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Topics - Tyrannohotep

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Self Promo / The Peril of Kush - Finished Short, Historical Fantasy
« on: March 17, 2017, 09:45:06 PM »
The Peril of Kush

This is my personal variation of the archetypal dragon-slaying story. Let me know what you think in a review!

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The Chatterbox / So he finally, really did it
« on: January 28, 2017, 06:10:42 PM »

YOU MANIACS!  YOU GOT IT SIGNED! GOD DAMN YOU! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!

Sorry, something terrible happened today and I had to get it off my chest.


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Writing Discussion & Questions / Feeling frustrated with writing
« on: January 14, 2017, 10:45:33 PM »
I'm feeling very frustrated with writing right now. And I have felt that way many times over the years. To be honest, there are moments when I wonder whether I'm cut out for storytelling at all.

Don't get me wrong, I really want to be able to tell stories. Especially about the sort of things I like to draw, as you can see in my big art thread. The problem seems to be that, while I know what sort of things I want to write about, I have trouble thinking up decent stories for them. Every novel storyline I think up seems either cliched and predictable, or has big gaping plot holes or conceptual problems that send everything tumbling down. The only stories I've been able to finish are short and simple ones that turn out to be crap anyway. I'm rarely satisfied with what I write in the end.

Has anyone else been experiencing this sort of frustration lately?

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Movies, TV Shows & Musicals / Avatar: The Last Airbender
« on: January 13, 2017, 11:07:02 PM »
So I've finally gotten around to watching this on DVD. I must admit I went into it with mixed expectations. I'm not a fan of the whole "anime" style of animation, but I heard the Asian-influenced world-building is pretty good. And now I've seen the first couple of episodes, so far those expectations were pretty much met. I do like the distinctively Asian and Inuit theme of the setting, but the animation is pretty typical anime in that it's choppy as hell. But wait until I watch a few more episodes before I have a more informed opinion on the show as a whole.

Anyone here already a fan of the Last Airbender cartoon?

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Movies, TV Shows & Musicals / Disney's current reboot syndrome
« on: January 08, 2017, 11:19:49 PM »

I just saw the latest trailer for the upcoming Beauty & the Beast reboot. So far, it looks like all they've done is take the original animated film, scene by scene, and convert it into live-action (albeit with a shitload of CGI thrown into the mix). Not only is it totally unnecessary, it's real fucking lazy on Disney's part. I did enjoy last year's Jungle Book, but that at least tried to be different in terms of tone and narrative than its animated predecessor. This one is shaping up to be nothing more than a live-action/CGI regurgitation of a perfectly solid animated film.

And then they have more coming after this...

Disney, what the fuck is wrong with you? You're perfectly capable of making innovative films in your animation department (e.g. Moana), so what's with you and making live-action/CGI reboots of your animated classics? It's pointless and it's gotten real fucking annoying.

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The Chatterbox / Anger problems
« on: January 06, 2017, 12:17:57 PM »
I think I get angry too easily. Sometimes it's in response to the willful ignorance I see all over the Internet, sometimes it's when I am debating someone, and sometimes it's when someone criticizes or corrects me. Sometimes I even get irritated when someone interrupts whatever I'm concentrating on, for whatever reason. It's like the slightest provocation is enough to make me flare up inside.

In the past I've gotten myself banned on a number of Internet forums because I lashed out at my opponents. These days I think I have better control over my temper than I used to, but I worry that someday I'll snap again and inflict some serious damage. I also worry that I'll come across as an essentially bitter and toxic individual, because I tend to brood and vent over past hurts. This isn't healthy or comfortable for me at all. How can I fix it?

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Self Promo / Winter in Britain (Roman-era historical short-in-progress)
« on: December 17, 2016, 09:57:35 PM »
Winter in Britain
This is a short historical fiction I'm pretty much winging at this point. The setting is Britain during the Roman era, and the story is simply about a Roman legionary whose patrol gets ambushed by vengeful natives in the woods. I'm aiming for two scenes, with a word count between 2,500 and 3,000, with this little project. Any feedback is welcome, but I would particularly appreciate critique on the writing of the action scene(s).

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Worldsmyths Archive / Skeletons of African people found in Roman Britain
« on: December 06, 2016, 02:54:26 PM »
Leicester's Roman skeletons have "African links"

Quote
Skeletons found in Leicester could be the earliest examples of African people living in the famously diverse city.

The University of Leicester found 83 skeletons in a Roman graveyard dating back as early as the 2nd Century.

Six with possible African ancestry is the first evidence of migrants from the continent in the city, experts said.

...

The remains, dating between the 2nd and 4th Century, were discovered during a series of excavations between 2010 and 2015 at a former factory site in Western Road.

However, the university said some bodies were buried with grave goods or exhibit burial customs not previously seen in the city.

Mr Morris said six had African cranial features but "excitingly" two of them, one a child, appear to have been born in England.

...

Skeletons of African origin, dating from the same period, have been found in York and at Hadrian's Wall, but this is the first evidence in Leicester.

And this isn't even the first time they've found the remains of people with African ancestry in Roman-era Britain.

African origin of Roman York's rich lady with the ivory bangle
Quote
One of the richest inhabitants of fourth century Roman York, buried in a stone sarcophagus with luxury imports including jewellery made of elephant ivory, a mirror and a blue glass perfume jar, was a woman of black African ancestry, a re-examination of her skeleton has shown.

Of course, it makes some sense when it consider how big and transcontinental the Roman Empire was.


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Self Promo / The Perfect Shot
« on: November 16, 2016, 11:23:15 PM »
Just added a new short story draft to the Worldsmyths library, which I noticed has been curiously silent all month.

The Perfect Shot
Sid Francis, a struggling freelance photographer, goes on safari in search of the perfect shot. Of course the local wildlife is less than fully cooperative...

Please put all your comments in a review on the story itself.

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World Building / Musical magic system idea
« on: October 16, 2016, 11:08:19 PM »
This is simply a random idea I generated while picking up a couple of groceries tonight, so there is no story attached to this yet.

What if a magic system was based on music? And what if different cultures had ways of doing magic based on different genres of music?

As of now I have a couple of culturally specific, musical magic systems in mind.

1) One system belongs to an ancient Egyptian-influenced culture and draws on the hip-hop (or rap) music genre for inspiration. Each of the culture's various gods has a following of priests who invoke their power with special hand signals that resemble so-called "gang signs". These priests, the culture's primary mages, then perform energetic hip-hop-like dances as part of the spell-casting procedure, with each style of dance summoning a unique spell. To wear down rival mages' resolve, the priests will taunt them with rhymes much like what you hear in a rap battle.

2) Another system is associated with a more Mesopotamian-like culture and has a basis in heavy metal (or rock) music. The mages in this culture use enchanted lyres and lutes that sound like electric guitars when played. As the mage plays their instrument, they yell incantations to cast the spell along with insults that are also meant to erode their opponents' magical resolve. Or alternatively, each of the gods in this second culture would have a small "band" of priestly mages comparable to a heavy metal band.

That's what I got so far. How does this sound so far, and do you have any suggestions for expanding on this?

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Writing Discussion & Questions / Why write fantasy in the first place?
« on: September 29, 2016, 05:59:28 PM »
I believe the reason I got interested in the fantasy genre is because it's the only genre that allows me to customize reality.

I'm not such a diehard fan of the supernatural or mythical stuff commonly associated with fantasy literature. Most of my inspiration comes from things in the real world, especially its past. For example, I've always preferred dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures to dragons or other fantasy monsters, probably because dinosaurs were my first real "special interest". Later, after my second grade class did a unit on ancient Egypt, I developed a secondary passion for ancient and other pre-industrial history. While I do think it's fun to create my own cultures from the ground up, when world-building I oftentimes draw influences from real-world historical societies. Like, I might base one culture on Egypt, another on the Zulu, a third on imperial China, and so on.

On the other hand, while sometimes truth can indeed be stranger than fiction, other times I've found it can be disappointing in certain ways. That's where the customization aspect comes in. When writing in the fantasy genre, I can take those aspects of reality that I find interesting, leaving out the disappointing parts, and modify that reality to make it more to my liking. For example, while humans and non-avian dinosaurs never coexisted in the real world, in a fantasy world I have the power to juxtapose them together. If a culture I find interesting turns out to have been oppressively patriarchal, I can modify it so that it's more gender-egalitarian while keeping the parts of that culture that I like. That way I can create a sort of "alternate history" that channels what I like about real history without being marred by the more disappointing bits.

So what are your reasons for writing in the fantasy genre?

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Worldsmyths Archive / Feedback desired for an adventure story outline
« on: September 15, 2016, 12:35:11 AM »
This is a brief, sketchy outline for an adventure story set in South Sudan. There are quite a few gaps I need to fill in, particularly in the middle act, but this is what I got so far.
(click to show/hide)
So what are your thoughts?

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Self Promo / The Elephant Joust
« on: August 27, 2016, 09:09:44 PM »
This one's a quickie I wrote over the course of two days. It's a simple affair of a guy jousting for a woman's hand, but of course they're using elephants instead of horses. Any critique would be appreciated.

The Elephant Joust

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Self Promo / Blessing of the Moon
« on: August 05, 2016, 07:12:56 PM »
Blessing of the Moon

This has a similar setting to my earlier "Mark of a Muvhimi" story---in fact, they could very well be the same world. The basic storyline is about slavers getting their comeuppance at the hands of a jungle heroine and her raptor allies. Enjoy and please review if you have comments!

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Worldsmyths Archive / Conflict between different pantheons of gods
« on: July 22, 2016, 10:24:36 PM »
I have a world where the gods of various mythologies around the Earth coexist on separate continents. Each continent represents a "Heaven" or abode for a certain pantheon of gods and has its own distinctive climate, flora, and fauna, as well as settlements of human souls which the gods preside over. The gods of Egyptian mythology lord over the continent of Iaru (or the "Field of Reeds"), the Greek gods reside on Olympos, the Norse gods in Asgard, and so forth. In addition, each of these continents is connected to the mortal realm via the tunnels of the Underworld (based on the Egyptian concept of the Duat).

The story I have in mind is about three goddesses from Egyptian mythology: Neith, Bastet, and Sekhmet. All of these goddesses were at one point associated with war (though Bastet later became a goddess of music and dance), so in my vision they're friends who hunt and fight together. One moment when they are in the bush of Iaru, the lecherous Greek god Zeus abducts Bastet and carries her off to Olympos.

Neith and Sekhmet implore Ausar (Osiris), the ruling god of Iaru, to organize a raid to rescue Bastet from Zeus. However, Ausar doesn't want to instigate a war between Iaru and Olympos, so the two goddesses decide to have to take matters into their own hands to free their friend.

There are a couple of things I need to figure out as I plot this:

1) It's important that Ausar opposes Neith and Sekhmet's zeal to rescue Vastet since he doesn't want to start shit with the Olympians. Odds are that once he realizes the two goddesses have disobeyed him and left for Olympos, he'll send at least one of the other gods of Iaru after them. On the other hand, since Zeus is technically the troublemaker here, I don't know if war would break out between the two pantheons if the Egyptian goddesses attack him. His philandering tendencies aren't exactly a secret among the other Greek gods, not even his own wife, so would they really rally behind him in a war of the gods?

2) I want to give Bastet something to do while she's in Zeus's captivity. I've decided she's a feisty young goddess who looks up to Sekhmet and Neith and craves her chance to be a great huntress and warrior too, so Zeus could manipulate her by appealing to this need somehow (e.g. by giving her enemies to hunt/fight). On the other hand, that scenario would make for a predictable example of Stockholm Syndrome which I'm not sure I like.

Any thoughts on this?

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