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Topics - Jedi Knight Muse

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Hi everyone!

So I wanted to send out an e-mail to let you guys know that we're still here and active! I've been crazy busy moving, and that's taken a lot of my attention away from the forum and staying on top of certain things. But now that things with that have mostly settled down, we can get back in the swing of things, and hopefully help kick the site's activity back into gear a bit more!

What's Going On At Worldsmyths?
First, we have the April writing challenge, which you can find the information for here.This month's prompts are dream and action scenes.

Next, we have the Worldsmyths Million challenge that's still going on. We have a number of members who have signed up for the challenge but have not checked in to the check in thread. While we know that everyone is busy (hopefully with writing!), we would appreciate it if you would please go to the check in thread and give your word counts, if you're still wanting to participate. If you no longer wish to participate, or need to be on hiatus from the challenge until further notice, please send a PM to @Jedi Knight Muse. The following members have not responded to the check in thread with their word counts:

Please try to make sure to check in to the thread soon with your word counts, or to let us know if you no longer plan to participate! 

One thing I plan on doing soon is working on some kind of a write up for giving/receiving critiques on the forum. There has been a struggle for a long time - since the start of the forum - with making sure that the submissions in the forum library, and especially the writing challenge submissions, receive feedback from other members. This is something that was recently brought up as a discussion by @katfireblade in this post, so something that we're planning on doing is coming up with a write up for some kind of a critiquing system that we would like to implement on the forum going forward, as soon as we can get it written and finalized. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to take some time and peruse the forum library and give some feedback to what's been submitted there! At some point I will also be making a post asking for suggestions on changing the way writing challenge submissions are submitted, since there seems to be some confusion with the current system, so please be on the look out for that.

Also, don't forget that we have the Worldsmyths Discord, the Smyths Guild, the password protected Restricted Section (please PM me if you would like access to it), the Camp NaNoWriMo 2018 section, and the Worldsmyths Book Club. We've also had some fun games going on lately, such as 2 truths, 1 lie.

As always, feel free to reply to this e-mail/post or send a PM with an questions or feedback you may have. Hopefully I'll have the aforementioned critiquing system write up done within the next week or so!

Happy writing!

The Worldsmyths Staff Team 

The Chatterbox / Moving on out, into an apartment!
« on: April 06, 2018, 09:09:36 PM »
So, I've been a little preoccupied lately, which is why I haven't been around on the site that much (and why I still have not attempted to write up any kind of a critique thing like I said I would -_- I swear, I'll get to it).

I put in an application for an apartment last week and before I knew it, I was contacted and I went and looked at it and have been waiting on various things to happen and I'm going on Monday to more than likely sign my lease? AND I'm scheduled to move in on Friday (April 13th). So needless to say, I'm a little overwhelmed/preoccupied/busy trying to deal with buying supplies and looking at couches and such.

I promise this won't last forever! I'm hoping that I won't have to get the ridiculously slow internet at my apartment 'cause that might make me a little less likely to want to be online more often...but we'll see! Hopefully I'll get my internet set up there sooner rather than later. I definitely do not anticipate falling off the face of the earth or anything like that, but I'm definitely going to be more preoccupied at least until I get myself into the apartment and get it cleaned and set up and everything.

So, I'll still be around- I'll reply to posts, log into the forum, be on Discord- but if you notice that I'm not around as much, especially for the next week or so (maybe even longer, depending on my internet situation), then this is why. But you can definitely catch me on Discord (when I'm not sleeping/at work)!

So'm...I dunno, feel free to tell me your biggest tips for apartment living (cause it's my first time, ever, doing so), or just reply to this post and be like "DO/REPLY TO THIS WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE TO!" and link me to it or something.

(I'm still hoping to be able to brainstorm for my sequel some time between packing/moving/working/sleeping, too.)

Archive / March Writing Challenge Voting
« on: April 01, 2018, 09:45:17 AM »
We have NINE submissions for this challenge! Thank you to everyone who submitted in the March challenge!

Please vote for your favorite! Keep in mind that there were two different prompts this time:

1. An exchange
2. Sharing 300-500 words of your opening for your Worldsmyths Million challenge project.

Suppertime Schemes by @Tyrannohotep
A Mysterious Situation by @katfireblade
Dmitri Prologue by @Sheepy-Pie
Drystan's Scene by @Manu
An Exchange of Information by @Jedi Knight Muse
The Survivor by @Elena
Firegard by @SecretRock
Age for Orphans by @Orange Juice
Toward Death by @Boolean

We'll give about a week to allow everyone to really take the time and vote. Good luck everyone, and don't forget to leave some feedback for those who participated when you vote!

The April challenge will be posted by Silver at some point today.

World Building / Map Making Resources
« on: March 28, 2018, 11:55:14 PM »
I think it would be good to have a compiled list of resources for map making! Photoshop/Gimp brushes, online map making sites like Inkarnate, tutorials, etc. Share your favorite things that have helped you to create your maps (especially if you can't draw to save your life, like me XD).

DeviantArt Brushes
(Keep in mind that some of these are ones that I just found, so I haven't actually tried them yet.
Also keep in mind that a lot of these are for NON-commercial use, so you may need to contact the maker if you want to use it commercially.
Also, there's a chance that I've repeated some of these, but I don't THINK I have. Let me know if you find repeats of the same exact thing, though.)
Map brushes
Overland map brushes
Tolkien style map brushes
Wilderlands map brushes
Old map elements brushes
Lord of the Rings map brushes
Map land mass brushes
Photoshop map brush
Map symbols
Cartography brushes
Map brushes
Mountain and tree brushes
Basic cartography brush set
Calligraphic cartography brush
Sketchy brushes add on towns
Diverse map icons, made by @Tyrannohotep
Map pack cost money, and you download them from here. I personally have not bought them.
Map brushes
Roads and landscapes
Fantasy set 2 mega pack
Scenery scrawl
Complete map collection
Water stains
Celtic border brushes
Runes brushes
Desert map brushes
Medieval brushes
Pirate brush set
Architect blueprint symbols
Ultimate grass brush set
Mountain brushes
Iconic town buildings
Ornament brushes
Nature brush set 2, also by @Tyrannohotep
Scroll banner corners
Pirate brushes
Black and white overland map symbols
Treasure maps
Medieval houses isometric map elements
RPG map elements
Banners - n - scrolls
Nautical brushes 2- sea monsters
Basic cartography brush set
Nature brush set for cartography- also by @Tyrannohotep
Ridge brushes
Compass rose brushes
RPG map elements
Fantasy map patterns
Fantasy image pack
Old map brush set II
Waves and bridges brush set
Calligraphic cartography brush
Old map brush set I
Handpainted mountains
Fantasy brush set 2
PS 6-0 Calthyechild Brushes
Lord of the Rings brushes
I want more mountains brushes
Nautical brushes
Tolkien Map brushes image pack
Map brush conversion PS 7
Hand draw map brush part 1
Fantasy brush pack 01
Old map brushes
Map symbols
Old map parchment

Simple labeling
Dungeon maps
Drawing buildings with dynamic brushes
Fantasy map tutorials

That's all I have for now.

World Building / Fantasy map elements discussion
« on: March 28, 2018, 10:19:28 PM »
So I'm working on outlining/world building for my sequel, and I started thinking about a map and what can go on it- i.e. cliffs, mountains, etc. So I thought that it would be good to have a discussion and list as many things as possible that could potentially go on a fantasy map. Here's the list I've come up with so far:

-Specific roads (i.e. The King's Highway)

I'm sure there's more I'm not thinking of! What else am I missing?

Resources & Research / 30 Days of World Building- two resources
« on: March 28, 2018, 04:51:32 PM »
So I found two different sets of world building questions a while ago. One is from here and the other, the Leviathan method, is here. The Leviathan one specifically requires you to have an outline for your story.

I'm attaching a Word file with the first one, in case anyone wants to download and print it out. I'll work on getting the other one into a Word file, too, but I wanted to share this one to start off.

Writing Discussion & Questions / Writing Sequels- discussion!
« on: March 26, 2018, 09:36:19 PM »
Kind of as a spinoff of my other post...

I've never gotten to the point of having to write a sequel before! (I mean, not for anything that I would actually count.) So now I'm like- assuming I end up starting to outline/write my sequel soon rather than waiting a while- I even write a sequel? How do you keep yourself familiarized with whatever returning characters there are, and get yourself back into their heads (especially if you haven't been writing about them in a while- i.e. if you start writing something completely new before starting on a sequel to a current project)? How do you get yourself to get back into focusing on a sequel involving characters that you haven't written with for a while?

What are your biggest tips/tricks for sequel writing?

Note: I know this is probably going to be one of those "it's totally up to you and what you feel is right for you" kind of things, but FOR THE SAKE OF DISCUSSION, and just to kind of...ease my brain/hopefully make me stop overthinking, I'd appreciate whatever advice you have.

So, I finished editing the second draft of Storms of Magic. It is now officially (basically) in the hands of my beta readers via Google docs, awaiting feedback. Up until now, I've been saying "okay, so, while I wait for feedback, I'm going to let myself start outlining the (unnamed) sequel and possibly start writing it!" But now that I'm at the point where I could possibly do's like I'm unsure of myself, I guess? Like, maybe I should at least wait until I start getting feedback from my beta readers before I start really outlining? I already have some notes for the sequel, but nothing super detailed and definitely not a full novel's worth. (I never thought I'd get to the point of a finished draft, never mind a sequel, for this story, so...I think I always figured there'd be more than one book to it, I just didn't plan that far ahead before starting to write Storms of Magic.) I mean, I'm thinking that it's totally possible that some of the feedback from beta readers could really end up influencing what I plan for the sequel, which may or may not be a good thing...but I also don't want to wait forever to start outlining the sequel...and possibly starting to write it.

And I mean, who knows? I could end up outlining it and then focus on doing a crazy amount of world building (or at least try to- who am I kidding? I'm really not that good at world building...but that's a totally separate thing) and by the time I get a fair amount of that done, I could have a fair amount of feedback to work off of for more ideas for the sequel, and more ideas are always a good thing when I don't currently have a completely full and clear picture of what's going to happen in the sequel. (I have notes, I have a vague idea of some things that will happen...but not tons.)

I donít really know if I want to go back to an old project/start on a new one while I wait, either, because Iím nervous that itíll be harder for me to go back to the Storms to edit for the third time, and even harder than that to start outlining/writing the sequel. Anyone who knows me knows that it's typically really hard for me to work on more than one writing project at once. If I start on a writing project, I typically need to stay focused on THAT project, rather than let myself work on more than one thing at once 'cause I'll get too distracted and will just end up with another unfinished story. That's how it usually goes, anyway.

So what do you guys think? If you were in my position, would you just start to outline for the sequel and see how far you got before your beta readers finished giving you feedback (keeping in mind that it could be several months before that feedback is actually finished)? Or would you, because you're able to handle more than one writing project at once, just start working on something else while you wait for feedback?
There is my failed NaNo from this past year (the expanded version of my September writing challenge entry, basically) that I could start really working on, and it does take place in the same world (though not at the same time)...just not with the same characters involved. 

It's like...I know what I could and want to do, but I'm not sure if it's really the right thing to be doing now it's like "now what?!"

World Building / Currency description help
« on: March 24, 2018, 11:26:43 PM »
So, I have a coin that I need help on the description for. All I know is that it's silver, and it's not common currency in Tethra, which is mainly where it's used. It helps Arris gain access to a (literally underground) marketplace, and to a magical portal-type-thingy that transfers him from Tethra to Illyria (which are across the water from each other, with at least three weeks at sea on a ship).

Help? -__- I haven't had to figure out currency before. Any ideas for specific images I could google or anything like that?

Prompts & Writing Games / Character Name Impressions game
« on: March 24, 2018, 08:55:25 PM »
I found this in an old Reddit post when trying to find more names to write down in my idea journal/to use as possible place names.

Post your character's name, and following commentators will give you their first impressions, opinions, and assumptions about the character. Don't tell anything about your characters in the first thread! Let's just see what people think about the names alone.

(If you already know something about the characters in a person's story, try to pretend you don't already know about it. Give what you thought your impressions were before you found out. Also, try not to list too many character names.)

Arris Galleron
Merek Andossian
Tiberius Andossian
Jem Andossian

Note that even if someone above you has already had theirs guessed, you can still take a guess at them! (i.e. you can still guess at mine even though someone already has.)

Bookworm's Corner / What are you currently reading [2018]?
« on: March 24, 2018, 08:17:51 PM »
Last year, I started reading The Magician's Guild, but I still haven't finished reading it. Not because I don't enjoy the book! I do. I like the characters and the plot. But I haven't been as interested in reading it. So I started reading Kelly Blanchard's Someday I'll be Redeemed, which I got for Christmas, the other night and I'm about four chapters in so far (the chapters aren't particularly long) and am really enjoying it.

What are you guys reading right now?

So I decided to rename some of my countries/kingdoms/whatever you wanna call them (I guess they'd all be part of one continent) and realized that I'm terrible at being consistent with using the same kinds of nationalities with names. XD They're kind of all over the place.

I thought that it would be fun to discuss our processes for finding names for various things in our worlds- characters, places, creatures, etc.

What are your favorite resources to go to to find names? What do you try to look for when choosing a name (meanings, origin, etc)?

What feeds your imagination for writing more than anything else (i.e. books and short stories, TV, movies, video games, life, etc...)? Has there been a specific experience that has inspired you more than anything else?

As always, feel free to invite others to give their own answers, as it's guest friendly, or suggest your own questions to us for future use.

Resources & Research / Magic System Template
« on: March 17, 2018, 11:48:18 PM »
A former/MIA member of ours, @Becca recently tagged me in a post she made in a Facebook group 'cause she wrote up a magic system template, and she said I could post it here for our use, so here it is. Feel free to take a look and download it.

If anyone's feeling ambitious, you're welcome to expand further on it and then share it with us, 'cause this is pretty basic, but it's definitely a good reference point to start off with.

Writing Discussion & Questions / Synopsis/blurb/tag line help
« on: March 16, 2018, 11:26:32 PM »
Is anyone else bad at writing synopsis's/blurbs or whatever you're supposed to have ready (i.e. whatever goes on the back/front cover and what you use for marketing purposes, like in the description on Amazon/Goodreads) and need help doing so?

This is a blurb that I wrote a while ago for Storms of Magic:
In a world full of magic, a queen's guard must flee for his life after being accused of murdering a foreign king's councilman, while his best friend works to uncover the evidence to prove his friend's innocence and save his life.

Does it need work? Maybe. I don't really know. But what I'm more worried about is an actual synopsis/whatever would need to go on the back cover and a tag line. So how do I expand on the above blurb without giving too much away? Anyone have any ideas for writing a synopsis for Storms of Magic (like, what I should include I guess?)?

Edit: I just realized that I also attempted to write a synopsis up a while ago, too, and this is what I had come up it probably needs work. Any thoughts?
He had one job: protect the queen.

That all changed for Arris Galleron the day Cressida, Queen of Illyria, visited Sephron, King of Alahan, and Arris found himself accused of murdering the King's councilman and sentenced to execution within the blink of an eye. Court Mage and Arris' best friend, Merek Andossian, finds out what has happened and, willing to do anything to save his friend's life, helps to break Arris out of prison and send him into hiding until Merek can find the evidence to prove Arris' innocence.

While Merek searches for clues to lead him to the true murderer, Arris travels across the sea to Tethra, where he meets up with the (name for group of rebels?), a group of rebels who plan to rebel against the Lamirill, the authority on magic in Tethra.

Insert something here about Cressida? And fairies? And blaaaargh I'm terrible at these things.

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