1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Watcha Writin'?

Discussion in 'Arts & Entertainment' started by Zkribbler, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. Imaus

    Imaus Prince

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2016
    Messages:
    490
    You know when you've struck a vein of ore in your paracosm/world building and go on a spree? I'm in that state right now. I've been crafting a Hard Scifi Planetary Romance for a while now, but now that I've gotten the social archetypes up and general history down, I've really started to fill every nook and cranny of the three main worlds and the rest of the solar system like clockwork. Mars - done. Venus? Getting there. Earth? Have to go back and revisit. So on and so on. It's like a high.
     
    Valka D'Ur and Synsensa like this.
  2. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Messages:
    22,697
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    Congratulations. :)

    Of course you're going to end up revising your setting's history, since characters are going to offhandedly mention some incident or historical event, and you'll have to decide how it all fits in.

    I've set myself a list of things I want to achieve in the coming NaNoWriMo. One of them is deciding how the main character's parents meet, since their marriage precipitates a 30+-year situation (oh, the horrors when a prince falls in love with a commoner, he's killed before even finding out she was pregnant, she dies in childbirth, and their son is raised in secret... and is basically the last person in the source material to find out that he's the true heir to the throne).

    I've been musing about how the prince and future princess could have met, what kind of people they were, what their respective family situations were, how many long-lost relatives their son has (I created an aunt, uncle, and five cousins in another kingdom... after creating the other kingdom)... as you found out, sometimes the ideas come so fast, you can hardly write them down fast enough.
     
    Imaus likes this.
  3. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles queen of the watermelons

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    16,805
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I think my first and second chapters are as good as I can make them. I'm considering putting them up on AO3. :)

    I'll give myself a few days first to go over them again and check for tyops and misteaks.
     
  4. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    6,598
    Location:
    Philippines
    Valka, you're welcome to put this year's NaNaWriMo reports into this thread if you wish. :hatsoff:

    =======================================================

    My Shards of Yesterworld novel opens in an academy for young witches. This was written way back when J.K. Rowling was still on welfare. She stole my idea--I'll sue! :mischief: My novel petered out in Chapter two when two of my supporting character meet up and there's nothing for them to do. :dunno:

    Now eons later, I've become more adept at story structure. I've added in some foreshadowing into Chapter One, which is allowing Chapter Two to move forward. :yup:

    Still, my eyes are wandering back to my Count of Monte Banco novel. It's nearly done. It's projected to be 16 chapters long, about 60,000 words. I rough-draft it in single spacing, with each chapter being 6-8 pages.

    However, Chapter 14 is only 2 pages, with a huge hole in the middle. :wow: Chapter 15 is currently only 1 page, but it's a fight scene and so shouldn't be too hard to expand, Chapter 16 is currently 3 pages, it'll require the most work.

    I've been staring at that black hole in Chapter 14 for months now and can't figure out how to fill it. :wallbash: My current plan is to write my Chapter 15 fight scene, then to crank out my Chapter 16 ending, and send everything off to my wondrous editor in Texas to see if she can figure out what to do with Chapter 14.
     
  5. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Messages:
    22,697
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    Thank you, but I will be starting my usual annual thread shortly. :)
     
  6. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles queen of the watermelons

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    16,805
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    For anyone who didn't see my post in Random Thoughts, I plan to post the first part of my fic on AO3 on November 1st.

    Although I know it's better than a decent amount of the stuff I've seen I'm still equal parts terrified and excited.
     
    Synsensa likes this.
  7. Synsensa

    Synsensa - Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
    18,699
    :woohoo:
     
  8. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    6,598
    Location:
    Philippines
    Okie dokey. I'm looking forward to it. :yup:
     
  9. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles queen of the watermelons

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    16,805
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Anyone have any tips on writing a group of characters of the same gender interacting without constantly repeating names? Dialogue isn't too difficult because characters usually speak in certain voices, but the non-verbal parts that can get confusing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
  10. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Messages:
    22,697
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    If they have jobs, ranks, different body types, varying ages, and so on, those can be used as identifiers.
     
  11. Synsensa

    Synsensa - Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
    18,699
    Just use the names. You can fix it during editing, if it needs fixing. Fixing can simply be removing superfluous info, or by describing other things besides the character. Short, snappy paragraphs. It helps if you focus on one character in a paragraph, which can help reduce the number of times you need to use names.
     
  12. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles queen of the watermelons

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    16,805
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Those are good ideas.Thank you.
     
  13. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    6,598
    Location:
    Philippines
    Here's an example:

    In this example, my narrator and Hearth are ambushed by Hammersmith's thugs. In my first draft, the thugs all had names, but this was dropped at the suggestion of my editor who opined that naming would Lead my readers to expect the thugs would have major roles.

    Spoiler Example :

    Hearth stiffened, looked closely at the barbarian, and then snapped, “Stay in the carriage!” He leaped out of the opposite side, leaving his door wobbling back and forth.

    I thought that a curious action until I recognized the barbarian was one of Maddox Hammersmith’s gang members. When he slid his scimitar out of its sheath, our driver panicked and fled.

    I heard the clash of resounding arms.On the far side of the carriage, Hearth had just used his cane to block a slice from a night elf’s katana.Sweet potatoes and gravy! Hammersmith’s gang was here?!

    My door opened, and I found myself looking at the dwarf brothers. They reached into the carriage and each grabbed me by an ankle. I shouted in horror and tried to kick free as they dragged me out of the carriage, bounced my head off its step, and pulled me out onto the filthy cobble stones. My already-injured back yowled in protest.

    Hearth came somersaulting through the open doors of the carriage and smashed into one of the brothers, bouncing away with him. This freed me to kick the other one in the side of his head. He didn’t let go, and so I kicked him again. This staggered him; his grip loosened; I kicked my way free and scrambled underneath the carriage.

    The barbarian was racing from the front of the carriage. Hearth, still sprawled on the cobblestones, smashed his cane into the barbarian’s kneecap and then swept his cane up to catch the barbarian in the face.

    The night elf was coming around the back of the carriage. I grabbed his passing boot and held on. He toppled like a tree in a forest. I realized what I had done, let go before he could turn on me, and scrambled back underneath the carriage.

    One of the dwarfs was now back on his feet and heading for Hearth, hand axe held high. Hearth brought his cane down heavily onto the dwarf’s skull, dropping him in an instant.

    Hearth’s cane lashed back, but the barbarian leapt away just in time.

    The night elf was back on his feet, closing on Hearth from one direction while the other dwarf closed in from the opposite side. The barbarian was also limping nearer on his injured knee.

    I swallowed my heart, popped out of my sanctuary, raced past Hearth and hit the dwarf with a high tackle. We fell and his hand axe was knocked free when I landed on top of him. My single flash of triumph vanished when he wrapped both fists around my windpipe and began to squeeze. At that moment, I was ten times stronger than I’d ever been in my life, but I couldn’t break the dwarf’s death grip on my throat. He kneed me in the crotch. The blow sent stars shooting out of my eyes and caused a double-high-C to squeal in my ears. We rolled over with him coming up on top of me, his knees pinning my arms to the ground. He put his full weight down on my throat while I laid in a puddle of rainwater and lashed helplessly with my legs.

    I could hear blows and grunts from Hearth’s battle, but all I could see was the dwarf’s ugly face, grinning in glee as he slowly and surely murdered me.

    The handle of Hearth’s walking stick suddenly swept in from the side of my vision and struck the dwarf’s head with a fearsome blow, stunning him. I shoved the dwarf aside, rolled away, and got to one knee, coughing and choking. Forcing my gaze upwards, I espied the other dwarf staggering up to his feet.I rose, charged him, and punched him in the eye just as hard as I possibly could. The power of my punch knocked us both on our backsides. The bones in my right hand shrieked in agony. Instinctively I doubled myself protectively around it.

    But I had to help Hearth. I had to. I shoved myself to my feet, using the side of the carriage for support.Suddenly,THUNK, a dirk buried itself into the wood beside my hand.I looked around and spotted Hammersmith’s younger brother, some distance away, reaching for another throwing knife. With my good left hand, I pulled the dirk free and hurled it at him. He ducked but I hit him anyway. Sure, it was with the handle instead of with the blade, but I’d hit him!

    The squeal of a city watchman’s whistle cut the air, and Hammersmith’s brother took to his heels, vanishing into the warren of twisting streets.

    Cradling my agonizing hand, and with my back throbbing, I shuffled around to survey that battleground. The barbarian, the night elf, and both dwarfs were laid out cold. Hearth was down on one knee, trying to catch his breath. Watchmen were running in from various directions. Our driver returned with some of them. Even our old friend Detective Moss came trotting in.
     
  14. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles queen of the watermelons

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    16,805
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Thank you. :) I think your action is a bit better than mine. I'd probably end up writing something like "I hit him with a stick until he fell down."
     
  15. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Messages:
    22,697
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    I stand by my assertion that some minor characters should have names. Of course if it's a one-shot scene and none of them are going to either appear or be mentioned again, they don't need names. But if their identity or actions matter at some later point, or if they appeared earlier, were nameless but said or did something that turns out to be significant, I think they merit at least some kind of name.

    I'm still having trouble figuring out a name for a count character. He wasn't intended to have a major part in my original version, but yesterday he marched into the throne room in my alternate version (still an antagonist), and even though he's a small part in a large story, I realize I need a proper name for him.

    Does this mean I'll make him a major part of a side story? Maybe, if he gives me a reason. So far he hasn't. He's actually a rather disgusting jerk who is working for the protagonists' enemy, but even so, he needs a better filler name than "Count Chocula."
     
  16. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles queen of the watermelons

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    16,805
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Name him Count Count.
     
  17. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Messages:
    22,697
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    Kinda like Constable Constable on The Beachcombers? :think:
     
  18. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    6,598
    Location:
    Philippines
    "disgusting jerk" leads me to suggestions of...

    Looking for synonyms of pompous, came up with "Magnoloquent." :dubious:

    How about "Count Overbottom"

    The Earl of Caitiff. [Remember in England, counts are called "earl"]
     
  19. aimeeandbeatles

    aimeeandbeatles queen of the watermelons

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    16,805
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Count Vainglorious sounds kind of cool.

    My excitexiety....er, anxcitement....is getting even bigger when I think about posting my fic.
     
    Synsensa likes this.
  20. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Messages:
    22,697
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    I do imagine him as being a bit of a popinjay, which is probably why I gave him such a dumb placeholder name.

    I am about to post the NaNoWriMo 2019 thread. Be forewarned: I am in a Very Bad Mood. The new website design is horrible, and part of it still doesn't work. WTF were they thinking?
     

Share This Page