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Thread: General Discussion: THE STORY

  1. #21

    Default Re: The Writing Process: Discussion & Tips

    Well....I don't know how young you are but he didn't really.

    I think most people would agree that you would watch 4-6 first anyway if it's your first time seeing any of them.

    I plan to show it to my kids that way whenever I get any.

  2. #22

    Default Re: The Writing Process: Discussion & Tips

    Hm, one thing that I'm dealing with right now is exposition dumping. It's kind of hard to do it gracefully. Since the story I've been working on on-and-off recently doesn't take place in the ''real'' world it's a little tricky to get some of the necessary information across to the reader without either grinding the pace to a halt to drop exposition, or having characters being explained things that they already should know.

    Lucas also ruins Vader's identity in episode 5 by saying straight in our face his identity in episode 3.
    Uh, is there any one even remotely familiar with Star Wars that didn't already know that by then?
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  3. #23
    Stay foxy out there! Kitsune Inferno's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Writing Process: Discussion & Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Crossword View Post
    Hm, one thing that I'm dealing with right now is exposition dumping. It's kind of hard to do it gracefully. Since the story I've been working on on-and-off recently doesn't take place in the ''real'' world it's a little tricky to get some of the necessary information across to the reader without either grinding the pace to a halt to drop exposition, or having characters being explained things that they already should know.
    Pretty much this. The world of Concerto di Ali is really deep in lore and the like, so trying to find a place where it is presentable is rather difficult. I find that during the beginning of the chapter is the best time to give some description and insight on whatever it is you need to. It interrupts the story far less, but this is not always possible or practical. I guess timing is important. If it is a character, and that character is going to immediately become relevant, then at his or her introduction you'd give his or her physical description. However, if that character is playing side character in their first appearance or the situation is urgent and requires brisk pacing, hold off on the introduction or place it earlier in the chapter.

  4. #24

    Default Re: The Writing Process: Discussion & Tips

    I suppose it's not too huge of an issue for me since my writing style is rather straight-forward with a greater emphasis on dialogue than super-detailed scenery description, but I do agree, the beginning of a chapter is where I tend to front-load exposition.

    When it comes to introducing new characters, I've taken to holding off on heavily detailed descriptions until the main viewpoint character encounters him/her, taking exceptions when necessary.
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  5. #25
    The villain eternal. Kylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Writing Process: Discussion & Tips

    When I plan out stories, I have a bad tendency to think of the middle first, then the ending, then get stuck trying to think of something to put in the beginning.

    As for characters, a good character is one that not only fits a necessary dynamic, but also evokes a feeling, or feelings, that the reader can understand and sympathize with. The greatest heroes are loved because the readers know exactly what sort of thoughts and feelings they have, and are therefore invested in how they grow over the course of the story. Likewise, the greatest villains are so infamous because deep down, almost everyone can secretly relate the less-than-honorable aspects of human nature that they represent, and that understanding makes the villains even more reprehensible to us.

    When I create characters, I consider the sort of person that I myself would like to read about, and go from there. If the characterization works and flows well with the story, then their growth and relation to the main theme of the story should flow naturally.

  6. #26

    Default Re: The Writing Process: Discussion & Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Not Kitsune, Chuckles
    The world of Concerto di Ali is really deep in lore and the like, so trying to find a place where it is presentable is rather difficult. I find that during the beginning of the chapter is the best time to give some description and insight on whatever it is you need to. It interrupts the story far less, but this is not always possible or practical.
    I've seen many good writers (okay, mainly fantasy writers) explain the lore and story-wise important events from the past using characters created solely for this purpose. Wise people like librarians, advisors, historians and storytellers work exceptionally well, if planned and written properly. Have your characters visit an old person or add a young follower, who constantly begs for stories in his thirst for entertainment and knowledge. That way, you can use a few pages to explain things efficiently and without boring and/or confusing the readers too much.
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  7. #27
    this is my design LaCaSiNa's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Writing Process: Discussion & Tips

    Liking the thread already~

    I'm one of those writers who started out being amazingly bad and then developing by writing more, reading as much as possible and examining my thoughts and feelings throughout different life experiences. I didn't start writing seriously until I was 12 and I will be the first to admit that I sucked ass back then. Not that my talents these days are astonishing or anything, but still, the difference is quite staggering. What do you guys believe, can becoming a good writer be a learning process as well as a natural talent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakonosolo View Post
    I really should do more planning before I write. I typically have a basic storyline and write until I feel I'm done. Sometimes this gets me stuck in the middle of a story. Other times I can get ideas from multiple places and splice them together. A lot of the stuff I have written I get the general idea from songs or other fiction. But yeah, I need to plan more.
    Heh, for me it's the complete opposite. In fact, I plan more than do writing, which can of course be a bad thing if you end up overthinking or overanalyzing. Even as I write I'm constantly planning the sentences, which makes me an incredibly slow writer. I plan the sentence, then write it. Look at it and think. Delete it, plan again, rewrite. Wash, rince, repeat. Sometimes I only manage two paragraphs in two hours. This also applies to homework... :D


    Quote Originally Posted by RPGJay View Post
    On the topic of the writing process do any of you have some sort of ritual you must undergo when you write? I can write anywhere at just about any time so long as I'm not distracted, but my best writing comes whenever I listen to Iron Maiden. Do you guys have something like that?
    I have to have music. Well, I can write without it too if necessary, but music gives me the best inspiration. Not any music goes though, as I tend to lean towards ambient. Ambient works for me, because instead of lyrics it usually paints atmospheric soundscapes. I have tons and tons of ambient for inspirational purposes and it always manages to stimulate my creative brain cells. If I need to brainstorm, I simply play an ambient album, close my eyes and travel into Inspiration Universe.

    Sometimes lyrics can be extremely helpful though. After all I have come up with scenes, characters and even whole stories from just one song with great lyrics.

  8. #28

    Default Re: The Writing Process: Discussion & Tips

    I'm closer to LaCaSiNa in regards to how I go about writing. I take tons of notes and map out my stories spending time researching and covering even the most minute of details. A problem I frequently deal with is that my imagination usually goes beyond my note-taking and it makes me want to write it all out but then I find that it doesn't synch up to what I have already planned. But because I get so inspired from it, I end up writing a few chapters and then notice only in retrospect that, "Oh shit, plot holes are unavoidable now." So lately I've been a lot more careful with which thoughts I let seep through and which ones I have to keep in check. I've also been allowing myself to loosen up a little more and allow the story to be less constricted, though I'm still very mindful of plot holes.

    If you're asking yourself, "Kenny, what the hell do you mean you're being more careful AND being more loose?" It's simple really, most of my problems come from character actions and dialogue. My stories are very character-driven so it's easy for me to get caught up in their struggles and propel their priorities to the top of the concentration when sometimes you just plain NEED to concentrate on the plot of the story itself. I like to give them spotlight when sometimes it just doesn't work coherently for someone on the outside looking in. But I've also been more loose in terms of how constricted my plot is so my characters have had more breathing room lately.

    I realized that there's no good reason to restrict a character's actions sometimes. It's true that you do have to have them perform for the plot but in a lot of instances I noticed that the plot could have easily been bent into a different form to adjust to that character's actions, that it wasn't so necessary to have it be just this one specific way. And for someone that plans as thoroughly as I do, it's an issue because I started developing this one-track mind. Now that I've allowed more room for development and made sure it's all synched up to avoid plot holes, I feel like I've had more freedom than I had before. Honestly, I believe there needs to be a good balance and sometimes, given however complex your story is, this becomes a very difficult thing.

    You have to always juggle between character development and plot and never fully give in to either side.
    Last edited by Jazzy Jinx; April 13th, 2011 at 03:51 PM. Reason: Well, usually...

  9. #29
    Pokémon Master brennen.exe's Avatar
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    Default General Discussion: THE STORY

    Ok, not a story at all, I just thought you guys should have a general discussion thread. More importantly, I needed a thread to post in and didn't want to hijack one or create my own. Sigh, the burdens of being an admin.

    So, I'm going to sticky this so general chat can be aggregated here rather than taking away from the other topic-oriented threads such as monthly and whatnot, but if you all are against the idea... well, I guess I can delete the thread later. I imagine nobody has complaints though? Good. For outsiders, feel free to use this as a Question/Answer section; for insiders, feel free to chat or ask for general suggestions or tips for... stuff, like, I dunno, maybe ideas you haven't yet framed into a story. Writer stuff, you know? But seriously, I have some questions:

    1.) Is there anything you wanted stickied while you have my attention?
    2.) How active is this section, really? Do you think you need a moderator? Do you want to elect one?
    3.) If for nothing else, a moderator could make news postings for the monthly-writing. Interested still?
    4.) Why do I suck at writing?

    Moving on.

    I suck at writing. To be continued.

  10. #30
    *Angry Catra noises* Shuhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    I nominate Kitsune as mod... that is all...

  11. #31

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Quote Originally Posted by brennen.exe View Post
    1.) Is there anything you wanted stickied while you have my attention?
    2.) How active is this section, really? Do you think you need a moderator? Do you want to elect one?
    3.) If for nothing else, a moderator could make news postings for the monthly-writing. Interested still?
    4.) Why do I suck at writing?
    First off, I'd like to thank your for your interest. :)
    This would be a good thread to discuss ideas and concepts without having to make an entirely new thread for it.
    I'll address each question as best I can:
    1. Nothing at the moment, but how I feel about stickies would lead into the next questions.
    2. This section has more peaks and valleys than any other section I've seen in AP Forums, and there's a reason for that: sometimes inspiration hits, sometimes it wanes. Also, I imagine that during holidays and such things would slow down as we get busier. That said, we have many active writers and reviewers contributing their thoughts and stories and there's always at least one or two stories being updated.
    By mod, do you mean two, four or five star? I personally think that we don't need a full time mod, but a two star or a sub mod representing our section to 'tidy up.' We haven't had much trouble, but twice we have had people start threads that really only accomplished a lot of complaining and only served to push stories worth reading onto the second page. Both times it kind of felt like we had to wait for one of the sub mods we currently have to come down (and don't get me wrong, they did right by all of us), but it would be good to have someone like Kitsune or Kylor or whoever you think is appropriate that frequents this sub section every day and can get to the problem a lot quicker. I don't know about becoming a green star or anything but it would be a step up to be able to self govern our little burg here. There are many mellow and cool headed people to choose from that wouldn't let the power get to their head either.
    Oh, and if possible, they could get the power to sticky so that you don't have to worry about it....or can only admins do it?
    3. That would be lovely, actually. I think Kistune would be interested the most in talking about it (I'd say Kenny, but...yeah)
    4. Because you're too busy dancing.

    That's my two cents anyway.
    I would like to encourage other writers here to give their opinions on this please. The more we talk the better.

  12. #32
    *Angry Catra noises* Shuhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    I'm currently working on my character from Two Brothers, Shuhan, and his backstory. I may actually write a whole new story just about his backstory. Any advice how I should tackle this? Should I make the backstory it's own animal or keep it peppered in the original story?

  13. #33

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    I think it would depend on how relevant the elements that appear in the backstory are to the narrative in the present. If it's closely tied in, keep the whole thing. If it isn't, give the Cliffnotes version of what is in the main story itself, and save the rest for an extra story or such.

    That's my advice.
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  14. #34
    The villain eternal. Kylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Quote Originally Posted by Shuhan1288 View Post
    I'm currently working on my character from Two Brothers, Shuhan, and his backstory. I may actually write a whole new story just about his backstory. Any advice how I should tackle this? Should I make the backstory it's own animal or keep it peppered in the original story?
    Depends on how big the backstory is. If it's a sprawling, epic tale, filled with tons of important details and stuffed with characterization, make it it's own story. Otherwise, if you just keep in the essential information and leave the rest to the reader's imagination, that could potentially be even more interesting than if you explained the whole story. But if there are several important details that the story simply couldn't do without, by all means spread them throughout your original story, or have it be a prologue of sorts.

  15. #35

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Kylor and Crossword said it best: If it's its own epic or majorly impacts the main story, do it as its own installment (or at least the big parts). If it's not, just pepper it out through the narrative (environment, dialouge, etc) and do flashbacks when necessary.

  16. #36
    Stay foxy out there! Kitsune Inferno's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Quote Originally Posted by brennen.exe View Post
    Ok, not a story at all, I just thought you guys should have a general discussion thread. More importantly, I needed a thread to post in and didn't want to hijack one or create my own. Sigh, the burdens of being an admin.

    So, I'm going to sticky this so general chat can be aggregated here rather than taking away from the other topic-oriented threads such as monthly and whatnot, but if you all are against the idea... well, I guess I can delete the thread later. I imagine nobody has complaints though? Good. For outsiders, feel free to use this as a Question/Answer section; for insiders, feel free to chat or ask for general suggestions or tips for... stuff, like, I dunno, maybe ideas you haven't yet framed into a story. Writer stuff, you know? But seriously, I have some questions:

    1.) Is there anything you wanted stickied while you have my attention?
    2.) How active is this section, really? Do you think you need a moderator? Do you want to elect one?
    3.) If for nothing else, a moderator could make news postings for the monthly-writing. Interested still?
    4.) Why do I suck at writing?

    Moving on.

    I suck at writing. To be continued.
    First of all, thank you so much for shedding some light on this. I know it's been a; It's pretty much perfect and leaves the Competition/Story threads from being cluttered with random banter. I do imagine that with this thread, however, there may be need to more closely monitor this section, as this thread can easily turn sour fast if it starts straying into General Discussion on Anything territory. It's easy to stray, but I don't expect too much trouble in that regard. Still, it's a point that needs to be acknowledged if we want it to succeed.

    Now for your points:

    1) As it stands now, all relevant threads are stickied. Thank you, though.

    2) As for this section's activity, it really, really varies. Many of us are busy with finals and other matters at the moment, so it's a bit of a ghost town, but there are definitely, as Cuddles said before, peaks and valleys. What's really great about this section is that we've got members of all statii coming and posting and reading stories in here, which is awesome. There're probably about 15-20 of us actively writing and about that amount actively reading and posting, so there's a rather decent userbase that treads through here. And it's not like any of us "camp out" here, only posting in this section of the forum. We've got a little bit of everybody frequenting here.~

    As for moderation, it really depends. We're generally troll-free (exceptions apply), so the need for moderation is minimal at best. The only issue would be the occasional title changes and the infrequent threads that need a good locking. Again, it's a really low-maintenance corner of the forum, so the need for a dedicated mod is not terribly necessary, but it's really your call in the end. Crossword frequents the place often, so if it's an existing mod you're looking for, I'd recommend him, but that's his call as well. There are a few section mods who also happen to post here semi-often who might be good choices as well. If you're looking specifically for a dedicated moderator to hold down the section, then we've got a few potential choices, but once again, that's probably your call.

    3) That would be awesome actually. I'm not sure how to best go about it, but announcing winners and deadlines and stuff would be awesome.

    4) Because you haven't submitted something for our competition stuff. We'll work you into shape!

    So yeah. That about covers it. Once again, thank you so much for loaning us some of your time. It's worth a lot and we're pretty humbled! So yeah.~ I'd love to talk it out further if you feel we must. I'd love to hear what you've particularly got in mind.

  17. #37
    *Angry Catra noises* Shuhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Thanks you three, that was what I needed. After a good nights sleep, I exuded that I'll just do a one shot/ chapter of it. It is pretty important to the plot what I have planned and because I'm so terrible at keeping my attention span on one thing, I'll just trim it up and make it the next chapter of Two Brothers.

    I feel like I am gonna abuse this thread... Not intentionally of course, but this is a perfect place to get my writing inspiration back, great idea Brennen.

  18. #38

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    I don't think there will be a need for a Moderator yet.

    As stated above, we're still a relatively small section that thankfully doesn't need much moderation. I think I like the way Kitsune put it, minimal at best. However we are growing. Compare this section to a year ago or even half a year ago and you'd see that there are slowly more and more people are frequenting this section which was once essentially a dead part of the forum.

    What I'm saying is depending on our rate of growth we may require one of us to be a Mod/Sub-Mod in the future (for the record, I nominate Kitsune) but currently I don't really see much of a need for another since any issues we have (which mercifully aren't many) we can ask existing Mods like Crossword.

    Still as a writer who's still "relatively" new to this section and as one of the people who assists in organizing our Monthly Writing Competition, I really do appreciate the fact that you guys are concerned about our current state and are asking if there's anything you can do to help. So thank you.

  19. #39

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    I don't have that much to add that others here have not already said. But I do greatly appreciate this thread and the effort to do this, brennen. So thank you :) As for a mod, as a couple of other people said, this is a rather civil and low-maintenance section atm, and there haven't been any major issues, so I don't really think we need one just yet. That said, if the need for a dedicated mod does arise, I nominate Kitty Kitsune as well.
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  20. #40
    Stay foxy out there! Kitsune Inferno's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    You've probably heard me talk about this comic idea of mine that's been in the works for a while, but I've been seriously considering posting it in script or prose form, but of course, comics and prose are two different monsters, so it's not an easy conversion. When I tried it with Spaghetti Western, it was really confusing, so I'm wanting to try something more legible for this one. So, my question is, what do YOU think is the best way to post a comic in written form? How do you handle subtleties in the background (like Pandaman or an instance of a character having a subplot going on entirely in the backdrop)? Should I note them or save these little pepperings for the comic proper?

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