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Welcome to The Writer's Guild: A thread for writers, novelists, and fiction enthusiasts to discuss writing, offer writing tips, and generally hang out. Please be respectful and follow all site guidelines.

A few helpful links:
Ezn's Guide to writing fiction: https://eznguide.neocities.org/
An overview of outliners and discovery writers: http://faq.brandonsanderson.com/node/306
123 Ideas for Character Flaws: https://thewritershandbook.tumblr.com/post/136354398049/123-ideas-for-character-flaws
My personal Guide to why Google Docs is the best writing/editing tool: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Jo1Q8Azf68jpHNi7uIDkn-9EXsp5xZOb-QcgX7xvuto/edit

I simply must update this more often. If you're looking for an ice breaker, tell us about your favorite book, your favorite world, or whatever the last story was that you put off either sleep or food to read more of.


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I'm so happy you made the thread. :D

The last really fun read I had was the I Hunt Killers series.

Favourite book will always be The Supernaturalists, but there's so many good stories.


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There. Updated the OP with some helpful links.

I Hunt Killers sounds interesting. What's it about, apart from the obvious?


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The son of a famous serial killer helps the cops solve murder cases.

Sounds simple on the surface, but the characters are awesome, and you get a whole different perspective because the main character was basically 'trained' by his dad.

Very morbid, but very intertaining. I found it in the young adults fiction section.


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ooh, nice. My current reading book is called  "Blade of Empire" which is the second book in a series, about an Elf who fights to become queen so that she can unify her divided nation against a dark force uprising in the north that threatens to destroy their entire world.

Last book I think I lost sleep over, however, would be the Percy Jackson series.


You know, for how much I enjoy fantasy as a genre, I think I have only ever read two books with fairies/elves in them.


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was one of them LOTR?


I don't remember ;_;

One was called Tithe, and I can't remember the other. Strange books though.


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I'll put it on the list


I read it like ten years ago. If I'm remembering right, it was kind of morbid.


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I used to read more lighthearted stories back then, but always fantasy and adventure. My mind wanted to escape the confines of this universe, seeking something magical and fantastic.

Nowadays I just wish I could fly like a bird, and I hope I can incorporate that into one of my stories.


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So are you two writing anything right now?


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I am, in fact. several fanfictions, and one original novel. The novel is proving to be exceptionally difficult though. Seeing as how I haven't touched anything in a few months I'm getting back into it with the fanfiction. At the moment I'm updating a story that readers have been wanting to see more of: The Secret of Ponyville, a journal written by Rarity, about how her life has been a lie, how she filled an innocent town with misery, and how  she has lived eternally in one big moment of regret.


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And updated. Whew. I got a new chapter out. Feels great.


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No. And I'm working on being comfortable with that.

I've been reading this book on writers block, and it talks a lot about how the block is a natural response and how to approach it not with an iron fist, "you will right ten pages or else!" type of attitude, but rather to try and figure out why you are having the block in the first place.

It also goes a bit into other things, like basically being kinder to yourself and askimg instead of demanding, recognizing the fact that it's not that you can't write, (because you certainly can), but that you don't want to write. And from there it's your job to figure out why.

So I'm basically working on better communication towards myself and a lot of Stars policy of loving yourself lol.

Cause I do get down on myself. I'll tell myself I'm being lazy and no one can ever read anything if I don't get it down onthe paper.

Which, while that's half true, I'm putting it in such a way to myself that I end up getting quickly bored of sitting down and writing because now it's a chore instead of fun. I have to remember to keep the fun in the story first, and let the work (editing) happen when I am done.


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I try to keep all my creative pursuits as hobbies that I can drop and pick up at leisure when feel like it.  If it's your job to write and you don't want to write them it'll be bad for everyone involved.  If it's just your hobby and no one expects anything you can take absolutely guilt free vacations to do whatever you feel like.

That said, my approach to "block"?  Do everything in steps.  Start with an idea, develop it a bit, then write an outline.  Just fit the important bits into a timeline so you know what the story will look like and what all needs to be done to finish it.  Then with your blueprint ready you can work on individual sections as the muse strikes and you find ideas.  Get stuck on one chapter?  Just move to another one for a while.

I'm currently working on an outline for a horror mystery novel set on a boat in the Bermuda triangle.  It's not quite coming together, but that's okay.  There no rush.

Meanwhile, I think a friend of mine has actually found a publisher, so that's pretty sweet.


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Yea, I usually have to do outlines for specific chapters because I'm usually missing a huge chunk of the story, like the beginning or the end. I have the characters, and certain things I want to happen, and the emotions I want to invoke...I just don't know what happens along the way. Which might be the next thing I try out. Set the characters up and kind of play DnD with myself; see where the journey leads.

>Meanwhile, I think a friend of mine has actually found a publisher, so that's pretty sweet.

That's awesome! I hope I can get to that point someday, but I need to not get caught up in that dream either. I'll keep fantasizing instead of actually doing.


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And in the meantime I keep stacking up new story ideas while the first one I've been working goes untouched


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Sometimes it's more fun to stick to the fun part.


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That's a good approach. I've noticed the same. A lot of times I'm stuck because there's a piece of the plot that's really important for that scene, and I can't continue until I figure it out, or that I've forgotten what the purpose of that scene is.

I always wonder if I'll sign with a publisher or if I'll self publish

Ideas are fine. You should pick one and get started.


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I always get these battle scene ideas when I'm at work listening to music.

I'll imagine my characters listening to the same music on a loudspeaker, or a boombox or something, while they are fighting the monsters.

And it always sounds awesome in my head, but I don't know how to translate that to writing, or if it's even possible.

It's like trying to explain why an AMV is so cool to someone who has never seen one


You should try anyway.


Can you describe a scene?


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I did start one part with it, then lost where I was taking the scene.

I might read Steven Kings, Christine.

I seem to remember he had a lot of songs in that story to set the mood. I feel like I just need to see it done, even if it's not the same thing I'm going for, so I have some kind of idea of how to do it.


Like write the scene out, or just describe the skeleton?


Characters, setting, motivations, what have you got?


A common way I've seen it done is to switch between the action and the lyrics, but there's more to it than that. Quick, high energy words for tense moments in the song, slow, graceful words for the calmer parts. Use the vernacular to create the music


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This was my original description of the setting back when I first started it as an RP.

Monsters in the closet? Pfft! We got this!


Welcome to The Swirlies! A place where your wildest dreams can come true!


Tales have been told for millennia, of monsters lurking around every dark alley, beneath beds, and in the backs of closets. They have always been thought of to be nothing more than stories, old wives tales of bad dreams that linger on after a child has woken screaming from underneath their covers. To most people that is simply what they are: mere stories and phantoms of a childs frightening imaginations gone mad. And yet night after night, thousands of children all over the globe go missing from their rooms, playgrounds, alleys, cars...any where that shadows seem to lurk, and adults forget to check. It has been going on for so long that no one seems to pay much mind to it any more. A missing child was no more unusual than an unfortunate death of some fool in a big city, and the authorities often waste little time attempting to recover them. Parents and families grieve for their lost ones for a brief time, and then carry on, content to put it in the past. After all, it was just another part of life; a part that many wished to simply sweep under the carpet. But not the children...

To the children, the monsters that lurked in their closets and under their beds were no less real than the teddy bears they clung to their chests, and growing up seems like a game of survival where the odds are always against you. While many choose to obey their parents and go about their daily routines of a simple childs life, where adventures never brave past the sandbox, some choose to live the life of a soldier, a protector of the night.

When all the good boys and girls have gone to bed, after all the lights have all been switched off for the night, these brave young warriors sneak from their beds and creep down stairs, across halls, and through windows. They have sworn an oath, took up a silent call to protect their brothers and sisters in arms, for they are the only ones who can, and for every monster slain, it means one less child being drug from their cozy dreamland and into a place of nightmares...

But if you were asking for a scene, that's what I'm currently struggling with.

That's kind of how I feel when I'm trying to write it, but then I get worried with copyright issues lol. Like, can I just straight up use lyrics in a story and have it published?


Well sort of. The Fair Use act allows you to use a certain amount of a copyrighted material for recreational purposes, but if you're trying to make money, or if the owner of the source material feels that you're plaigarizing, you may need to take it down. A good rule of thumb is 30/30. Use no more than 30% of the source material, and allow it to occupy no more than 30% of your work.


If all else fails, just ask for permission first, and give credit to the source.


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Honestly was expecting less than this, you sure got a lot down.

I think you've gone quite a ways in getting this into some kind of story


I put a lot into my rps back in the day lol.

And yea, it's just..difficult.

Keep getting stuck.


When that happens, I try starting over from a different angle.

can't say it always works, but it maintains progress


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I'll try that next time I get stuck. Thank you.


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I looked it up, and I guess what you can do, is use what you want in your manuscript, then turn it into a publisher.

If the publisher wants to help you get published, they will/can go through the work of getting the permissions and/or telling you what you need to change or can't use.

So that's relieving.

I can just write freely and treat it as one last final draft.



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Reminds me of some Jackie Chan stuff.

I love the art. I was looking for music+action, and someone suggested this.

So right around 12 minutes is where it gets awesome.


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Worth wading thru.

How u like my new starlily i bot 2day.


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Very pretty pony.


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>Trying to write a sad death scene in which the characters family gets killed in a car crash
>The Scientist by Coldplay starts playing on Pandora

Sometimes I feel like the universe just knows.


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Oy, c'mon spoilers geez.


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Did I say that? I mean, the character totally has a perfect life and a perfectly happy ending.

Yes. That is what will happen.


I had that a some years back when I was reading Stephen King's "Cell".

I was on a train, with my MP3 Player (this was when I was like 17-18, so this when an MP3 player that could store about 50 songs was a super cool thing) set to shuffle, and was reading the passage where a group of young people kill the teenage girl in the main hero group by holding a brick out of the car window and beaning her in the head with it as the drive past her seemingly just for fun.

When the improvised funeral happened later, I was already sad... and then the INSTANT that chapter was over, my MP3 Player switched to the danish song "Hallelujah" by Kim Larsen which literally starts with "Death is just an illusion, Hallelujah / One start that goes out among a million, Hallelujah / Time to live, time to die / After all we're just visitors /( But don't you remember the flowers that wilted yesterday? / They'll spring back up next year
and it fucking devastated me.


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AAaaawwwhaha. That is fucking saaad!


Yeah, I kinda felt like I got jumped by a gang of bullies that was hiding around the corner just waiting for me to go home. Like it was fucking PLANNED this way.

But then, while I know very little about music on a technical level and definitely can't make it, I love and get easily affected by it when I am just listening to it with headphones. Even how I walk tends to be affected by whatever the hell I'm listening to at that moment if I pay attention to it.


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>But then, while I know very little about music on a technical level and definitely can't make it, I love and get easily affected by it when I am just listening to it with headphones. Even how I walk tends to be affected by whatever the hell I'm listening to at that moment if I pay attention to it.

That's the beauty of music.

And I totally do that too lol. I've embarrassed myself a couple of times when out in public...


You don't wanna see what a dick I look like when the sun is shining and this one comes on.


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Oh my god, I can only imagine! haha


Dat electronic jazz mix tho.


There ya go. Write away.

Man, I  want to write since I have so much free Time but it's so much more taxing on a phone.


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Get some paper and a pencil


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i am doing a lot of writing! it's ... not necessarily fun writing, but i can share it when it is done!


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But, can you make it fun?


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Well right now I'm working on my pony story as practice for the bigger stuff.


Please do, if it is shareable.


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>been feeling better
>getting the urge to roleplay again; wanting to stretch those writing fingers
>not sure if want to dedicate the time, effort, and work it takes to get the ball rolling and light DM'ing


I WANT IT though



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Did you watch it?


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I did, but spoken word's not really my thing.



What type of things you like, Pranky?


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I don't know


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It doesn't have to be writing.


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I think if you listen to it again you might like it.


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music, video games, movies, good beer, travel, world building, writing, tabletop games, all kinds of stuff


Which musics?
It's not everyones cup of tea.


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I understood it's about the wisdom found in a hospital with a leukemia patient and it's tragic but... eh

stuff like this


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It doesn't rhyme.

Would you be interested in critiquing a 20k word pony story arc for me, before a significant revision?


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I like it; reminds me of Celtic music.

What do you think of this?


Do you like lullaby type stuff at all?
Sure, but I don't know when I would be able to get back to you with a proper review. I can start taking a look at it tonight, but I don't want to answer tonight because I've been drinking a little.

What type of critique are you looking for? Like general, or pointing out small writing errors as well?


I mean, I'll try to get back to you soon, but I have to work till wednesday...just a heads up.


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you trying to put me to sleep?


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Go bed, Pranky.


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good night.


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Wait, no! I was only joking!

D-don't leeeave!


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If i didn't mix up my links, this is what pranky claimed to be into yesterday:

Probly trying to impress you.

Eeeeeeeh, um...i've written a new intro that i need to transfer onto the gdrive with the manuscript.  I would absolutely NOT like an analysis of errors or deficiencies; it is freewriting that i channeled over a handful of days and getting some harsh mechanical lambasting from someone i pushed to read it completely silenced the voice in my head and it hasn't begun to whisper again after more than half a year now.

I want someone with the patience to wade through a narrative full of uneducated-level style deficits including that i intend it to be in the narrative in the first place, to arrive at key plot peaks and experience the emotions produced there.

I'm going to substantially rewrite it to fix some of its deficits but i don't want to erase any of the things that evoke the emotions it's supposed to evoke.

The first portion's pacing has been called "rushed" and i've gotten nitpicky feedback about using direct language rather than flowery "as though" metaphors and other modernistic stuff that has no place in my style.  If i get any more feedback of such type, i'm likely to purge the files and never write again.

Further, it's a script for an illustrated narration, like Peter Rabbit.  There will be lots of still illustrations, choppy low frame-rate animations in a dreamy and surreal style, and much of the action will be in songs.  So not only is the text not intended to go into a lot of visual descriptions, but it will be released slowly in little pieces of video i'll upload to youtube as i make them so i want your word you'll keep the story a secret between us.

Theres no rush, and i'll want you to take your time and give it your full attention, focusing on what emotions it produces not the nuts and bolts.  The one dear friend i had who would read it with me in little bits as i wrote it loves the story and experienced the same emorions i did, and do when i read it again.  It takes me about 4 hours to read, and that speed will be rigidly controlled in its final form as a narration.

I think you have an idea from seeing me post around here what an overemotional freak i am, and i think this post gives you an idea what a total pain i am to critique.  I won't be offended if you don't want to proceed past this point.

But if you are still intetested, i can have the files ready for you in a couple days.  I can post the link while we're both on, and delete it once you've confirmed you have it.

So...what say you?  Still want to help me, or does it sound like too much trouble?



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You don't have to go to bed unless you want to


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It doesn't sound like too much trouble.

I'll be honest, I might have a hard time giving good critique if it is meant for an animation, and all I am doing is reading the text without the animation, simply because I don't have any experience with that type of thing.

That doesn't mean I'm not willing to try, just letting you know.

If you would prefer to keep it private, my discord is Drowy#6788 [I think...]

In the mean time though, I have a book that I've been reading that's been helping me a lot, and it seems like it might help you if you want to give it a shot.

It's called On Writer's Block, A New Approach To Creativity, and it is by Victoria Nelson






Das the Pranky i've begun to know a teensy weensy bit


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Friend request sent.

I don't want a good critique, i want a starry-eyed reader of fiction to devour the story and tell me if it feels.

I actually didn't have a plan or a purpose for it when i wrote it, so much as a key idea that popped into my head and i had to get it down.  Aside from a few decisions here and there, i didn't even write it so much as took dictation as it magically appeared.

Most scenes flowed into my head on my bicycle commute and when i sat down to type each day, things happened that weren't even in that day's ride.

I know basically where the next arc is heading, at least the "key idea" but i don't think it has started to come in yet because i have to complete the revision on the first portion.

Now, writing research papers and legal documents, that's where i get blocked up.


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>I don't want a good critique, i want a starry-eyed reader of fiction to devour the story and tell me if it feels.

So you want to know if you hit your goal when trying to invoke an emotion? That's a type of critique, and a good one for when you are first starting out.

I think if we get bad/'didn't care for it' type of critique too early on in a piece of work, before it's ready for it, it kind of kills your want to finish it. Like you said.

Alright, yea, I'll definitely give it a go. Send it whenever you're ready.


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Torpedo's away!


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I started in on it last night, but I wasn't able to make it too far before I needed to sleep.

I can tell you had fun writing it though.

I would like to see it after you have done a revision/final draft before I start commenting too much.

I do have some critique of it, but I don't want you to feel as if the work is bad. It's too fresh and young to be bad.

But I am trying to think of a way to deliver it constructively so you don't feel disheartened.

I might do it in the form of questions; asking you to clarify things for me. There was quite a bit that I, as a reader that isn't inside your head, was confused about. So maybe I can start with a small handful of questions about the work? Maybe just on the first part?


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oh my.


Hmm... Kindle Store doesn't  have that one. I did find "On Being Stuck" by Larraine Herring. Looks a lot like what you've been talking about. I'm going to try it out


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Are you afraid I'm going to say it was terrible?

Cause you shouldn't be. Don't be afraid of showing people your art, Lost. Only be afraid of letting your own fears about it stop you from doing it.


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i know you would never say such a thing, Ella.

completely unintelligible it seems.

i know only disapointment.

please ask your questions on the discord and we'll see if we can make it digestable.  if you have that kind of patience, thanks.


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>completely unintelligible it seems.

If you were refering ro your work, I would have to disagree. There were just details that I didn't understand, or in certain places, it was lacking details that would have helped me understand.

I will start with just a few questions later when I get home.

I do want you to know, it isn't bad. A little ruff around the edges, but that's what a first draft should be. It is also why it is a draft, and why you usually do a few of them.

I very much enjoyed the enthusiasm that came across through the writimg. Like I said earlier, I could tell you had a lot of fun writing it, and that in turn made it enjoyable for me to read.


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Well if you found it enjoyable, then i did this too.

I promise this one's just terrible, check it out



I passed out :x



I warned you


Lol, no I mean last night. I was going to do the discord.

Then I made the mistake of laying down.


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Ah issok, i thot you meant my songwriting/playing/singing attempt was so bad it floored you, tee hee.

it's only like 30 seconds so I didn't know it would be such powerful stuff


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Responded to you in Discord


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>You have to sign into to open office writer now to use it

Ah what the hell is this bullshit? I thought open office writer was something just built into the computer, not connected to the internet?

Goddamnit windows.

Back to paper and pencil I go then. Or maybe an old fashioned typewriter.


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I'm dumb.

You can skip signing in.


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hello writer's guild!

...i have been working on something very personal. i shared it with Chrome, who is an amazing editor pony.

i sort of want to share it here too, but it is pretty personal, and it is not a story.


something you'll be speaking, by chance?


If you feel comfortable Moony, we would love to read it :3


no, though... that is something i have to prepare for too. That's... on Saturday. and i have a lot to think about that as well, now that you mention it...


you are so kind, Ella enchanted <3

it is... my personal philosophy of life. Something i had meant to write down for many years, but only just recently got around to doing, i think.

i am afraid though it will not be so interesting a read.


I see...

I hope it all goes right for you and your family.


thank you pranky. you are so very kind too.


I'm away from my comp, but just wanted to let you know I'm not ignoring you.

I just got sick last night and haven't been feeling too well the past few days. I'll respond when I can.


I tend to think all writing is personal writing, and a bit of anxiety over sharing something you meant to share in the first place is just a sign that sharing it is *that* important to you.


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i've thought about it, and i think i will share it. i am wondering how others will feel about it. maybe, i can learn from them and grow as a person!


My personal philosophy.


Very well done.

One may feel obliged to ask what suffering brought about the writing and the sharing of it.


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i know i have a habit of being very insular. it is not that i do not wish to tell you, but rather, i do not want you to have to feel pity or sympathy for me: i do not want to add to your, or any other person's, burdens.

But as for why now to write and share... well, there are big changes coming up in my life. It started with Grandma passing... sort of, in an indirect way. Perhaps, it will mean soon, my ordeal is over, and that has me nervous, but optimistic, but also scared, as fate does not favor me in situations where i am optimistic like this


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oh... but i should say, i am grateful for your praise! ...what... did you think? i worry it sounds really crazy and stuff.


Your... ordeal?

I thought it was quite professional. I agree on many of the shortcomings of certain systems and I do feel you've come up with a satisfying alternative.

Though I must say that sometimes you have a habit of looking for ways to discredit your own suffering.


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Hey Lost, are you still checking this thread?

I haven't seen you post in a while.


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He is currently banned, I think.



I'll just try and get on my Discord tomorrow then.

If I don't get called into work ;_;

Anyways, thanks Mondo


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Yeah, his ban ought to be up soon, I think.  So maybe just poke him about it if you need to.


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I got another idea today while I was at work, but when I got home I was too tired to write it.

I did, however, remember to text the gist of it to myself so I don't completely forget it.

Maybe I should start using my ten minute break to quickly write a bit of the idea down.


What did you come up with?


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There is this one adult character that was a heavy part of the main characters life back when I was doing the rp, and I've been trying and trying to figure out a way that they could be introduced in the story, realistically.

Well, I had been tossing around the idea that the main character try and steal something from the guy, [the guy owns and runs a restaurant, so it would probably be something like food], and the guy chase the kid out the door. [kid is the main character]

Well, I think what I'll do is have the kid drop his sketchpad, or have it fall out of his back pack. And in the sketchpad is a bunch of pictures of other kids, and all of these kids have gone up missing or found dead. So the guy suddenly takes a big interest in this kid and why he has all these pictures of other missing kids, so the next time he sees him, he starts following him.

And without knowing it, the kid leads him to either an old abandoned building, or under a bridge. And in this place, there are all these drawings carved into the pavement and walls. They very in what they are, but mostly make up things like a shoe, a teddy bear, a lolly pop, a toy car, etc. Not like graffiti, but actual things.

The guy ends up staring at them, having lost the kid, and eventually recognizes one of the symbols from one the sketches in the notebook. And the symbol is a toy that was found on a dead child in the recent news.

After this, the guy does some light investigative work through his customers and maybe a regular cop that comes in as a customer, and eventually finds out that the place he found is a type of memorial.

He goes back to the place eventually to wait and see if he can find the kid, and when he does, he returns the sketchpad and tells the kid he will give him work so that he doesn't have to steal food.


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That sounds like quite a story you're cooking up.


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I have a dream~


No bigarse paintings of the Candyman in there?


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Heh, no. I want to present it as a very serious scene, and the 'memorial' is meant to come across similar to the walls on which they have soldiers names.

We'll see if I can paint the scene well enough to get the emotion I want.


Nothing not-serious about "the Candyman, bitch."

But yeh, I getcha.


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Man, I don't want to jinx it, but I think I finally got out of my block. I've been writing consistently for the past few days, and it's actually been fun again. That type of fun that I really missed about it.

I think I just need to not force myself to do it until later down the road, when I actually have things to edit. But even then, I've always enjoyed editing too, so maybe that won't be so bad.


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I just got onto discord. I tried deleting the message where you linked to your google doc, but it wouldn't let me, or I couldn't figure it out. Probably something to do with the message I tried to send you just now not going through. If you want to try and delete that those messages it would probably let you.

And, as a last thing, if I angered you in some way, I would have much preferred you just told me instead of messaging me in the way you did.

I apologize if I read into your message wrong, but that it was what came off to me as; like you were angry with me.


a lost pony is very sorry for his behavior.

I was very hurt for reasons that were mostly delusional and based on little to no actual things in reality.  I am not well adjusted and working every day for many weeks in a row and was only trying to isolate and curl up into a hurt little ball.  Moony talked to me at great length afterwards and helped me.

I know my words and actions were hurtful and i didn't mean them to be.  I am not dealing well with social interactions outside of work.

If you still want private communications with a lost pony then accept the friend request i've sent.  I understand if you don't want to.  Again i'm very sorry.


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I accept your apology, Lost. For the time being, I think it might be better if we kept our communications to the chan.

I'm sorry if that comes across as callous or cold, but we really don't have much reason to use more private platforms.

I mean, I hardly use discord as it is, and only rarely for things like sharing projects like that.

I hope you don't take it to heart, and I sincerely hope you get better and have luck and happiness in your job.

I am not mad at you, and I will see you around.



as you wish

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