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#happy storyteller saturday

Happy STS! Thank you for answering!! 

Tagging: @gottaenjoythelittlethingzz


A few of them do, especially people like Art and Omar. The world they inhabit definitely recognizes it as such, but there’s a different explanation for Deju Vu. From there is an alternative universe to a previous life they been living through. 

Fire and smoke usually trigger Omar to remember what he went through. He had survived great destruction in his home country. It’s also why he seemed extremely cautious about Art because fire represents the firey nature she has.

Flowers and the word, “sunshine”, makes Cain thinks of his wife. 

“Why don’t you want to be like everyone else?” or “Why are you so weird?” makes Art recall memories of her past. She doesn’t like to be molded into what everyone else wants to be. It can also explain why Art seems extremely harsh and blunt on Kylie because he seems to cave in to what everyone wants him to be too easy. 

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Happy STS! Thank you for asking! 

I imagined my WIP to be either a game or a movie. It would be amazing if it’s both and a manga. When I created the WIP, I actually had the image of it being turned into a movie or a game. Of course, any forms of it are completely fine with me. I’ll be happy if it gets turned into any other forms. 

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Thanks for the ask!

First of all, if you were subjected to stalking or harassment, I’m sorry. It isn’t acceptable and never should have been allowed to happen.

The Illthdar series main cast are supportive people. Women support women in this series and there’s no way anyone would let any creepy person creep unhindered. Abaddon and the women will straight up ruin the jerk, no questions asked. Ditto for the guys and Inari, all of them drank their respect women juice, though the White Knight award goes to Date, who makes it his job being a dick to creepy people.

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Thanks for the ask!

Absolutely. See, I moved to the UK from Minnesota seven years ago and I experienced a period of instability due to culture shock. At the time I was writing the first draft to Guardians of Las, I had been here… I think it was something like 3 years at that point - anyway, I had troubles for more than one reason, but a large part was that things were similar-but-not. Sometimes, I felt like I was living on a completely different planet.

It’s a weird feeling, being the outsider. Things people take for granted as the norm, aren’t to you and there was more than one occasion where I either missed the cue, or just didn’t have a clue.

Illthdar was a way of expressing the feelings of otherness immigrants can experience by dropping the reader into a similar-but-not world where every bit of logic that we cling to, to rationalise our lives doesn’t exist. The chaos is normal, and when something is normal it isn’t questioned, and when we don’t ask questions we fail to grasp the implications of reality. I want readers to come away from the Illthdar series really taking a hard look at their own lives and society and ask themselves if not questioning the normal is really safe.

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Seth slumped against the stone wall and sighed loudly for the third time since the start of his shift on guard duty with his teammates. “I’m bored!”

Date glanced at him side-eyed. “You don’t say.”

“We need something to keep us busy, or I’m going to fall asleep up here.”

“Why are you tired?” Lerki asked, brows furrowed.

“He crashed out of his bunk in the pre-dawn,” Tundra volunteered, stretching his arms over his head. He turned his neck and sighed at the satisfying pop in his shoulder that followed. “Any ideas?”

“Beyond doing the task that we have been assigned, none.” Date huffed.

“Hey, how about we play One Sentence Story?” Seth suggested, perking up.

Tundra groaned loudly while Lerki and Date wore complimenting confused expressions.

“And, pray tell, what is that?” Date dared to ask, already bracing himself. He could only hope it wasn’t anything like the last idea Seth had while bored; he still had no clue what Spin The Bottle was - all he knew is that the mention of it had Tundra threatening Seth physical harm for bringing it up.

“We take turns telling the story. Each person says a sentence and then the next dude decides what happens next.”

“Ah,” Lerki nodded. “This sounds good.”

Date raised an eyebrow at Tundra, waiting for his vote.

“Alright,” Tundra relented. “But don’t blame me if it sucks.”

“Dude, it’s a game. No one cares if you’re boring as porridge,” Seth said. “Who wants to go first?”

“It was your idea,” Date said, giving a dismissive wave of his hand. “After you, by all means.”

“Great. Once upon a time –”

“– oh, so it’s one of those stories,” Tundra quipped.

“– wait your turn, you dick. Once upon a time –”

“– is that part of the story?” Lerki tried to clarify.

“Does ‘wait your turn, dick’ sound like it belonged in a story?” Seth said, tossing up his hands. “Damn. Shut up and listen. I’ll tell you when I’m done alright? Once upon a time –”

“– we need to decide who goes next.” Date didn’t need to interrupt, but it was too amusing to pass up.

“– fuck!” Seth laughed in frustration. “All of you are assholes! Tundra can go next, okay? This isn’t damn mission impossible here, chill out and just let shit happen.” Huffing, he waited for one of them to comment further. When none of them said anything, he started over. “Once upon a time,” he paused to glare at his friends who were struggling to keep their sniggers under control. “Fucking pricks, all of you… Once upon a time there were two young boys who lived in the forest with their grandmother. Tundra.”

“Err… They liked to spend their time throwing rocks at the small birds and go fishing in the lake nearby.” Tundra shrugged. “Lerki?”

“One Diopside moon, the boys rose from their bedrolls, awakened by the snapping teeth of maleno khole outside their door.”

“Are you trying to give me nightmares?” Seth demanded. “What the fuck?”

Tundra started to laugh.

Lerki blinked. “Have I done it wrong?”

“No, it sounds about right. This game always ends in some sort of creepypasta.” Tundra reassured him. “Okay, Date, what are you going to do?”

Date mused in silence for a moment, stroking his chin with his fingers. “The two youths ran for the door an threw it open wide, calling in delight, 'Grandmother!’”

Seth smiled and shook his head. “Okay, so grandma’s a dog demon. Awesome.”

“Maleno khole are faery,” Lerki corrected.

Seth ignored him. “Grandmother strolled in with a forty bags strung across her long back. Tundra, your turn.”

“Fuck. Uh, 'What’s in the bags?’ the oldest asked. Lerki.”

“'These were thrown away by travellers I scared on my hunt,’ she replied. Date?”

“'With this, we’ll be fed well until the next moon!’ the second youth said as he lifted pearls and strings of beryl from one. Seth.”

“And here comes the patrol unit,” Seth said. Guess that’s a happy ending.“

"Only if you’re the melano khole,” Date muttered.

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Thanks for the ask! Sorry about the delay in responding.

Thanks for the ask. Here’s two pretty solid teams that would fit this setup:

Inari (healer) Tundra (tank), Zercey, Seth, Scyanatha

Lerki (healer), Abaddon (tank), Nyima, Date, Vyxen

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Thanks for the ask! Sorry about the delay in responding.

Seth is your man. His partner flirting with him in almost any way will have his brain flatlining.

Second to him, but to a lesser degree, is Zercey. Her brain starts buffering and it takes actual minutes for it to fully process what is happening. A word of caution, though: unless her partner has really invested the time and energy into their relationship, there’s a small risk that she’s not going to be very happy to have them playing with her attraction.

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Thanks for the ask! Sorry about the delay in responding.

Well the easy, boring, character to answer this would be Zercey, who is Italian and will make homemade pasta - so her bulk buy is flour.

But we don’t come here for boring, so the oddest bulk buyer is Abaddon who will buy rods of different kinds of metal in many gauges for their hobby crafts.

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Thanks for the ask! Sorry about the delay in responding.

This is a good question. The answer is both yes and no.

Yes in the way that writers tend to write either wish fulfilment or catharsis - intentionally or not. My younger self might have written my own characters as more rejecting of their family, because little me was trying to make sense of my life with two parents with then-undiagnosed PTSD. Older me is a parent, and more often I write parental figures younger me didn’t experience firsthand. Sometimes, I write my fears and insecurities out - what if I’m a terrible mother, who is completely unable to overcome my issues? Sometimes, I write the parent I hope to be - the parent every child deserves but rarely gets. Sometimes, I write the truth - a flawed person who is desperately trying to do what they think is right, but doesn’t know what that is for sure. How these parents act have direct consequences on how the main cast respond to them - terrible parents are punished for their transgressions eventually. Good parents are adored and supported. Flawed parents are accepted but held accountable, regardless.

No in the way that not all of the characters in the Illthdar series are mine - they are used with permission and, as part of that, I try to stay true to the baseline for them.

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Thanks for the ask!

I’m something of an anomaly in that I don’t really get drawn away from my active WIP by the sirens of a new idea. I tell myself that, should something strike me, I’ll make a note of it so I can tell that story next, but it hasn’t happened yet. As far as working within the WIP goes, I try to keep my plot points flexible so I don’t feel trapped by them - nothing kills me faster than feeling like I’ve painted myself into a corner.

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Happy STS from draculinawrites! What do your characters smell like?

Happy STS! Thank you for asking! 

Tagging: @draculinawrites

Stephanie smells like one of those fancy perfumes. Gina smells like something fruity while Liz smells like woods-related. Troy and Spencer both smells terrible. Levi smells like one of those cheap colognes. Kake smells like after it rains in the forest.

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Thanks for the ask! Sorry for the delay in responding.

Hoo boy, I’m going to answer this from the point of Guardians of Las, because the cast experience things and that has a way of changing perspectives. I also don’t want to get too deep into spoilers.

Magnilla wouldn’t want to be anyone but herself, but if she had to pick a lesser evil, she’d go for swapping with Nyima. Her belief is that she could be reasonably certain Nyima wouldn’t go out of her way to make trouble for her, nor would she be in the market for any secrets.

Nyima I can’t see caring too much about who she swaps with beyond the reasons why. The whole experience risks embarrassment, but she’d likely pick Abaddon to trade with, if only because they aren’t very extra.

Abaddon wouldn’t mind too much, but would worry about anyone not used to their body and how it works. In that regard, Scyanatha or Magnilla would be their preferred choices.

Vyxen would love to trade with anyone, because Science! She would learn so much from the experience. But out of all of them, she’d pick Magnilla - AND GET THE FUCK OFF OF ILLTHDAR.

Scyanatha would look for anyone she could have some fun with. In that, Magnilla is high on her list, too, especially if she could manage it and not be caught right away. The fun she could have would be endless! She’s also one to think beyond the main cast as options - she’d love to swap places with the higher ranked people in the Order, just to see what they know.

Zercey would like to trade with any of her team, if she could be sure she’d get their skills with it. She would love to swap with Scyanatha and try to see what confidence feels like.

Lerki would like to trade with Zercey. He’s got a vested interest in knowing the extent of her abilities. While most don’t have a least liked option, he’d rather not bother with his teammates - he’s confident he knows them well enough as is.

Seth would pick anybody. He’d find a way to enjoy it - so long as it wasn’t lasting. He’d like to try being in Inari’s shoes the most, though.

Tundra would pick one of the women. Probably Nyima, because he’s high-key interested in learning what she’s like. He’s positive he’d hate being Inari or Seth, if only because they are all about fashion. And he’s just not.

Toshiiro would trade with one of the guys, if only because he’s thinking to save a lady from them being disrespectful - despite his efforts to beat good manners into them. That said, he’d like ending up trading with Vyxen the least because she has no sense of boundaries. Fuck science.

Inari would think it would be the most interesting to see what it was like as Vyxen. Being mortal is a perspective they never had and it would be insightful if nothing else.

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Thanks for the ask!

In the Illthdar series, romance is subplot and I’ve left it to the characters on how/if there is an OTP in the end.

In the first book, there are three couples confirmed, but only one kiss scene. I’ll focus on this one with this question.

The characters are the war duo - Nyima and Tundra. For them, I like Britney Spears’ Break The Ice. It’s intense and quick, which is very on brand for the pairing.

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Welcome to Storyteller SaturdayWednesday (umh? If I have my life under control? Why do you ask?) ! First thing first thank you for asking. Now let’s dive into the answer. 

I am currently on a one-shot fantasy novel based on the maiden taken by dragon/monster archetype. The story focuses on Saran, a goldsmith, that get kidnapped by a dragon when she is standing in for the princess of her town in a mariage procession. 

The dragon in question is a shape-shifting dragon/man named Bassel who is the reigning prince of a tiny mountain kingdom. The tradition of this kingdom is that its dragon prince must burn and devour a princess in order for another dragon to be born and the future of the kingdom to be secured. Of course Saran being well, Saran (strong-willed, hard-working, resourceful, also not a princess etc.) she makes a poor sacrifice.

She ends up striking a deal with Bassel: he will not devour her but she will stay with him and she will uncover another way for dragon to be born. Saran then starts digging in the tiny kingdom mythical past to understand what exactly dragons are, how they came to be, how the kingdom came to be, how to stop its slow degeneracy etc etc. In the meantime, her own powers, that she tried to keep dormant for most of her life, start developing at alarming rate at the contact of a magical creature. This leads her to face her own origines and her own system of belief/morality. On his sides Bassel starts to grow more independent and more reckless since for the first time in his life he is routinely in contact with someone who has no expectations for him and isn’t viewing him through the lens of tradition. Will this new found identity be a blessing or a curse? Only spoilers can tell.

While both characters make discoveries about themselves and the mountain kingdom, political turmoils unveil and everything gets more and more complicated.


Rémi, Saran’s betrothed and a knight in training, departs on an epic quest to save her before she gets killed (he doesn’t know about the deal, and it wasn’t reached when he left anyway). This quest will lead him to question the ideals of knighthood by having him face religious and class prejudices, deal with questions of the thin line between justice/vengeance and indulgence/atonement, face the horror of war, and end up in the middle of strategic maneuver from his country organized religion (his country organized religion is like “Can I co-opt what is undoubtedly an heroic selfless quest to further my world domination plan? Of course I can!”). All of this is taking place while he has to come into a position of leadership and still thinks he is on a schedule to save Saran. 

(I once told a friend that this is a good visual metaphor of what I am throwing at Rémi)


That’s it, I think I have the bulk of it. Hope it is understandable.  

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Wow, hi! Thank you for the ask! This actually means a lot to me (I’m hopeless I know).

I’ll stick to stories I’ve written for my girls!

The hardest so far has been one I haven’t shared yet because it’s a very emotional scene for Cleo and Count Lucio. So far, everyone has seen the dark side of Lucio in Cleo’s story but it has not been like that forever. They were in love for a very long time before everything went wrong and the worst part as the writer is I know that it’s not entirely Lucio’s fault.

The scene is actually Cleo’s death. It’s a moment of deep anger, sadness, betrayal and even amongst all that it’s the hard reality of how their love hurt them both. Writing it hurt My heart because I wrote Cleo’s journey with Lucio first and now for the second time he had to be an unwilling villain.

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