Recent Changes

Sunday, August 21

  1. page The Guildhall edited ... Inhabitants: Timothy Strongarm, and other hunters. Description ... its right lie are th…
    Inhabitants: Timothy Strongarm, and other hunters.
    its right lieare the armory
    On the left of the Mess are three more buildings. Barnaby's Exquisite Delights, manned by the dwarf, Barnaby, and packing some of the most destructive magical devices seen this side of the Wood. Directly above it is the Books, where hunting contracts and emergencies are handled. It's from here that the various parties are coordinated and sent out on missions. And finally, to the utmost left stands the barracks, where new hunters live until they either get fed up and leave, or get fed up and find a place in town.
    (view changes)
    12:52 pm

Thursday, August 11

  1. page Orion159 edited ... Vignette and critiques Over the Edge ... and Heroes [WIP] The Truth of the Balesh (Crit…
    Vignette and critiques
    Over the Edge
    and Heroes [WIP]
    The Truth of the Balesh (Critique)
    Hide Away (Critique)
    (view changes)
    11:00 am

Tuesday, June 28

  1. page Orion159 edited W {Chillin.jpg} orld #1 - Post-apocalyptic Columbus, NE Metanarrative sections (Group writing) …
    W {Chillin.jpg} orld #1 - Post-apocalyptic Columbus, NE
    Metanarrative sections (Group writing)
    Items, Locations, Characters
    Meric's Touch (Critique)
    Stabbing at the Nerve
    World #2 - Tychus Morgana
    Metanarrative sections (Group writing)
    Hide Away (Critique)
    FINAL PROJECT - The Abyssal Forest
    Metanarrative sections (Group writing)
    Magic (Editted by DJ)
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    5:00 pm
  2. page Orion159 edited ... - Post-apocalyptic Columbus, NE Metanarrative sections Economy
    - Post-apocalyptic Columbus, NE
    Metanarrative sections
    (view changes)
    4:42 pm

Thursday, June 2

  1. page For Some Friends edited ... through the bundle of people on the packed sidewalk. She ... and restaurants here were …
    through the bundle of people on thepacked sidewalk. She
    and restaurants here were so
    street, jazz music was emanating
    one or 19th century style two lamps that look like they came out of the 19th century.lamps. It was
    of patrons who were theirthere were scattered
    be late. TheBrilliant as he was, the man's mind
    place and though he was brilliant, he lacked
    I hope he has enough sense to concentrate on this.
    The bartender approached her.
    "What'll ya have?" she said.
    the drinks twice.twice on her way over. She sat
    The door to the tavern flew open. An older man with white hair hurried in, knapsack in hand. It was Fergus. The quiet conversations died down to nothing. The lack of acknowledgement people had had for Arden was hard to allow for Fergus. People from all corners of the room eyed him down as he looked around. He made eye contact with Arden and smiled. Arden gave him a shy wave. The conversations began to come back after Fergus sat down in the booth.
    "Could you be more subtle?" Arden said.
    recalibrate the current.voltage. Do you
    Arden pulled the paper out of her pocket and gave it to him. Fergus slid on his goggles and took the lamp out of his bag. He flipped it on and its purple glow spilled out across the table. It was a little brighter than Arden hoped it would be. She took a quick glance around, but no one seemed to be looking. Fergus held the invoice up to the lamp.
    "Whoever you got this from was right, ten in all."
    She took it from him and looked for herself. There is was. Ten selkie skins coming into the docks tonight. Her friends will finally be able to get back into the zoo. They'll be so happy.
    "You brought the fakes right?"
    up his knapsack more.knapsack. Arden could
    texture and weightcolor were right.
    overlook. The lack of sheen on the noses and curvature of the tale was slightly
    to ask. He could throw the rest away if he wanted to. She downed
    "Okay, let's get going. I have a guy who will meet us at the docks. We just have to give him the invoice and he'll get us to the shipment."
    "Wait, how'd you manage to swing that?"
    was received.

    grabbed the
    were wide with with fear.
    the blue collaredcollar standard, their
    she was.
    "Got somewhere to be, huh?" The woman reached down and picked up the invoice. Her face told Arden that she already knew what it was. She handed it to one of the men, stoic as he put it in his pocket.
    father will likewant to have
    (view changes)
    9:50 am

Sunday, May 29

  1. msg Comments on the Forest message posted Comments on the Forest You should be commended for a number of different narrative techniques you've experimented with her…
    Comments on the Forest
    You should be commended for a number of different narrative techniques you've experimented with here, especially the idea of the world description being part of the narrative and the collaboratively written short story. The world itself has lots of interesting wrinkles in it too, especially because the nature of the forest makes it difficult to make any definitive claims about anything. The one thing I would recommend is to look at the points where there are highs and lows in the numeric system--particularly social services, class, gender, sexual identity, arts--and develop those even more. Some of the paragraphs for those sections only touch on these aspects, but that's where you need to do a deeper dive on explaining how they work and what they mean. The forest is an "other" and isn't really understood, but what's more interesting is how the people of this world manage themselves in the face of this uncertainty. Perhaps the forest even serves as a metaphor, a lurking mysterious place of danger that blinds people to the very real dangers of their own society.

    I'm particularly interested in how the 1 in social services would translate to the social issues, of which there are many in this world. It seems like beyond a "fend for yourself" situation in terms of education and healthcare, that this 1 might be the active denial of social services, almost like a caste system. With a 5 in class relations, I'd think this would be *the* point of tension in this world. Even though there isn't much wealth and it's pretty evenly distributed, the numbers point to the differences between the classes being extreme, and this is (too quickly and easily) explained away by saying "Ol Nan keeps it equal." That drains the tension right out of this point of conflict because what you're really interested in is the forest. That's okay, the forest is indeed cool, but it will be a much deeper, crazier kind of conflicted world if certain classes/castes of people are completely abandoned, and they're no longer going to stand for it. Think about a slave's rebellion or the background to the French Revolution; now put that on the edge of the Abyssal Forest. Fireworks?

    If the borders of the forest are perpetually moving, and it's so deep and dark that it's easy to lose your way, what if the center of the forest seemed to move too? If the edges move, that means the center moves, no? And what if one of the threats in this world is that the forest isn't getting larger necessarily, but the edges are moving further, meaning the center is moving more, which unpredictably could bring the center closer to civilization? What if, for example, the center of the forest happens to show up on the doorstep of Boulderfast? What happens then?

    I was unclear whether the entire narrative about the world was being told by a guide or not. The italicized sections clearly are, as demonstrated by the use of "we" throughout. Other sections seemed much more distant and anonymous. I think this whole world description page could be repackaged as a guide talking to a client s/he is taking through the forest. It's a trope of the fantasy novel that the experienced helper explains the world to the newcomer, and this would make sense in this context. During a long trip, it's common for a traveler to ask a guide about customs and history and politics, etc. It would also allow you to really jazz up the narrative. How would a female guide describe the gender politics? How would a male guide? That would be a fantastic way to root this whole descriptive/wiki section in a particular character's voice. You're already half way there. The reader just needs to know who is doing the telling and what his/her biases are.
    8:43 am
  2. msg Comments on South Boston Order of Druids message posted Comments on South Boston Order of Druids I like this world a lot. It reminds of work like Gaiman's "Neverwhere" (with a hidden mag…
    Comments on South Boston Order of Druids
    I like this world a lot. It reminds of work like Gaiman's "Neverwhere" (with a hidden magical London) or the Fables series of comics by Bill Willingham. My encouragement with this world is to go deeper in every aspect, and really tease out some of the other sources of tension in the world. Based on this description, the world seems pretty even keeled with race being one of the flash points, but even there it's not too not--non-Caucasians being required to demonstrate some feat of magic to prove their ability strikes me as more of a slight discrimination (maybe a 4 on the scale?) rather than a 5, which is supposed to be more extreme.

    There's a lot to delve into deeper here. What if, for example, the race issue blended with other patterns of migration and magical belief systems? For example, maybe the reason the old school Druids are extremely racist is because they don't want African, Asian, South American, Middle Eastern, or Eastern European brands of magic diluting what makes their brand of druidic magic "pure"? This sense of dilution has long been a part of racial politics, that non-white blood spoils purity. This has largely had to deal with procreation, but I could see this mixing with magic in interesting ways. And besides, who wouldn't want to see what results when you mix djinn with selkies? That could be a lot of fun to play with.

    The other thing that I feel is a little lacking is the specificity of the Druids' system of magic. Druid magic is associated with nature, and I would think that trying to align ancient magical practices that rely on a green and fervent land would be difficult to square in an urban and polluted environment. Does the pollution in the environment turn their "pure" magic dirty? Might that also complicate questions pertaining to race, whereas the old guard are fighting for a purity that doesn't even exist? You might also think about the King Arthur myths, which are closely tied to blending pagan nature religions with Christianity to make the latter more palatable, much like the Icelandic sagas are a bit about blending Norse myth with Christianity,

    This is a cool world. I just think the dangers in it should be more pronounced in the description. The more danger in the world, the higher the stakes for the characters; the higher the stakes for the characters, the more important every decision becomes for each character.
    7:43 am

Friday, May 27

  1. msg Comments on Emineo message posted Comments on Emineo This is great stuff! I really like how complicated and intertwined things are in terms of the role …
    Comments on Emineo
    This is great stuff! I really like how complicated and intertwined things are in terms of the role of magic, and how it permeates all facets of society. It reminds me of how, for example, certain regions are known for a certain thing--Maine and lobster--and then it feels like that whole society is somehow connected to that thing--so we get people who catch lobsters, but also people who supply those who catch lobster, and we have those who cook lobster, and that a lobster itself has a certain amount of value for barter in that economy. People then become woven into that system at various levels--someone who own a lobster processing plant makes more money and is higher up the social ladder than someone who catches lobsters. And then of course there's the threat to that way of life.

    A couple of things that I'd push you to think through more would be the anachronistic phrases, like calling it a "Libertarian" society, or one that runs on a capitalistic system. These political and economic systems are a product of our world, and have particular meanings in our time. You use them as a shorthand to describe the world to a contemporary reader, but resist that. Capitalism has its own history that emerges from specific cultural contexts--Native American tribes or dwellers in the Gobi desert wouldn't have thought about their economy in capitalistic terms. It's very much an invention of a Western mindset. Likewise, the Libertarianism that you describe seems distinctly American, especially in opposition to an "oppressive" government. To a functioning socialist democracy where citizens see the need to help others, the government provides a crucial role in looking after everyone; Libertarianism is freedom, but it's also a freedom to not be bothered by other people's pain and well-being. On a more negative note, one might call it Selfishism. It's great if you're smart and able-bodied, but not so hot if you have a disability or can't function in the way the society is set up. Do I expect you to nail all of this in your fictional world? Of course not. However it is one example of how you can keep pushing on ideas, peeling back layers, looking at how the "now" of your world came to be.

    One other thing is that the word "null" comes up before it's defined in a later section. I would think that the presence of Nulls in society would be a big deal, and I'd put that in the overall description of the world up top. This is a perfect example of the complications in the above paragraph. Nulls would have a very, very hard time making their way in a world that's largely defined by magic. I would think that in this world the Nulls would have very little value as individuals--their very name is described as a lack of something, an emptiness that the majority have. Unless you've got an extraordinarily tolerant society, they would likely be degraded and looked down upon. In a society that runs on magic, the nulls would like have to live in their own ghetto and trade knowledge among themselves. Maybe that doesn't work with the numbers you turned over for each category, but then there needs to be a stronger explanation for how it's not a major issue. If 75% of the population have an attribute and 25% don't, that's going to be a source of tension.

    Again, these criticisms are meant to encourage you to think even deeper about what these terms mean, what the numeric values mean, and how to establish relationships between them. Good job for putting this together in about two weeks.
    8:53 am

Tuesday, May 24