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General Writing, Illustration, and Publishing Thread

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Per Silverwook’s request, a thread pertaining to general writing and book projects. I’ll go ahead and provide some links to Youtube channels I’ve found helpful and educational:

Writing:

Just Write

Lessons from the Screenplay

Savage Books

Matthew Colville
(A writer/D&D Dungeon Master who shares tips helpful to both writers and game designers)

Illustration/Visual Design:

Sinix Design

The Art of Aaron Blaise
(An animator for Disney for such projects as The Lion King and Aladdin)

Feel free to share your own thoughts, projects, questions, and resources! If anyone has good publishing how-to’s or other resources, this would be welcome. I have only had a few things published and those years ago under special circumstances.

What a grand and intoxicating innocence. How could you be so naive? There is no escape. Come, lay down your weapons. It is not too late for my mercy.
Episode 9 Rewrite THE SHATTERED SWORD (Complete!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V3 Released!) and The Starlight Project (WORKPRINT RELEASED!)

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Writer’s corner time! Yipee!

Alright, I’ll start by describing my main project. I can keep describing others as people respond.

Chrono Club is about a group of six kids growing up over 7 years fighting evil across time and space. They also start a rock band together. It’s basically a saturday morning cartoon for teenagers. Lots of romance, but also other character stuff. The main villain is an eldritch entity bearing a human form whose 100% charisma (think the Master from Doctor Who, as seen in the Modern Series). The kids, or should I say Club, start off on the defensive, protecting their town from the things emerging from randomly occurring portals, but slowly shift offence, actively time travelling to stop the villain’s plans of universal destruction. A decent approximation of it would be to say it’s the formula of Code Lyoko, the setting of Doctor Who, and the action of Star Wars. Also, every episode ends with a cover song performed by the cast. Yes, I’m envisioning it as a show, I dream big. I’d be happy with just a novel series too, though.

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Nice to see something like this here. I’ll throw my two cents in, if that’s okay. Below is a link to a playlist of lectures on creative writing, taught by Mistborn and Stormlight Archive author Brandon Sanderson. I think they’re nice, and I suggest to check them out if you’re interested in writing.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSH_xM-KC3Zv-79sVZTTj-YA6IAqh8qeQ

"Adventure, excitement. A Jedi craves not these things!"

- Yoda

W.S.

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I have a loose trilogy I’m working on. It started off as one story (the middle part), then became two (added a prequel), then I thought why not make it a trilogy, but the third part I tacked on didn’t seem right so I ditched that idea, then I thought of making it a shared universe at which point I had another idea which I made the third part and now it’s a trilogy again.

[Untitled Project]:

Dakhenhoff, a young shoemaker obtains a shoemaking machine in the midst of the Industrial Revolution. This soon expands to a shoe factory. As he gains economic power, his social standing rises, but he begins losing his humanity, becoming a heartless greedy overlord. Inspired by a parable my teacher once told about the Industrial Revolution, although the part about him becoming evil is all me.

Misery & Paradise:

After his orphanage burns down in what might be the most savage scene I’ve ever written (without immediately discarding - there was that one draft where Runis mauls her coworker to death before fucking a dolphin), Tim befriends fellow street orphan Lia and they stick together, stealing from markets, falling in love, and imagining a forest paradise where they don’t have to worry about food or staying warm and everyone (who have animal ears and tails here) lives in harmony. Try as they might to escape this cruel world, they end up dying from hypothermia at first snowfall, lying on the cobblestone, but happy in knowing they have each other.

Oh and Dakhenhoff’s there too. I just tacked him afterwards when I came up with his story 'cause I felt his rule provided an excellent explanation for the town’s misery.

The Crystal Countess:

After Dakhenhoff’s work leads to losing her home, husband, and children, a woman becomes a vigilante known as the Crystal Countess with only one goal: revenge. Dakhenhoff’s days are numbered, and he is long past any saving.

So whaddya think? Very bleak, and only loosely connected, but I think it has its charm. It’s the rise, reign, and fall of Dakhenhoff as seen through different perspectives, as it’s not really just about him. Like how the Star Wars Saga is the story of Palpatine, but he’s mainly a background villain.

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How about it can be called Dakhenhoff and the Crystal Countess?

The unfortunate reality of the Star Wars prequel and Disney trilogies is that they will always be around. Forever. They will never go away. It can never be undone.

I also prefer to be referred to as “TNT”, not “Freezing”.

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Oops, didn’t read it correctly. How about the first one can be simply called Dakkenhoff?

The unfortunate reality of the Star Wars prequel and Disney trilogies is that they will always be around. Forever. They will never go away. It can never be undone.

I also prefer to be referred to as “TNT”, not “Freezing”.

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Perhaps, but that sounds a little boring to me. Not a big fan of single word titles.

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So today I’m feeling pretty down, and you know what I like to do when something is troubling me in life? Make a story about it. So that’s what this is. Granted, I didn’t just create it today, but it arose from moments like this. I present you The Life and Times of Hickary Finch.

If Chrono Club is the life I wish I had, Hickary Finch is the life I’m stuck with. Hence it’s rather depressing. Hickary is not a total self-insert, but I put him through a lot of the same stuff I’ve been through. A pseudobiography if you will. Characters aren’t people I’ve met so much as archetypes of people I’ve met (god I love working with archetypes). Basically, if you squint and assume artistic license you can sorta see my life story. Except the suicide attempt. That’s an idea I just had today because I think it would serve as a properly satisfying climax. That said, there are a couple of parts that are taken practically word for word from experience, but they’re few and far between.

So basically it’s about this kid growing up realizing how lonely he is as friends are only around as long as their lives happen to follow his, drifting apart sooner or later. All the while his creative ambitions aren’t paying off financially and he’s still never had a girlfriend. His outlook on life becomes bleak but just when he’s given up a stranger reminds him that “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” (quoting Dumbledore here, but might not in the actual script) Here’s some notes I just wrote.

Theme: Holding out in the darkest of times.

Music: Folk/Indie, very calm. Think Miss This. In fact, get them if they’re willing and affordable.

Aesthetic: Chalkboard drawings to represent Hickary’s imagination.

Plot:

First love: Lucy (rejected but remain friends)

New friend: Charlie

Second Love: ??? (rejected)

High School Graduation: Lucy’s departure

Third Love: ??? (rejected)

College Graduation: Charlie’s departure

Hickary thinks he has no future.

Suicide (jumping off a bridge) prevented by friendly stranger

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The old adage is write what you know. I think every writer mines his own life at some point. It took me a long while to get comfortable doing that with a character in my second novel.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I tend to see different aspects of myself in my characters. While we’re on the topic, let’s go over the core cast of Chrono Club.

Alex: Quiet, aloof, and awkward, but very brave and emotional. Slightly strange fashion sense. His element is fire.

Emily: Calm and compassionate. The real heart of the group. Sees the good in everyone. Her element is nature.

Joey: Very relaxed and at ease, but proactive when the time calls for it. His element is water.

Clara: Just bursting with energy 24/7. A bundle of joy. Her element is earth.

Lucas: Nerd. His element is tech (lightning/metal).

Heather: Chinese girl from 2142 stranded in this 2011 Canada with her new friends. Doesn’t initially speak any English. Her element is wind.

Eredan: “Good evening children. Allow me to introduce myself.” triple flips “I am Eredan. Bringer of death, lord of chaos, agent of destruction. I will be your host tonight.” Our villain everybody.

Anyway, enough about my stories, what are you lurkers writing about? And by lurkers I mean members who lurk here, not actual lurkers (although they’re welcome to join too). I’ve been carrying this thread on my back. Now it’s your turn. I can do this all day but I’d like this be a truly interactive exercise, not me talking to a wall.

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Have any of you guys ever used a professional proofreading service?

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I haven’t. Have you? I didn’t know such a thing existed, but I guess it makes sense.

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OutboundFlight said:

SilverWook said:

Have any of you guys ever used a professional proofreading service?

For my wip draft, I’ve just been using Grammarly. It does a good job (for a droid). I’ll proofread it myself during revisions.

Interesting. I wonder how it would handle a fantasy novel with a lot of made up names and words? I’m having eyesight troubles unfortunately, which will make proofreading more difficult.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Well if you smurf the gablôjian and adjust kr’zatz, an average punga-lunga should be able to falumpha it. It’s just like Gibraltar.

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Anakin Starkiller said:

What’s it a draft of?

Funny: I don’t have a name for it. But it’s my first installment for a planned series, set in the far future within the Andromeda galaxy. Humans are one of many species and resemble a third world nation in political power. I was inspired by George RR Martin’s initial concept for Game of Thrones: take something you really enjoy (Fantasy, or in my case Soft Sci-Fi) and complicate it with depth and lore you could only get from an extended book series.

The story is about the Terran Republic’s Civil War, starting off with six-point of view characters (4 Republic, 2 Alliance) but it will probably expand in future books. The Senate votes in favor of a new bill banning all blue-collar jobs (this is in the far future, so robots are already doing this too much extent, and physical labor is technically more dangerous than anything by this point). But while it’s not going to harm the inner systems, the outer systems are pissed. Not only would it harm their economy, but the Electoral College is also clearly biased in letting a few populated worlds have all the say. Plus, Tygar Heavy Engineering owns most of the robots and they have a long history of corruption – are they pulling the strings to enhance their profits?

The key to understanding this is no one is the bad guy. Each faction is justified. There are a few sadistic characters here or there, but they are fighting for the same cause as one of the heroes. It’s all a matter of perspective.

The outer worlds threaten to succeed from the Republic as the Alliance of Free Planets. To solve the situation peacefully, the factions agree to last-minute negotiations aboard a Terran Star Dreadnought, in neutral space. And that’s where the first book starts off…

SilverWook said:

OutboundFlight said:

SilverWook said:

Have any of you guys ever used a professional proofreading service?

For my wip draft, I’ve just been using Grammarly. It does a good job (for a droid). I’ll proofread it myself during revisions.

Interesting. I wonder how it would handle a fantasy novel with a lot of made up names and words? I’m having eyesight troubles unfortunately, which will make proofreading more difficult.

It often calls a made-up word a typo, but it almost never auto corrects, so you just have a (more visible than normals word spell check) line you can hover over to fix or ignore. I like it, but worst case scenario you could always try increasing the font size and proofreading from there.

Maul- A Star Wars Story

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I like it. It sounds very promising.

Personally, when I don’t yet have a title, I give a project a codename for convenience. Chrono Club was Project Legacy, Kirano (which I have yet to talk about) was Project Turtle, that untitled first part from my trilogy is Project Lorax, etcetera. What I’m saying is maybe consider giving a codename for the time being so we have something to refer to it as. Maybe Project Starthrones as a nod to that R.R. Martin inspiration? It’s not really important what you call it since it’s temporary. Have you thought about the actual title?

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A list of my influences, arranged in alphabetical order:

  • Karl Barth
  • Ingmar Bergman
  • Wes Craven
  • David Cronenberg
  • Philip K. Dick
  • Jesus of Nazareth
  • Peter Kropotkin
  • H. P. Lovecraft
  • David Lynch
  • Guy Maddin
  • Karl Marx
  • Rod Serling
  • Paul Tillich
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Simone Weil
  • Alfred North Whitehead

These are all filmmakers, writers, philosophers, and theologians whose individual perspectives/aesthetics have influenced, in big ways and small, directly and indirectly, my own. From Whitehead, Weil, and Tillich I’ve gained my understanding of God and creation, and it is this God which operates in the shared multiverse of my stories. From Barth I’ve gained my understanding of evil, and I find this understanding of evil best represented through the eldritch abominations/deities of Lovecraft and the body horror of Cronenberg. From Jesus, Kropotkin, Tolstoy, and a lesser degree Marx, an ideal humanity and civilization. From Lynch, themes of duality and absurdism. And I could be here all day, futilely trying and failing to cogently convey why these creators resonate with me.

Divergent Universes
Dreams of a Randy Git-Fiend

Make Off Topic great again.

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Alfred Hitchcock said:

The silent pictures were the purest form of cinema; the only thing they lacked was the sound of people talking and the noises. But this slight imperfection did not warrant the major changes that sound brought in… In many of the films now being made, there is very little cinema: they are mostly what I call ‘photographs of people talking.’ When we tell a story in cinema, we should resort to dialogue only when it’s impossible to do otherwise.

I’m a visual/visceral artist. I enjoy crafting worlds and conveying my ideas through imagery and sound cues; I don’t enjoy writing dialogue. Much of my writing process is spent ruminating on dialogue, and it keeps me in doldrums. Some screenwriters are Tarantinos, and God bless 'em, but others are Murnaus. I’m a Murnau. Time has come for me to internalize that.

Talkies are so 1927, anyway.

Divergent Universes
Dreams of a Randy Git-Fiend

Make Off Topic great again.

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Interestingly enough, 1927 was the year the silent movie The Lodger was released! Directed by Hitchcock himself, he considered it his personal best work.

“The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” - DV

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DuracellEnergizer said:

Alfred Hitchcock said:

The silent pictures were the purest form of cinema; the only thing they lacked was the sound of people talking and the noises. But this slight imperfection did not warrant the major changes that sound brought in… In many of the films now being made, there is very little cinema: they are mostly what I call ‘photographs of people talking.’ When we tell a story in cinema, we should resort to dialogue only when it’s impossible to do otherwise.

I’m a visual/visceral artist. I enjoy crafting worlds and conveying my ideas through imagery and sound cues; I don’t enjoy writing dialogue. Much of my writing process is spent ruminating on dialogue, and it keeps me in doldrums. Some screenwriters are Tarantinos, and God bless 'em, but others are Murnaus. I’m a Murnau. Time has come for me to internalize that.

Talkies are so 1927, anyway.

I feel that. It’s one reason my Ep IX is mostly dialogue-free summarizing. Sure it’s less ‘finished’ but you could try doing something like that at least for first drafts. This would prevent a lot of re-writing dialogue later on.

What a grand and intoxicating innocence. How could you be so naive? There is no escape. Come, lay down your weapons. It is not too late for my mercy.
Episode 9 Rewrite THE SHATTERED SWORD (Complete!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V3 Released!) and The Starlight Project (WORKPRINT RELEASED!)