Creative Writing, Poetry, Arts & Crafts, and Other Creations Thread

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Jack-o'-Locutus, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Just tell people it had a slight transporter accident. ;)

    I just started yet another session of Camp NaNoWriMo (Camp events run in April and July; the main event runs in November). I'm 3027 words into what is intended to be 30,000 words of my ongoing fanfiction project. I have until 11:59 pm, April 30 to finish this, which means at least 1000 words/day.
     
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  2. KimMH

    KimMH It me Premium Member

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    I’ve heard of NaNoWriMo - hope camp is enriching for you! 100 words a day - that seems like a Lot!
     
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  3. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    1000 words/day, not 100 (I assume that was a typo?). Anyway, it takes a couple of hours or so, depending on whether I'm working from an outline or winging it. I'm doing both right now - I know where the story has to go, but didn't make any notes on it so that's why I fell behind the first couple of days.

    There's a guy from a gaming forum who's in a virtual cabin with me; it's interesting to see how the cabin stats are tracked (this is my first time in a cabin so I didn't know the site also tracks the group's progress).

    The Camp events are more flexible as people can choose how many words they want to have done at the end of the month. In November you don't get a choice; it has to be at least 50,000 words in 30 days (sounds like a lot, but it breaks down to 1667 per day).

    I've won several Camp events over the years (winning being defined as validating your writing project and verifying that you've done the minimum number of words you've said you're going to do), and the main November event twice (2016 and 2018). I won the April and July events those years as well, and it's a great feeling to be able to pull off a hat trick like that (to put it into perspective, I'd been trying for 9 years to get through the November event before finally making it in 2016; I was pretty happy when it finally happened).

    As for the actual quality of the stories... well, of course they still need editing and revisions. NaNo stories are assumed to be first drafts and people are encouraged to take a month off to decompress (very good advice, which I didn't heed in December - being so engrossed in the story that I just kept on writing). After that helpful emails get sent out to people with tips and suggestions for revising and editing. There are also tips for submitting stories for publication if the writer thinks they're ready for that. Some NaNo stories do end up professionally published (none of mine will since they're fanfic - which for copyright reasons can't be professionally published).

    There actually aren't any tangible prizes (none that are free, at least). Winners do get a downloadable certificate, banner, and badge (usable as an avatar). There are generous discounts on writing software and how-to books. Stories aren't judged on quality, only on length. People have asked me what prevents a person from just copy/pasting the same word or phrase over and over until they hit 50,000 and calling that a win... the answer is that the site does have ways of detecting a cheat like that, but in actuality there's no point in cheating. There can be thousands of winners each time, and you're not really competing against anyone but yourself. Nobody at the site reads your story unless you choose to post an excerpt on your dashboard or on the forum, or share it with people in your cabin or other groups.

    All the above said, I realize that it sounds like a lot of mental energy and typing, and it is. It can be very stressful when writer's block happens or when fatigue sets in around the third week of the month. But the payoff in satisfaction and the knowledge that you have more words at the end of the month than you had at the start of the month is so worth it. You're right - it is an enriching experience.

    The point of these contests is to help people get into the habit of writing daily. I've been working on my latest story every day since November 1 last year (even when I was hospitalized for 2 weeks; thankfully the hospital has wi-fi now), so it looks like I've acquired the habit. And some day the story will be finished and posted on some fanfic site (not a Star Trek one since it's not Star Trek; it isn't even science fiction).
     
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  4. KimMH

    KimMH It me Premium Member

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    I'm sorry- the number is a typo.

    That does sound like enormous labor of love, congratulations on winning/completing so many events.

    I don't know anyone irl who has ever completed it and only a couple internet acquaintances. I know I lack the discipline and focus to write every day; good luck and happy writing!
     
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  5. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Thanks! :)

    I ended up downgrading my goal to 25,000 words rather than 30,000. It's a more comfortable goal to write 834 words/day than 1000 (of course in November there's no choice; it's at least 1667/day to get to 50,000).

    So the end result was 25,582 words (the website credited me with 25,543 since it counts words differently from my word processing program). It's a slim win, but I'll take it.

    And I've kept on writing on May 1 and onward. This is a very large project and I keep thinking up new material or refining some of the older stuff that was a bit on the vague side. Some characters only have placeholder names and I need to figure out what they're actually going to be called (since the posted version of this story is NOT going to have a character named Count Chocula - I just blanked on figuring out a name for this guy since he's a jerk who only appears in a couple of scenes).
     
  6. KimMH

    KimMH It me Premium Member

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    Congratulations! What a big job- kudos and good luck! Hope you find a suitable fate for the Count!
     
  7. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    He's the officious, smarmy courtier type, pretentious and doing whatever it takes to get into the Queen's good graces.

    The Queen is one of the villains of the story. This is not a damsel-in-distress situation; the protagonists are male.
     
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  8. KimMH

    KimMH It me Premium Member

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    Is the Queen a villain or simply misunderstood? Hubs and I play a game where we try to parse if female villains are evil or “misunderstood.” It amuses us.
     
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  9. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    No, she's thoroughly evil. Of course she doesn't think so. One of the things critical to remember about writing villains is that villains should always have their own pov and reasons why they act as they do - that make perfect sense to them.
     
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  10. KimMH

    KimMH It me Premium Member

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    I suppose if they know they’re doing the wrong thing it’s a little too meta.
     
  11. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    It makes them more of a caricature than a true villain.

    If the villain is well-developed, it's possible to understand why, from their point of view, they believe they're doing the right thing (even if it seems so obviously wrong to everyone else).

    In I, Claudius, Livia believed she was doing the right thing in getting rid of Augustus' heirs because she felt her own family deserved to rule the Roman Empire.

    I get the impression that it's similar in the source material I'm using for my fanfic. The Queen believes her family deserves to rule Griffinvale, and therefore over a 31-year period, she has her brother murder the King's son (her stepson), the King himself, and intends to murder the King's grandson (she would have killed him even if she hadn't found out he was the true heir, since the family that raised him was a major thorn in her side from a political standpoint and wouldn't have tolerated her taking the throne for herself/her brother).

    Fortunately, he figures out how to stop her, becomes King, and... I wasn't satisfied with the "happily ever after" vibe. I wanted to know what happened next, so I've got a few more decades' worth of stuff roughly planned (down to the forthcoming courtship, royal wedding, and names of the next generation of heirs... and the hero's death. I went that far because the prologue of the game says "this is the story of the last great king of Griffinvale", and I wondered why he was the last great king. Were the next kings not great? Or maybe the next ruler was a queen... and that's when I realized I needed to get this character married and producing kids. :p
     
  12. KimMH

    KimMH It me Premium Member

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    :eek: Wow! I hope you’re a benevolent god! Do you have other stuff you’ve released or published? Would love to read it if you’re inclined!
     
  13. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Thanks! :)

    I try to be benevolent when it's deserved, some of the characters (including the hero at times) need an occasional kick in the pants because every hero/good character needs some sort of flaw to keep them interesting/realistic, and the villains... let's just say that the original source material missed the chance to mete out some creatively awful punishments that don't involve blood/guts/gore. I plan to fix that. :devil:

    Not much of my writing has been posted online because not much is finished to my satisfaction. I've completed the rough draft of a novelization of the Fighting Fantasy Gamebook Caverns of the Snow Witch (that project was finished in 2016, which was my first NaNoWriMo win (the November variety which requires at least 50,000 words/30 days; I finished with over 60,000 words). There's a sequel in the works, since in the gamebook series, Caverns of the Snow Witch can plausibly segue into Forest of Doom (the two were actually published in the reverse order). So I'm treating them as two large events in the life of the same character; he's dealt with the Snow Witch, the aftermath of that (which involved the death of a dear friend), he's on his way home to his family but gets sidetracked by a quest to find a magical warhammer for another friend, whose people need it, and after that gets done I'll write some original material dealing with home and family.

    That's one of the things I've stressed every time I got involved in an RPG, whether it's playing with a group or one of the FF solo gamebooks - RPG characters should be more than just a set of statistics. At least give them a name and basic background, plus a motive for whatever quest they're going on.

    My CotSW character has a wife and son, and his wife is a mage, engaging in a lot of expensive research (her ultimate goal is to re-discover the spell her father discovered by accident that sent him and his wife back in time, to some unknown location). She's been working on this for years, and in the meantime someone has to bring in the gold and silver that puts food on the table, pays the rent, and helps pay for the magical research. He occasionally runs across some magical item or spell and brings it home so his wife can decide if it's useful or not (he's not a mage so is not inclined to keep and use it himself; his real job is as a guide and caravan guard).

    My current project has nothing to do with Fighting Fantasy; it's based on Kingmaker: Rise to the Throne. I just found this game so compelling in that I like the characters, love the artwork and music, the storyline is relatable, and that I suddenly started imagining other things that could have happened to these people - things before the game, during the game when the pov character wasn't present to witness them, and after the game.

    There are some scenes and bits of dialogue that I'm satisfied with and will not be changing, while other things are fairly vague. I know what I want to happen, but getting there in a dramatic way that advances the plot and really digs into the characters' inner thoughts and motives and relationships with each other is what's taking a long time. I want to do this right so it's not going to be just a slapdash regurgitation of the bare game itself.

    @Marynator has been encouraging me to explore some of the characters I hadn't originally intended to do much with, and she asked some astute questions that got me thinking that I needed to tweak some things or take other things in a different direction.

    A couple of people have mentioned Game of Thrones to me; I just want to say now that if any of this ends up resembling any part of GoT, it's a coincidence, since I've never seen that show, nor read any of the novels the series is based on.

    So the short answer is that nothing is online and available to read yet, since this is all first draft. I'm constantly thinking about it, though, and would be a lot further along if thoughts could be instantly translated to prose.
     
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  14. KimMH

    KimMH It me Premium Member

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    Id certainly love to read some of your work whenever it becomes available.

    It must be very gratifying for game creators to find that their characters can be such amazing vehicles of imagination! They’re probably working under horrendous deadlines and unable to do the job fully themselves. I’d imagine they want them to be happy or content in some way or another. Even though creators seem to delight in making their creations suffer eventually they might wish the creations to happy; imho.

    That Marynator is such a little peach and so clever. This is wonderful place to find like minded people.
     
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  15. Scribble

    Scribble Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was told that this thread might be willing to include digital art. :)

    Please correct me if I'm wrong...

    I'm rather proud of learning a new skill in my 3d work. My current skill level would be considered extremely basic, but hey, I've never done it yet in the 20-some years I've been modeling. I've always worked around it, somehow. :shrug:

    Modeling this doorknob took all of about five minutes. I've spent the last couple of days working on the brushed metal texture. First, I had to learn how to map out the texture coordinates of the model, itself, so that the texture would line up the way I wanted it to, and then I worked on the texture, itself. I wasn't happy with the results of the default texture, so I've been tweaking it for the last couple of days. A lot of that time I was really, really tired, so it took longer than it should have. Oh well.

    [​IMG]

    I'm working on (re-)remodeling designs for my house. It's sat unfinished since we moved in 10 years ago, but there's a lot I'm not happy with even if it were to be finished the way it's designed now. So this is just a part of my project. These are the doorknobs I have now and I really do like them. What's really nice about them is that if you've had to put lotion on your hands you can still turn them due to their egg shape! :D

    Not perfect yet, but getting there!

    Oh, I also forgot to measure the diameter of the knob's axle or pivot. Guess I need to adjust. :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
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  16. KimMH

    KimMH It me Premium Member

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    *tries and fails to open door* that looks so realistic!
     
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  17. Scribble

    Scribble Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Okay, last one of these before I start a remodeling/redecorating thread and continue to post there.

    Still not perfect and no, I haven't adjusted the model yet as I've been away most of the day, but I'm pretty happy with these results:

    [​IMG]

    [EDIT] In a normal browser window on a computer, if you click on the photo above and this render you can get a side-by-side (well, over/under) comparison.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
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  18. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Is this the place for unpublished work? I write often, even after a decision to no pursue it as a career. I would love some brutal, honest feedback. My challenge, at this moment, is eliminating prepositions, staying in active voice, and developing imagery. Any thoughts on these very short pieces?

    Morning breaks, and in the interim of night and day, the moon is visible in short waves of indigo hues. Through my window, a crisp morning promises spring's growth and renewal. It is analogous, one of greatest God's gifts, to the renewal of spirit. Homo sapiens search for meaning, symbolism, especially this animal, as an individual. This is yet another extraordinary gift, to enliven the mind and express its vast array of nuances, through the presents of written symbols, painting pigments, exposure of light, reverberations of sound and pitch. White is death. Green is envy. Red is anger. Blue is melancholy. All of these concepts, "blue" and "melancholy," are generalized descriptions, shared by all who know the language, those symbols. You can know my sadness through genetics, interpretations of facial muscles and movements. But, without symbols, how can you answer those questions. Being inquisitive, and imaging changes, seeing past our own death, to toss batons to the next generation, in our lineage, we form societies.
    So, when I tell you that night is over, and the light is returning, you know my hope. When I tell you that we can influence a mind, you know we share, even generationally, so you can see the influence of communication. For trial and expression of interpretations, through communication, are tested hypothesises. We do not wish to be alone, we crave to know ourselves, each other.
    These undercurrents in our lives, and our choices, both negative and positive, are the expressions of spirit, show how malleable we are, the human condition, and how influential we can be on each other.
    So, when the moon calls to this beast, and the sun brings happiness, do not think me superficial, lacking nuance. See the animal that became a biped from primordial soup. Who, as far as the nucleic acids are concerned, has slept more in caves, than in a house or apartment. Think of it as coming home.

    ----

    Those moments between thoughts are where life becomes peace. When every moment is stimulation, I overwhelm at all that I miss, the senses overload, and nervous, irrational energy permeates every thought and action.
    To quiet the mind is a necessary talent, a honed skill, a destination with no end. Often, actions are less quantities of multitasking, and more quality of mastery.
    I share those silent moments with others, and they become those energies I hope to avoid. When I am comfortable in your presence, the more silent I will become. It is not to ignore, it is that precious gift I wish to share. It is the stillness of unmoving waters, a chance to connect through no need for noise.
    Chatter can be an annoyance. Noise is not comforting. When the world sleeps, my internals rave. As the world bustles, I am drawn to the exterior. I react more than reflect.
    Sit awhile. Silence is my hopping party. Join me for a drink, the performance will begin when your reach what is within. There you find useful communication with the person who understands you best--you. And when when that drink is empty, the performer gone, let us fill the air with what we learned.

    ----
    It is comfortable. Too comfortable. Volumes of histories, lines read in each action between us. I wrap my fingers within yours, your body firmly pressed to mine, and it is all those moments between the anxious excitement of the first and this reminiscent, tender present.
    Full-bodied, the grapes did age well. I know it, however, so do you. Let the Visigoths rule, let the last volume be written. There is no celebration. There are no tears. There is no stopping the destines. Silence could break the night. Goodbye.

    ----
    Tame are the frontiers. The animals of prey are not prevalent. While the Endocrine systems have prepared homo sapiens for bears and cougars, death is most often caused by sedimentary lifestyles (heart disease, diabetes, cancer). These phenomena are a second in the hour of human time.
    But the same natural state that could kill humans, often is overlooked as a source of relaxation. While we have created an ecosystem that uses the natural one as a resource (without production from waste, which puts us in jeopardy), and we want order, sterilization of the artificial environment, it is a predator onto itself. Stress increases, the same hormones meant to save the individual, now shreds our cardiovascular system since it takes physical exertion to release its power from our arterial walls and pumping muscles.
    So, when considering fields from the silt and mineral deposits of the plains, the cresting waves and movements that relax us to rest, the mountain peaks of shifting plates and collisions, the control and taming of our environment cannot continue as it presently exists. We need the natural world, and we need to end our view that Industrialization and modernity is superior to the millions of years of evolution that gives us a tremendous model to invoke.
    We need technology that feeds another and works within the natural world. We need to clear ways for parks in urban planning and sensitivity, empathy, and knowledge to convince all that our natural world has a place in the lives of all.
    We need nature. It is the extremism and hubris of our species to think because we have imagination, infrastructure, tools, and intelligence, we are superior to all that has come before us.
    Relax in the country. Fight for climate change. Embrace green technology. Build a great society by cleaning up the rape of mother nature. We are all connected--animal, plant, mineral, humans--and hope it is not too late.
    ----
    Life is a complex interweaving of decisions. It truly is a game of inches. One moment late, and destinies shuffle a new outcome. Time is finite, a ruler over our lives, but it also maintains the pressure to move, and plan, with circumstances and settings in perpetual motion. There is more in one moment of time than is possible to see. If we stopped time, for a moment, we could not travel to all the destinations in one 100-year lifetime, in that moment of time. Each moment is a decision, shaped by personality, interpersonal relations, experience, attention span, wisdom, and physical ability, including intelligence. The fact statues stay constant, the ground is solid, and buildings are erect, give us a sense of consistency, familiarity. But, all this chaos and movement is filtered, and processed, by this device--a brain--that connects all our senses together, and perceives time, to create reality. Similar minds see the same spectrum of light, respond to similar stimuli, but what is reality? Is time simply a way of our brain perceiving the universe? This is where we live, by the way. In our brains. It is a universe on to itself, so when my mind is off, for a moment, comfort is all I ask. To balm the thoughts and energy with something so innate to the animal--bonding with another. We are seconds, inches, and perceptions away from finding that person. This is why I say "I'm surprised it is as common as it is." Because bonds form in this chaos, by commonalities. Because life is asking much more of us. And, when it happens, it is beauty. Do not ruin someone else's canvas because you have no idea how hard it is to find that one person. Opportunities, in everything, become more important. And time is a factor. So, be kind to anyone who expresses feelings for you. Be kind to yourself. And when it happens, value it, celebrate it. Do not hurt them. Do not control them, in chaos. Just live and be kind. Here endeth the lecture, and the lesson.

    ----
    When you rest this evening, I make the pieces of me you have stolen, available. The only condition is that your pieces appear within mine. May we dance amid flowing gowns and vaulted ballroom ceilings. Let us crackle the ground beneath our soles as the stars watch kindly. May we play in water fountains meant only for the phylum. May we fall from the sky and float on a cloud. May we drink wild nights with laughter in our teeth and burning our bellies. May you grin in your sleep and toss clocks in the morning. I know I will.
    May these dreams be guideposts and spark our ideas. May it grow our bond and savor our time. You let the pieces of me permeate and I will do the same. When restless and raging nights come, as they always do, can we remember these dreams? Can they keep us sane and at each other's side? You dancing. Me splashing. Your cloud and my star.
    It is time to dial the time to tomorrow. To rest. And think of all we could be, together.
    ----
    As you rest peacefully in my arms, they are cascading beneath their covers. The luster, from mine, fires beneath slumber. I have seen them flush and coarse as night fell. I have drained sombreness, unable to relieve the pain, standing firm and strong, because you need it. I have watched the flesh around them soften with my touch and harden against careless words. I know they are timeless, as consistent as the pines of snow drifts and baking heat. They will be my roots when age steals everything but those clouded windows where I peak the two souls we share. Night will fall once more and we will escape beyond the stars. Perhaps I will not need them anymore. Perhaps that will be the first full embrace. But, until that day, they rest. Here, against my arm.
    ---
    Crimson petals fall silently against a crisp, winter sky. A dark night overflows, at the brim, with raging lights. Diamonds, they have been called. A rock dull and coarse, tempered, to shine, by chaos, and gravity, pressure and energy. They align, and dot the darkened skies, across time and space. They give life a chance, a gift of existence. They shine, for all to see, but their presence is not hunted; they are constant; powerful; they are known, but not challenged, weakened, by frailties. They are too distant to challenge.
    Flower petals--fragrant and soft, precious and beautiful. It is easy to lose. Their gifts are subtle, given by the stars, and a mere hand can rip their flesh to pieces. The intricate and nuanced nutrient structures make me wonder how they survive. They have inspired love and romance. They have been nutrients, like the stars, for others. Valued, and brief, their lives are protected, more than protectors.
    The best of us, in crimson petals and night skies.
     
  19. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    The July session of Camp NaNoWriMo started yesterday. 600 words down, 14,400 to go.
     
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  20. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ok. I have to ask
    What if you put a poem or piece of writing on here and someone steals it to use as their own ?
    Isn't that a very real possibility ?