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Storywriting 101

Discussion in 'Arts & Entertainment' started by Kyriakos, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Possibly this is not a very good idea, but i thought that maybe a few people would be interested in such a thread. As a professional ( well, published at least :( ) writer, i could give some insight to prospective writers. I am by no means an expert, and in reality i end up practicing usually a number of motifs myself, but i can answer most general questions and a few more specific ones on the art.

    So, ask away if you feel like it :)
     
  2. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    Do you write plot-outlines before you actually start writing, or are plots devised on the fly? I actually asked this question to a friend (and fellow writer) and we both concluded that we usually preferred the latter.
     
  3. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    I only write short stories now days (and almost never wrote anything larger). If possible (90% of the time) i finish them in one go. For that i have the general idea in my head, along with the ending and beginning. After than i just sink inside the world of the story and see where it takes me. :)
     
  4. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    If you are writing scifi/fantasy/some other atypical setting, do you prefer having expository chapters that establish whatever rules you have created for your world, a dummy who keeps asking questions to give you an excuse to write about said rules, or do you prefer all-out immersion and letting the readers figure it out as they go along?
     
  5. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    I have never based a story on a world which was atypical, unless it was supposed to be a dream world. In the latter case i did not explain at all why the things happening were happening, until a few pages into the story, where a background of the split from the normality was given.
     
  6. Luckymoose

    Luckymoose The World is Mine

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    Never stop your story for worldbuilding. If your writing cannot mix the two seamlessly, you should not be writing in those genres.
     
  7. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    One idea would be to act as if the world is already known, since to a person living in it it would anyway. Unless of course he is narrating to some foreigner..
     
  8. Luckymoose

    Luckymoose The World is Mine

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    You drop information when the character is thinking about it, or if you need to explain why something is through the character.
     
  9. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Generally you can be the character/narrator, and naturally narrate to someone as you would in his position. If you have the specific end to convey some reality for the cosmos you have built, do it as naturally as possible, or it will be picked up as something negatively constructed.

    :)
     
  10. Harvin87

    Harvin87 The Youth

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    Can you give me some tips about "stream of consciousness" technique ?? , I'm really interested in that. Thanks
     
  11. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    I use a semi-stream of consciousness in most of my works. Mostly resembling Poe in that respect i think- at least others claimed it reminded them of Poe.

    There are many levels of this type of narration. Many used it, from Proust, to Joyce to Camus to Dosteovsky. Basically you write what you have in mind, but the trick is to have formed a concrete idea of what the narrator's state of mind is. Usually the narrator in a stream of consciousness piece is typically in a state of confusion, for a number of reasons, but not least due to that being more easy to control while you are narrating (since you effectively see beyond the confusion of the narrator).

    If you want to you can be more specific in your question and i will try to help more :)
     
  12. Harvin87

    Harvin87 The Youth

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    For example... I know its a world masterpiece and all, but I was really impressed when I read The sound and the fury ... and I started for fun to writte a story about a man who is blind by (from?) birth ..., that's why I'm asking.., I find it not difficult but it demands certain type of precision to develop the train of thought.
     
  13. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    If you are writing about a blind man from birth, you should make some general calculations, eg how it affected his sense of his environment, what difference is there in his consciousness compared to other people who have not this handicap etc.
    Maybe you mean it mostly in a symbolic way (or rather it interests you due to the symbolism involved) in that a blind man metaphorically is someone who has no access to "reality", reality visible to other beings. In that sense all humans can be said to be blind, since we see the external world through our specific mechanisms of sight, which are not perfect.

    Also keep in mind a secret: your mind already can help you write whatever you want, you just need to ask it to. Personally when i write something i am dependent to some degree on unconscious calculations going on. You could try to calculate everything consciously, but in my experience this is not needed :)
     
  14. dot80

    dot80 Emperor

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    How do you go about creating a believable character?
     
  15. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    I am of the view that it is generally impossible to create a character who is not at least partly a reflection of yourself. Which is why instead of trying to make different characters as the narrator, i resolved at using parts of my own psyche for each of the narrators. The secondary characters are modelled after other people, but as secondary they do not have to be fleshed out so much.
    Of course this is a personal reaction to this old problem. Different people seek different ways to combat the difficulty, it is part of the individuality of the author :)
     
  16. Harvin87

    Harvin87 The Youth

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    what kind of stories do you writte, Kyriakos?
     
  17. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Psychological and gloomy. Not quite horror, although they have dark atmosphere (at least i try to have that) often violence, and are about problematic personalities. Usually the narrator is a loner, or someone reduced to a loner.

    Other times (the shorter stories) they are symbolic, for example i once wrote a story about someone trying to climb a metalic ladder in the near-absolute darkness. Symbolized the attempt to get better psychologically, without being aware of the problem ( = darkness all around).

    And you? :)
     
  18. Harvin87

    Harvin87 The Youth

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    Right now I'm writting a story of a man who gets wrongly accused of a serious felony and he is condemed to some years in prision. I'm not really sure how the story will end up but its quite long already .. about 40 pages.. but I have the ideas and all secured. Its written in first person, although I feel more confortable writting in third person. :)
     
  19. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Sounds interesting. Reminds me a bit of Victor Hugo's last days of a condemned man :)
     
  20. Harvin87

    Harvin87 The Youth

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    or albert Camu's "The stranger" ... :). I don't know .. I'm heavily influenced by Camus. But this is a story that its only objective is to get finished. It's not plagiarism of course... the general ideas are mine... but I feel its heavily influenced by Camus.... anyway I'm just planning to finish this... so I can tell how it feels to finish a story :). But in all seriousness... was it hard to get published?
     

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