Writer's World

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Re: Writer's World

Postby Phill Lytle » May 17, 2019 9:58 am

Cleander wrote:Excellent article! I love the constant parallels you drew between our world and Narnia. Very evocatively written! Thanks for sharing that!


Thanks! I appreciate the kind words. My most recent reading of the books really brought home that phrase. The idea that "Aslan is on the move." It is so evocative. It is mysterious yet still conveys a sense of power and excitement. The first time we read that phrase, we have no idea who Aslan even is, yet we feel He can fix things.

I think that parallels quite beautifully with our own world.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Kalta79 » May 26, 2019 2:03 pm

Wrote a little this morning, and when I had one character notice another character's expression on their face, I started wondering why it sometimes feels necessary to specify that it's a facial expression. I mean where else would the expression be? On their kneecap?
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Cleander » May 26, 2019 6:30 pm

Kalta79 wrote: when I had one character notice another character's expression on their face, I started wondering why it sometimes feels necessary to specify that it's a facial expression. I mean where else would the expression be? On their kneecap?


Well, I guess it's possible to emote with your hands, either by gesturing or just fidgeting worriedly. But most people will probably get it (imo) if you just say a "a horrified/elated/amused expression."

I have something like 6 or seven novels "in progress" at the moment... which means that I actually write stuff in the first draft for one about once a week, scribble down some ideas for the other now and then, and occasionally think about how I really should be getting back to the other 4 or 5. 8-|
And I haven't published anything yet, so we'll see how this goes!
Here's something my own writing has made me wonder: how do you make characters realistic when they're just talking comfortably with another character about things that aren't vital to the plot? How do you keep that from sounding forced and un-relatable?
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Kalta79 » May 26, 2019 7:09 pm

I've learned quite well that characters have a nasty habit of doing whatever they want even if it's not what you intended for them, and to me it only seems forced if you try and stop them. I write pretty much for a hobby, and the main couple in my story had a major fight about 5 chapters in, and 10+ chapters later, I'm like Come on you guys, you've had more than enough time to be stupidly stubborn, just kiss and make up so I can get on with the story!, but they didn't want to listen...
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Cleander » May 27, 2019 9:14 am

You know, I've never had characters get that disobedient. You should consider disciplining them by writing them into a disaster. :D
I kinda wish most of my characters felt that real, though...
I guess the vital question is not "what DID so-and-so do?" but "what WOULD so-and-so do?"
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Re: Writer's World

Postby MoonlightDancer » Jun 15, 2019 12:10 pm

Kalta79 wrote:I've learned quite well that characters have a nasty habit of doing whatever they want even if it's not what you intended for them, and to me it only seems forced if you try and stop them. I write pretty much for a hobby, and the main couple in my story had a major fight about 5 chapters in, and 10+ chapters later, I'm like Come on you guys, you've had more than enough time to be stupidly stubborn, just kiss and make up so I can get on with the story!, but they didn't want to listen...


Haha! I have the same problem sometimes. It turns out my main character isn't very likeable at all. The good news is you have room for development. Think of some other external circumstances which may make your characters realize that being stubborn over little things isn't worth it long term. Or have the fight backfire on them. Or put them in a situation where they are forced to work together. Lots of options, lol.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby coracle » Jun 15, 2019 2:59 pm

Do you find that you need to guess what your characters are like, before you write about them, or do their personalities just unfold as you write?

My current piece has a brother and sister, whose names were not chosen for their meanings (as I have done in the past) but from another source. This has meant their personalities were not pre-set, so I have begun by listening to their thoughts as they tell some of the story.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Cleander » Jun 15, 2019 6:01 pm

coracle wrote:Do you find that you need to guess what your characters are like, before you write about them, or do their personalities just unfold as you write?


You know, even though I don't believe that circumstances alone make a person what they are, it seems like my characters develop personalities based on the circumstances that I already placed them in. They have to be the kind of person that would make such-and-such a decision, because it's vital to the plot. That can be a pain later on because they might have to do something totally out of character for the plot's sake without any room for a reasonable explanation for what made them change.
I also get these dramatic lines stuck in my head for the characters to say, and it feels like they HAVE to say them... so the characters evolve into the kinds of people who would say those big, dramatic lines.
So I guess you could say their personalities unfold as I write.
Does anyone else have these sorts of problems with this method?
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Geekicheep » Aug 06, 2019 5:30 pm

Hey everyone, just thought I'd introduce myself and find out what you guys are talking about here. It looks like the thread has gone a bit quiet, but as a writer (or at least a blogger and text game writer/programmer) it's always cool to talk shop with other writers. What kinds of stuff are you guys into? Narnia type adventure/fantasy stuff? Or some other genre? What have you been up to lately? :)
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Re: Writer's World

Postby stargazer » Aug 14, 2019 8:04 pm

Welcome, Geekicheep! You're right, this is quiet right now. Things may pick up as we approach NaNoWriMo later this year (often that event gets its own thread).

Usually I write fantasy or soft science fiction, but haven't written much lately. Still banging away on an earlier NaNo project that isn't finished but has been fun to write. It's in a fantasy/swords and sorcery type setting.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Cleander » Aug 15, 2019 10:26 am

I write mostly historical fiction and epic medieval fantasy (hence my fascination with Narnia). Basically anything involving a good swordfight... or dragons. :D Never done Nanowrimo, though. I just have half a dozen "works in progress" right now. 8-|
What kind of things do you write, Geekicheep?
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Ryadian » Aug 15, 2019 6:03 pm

Welcome to the forum, Geekicheep! :) I'd definitely love to hear you talk about what it's like to write for text games! I tried to write a grand, sprawling RPG once upon a time, heavily inspired by both Knights of the Old Republic game... but it should be noted I was maybe 15 at the time and I seriously underestimated how much work that was. I never made it out of the opening scene. ;)) But I am really curious to hear how game writing differs from more of a novel-style. I still entertain ideas of making games from time to time... I just wish I had time. ;))

I typically write fantasy, though I'll admit my fantasy style tends to fall somewhere between fairy tale and action cartoons. ;)) I'm constantly at war with the part of me that wants to write an epic worthy of LOTR, and the other part that just wants to let the 12-year-old in me loose on the world. It'd also help if I'd stick to one book/project for more than two weeks at a time.

Something I've been debating lately is trying my hand at a simple children's chapter book. My 6 1/2-year-old nephew has an obsession with sea monsters at the moment, and I've thought about writing him a short story that has... well, something to do with sea monsters, I haven't figured out quite what. ;)) I think it'd be a fun way to get some creativity going, and by the time I'm done he'll be old enough to read it! Now to just figure out what kind of story it's going to be....
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Geekicheep » Aug 16, 2019 3:53 pm

Hey guys, sorry for the late response.

Stargazer - I've heard of NaNoWriMo, but didn't really know what it was; I have a friend who is a writer, and she was starting to tell me about what she was doing with it, but then she went off to college and disappeared faster than Polly in MN. :D So thanks for the info! I think I might just have to give it a shot this year!

Cleander - I am right there with you on the "works in progress". :D And if you do historical fiction - and especially medieval historical fiction - you've got to check out a channel called "Shadiversity" on YouTube! This guy out of Australia does really deep, detailed analyses of how the medieval period is depicted in fiction (misconceptions, historical inaccuracies etc.). He also does stuff related to how that translates to a fantasy world with magic and dragons, like what weapons would be best suited to centaurs, minotaurs, etc. how to fight giants, orcs, etc. as a human, and all kinds of great stuff. Sorry, you mentioned historical fiction, and then dragons, which reminded me of one of his funny slogans: "what about dragons?" (you'd have to see it to get why that's funny :D ).

And last but certainly not least, Ryadian - I could say so, so much about what it's like to write text games! It's the perfect balance of writing and coding, two things I love to do. I have one I plan to finish by Halloween, so I'll tell you what: the week it comes out, I'll talk about it over on my blog. This post is getting long enough already, so I probably shouldn't do it here. :D

And I really like your idea about writing kids' books! My mom said she wanted to do that a long time ago, and hasn't written a word. Her idea was awesome, and I wanted to help her get started, so I wrote a few short stories about her characters. She and the rest of the family loved them, though unfortunately she didn't run with it like I'd hoped. But kids' books are fun, and very memorable - so memorable in fact that we're all members of a forum talking about a 60+ year old series of kids books! :D Seriously though, if you're looking for inspiration, look no further than the Voyage of the Dawn Treader! I love the part where Eustace breaks a sword on a sea monster! So I'm sure he would too. :)

And to answer the question (sorry I don't recall who asked), I write short stories mostly. I'm kind of in the same boat as Ryadian, fighting between writing something big and epic and something a 12-year-old would enjoy. I threw a kid from our world into a fantasy realm where everyone has magic... and he used it to create pizza and turn his brother into a monkey! I've got this epic plot outlined, and my characters have only made it to chapter 3 or 4.

In terms of genre, I do fantasy, sci-fi, and also fan fiction (including several about Narnia). I've dabbled in horror (well, Goosebumps type kid-friendly horror), and occasionally I'll mess with writing music, but sci-fi/fantasy adventure stuff is my favorite.

The truth is, having a day job, I just don't write enough to maintain a consistent train of thought. :D I'll come home after 10 hours of writing code, grab a bite to eat, and get in the mood to write. I'll write a bit, and it's fun and entertaining, but has continuity problems - it's not consistent with what I wrote last week, or what I will write the following week. That's why most of my attempts at a novel end up as a collection of short stories. And I don't even know if I can technically even call them that, but that's not gonna stop me from writing! :D

That's also why I'm finding the text game format works for me As long as I keep track of all the different directions the plot may go, continuity is not an issue. A player may board a ship heading for the Lone Islands one day, and hike to Ettinsmoor in another (and no, I haven't done a Narnia game - YET). :)

Anyway, I never even thought to look for writing forums until I saw this one, so I'm looking forward to when things pick up again. Even if I don't do NaNoWriMo - maybe for me it'll be NaNoTxtGMo :D - I can't wait.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Cleander » Aug 18, 2019 6:23 pm

Geekicheep wrote:Cleander - I am right there with you on the "works in progress". :D And if you do historical fiction - and especially medieval historical fiction - you've got to check out a channel called "Shadiversity" on YouTube! This guy out of Australia does really deep, detailed analyses of how the medieval period is depicted in fiction (misconceptions, historical inaccuracies etc.). He also does stuff related to how that translates to a fantasy world with magic and dragons, like what weapons would be best suited to centaurs, minotaurs, etc. how to fight giants, orcs, etc. as a human, and all kinds of great stuff. Sorry, you mentioned historical fiction, and then dragons, which reminded me of one of his funny slogans: "what about dragons?" (you'd have to see it to get why that's funny :D ).



Ah yes, I'm a bit familiar with Shadiversity! :D He does reference Narnia quite a few times, so that's a plus!! I remember seeing his reviews on the combat and castle design in Walden's Prince Caspian... and was pleased to hear that he liked it! Interestingly he seems to think the best weapons for giants would be heavy spiked boots... so it looks like C.S. Lewis got it right! =))
And I've seen his "What about Dragons?" T-Shirts. I need one badly. That and the one that has his channel's war-cry on it: "MACHICOLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATIOOOONS!!!!"
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Ryadian » Aug 21, 2019 12:38 pm

I look forward to when you reading that blog post, Geekicheep! :)

Geekicheep wrote:My mom said she wanted to do that a long time ago, and hasn't written a word. Her idea was awesome, and I wanted to help her get started, so I wrote a few short stories about her characters. She and the rest of the family loved them, though unfortunately she didn't run with it like I'd hoped.


Oh, fun!! It's too bad she didn't follow up on it, that would've been a great collaborative project. But hey, at least you got the short stories you did write out of them .:)

Geekicheep wrote:But kids' books are fun, and very memorable - so memorable in fact that we're all members of a forum talking about a 60+ year old series of kids books! :D Seriously though, if you're looking for inspiration, look no further than the Voyage of the Dawn Treader! I love the part where Eustace breaks a sword on a sea monster! So I'm sure he would too. :)


Very true! ;)) VDT is my second favorite of the Narnia books (right after The Horse and His Boy), so I suspect I'll be stealing ideas from it intentionally or not. :P

I remember watching a couple of Shadiversity videos. I was particularly interested in one he had on merfolk (or other underwater humanoids) and what kind of weaponry they would use - I have a story, not even counting the one I'm thinking of writing for my nephew, which involves merfolk. I was a little disappointed that the video was more interested in what merfolk would use against humans, instead of what they'd use against each other. Buuut, my writing doesn't tend to be very research heavy anyways, so maybe they'll just always use magic on each other, or I'll conveniently gloss over those details. :P
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Reepicheep775 » Aug 21, 2019 4:20 pm

I can't remember if I have ever posted in here before, but I am working on a fantasy trilogy for middle grade readers. I'm three drafts into the first book and I decided I would take a break from it over the summer, so I have been working on the first draft of the second book.

Geekicheep wrote:But kids' books are fun, and very memorable - so memorable in fact that we're all members of a forum talking about a 60+ year old series of kids books! :D

That's part of why I want to write for children. The stories I loved when I was a kid have resonated with me and shaped me more than anything has since around the time I left high school. My two biggest story passions, Narnia and Star Wars, were both things I first experienced as a child. There's something about being a child that allows you to dig into stories and experience them almost as if they were real that you seem to lose somewhat as you get older. I would love to provide a similar experience for readers.
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