Keep it as a reference manual. Refer to it often.

Good luck!

u/lordhegemon · 3 pointsr/fantasywriters

Steps towards Finding an Agent

  1. Think of authors who write books very similar to what you write.
  2. Email said authors and ask them a) who is there agent? and b) what is their opinion of that agent?
  3. Make sure the agent is someone representing the sort of fiction you want to write. Probably 50% and above of queries agents receive are for fiction they don't represent.
  4. Query that agent.

    Editing your Novel

    Now, if you're looking for help editing your book, you probably want to find a freelance editor. This can be expensive. The fellow I use, Joshua Essoe charges around $30 an hour for editing, but he's really freaking good.

    This can get expensive depending on how well edited your novel is. It wouldn't be uncommon to expect shelling out $1k+. Before submitting anything, do your own revisions and copyedit. Expect to spend about half as long as you did writing the novel. This includes fixing content and continuity, typos, voice, descriptions, etc. The more of this you fix on your own, the less you end up paying the freelance editor.

    Hope this helps.

    Further Reading

    The First Five Pages. This book is specifically tailored towards getting out of the slush pile.

    Writing Query Letters I'd recommend this for the process of query writing. A good query will get you farther than just about anything else.
u/Artemis_Aquarius · 1 pointr/fantasywriters

>'Artemis' is a hunter, Aquarius the water-bringer of peace.

:) Yes, indeed, they sure are. And if you really like puzzles, see if you can work out which story is mine. Don't cheat and search the subreddit. But you can search the rest of the Internet. You might win something. :)

u/MichaelCoorlim · 1 pointr/fantasywriters

I don't bother much with KDP select anymore, as the changes in Amazon's affiliate program has made free giveaways less appealing to book bloggers; their affiliate codes don't bring in the cash anymore.

Unfortunately even if you're not in it for the money a steady production schedule is the only way to keep visible. Amazon heavily weights its search results towards new releases. If it takes you a year to publish another book, well, by the time that year has past your first book has been hidden in search obscurity for 10 months.

There are only really two things I can suggest.

  1. Be prolific. I strongly suggest the book 2k to 10k; it's about doubled my productivity and even if you can't do everything the author suggests, it might have a tip or two that helps you.

  2. Write quality content. Someone once said that every writer has a million words of trash to put out before they can write a single word of gold, so keep writing. Write every day, even if it's just a thousand words. Practice makes perfect, right?

    Anyway, good luck.
u/legalpothead · 3 pointsr/fantasywriters

If you have the good fortune to take a class in fiction writing, they talk about the mechanics of storyform, how stories are composed, what sort of structures they have, what the parts are and how they are related. It can be invaluable information.

Out here in the world, there's no one to tell you how to write a novel. You're supposed to just try doing it until you can somehow teach yourself how to do it, I guess. But that could take 20 years...

So one of the best things you can do to help yourself is to read a couple good books on storywriting.

Write Your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell is $4 and 100 pages. Put it on your phone and you can read it in a couple afternoons. Bell's premise is that most great stories have a special type of scene, and that if you can nail that scene, the rest of the story, forward and back, will practically fall into place. It's an inspirational book that will get you pumped.

And if you find that helpful, you should get Bell's Plot and Structure. I've read a lot of books on writing, and this has been one of the most helpful.

Beyond that, How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James Frey is great.

Writing Active Hooks by Mary Buckham is indispensable. No one tells you how to manage hooks, but they're a critical part of a story.




Beyond that, you just have to write shit. Your writing ability is a muscle; you need to exercise it to make it grow stronger. Every day, seven days a week, sit down and force yourself to pound out 1000 words of...whatever; nonsense, dreams, freeform imagery, snippets of scenes or ideas. Type it all into one big file, and make a new file every time you get above 100K.

You need to train yourself not to write awkward phrases. In order to do this, you first need to write all those awkward phrases.

Write 1000 words, every day, for 3 months.

Then look at the results. You'll see a tangible difference between when you started and when you finished. It really does work.

u/TarekBadr · 1 pointr/fantasywriters

So I guess this is my moment to celebrate as my book is OUT NOW! It’s Available on amazon as an ebook or paperback. It’s Called Chaos Storm by Tarek Badr.
This has been a dream for the past 10 years and it’s finally here and I can’t be happier. Link below to check it out if you wish. I hope you all get to this moment one day and feel the way I feel. Love to all.

Paperback :

u/roughskull · 1 pointr/fantasywriters

I finished my novel a while ago, but the post-finishing stuff tripped me up for a bit. Exporting, formatting, researching what keywords to use to hopefully find readers, getting a blurb ready for Amazon, choosing to make it available on KDP select, pricing, all of that has been an interesting challenge very different from the actual writing process.

It's an epic dark fantasy about a woman who is a Sympath, someone who can directly affect the minds of others nearby, whether she wants to or not. People like her are pariahs in her world, and are lucky if they are only exiled, for a Sympath cannot be jailed.

I'm straightening out the print version right now for Createspace, which is yet another new experience. I tried formatting it in Word and was unsatisfied, so now I'm trying InDesign.

The Amazon link is The Hidden Ones

My website is

u/Lost_Pathfinder · 3 pointsr/fantasywriters

It's super crunch time at work so I've been getting almost no writing done, though it's been scratching at me that I need to get back to it.

In other news, yesterday was the 5th anniversary of my first and only adventure in publishing, a short story collection I wrote called Across The Battlefield. It's historical short fiction stories and one speculative story as well. You could probably read it on a single coffee break. It's up for free on amazon.

I'm hoping to get some writing done next week once things at work cool down a little, so fingers crossed.

u/DimitriTheMad · 3 pointsr/fantasywriters

I noticed you mentioned having Grammar and style errors, if you want some help with grammar and style let me link you two extremely helpful books that are very low bullshit for their price:

The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition:

This is the best book for grammar help in my opinion, it's especially helpful if you still have to write essays.

On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft:

The first half of this book is a memoir, but the second half is absolutely packed with good advice for novels, regardless the genre.

The first book will help you catch those Grammar errors before you go back with another story, and the second will help you with Style. IE your "The elf walked with grace to the door." Sentence and how to avoid Adverbs.

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/fantasywriters

When I was taking composition classes in college the first paper I submitted to my professor drove him up a wall because I come from a poetry background, so my commas were wherever I damn well pleased them to be, his only written comments were THIS, HAS, GOT, TO, STOP, and it was only my first submission. So I get the comma splice struggle, I often, and highly suggest Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, (9 dollars) that helped me with a lot of my grammar woes and gave me a roadmap for understanding and developing style. It has a list of 20 something "rules" for style do's and don'ts that were fairly revelatory for me, to have them laid plainly out was a godsend. Its a tiny book you could read in an evening but its a reference not a novel.

Everything else I mentioned just comes with reading a ton of books and sharing my writing with people who are far better at this stuff than I am, it is wise to revel in being deconstructed, I certainly do.

u/Manrante · 1 pointr/fantasywriters

Well, this is a setting, but it's not a plot. I don't really care about what happened 250 years ago. Giving a history lesson instead of a story is the quickest way to lose a reader. All these details might be valuable as backstory, and it's important that you know them, but this isn't an effective presentation to hook a reader.

I agree with muffinprincess that you should be able to summarize your plot in one paragraph.

To hook the reader, it's no good to relate a series of events. You want to develop a compelling and interesting main character. The story isn't about the events, it's about your main character, and the personal transformation they undergo through the course of the story. You want a main character the reader can sympathize with and identify with, someone who has a problem they can't solve.

I recommend you get James Scott Bell's Write Your Novel from the Middle. It's 100 pages, and it's $4. You can download it onto your phone and read it in an afternoon or two. He talks about finding the defining moment of your story (which is also the defining moment of your main character). Once you have that, the rest of the story almost falls into place.

u/AllDreamNoDrive · 25 pointsr/fantasywriters

It’s a bit eccentric, but Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer is a fun read and has a ton of great writing advice geared towards fantasy and speculative fiction.

u/SmallFruitbat · 1 pointr/fantasywriters

I'm a fan of Limyaael's Rants for inspiration.

I occasionally have some luck with also, especially the generators and Mary Sue litmus test.

The Tough Guide to Fantasyland is also supposed to be helpful, though I haven't read it yet.

If formulas are more your thing, try some beat sheets as a starting point.

u/parryforte · 3 pointsr/fantasywriters

>Has anyone used this method before?

Kinda sorta, I write dialogue-heavy on the first pass with very minimal descriptions, then ink that shit in on the second pass. It can help knowing what the scene looks like for dialogue (pro tips can be found in Aaron's 2K to 10K book) and related actions, but a dialogue-rich approach helps your characters step from the page.

Also, you avoid painful exposition :)

If you can track down a copy, Enough Is Too Much Already is a book written entirely in dialogue, and it's superb. I lent my copy out, never to be seen again, so don't make that mistake.

u/ruzkin · 5 pointsr/fantasywriters

Hey, thanks for the shout-out!

To /u/lost_pathfinder, I actually publish two serials: my horror series Rust and the Olesia Anderson spy thriller series.

Rust gets published in short episodes (10-15k) and collected in season-length omnibuses of five eps each, but as you said, I have the whole 'season' ready to fire before I launch the first ep. Writing and publishing ep by ep is, in my eyes, a sure-fire way to end up with a meandering pile of bullshit. My Olesia Anderson series, on the other hand, is written and published story by story, but each story is much longer (25-40k) and adheres to a larger plan.

As a self publisher, I can advise that my collections (either the Rust 'seasons' or the Olesia Anderson omnibuses) outsell individual eps about 10:1. I keep hearing that the serial is returning as an online format, but in my experience, people still want the whole story in a big, satisfying package. Also, assume your readers are intelligent. They'll know if you're making it up as you go along.

u/dsteinac · 5 pointsr/fantasywriters

Wonderbook is fantastic and seems like exactly what you're looking for. It's less about the mechanics of writing than jumpstarting creativity, and thinking of really wild things that will resonate with imaginative readers.

Or, another step removed, flip through books on myth or architecture or geography and find one with a lot of really wild photos that make you think of ideas. That's what I've been doing lately.

u/throwawaymysobriety · 1 pointr/fantasywriters

Trim what you can, explain what you must upfront, put the rest in flashbacks (or informative conversations) shortly before the information is needed to further the already continuing plot.

Having your character get involved in a conversation with someone from the new culture about differences between the two is a slightly more interesting way to simultaneously provide back-story on both cultures.

Flashbacks can cover an entire chapter (if necessary), but avoid doing it too many times in a single book. If you must do it more, read this. Rothfuss manages to balance multiple flashbacks (longish ones) without it becoming tired. He toes the line a bit, but I think he did a good job.

Don't forget that you don't have to directly explain either culture in it's entirety. You can 'show' more about these cultures as part of the actions taken/not taken by your characters. An off-hand comment from another character either helps paint the difference, or explain a bit of it. Or both.

u/RussellCullison · 3 pointsr/fantasywriters

I like that type of book enough that I wrote one. Amazon link and Goodreads link.

Their world has something terrible happen to it, but the main characters are determined, noble, and loyal to the bitter end.

u/terrifiedsleeptwitch · 0 pointsr/fantasywriters

Buy Rachel Aaron's book of writing advice. It is actually very helpful.

Also check out the snowflake method.

See what other famous, prolific writers do. Try a bit. See what you do best with.

If something gives you a headache, either it's not for you, or you're doing it wrong.

Up to you to figure that one out.

Rinse, repeat. :)

u/Sciencey · 5 pointsr/fantasywriters

Sanderson is also part of a podcast called "Writing Excuses". It's 15 minutes of a group of writers speaking their thoughts on a particular topic of writing. It has a lot to teach. I would also recommend a book called "Damn Fine Story". It helps to understand different aspects of good storytelling by breaking down iconic pop culture narratives like Star Wars and Die Hard. If you haven't read "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss it's hands down my favorite fantasy book, very influential and inspiring.

There are tons of good YouTube videos and channels where you can learn all about storytelling and its different components. This one looks into screenplays but still has much that is relevant to writing.

u/eissturm · 1 pointr/fantasywriters

Lol don't take me too seriously. i only just picked it up and am working my way through it. I really enjoy Robert Fagles' translation

u/clockworklycanthrope · 1 pointr/fantasywriters

Have you read this? It's one of my favorites, and it sounds like something you'd be into.

u/vengefulpear · 2 pointsr/fantasywriters

Heads up that UK link doesn't work :)

Here's a working UK link

I love that you have an illustrated version on Lulu too! Did you do the illustrations yourself?

u/Cdresden · 4 pointsr/fantasywriters

Rather than writing your novel from the end, get James Scott Bell's Write Your Novel from the Middle. It's $3 and you can finish it in a couple hours. Basically, you want to find the moment when your main character has a long, hard look at himself.

If you want more, his Plot and Structure goes more in depth into plotting and pacing.

u/harpyholler · 2 pointsr/fantasywriters

Maybe I'm a slow reader, but for me 15 mins equals roughly the first five pages, which is a pretty accepted 'hook 'em or die' cut off point. I remember reading this book about it...actually, I lie. I really only read the first five pages of it!

I'd be really interested to see what conclusion you come to.

u/typingthings · 2 pointsr/fantasywriters

I'm really enjoying Don't Know Much About Mythology. I like it because the author talks about the mythologies of cultures around the world in context, i.e. how geography, economy, technology, etc, influence the belief systems of the people. It's really an overview of a lot of things rather than an in-depth look at anything, but it's sparking a lot of ideas for me in my writing.

u/JeffersonSmithAuthor · 6 pointsr/fantasywriters

Having grown up in the 70s and 80s, I'm pretty tired of the elves, dwarves, orcs, and humans motif. To me, the term "fantasy" means "realms of the utter fantastic." So by comparison to that, Tolkien-esque worlds feel utterly mundane and don't hold my interest without a major kick in the premise pants.

Similarly, I'm tired of the knee-deep swamps of vampire and werewolf cultures in urban fantasy. That's what appealed to me about S.A. Hunt's The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree, or Christopher Ruz's Rust. Magical gunslingers fighting steam-powered mechs? Cool. An afterlife full of Lovecraftian nightmares? Awesome. Anything but more of the quasi-medieval hick-with-powers yarn.

Paradoxically, it seems to me that the very authors given greatest licence to explore the bizarre seem the most trapped by the history of what has come before. Myself included. Once I've finished my current series (later this year) my next project is going to kick the stops out of convention and hit the world with something really unusual. Or at least, I hope it will. I'm still working on the details.

u/wcbusch · 1 pointr/fantasywriters

I've also got my short story collection up for Free on Amazon. It's historical fiction, but I have some fantasy elements in one of the stories (The Trench) and I often forget to put it on sale through KDP so I thought I'd post a link here.