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The ramblings of a designer turned writer turned computer geek turned writer turned designer with way too much time on his hands.
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TGRF's Reviews - Mistborn (The Hero of Ages)

Posted July 7th, 2021 at 01:10 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
I recently finished the final book in the Mistborn trilogy, so it's time to get down to the review.

Out of the trilogy, I feel like this book was definitely the best one. Sanderson kept up some unique style choices throughout the series, and in this book they started to pay off big time, increasing tension nearly every chapter. By about the last third of the book, the twists started coming thick and fast, as nearly every single loose thread and every seemingly-unimportant detail fell into place.

Ratings:
5: Amazing, above flawless.
4: Flawless, but doesn't really stand out.
3: Might have some issues, but works fine.
2: Has some issues which might detract from the story.
1: Flawed, bring the story down noticeably.

Title: The Hero of Ages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
My Rating: 4.25/5 - A great read

(Spoiler-free) Summary: Following the events of the second book, the heroes get down...
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FFC #75 - Series approaching... maybe

Posted June 26th, 2021 at 01:20 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
TGRF's Fan Fiction Chronicles - Entry #75

While the fires of my creative writing have been reduced to smoldering embers, I've been devoting my writing time instead to research. I feel like I'm ready to start work on my novels, and I want to clean up any remaining issues my writing has in preparation of that.

I've mentioned what those issues are previously, but there is one I have not mentioned, largely because I was unaware of it until now. It isn't so much an issue as a simple lack of experience, but it's still worth nailing down: how to write a series.

When it comes to writing a connected series of stories, there are two basic ways of outlining it (that I have found - if you know of others, please do let me know).

The first method is what I did with Dilmir. Each story is its own complete thing: character arc and 3-act structure separate from any other story. Each story introduces a new conflict, and each conflict is wrapped...
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FFC #74 - The plan

Posted June 16th, 2021 at 09:36 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
TGRF's Fan Fiction Chronicles - Entry #74

Writing is a field of unknowns. Take this entry. This could be my last entry for a good while, or I could be back in two weeks. I have no idea which.

Why could it be my last entry for a long time? Because I finally did what I've been saying I need to do off and on for a while now. I got a job. We'll see if this magically sparks my writing powers - so far they are sapped more than they have ever been.

However, getting a job isn't why I wanted to write this FFC. Throughout the later half of my writing years, I've posted various 'roadmaps to novels'. As a whole, they've been fairly inaccurate. But, because repeated evidence clearly has no effect on me, I'm going to post another one.

As I've said elsewhere, I've been nailing down the remaining issues my writing consistently has. I've noted everything I can find, and for the most part I know how to deal with all of them. It just remains...
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TGRF's Reviews - Mistborn (Well of Ascension)

Posted June 3rd, 2021 at 01:46 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
I finished the second book in the Mistborn trilogy yesterday, and after letting my thoughts gel a bit, I want to get down to the review.

On the whole, I think I definitely liked the first book better. It just felt more... cohesive. It felt more structured, in a good way. But I'll get more into that below.

In terms of writing level, I feel like it's about where I am now. I think my structuring and development is better, but Sanderson I think has the better characters and twists.

Ratings:
5: Amazing, above flawless.
4: Flawless, but doesn't really stand out.
3: Might have some issues, but works fine.
2: Has some issues which might detract from the story.
1: Flawed, bring the story down noticeably.

Title: The Well of Ascension
Author: Brandon Sanderson
My Rating: 3.7/5 - A good read

Summary: Following the events of the first book (which I'll do my best to avoid spoiling),...
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FFC #73 - Turning point

Posted May 29th, 2021 at 08:45 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
Updated May 30th, 2021 at 12:34 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
TGRF's Fan Fiction Chronicles - Entry #73

I spent a few minutes looking at the screen today, the realization washing over me that I might have just defeated my greatest writing nemesis.

Throughout my writing years, I've narrowed down my problems to a few consistent ones. Crunched intros are there, due to me trying to introduce everything at once. Undeveloped antagonists seem to be haunting my more recent stories for some reason. Stakes - an older nemesis - hems and haws on if it's still an issue. But the big one, the main thing I seem to always struggle with, is a double-header: squished content, and the inability to get a character to change.

These are two sides (plot and character) of the same coin: absent middles. On one side, you have the plot, going straight from the beginning of the story, to the midpoint, and then straight to the end. What happens in the middle? Unfortunately, the 3-act structure is a void there. It took me awhile to...
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