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Aeternis Aeternis Software engineer and hobbyist writer. | Also on Minds.com: https://www.minds.com/aeternis/ | Sci-fi short fiction posted every Tuesday: http://textfeed.cosmicbackground.com/
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Aeternis · @Aeternis ·
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388

Writers of Parler, what lines from the written work of others (classics or otherwise) inspire you the most in your own writing, and why do they inspire you?

For me there are many of these, but I've picked one from C.S. Lewis's "The Silver Chair." A hero is someone who tries to live as a Narnian, even when everyone around them is certain that it's pointless and that there never was a Narnia to belong to.

"Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all these things - trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself... Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world... Four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world... I'm going to live as a Narnian even if there isn't any Narnia."

(Art by Matthew Derrick.)

#writingcommunity #writing #reading #books #parlerwriters

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You don't ask the easy questions, do you? Before I was a writer, I fell in love with words by reading the poems of famous authors. Their rhythms and layers of meaning inspired me to attempt my own. Years later, these women still influence my style, and in some cases my purpose for writing. I'll give you these lines from Maya Angelou's Touched by an Angel:
Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

#amwritingromance

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Easy questions aren't as interesting.

Angelou's style never really resonated for me personally, but I can see how it might inspire romance writing. There's no doubt she was good at what she did.

This is from my favorite craft book (which I reread often) Story by Robert McKee. It's about transposing the human experience into narrative and a must read for any type of writer IMO.

"A storyteller is a life poet, an artist who transforms day-to-day living, inner life and outer life, dream and actuality into a poem whose rhyme scheme is events rather than words."

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I think storytelling is more than making events "rhyme" but that's a good place to start thinking about it. A lot of people starting out seem to think storytelling is just about describing a series of events, they don't think about plot or narrative structure.

Great quote. I love this one from Ernest Hemingway: "All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”

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Seems like Hemmingway had his own formulation (as usual for him, a quite evocative one) for the age-old idea that fiction is the art of conveying abstract truths through more concrete fabrications.

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Aeternis · @Aeternis ·
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395

I finished my 50,000 NaNoWriMo words around 1 AM on Sunday morning (local time). The story's not done, but it's a lot closer than it was on 31 October. I now turn my attention to other projects for a few weeks as a palate cleanser.

Is there interest in more content like the Parley-sized excerpts of this manuscript I've been posting throughout the month? Those posts seemed to do well, and if some of you like reading them, I don't mind posting them (about whatever project I'm working on at the time).

#writingcommunity #amwriting #writing #nanowrimo #fantasy

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Congrats!

If it works, go for it.

depends. if self-publishing, then that’s your choice. if seeking traditional routes, you may have issues.

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The excerpts I post are tiny, isolated parts of the text, merely to highlight interesting moments.

I am aiming for indie-pub at the moment, but any publisher that won't work with me because I shared that much with the internet is probably not worth working with in any case.

@Aeternis I’m not aware of how much you’ve posted. The second part of my comment was merely pointing out possible hazards along that route. Some publishers may not care. Some may. Best to decide now which route you wish to follow and post accordingly.

Congrats!!

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Aeternis · @Aeternis ·
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291

Rankin glanced around, as if looking for eavesdroppers. “Your assassin is no more, but there was a complication. Let’s go find Julka.”

The ‘fixer being dead didn’t make Alena feel any more safe, given how close-run her survival had been. “Didn’t she go with you?”

“Our paths diverged.” Rankin gestured into the settlement. “Come on.”

The hunter grabbed Alena’s arm and led her across the market. “Let’s check her quarters.”

Alena grinned and elbowed him lightly. “And you know where she lives how, exactly?” The darkling’s questions about Rankin’s well-being had given her a few ideas about the relationship between them, and his knowing where she lived cemented these ideas.

Scowling, the hunter turned away, shaking his head. As usual, he was in no mood for casual conversation.

(Art by Florian Laily.)

#writingcommunity #writing #amwriting #nanowrimo #projectwatchman

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Jared · @Jaredleys ·
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1664

Hi #WritingCommunity, tell me how you really feel about dialogue tags.

Do you try to keep it simple with ‘said’ and ‘asked’? Or do you like to mix it up with other verbs and even—*gasp*—adverbs?

#writing #amwriting #microfictionmonday #writersofparler #reading #craft

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Aeternis · @Aeternis ·
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389

My solution to dialog tags is the one recommended by Michael Stackpole - don't use them if you can avoid it, which you invariably can. Dialog tags are wasted words, and the easiest way to see that is to listen to an audiobook where every line of dialog gets a "said" or any other tag.

There are still a few cases where they have uses; for example, to convey a dramatic pause between two thoughts, where the second part of the dialog is a reveal of some kind.

#writingcommunity #fiction #writing #writingadvice #amwriting

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Amen! And when I am capturing the voice of the characters is a distinct way it keeps the reader secure in who is talking

I want to put the work into
What the character is saying..

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Jax Cortez · @Writingjax ·
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983

Where are you from, what genre do you write, and what have your written? If you have a link to your books drop them in the comments below.
I’ll start. I’m from Texas. Although I’ve published a few things in mainstream magazines, I like to self publishing my own stuff. I dabble with several genres (fantasy, thriller, magical realism, speculative fiction) but write mostly short stories and novellas at www.amazon.com/author/jaxcortez
#writingcommunity
#writersofparler

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Aeternis · @Aeternis ·
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518

The tent’s flap exploded outward as four men – the big crime-boss, General Delkanen, and two others – scrambled into the open. Despite the confusion obvious on the other faces, Delkanen emerged already looking in roughly the right direction. Rankin realized with sickly satisfaction that the old butcher had left himself easy prey.

Pulling back the bolt of his rifle, Rankin saw the general’s gaze jump right onto him as the freshly emptied cartridge pinged free. Locking eyes with his new target through his heat-lenses, Rankin slammed the bolt home as quickly as he could.

Delkanen reached for the ostentatious sidearm on his hip, but he had run out of time. Rankin lined his sights up on Delkanen’s heart and pulled the trigger. There was another hissing thump, and General Delkanen crumped to the rocks.

(Art by Darek Zabrocki).

#writingcommunity #writing #amwriting #nanowrimo #projectwatchman

What are some ways you've recently helped another indie author? What are some ways other indie authors can help you? Let's share some ideas. #writingcommunity #writers #indieauthors #indie

When you’re a pantser just trying to figure out what happens next fast enough to write about it:

#writingcommunity #writersofparler #writinghumor #writerslife #nanowrimo

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Aeternis · @Aeternis ·
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572

Kneeling, Rankin placed his hands on the ground beside the stream and closed his eyes. “Drink deep, and show me my prey.”

The dormant Thorn buried in Rankin’s flesh responded to the command, and its roots erupted painfully from his palms to seek the ice-cold water.

Julka leapt back as the dark tendrils sprung from his hands - he hadn't let her see the Thorn before. “What is that?”

As the Thorn drank, Rankin could feel it questing into his mind to learn about the prey he sought. Though he knew little about the would-be assassin, he knew enough for the Thorn, and through it he heard the target's distant heartbeat.

The roots withdrew and Rankin opened his eyes and watched the barbed greenish-black markings on his arms fade slowly back to invisibility.

Rankin stood and gestured to Julka. “Follow me.”

(Art by Wadim Kashin.)

#writingcommunity #amwriting #writing #nanowrimo #projectwatchman

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Interesting.
Some things that cam up for from reading this:
What is the cost of having the Thorn?
How do you go about getting a Thorn?
Is there just one or is there more?

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All questions whose answers have been hinted at prior to this point in the manuscript. By this point, the Thorn has come up in passing multiple times, but this is the first time we see him directly use it, so the reader will know the following when this happens.

What is the cost? It hurts. Sometimes a lot. Also, two powerful factions, the Directorate and the Union, will kill you if they find out you have one.

How do you get it? It's granted to worthy and capable acolytes of Preserve, a faction which is now essentially dead. Rankin is one of the few survivors of this faction and perhaps the last bearer of the Thorn.

Is there just one? There are, or were, more. The Thorn was the most readily available form of this magic, the Bloom being its more exclusive and dangerous cousin, and there are hints also of a still more exclusive and dangerous variety called the Seed.

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Aeternis · @Aeternis ·
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809

I'm active on the Discord servers linked below, both created by Parler members, and can recommend both.

In my writing journey, I have found that group chatrooms on platforms like Discord have a lot of potential for productive iron-sharpening-iron conversations among creators.

Are there any other good Discord servers (or chat servers on competing platforms) which support Parler creative communities?

#writingcommunity #writing #rpg #dnd #discord

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Join the Parler Clan: TTRPG Server Discord Server! Check out the Parler Clan: TTRPG Server community on Discord - hang out with 8 other members and enjoy free voice and text chat. https://discord.gg/V39tJt7DPd
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AuthorsOfParler Check out the AuthorsOfParler community on Discord - hang out with 29 other members and enjoy free voice and text chat. https://discord.gg/PghqJtvkz5
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Joined Authors of Parler. Can't wait to experience that iron-sharpening-iron action.

#writersofparler what’s your number one tip for making your characters relatable?

Mine: give them believable flaws; that might hinder their objectives.

#writingcommunity #amwriting #writerslife #writerscommunity #parlerwriters #parlerwriting #parlerwriter #parlerwritersclub #amwritingfiction #amwritingscifi

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Aeternis · @Aeternis ·
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706

Giving your characters believable flaws is a good start, but in my experience there is a bit more to it than that if you really want to nail the relatability factor.

After giving your characters relatable flaws, show them doing something they expect to succeed at, and have put a lot of investment into. Show them failing to do this because of one or more of their flaws.

Afterward, show them going through a process of self-improvement, whether conscious or otherwise, which reduces or compensates for the flaw that tripped them up.

Finally, show them doing something very similar to what they failed at earlier. They should succeed the second time where they would have failed before.

This process can be written in small-scale over the course of a scene, or take place throughout a whole novel.

#writing #writingadvice #fiction #writingcommunity

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That is actually really good advice. Thanks for the tip.

How do you feel about politics in your art? #art #artist #writer

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Aeternis · @Aeternis ·
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567

Blatant politics in art is a sign that something has not been thought through completely, no matter whose politics it is. Political art is a deliberate and unforced error on the part of the artist, and a demand for political changes to art is nothing less than enforced mediocrity.

In my own creative genre (ficiton writing), nonpolitical fiction can be created on a foundation of any ideological world-view, even self-contradictory world-views, as long as the world and characters are not stunted to solve those contradictions.

To create political fiction requires a removal of depth from characters and/or the worldbuilding in order to either introduce false contradictions in an opposed world-view or to conceal the contradictions in one's own.

#writingcommunity #writing #art

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Aeternis · @Aeternis ·
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1024

“So I see the hunter has returned. For one who swore to do the impossible or die, Rankin Vieth, you do not look very dead. What brings you back, and in such strange company?”

Alena looked around for the source of the disembodied voice, but the structure's interior was empty from one stone wall to the other.

The greeting did not seem to surprise Rankin. “It was not as impossible as you predicted, wise Sabahurin. I return on a new errand.”

The voice roared with laughter. “Your mockery bears quite a claim, and it may even be true. If you did indeed see the Oracle and live, this is a tale you must tell.”

The way Rankin glanced over at Alena suggested the Oracle was something he didn't want her to know about, and that told her she needed very much to know about it. “Someday I will, but not yet.”

(Art by Simon Contreras.)

#writingcommunity #amwriting #writing #nanowrimo #projectwatchman

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Nice. One comment on “the voice.” It feels disembodied. Who laughed?

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It is disembodied at this stage. Alena and Rankin are alone in what seems to be an empty building, talking to a voice they comes from seemingly nowhere. Sabahurin doesn't greet his visitors in person, as he is something of a hedge magician.

I can definitely clean up the wording around that in the next draft though.

@Aeternis Ah, got it.

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Gilie Art · @GilieArt ·
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2954

Original work that I put together sometime ago.
Oil on paper.

#art #artwork #oilpainting #traditionalart #scifi #scifiart #fantasy #spacebattleship #gilieart

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#writingcommunity I just finished reading the Witcher's series (good, but confusing at time). Looking for something new to read - no particular genre. Show me the first few 1000 characters of a completed project and I will definitely pick at least one to read. Thanks.

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Aeternis · @Aeternis ·
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860

A thin, hunched figure leaning heavily on a cane stepped into the light. The old man’s head and body were covered by a ragged robe, but his pale skin-and-bones limbs lay bare.

Alena raised her gun. “Stop there. Who are you?”

The old man paused, peering out from under his hood at her before hobbling forward one more step.

“Stay back. I mean it.”

Again, the only response was another hobbling step forward.

Given that she could knock this old hermit over with an energetic sneeze, Alena felt silly holding a gun on him. “Look.” She lowered the gun. “I just want to-”

The moment the gun dropped, the figure threw aside his cane and leapt at Alena. The tattered hood fell back as he jumped, and Alena saw lifeless black eyes and a row of pointed teeth glinted out of his shriveled, skull-like face.

(Art by Sephiroth Art.)

#writingcommunity #writing #amwriting #nanowrimo #projectwatchman

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Yessss....

These are my personal opinions so feel free to ignore them.
"The moment the gun dropped..." I feel you can take this out. It lowers tension.
Did the "old man's" face change or was it hidden from view. I was not sure which was the case.
Also I hope she has silver bullets in that gun. They seem to work well on the undead.

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Keep in mind gunnery I'm trimming these a bit to make an interesting amount of text appear in one thousand characters.

In this case, the explicit description that his face is hidden by the hood of his robe is in the main draft, but didn't fit here. A couple other creepy details got trimmed as well.

I will however take your comment about what description is unnecessary into account when editing this scene for the second draft. That's good feedback.

I don't think that she's taking that well. But this was tense and I really felt immersed within the story.

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Aeternis · @Aeternis ·
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1082

“Well, your way was a bust.” Keeping her voice to a whisper, Alena backed away from the precipice. “Is it my turn to lead?”

The dragon craned its neck out over the ledge, cocking its head from side to side.

“We’ll have to find a way around.” Alena patted its neck. “I saw a path back there. Let's try that.”

The only response was a leathery rasping sound. She looked over her shoulder and saw the dragon’s shimmering wings unfolding.

“Oh.” Alena hadn’t forgotten that dragons could fly, but they were so deep underground that the idea of flight was a world away. “What about me?”

Even as she asked the question, Alena remembered the tattered riding-harness fixed to the dragon’s back. It probably expected to carry Alena across, not knowing she had never ridden a living creature – much less a dragon - in her life.

(Art by Laney Sang.)

#writingcommunity #amwriting #writing #nanowrimo #projectwatchman

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How much and what type of feedback would you like? I am interested to read more. Has a dragonlance vibe so far.

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If you want to see more from this story, I have shared a number of Parley-sized excerpts from this WIP since the end of October (they make up most of my feed in that time), and the first two scenes are available in full on my Minds account.

This novel isn't yet finished, but if you have feedback I'd be happy to hear it. I'm still on the first draft so there's plenty to improve.

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Aeternis · @Aeternis ·
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1578

Any questions?”

“What if the trail goes deeper, sir? To the Warrens, I mean.”

Multiple heads nodded, and Tilman turned to let Borodin field this question.

“If she goes to the Warrens, we follow.” Borodin held up his hands to suggest this decision had been forced on him. While the Directorate claimed jurisdiction over all Agartha, in practice the fiercely territorial denizens of the lightless ways responded to all attempts by surface-dwellers to meddle in their affairs with deadly force. “We will avoid the locals if we can, but crush them if we must.”

After noting the understandably nervous reactions to this pronouncement, Borodin stepped back once more. Tilman opened the floor for more questions, but found none. With a wave, he dismissed the officers to organize a marching column.

(Art by Veli Nyström.)

#writingcommunity #amwriting #writing #nanowrimo #projectwatchman

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Aeternis · @Aeternis ·
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834

As her flare rose, Alena saw what Rankin had been watching in the darkness. Vaguely insectile with a surplus of legs but no eyes, it reared up, then charged down from its boulder perch toward her.

The creature never made it even half-way. Alena raised her right hand, and a lance of flame pulsed forth. She had expected it to burst into flame, but it didn’t – its suddenly-heated insides simply erupted out of every joint of its chitinous carapace.

Rankin whirled on Alena. “You stupid mongrel! What have you done?”

“Killed a…” Alena glanced over at the twitching ruin of the creature. “What is it?"

Rankin slung his rifle over his shoulder, eyes darting from side to side. “Run. Now.”

Alena opened her mouth to protest, but just as she did, more of the creatures appeared out of the jumbled rocks.

(Art by Stefan Mircea.)

#writingcommunity #writing #amwriting #nanowrimo #projectwatchman

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Very cool drawing!

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I claim no credit for the art I use to illustrate my writing. It's a good piece, and you can check out the artist's Artstation page by following the second link on the post.

#WritingCommunity, #writersofparler #indiewriters

Share an image that does a good job of either expressing the vibe of your #WIP's setting or is a picture of your WIP's setting if not a made-up place.

Here's mine:

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Aeternis · @Aeternis ·
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683

A reasonable depiction of street-level in the World-City of Agartha, the setting for my NaNoWriMo WIP.

The society of the setting is vertically stratified. Above street level is where the wealthy live, and below street level is the domain of the poor and criminals who prey on them. Even further down from the undercity is the semi-natural honeycomb of the Warrens, populated by scattered tribes who never see the sun.

Street level is, however, the area and conditions in which most people live.

Art by Wang Nan.

#writingcommunity #writing #amwriting #fantasy #projectwatchman