Category Archives: Site News

Q&A: Recap

This is going to be a little different. We’ve got three questions that are all asking for things we’ve already written, so, I’m going to compile some links.

Do you have any resources(websites, posts, blogs, etc.) for newer action writers? I’ve been a fantasy/romance/lgbtqa+ writer for some time now and just got into the genre, and I was hoping to get better at writing fight scenes since I, to be frank about it, am rubbish at it.

This might seem a bit glib or egocentric (especially if you’re viewing this on the website, instead of though Tumblr), but HowToFightWrite.com already has that. I realize that it can be a pain to search old posts on Tumblr. I’ve been digging through our archives as part of project recently and been living with the limitations of the system, so you have my sympathies. Tumblr was not designed around the idea that blogs would still be running seven years later, and it shows.

The first post Michi ever published here might be a good place to start. (And, yes, that’s the Tumblr link. The website link is here, if you prefer.)

There’s a lot of basic primers we covered in the early days, that we’ve never, really, revisited.

It’s also important to remember that the only way you’ll get better at writing is through practice. Try it. Experiment. See what works for you.

As always, one of my highest recommendations for violence in prose is the original Conan stories by Robert E. Howard. Howard was an exceptional writer, though he doesn’t get a lot of recognition today. It’s easy to look at the version of Conan that exists in the Pop Culture gestalt, and miss how well written the original material was.

Personally, I’m fond of this collection from the early 2000s, but Conan is in the public domain, so you can find (at least some of) the short stories on Project Gutenberg if that’s your preference.

I realize you weren’t looking for fantasy, but this does carry over.

Also, in your defense, I realize we field a lot of fantasy and science fiction questions. It feels like that’s been especially true this year. But, we do cover contemporary violence, and if there’s something specific you’d like help with, we’d be happy to respond in more detail.

Resources for characters who wield guns, knives, and their mind?

Quite a bit.

Michi’s knife fighting primer had some formatting issues (it’s something we’ve been dealing with), so I just cleaned it up. You can find, Knife Fighting Do’s and Don’ts here, freshly scrubbed of weird line breaks.

For firearms we had someone asking about Gun Tropes earlier this year. There is a larger Firearms tag, and that probably has the information you want. It’s one of our more consistent tags, and dates back to 2013. I’ll be honest, simply asking, “about guns,” is a little tricky because it is a very expansive field.

Just tips for writing action and fight scenes in general. Guns and throwing knives are my biggest issue. Thanks for the seconds it took to read this.

ancientbruisesbrokenruses

Having just cited our fireams reference, the one thing that’s left are throwing knives.

Rachel Haimowitz reblogged one of Michi’s posts back in 2013 with some additional insights on throwing knives: You can find her thoughts here.

I hope this helps people. We’re working on a long term solution for making that old content more accessible, but it’s been slow going, and we’re not ready to make a formal announcement on that. The last couple months… or, hell, this entire year has been extremely stressful, and I’m sorry we haven’t been as consistent recently.

-Starke

This blog is supported through Patreon. If you enjoy our content, please consider becoming a Patron. Every contribution helps keep us online, and writing. If you already are a Patron, thank you.

We’re not Dead, Just Busy

I apologize for the lack of recent updates. Michi is still very busy with her current work schedule. Due to the pandemic, her department is critically understaffed, so that’s chewing up a lot of her time.

My situation is a little different. Michi and I have talked about converting some of the old posts into e-books. Right now, on my other monitor I’ve got a 390 page monstrosity that covers our posts from 2013, and I’ve been editing it to get it ready for publication. I don’t have an exact time frame yet, but I’ll keep you guys up to date.

The current state is, I’ve got clean text from (nearly) every post in 2013 (this works out to ~250 different articles and answers), and I’m currently going through annotating the posts fixing spelling errors.

That page count will come down because some of the remaining posts aren’t particularly suitable, and there are a few posts that probably couldn’t be republished for copyright reasons.

Still on our to do list, we need to rework the Patreon reward tiers. It’s no secret that, outside of Discord, we’ve been had issues getting those filled on a regular basis.

Like I said, I’ll keep you guys up to date as this moves forward. We’re not neglecting you, we haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. We have been extraordinarily busy and stressed lately.

There is more to talk about, but I need to get back to working on the book.

-Starke

This blog is supported through Patreon. As I said, there’s going to be some significant changes coming to our Patreon in the near future. Some of that will be informed by feedback we get. Now, more than ever, this helps keep us online. If you’re already a Patron, you have our deepest thanks.

The Discord Server is Live

We’ve set up the Patreon discord integration. If you’re a patron, you should have access to it now. You have to go to Patreon and link your accounts. The procedure can be found here.

At the moment, the server is pretty bare bones. We’ll be fleshing it out over the next couple weeks, based on feedback for what people are looking for. So, don’t think the current channel list is final. If you want a dedicated channel for something, let us know.

This also means we’re going to be reworking the Patreon reward tiers so they’re actually being fulfilled. Looking back, there’s a lot of stuff that is simultaneously both tier based and goal based, meaning many of them never actually happened.

We’re working on this, so it’s not final, but it is up and running.

-Starke

This blog is supported through Patreon. If you want to join us on the Discord server, please do, every contribution helps keep us online, and and producing content. If you’re a Patron, we look forward to seeing you join us.

Q&A: Editing Services

Are you open to evaluating written fight scenes? I have a working draft of what I want to do, but I don’t know how it reads… totally fine if not! I’m just curious is all.

In general, no. A lot of this is, simply, a time consideration. If we’re going to write an extended response to something, it’s probably going to be published, leading to two problems:

First, you probably don’t want your earlier drafts out there on the internet. Generally speaking, if you send us an ask, it may be published in its entirety.

Second, Tumblr’s ask system has a character limit. We’ve run up against this recently, with that ask where the second half never came through. It shouldn’t be an issue if you’re sending a question, but if you’re trying to send a lot of text, it can get awkward, and chew up a lot of space in our inbox.

So, there is a solution, one of our Patreon tiers includes writing a fight scene to order. In practice, this has usually ended up being one on one sessions for people who’ve asked, rather than exactly what it looks like.

Now, this highlights a problem: The Patreon tiers were written up with a kind of open ended question where we weren’t quite sure what we were doing with that platform, and there’s still a bit of ambiguity on that front. We’re going to be reworking the pledge tiers in the coming days, with an eye towards getting people on a Discord server we’ve been using, and making sure you’re getting a return on your donations, if you’re wanting more. With that in mind, we’d be willing to revisit this idea in the future as a tier reward. But, for now, that’s not really an option.

-Starke

With all of that said, attaching the usual Patreon tag feels a bit odd, but you guys really do help keep us going, so the thanks really is heartfelt. You guys are amazing, and thank you.

Technical Difficulties

Hope this doesn’t come off as nagging, but do either of you have any plans to stream eso again?

It’s not nagging. Michi’s schedule has changed, so, it’s now much harder for her to stream. We were testing that before the overnight went into effect. This is also, a large part of the reason why our articles have been spotty over the last couple months. She’s working nights now, which plays havoc on schedule.

In my case the problem is more technical, I was having some pretty nasty issues trying to stream at all with my rig.

So, the short answer is, “yes, but it’s going to be a minute.” Realistically, not before October.

If you want ESO content from me right now, I’ve been cohosting a podcast with Kyle Dempster called The Tenets.

-Starke

Tag Clouds and A New Plan

Like a lot of blogs on Tumblr we used Post-Theory for our tag cloud. At the time, it was a pretty nice option, and allowed you to embed a tag cloud onto your blog.

Post-Theory relied on an external server. So, while they had a .tumblr blog, the actual heavy lifting was being done off site on their server.

Unfortunately, back in late June, Post-Theory’s external server went down, and started returning a 503 error. A 503 can indicate that the server is simply down for maintenance, or that it’s been temporarily knocked offline due to extreme load. The issue may be as simple as their server exceeded its bandwidth.

Regardless, their tag cloud is down, and has been for over two months. At the time, I said I’d give them a week to sort it out, and then start looking for alternate solutions. That took a little longer than I intended.

There are a couple other setups that allowed you to host a tag cloud locally, but unfortunately, all of those either ran up against inherent limitations in the Tumblr API (which I’m still not sure how Post-Theory got around), or simply didn’t work.

Eventually, the solution I managed to come to was to backport everything over to a wordpress blog, and use their tools to generate a tag cloud.

This is why last night’s posts had that, “originally posted,” stinger. It actually links back to a unique .com address with a functional (if somewhat limited tag cloud), and not the tumblr blog.

We also have an automated system set up so that when a post goes live on HowtoFightWrite.com, it also posts to HowtoFightWrite.tumblr.com. (It was also automatically posting older posts that I was editing on the site.)

So, what does this mean? We’re still going to be operating on Tumblr. That’s not changing. I’m also going to be going through old posts and cleaning up the tags we used, so that the tag cloud is more useful than it has been. This is something I’ve had on my to-do list for a long time, but the tumblr interface makes messing with old posts, even to clean up their tags, a very daunting task.

Any answers or articles we post will still go up on Tumblr. Though, the reblogs will probably stay there.

Worst case, the site is paid for through the spring of 2019, so even if we’re killed by the beer truck, that resource will still be there.

Right now, there’s a little over 1,700 posts I need to pick through, clean up, and tweak the tags around. There’s also roughly 2,600 tags, of those only about 300 are actually used. So, that list is going to be trimmed down a bit as well.

Our goal is to have a coherent, useful, resource available to people when we’re done.

-Starke

More than usual, we’re in a situation where we really do depend on Patreon to keep afloat. If you like what you’re seeing here, and are able to, please consider becoming a patron. If you are already one, sincerely, thank you.

Welcome to the New Site

Welcome to HowtoFightwrite.com In the coming months, we’re going to start converting over our old articles from Tumblr to a more convenient and accessible format.

We’ve also set up forums which will allow our followers to get critique on their writing. Something we weren’t set up to handle on Tumblr.

We’ll be working on expanding this moving forward. If you’d like to see something specific here, please drop a comment below.

-Starke