dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
Which will probably not become relevant, but one of my muses perked ears at the top two rows. So saved here it shall be. Only sticky because I'm lazy and got tired of looking for it.

Much larger prompt table under the cut )


And some fluff prompts, snitched from an LJ comm )
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
I love my Kindle Fire. It's really old, like second or third generation, and even though it can sort of surf the web and play videos and such, at heart it's still an e-reader with a color screen, and that's the way I like it.

But as I said, it's really old, and the battery life isn't what it once was, and sometimes it balks at connecting to the internet. So I went to see what might replace it.

While I wasn't paying much attention, Amazon decided the Kindle Fire ought to become the Fire Tablet. At $50, I'm sure it's probably pretty crappy as a tablet, but still fine as an e-reader, I just don't want all the extra crap. I certainly don't want Alexa. And apparently if I want a case with pretty colors, as opposed to black, I have to get their advertising-enabled version.

The e-reader only Kindles have black and white screens, making them useless for comic books. Also, I prefer color for book covers, because when they have good art I want to LOOK at them, damn it.

All of which means I will probably opt to stick with my very old Fire until it finally dies. But I'm going to be bitter about it.
dragovianknight: a woman spans fire filled with fanciful shapes from one hand to the other (Writing - Telling Tales by the Fire)

Click the thumbnail to go to the Amazon series page and see the covers full size.

And granted, I KNOW why more indies don't have covers like that; most indies can only afford covers made from stock images, and stock images are pretty lacking when it comes to fantasy or SF. But these are covers that actually make me want to buy the books and check them out, which I can't say for the usual Photoshop Princess covers I see.

Of course, it's also entirely possible I'm Old, and the people on forums who say readers are now used to stock photo covers and wouldn't WANT illustrated covers are correct.

Edit: This is another good cover; the Book Barbarian newsletter was full of them today. Maybe there's a change in the wind, or maybe today was just a good day.
dragovianknight: (WoW - lion)
I love it when they incorporate our own toons into the cut scenes. Because I'm sorry, my panda looks fucking badass. (One small quest spoiler from Argus.)

30 foot tall demon with a flaming sword? BRING IT, I have a keg on a stick.
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
I have fallen under the Indie Slush Pile, and I can't get up.

Rec me!

What I am looking for:

1) Not tradpub (Edit: This one and #4 are the only non-negotiable ones, see my reasons in comments; #2 can extend to SF or any similar genre, but I don't read many mysteries or much contemporary)
2) Fantasy - sword and sorcery or some other action sub-genre preferred over politics
3) Prefer a female main character
4) Competent writing, for the love of all the gods

I am honestly starting to think it's not possible to have a well-developed independently published story. Please show me I'm wrong.
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
There are the books where chapter 1 feels like the DM is setting up the campaign world for you. *sigh*

Is the current trend in YA really the "I am incompetent at everything and also clueless about my surroundings" character? Or is this just people trying to ape Harry Potter without going the necessary step of putting their MC in a world they genuinely have no way of knowing anything about?
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
And therefore, I am always annoyed when I pick up an indie book that looks good, has an interesting premise, and then turns out to be shallow, half-developed, and powered entirely by the idiot ball.

This applies to YA just as much as books allegedly aimed at adults. Thus was I really fucking disappointed in A Quest of Heroes (Amazon link), which I am pretty sure I picked up because it was a) free and b) the title seems like a perfectly good phrase for a group of adventurers, amirite? A quest of heroes, a murder of crows, a pack of wolves...

Sadly, the book was not nearly so clever as that, and the worldbuilding was tissue thin. And I don't want to say the main character is dumb as a box of hammers, but his awareness of the world around him extends for about six inches. This might be accurate for a fourteen year old, but it makes for a damn boring MC.

Most importantly, the ways the book is bad are very much self-absorbed Mary Sue-fic bad. Not because the MC is practically perfect in every way, but because the world shapes itself around him. You can tell the villains because they Instahate Our Hero Thor (don't name your hero Thor, people, unless your hero is Thor). The designated Good People equally Instalove him. He is deeply confused why he is hated! And why he is liked! In fact, Thor spends a great deal of the book clueless, conveniently has magic powers as the plot demands (but the Mysterious Magic Man won't explain jack shit, he just shows up to make Mysterious Pronouncements), receives the gift of a magic falcon maybe-familiar from the King roughly five minutes after showing up at the capitol, finds a probably-magic white leopard on a hunt, etc etc.
In which I complain at length. )
In short, Thor doesn't earn things so much as he bumbles his way into being in the right place at the right time, meeting the right people, and then managing to blow it all through sheer lack of sense. The people who oppose him oppose him for no good reason. The Evil Gay Trope offends me less than the sheer lack of sense or intelligence demonstrated by LITERALLY EVERYONE. Declaring your book YA - and I question that, given the whole "getting Thor drunk and buying him a whore" part - doesn't absolve you from basic logic and sensible character development.

The book ended on a cliffhanger, but frankly, I choose to believe the end of book 1 is the end of Thor's story. I'm certainly not going to pay money for the rest.
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
How much I want this $200 beanbag chair. In large part, it is ridiculous because at 74 pounds, I am unlikely to be able to MOVE said beanbag chair.

There is also a fair chance I would wind up trapped in the beanbag chair.

But I really want that beanbag chair.
dragovianknight: (WoW - lion)
Same bosses as last week, slightly different set of people, VASTLY more trouble on some of the bosses. Nobody was sure why, but on the one that gave us the most trouble I was getting max stacks of a debuff, dropping the debuff, and almost INSTANTLY seeing my debuff come back to max. *shrug* Nobody knew why we were having so much trouble; the guild we were running with had never wiped on that boss before. We didn't wipe last week, so I am pretty sure it was not the fault of me or [personal profile] darthneko.

It felt like something had been tweaked in the encounter, but I don't think there were any changes to normal Tomb of Sargeras in the patch notes, so it could just be "WoW is broken".

Tomorrow, I'm getting a headset so I can actually talk on discord, though. It would have been much easier to warn I was going to drop my debuff if I could have said it myself instead of making [personal profile] darthneko tell everyone.

As of tonight, I have my second piece of tier gear (yay for things that reduce cooldowns) and my ilvl is a nice even 900.
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
Then last expac I installed Deadly Boss Mods because raiding is a pita without it.

Now, somehow, in an expansion where I've raided TWICE, I have wound up installing an add-on to modify the mob nameplates from Blizzard's current "late 80s unadorned healthbar" aesthetic back to the actually informative nameplates WoW used to have. I still have DBM, of course. I have an add-on that's supposed to make tab targeting work (but tab targeting is still really fucking broken). I, gods help me, have done what I thought I would never do and installed a custom UI add-on (I will never be able to go back to the default UI).

And since I started maining my tank, I have installed an add-on to make my stagger % easily visible at a glance, and WeakAuras so I can track the duration of my Ironskin Brew, which Blizzard hides up in the corner with the other buffs.

Did I mention I'm NOT EVEN FUCKING RAIDING? *facepalm*

(I mean, yes, I do hope to start tagging along in raids with [personal profile] queenoftheskies's guild, but even if I do that regularly, it won't be as a tank. I don't know what I'm doing.)

Oh, and on my hunter I have an add-on to shriek an alarm at me when my pet's health gets too low, though 9 times out of 10 the correct answer to that is "fuck Mend Pet, I'mma let it die and use Heart of the Phoenix to re-summon it at full health."
dragovianknight: (WoW - Hardwire - LOL)
I really want this shirt (Amazon link). Only not with what is obviously a warrior tank, because my main is a brewmaster and proud of it.

How hard do we think it would be for me to bribe [personal profile] darthneko into designing me an appropriately Pandaren shirt for my birthday?

(Someday, I will get up the nerve to try tanking in a group, instead of swapping to windwalker in raids and dungeons. Because I like being able to take a hit - I really love the stagger/purify mechanic brewmasters have - and also, having a healer glued to my ass makes me feel like a GOD. A GOD I SAY. Sadly, I fear messing up mechanics and causing a group wipe.)

I need an icon of my tank looking tanky.
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
I'm not generally a big fan of the Jane Austen fanfic genre that's emerged since Pride and Prejudice and Zombies came out, but this...THIS I MUST OWN. Heartstone by Elle Katharine White. (Amazon link)

Inhumans

Jul. 21st, 2017 11:33 am
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
My reaction to literally every trailer I've seen is, "Why is Medusa wearing an ugly purple dress and a bad Party City wig?"
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
Sword and Sorceress anthologies are still being published.

Now I must resist the desire to submit to the next one.
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
Anime Strike makes me think the answer is no.

I mean, I guess I shouldn't be shocked after Zon devoured Twitch, but...somehow, I am.
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
On the one hand, I really like this font. (fontbundles.net affiliate link)

On the other hand, I'm 99% sure I've seen it and its ilk on bad-boy romance covers, ie it is not genre suitable except for the porn I am trying to wean myself off of. (And oh, god, porn...today I purchased my first ghostwritten gangbang short, which I have no guarantee of making my money back on, but it was that or despair of ever releasing on that pen name again. Wish me luck.)

And on the mutant third hand, even if it's not really genre-suitable for what I write, that is a very good price on a very nice commercial-licensed font if I ever decided to whore myself out making covers for other people.

(Also, I really need to be writing and not browsing font and stock photo sites, but apparently my brain has fixated on "how do I market" and is stressing over that to the detriment of actual words.)
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
The Dog went missing on the morning of July 5, sometime between when [personal profile] darthneko went to work and when I got up to check on him about two hours later. No slipped collar, no broken leash, just...gone. I went out looking for him and found a few people who'd seen him, but I lost the trail down the Scary Gravel Road just before the part that's too steep for the car to safely travel, and figured - since he's an older dog - that he's probably followed the path of least resistance down into the ravine along the side of the road.

[personal profile] darthneko made lost dog flyers and shoved them in mailboxes in the area on her way home. I filed a lost dog report and joined a facebook group for lost and found WV pets.

It rained the first two days he was missing, so we at least knew he had water.

This morning, one of our down the road neighbors - who had seen the flyer, but couldn't find it to call us, but knew where Benny lived because she and her husband have seen him sleeping in our yard - knocked on our door to tell us she'd found him. Or rather, he'd found them: she came out and he was chilling under the shade of their propped-up canoe. I was just getting in the shower, so [personal profile] darthneko drove down the hill and retrieved one elderly dog, only slightly worse for wear, who clearly has no idea he was lost and is not at all traumatized (but is clearly glad to have his bed back, as he's slept on it all afternoon rather than dragging it around the livingroom as is his wont). I, on the other hand, am still traumatized, and he has lost all of his "outside unsupervised" privileges.

All of them.
dragovianknight: a woman spans fire filled with fanciful shapes from one hand to the other (Writing - Telling Tales by the Fire)
Today, based on someone gushing about it in one of my writers' forums, I went to pick up Rachel Aaron's 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love. As it turns out (thank you, Amazon memory), I have owned this book for almost two years.

Much like with the Libbie Hawker blurb book, my failure to remember this book was a sign.
Again, this gets long )

So, another writing advice book that just doesn't work for me. It isn't wildly at odds with how my brain works, and honestly, a lot of it resonates with how I write fanfiction. But by the 50% mark, it just hadn't given me anything concrete or enlightening enough to keep me reading for the rest of her advice.
dragovianknight: a woman spans fire filled with fanciful shapes from one hand to the other (Writing - Telling Tales by the Fire)
For a while, it seemed like everyone on the writing forums I frequent was recommending Take Off Your Pants as THE book to teach so-called "pantsers" how to outline. Hell, in the initial rush of reading it, I might have recommended it to people; I don't, honestly, remember. If I did, I don't regret it, because she obviously has advice that works for a lot of people.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work FOR ME.

I was reminded of this yesterday, when - as part of my week-long-and-counting bout of depression and writerly angst - I decided I was going to write the blurb for The Fantasy Story I'm Not Allowed To Write Because Porn Makes Money. And lo! did I discover I owned Libbie Hawker's Gotta Read It: Five Simple Steps to a Fiction Pitch that Sells.

Because this got LONG and there's a table under here. )

So, I'm not throwing any shade at Libbie Hawker, her books, or her method. But, for me, whether it's her approach to what makes a story, the actual method of breaking down plot, or just the way my brain parses the method, her stuff doesn't work and winds up being actively destructive.

Which, I suppose, is why there are fifty gazillion books on writing out there.
dragovianknight: a woman spans fire filled with fanciful shapes from one hand to the other (Writing - Telling Tales by the Fire)
I really, really like Chris Fox's Write Smarter, Write Faster series of books. In fact, I think I need to re-read 5000 Words Per Hour and try to jumpstart my actual writing.

Write to Market has a lot of solid advice. In fact, the advice of figuring out what's selling so you can fine-tune what categories to write for is rock solid...except for the rampant mis-categorization of books on Amazon. So, for example, I might go to see what's hot in the fantasy, and find Dean Koontz's The Silent Corner: A Novel of Suspense sitting at #8, between Harry Potter books. Or a paranormal romance ranking at #9 under Horror/Dark Fantasy.

And it is incredibly frustrating to try and figure out what, if anything, would actually sell in a given category, when that category is stuffed with things that either blatantly don't fit, or have a tenuous connection at best. (Does The Colin McCool Paranormal Suspense Series really belong under "Folklore" or "Ghosts" or "Myths and Legends"? I don't know, but I know it's not what I'd be looking for if I were shopping those categories.)

This is mostly venting. I certainly don't have a SOLUTION, since most of the advice regarding writing to market mirrors Chris Fox's: go to Amazon, find the category you want to write, and look at the top 20 books to see how they rank/what's popular. If someone else has ideas, I'd love to hear them.

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