Welcome to the New Space Dock 13! Helping Authors Write Weird, Bizarre, Absurd, Psychedelic Horror-Fantasy Since 1996! (We've Moved & Changed URLs; Space Dock 13 is now EelKat.com) (We are also novel-writing-tips.com, a-pink-unicorn.com, & of course are still SpaceDock13.com)
I Now Hold The World Record For The Highest Level Ever Achieved in Witcher 3!!
If This Video Is Active, I'm Live Streaming Right Now...
WARNING: Avallac'h & Ciri Shipping Happens Daily In My Cult of Avallac'h Stream (This seems to piss people off so we seem to need to provide a warning about it)
Vanilla Avallac'h vs Modded Avallac'h
Vanilla Avallac'h vs Modded Avallac'h
Vanilla Avallac'h vs Modded Avallac'h
If you are Mormon, Mason, Jewish, or Zoroastrian, take a close look at his gambeson and see what you see. If you are Mormon, Mason, Jewish, or Zoroastrian, you'll see it and you'll know exactly what it means. On the other hand if you are a Gentile or an Infidel, you won't have a clue.
>>Both images on the left from May 2018, the 1st Avallac'h Playthrough
Vanilla Avallac'h has black hair and eyebrows turned grey, and has an appalling LOD of 5 and draw distance of 7, and has no hairworks effects, no wind effects, and while his 3d model & texture files have wrinkles, scars, bruises, bug bites, moles, and veins, you can't see them on the vanilla settings.
Also while Avallac'h's clothen had a RedCloth file, it had very low grade settings/pollies causing the details of the cloth weave, seam stitches, and embroidery to be blurry.
Vanilla Avallac'h has pupils that react to light, like all other characters in the game.
>>Both images on the right from September 15, 2020, the 3rd Avallac'h Playthrough
Modded Avallac'h has a 5,000 LOD and draw distance, resulting in wrinkles, scars, bruises, bug bites, moles, and veins on his skin can now be seen. This also revealed that he has a fine scar down the side of his nose and one over his eyebrow, both were not visible at all with the vanilla LOD settings.
Hairworks and wind effects have been added to his hair.
While we are talking about his hair... notice that he wears payot. If you don't know what payot are or why a man would have them... Google will help you. It brands him as Hasidic.
His hair and eyebrows are changed to blond (as described in the novels), his skin has been lightened several shades (again to match novel descriptions), and he has new texture files for his eyes to make them pale ice aquamarine with pink pupils, as described in the novels.
Modded Avallac'h has pupils that are frozen into tiny pinpricks and never grow or retract with light changes, matching the information we were told about him having suffered severe nerve damage which caused him to have tiny frozen pupils that did not react to light.
Because the file which changes a character's pupils, is NOT connected to their eye file, but rather is connected to their shadow file and changes not only the size and shape of pupils in different lights, it also changes the shadows on their face, and changes the intensity of their makeup.
The result of changing this file, is that shadows on Avallac'h's face are now fainter and his vanilla very dark eyeshadow is now many shades much lighter.
This results in a bright highlight on his cheekbones, making them much paler, and has caused an illusion that his cheekbones are even sharper than before, even though no change was made to his 3D model bone structure... i is simply a result of less shadow below his cheekbones with brighter highlight over them, and fewer shadows around his eyes.
I increased the depth of Avallac'h's RedCloth file (edited the 3D model to make ridged details a deeper depth) and increased settings/pollies causing the details of the cloth weave, seam stitches, and embroidery to be much sharper and more noticable, making the cloth look more real.
And speaking of the cloth looking more real... if you are a Gentile or an Infidel, you won't have a clue what it was I mentioned earlier, so let me point it out... on the beast of his gambeson, right over the nipple, there are slash marks that are stitched into a very specific pattern/design... this marks Avallac'h as a very high ranking priest, one who has access to the deepest, inner circles of the Temple, on par with The Levite in the Bible, it also tells us that he is a virgin and living celibate lifestyle because of his religious rank.
On their own, the slash marks do not identify a specific religion, but one of 5 religions. However, that, with the payot, and the fact that he covers his head when going outside, brands him as a Hasidic Jew.
We further know that in the novels, ALL Elves are Jewish, and the masque of the Elves during the Human invasion, was an outright retelling of the Holocaust, and Avallac'h spoke an ancient dialect of Hebrew and was unable to understand most Humans as he spoke none of the common tongues.
Raise your hand if you ACTUALLY KNOW what Manna is? Sephiroth? Sackcloth and ashes? Golems? The Tree of Life? The Pentagram? Tzitzit? Are you able to explain ANY of those things and what they are, when you encounter them in quests in the game?
Can you explain WHY Geralt meditates on a prayer rug facing East?
Explain to me WHY after her grandmother dies, Ciri shreds her cloths, starts wearing sackcloth, and rolls her golden blond hair in ashes to turn it into dreadlocks, resulting her becoming known as "the ashen haired maid"?
When the game shows you Avallac'h naked in Kaer Morhen, can you read the Hebrew writing tattoo across his chest and abdomen? Do you know what the symbols on his tattoos mean?
After having watched more than 5,000 playthroughs of Witcher 3 on Twitch, I'm continually amazed at how few people ever recognize the plethora of openly Jewish characters and miss the HUNDREDS of Holocaust reference easter eggs that flood every segment of the game.
And now that the books are becoming popular, after 40 years of being ignored by the bulk of society... it likewise amazes me, how many people are so clueless about the Holocaust and what happened to the Jews in Poland, that they read the Witcher novels with blind eyes, and completely miss that the Gnomes and Elves are blatantly Jewish, while the Humans are blatantly Nazi, and the mass murder of millions of Jewish Gnomes and Elves at the hands of their Nazi Human invaders, is an outright retelling of the events of real world history.... of that happened just 80 years ago.
Our world is in a pitiful state if the so recent mass murder of 20 million is so easily forgotten, so soon.
If you know nothing about the Holocaust, you REALLY shouldn't play this game or read the novels it was based on, because you'll completely miss the message they send. It'll go right over your head.
Spend a year or two doing some massive research into the Holocaust, especially what happened in Poland, and THEN play the game and read the novels, and THEN remember that the author who created this: was a Polish Jew who as a small child, saw his friends and family murdered, and then you'll understand why he wrote what he wrote.
The Princess Bride predicting Covid-19?
Avallac'h's a Good Tutor? Of What? How to Better Bed Kings?
EXTREME SPOILER WARNING!
Please be aware that nearly every page on this website contains spoilers to something. I talk about a lot of fandoms, and go into great detail analyzing them when I do. If I am talking about The Witcher series, InuYasha, Disney Ducks, the Quaraun series, or any other fandom, you WILL encounter spoilers about it.
I've struggled with the advice to "Just Write" for a long time, and have recently found more success with it.
I'd like to share my perspective.
When a seasoned author receives questions on how to improve productivity, it makes a lot of sense for them to recommend 'just writing'. They have practice constructing passages. They have an idea, whether through training or instinct, of what goes into a good opening sentence, what kind of arc a passage wants to take, how soon the setting needs to be described. To such people 'just writing' is an action comprising much more than simply putting pen to paper.
Most of us are not these people.
I tried and failed recently to teach my younger sibling to drive. I wanted to start her off with what to me was a single easy movement from one parking space to the next. To her, of course, this meant foot on the clutch (left pedal), stick into first gear (top left), foot on accelerator (but just the right amount), slowly release clutch, try not to shit yourself at that jerk you weren't expecting, keep pressure on pedals uniform, foot on clutch again, apply brakes (but gently). Beyond the difficulty of trying to hold all these steps in her head, she hadn't yet been told what they were, nor how many.
If you've ever sat down to just write and found yourself staring at that smug little blinking line wondering where the feck to start, you can probably understand how she felt. The thing is that as with driving a manual you don't need to learn where to start solely by trial and error. You can watch how other people do it, you can ask them, or you can google it.
The allegory of the driving lesson ends here as there is only one way (to my knowledge) to drive a car. The question of how to 'just write' can't be answered as specifically. Everyone is going to have a different process. What I would like to propose, though, is that 'just writing' is significantly less futile if you equip yourself with some idea of what your process is going to be.
Let's focus on the first couple dozen characters behind that smug blinking line: Let's take a look at your opening sentence:
"'People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles'" (Less Than Zero)
This is a fairly straightforward example of an opening sentence that performs at least the triple function of introducing theme (fear, disconnection), characterising setting (LA as urban metropolis, rather than beach-side paradise for example) and initiating action (it's the beginning of a conversation).
Do you want to introduce theme, setting and action in your own opening sentence?
If yes, were you thinking about it last time you sat down to 'just write'?
You don't have to have this specific idea in mind to do so, but you'll get a lot further if you have an idea in general. Acquiring these ideas can be difficult, there aren't many people who'll stop you in the street to talk about how the opening passage of Fight Club (deliberately or not) compounds the 'narrative vertigo' effect of In Medias Res with the literal vertigo of leaning over the edge of a building to achieve the overall effect of 'really throwing you into the action'.
If you have trouble starting to write from nothing, try in a timely fashion to figure out some guidelines so that you're not really starting from nothing. A little planning goes a long way, though in the 'just write' spirit I do mean a little.
A lot of basic ideas about what you want you could answer yourself, if only you were asked the right questions. I would recommend asking yourself what you want to do with, among other things, your:
First chapter (eg. introduce main character, describe his living situation, hint at motivations for his coming actions so they seem believable)
First paragraph (eg. you want a progression from A to B within chapter 1, so you show the audience what point A is)
Opening sentence (eg. introduce main theme, convey main character's dissatisfaction with his job as a freight sorter, provide a basis for the point A you will elaborate on in the rest of the paragraph)
General theme/topic of discussion (your book is about grim perseverance, so in your opening sentence he's moving grumpily forward against some wind or some shit)
Character development (where do they start, where do they end, how do they get there, how do I show each of the above?)
Style (eg. you you hate it terribly when adverbs are used copiously and redundantly, so you substitute words that combine both intended meanings eg. ran angrily -> charged)
Once you have a few criteria in mind the task of 'just writing' becomes a whole lot less obscure.
The words "Just Write" fit into all this in the sense that if you spend your whole time deciding what you want to say, you will never actually say anything. If finding the perfect criteria for your opening sentence is going to take ten non-consecutive hours of brainstorming, then just find a single criterion and make a sentence around it. If you can't figure out what should happen between paragraph 1 and paragraph 3, write 1 and 3 and think about what's missing to get from one to the other. "Just Write" means that whatever else you are doing, if you are not applying pen to paper you are doing it wrong.
I've seen a lot of posts here asking for more specific advice than 'just write' and the response has most often been 'just write, dude'. I've explained why I think people give this advice above and you're not wrong. This is just an alternative approach.
I am not under the illusion that I wrote this well.
TL;DR: Just Write means doing more than just scrawling on paper, it helps to have specific considerations, whether overt or instinctual, that shape your writing as it comes out. As you get more comfortable considering and scrawling at the same time, your definition of 'just writing' will expand.
You know, I think you are completely over thinking the meaning of "Just write".
Just write means EXACTLY that. Only this and nothing more.
It DOES NOT mean you have a plot in mind or any clue what to write.
It means, you sit ass in chair and write the very first thing that pops into your head no matter what it is. Write what your desk looks like, write about your neighbours who won't stop yelling all night long, write about that annoying crack in the wall that is distracting you... just write.
It's known as "free writing". The idea is to write lots of nothing about anything and everything, to loosen up your brain, and get all the emotional blocks out of the way.
THIS is what authors mean when they say "just write". I can't even begin to imagine how it is you translated it to mean anything else.
It's a type of exercise. You wouldn't play football without doing warm up exercises would you? Writing is the same way. I don't know of any professionally published writer who doesn't do daily free-writing warm up sessions before getting to work of whatever assignment they are supposed to be doing.
In most cases after you've done this for a couple of hours, you find yourself taking what you are writing and subconsciously turning it into a story. A story you had not planed or prepared, but rather a story you didn't know you had in you.
Scrawling empty nothings on the page is EXACTLY what "just write" means.
I've never started out with a plot. Never knew where the story was going to go.
Have you looked into a thing called "beat sheets". It sounds like that's the sort of writing method you are looking for. Beat Sheets are fill-in-the-blank outlines, that are similar to the mad libs game, but designed for novelists. They are usually about 10 pages long, 1 page for each chapter and are used as a jumping off point for people who need some sort of guidance to write.
If you go to Harlequin's site, they have beat sheets listed for each of their book lines, because in Romance authors are required to stick to a strict formula (thus why it's called formula writing - character MUST do this on page 8, and MUST do that on page 24, and this must happen then, etc) Beat sheets are how Harlequin authors publish a new novel every single month like clockwork. Formula writing with beat sheets gets pretty easy if you do it a few times and get the hang of it. Barbara Cartland used beat sheets and she published 801 novels before she died. (she has the Guinness World Record for the most novels published by any one person).
There's an example of beat sheets used for Monster Porn short stories here: https://www.eelkat.com/writing-monster-porn-beat-sheets.html I use them when writing short horror stories because it helps me keep the story under a certain word count by keeping the characters on track and not letting the story wander off on it's own. That sort of thing might help you out if free writing is too loose a method.
There's others but I can't think of where they are off the top of my head. I had those 3 bookmarked. I had another one bookmarked too, that had 50 beat sheets, but the link goes to a 404 page now and I can't find a replacement page for it, Looks like it got taken down.
When I'm doing the 52 stories in 52 weeks challenge, I've found those beat sheets to be very helpful. Beat sheets is how I've been able to publish a story a week for years. Its why I can just write so many stories without having any plot or characters to start out with. Beat sheets are amazing if you like using that sort of thing. A lot of writers don't like them and call them cheat sheets and won't use them, but most every big name author whose putting out 4 or more books a year uses them. They free up a lot of time and make the writing process go a lot faster and smoother. It's definitely something to look into if you are having trouble getting started on a story, because they are incredibly helpful and keeping the story on track,
For novels, all I do is free write though. No plotting. No planning. No beat sheets. All 130 novels I've published since 1978, not one has ever been pre-planned. All just pure free writing with no clue where the story will go or what's gonna happen next.
I do like the Snowflake method. I'd tried it a few years back. It's sort of a, free association style of writing where you write this and it makes you think of that, so you add that too. Stan Lee said once he used the SnowFlake Method when writing Spiderman.
Some people say building an outline helps. I used to do that decades and decades ago, but I found whenever I outlined the story, I never wrote said story after. It was like I already knew how the book was going to end, so I was not motivated to write. I think of writing as a discovery. It's more like I'm reading WHILE I write, so I never know what is going to be on the next page until after I've written it. Outlines just plain gum up my ability to write so I don't like using them, but perhaps drawing up an outline before you write is the method that'd work better for you?
There's lots of methods of writing, I think all you can do is try each method one at a time until you find the one that is the best fit for you.