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57

You have an advantage that people in the moment do not have: You have all the time in the world to think it through, and you can time-travel to the past to fix anything that goes wrong. I wrote a battle scene recently that in the book took place in the space of an hour, and my expert soldier with decades of experience planned the battle in about sixty ...


28

I am a discovery writer, I have been for many years, and I complete stories. Scrap your outline. Most discovery writers (including me) have struggled with what you are talking about; finding the climax, resolving the character arcs, dead-end "mysteries" that we could never figure out. The solution to that is simple, but it is NOT outlining. For a ...


24

Firstly, it's certainly not going to be a 'waste of time' to write the story you want to tell, regardless of which genre it might end up being described as. Fantasy is a very broad genre; any story recognizably set in a world other than our own can easily be described as fantasy if it doesn't focus strongly on themes that would suggest another (the effects ...


17

You can definitely have characters that fulfill your fantasies. You can even have a character that represents you, the writer. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. The problem is that a lot of inexperienced writers can fall prey to making characters Canon Sues (or Mary Sues) if they happen to personally identify them, or see them as their own ...


11

The only way to resolve it is to write. I'm a discovery writer too. I get excitement from just "imagining" how things could go, how the world might be, and how the character should react. Did you notice? I used verbs in conditional form. That's because - no matter what your brain tells you - a story isn't done until you write it. It doesn't matter if you ...


11

Low vs High Fantasy: A sliding definition Humans love to makeup labels and group things, but some [many? Most?] subjects don't actually play as nice as we might like the deeper we dive into them. When it comes to grouping and classifying in literature we have some rather awkward issues in drawing lines in the sand and settling on what goes where. If you ...


11

Some people are volunteers, and they never get paid (except with a verbal or written thank you). Some people get paid as soon as they do something (e.g. a waiter paid almost entirely in tips). Some people get paid at the end of the day. Some people get paid at the end of the week. Some people get paid at the end of the month. You are working a job where ...


10

The author doesn't need to have the same tactical genius of those characters, because the writer has a serious advantage. As an author, you know everything and you can change everything of your story. You almost have omniscience and omnipotence over your fictional world. I say almost since you won't know every detail immediately - especially if you are a ...


8

Your brain is convinced it's done with the first draft, which means it's time to start the second draft on the story cleaning up everything and filling up any missing details as needed. Which is a new task and one that you have to do regardless of how complete the first draft is. Yours just happens to be pretty barebones in the second half, but that's ok, ...


7

Generally you are correct, your piece has to be judged by readers to be clever, in order to be considered clever by the public. Entities with a larger budget can buy advertising that (without attribution) calls a piece "clever", "a wild ride", or say it has a "killer twist", but that will fall somewhat flat if critics don't see it. Modern consumers have a ...


7

Try breaking your outline into chunks, and write small novelettes for them. At the moment, you "feel like [you] have already completed the task" - you look at the skeleton in place, and think "that looks the right shape". There's nothing wrong with that. But, if you look at the outline from a different angle, you have actually turned 1 task (write a story)...


7

There are two kinds of discovery, not one! I am a outliner, not a pantser. I am also a plot-driven, not a character-driven writer. I love outlining, but always the finished product has huge departures from the outline. What I outline is plot, with very little character work. The plot is my creativity set free to do what comes easily: creating worlds and ...


7

I believe low fantasy can encompass stories which have no magic. In some examples I've seen of low fantasy there is no magic but the setting in which it takes place is an entirely fictional world complete with fictional religious and belief systems. For example one of my favorite authors David Gemmell in his book Legend, the book takes place in an ...


6

I agree with Klara. The strategy I often use is to devise a character that has both a superpower AND a significant weakness, and devise a plot in which her superpower is of very limited help, and the only way she can truly prevail is to overcome her weakness. She may be able to fly, but she is not a detective. Superman can keep law and order among normal ...


6

There is also a genre called "Science Fantasy", also "Hard Fantasy" (borrowing from "Hard Science Fiction", which doesn't break any laws of physics) and of course just plain "Science Fiction". The genres with "Fantasy" in the name, even without magic, may have for example Dragons, not as magical creatures but just creatures. They may have other species ...


5

It's not particularly difficult. Tense is a tool feared by too many aspiring writers. What you appear to be asking can be seen in Forrest Gump (film). I am sitting on a bench waiting for a bus (present). Whilst I'm waiting I will relay to anybody who wishes to listen events that led me to this point in my life (still present). My momma was . . . (past). ...


5

Fantasy isn't defined only by magic. I was a fan of fantasy literature for many years before coming across anyone trying to define "fantasy" as "stuff involving magic", which I've never really understood. For me, being set in an alternate world (including a fictional world-within-a-world like Harry Potter or Artemis Fowl) was always a bigger fantasy ...


4

Your main advantage as a writer is that you KNOW what is going to happen. Dumb example first to make a point I have an IQ of 100. I am writing someone who has IQ of 1000. He says "I am so smart I can predict a coin flip!" The coin is flipped. "Heads!" my character calls. The coin falls heads. There, I wrote someone so smart that he can predict coin flips ...


4

I've never used any online service for reviewing, editing, and/or critique. I always get it from peers and mentors. There are some advantages to having your writing reviewed online, like speed and convenience, but in the end, you don't really know where it's going or who's really reading it. I would recommend finding people you trust--coworkers, friends, ...


4

Always maintain some distance between yourself and the character. Ensure that the character is somebody you can empathize with, but somebody who is fundamentally and emphatically not you. As in "I could not be that person". It's a little bit like avoiding nepotism: If you hire a relative, or you're a judge deciding a relative's lawsuit, you can't help but be ...


4

Perhaps if you need a term, try "magical realism"? 98% like our world, but that little difference is what makes it fantasy... whether it's if subways will sometimes take you sideways to a different realm or unexpected country, or the Byzantine Empire stayed pagan, or if whenever Bob reads a book, all other copies of it are forever deleted, but he ...


3

In 3rd person limited, which you are writing it, it is perfectly valid to describe what somebody is feeling, like panic, or horror, or anger, or whatever. That includes pain. It seems like you feel restricted to describing actual thoughts and what he knows; but being tortured is not an intellectual exercise, it is a visceral exercise of enduring searing pain,...


3

Whatever language your readers speak, they expect your book to be "translated" into that language. I write in English for English speakers, I have written stories set in the ancient past where the characters, at best, would be speaking in Old English, but that might as well be a different language. I was careful to not use "modern" words and stick with ...


3

One of the things I find most powerful for constructing strategies or schemes which may go beyond what the author could do themselves is show don't tell. If you tell the audience what the strategy is, they can poke holes in it. "What if X happened?" "What if Y didn't show up?" However, if you show them what happens, that's all they have. It's ...


3

Don't do it top-down, do it bottom-up. Break your story into chunks of index cards. Sort your cards in the order you felt most natural. Then put 95% of the index cards into a jar. Congratulation, now you can work on the most significant 5% of your story. The index cards in the jar now only functions as a source of inspiration, you should not put it in ...


2

So it seems like you want to do something similar to Archer has had going on for the past couple of seasons. To whit, the show is a work comedy set in a spy agency. Around season four, the writers felt they had milked the spy genre for all it's worth, and introduced season five with the cast now having to make it into the world of drug trafficking (for ...


2

As commonly understood, "gradually" and "greedily" suggest completely opposite paces. "Greedily" implies quickly, or with an urgency to complete the task. It just doesn't go with "gradually", it causes cognitive dissonance.


2

I would say there's a couple reasons to create a world. "Wonder" as a point of interest As you mentioned, the genre is one reason. Something that appeals to readers of Sci-fi and Fantasy is being introduced to something new that inspires awe. (Think space stations the size of the moon or secret societies of wizards) The writing podcast Writing Excuses ...


2

@Yostina, I truly hope you find a way to conquer your fear. I was absolutely terrified the first time I forced myself to hit the post button. I was so sure of the only two possible results. Either I was going to be told to go away and never come back or worse yet, there would not be a single response. My grammar isn't perfect and I have had a love affair ...


2

One way to depict a brilliant military mind is to find a successful battle or campaign in history which starts from similar conditions to the type of starting conditions you want at the start of the battle or campaign in your story, and then more or less copy the historical battle or campaign. But you change details to perhaps copy an event in Earth's ...


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