Recently, I’ve been looking at online writing communities and what they have to offer. I’ve been a member of a few sites in the past, but as the years go by, new sites replace old ones. I’ll be making the rounds to take a look at what the internet writing community has to offer! For the time being, I’ve visited two of the larger writing communities out there: Scribophile and Figment. I’ve reviewed the simpler of the two here.
Figment began back in 2010 and has grown exponentially to over 300,000 users. They merged with Inkpop (Harper Collin’s teen writing site) in 2012, and in 2013, Random House Children’s Group acquired Figment.
Like Inkpop, Figment is mainly geared towards teens (13+ only). Its site layout is easy on the eyes and very simple to follow. All genres are included, including fanfiction. Their most popular tags are love, romance, poetry, fantasy, and drama. You can achieve quite a few badges for your profile page based on your publishing, commenting, reviewing, or reading stats.
When reading a story, you have several options: you can click on one of several “silent” reactions (sad, blush, laugh, etc.), you can “heart” it, and you can either leave a comment or a review/critique. I’ve noticed reviewers and commenters both tend to generally leave positive feedback. Reviews are for the story as a whole, rather than by chapter.
There is no copy/paste function on the site, so writers need not worry too much about others stealing their work.
Periodic chats (Q&A) with authors, user-created groups, and writing contests graded by authors immerse Figs with improving their writing, as well as socializing with like-minded writers. They also offer an optional weekly newsletter (you can subscribe without signing up for Figment) that provides community news and a spotlight on a Fig writer.
If YA and/or romance (excluding erotica) is your genre, Figment would be a great place to read and display your work. Figment is a very positive community.
How many arms and legs do I need to hand over to get approved for a house?
Quite a lot with some to spare, it seems. If all goes well, I will be one happy camper. My to-do lists are going off the pages. When a couple items are checked off, ten more appear on it. I’m feeling absolutely frazzled and I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off. It’ll be our first home, and I know the approval is only half the stress. I’m not looking forward to the other half either. Just the finished product. But it sure does feel good to check things off lists, I highly recommend it.
Due to the recent real-life happenings, I haven’t written much in Parallax. I wrote three chapters at around 6k words so far. I was shooting for 10k for this month and I still may be able to make that figure, but I’m not hopeful. I had decided to participate in April’s CampNano a couple weeks ago for 30k words, but that was prior to real-life endeavors.
It’s finding the time to write (I take a while to settle in) that’s a struggle. Parallax is a new approach for me: I used the Snowflake method and have over ten pages worth of an outline. The beginning chapters of the MC has already been altered, but that’s a good thing because the original opening was weak, and I glad I found an alternative. Alterations and additions and subtractions are anticipated and welcome.
In my first finished novel, I implemented a different format: I made a basic checklist of things that needed to happen in the next chapter or two, and that’s how I eventually made it to the end of the book. It worked for that novel, but it wouldn’t have worked for Parallax because of the amount of characters, subplots, backstory and foreshadowing that needs to happen here in this so-called epic fantasy I’m writing. I have to say I feel much more organized using an outline, and in leaving it open to alterations, the outline hasn’t taken out all the spark of writing it.
So for April CampNano, I’ll see what I can do. I’m feeling pessimistic about it.
I just dug up an old fanfiction story (FFIX), and I hate to say it but I’m feeling drawn toward it. I really don’t want to put Parallax on the backburner again for the umpteenth time. I haven’t finished the fanfiction, heaven knows where I was going with it, and it certainly needs a total rewrite, but I do so love Final Fantasy IX. I’m hoping this is just a momentary lapse in interest.
As mentioned before, my real life and writing life is kind of crazy. I’m debating putting up some of my writing here but I really sort of meant this blog to be about the art of writing and book reviews, not a personal blog. It’s up for debate as of now. So for now, I’ll keep my personal life to a minimum.
This is the first book by Brom I have read. I’ve loved his artwork since my younger days, so while perusing the library a couple weeks back, I was amazed to see some a book written by him. I know, I am a poor fan for not knowing this. But it was called Krampus, a name I’m relatively familiar with, and I thought, of course he should write about Krampus. Brilliant! And there’s artwork included!
In Eastern European lore, Krampus is a goat-headed sort of demon with a hideously long tongue who thrashes naughty children with a bundle of sticks, and sometimes places naughty children in his basket to bring them down to hell. It’s also possibly where the term “to hell in a handbasket” came from. I always found him quite amusing.
While horror isn’t exactly my genre of choice, Krampus by Brom did not end up being as horrifying or gory as I imagined. That was totally fine by me. I like Krampus, so he and his minions didn’t scare me anyway. Kind of how vampires don’t scare me either.
On to the review:
I enjoyed Brom’s version of Krampus and his imperfect relationship with Santa. He’s linked Krampus to Loki as well as druids. Santa is the “bad guy” as we end up rooting for the misunderstood trouble-making demon. I thought it was quaint to see Krampus bemoaning how modernism has eliminated childhood innocence, and that halfway through the story, he realizes that Santa too has been treated the same and that Christmas has become a materialistic holiday. A little moral lesson is a good thing. But the devil inside him will not let goodness and joy triumph, and this will ultimately become his demise.
It’s a sad story, really. Brom portrays Krampus as a morbid and ruthless demon, betrayed by those he once trusted and attempting to regain the hearts and respect of people. However, coming back to the world during the information age, he is ignored or scorned. Folktales, mythos, even faith and religion, everything he once lived for, is now a thing of the past. He is unable to bring back the tidings of Yuletide.
Krampus, of course, is the highlight of this story. I felt the secondary characters were his minions, and then the human characters as tertiary, almost like a side note. The story is mostly told from a human’s point of view, and his story is sympathetic but I wasn’t really drawn to him. This was the weak point in the story.
But overall, it was a fun read and I enjoyed Brom’s characterization of Krampus. I’d say 7.5/10. The included artwork was wonderful, as always, Brom never disappoints in that department. If you enjoy art, you must visit his online gallery.
Via Goodreads, I spotted Brom wrote another morbid tale, this time about Peter Pan, called the Child Thief. Peter Pan isn’t exactly the Peter Pan we’ve come to love thanks to Disney, and I’m sure Brom has done a mighty fine rendition of his Pan. I will certainly be reading it soon!