Author Topic: Creative Consult  (Read 1289 times)

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Offline Elok

Creative Consult
« on: January 17, 2019, 01:41:31 AM »
So, I'm planning to web-serialize my second novel, and I'm not sure which title to go with.  This doesn't have to be a permanent decision right now--that's the beauty of serializing, you know, you can switch titles--but whatever it is, it'll be [title].wordpress.com, or perhaps [title]novel.wordpress.com, to get there.  The two main candidates are "The Black Band" or "Chains of Fire."  The first sounds okay, but doesn't really fit the story as well, while the second makes sense and is more dynamic but might just be outright pulpy (or, as one wag on Poly suggested, too reminiscent of BDSM).  It's a somewhat grim fantasy.  The blurb, such as it is: "On a world wracked by cosmic disaster every four days, one young man is forced to grow up in a hurry when his father is crippled by a monster attack. Leaving his village and everything he has known behind, he sets out to save his family from ruin. But he soon finds that the world will ask more of him than he cares to give it. How much will he sacrifice, and for what cause?"  It can probably be improved, but that's what I've got.  I don't blurb well.
Not that you know a lot about it--that's the point, I'm trying to get a feel for what would inspire somebody who knows nothing of it to give it a shot--but which do you prefer?

Offline Unorthodox

Re: Creative Consult
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2019, 03:55:01 AM »
Knowing absolutely nothing, based on those titles, I'd personally choose based on art at that point. 

Is the "Band" something of a pirate group, perhaps?  That might interest me more. 

Pure titles, Chains of Fire is hands down better.  But I find absolutely nothing wrong with 'pulpy', being an unabashed Shadow fan.   

edit:  The blurb is...

Look, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense that the guy's dad is laid up so he has to leave the village.  If anything dad being laid up would seem to indicate he is tied to helping at home MORE.  leave that part out. 

Taking a crack at editing the blurb off the cuff:

"Cosmic disasters have befallen (town name) every four days for as long as anyone can remember.  When (character name) leaves his village to find a way to prevent his family's ruin, how much will he be asked to sacrifice?  For what cause?" 

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Re: Creative Consult
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2019, 04:05:44 AM »
He's got something there, 'Lok...

Offline Elok

Re: Creative Consult
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2019, 11:40:18 AM »
Well, 'taint just the town, but I can tighten it.  Not sure where I'll put the blurb, anyway.  I've dug through goodreads to find any variant on the concept of chains and fire that hasn't been used (including, e.g., "Firebound"); no luck.  Hm.
Ooooh!  "Pyrebound" is free.  And makes sense given world and plot.  Is that one terrible?  The title has to do a lot of work, given the format.  The Black Band is something of a weak play on words; it's both a disreputable group he winds up joining and their identifier (an armband).  The problem being that it might imply that the group plays a larger role in the story than it actually does.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 01:28:39 PM by Elok »

Offline Unorthodox

Re: Creative Consult
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2019, 04:27:18 PM »
Well, 'taint just the town, but I can tighten it. 

Don't NEED to be just the town in the book, the blurb is to get you immediately invested in the character/story, so it's all the reader NEEDS to know to make it interesting.  Stretching it out into a more full synopsis could be helpful, but focus on the character and trying to get the readers to identify with him on a more local level. 

Quote
Not sure where I'll put the blurb, anyway.  I've dug through goodreads to find any variant on the concept of chains and fire that hasn't been used (including, e.g., "Firebound"); no luck.  Hm.
Ooooh!  "Pyrebound" is free.  And makes sense given world and plot.  Is that one terrible?  The title has to do a lot of work, given the format.  The Black Band is something of a weak play on words; it's both a disreputable group he winds up joining and their identifier (an armband).  The problem being that it might imply that the group plays a larger role in the story than it actually does.

Don't care for pyrebound. 

If you don't want 'fire', imo, go with the inferno chains or searing moor.  If you like the bound as something to also mean destiny I think ember bound sounds better, but that might be too close to city of ember. 


Offline Elok

Re: Creative Consult
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2019, 04:42:49 PM »
I chose pyre because it's a technical term in-world, and it sort of works as a play on words as well; at the end of the first chapter, he's headed for the pyre, so literally "pyre-bound."  But it works on another level as well.  I think I want to avoid pulpy in spite of your preferences just because it's easy to confuse pulpy-action for romance.  And the book itself isn't terribly pulp, I don't think.  But I don't want to be the contrarian ass who asks for advice and then argues with the advisor, so I'd best leave it at that.  Thank you!
https://pyrebound.wordpress.com/ is the new address.  Based on what I know of your tastes, Uno, you might enjoy the first part--it has some horror elements--but will likely be bored by the second.
BUncle, please note the prominent copyright notice.  What a good boy am I.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 01:34:23 AM by Elok »

Offline Unorthodox

Re: Creative Consult
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2019, 07:28:22 PM »
Oh, be contrarian with me, it won't bother me.  I have my wheelhouse and mostly try to stay in it, which is why I mentioned my personal taste from the get go.  Genre differences/preferences were to be expected, especially when we specifically didn't know anything about it. 

Offline Elok

Re: Creative Consult
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2019, 05:30:52 PM »
On the subject of serial fiction, I got the idea to try it from Worm, a fairly popular and utterly enormous online serial about superheroes: https://parahumans.wordpress.com/

By "utterly enormous," I mean it's supposedly more than a million words, substantially bigger than LOTR.  I'm on chapter four out of thirty.  It's not bad, though the writing's a bit stiff and the characters don't always act believably for their age and situation.  He at least put substantial effort into creating an original superhero world.

Offline Elok

Re: Creative Consult
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2019, 03:17:17 AM »
"The world has not been kind to Ram’s family. Father just lost an arm. Mother can’t work. And if Ram can’t find a way to make money fast, a life of forced labor is the best any of them can hope for. His only way forward is through the darkest side of their dark world–fighting on the front lines of war against the demons, hiding with thieves and assassins in the shadows, wandering the wilds where the monsters rule.  How much more will the god of the pyre ask him to sacrifice?  And why, Ram wonders, should he be the one to pay?"

I took two and a half weeks to finish Worm.  It's uneven, but at its best it's frigging mind-blowing.  The heroine is a girl with a seemingly lame power--she can control bugs--who's smart enough to leverage it for everything it's worth.  A pity the sequel kinda sucks.

Offline Unorthodox

Re: Creative Consult
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2019, 05:10:16 AM »
Wait.  A mambabarang story?   Ok I have to check this out. 

Offline Elok

Re: Creative Consult
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2019, 01:14:12 PM »
It's pretty addictive.

Offline DrazharLn

Re: Creative Consult
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2019, 10:24:45 PM »
So I read all of the currently available pyrebound :)

Thanks for writing it and publishing it online!

I've both enjoyed reading about this strange, extremely unpleasant world and also found the constant callousness towards other humans quite challenging. I think you have been quite effective at making the awfulness of the world seem ordinary to the characters themselves, though, which I think is what you were going for.

Here's some unsolicited feedback. I hope that's OK. If not, feel free to just ignore the rest of this post.

The two things that jump out at me are:


1. Ram's uncuriousness about
(click to show/hide)
2. Ram's very muted emotional response to most events, which I guess is why the rational fiction people like it ;)

I don't know what exactly it is, but Darun and their relationship with Ram seems off too. Maybe it's just that I'm reacting with irritation at tropes that are in principle OK, but used very often for women characters. In particular, Darun is almost always described in terms of sex appeal, and they also have a back-story element that is very common to many women written by men:
(click to show/hide)
. I'm kinda worried by
(click to show/hide)
.

I'm not sure Pyrebound passes the bechdel test yet, either, though we have overheard a couple of conversations between pairs of men (edit: not including Ram).
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 11:24:56 PM by DrazharLn »

Offline Elok

Re: Creative Consult
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2019, 11:20:49 PM »
Hey, feedback's feedback, and thanks for reading!

Darun is ... a difficulty.  She wound up being a very different kind of character here than she was in the first draft, with a much larger presence, and I'm never quite clear on how readers are taking her.  Lots of readers seem to like her, for example, despite her persistent and gratuitous dishonesty and the fact that she goes out of her way to be vicious to everyone.  I do wonder if she's being taken to be a very different kind of character than I mean her to be, and if so if that's my fault for being unclear or readers treating her as a stock type.
(Spoilers only for what's already published)
(click to show/hide)
I don't know how I would pass the Bechdel test in a story set in a heavily patriarchal society and featuring a male protagonist, save by such contrived means as having him listen in on servants talking about the wash or something.  The one girl-talk he's eavesdropped on necessarily involved men given the relationship of the women concerned (and their world).  Passing the test via token does not seem meaningful to me, and so failing it does not upset me.  If this were a Wonder Woman fanfic, failing it would be a definite sign that something was wrong.

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Re: Creative Consult
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2019, 11:28:24 PM »
;lol

Offline Elok

Re: Creative Consult
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2019, 11:52:37 PM »
Please give that emoji some context, BU.

 

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