Kureshi Ironclaw

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About Kureshi Ironclaw

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  1. In terms of whole ideas that have enough meat on them to create an entire story from, probably only four or five. However, I am working on a pair of trilogies and I am constantly coming up with new ideas to feed into those that deepen the world. I think a lot of the time a single book contains a number of strong ideas that intersect in interesting ways, so I don't really have that one idea = one book mentality about it.
  2. That actually sounds a lot more convenient. I'll look into it. Hopefully it won't be too hard to port everything over.
  3. And don't forget to love yourselves today. That is the most important love for you to have.
  4. @ILuvHats hey thanks for your help. I'm probably going to try focusing the tension on other things going forward. Namely whether the main detective character can find Alias and stop him before he kills again. I've only just passed the threshold into the second act after the point where the MC is investigating the opera, and I think part of the issue I'm sensing at the moment is in the way I've handled that scene more than what I've done in the prologue. I think once I've written a bit further into the second act I'll have a clearer idea of the entire arc of the book. I have a rough outline but I always end up discovery writing a fair amount. This is actually the case, I just forgot to put it in. Still a very fair nitpick though. I'm a musician too and have done some conducting since writing that, so I definitely agree it needs to be fixed. I'm not looking for beta readers yet on this book, but I do have another finished one that you could have a look at if you're interested. Its a little bit more of a traditional epic fantasy, though the story follows two characters prophesised to unleash a great evil upon the world. Neither of them believe in the prophecy and they both hate each other. It's a bit rougher than the Whistler stuff because I wrote a fair chunk of it in high school, but I would really like feedback on it so I can polish it up. Thanks again for your help.
  5. @ILuvHats so currently it is from the perspective of the person committing the massacre in a sequence that shows off how the magic system works; similar to the prologue of Way of Kings with Szeth. However, the character is heavily hallucinating at the time of the crime and thinks there are wraiths attacking the people. On face value, the scene presents the character as trying to save a group of people from shadow demons, but I think there are enough clues for the reader to question that. And I want those clues in there to add a sense of unease to this seemingly heroic scene. @aneonfoxtribute the sequence of events is important to the main character who is solving the crime. So for him, it has to be a mystery, even if the reader knows what happened. Can I still use the mystery as a source of tension, perhaps by having the main character coming to conclusions that are wrong enough to put him in danger? I think that could potentially frustrate the reader. I might as well attach the prologue to see if that will give a vibe of what I'm going for. The formatting is a slight mess from being pasted in. Spoilered for length.
  6. So I'm working on a Dresden Files-esque story with the main character trying to solve a massacre. However, my opening scene shows the massacre occurring. The cause of the killing and the culprit are slightly ambiguous but a lot of details such as the sequence of events leading up to it are very clear. My worry is that this undermines the mystery elements of the main character coming in and investigating the crime scene later on. I have other sources of tension to exploit, but the character's main goal is solving this mystery that the reader could very well piece together rather quickly. What are your thoughts? Should I remove the scene at the start, potentially losing the ability to establish certain elements when I need to. Or try to divert the conflict away from the mystery and focus on other points of tension? Something else? Thanks for your help
  7. I found this really engaging to read, your descriptions are very evocative. The opening didn't immediately grab me because I think it wasn't what I was expecting after reading your explanation. Ultimately I think it works though, I just didn't know how the spider was going to relate to the rest of the scene, but the way you tied it back in was really well done and I don't think you should change that aspect of it. Having the character's physical description told through the eyes of a spider was one of the most interesting ways of doing that I've ever seen in first person. I grinned when I realised what you were doing and how clever it was. I think the overall structure of the scene is really well done. It's hard to say whether Willow's personality is very distinct just from this snippet. She has the typical 12-year-old-girl-bored-in-her-lessons thing going, but I think the emphasis she is putting on the beauty of the spiderweb is a good hint that she has more depth. I wasn't bored by her personality, but nothing strongly defining has jumped out yet. I don't think this is a bad thing, you'll plenty of time to flesh her out in other scenes dealing with different situations. I think she is working so far as a middle-grade protagonist, though it has been a long time since I've read middle-grade. She's relatable but her dad is a wizard. That's a fun mix. The only other comment I have is that there are a few parts where you seem to switch between past and present tense. That can easily be fixed though and it's the sort of thing that slips in accidentally. Other than that, I'm really impressed by this. P.S. I've also been writing a story where the protagonist is called Willow and have been thinking about posting pieces of it here.
  8. Yeah I think that is definitely a good way to do it. I used to draw maps for fun and then build stories around whatever I put on the map.
  9. Keep in mind that borders tend to appear around natural obstacles like mountain ranges, rivers, and dense forests. You're probably limited in the app you're working with to show all that sort of stuff but it seems like a lot of your borders are just out in the middle of nowhere with no justification as to why they are there. If the border is in the middle of open plains, what is to stop anyone from just walking across it? Borders are also constantly moving and that movement tells a story. Ced has a large protrusion to the south cutting between Tzurk and Fedia down to Marad. Was this protrusion originally a larger territory stretching right down to the mountain range that has begun to shrink as these other nations expanded and Ced couldn't hold the land from so many expanding fronts? Or has Ced been recently expanding south, seizing territory from those three nations. If so, why? Is there a valuable recourse in the south they want to control. You could tie that expansion into your world's conflict about the Burnt, but not all of your worldbuilding should be directly tied to the Burnt. You'll get a much realer feeling world if you have things shaped by other factors.
  10. Think carefully about how each death would affect the story you are trying to tell. Killing character 2 could be useful for setting the tone of the story because it seems like he is a bit of a comic relief character, and killing comic relief character lets the audience know the story is going to be dark and gritty and no characters are safe. You can also think about each character's relationships with other characters and how their deaths would affect that. Do characters 1 and 2 know each other? Are they close? Would character 1's death shock character 2 out of their comedic role in the cast and encourage character growth? Was character 1 training character 2 and would character 2's death make character 1 feel responsible and negatively affect their work? The point is that character deaths shouldn't happen in a vacuum, and when trying to decide what characters to kill off you should consider the effects on the story and the other characters first and foremost.
  11. A general rule of thumb for powerful characters is to have them face problems in the story that they can't solve using their power. I like the internal conflict of the character being a pacifist and I think you could use that to artificially create problems for him to face. Just be wary because some readers may disagree with the character's moral platitudes and get annoyed if he constantly refuses to use his powers to solve simple problems at the expense of killing a few small animals or whatever. Ultimately the conflict could be used to great dramatic effect if you use it to force the character to question his own morality; the obvious eventuality being something like a Trolley Problem.
  12. Nice stuff, your voice reminds me of my own writing. I enjoyed the imagery and characterization in the first few paragraphs so that hooked me in to read more. Your worldbuilding is intriguing and I think you've given away just enough that I'm curious to learn more without feeling like you've info-dumped. The issue I found was that the chapter didn't really feel like it had any story happening in it for the first few pages. It felt like there was more trajectory towards the end of the chapter but as the reader I didn't feel I had been shown enough to understand the character's actions and motivations. I think you could fix this without much issue, probably by just changing what information you present at what times. It seems like you have all the background stuff you need sorted out so the fix might be to add a single sentence in the first few paragraphs. Other than that, I think it is good and I would like to see more.
  13. @Wyndlerunner I totally agree with you. It will be a hard balance to walk, and I would hope that having other elements like strong and entertaining character voice would help pull the reader through. The ambiguity ties in so heavily with the themes of truth and the character's core conflicts that I would want to keep as much of it in as I could whilst still keeping the story coherent.
  14. @Duke of Lizards sounds like that movie Vantage Point (I think that is what it's called). It's a cool idea but I don't think that particular structure will work very well for the story I have in mind. I'm really keen to explore how the ambiguity of having a single unreliable POV will contribute to the dramatic tension of the story. I also need to practice writing stories with single POVs, because I usually do rely on jumping between a large cast of characters.
  15. Yeah that could be fun way to give it a bit more structure. I'm wary about showing the memory wiping on screen at any point though. I think I could get a lot of tension out of having both the reader and the character unsure about whether memories have been tampered with. Part of the inspiration for this idea came after I wrote three scenes with the character that implied a direct chronology, but there were several lines about worldbuilding elements and such in some scenes that directly contradicted other scenes. That was just me being sloppy, but I decided I was too lazy to fix them and instead decided that these contradictions could imply that the character has had their memory tampered with inbetween each scene. That then makes the chronology of the scenes ambiguous and I think will make the reader wonder if the members of the government are more aware of what the character is up to than they are letting on.