Worldsmyths



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It looks better to me, I used to struggle with where to put stuff and have got it wrong more than once. On the first one, I would feel a little lost about where I should post a story - Feedback/Revision - or - Submissions - or - Librarium - but this is quite probably my problem and not a universal thing.
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Published Works / Re: Richard Jones
« Last post by Lord_Aetius on Today at 08:31:55 AM »
liked
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Being a white, heterosexual man myself, writing a fantasy series with the traditional medieval European setting, I think there is a danger - if that's the right word - of unthinkingly making all my characters the same as me. I think most writers want to achieve some diversity, not necessarily from the point of view of checking boxes, but presenting characters with some range - different personalities/backgrounds.  So I have at times asked myself - are people from this area white, or could they be some other colour? Why have I made this character a man, or straight? As a result I have changed things from time to time. It hasn't changed the story very much. In a fantasy world, being a different race doesn't necessarily lead on to racism - that's a decision to be made by the writer, partly down to whether they want that kind of story line in their current work. But still, I think it's better for it to be a decision than just something you haven't considered. Of course, there was racism in the medieval era e.g. towards Jews, albeit of a different kind to modern era racism (more focused on religion than genetics). What fantasy settings often have is other humanoid races, and part of worldbuilding is considering what these races think of each other.

How readers react to what you write isn't under your control, but we are writing for people to enjoy what we write and for SOME people this issue does affect enjoyment, just like style, spag, levels of sex/violence/swearing, POV, etc etc all do for some people. You get some feedback on all these things - someone who gave me a positive review said they liked that there were women who were heroes, villains, and in between, and that they liked how they were portrayed. There are readers out there who will respond positively to the same thing for race, disability etc. So as writers I think we do our best - it might not be our strength, or it is something to improve - but we do our best just like we do our best with all the other elements that go into writing a story.
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The condensed form looked good, I do agree with
Foundations: For the stuff you work out before you start writing/sort of outside the writing, like worldbuilding, plotting, etc.
Getting the Words Out: (uck, but a better title please) For the actual writing, dealing with writer's block, etc.
What Comes Next?: For revision, feedback, and publishing advice.
This seems to work better for writing process purposes.
I like the idea of the portfolio, but then there should also be like writing workshops around a certain thing and then in the portfolio there should be links to that person's topic with their try-outs of those so that people can critique on them. Just to help them improve their writing in a specific area. Use the challenges as well to show what the person has done with the critique they have been given. So you can really see a line of progress in their writing in their portfolio.
But I also sort of think that you should be able to sort of 'unlock' stuff as you achieve more in your portfolio? Wouldn't know what in regards to this forum, but maybe like at some point they can gain access to a special forum where you can write things that Worldsmyths will publish? (Like the anthology that was suggested in the other feedback thing) That way people who want to do that sort of thing can prepare for it and work for it, while others can just get the critique they want.

Some of the others are saying that the game stuff can go to the discord, but I'm not actually sure that the forum games work there cause it's an entirely different media. There are games on the discord, and we can certainly do a channel for games (like we do for the pokemon thing) with games specifically for discord, but I think that the forum games should stay here as well.
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The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« Last post by Tyrannohotep on November 11, 2018, 09:23:00 PM »
Couple of Egyptian goddess portraits I did, depicting Sekhmet and Bastet from top to bottom, respectively:


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Writing Discussion & Questions / Re: Can diversity be "forced" in fantasy literature?
« Last post by Mynoris on November 11, 2018, 02:47:57 PM »
I think there are two questions people are answering here - "Can diversity be forced" and "Should diversity be forced".

Can it be forced? Yes, when a writer includes characters they otherwise wouldn't to avoid criticism or to please certain groups.

Should diversity be forced? This requires a bit more nuance.
Should an author be forced to include a wider variety of characters that aren't straight or white? No, because they will probably botch it if it is coming from a disingenuous place.


I think you hit the nail on the head with 'disingenuous'.

I admit, I'm very guilty of not having a wide range of ethnicity in several of my stories.  A lot of my historical interests centered around Britain, so a lot of my mental images will be of, well, white people.  I generally write in a pseudo-historical, or outright fantasy setting.  Often times skin color is not brought up directly, except as comparing who is darker or lighter than another character, without saying straight up that X is white or black or anything in between.

I'm also guilty of most characters being strictly heterosexual, or sexuality isn't even brought into question.  I think a lot of this stems from the fact that I'm not only heterosexual myself, but that I've been telling stories to myself since I was 4 years old, and I started writing stories when I was 12.  At the time (early 1990's) there wasn't as much talk about diversity in orientation or gender identity.  I wasn't even aware of such things until probably a decade later.  Add to the fact that  I was very slow to become interested in sexuality at all, so my early years of forming writing habits were fairly orientation blind.   When I did start to write about such things (after I was married and had experience) I was only comfortable writing from a view point that I knew something about personally.

One time, on a writing dare, I wrote up a gay character.  He wasn't important really and I don't know if I did him justice.  It was hard to do.  Writing is hard enough sometimes as it is.  That's not to say people shouldn't push themselves outside of their comfort zone, but I would rather see people writing period than to stop because they've hit a wall they're not ready to tackle. 

Does this make me a bad writer?  Possibly.  Does it make me a bad person?  I certainly hope not.
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Announcements & Information / Re: Feedback Wanted: Condensing the Forums
« Last post by bdcharles on November 11, 2018, 02:22:37 PM »
Hi, my thoughts are:

-Overall look of the forums themselves- are they condensed enough? Do they need to be condensed more? Do we need more sub-forums? If so, what do you think we need that will be easy to find?

The general look is fine - straightforward. You might want to think about having the most attractive stuff up top - rather than administrative stuff like introductions and archives and general non-writing related chat and the discord redirect, I would, as a user, want to see stuff about getting published, critique, beta readers, there, and the like, up there first. The rest of it can be later.

-Are you okay with the idea of the world building/plotting/character development/brainstorming discussions/questions being condensed into one sub-forum, with [world building] etc in the topics, or do you think we should have more sub-forums for those things (keeping in mind that it may not be as condensed with those as sub-forums, and there could be times where they're not very active)?


Yes, I think this is a good idea.It encourages people to look in on topics they may otherwise have not been interested in. Excessive dividing can undermine the ease of navigating the interface. It relies on the site designer thinking exactly the same way as the site user which, without extensive polling, rarely happens. Just put it in one easily locatable spot and trust your users to find what they want.

-Are there any of the current forums that you think could/should be moved onto Discord (i.e. games, artwork) instead of being on the forum? Are there any that you think should have a channel on the Discord and a place on the forum?


I dont' really use the discord system for anything other than chinwagging (security concerns notwithstanding), so for me the preference is more stuff on the forum. But discord may be popular with others.

-What are your thoughts regarding the submissions/possible portfolio system?

I have to be honest, I don't really understand it and would probably not use it. I spend enough time submitting to agents already, and am not sure whether other forums users are interested in reading my entire back catalogue. If I want betas, I'll locate some; if I want CP's I'll post up an extract and find some. It just seems a complication too far, for me. Also I am not sure what subdividing it further ( Pseudo Historical Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Other Fantasy) gains? What if someone doesn't feel their work fits those? It's just a subdivision that doesn't necessarily reflect reality and that may alienate some users. Why not just have everything on one spot to a. avoid inactive areas and b. give people the chance to glance in on something they might otherwise miss? Dividing it just seems like a solution looking for a problem, categorising for categorising's sake. Use a tagging system if you like so people can tag their work and others can search on those tags.

-Any other feedback you might possibly have


A cool fantasy pic in the header! :)

Oh, another thing - one thing many forums don't seem to have is the ability to preserve formatting from MS word etc. You post something, and all your precious linespacing is gone :O  I then go in and add lines back in but it's a time sink. But equally, many people don't do this, and I personally struggle to read the resultant wall of text. If that could be sorted - wow. That would be great!
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Writing Discussion & Questions / Re: Who knows about your writing?
« Last post by Mynoris on November 11, 2018, 02:10:31 PM »
I pretty much take any opportunity to tell people I write.  But I don't often share with people I know face to face anymore.  I never really know how to represent what I write so that I don't make it seem too 'old' or 'young' as far as content goes.  So it's easier to just not let anyone close to me read it.
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Announcements & Information / Re: Feedback Wanted: Condensing the Forums
« Last post by Jedi Knight Muse on November 11, 2018, 01:28:03 PM »
Sorry, guys. I was in the middle of replying the other night and then my night turned crappy and...well, I'm still trying to play catch up, basically. I'll try and respond to everyone before I have to leave in like 40 minutes but otherwise it'll be tomorrow (Monday). Please keep the feedback coming!
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Writing Discussion & Questions / Re: Who knows about your writing?
« Last post by bdcharles on November 11, 2018, 08:35:59 AM »
Not that many people in real life, just a couple of close friends and family, and one or two scattered hangers-on. But lots of people know about it online.