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  1. OvidLemma

    What makes a hatable villain?

    One of the best ways to make a villain hateable isn't about the horrible things they've done. Sure, a villain needs to do horrible things. But a mindless, bloodthirsty creature also does horrible things, which is just in its nature. Beyond just doing evil, the villains that provoke real...
  2. OvidLemma

    What words you always misspell?

    Ceiling and Claustrophobic. I always try to spell ceiling as "cieling" since that's how it's spelled in most romance languages (e.g. ciel, cielo). And I try to spell claustrOphobic as claustrAphobic for no good reason - after all, the root is claustrum, so there's no reason to stick an A in there.
  3. OvidLemma

    Writing Split Chapters or No?

    In my personal opinion, the length of your posted chapters should be enough to cause a small but noticeable advancement in your story's plot. Some writers manage to get that in 1,000 words and some take 3,000. I personally write chapters without regards for length, and they usually end up being...
  4. OvidLemma

    How to properly develop soft magic.

    I don't think that's true - in a soft magic system, you have just as many reasons for somebody to be evil as in any other piece of fiction. There's no reason an evil sorcerer can't be motivated by political ambitions, fanatical ideology, mental illness, having a dysfunctional upbringing...
  5. OvidLemma

    How to properly develop soft magic.

    I almost always write soft magic systems, though sometimes they harden up a bit as the story progresses and I figure out how to add to the internal logic, limitations, and abilities of that magic. For instance, my novel, A Princess of Alfheim has a pretty soft magic system that the MC gradually...
  6. OvidLemma

    How to properly develop soft magic.

    Following some complicated set of rules for magic is fine if you really want to do that, but I almost never do. The most important thing when inventing a magic system is to be consistent. Decide what magic can and cannot do and how it's done, and then follow the rules you've invented - if you...
  7. OvidLemma

    Need tips writing fantasy fight scenes.

    I cannot emphasize enough that this is a great video if you've got a few minutes to spare. I've been writing for years, and I came away with a few helpful hints that I still use.
  8. OvidLemma

    [Discuss] What's the difference between Wizard, Sorcerer, Magician, Magus, etc

    The most important thing, I think, is to be internally clear and consistent with your definitions. While there are certain conventions in naming, there are enough authors who ignore these conventions that I'm always left wondering until more information filters in through the plot. I currently...
  9. OvidLemma


    It all depends on your writing style. I write long-ish chapters (usually split into halves here on SH) with 3-4 sub-sections per chapter. Usually, I will have a segue at the end of one section and then transition into the flashback in the next section. Something like:
  10. OvidLemma

    Is this story technically an Isekai?

    It's definitely an isekai, regardless of whether Mark Twain had ever heard of the genre. It's been years since I read the story, but I imagine Twain misses some of the common isekai tropes - but many authors skip tropes anyway, so that's not really a deal-breaker. I think you've provided good...
  11. OvidLemma

    What's the point of writing?

    I write because I don't have the resources to make massive high-budget movies. Creating worlds is as cheap as having an imagination and something to write with, and there's something beautiful about that. I can make my own stories, share them with other people, and spread a little happiness in...
  12. OvidLemma

    Writing What time periods do you think are underused as settings?

    I think you are misconstruing the nature of the problem and putting the cart before the horse here. You're using purely anecdotal data to posit a large effect size. Fine. That's the hypothesis, and the one that we ought to pursue - that there is, in fact, an effect that we need to explain. I am...
  13. OvidLemma

    Writing What time periods do you think are underused as settings?

    Yes, I'm aware of what a hypothesis is. I am claiming that your hypothesis already has existing evidence against it that needs to be accounted for (and has not been). Moreover, what you are framing as a null hypothesis is most certainly not one. In order to shift the burden of proof, you need...
  14. OvidLemma

    Writing What time periods do you think are underused as settings?

    You can't simply presuppose what future studies will find, nor presume evolutionary pressures, let alone posit actual change, just because enough time has passed for some change to theoretically occur. Moreover, it's problematic to assume that there's been some major evolutionary change in how...
  15. OvidLemma

    Sell/Unsell me on Genderbender Stories

    I frequently write Genderbender stories - roughly half of my stories are GB - and for me it's part of a broader theme exploring physical and psychological transformations and what makes us unique as people. Also, I sometimes just write fun smut. Often a bit of both, if I'm being honest. But...
  16. OvidLemma

    Sell/Unsell me on Genderbender Stories

    I dunno, I've written two novels (not here on SH) with a succubus (well... technically a 'sex daemon') main character. They're definitely a bit smutty but have plenty of plot to them. If a succubus is *only* a succubus and not a well-realized character, then this will necessarily limit what you...
  17. OvidLemma

    Writing What time periods do you think are underused as settings?

    It's also worth noting that counting was around well before writing. The oldest tallying marks/sticks, probably used for tracking merchandise or items, date to around 30,000 years ago - writing isn't needed to keep track of how many of what is where ("Oh, the marks on that bone represent how...
  18. OvidLemma

    Writing What time periods do you think are underused as settings?

    Based on what I know about memory (a medium amount), this probably isn't true - we have 'gist' memories and 'verbatim' memories, and both of these can be improved with mnemonics and drilling, especially at an early age, though adults can learn amazing memory tricks, too. And, even today, many...
  19. OvidLemma

    Writing What time periods do you think are underused as settings?

    Disco era, definitely. But, more seriously, I like the atmosphere around the French and American Revolutions in the latter part of the 18th Century, something that captures a time of strife, change, uncertainty, and bloody violence in an era of uneven social and technological change. For me, as...
  20. OvidLemma

    Art road

    He's looking down, so I'm gonna assume it's all of the posts below his. We can only speculate which post he's smiling at.