Hmm………..

I need some help/advice on crafting a magic system. Given the heavy influence and atmosphere of noir in the world, trying to create a magic system is a challenge. I have barely began to deal with the intricate nature of world, that has been merged by accident. Creating an pseudo-fantasy world, inside a world of tobacco smoke, crime, sex,  and gunpowder.   For the most part, I have tried to keep the world in a state of black and white. Using the magic to add a subtle shot of color, in a mostly colorless world. The beginning of the story can be found here. Any ideas, suggestions, or advice would be appreciated. Even someone to discuss ideas would also be appreciated. Thanks 🙂

 

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Mantras, restrictive guidelines or not?

Codes of honor, or mantras are common in both fiction,  and real world history. Are they useful in fiction, or do they limit the actions of your characters?

Personally, I would say there are cons and pros to using one, or not using one. Creating one can be simple in some parts, and other parts can be more complicated.  While you could take inspiration from famous historical code like the Code of Chivalry, the Samurai Bushido code, or the virtues of the Vikings.  On the other hand you could take inspiration from fictional warrior codes, like the Jedi or Sith, or even the Gunslinger Code from Stephan King’s Dark Tower. Most of those I mentioned can be seen in the pictures below.

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While I was writing my short story, that I’m still working on I realized something. That my character would benefit from it, since the world I was building has a post-apocalyptic atmosphere. That allowed me in a sense to create a mantra from scratch, or relatively close to it. The “Bladeslinger,” mantra I made is below:

“One is not a destroyer, one is a peacekeeper

We don’t seek vengeance, we seek justice

One is loyal to the order of steel and lead

Our second loyalty lies to the people

We serve by choice, not by force

A bastion of hope in a broken world

Clad in leather and steel, we walk

Steel, lead, and iron at our hips

One hand on the gun,

The other on the sword

Remembering our ancestors,

Along with our brothers and sisters

Bonds sealed in blood, iron, lead and tested by steel

Doing out best to keep the world just

From abuse of power, and technology of the old world

We roam, as agents of order.”

I’m curious to see how much ingrained code will change my writing, and character building, or if it will limit his actions. What are my fellow writers, and followers thoughts are warrior code? Useful, or limiting? Please post your comments below, I’m curious to see what you think. If you any thoughts on the Bladeslinger mantra, feel free to comment as well.

A question for writers

batman thinkingI have been considering investing in a few durable, pocket sized, writing notebooks. Does any of my followers have any experience with them? Are they worth the cost? If you have used them, do you have any prefences in brand?  Along with prefences in whether getting them lined or unlined makes a difference?  In addition to any, other thoughts on them, or any insight would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance.

 

A question of methods, or tools perhaps

I have read articles on how some authors have reputation or preference for the way they jot down the words of the creative muse. Authors like Stephen King are well known for writing their first stories on old typewriters. Others like Neil Gaiman are known for using fountain pens.

While I may use my laptop when I can, since it is efficient. That and my views on autocorrect are mixed most of the time. However when I travel, or when I have to spend long days sitting outside I prefer to use a method that is old but practical. Of course the downside about using a pencil and paper, outside anyway is writing at night is difficult at times. Maybe difficult isn’t the right word to use there. It’s more of a lack of visual light, not inspirational flow. I can be productive using both, but part of me feels more productive using a pad and paper. Maybe it is the lack of easy distractions the Internet offers.

It is almost a paradox of thoughts. Do you have have a preference? Are you more productive with one method?

Are Essential lists worth reading?

The more essential list I see, the less I more I question their bias. I understand that making an essential list of books, no matter the size. The smaller ones I think, since you have to narrow it down from possibly several hundred or several thousand, depending on the subject. Some of list are clearly meant to be strict, limiting it to a genre of writing or a publisher. That at least makes sense to an extant. Of course others are much less strict with their content.

Take for example the list made by telegraph.co.uk . While it does note well known works by J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, Arthur Conan Doyle,H.G. Wells, and many others. Some of the works and writers they mention, I have never heard of.  Of course other lists, like the one made by librarything.com for example have some books in common.Both have The adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark twain on their list, as well as Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. There are a few more books that are on both lists, but several that are placed on only one of the lists. They may share several authors in common, but what book(s) they choose with the author vary.

Even when they narrow the genre, or medium they still share this problem. Since I have a major love of graphic novels, and comic books I will use that as a genre, ignoring the publisher and category completely. For this I stuck to list of 50, since it makes things even so to speak. I will be using two lists for this, since the other ones I have found refer to them.The lists I’m using are from abebooks.com , forbiddenplanet.com .The contrasting thing between these two lists is one focuses on graphic novels as a whole, while the one from forbidden planet focuses on superheros for the most part. Between the two of them they have about a dozen or so novels in common including Watchman by Alan Moore, Ghost World by Daniel Clowes, Violent Cases by Neil Gaiman, and a handful of others. Outside of the ones they have in common, they are different lists despite sharing a similar focus.

It amazes and slightly frustrates me that people value essential lists, no matter how reputable the creator of the list may be. I guess in the end it all boils down to personal taste. Yet the question remains, why are essential lists used as resources? Have you ever used an essential lists to get into genre or do you go by personal taste? What are your thoughts on essential lists? Are they useful or useless?

Overly productive weekend and a question.

After almost 4,000 words, Friday split between my current projects Rise (death and a dragon), and Anarchy. Along with an additional 2,500 words over the past two days, I’m feeling a case of the Mondays.

monday gif

Hopefully tomorrow will be better and my spark of creativity and inspiration will return with a torrent of thoughts. It would help if this strange sense of exhaustion will be gone as well, and the hiccups I can’t seem to get rid of today, for some reason.

Now on the question. Despite the exhaustion of my body, I couldn’t shake a thought today. There is old phrase, that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that is true than why are some people so set against counting graphic novels and comic books as actual stories. It doesn’t make sense to me. What are your thoughts? Should graphic novels be counted as complete literary novels, or should they not?  Or are they something else entirely?

Personally I think they should be, but I have some bias as someone who grew up reading comic books, and watching the shows that were inspired by them.  I’m curious to see what other people think on this matter. Please comment below, what your thoughts are. Are you against this? Are you for it? Or something else?

Flea market finds

Well after going to a large outdoor/indoor flea over the weekend, I began to realize a large majority of my books come from flea markets, discount stores, or library sales.I rarely purchase a book when it first comes out in hardback or paperback.  Honestly I have no problem buying books that are used but in good condition. Especially if they are cheap, haha. I would say a large majority of writers, are constant readers and surround themselves with books. Personally I love get lost in a fictional world. It gives you a sense and feeling  of exploration without ever leaving your home. Maybe that is why books have been around so long as a medium of entertainment.  Despite the fact that the availability and delivery of the medium has changed, as technology progresses.

Below are some of the purchases I made Saturday.

flea market findsflea market finds 2

Has anyone else picked up good books from flea markets? Library Sales? Discount stores? Comment below if you have. I will admit to a healthy curiosity, to see if anyone does the same.