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    The Creators' Retreat: Here Be Artsy Nerds
    • Good day, creative-types! You're invited to an exclusive inclusive retreat for artists, writers, and artsy folks! That retreat is in this thread, which is fittingly known as…

      The Creators' Retreat




      Welcome to the first incarnation of The Creators' Retreat, the Creative Corner's community hub. (Mmm, alliteration.) This is the official successor to both The Artist's Café and The Writers' Pad, and it serves as a place where creators of all kinds can come and unwindulax together, sipping tea and discussing their methods. Or, you know, other things.

      Come to the Creators' Retreat to:
      • Discuss various media and techniques
      • Discuss your muses and inspirations (artists, works, etc.)
      • Update the ZU community on your progress on something creative
      • Request help on a piece you are working on
      • Share thumbnails, excerpts, and works-in-progress that do not warrant posts in "official" threads
      • Recruit for collaborations and competitions
      • Offer words of encouragement to your fellow creators
      This is your space, so please keep it clean! Don't forget to check out the Creative Corner Compendium—mmm, more alliteration—for the CreCo rules. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns regarding this thread or the Creative Corner in general, please don't hesitate to contact @EzloSpirit, @Lady Sunshine, or @Violetlight!


      Image source: "Artist Retreat" render by Kghia Gherardi on Flickr, licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0 Generic License
      [Short Stories] | [EzloSpirit's Hub] | [Latest ZUCast Episode]
      Gender-neutral pronouns, please!
      | Blue Rupee Patron
      Current Adoptee: Zaynock
      [This space reserved for the April Writing Contest.]
    • Hey all. Subbing as well.


      >:3 wrote:

      How do we find inspiration when facing writer's block? I still haven't started on the entry for my contest participation. :(
      Google and tumblr have a wealth of resources for writer’s block. Just select a few, other wise you’ll be trying to go through too much information.
      "This is the tale of an ancient land of lush forests and verdant meadows. A land blessed by the Goddesses where the powers of light and shadow exist in perfect balance. This is the story of the kingdom of Hyrule, of a king who sought to control the power of the gods, and of a boy without a fairy. A boy whose struggle against the shadow became a legend, riding upon the Winds of Time..."

      A novelization of The Legend of Zelda- Ocarina of Time (Complete & Revised)

      Click here for the audiobook edition.

    • Axius27 wrote:

      I'm thinking about writing a story about the Black Death, but the timeline of the period is proving to be problematic. I would rather not write a story that covers a 20 year period.
      Anyone got any advice for this?

      (for context, in this story the plague was being spread by a curse linked to a person, but I can't have that person taking 20 years to walk down the silk road to cause havoc in Europe :/ )

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Axius27 ().

    • The Black Death in general came in waves. It's more of which wave you want to focus on. I mean there are a lot of interesting documentaries on the Black Death and it covers MUCH more than a single 20 year time span.

      :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
      Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
      Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
    • I'm focusing on the initial wave, as that one was the one that made the global population go down for the only time in our entire history. It is the closest we've ever gotten to extinction (discounting things like nuclear crises that 'might' have but never did).
    • I'm almost 1000 words into my newest short story, "Now and Then," which comprises a series of present-day vignettes focused around various objects preserved in a small safe that is discovered 500 years after an apocalyptic event. It's loosely based on the pilot to After the Destruction, a TV series concept I came up with in 2010. It's cool to be actually making something real from that old concept!

      Trivia: I came up with the original pilot by doing a solo LARP in my bedroom when I was bored one night.
      [Short Stories] | [EzloSpirit's Hub] | [Latest ZUCast Episode]
      Gender-neutral pronouns, please!
      | Blue Rupee Patron
      Current Adoptee: Zaynock
      [This space reserved for the April Writing Contest.]

      The post was edited 1 time, last by EzloSpirit ().

    • So basically, throughout my fantasy, I seem to be having a huge problem writing Mishu’s POV. She’s blind, yet I’ve noticed (from what some told me) that I keep using visul cues. Of course, the idea is that she has Soul Sight, meaning she can see the souls of sentient, living beings who can use magic but not inanimate/dead things.

      My issue is I’m trying to find a middle ground between overly-describing what should be common knowledge for Mishu (i.e., something being placed on a countertop) versus her seeing things she shouldn’t. Here’s an excerpt of what I’m talking about (417 words.)

      Display Spoiler
      Once the chicken was devoured, Cassie lumbered around the counter, pulled out a chair and sat, her hind legs propped up on our table. I heard soft scraping as I saw her paw work around her jaws, picking bits of our chicken off with a claw I surmised. I swallowed my rage. “Is there anything you need?” I asked coldly. “Can we help you?”
      Cassie belched, her tail flicked as if she were pleased at her theft of our meal. “As I said earlier, Frelan wrote to me saying you were to join our crew?”

      Yevno tugged at the small of my back. “What’s she talking about?” I grabbed her arms and squeezed, indicating for her to be silent. “Didn’t Edric say the old ways were gone?” I told Cassie. “Everyone went their separate ways.”

      Cassie’s shoulders shrugged. “Eh, seems Frelan begs to differ.”

      Frelan’s words came back. Old roses die, sure, but does that stop new buds?

      “Who said I wanted to join anything?” I demanded.

      “Lord Gregreo.”

      The air grew cold. Lord Gregreo set this up? “That bastard…!” I growled under my breath.

      Cassie’s ears perked. “Careful, little cub. It’s not wise to insult a lord.”

      “What does he want from me, then, huh?” I stepped forward, hands splayed out, hoping my posture would elicit some reaction from the Devonian. Nothing, she continued to recline and nibble on her paw as if she were enjoying a relaxing day in the sun. “What does he want from our family? Why can’t he just leave us alone?”

      “He wishes to see you — he’s summoned you to his manor.”

      My arms fell to my sides. Out of all the things our intruder could’ve said, this was exactly the last thing I expected. “He…wants to see me?”

      Cassie brought her paw onto the table and drummed it. “That is what I said, yes? Are you deaf as well as blind?”

      A lord had summoned me. I found it difficult to swallow. A lord had summoned me… “Why? What if I don’t want to go?”

      “You live in his lands, little cub,” Cassie said. “Short of dragging in the Higher Courts, his rule is law. He asks, you do.”

      “Or else what?”

      “Or else you will face the consequences of defying your liege lord.”

      I tried another tactic. “From what I’m told, Gregreo isn’t a mercilessly cruel tyrant. I’m sure-”

      Cassie bolted like a spring from the chair. I jumped back, narrowly avoiding stomping on Yevno’s toes. “He has sent me to collect you, Mishu. You think I traveled hours to this house to sample that half-baked, pathetic excuse of a chicken?” She spat. “Too tender and soft for me. You humans have weak jaws.” She leaned forward. “Either you come on your legs, or I carry you there.” She chuckled. “Your choice.”


      I know that standing alone it made it look like she could see just fine, and that’s another thing, I don’t think readers want to keep being reminded that she can see Auras like “The Aura of Cassie’s head moved”. “Cassie’s Aura flew up as she bolted off the chair.” That’s bound to get irritating for the readers. Like, “Yes, we get it, she can see Auras! Quit reminding us!”

      The other issue to note is Cassie pulling at the chair. Do I need to write something like, “A chair dragged along the carpet as Cassie sat down”?

      I hope I’m making sense. :P Basically, how do you avoid visual cues without treating your blind character and the readers like they’re stupid?


      "I'm the King of the Seas!" - Said every Orca Whale Ever

    • OK so I was actually watching a Jenna Moreci video on this recently. (Also I suggest all inspiring writers to watch her stuff - it's great. She is an author who has two books out.)



      Essentially what she says is to use a word to describe the use of power, explaining she used the word melting whenever she used hers. Another thing to do - especially if it's from her POV - is to describe everything via the other senses. The chair scrapped against the old wood as Cassie licked her chops. That sort of thing.

      :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
      Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
      Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
    • linkthezora wrote:

      So basically, throughout my fantasy, I seem to be having a huge problem writing Mishu’s POV. She’s blind, yet I’ve noticed (from what some told me) that I keep using visul cues. Of course, the idea is that she has Soul Sight, meaning she can see the souls of sentient, living beings who can use magic but not inanimate/dead things.

      My issue is I’m trying to find a middle ground between overly-describing what should be common knowledge for Mishu (i.e., something being placed on a countertop) versus her seeing things she shouldn’t. Here’s an excerpt of what I’m talking about (417 words.)

      Display Spoiler
      Once the chicken was devoured, Cassie lumbered around the counter, pulled out a chair and sat, her hind legs propped up on our table. I heard soft scraping as I saw her paw work around her jaws, picking bits of our chicken off with a claw I surmised. I swallowed my rage. “Is there anything you need?” I asked coldly. “Can we help you?”
      Cassie belched, her tail flicked as if she were pleased at her theft of our meal. “As I said earlier, Frelan wrote to me saying you were to join our crew?”

      Yevno tugged at the small of my back. “What’s she talking about?” I grabbed her arms and squeezed, indicating for her to be silent. “Didn’t Edric say the old ways were gone?” I told Cassie. “Everyone went their separate ways.”

      Cassie’s shoulders shrugged. “Eh, seems Frelan begs to differ.”

      Frelan’s words came back. Old roses die, sure, but does that stop new buds?

      “Who said I wanted to join anything?” I demanded.

      “Lord Gregreo.”

      The air grew cold. Lord Gregreo set this up? “That bastard…!” I growled under my breath.

      Cassie’s ears perked. “Careful, little cub. It’s not wise to insult a lord.”

      “What does he want from me, then, huh?” I stepped forward, hands splayed out, hoping my posture would elicit some reaction from the Devonian. Nothing, she continued to recline and nibble on her paw as if she were enjoying a relaxing day in the sun. “What does he want from our family? Why can’t he just leave us alone?”

      “He wishes to see you — he’s summoned you to his manor.”

      My arms fell to my sides. Out of all the things our intruder could’ve said, this was exactly the last thing I expected. “He…wants to see me?”

      Cassie brought her paw onto the table and drummed it. “That is what I said, yes? Are you deaf as well as blind?”

      A lord had summoned me. I found it difficult to swallow. A lord had summoned me… “Why? What if I don’t want to go?”

      “You live in his lands, little cub,” Cassie said. “Short of dragging in the Higher Courts, his rule is law. He asks, you do.”

      “Or else what?”

      “Or else you will face the consequences of defying your liege lord.”

      I tried another tactic. “From what I’m told, Gregreo isn’t a mercilessly cruel tyrant. I’m sure-”

      Cassie bolted like a spring from the chair. I jumped back, narrowly avoiding stomping on Yevno’s toes. “He has sent me to collect you, Mishu. You think I traveled hours to this house to sample that half-baked, pathetic excuse of a chicken?” She spat. “Too tender and soft for me. You humans have weak jaws.” She leaned forward. “Either you come on your legs, or I carry you there.” She chuckled. “Your choice.”


      I know that standing alone it made it look like she could see just fine, and that’s another thing, I don’t think readers want to keep being reminded that she can see Auras like “The Aura of Cassie’s head moved”. “Cassie’s Aura flew up as she bolted off the chair.” That’s bound to get irritating for the readers. Like, “Yes, we get it, she can see Auras! Quit reminding us!”

      The other issue to note is Cassie pulling at the chair. Do I need to write something like, “A chair dragged along the carpet as Cassie sat down”?

      I hope I’m making sense. :P Basically, how do you avoid visual cues without treating your blind character and the readers like they’re stupid?

      I think the fact that she has an extra sensory ability that compensates for her lost sight complicated the matter somewhat. Ignoring the fact that that’s something of a cliche the most important thing you can do is emphasize how her ‘Soul Sight’ differs from actual sight. What things does her ESP let her know that normal sight wouldn’t tell her and what things would be glaringly obvious to someone with normal sight that she completely misses? For instance in a series called Graceling there’s a character named Po who goes blind but has a perception ability that he uses to compensate. He can perceive distances, heights, velocities and so forth which allow him to construct a mental image of what the area around him looks like but the difference between a piece of paper and the ink on it is so slight he can’t read or write. In Star Trek TNG the engineer Geordi is blind but has a visor that lets him see the electro magnetic spectrum. It lets him see the shape of his surroundings and do some complex analysis that wouldn’t otherwise require a computer but he can’t do things like observe the shape of his friends faces or the color of their hair. If you have a blind character whatever they use to overcome their blindness can’t be so complete that it might as well be sight as then the purpose of them being blind at all is lost.

      So first you’ve got to decide exactly what “seeing auras” means for your character. To me that’s the energy that makes up a living thing. Perhaps she can anticipate the immediate next move someone will make by observing their aura. “She saw energy surge through the mans arms and knowing what it means ducked moments before his blow would have connected with her jaw.” Perhaps in a forest the ambient energy of the trees (which presumably would be much slower than that of a human) give her enough information that she can navigate well but in a place like a town everything but the people is dark to her. Naturally don’t just keep harping in about how she can see auras but make sure to really hammer home what “seeing auras” really means to her. Also since it doesn’t seem like it would be all inclusive research some ways that real blind people use to compensate. Since she can’t see tre two most useful senses she has left are hearing and touch. Use them as much as possible. Rather than saying “Cassie pulled a chair towards her and sat down.” Say “Mishu heard the sound of a chair leg scrap against the hard wood floor as Cassie pulled it towards herself and sat down.” Let us live inside Mishu’s head as much as possible. If her blindness leads her to make a false conclusion present it to us as fact and let the “shit I fucked up” moment hit us at the same time it does her. Any time you have visual information to present ask yourself “if I couldn’t see this how would I figure out it was this way?” And write from that perspective.
      "The Oathkeeper's Dawn"

      Game In Progress - It has been thirty years since the Dawn of the New Day when without a hero to rescue them champions of the people were forced to rise up and save themselves. Now, on the eve of the 130th Carnival of Time strange rumours circulate the land. Will your wits be enough to discover what has taken hold of the land?

      Any help on this project would be appreciated. I want to make it in Solarus which means a 2D ALttP style. However if you don't want to provide technical help there are a range of pieces to work on. Sprites and artwork, music, level design or if you like simply brainstorming and suggesting alterations to the ideas I have currently compiled would be more than welcome.
    • I’m writing a fanfic about what happened to Navi, set about two hundred years after Ocarina of Time and I have this bad feeling that it’s not going well. I’ve got a prologue and three chapters and aside from my beta reader I’ve only had one person comment (and he wasn’t asking anything about the story). It’s also posted on fanfic.net and the view count drops by half with each chapter, the prologue has like forty, then chapter one only twenty and by the time you get to chapter 3 only like eight people have ever opened the page. If someone’s got a moment can they read like the first chapter and tell me if I’m doing something extremely wrong that I’m just not seeing?

      The Hylian Fantasy: A Fairy's Tale
      "The Oathkeeper's Dawn"

      Game In Progress - It has been thirty years since the Dawn of the New Day when without a hero to rescue them champions of the people were forced to rise up and save themselves. Now, on the eve of the 130th Carnival of Time strange rumours circulate the land. Will your wits be enough to discover what has taken hold of the land?

      Any help on this project would be appreciated. I want to make it in Solarus which means a 2D ALttP style. However if you don't want to provide technical help there are a range of pieces to work on. Sprites and artwork, music, level design or if you like simply brainstorming and suggesting alterations to the ideas I have currently compiled would be more than welcome.
    • TriforceHolder wrote:

      I’m writing a fanfic about what happened to Navi, set about two hundred years after Ocarina of Time and I have this bad feeling that it’s not going well. I’ve got a prologue and three chapters and aside from my beta reader I’ve only had one person comment (and he wasn’t asking anything about the story). It’s also posted on fanfic.net and the view count drops by half with each chapter, the prologue has like forty, then chapter one only twenty and by the time you get to chapter 3 only like eight people have ever opened the page. If someone’s got a moment can they read like the first chapter and tell me if I’m doing something extremely wrong that I’m just not seeing?

      The Hylian Fantasy: A Fairy's Tale
      Hm the first thing I noticed is that when we see Navi in the game, she is a small ball of light. Here, it makes it appear as her being taller. More humanoid. Actually a human? While nothing is wrong with that, for people who might expect to see something closer to the game it can be a bit disconcerting. This is a personal preference, but I think that describing a character all in one go takes away from the ebb and flow of a story. Sprinkle in their description here and there. Seeing a bit of exposition there too.

      I think you also might do better to set up more of the world because I'm a bit lost reading through the first chapter of what is happening. I think you should have the prologue start with the trial (or the verdict) and what it means to be banished. THEN have the prologue you have currently as a dream, then go a bit more into the first chapter. I have an understanding that it's taking place during the Twilight Princess era. I also wonder why Leaf would tell Navi important information beyond plot reasons. It might be more interesting if she starts hearing rumors and stuff and tries to investigate for herself. I haven't read any other chapters besides the first and seeing what you do, so forgive me if this is what you do, but you might benefit from establishing a link between her and the Hero of Twilight FIRST, and giving her information over Leaf that he NEEDS but can't get unless he swamps information with her.

      :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
      Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
      Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
    • Ruki wrote:


      Hm the first thing I noticed is that when we see Navi in the game, she is a small ball of light. Here, it makes it appear as her being taller. More humanoid. Actually a human? While nothing is wrong with that, for people who might expect to see something closer to the game it can be a bit disconcerting. This is a personal preference, but I think that describing a character all in one go takes away from the ebb and flow of a story. Sprinkle in their description here and there. Seeing a bit of exposition there too.

      That has to do with the lifecycle of the fairies that I had thought out. The short version is that if the ball of light fairies live long enough they become humanoid. Thanks though, I probably should have taken into account that just having her be humanoid instead of contextualing it would be a bit jarring.

      Ruki wrote:


      I think you also might do better to set up more of the world because I'm a bit lost reading through the first chapter of what is happening. I think you should have the prologue start with the trial (or the verdict) and what it means to be banished. THEN have the prologue you have currently as a dream, then go a bit more into the first chapter. I have an understanding that it's taking place during the Twilight Princess era.

      That’s probably a good idea. I seem to remember having plans for a chapter taking place the day before where Navi’s errands around Castle Town give a less rushed sense of the state the kingdom is in. I wonder why I didn’t do that? It’s meant to be maybe a hundred years before Twilight Princess. You’ll notice a lot of the geography is halfway between OoT and TP. I figured the use of TP characters wouldn’t be a big deal given that several games reuse characters like how FSA had a number of OoT characters in it. Maybe I should have made that more clear in the story.

      Ruki wrote:


      I also wonder why Leaf would tell Navi important information beyond plot reasons. It might be more interesting if she starts hearing rumors and stuff and tries to investigate for herself. I haven't read any other chapters besides the first and seeing what you do, so forgive me if this is what you do, but you might benefit from establishing a link between her and the Hero of Twilight FIRST, and giving her information over Leaf that he NEEDS but can't get unless he swamps information with her.

      I could probably say something about how Leaf and Navi (in so far as fairies are) are basically siblings and underneath his harsh demeanour he feels pity for her but I suppose objectively it’s really just cause the plot requires it.

      Thank you, that was actually really helpful.
      "The Oathkeeper's Dawn"

      Game In Progress - It has been thirty years since the Dawn of the New Day when without a hero to rescue them champions of the people were forced to rise up and save themselves. Now, on the eve of the 130th Carnival of Time strange rumours circulate the land. Will your wits be enough to discover what has taken hold of the land?

      Any help on this project would be appreciated. I want to make it in Solarus which means a 2D ALttP style. However if you don't want to provide technical help there are a range of pieces to work on. Sprites and artwork, music, level design or if you like simply brainstorming and suggesting alterations to the ideas I have currently compiled would be more than welcome.