Malazan Empire: Your Works-in-Progress - Malazan Empire

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Your Works-in-Progress

#41 User is offline   Macros 

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 09:12 PM

when i get ideas in bed i have to grab a [en and jot them down, my short term memory is horrendous :D
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#42 User is offline   Raymond Luxury Yacht 

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 11:01 PM

I just go ahead and forget them, since in 29 years I still haven't gotten around to writing. Other then the time when I was about 11 and wrote a chapter of what was pretty close to being a word for word copy of Pawn of Prophecy.
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#43 User is offline   Chance 

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 11:47 AM

Yellow;338608 said:

You guys need to just sit down and do some writing :p It's painful at first, but it gets easier with time... if you plan forever, it'll all be for nothing as it won't get written :D


And like most plans I would hazard it wont entierly survive a chapter written :p
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#44 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 12:03 PM

Yellow;338816 said:

Ah, you'll have to wait and see :p

You should get some of your stuff written up, it sounds fascinating. Have you read Iain M Banks latest book, Matter? It has a similar onion-layered world like the one you describe (he calls them shellworlds, I think). You might find it useful inspiration :D


I might just do that.

I have stuff written up. I write small short stories about a mercenary companys adventures within that world. It's an easy way of testing my ideas and the worldbuilding.
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#45 User is offline   Lisheo 

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 03:31 PM

Im in the middle of a novel myself, its bout half done. :D
Its about a continent divided by three empires, one more dominant than the others, called the Sabril Empire. Unfortunatly the mad Emperor and his sorcerors have been mesing with ancient dangerous artifacts and as a consequence, a very dangerous being is about to be released.
Coming to answer this threat is the mysterious Dawnweaver and his group of extremely skilled Headhunter mercenaries, featuring the most powerful Fire Mage ever, Caul. Also approaching the Sabril Empire are Lasender the Dragon Lord, Orose Carius who aspires to be the God of Time.
However, inside the Emperor's court, all is not going well. His Minister First Degree Tschen plots to overthrow him, and the Master Assassin known as the Mistress Witch is about to free the insane mage Feint from his prison.
Meanwhile, encouraged by the Sabril Empire's decayin state, the North Empire prepares to go to war.
“People have wanted to narrate since first we banged rocks together & wondered about fire. There’ll be tellings as long as there are any of us here, until the stars disappear one by one like turned-out lights.”
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#46 User is offline   Yellow 

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 06:53 PM

Lisheo;339315 said:

Orose Carius who aspires to be the God of Time.


Aim for the top, eh? :p Nice to hear you're getting a chunk of the way through. Once you get over the initial hump, it gets easier, I think. You can start to see your way through :D Sounds good, Lish.
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#47 User is offline   Raymond Luxury Yacht 

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 07:22 PM

One thing I would like to do is write a fantasy novel where I avoid every single fantasy cliche and overused element. Problem is, it would be hard to keep such a book in the genre at all!
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#48 User is offline   Macros 

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 08:32 PM

i want to write a novel where everry single fantasy cliche and overused element is ultilised fully. join me in my quest for epic cheesyness!
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#49 User is offline   Raymond Luxury Yacht 

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 12:35 AM

Macros;339526 said:

i want to write a novel where everry single fantasy cliche and overused element is ultilised fully. join me in my quest for epic cheesyness!


That sounds fun too, just try to cram every single cliche in that you can. Sadly, I think it would have a better chance of publication than the one with no cliches.
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#50 User is offline   Macros 

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:45 AM

exactly, my earlir suggestion for colaberation seems to have fallen on its face but i think it would a fun exercise.
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#51 User is offline   Raymond Luxury Yacht 

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 07:26 PM

It would be fun, but who has the time?
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#52 User is offline   Yellow 

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 07:38 AM

Yeah, screw the cliché story... write your book instead! :mad:
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#53 User is offline   Raymond Luxury Yacht 

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 08:37 AM

I plan to start writing once i line up a good job. It's hard to justify trying to write a novel that no one will ever read when the time could be spent job hunting.
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#54 User is offline   Yellow 

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 09:37 AM

Very true. However... out of all the time you spend job hunting, how much of that time is actually spent on the internet (or watching TV or just doing not very much)? You could spend that "dead time" working on the book.

Course, I realise that writing sometimes needs its own time, set out specifically for it. I'm the kind of guy who can't just dip in and out of it. I need to dedicate time to it (which is why I sometimes go nearly two months without doing any work on my book... because I feel I just don't have the time). Whatever works for you, I guess.
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#55 User is offline   Raymond Luxury Yacht 

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 09:59 AM

Yellow;340602 said:

Very true. However... out of all the time you spend job hunting, how much of that time is actually spent on the internet (or watching TV or just doing not very much)? You could spend that "dead time" working on the book.

Course, I realise that writing sometimes needs its own time, set out specifically for it. I'm the kind of guy who can't just dip in and out of it. I need to dedicate time to it (which is why I sometimes go nearly two months without doing any work on my book... because I feel I just don't have the time). Whatever works for you, I guess.


Logically that makes sense. In reality, however, I don't want to try to explain that logic to my wife, who works 80 hours a week. She would be less than impressed, I think.
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#56 User is offline   Aimless 

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 09:15 PM

I'm no writer, but I've been working on a fantasy world of my own since I first discovered the genre, fifteen years ago. I think almost all my ideas have changed a great deal between then and now, but my general approach to this creative pursuit hasn't--I'm a world-builder at heart, and a great fan of magic and science, so my focus has been on exploring magic systems and figuring out how the use of magic has shaped my world.

Here's an outline (put together just today! fresh! hot!) of the different kinds of magic and their influence on my world's history and cultures:

http://widescreenlife.blogspot.com/

The most important development that's occurred in recent years has been a regression.

I, er, abandoned my plot almost entirely. It happened sometime after I'd decided I needed to flesh out my world a lot more, get some more back-story, more history... Suddenly I realised that I had more promising plot-ideas popping up in the back-story than I did in the "main" story. Furthermore, as a consequence of the continued development of the world and the background, the main story began to come apart--it had, after all, grown over the years in a messy, organic way, and was now detached from the foundation I was building.

Rather than to try and fit that foundation together with the story I'd so lovingly nurtured for so many years... I decided to let my baby die (albeit with the hopes of preserving its "spirit" for use in a future story).

A while ago, I decided to take a break from my world-building fancies as well. I got very discouraged by the similarities between the magic system I'd been working on for so long... and Erikson's mother-@#¤*ing warrens!



I've tried to adhere to some guiding principles, and to think about themes.

I'm particularly pleased with the consequences of making a figure of speech--being open minded--into something real (both the pros and cons, the strengths it confers and the weaknesses it exposes). When I began, I had no intention of creating a world where the "bad guys" are artistic individualists and the "good guys" are, for lack of a better word, "sheep"!

I'm also pleased with the results of focusing on convergent cultural evolution.

Err, guys, it's getting late and I'm just going to rudely interrupt myself right now so no-one else has to!

*runs off*

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#57 User is offline   Dagger 

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 06:49 PM

In a similar thread on ASOIAF I posted this:

I have two projects going at once. I have this novel in rewrite that I have been working off and on for many years now. I'm rewriting some very old first draft stuff and it is taking forever. I feel that I have just lost the spark for it but I have so much time and emotion invested in this book that I can't quit now. This is a non-genre book, the protagonist is a successful cartoonist who returns to the small town where he grew up after his son is killed in a car accident. I've kept the prose very sparse and direct, trying to keep it as close to the bone as possible. Now I am doubting myself with so many issues in this book that I find myself just mired every time I try to write.

While participating in an Artists Way group, I would journal (they call it Morning Pages) every day. The originator of Artists Way said she did this for several months while sitting at a desk that faced a mountain landscape. She said one day in her journal a man walked down off the mountain in her journal and a new novel began. So about four weeks into daily morning pages I thought about this idea and had a man riding down a mountain on horseback. I described the man, and then wrote that a wolf trotted beside him. They reach a ridge that looks down over a valley and the man reins the horse to stop and looks down at the wolf. "Call your brothers." And the wolf begins to howl.

Now I've got approximately ten pages of notes on the magic system, technology, gods, religion, terrain, characters, races, and names of twenty some chapters. A world is being built and remarkably fast. I decided immediately that instead of a medieval setting (way too much research to get off the ground) I would invent a world similar to the American West post-Civil War (guns are fun) and being I grew up in the West, less research needed. Now I've got a cavalry regiment stationed on the edge of the frontier, mages are a part of the regiment, and the tribes are uniting to sweep them all away.

The question is, can I do it? Coming up with ideas is far easier than the real drudgery of writing. Plus to do fantasy properly these days, you need at least three books in a series. What I have right now could easily spread to that size of a saga but is it in me to write this? I am not a young man and I do not work quickly. Can I write this series and see it through? Or is this a project that will fill all of my spare time and end up abandoned? And what do I do with my current novel? My writing time is limited and I work slower now than I used to. I have to think this out and figure out what I can honestly do.
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#58 User is offline   Use Of Weapons 

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 08:14 AM

I've got a number of half-finished half-baked short stories, and two universes that I fleshing out in order to write in, one of which is the current WiP. The one on the back-burner is a typical mediaeval/Renaissance fantasy setting based on France, in which all magic derives from sugar or chemical equivalents. The best magician is the one who can combine the various flavours of sugar to acheive certain effects -- his Majesty's Chocolatier Royale :p

The one I'm working on right now is much bigger, and not mediaeval at all. The premise is that the Gods (of which there are 99, aspects of the Unnamed One above all) created the Race of Man, which was given a choice: stay immortal and undying, but never procreate; or become subject to death, and have children, and invent. Around 2000 took the first option, and became the Undying, and they appear throughout history as respositories of all the knowledge that the Races of Man have accumulated. The others split into three groups: 1) The Elders, or the Grey Ones, who live long lives but are not immortal, and procreate infrequently; 2) Man as we understand, short-lived but with enormous creative energy; 3) The bad guys (as yet unnamed), who reject the offer and want it all. Which is not to say that there aren't bad guys from the other races, but these guys have an evil purpose. Or is it that evil?

Because the Undying have been around for so long, and act as collectors of Man's ingenuity, nothing created has ever been forgotten (though they have acted to supress information or technology they think is destructive). So there are no forgotten civilisations, forgotten methods of magic, or forgotten peoples and continents -- everything is in the Archives. Including relics from the Time of War, the third Age of the World, in weapons were deployed to stop the rise of the bad guys above. Our story begins in the Fourth Age, when the weapons of the Time of War are but legend, but the scars of the conflict remain.

There is an item called the Slaver's Crown, which according to legend allows the wearer to exert complete domination over people. The bad guys are trying to find it, and they know the Undying know where it is. At the same time, there is an empire, called the Galant, of people who worship horses, organised on much the same lines as Plato's Republic. The gold, the best of the empire, are set apart and educated to become the leaders, teachers, generals and rulers of the empire, and are fused magically with their horses, thereby gaining long lives (three times a normal human lifespan). I like centaurs, y'see :p The empire is non-expansionary, but its neighbours, who are not as well-educated, don't believe this, and are paranoid about its possible expansion in their direction. Into the midst of these tensions comes Uchar, one of the Undying, and the keeper of the secret of the Slavers Crown...
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#59 User is offline   Wordmerchant 

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 02:47 PM

Currently, I am working on a 10K word short for Amazing Stories, and just got a licensing agreement for some RP supplements, the first two of which are about 90% complete first drafts. A lot of rewrite, contracting for artwork and layout is in my near future, as I would like to have the first of these to the printers by JAN09.
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#60 User is offline   Epiph 

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 04:03 PM

I'm currently reworking my efforts from NaNoWriMo last year. In a nutshell, it's about a changeling whose half-human half-fairy daughter is kidnapped and her fight to get her daughter back. It's set in a world that started out as vaguely similar to the Dreaming of Neil Gaiman's Sandman, and has become more and more like it as I developed things; my only defense is that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...
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