Problems with research and need help

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  sherryherrod263 3 months ago.

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  • #346801

    jmurph65641
    Participant

    I am writing a Gods and Magic Fantasy and I am working on building the magic system as we speak. So I have some thoughts and questions. I want it to be mentally/visually striking and thought provoking at the same time. So I have created a lot of my own things but I also want it to include some real world occult imagery and such. Public domain images claim to be copyright free and free to use, but they also claim on some of these websites that you still need to find the owner, attribute it, and pay for a license if you are using it for commercial purposes. (One site said some of these images are hosted in libraries and that they require payment to use them outside of free use terms.) I am in a long haul process and can’t guarantee that my series will even be published or make money so I am hesitant to invest money on licenses for that kind of thing when I can invest my money in other areas of my project. I see a lot of video games, movies, and fiction use occult images all the time even if they make their own art and base it off of the original. This is kind of what I would like to do. I have a huge love for historical documents and some of these medieval calligraphy books feel so right in a fantasy setting. Here is one example of a manuscript from early man that is just breath taking. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Gigas The inking and painting is gorgeous, but I digress.

    I am also an artist so I have a thing for designing my own armor, clothing, buildings, maps, and such. I mostly want to do this for myself so I have a complete reference manual to work from for consistency. I am currently writing as well, and my husband has told me with such a large project having a reference manual would be a huge benefit. So far I am working on a side story/off shoot in the same realm, to keep momentum, practicing, and learning the craft. Estimated 20,000 word count on my first novel. What is the average WC for a high fantasy novel and the WC per chapter? I am nervous I have written too much so far. I’ve been thinking shorter fantasy chapters are 2500 where as longer book are probably 5000, is this correct?

    Also warpaint… I’m trying to design a main playing character not the main character – earth walking God’s warpaint and want to go authentic but I’m afraid of accidentally infringing on something. So many people draw off of the real world for things in entertainment. (Example: Elder Scrolls Skyrim- Nords: Everything down to the last detail the housing, hair styles and clothing. Authentic.)

    So where can I find true free use occult images or stock photos for reference that can be potentially used in fiction and later published without worrying about copyright infringement or issues? (Not wanting to publish original images just want to base some ideas and artwork off of the stocks.)
    I’m looking for mostly runes, circles, geometrical and mathematical images (Sacred Geometry), Hermetic, and Enochian styled stuff. I want to have a reference to design more of my own things and integrate some authenticity in my fiction. A lot of my magic is very technical and effort based.

    Oh and I appologize while we are here a couple more questions. I’m a huge fan of Microsoft Office but I have been hearing some cool things about Scrivener. If you use that program what has you experience been like with it? What kinds of tool do you guys like to use for your writing?
    And last but not least…
    When typing up your manuscript is there anything I should know about the layout and format? What is acceptable for a publisher? So far I’m just writing in my documents and sticky noting in it when stuck, or wanting to fix areas.

    I’m sorry for the long post, I’ve been going at this alone since last year when I left another forum. I am apprehensive about trying another forum out, because of the way people acted on the last one. If you read my introduction post I said I was attacked by feminists for a male characters decision. What happened to story telling? :/ While I’m here I’m not interested on politics. I may be a millennial, but I just don’t care about these agendas, I’m more concerned with working hard, spirituality, and raising my family the best I can.

  • #655551

    Anonymous

    If you’re going to be looking for a trade publisher (versus self-publishing), I wouldn’t waste any time or money on illustrations. Trade publishers have their own art departments/contractors for that. If you want them just for inspiration, just copy paste and have at it ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As to MS Office or Scrivener, I can’t advise you – I use a very basic Atlantis Nova and it works just fine (but then I’m not a fan of bells and whistles – I’d use a typewriter if it weren’t so hard to make corrections ๐Ÿ™„ ).

    Format and layout will vary with the publisher – and agents. Check their website for submission guidelines (including whether or not they even accept unsolicited ms – you’ll have to find an agent to get to those).

  • #655552

    AngelinaK52
    Participant

    With Epic Fantasies the novel will be over 100k words because it takes a lot of words to build worlds.

    Layouts of novels are standard for most places when it comes to submissions.
    1. 1 inch margins
    2. Times New Roman font (Some use Courier, but most agents and publishers I’ve spoken to say TNR).
    3. Indent paragraphs instead of using tabs
    4. Double space
    5. Start each chapter on a new page about half way down the page
    6. Don’t switch heads in the same paragraph (head hopping). Better yet use a single POV per section or chapter

    That’s a start. You can try to google other things to see what you can find.

    I’ve been using Microsoft Word since it was installed by using floppy disks. It does everything I need. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • #655553

    Anonymous

    As for your illustrations, maps, etc., all I can add is for you to watch your file size. I began a photography book in Word and about a quarter of the way into it, using 300dpi images, it crashed. At first I wasn’t sure what happened so I began again… I didn’t get nearly as far before Word crashed the file a second time. In doing research on this, because I had never had an issue in the past, it turns out Word isn’t built for that type of project unless you start ‘zipping’ the files. However, as I continued to look into the matter, I learned that Adobe’s, In Design is the perfect vehicle for what I need. I am using that for my photography book.

  • #655554

    jmurph65641
    Participant

    ostarella wrote:
    > If you’re going to be looking for a trade publisher (versus
    > self-publishing), I wouldn’t waste any time or money on illustrations.
    > Trade publishers have their own art departments/contractors for that. If
    > you want them just for inspiration, just copy paste and have at it ๐Ÿ˜‰
    >
    > As to MS Office or Scrivener, I can’t advise you – I use a very basic
    > Atlantis Nova and it works just fine (but then I’m not a fan of bells and
    > whistles – I’d use a typewriter if it weren’t so hard to make corrections
    > ๐Ÿ™„ ).
    >
    > Format and layout will vary with the publisher – and agents. Check their
    > website for submission guidelines (including whether or not they even
    > accept unsolicited ms – you’ll have to find an agent to get to those).

    I kind of wanted to release a concept art book along side it. Do you think a TP would allow such a thing? Otherwise I’m still leaning more self-publishing because I can have ultimate control over my creativity, although I would love the perks of a TP with editing and such. (Publishing in general right now I find to be putting the cart way before the horse.) I know they are going to want to use their own art for covers on the novel. Honestly, in my opinion being a fan of the old school here. I liked the old fantasy with the painted images like https://goodereader.com/blog/technology/the-wheel-of-time-is-being-made-into-a-tv-series over the crappy cliche photography that is so popular today. https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcRnhlBJS0oOxsZYwa-YkwqhhD4YuiEkOAfnkdzxbzXl-aOXiQo&usqp=CAY That is the kind of crap I can’t stand lol XD It may sound really lame but I always avoided buying books with that style of cover and opted for the optional others even if the was just basic covers with titling. The photography styles not only feel cliche but tedious to me and unoriginal. I find them to all look the same which in my opinion screams I can’t stand out from a crowd and feels like bad marketing artistically speaking. (But I must say if I have to sacrifice creativity for pay I think I’d rather be practical.)

    I might just be sticking with ms since I’ve used it all my life but everyone is telling me that scrivener is amazing for organization so I think its just mostly got my curiosity peeked. I’m like you I like simplicity too, but my organizational file structure as of now kind of frustrates me. My project has gotten so big already with in a just a half a year that it can be a beast to hunt stuff down and I know I’m weak in organizational skills. (Working on it though.)

    Sounds good, when you type out your manuscripts do you just adjust them afterwords? I’ve been wondering if it would be best to leave it for later.

  • #655555

    jmurph65641
    Participant

    Brien Sz wrote:
    > As for your illustrations, maps, etc., all I can add is for you to watch your file
    > size. I began a photography book in Word and about a quarter of the way into it,
    > using 300dpi images, it crashed. At first I wasn’t sure what happened so I began
    > again… I didn’t get nearly as far before Word crashed the file a second time.
    > In doing research on this, because I had never had an issue in the past, it turns
    > out Word isn’t built for that type of project unless you start ‘zipping’ the files.
    > However, as I continued to look into the matter, I learned that Adobe’s, In Design
    > is the perfect vehicle for what I need. I am using that for my photography book.

    I’ve never tried to place images in a manuscript through ms, so this is good to know, thank you. Although, in school if I was doing a small project I found it was easier to print the images separately at the end in my references/proper citing or have them printed separately and slid in between writing pages. Seems to be the most effective for school projects. I would think adobe programs in general would be better for images. Most of my art is hanging around separated in its own folder and not actually attracted to the manuscript. I am hoping to launch a concept art book to go with the series. A lot of people around me like my character, fashion, armor, and concept designs and have told me that I should do a separate art book for release as a promo thing. To quote a friend here: “A lot of nerds eat that sh** up.” I’d have to agree since I’m kind of a nerd myself. lol I have a lot of art books for my favorite franchises.

    What kind of photography do you do? I have to admit I have some guilty favorite subjects. Landscaping, Floral, Macro, and Classy Nudes (Art stock images which are great for drawing practice.)

    T.A.Rodgers wrote:
    > With Epic Fantasies the novel will be over 100k words because it takes a
    > lot of words to build worlds.
    >
    > Layouts of novels are standard for most places when it comes to
    > submissions.
    > 1. 1 inch margins
    > 2. Times New Roman font (Some use Courier, but most agents and publishers
    > I’ve spoken to say TNR).
    > 3. Indent paragraphs instead of using tabs
    > 4. Double space
    > 5. Start each chapter on a new page about half way down the page
    > 6. Don’t switch heads in the same paragraph (head hopping). Better yet use
    > a single POV per section or chapter
    >
    > That’s a start. You can try to google other things to see what you can
    > find.
    >
    > I’ve been using Microsoft Word since it was installed by using floppy
    > disks. It does everything I need. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sounds about right then, I’ve been reading too much online and it would seem too many people have too many ideas as to what is right or wrong. I think there are a lot of amateur’s out there giving bad advice. I’ve got to be careful. I’m glad I’m using the correct font then. It was drilled into us as kids in school the TNR was standard. The rest of this is good to know. Pov makes sense since that seems to be the general consensus online as well.

  • #655556

    Anonymous

    LadySeshiiria wrote:
    >
    > Sounds good, when you type out your manuscripts do you just adjust them afterwords?
    > I’ve been wondering if it would be best to leave it for later.

    I have my own formatting while I’m writing – no way I want to try to work with someone else’s while I’m trying to create the story itself. But with a computer, it’s not that difficult to change fonts and margins etc afterwards.

  • #655557

    Anonymous

    I shoot the subjects you like except for the nudes.

  • #655558

    jmurph65641
    Participant

    Brien Sz wrote:
    > I shoot the subjects you like except for the nudes.

    Awesome. Yeah, I like to use nudes to learn the human body beyond that that’s about it in terms of art. I’m uninterested in this current climate of sexual freedom. I find most of the nudes on DA as of late are more for exploitation that anything and it makes me quite sad. I have been looking at a lot of stock photo’s off of other sites lately and have been finding an appreciation for landscaping mostly. I think my tastes are changing in terms of what I like looking at art wise. I used to love to look at game art, fandoms, anime, and original artists out there like painters and abstract artists. Finding myself more into photography lately, there area lot of really good ideas there.

    ostarella wrote:
    > LadySeshiiria wrote:
    > >
    > > Sounds good, when you type out your manuscripts do you just adjust them
    > afterwords?
    > > I’ve been wondering if it would be best to leave it for later.
    >
    > I have my own formatting while I’m writing – no way I want to try to work with
    > someone else’s while I’m trying to create the story itself. But with a computer, it’s
    > not that difficult to change fonts and margins etc afterwards.

    Thanks you.

  • #655559

    jmurph65641
    Participant

    I don’t know if this counts as bumping a thread, but I need help and don’t want to re-post when there is still a good thread to use. One of the topics above anyway.

    Quoting myself: “I am writing a Gods and Magic Fantasy and I am working on building the magic system as we speak. So I have some thoughts and questions. I want it to be mentally/visually striking and thought provoking at the same time. So I have created a lot of my own things but I also want it to include some real world occult imagery and such. Public domain images claim to be copyright free and free to use, but they also claim on some of these websites that you still need to find the owner, attribute it, and pay for a license if you are using it for commercial purposes. (One site said some of these images are hosted in libraries and that they require payment to use them outside of free use terms.) I am in a long haul process and can’t guarantee that my series will even be published or make money so I am hesitant to invest money on licenses for that kind of thing when I can invest my money in other areas of my project. I see a lot of video games, movies, and fiction use occult images all the time even if they make their own art and base it off of the original. This is kind of what I would like to do. I have a huge love for historical documents and some of these medieval calligraphy books feel so right in a fantasy setting. Here is one example of a manuscript from early man that is just breath taking. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Gigas The inking and painting is gorgeous, but I digress.”

    I never received much of a reply on this so I decided to ask more direct questions in hopes maybe that may help.

    So I have done a ton of research on public domain and now I know what kinds of things I can incorporate and what not to. Down to designing the actual activation magics- I need to be able to travel between cities, countries, and even worlds. There is a war on and the travel system is important as well as how it affects the war itself. Speaking in the visual sense here, I need to be able to break down my circles. I understood I was going to have to do this, and my thoughts turned to using the stars as a mapping system like the sailors of old. I want to appeal on a more traditional fantasy level too. So I though I would ask you guys what you considered traditional and what you enjoyed seeing in literature, movies, and such? What kinds of things do you feel break suspension of disbelief?

    ๐Ÿ™„ On another side note: In another forum on DA I listed another topic centering on my magic system too, talking about working the artwork side of it. I just want to ask you guys’ your thoughts on this. I had a person literally tell me I needed to make it accurate and not just mix and match religions and cultures that it is offensive and what not. They told me I needed to make it appeal to pagans too. **Am I missing something?** My target market is nerds not pagans, and I feel following such advise is silly. Besides, I don’t mean to be rude in pointing out the hypocrisy here but paganism is a giant buffet of other religions… I can’t even take it seriously. A lot of which is Christian and middle eastern and with neo pagans Asian too. Half of the people I knew in high school that were into that couldn’t even practice their religions correctly… So my thought as to why I find this silly… Is I thought fantasy was that, just fantasy. I thought the idea was to mix and match and create different cultures and worlds? **Is this realism thing a new trend?** To make things so real and accurate as to suck the fun out of it? And of the appropriation topic…I don’t care for politics myself, and yet again its getting dragged in… I don’t know what the new trends in fantasy are, but I fully plan on writing my story my way, and is it wrong for me to not give a flying hoot about the A word? Honestly everyone takes/borrows from everyone at sometime, and for cultures to get offended over certain things to me seems ridiculous. Like for example here: not saying which country, but the hot topic of a certain type of jewelry and how its insulting for people in white society to wear it. How its supposed to be sacred and such. If they considered it sacred in the first place then they wouldn’t have been selling it and exploiting it for gain. Am I right? (A certain actress in this country was trying to profit off of the sacred jewelry in the fashion industry. If anything they should have shut it down.) We’ve been doing this for centuries. In the ancient world people were trying like mad to stretch trade out so they could sell their silks and jewelry trinkets. Our fashion influences their fashion and vise versa. It would be rude and wrong for me to go around telling non-white people they aren’t allowed to wear denim… or how pagans have stolen our cross and have de-sanctified it. The very notion is laughable. People will do what they do. So whats up with all this? I don’t want to chase market trends, it seem to be a dumb idea and many a person tells you not to do that, because its a futile attempt and a waste of time. Is it just me, or does this kind of crap happen to you guys during the research phase too?

  • #655560

    timeradrake
    Participant

    > So I though I would ask you guys what you considered traditional and what you enjoyed seeing in literature, movies, and such? What kinds of things do you feel break suspension of disbelief?
    I’m afraid I don’t have specifics. For me, there are two things about magical elements in a story that ignite my disbelief. First of all is deus ex machina. I’m not using that term quite correctly, but I hate when magic is simply used as a means to “make stuff happen.” Sort of like coming to a big chasm and suddenly the characters know a flying spell, or wings just pop out of their backs. I need to feel that magic has rules, even if the only image I have of that is the consequences of using the magic. And from that comes number two: consistency. If magic has rules and consequences, then it ALWAYS has rules and consequences. If it’s not possible on page ten, then the story better have a damned good reason (and foreshadowing could help this) why it’s possible on page two hundred.

    > I had a person literally tell me I needed to make it accurate and not just mix and match religions and cultures that it is offensive and what not.
    Two words for you. Satanic Verse. It’s a book written by Salman Rushdie. He had to go into hiding because certain radical muslim clerics put out a fatwa demanding his death for the contents of that book.

    But the book was accepted, and published. I haven’t read it. So I can’t say it was good or bad writing. I just know that it illustrates that you can make controversial choices that offend some population, and it can still be successful.

    Realism and accuracy aren’t bad things, however. Orson Scott Card wrote a series of books set in early America that used a lot of the folk magics of that time. It was about this boy known as Alvin The Maker, the seventh son of a seventh son. He took a few liberties, but I’ve seen several reviews express that his portrayal of the magics was pretty accurate. Don’t dismiss it outright.

    At the same time, let your imagination go. See where you can take it. Every idea is a bad idea… until it isn’t. Generally, people say don’t create a whole new language for your work. And yet one of the most popular fantasy series of all time did exactly that. The Lord of the Rings series.

    Research isn’t about finding out who is right or wrong. It’s about finding facts, maybe suppositions and predispositions. This is how Norse mythology expresses magical and magical beings. This is how the celts did it. Ancient Rome did it this way. And so on and so forth.

    So… back to that saying: Every idea is a bad idea… until it isn’t.

    Don’t fight opinions. This isn’t the time for that. Nod your head, accept the passion that others are expressing to you, and continue on.

    I’m a bit concerned by something you stated, however:
    > Besides, I don’t mean to be rude in pointing out the hypocrisy here but paganism is a giant buffet of other religions… I can’t even take it seriously. A lot of which is Christian and middle eastern and with neo pagans Asian too. Half of the people I knew in high school that were into that couldn’t even practice their religions correctly… So my thought as to why I find this silly…
    You HAVE to take it seriously. I don’t know you, so I readily admit that I may be seeing something that isn’t there. I’m going to express what I see for your consideration.

    This looks to me like an ulterior agenda sneaking into your writing. Or perhaps a kind of chip on your shoulder. And if you try to “win” this argument through your writing, I feel like you’re going to fall. Hard. Readers don’t like being preached at. You may have some earth-shattering wisdom in your writing, but if the reader feels that you’re trying to preach, teach, or in some express how things “should be,” then right or wrong, you’re going to lose the reader. And then it doesn’t matter how brilliant your insight is. Get that agenda out of your writing. Write a story with relatable people living in whatever world it is that they inhabit, send through a story that captures the imaginations of readers, and then it won’t matter who is right or wrong.

    Those people you speak of are passionate about the subject. It’s near and dear to them. Okay, fine, they do or don’t practice what they preach very well. How does that affect the dangers and the adventures that your characters will experience?

    Personally, I don’t think it does. But it’s clearly affecting you, and will therefore affect your writing. Don’t let it. Let your story be whatever it is. And let them buy your story, or not buy it. You can’t make them like your story. The only thing you can do is write the best version of your story.

    So write it. Let go of what others think it should be, and just… write it.

    You know, Harrison Ford’s first acting job as as a bellboy in a hotel. He had a two-minute role of walking through a lobby announcing a message for someone. After shooting wrapped up for the day, the director of the movie told him to go home and give up acting. “I worked with Cary Grant,” he said, “And the first time I saw Cary Grant act, I knew he was a star. You’re not a star, kid.”

    Harrison Ford says he replied, “I thought I was supposed to be a bellboy.”

    Let me ask you, who was right? Or does it even matter?

  • #655561

    Anonymous

    I agree with Rob, especially about preaching to your readers. Readers don’t like that – especially if that preaching is based on erroneous beliefs of your own. (For example, pagans didn’t steal from Christianity; Christianity stole from pagans – or one could be generous and say “incorporated pagan rites”.) So my thought is that there’s no problem making up your own religions in fiction – but you should have a good understanding of whatever religions you may be basing them on. Inventing a new religion for your work is like Tolkien’s inventing new languages for his – he had a thorough understanding of actual language constructs and based his fictional languages on those (https://stancarey.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/tolkien-on-language-invention/). Developing a fictional religion is the same thing – understanding the reasons behind the rituals and customs of various real life religions so your book’s religion makes sense to readers.

  • #655562

    jmurph65641
    Participant

    robjvargas wrote:
    > > So I though I would ask you guys what you considered traditional and what you
    > enjoyed seeing in literature, movies, and such? What kinds of things do you feel
    > break suspension of disbelief?
    > I’m afraid I don’t have specifics. For me, there are two things about magical
    > elements in a story that ignite my disbelief. First of all is deus ex machina. I’m
    > not using that term quite correctly, but I hate when magic is simply used as a means
    > to “make stuff happen.” Sort of like coming to a big chasm and suddenly
    > the characters know a flying spell, or wings just pop out of their backs. I need to
    > feel that magic has rules, even if the only image I have of that is the consequences
    > of using the magic. And from that comes number two: consistency. If magic has rules
    > and consequences, then it ALWAYS has rules and consequences. If it’s not possible on
    > page ten, then the story better have a damned good reason (and foreshadowing could
    > help this) why it’s possible on page two hundred.
    >
    > > I had a person literally tell me I needed to make it accurate and not just mix
    > and match religions and cultures that it is offensive and what not.
    > Two words for you. Satanic Verse. It’s a book written by Salman Rushdie. He had to
    > go into hiding because certain radical muslim clerics put out a fatwa demanding his
    > death for the contents of that book.
    >
    > But the book was accepted, and published. I haven’t read it. So I can’t say it was
    > good or bad writing. I just know that it illustrates that you can make controversial
    > choices that offend some population, and it can still be successful.
    >
    > Realism and accuracy aren’t bad things, however. Orson Scott Card wrote a series of
    > books set in early America that used a lot of the folk magics of that time. It was
    > about this boy known as Alvin The Maker, the seventh son of a seventh son. He took a
    > few liberties, but I’ve seen several reviews express that his portrayal of the magics
    > was pretty accurate. Don’t dismiss it outright.
    >
    > At the same time, let your imagination go. See where you can take it. Every idea is
    > a bad idea… until it isn’t. Generally, people say don’t create a whole new
    > language for your work. And yet one of the most popular fantasy series of all time
    > did exactly that. The Lord of the Rings series.
    >
    > Research isn’t about finding out who is right or wrong. It’s about finding facts,
    > maybe suppositions and predispositions. This is how Norse mythology expresses
    > magical and magical beings. This is how the celts did it. Ancient Rome did it this
    > way. And so on and so forth.
    >
    > So… back to that saying: Every idea is a bad idea… until it isn’t.
    >
    > Don’t fight opinions. This isn’t the time for that. Nod your head, accept the
    > passion that others are expressing to you, and continue on.
    >
    > I’m a bit concerned by something you stated, however:
    > > Besides, I don’t mean to be rude in pointing out the hypocrisy here but paganism
    > is a giant buffet of other religions… I can’t even take it seriously. A lot of
    > which is Christian and middle eastern and with neo pagans Asian too. Half of the
    > people I knew in high school that were into that couldn’t even practice their
    > religions correctly… So my thought as to why I find this silly…
    > You HAVE to take it seriously. I don’t know you, so I readily admit that I may be
    > seeing something that isn’t there. I’m going to express what I see for your
    > consideration.
    >
    > This looks to me like an ulterior agenda sneaking into your writing. Or perhaps a
    > kind of chip on your shoulder. And if you try to “win” this argument
    > through your writing, I feel like you’re going to fall. Hard. Readers don’t like
    > being preached at. You may have some earth-shattering wisdom in your writing, but if
    > the reader feels that you’re trying to preach, teach, or in some express how things
    > “should be,” then right or wrong, you’re going to lose the reader. And
    > then it doesn’t matter how brilliant your insight is. Get that agenda out of your
    > writing. Write a story with relatable people living in whatever world it is that
    > they inhabit, send through a story that captures the imaginations of readers, and
    > then it won’t matter who is right or wrong.
    >
    > Those people you speak of are passionate about the subject. It’s near and dear to
    > them. Okay, fine, they do or don’t practice what they preach very well. How does
    > that affect the dangers and the adventures that your characters will experience?
    >
    > Personally, I don’t think it does. But it’s clearly affecting you, and will
    > therefore affect your writing. Don’t let it. Let your story be whatever it is. And
    > let them buy your story, or not buy it. You can’t make them like your story. The
    > only thing you can do is write the best version of your story.
    >
    > So write it. Let go of what others think it should be, and just… write it.
    >
    > You know, Harrison Ford’s first acting job as as a bellboy in a hotel. He had a
    > two-minute role of walking through a lobby announcing a message for someone. After
    > shooting wrapped up for the day, the director of the movie told him to go home and
    > give up acting. “I worked with Cary Grant,” he said, “And the first
    > time I saw Cary Grant act, I knew he was a star. You’re not a star, kid.”
    >
    > Harrison Ford says he replied, “I thought I was supposed to be a bellboy.”
    >
    > Let me ask you, who was right? Or does it even matter?

    I guess I wasn’t making myself clear if people are thinking that I have an ulterior motive and an agenda. (Magic plays a huge part in my story, and I am a big fan of fantasy because of it.) Thank you for the advice btw it is appreciated. What I was meaning to say earlier is that, in another forum I had people telling me I HAD to make it appeal to wiccans and pagans. Were I have friends I can’t take seriously on that subject I don’t have anything against them. I guess what I want is something some what authentic but not to the entire extent. A mish mash of real world but having its own imaginative uniqueness to it. I want to go for something more traditional like on a game or D and D book series kind of thing. You know something for nerds like me, I’m not out to impress the religious peeps. If they happen to be Wiccan or Christian its incidental. I guess what I’m more irritated at is that I’m being told I HAVE to do my magic system their way. I understand things have to be done a certain way for believably like what you described up above with suspension of disbelief and rules, which I have been working on. So many magic systems in games I played have their own thing and aren’t even accurate and are a buffet of things or even down right made up which makes it fun. Which can be cool, but I’m being told I can’t just make up my own thing and that I have to follow the real thing. This is what I find saddening. It wasn’t even related to the original artistic question which was on creating your own magic runes. Designing so to speak: “My question is, are people using things in the public domain like crowley, or anything to create them, or are the designing them themselves.” If you look at this link: https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS779US779&biw=1366&bih=598&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=BHugWt3-DZPIjwONgZmgDw&q=magic+circles&oq=magic+circles&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i67k1j0l5j0i67k1j0j0i30k1l2.2957.3147.0.3483.2.2.0.0.0.0.149.271.0j2.2.0….0…1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.2.268….0.LROlmdw7540
    There area ton of really cool designs for circles and such, which makes me wonder if they are drawings of of old things or just making them up. I had one person tell me to look up sacred geometry which has helped a lot. And from what I can tell there are some things that are pulled from already existing things. So some stuff is coming from public domain. How much though, I don’t really know. About the only thing I really care for on realism is some of the visuals and that’s it. Like with the actual travel magic and how I’m going to set it up. It needs to be complex but I need something to look at to get an idea to base it off of. My thoughts are to use star maps, some how have it follow a coordinate system, a point a to point b kind of thing, and activator, and I want it to appeal to the complex almost mathematical side of things. Like fore thought was put into the making of said circle. Something to show that those that use the travel magics or summons have to be ultra intelligent or well versed in its knowledge. The higher power magic so to speak. In order to make it believable I’m trying to make is look and feel complicated if it will help with that suspension.

    As for the guy who had the fatwa put on him, can that happen for just borrowing a look and feel like fashion and architecture for the middle east? I’ve always been a fan of their architecture its a grand sight to see. Persian, Arab, Egyptian. Its all cool. Some of our most technological advanced and mathematically inclined societies sprung out of those areas. It feels right to adapt a similar feel to my desert kingdom.

    ostarella wrote:
    > I agree with Rob, especially about preaching to your readers. Readers don’t like
    > that – especially if that preaching is based on erroneous beliefs of your own. (For
    > example, pagans didn’t steal from Christianity; Christianity stole from pagans –
    > or one could be generous and say “incorporated pagan rites”.) So my thought is that
    > there’s no problem making up your own religions in fiction – but you should have
    > a good understanding of whatever religions you may be basing them on. Inventing
    > a new religion for your work is like Tolkien’s inventing new languages for his –
    > he had a thorough understanding of actual language constructs and based his fictional
    > languages on those (https://stancarey.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/tolkien-on-language-invention/).
    > Developing a fictional religion is the same thing – understanding the reasons behind
    > the rituals and customs of various real life religions so your book’s religion makes
    > sense to readers.

    Yeah I’m aware of that, with Christmas a one example and such. Technically Christmas needs to be around Easter too. No I wasn’t trying to come off as arrogant or ignorant there so much as I was trying to use examples and point out that everyone borrows or steals from everyone. Point out that its bothersome that people are fixating on the fact that I HAVE to make it their thing and follow it to the tooth. Like no variation. And in paganism their is so much variation its hard to know what the original religion was supposed to be. I’m looking to just create my own religions anyway and already have my main and basic concepts lined out. Its not even based on anything in the real world that I can readily think of.
    What I was pointing out is that I am looking to learn how to make my own magic circles for my story or base them off of real world not inject its religion into it. I’m looking at it from the design side of things not the religious aspect since I’ve got my own thing covered. Kind of like taking a familiar image and re-branding its idea.

  • #655563

    Anonymous

    You can make up your own designs, certainly. I can’t tell you about rights and such with symbols or artwork, but you should be able to find that easily enough via internet search or a quick call to a librarian; even a law office could give you a quick summary, enough for your use anyway. And of course, if you’re only using them for your own reference, it doesn’t matter one whit where you get them or what you change. As to other people’s opinions of those designs/ideas, well, like with the story itself, you’re not going to please everyone, ever, so don’t try.

    Might I suggest that in the future, you try to stick to the main question, rather than extraneous details about what happened to you on other forums or exchanges with other people and your reaction to them? I only say that because that way you’ll get responses directly related to what you want to know, rather than people getting confused about what you’re actually asking. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • #655564

    Anonymous

    > I want to go for something more traditional like on a game or D and D book series kind of thing.
    > You know something for nerds like me, I’m not out to impress the religious peeps. If they happen
    > to be Wiccan or Christian its incidental. I guess what I’m more irritated at is that I’m being told I HAVE to do my magic system their way.

    Let me ask you a hard question. Do you want to be right, or do you want to sell your book?

    There’s a fine line between taking dramatic license to something, and insulting people’s intelligence. If you call it wiccan magic (for example) then make the rituals all come of asian and eastern rituals and philosophies, then you may well be insulting someone who hold wicca (or the eastern religions) close to their heart. You lose two readers with one action. And they won’t see the cool factor.

    Look, if you want to create your own magic system using derivations of other real ones, that’s fine. Go for it. Some authors develop magic systems from the ground up, some borrow from existing philosophies and religions.

    Story is first, second, third and fourth priority. People protested Harry Potter, too. But if the story is compelling and draws people in, then people won’t care that you took liberties with existing magic systems, or intermingled them.

    Create what you need to create for your tale. But the REAL face of your tale won’t be the magic system. It’ll be the story.

  • #655565

    sherryherrod263
    Participant

    I responded to your thread on how crappy the internet is for research, so won’t belabor any points here.

    Scrivener vs Word is a topic worthy of it’s own thread. I used both. Word because its files (.doc, .docx, etc.) are an industry standard. Scrivener even converts to them for submission or printing – which is my main complaint about it. On the plus side I love the index card presentation for making notes in Scrivener. However, docking OneNote to the side of the screen gives a writer much of the same information views as does the ribbon/sidebar in Scrivener. Scrivener does not play well with OneDrive and other clouds. Scrivener was originally only for Apple products, so the version for PC’s is a generation behind the version for Macs. But try it out – if I remember right the trial period is 30 days except during NaNoWriMo when it can be used from late October through early December. One interesting observation is that many Scrivener users (much like many Mac/Apple users) seem to defend their choices quite vocally and leave little room for disagreement of any level. My recommendation is that you try the trail version of Scrivener and then make your own comparison. Use what you like and what works best for you.

    Word counts vary depending on the source, but my reading indicates the following:

    Up to 1500 words = flash fiction (but some places it’s 1K words or even 600 words)
    1500 -20,000 words = short story
    20K – 45K = novella
    50k+ = novel (lord only knows what the between novella and novel is)

    The fantasy genre expectation for word count is 90K – 120K, but that, too, depends on who’s asking, who’s telling, and who’s counting. I’d say write the story and not worry about counting words.

    Formatting: most of the sources I’ve seen state the standard format for submission is 1″ margins all around, 12 pt Courier or Times New Roman font, and double spaced. However, checking to see if the publisher, agent, or publication has any specific requirements before submitting makes a lot of sense because one never knows for sure until asking.

    Where to find free use occult images? Hundreds of web sites offer free occult images. A search for that three word phrase will provide more than 32 million results using Google. One only needs poke around in the myriad image libraries to find stuff. But, that begs the question, “What is free use?” No ascertainable copyrights (public domain)? Free to use but not royalty free in all instances? Something advertised as “Free” these days is seldom free. To quote a 20th century sage, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch – TANSTAAFL”.

    Finally, a suggestion to increase the likelihood your questions will recieve answers: Limit a post to one or two questions, and wait a few days for that thread to run its course. Spend the waiting time writing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    PHEW!

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