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The Writers' Room

Recommended Posts

AEsob

Okay, I am not the foremost expert on Patois, but Mokrie is right, overdoing it will definitely not help. A word of advice on dialogue...listening to a lot of patois...with aid, perhaps, help in writing.

 

EDIT: Mokrie, point taken Melord

Edited by AEsob

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Yu Jian

Think I could get away with making their accents less harsh for the sake of more accurate story telling? Or would that make the characters seem unrealistic, or detached from themselves?

Edited by Yu Jian

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Mokrie Dela

Patios? :S

 

Yu Jian:

The protagonist choice is yours to make, of course. But there's also the option of both. Duel protagonists can be difficult, especially if they have conflicting goals, but that's where the sparks can really fly.

 

Getting that gritty feel down is as much down to the setting as the characters. their goals and actions have to fit in as much as the design of the setting - this is why GTA IV was not set in summer. It's dreary, grey skies, and LJ/Badman's apartment/hangout really got the git down - cigerette smoke hanging in the air, wallpaper falling off the walls, the cliche of badly lit rooms/closed curtains - they can all work, but your description game has to be on point. Get all the details down, while showing them, but not merely telling us them.

 

It might be a good idea to post a couple of one-shots, as a practice. Do one that paints a picture and sets the scene. Put us in a situation, in a location, and make us feel it.

 

Playing the game will definitely help, but also watch some films - dark thrillers, noirs, etc. Books too, of course.

 

The characters, setting, plot, and even your writing style all come together to create the vibe you want. Like cooking, each ingrediant is important, and has to work with other parts, not against it. Planning is crucial in getting this right, os be patient and take your time.

 

 

EDIT:

Writing accented/foreign speech is difficult. You have to write it so the reader can hear the character in their head. But also, the reader has to read it. Too many phonetically spelt words will grind the reader down and people might end up skipping them. Not enough will make the characters feel genericly american. Using the odd foreign word is good for foreign characters - French for example, you can use basic words like "oui" (yes), instead of the english version. Less is more.

 

With lyiac you face a large challenge.

 

This is a chapter of mine where Jacob appears. Several years since writing it, I would have changed a few things. "Yo, yo' wanna hang?" - the abbreviation of "you" is pointless, so I'd be inclined to leave that in full. Say "Yo, you wanna hang" and "Yo, yo' wanna hang" outloud. Can you even hear the difference?

Jacob's speech isn't too bad to pick up. "I an' I," being a simple example of using his more poetic habits. Again, knowing the character, paying close attention to the scenes where he appears will help you get this working.

Edited by Mokrie Dela
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AEsob

Oh man...stupid f*cking TYPO. Of course its Patois.

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Yu Jian

I'm going to work on a few paragraphs and perhaps post a topic about it. I might initially try different writing styles as I continue to progress through the story. I will eventually of course find one style that fits and go with that for the rest of it. I may even post screenshots if I can to give some kind of visual aid to the story.

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Mokrie Dela

Oh man...stupid f*cking TYPO. Of course its Patois.

you know that didn't even occur to me! Not a word I use much, but yeah, I'm with you. I kept thinking "what has by back garden got to do with it?!" :D

 

I'm going to work on a few paragraphs and perhaps post a topic about it. I might initially try different writing styles as I continue to progress through the story. I will eventually of course find one style that fits and go with that for the rest of it. I may even post screenshots if I can to give some kind of visual aid to the story.

Well if you want to post a oneshot (a one-off short story), create a new topic and you should get feedback. State in the topic that the purpose is to improve your descriptive writing (or whatever you're focussing on*). If you're just posting a couple of paragraphs, you could just post in here, as they wouldn't quite warrent their own topic.

 

I'd avoid posting screenshots to be honest. Paint the scene, show us with words. Don't point at a picture and say "that". Don't tell us that it's cold. Show us: have the character dress accordingly, shiver, huddling for warmth.

Unless you're considering a graphic novel. If that's the case, then writing should be the focus (as this is the writing section), but any pictures included in line of that genre, in my opinion, should be originals.

 

*ultimately everything you write should have effort put in to make sure everything's present and correct - spelling, tense, perspective, active and passive voices etc, but there's no harm in focusing on one or two things.

Edited by Mokrie Dela
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Yu Jian

I suppose you could call it a WIP type of thread. Developmental. So if I made a thread and updated it once a week or whatever would that suffice? How much writing do you think is needed to open up a story like mine? I guess I should figure that out on my own haha.

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AEsob

Update it whenever you want to...be a lazy bum, doesn't matter, just don't push yourself towards the deadline (The main problem of a deadline is that it ruins things, take GTA V (PC) for example, Rockstar is constantly delaying this sh*t for months, when it comes out, and people find one bug, its going to be a hell lot of outrageous rants.)

 

Be yourself, and focus on quality, not quantity.

 

AND it's waay too early for a story, ferment the wine (or, in english, think about the plot, feel your characters, breathe with them, think like them, be them)

Edited by AEsob
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Mokrie Dela

I think it's too soon to post even a developmental version of your story at this time. Posting one-shot topics is fine - we have lots of those. So if you want to simply write a short, practicing out your description and set-up abilities, then by all means post that as a one shot (assuming it's long enough - a couple of paragraphs, a few lines etc would be better posted in this topic).

 

Once you've posted a chapter, and it's been read, generally, that's it. People won't want to read the same scene over and over each time you edit it, so avoid that.

 

Posting the opening chapter, getting some feedback then editing your story (which presumably will be saved on your computer) taking on board any given advice, then posting the next (improved) chapter when ready is the way to do it. It's good to leave the original chapter in its original state with any feedback so others can learn from it,

 

 

That'd be my advice. Take your time planning your story. Map out your characters and their goals etc, brainstorm and storyboard the plot. While you're doing all this, you can post a non-connected oneshot topic, just setting a scene, with a new character to practice that part of your writing. Or if you just want ot try out one or two paragraphs of descriptive text (or dialogue - whatever you want to do), do so in this topic.

 

Hope that makes sense. Either way, I think it's too early to post this story at this time.

 

I agree with what AEsob said. Don't set ironclad deadlines. This isn't school, it doesn't have to be in by next week. But setting a timeframe isn't a bad idea. Set yourself an hour of writing time a day, aim to get X number of pages written by the weekend etc. But if you miss the deadline or fall short - it don't matter. Don't post "news" updates saying "I'm behind, new chapter won't be up tomorrow" because, to put it bluntly, no one cares. We want to read your story, not hear about it. When it's ready, it'll be here, and we'll wait patiently, knowing that it'll be worth it.

 

Once again, simply: take your time. Take as long as you need to plan, etc, then the same in writing. There's a guide in the WD main board that might help.

 

Be yourself, and focus on quality, not quantity. - Truer words have never been spoken.

Edited by Mokrie Dela
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Yu Jian

I will hold off on posting a chapter then. I think I'll toy around with a few concepts I have in my head and see how they read out.

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AEsob

Well, on another topic, Mokrie, I'd love to buy a Mac...provided you pay for it.

 

And well, how the hell do you introduce a cruel, sadistic, 40% insane Protagonist without him meeting the other one.

 

It is driving me crazy, and you won't like when I'm crazy.

Edited by AEsob

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Yu Jian

Why on earth would you want to buy a Mac?

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AEsob

Why on earth would you want to buy a Mac?

 

Your cue Mokrie...

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Mokrie Dela

I will hold off on posting a chapter then. I think I'll toy around with a few concepts I have in my head and see how they read out.

That's probably for the best. As said, you can always post oneshots (they're great for practice and toniing up your skills)

 

Well, on another topic, Mokrie, I'd love to buy a Mac...provided you pay for it.

 

And well, how the hell do you introduce a cruel, sadistic, 40% insane Protagonist without him meeting the other one.

 

It is driving me crazy, and you won't like when I'm crazy.

Nice try!

 

Cruel, sadistic, or evil protagonists are difficult. Remember, the reader has to identify with the protag. They have to like them. They have to care about them. If they're cruel, or evil, then they have to have redeeming qualities. Usually it's something spurring them on, and that comes to the MICE rule (characters are motivated by either Money, Idealogy, Comprimise or Ego*). Think of lovable rogues you see in films and books. The antiheros. Niko in GTA IV is a good example - he kills, coldly, and it's all to settle an old score. Marston in RDR, his family's held captive and he's forced to embark on the epic quest. This is a noble goal - to free his family and thus live in peace.

Character traits, too. Charisma - the smooth talking ladies man, chaming.

you can make your character as bad as you want, but you still have to make the reader like him. Pity him. Support him. Sadism can be but another tool in a character's arsenal. And remember - no one's perfect. What I loved about michael in GTA was his hypocricy and imperfection. I could identify with him, and even when he went out (admittedly as a player) and killed people, there was still that rooting him in my good books. Trevor, on the other hand, lacked that. I found him very unlikable. Partly due to the JK incident (note to Yu Jian - be careful including protagonists in your story), but partly due to me finding him vile and really unlikable. He seemed to have morals but they were unbalanced. He scolded Wade for badmouthing a girl, yet murders one (for no reason) later in the story. He betrayed Flloyd also, while complaining how Michael betrayed him.

 

RDR - Marston had a charisma to him, and he was scared of no one. He killed his old friends (a pretty low thing to do tbh), but that didn't matter because they were painted in a negative light, and he knew what he was doing. Marston's not painted as a hero or a noble man. He's a former gangmember, a killer. He admits to being nothing else, though he tries. His character (from a character point of view) has its redemption in that.

 

 

* i think this originates in espionage, but usually any character is motivated by one of these things.

Money - obvious, he wants paid.

Idealogy - he has strong moral or political ideals. Assassination falls into this catagory - removing a politician because he conflicts with your personal ideaology)

Comprimise/coercion - the character is under duress and has little choice. In order to be allowed to live, he has to do something. Marston in RDR falls into this catagory.

Ego - self explanatory, because the character's ego means he has to do it - whether it's to make up for some previous failing, or maybe even revenge. Pride. Or maybe to entertain himself.

 

 

 

Why on earth would you want to buy a Mac?

 

Your cue Mokrie...

 

I'm running windows 8.

Edited by Mokrie Dela

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Yu Jian

That's almost as bad man. Windows 8 is built for damn tablets...I'm trying to get used to it but I might go back to 7.

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Mokrie Dela

Yeah 7 is much better

 

Windows 8 regularly corrupts on boot up or sleep and BSODs when the battery gets low. It's terrible.

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Yu Jian

Do you use the interface or do you download things like Classic Shell for the start menu screen?

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Mokrie Dela

I CBA to download things like that

I don't mind the start menu tbh. It's just the stability and base architecture that sucks.

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AEsob

Okay, so how do I upload images from my computer to this thread?

Edited by AEsob

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Mokrie Dela

find an image hosting website. I use imgur.com, but any will do.

 

Once uploaded get the direct url for the image should be ending in .jpg or .png or something.

 

Then use img tags to post a pic:

 

 

[img=http://www.forum-signatures.com/wizard2/Wizard2Sigs/20152602/54eec755b8e67.jpg]

That will post the picture in picture form.

 

Imgur has a "BBcode" option which puts it in tags for you, then you just copy and paste it

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AEsob

Okay, so, I was playing around with Fifa 14, and I had an idea-

 

Presenting, Agni Roychoudhuri, Death (the new character I am writing about, the cruel one)

 

7FKGeWd.jpg

 

First look

 

BPzTNkK.jpg

 

Mohawk, backwards

 

UFE1EhF.jpg

 

Mohawk

 

QTbZ4FI.jpg

 

Mohawk, final look

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Mokrie Dela

O...Kay...

 

I think I see what you're saying.

 

Having a visual representationmof your character is a very good idea, but really for your own reference only. You have to describe him in your story, but you can't literally list every detail. Knowing the character visually will help in describing him, and knowing his personality will help convey him.

 

Visual tools are very useful but be careful not to get too bogged down in them

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AEsob

I made it just for fun and I thought I'd share it.

 

Visual representations are a challenge for me...when i describe somebody, I write down the description, then see if the picture matches.

 

As is music, I am never able to describe a piece of Music, Ziggy, being helpful (He really helped me a lot) tried to...help, but, I just cannot.

 

I am, in no way, getting bogged down in posting screenshots instead of descriptions.

Edited by AEsob

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Mokrie Dela

Fair enough

I only said it because I have done you see.

 

Describing music is difficult. Including music in writing itself is a risk. Having a musical understanding helps but as long as you can convey the feel, it's be okay

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AEsob

Okay, back to introducing a character...I don't know where to start.

 

I don't really want to include Kabir. Just if there is no other way.

 

I don't want to go into third person, nor do I want to use god's eye...because I am very bad at it.

 

All I have is that Death is going to assassinate a target.

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Mokrie Dela

You don't want to include him? I don't understand. If you no longer want to include a character, don't.

 

First or third person - obviously this is a choice you have to make but if you're unsure, write one scene twice - once in third person and once in first. You should feel which one works best.

 

Gods eye only really applies to third person but remember perspective - who is telling the story? Is It seen through one character's eyes of through several?

Check out the guide I made for more.

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Del Perro Dog

I'm already feeling sort of burned out from my story, since it took me a ridiculous 3 months of tinkering and tweaking to get that Prologue done. Anyone know how I can get myself psyched up for the longer Chapter 1?

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AEsob

Kabir, just not for that chapter.

 

I read your guide before I wrote that post.

 

Third person, to me, feels impersonal. If I am not good at writing, I will not be able to do it.

 

What I meant is that Kabir and D meet by accident, and I have no idea where (location, circumstance, target) to put the first chapter of a character in.

 

Aesob

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Mokrie Dela

AEsob:

Third person is the more common way of doing things. It doesn't have to be impersonal. You can still show the character's thoughts, but first person is more intimate at times. I find third person easier, personally.

 

You'll be able to do it, man, don't worry. You just gotta go for it.

 

RE that first chapter: It sounds like you need to sit and just brainstorm ideas. Try writing out a dossier for each character - things like how tall they are etc, but also jot down their backstories, and what they want (the two can be connected); their skills etc.

With that done, you can examine their goals and past and see how that fits with your planned plot. This should help you figure out where the two would meet, and how their personal stories tie in with your plot.

 

That's the methodical way. The other option is to follow your instincts. That is to just go with one concept and write it.

 

Remember, the first draft is not the story you upload. It can (usually is) be very messy, and needs a lot of work. Don't worry if your first draft isn't quite to standard. You will edit/rewrite later.

 

 

Del Perro Dog:

This is a common problem. I find the trick is to find more inspiration. My current story has a sort of hybrid setting, so I've been watching films and playing certain games that have helped sow the seeds of my design. If you're writing a story about bikers, watch things like Sons of Anarchy; if you're writing about drugs, then Breaking Bad might help; if you're writing a GTA fanfic, of course, play GTA more, but also watch some crime movies. Read books too.

 

Planning is critical, but there are times where you just have to write. I tend to write chapters/scenes, even during the planning process. Later on, I incorperate them into the plot and story (though sometimes you have to axe them).

 

Sometimes, you just need a break. Sometimes you need a fresh perspective, and I find that working on something else is good at times - it changes your mental gears, and still has you working on your writing. One Shots, another story you've been working on. Be careful about having 2 stories on the go at the same time, though. Keep one as your primary focus, and use the other to help refresh you, and come back to it later.

 

Sometimes you have to brute force it. Just write, even if you're not feeling it. At least you've got something. It might be crap, and you might delete it in the edit, but you might have a small diamond in the rough.

 

Also, as strange as it sounds, exercise. Visit the gym, and pump some iron, go for a run. Get those endorphins going. Get yourself pumped. I find I write quite a lot at the gym, in between sets. It might not be the best I've written but i've got some decent clippings from doing that, and ideas may well still follow.

 

Consider your writing enviroment, too. Are you writing in a noisey place? Do you need somewhere uninterrupted? You could visit your local library and write, or take your laptop to a coffee shop (this is a popular choice, though I've never fancied it), or to the beach or a park. Go for a walk and find some nice vistas to chill in front of and soak up some inspiration. Go and sit in the park and just observe people. Slightly loose morals, but listen to passing conversations, and jot them down, maybe even thinking up little backstories to go with them. Look at people and describe them. When you're going to work, instead of killing time with Candy Crush, write little scenes or dialogues with your characters. Growin those characters can often help when you feel burned out about your story; the character will start tugging at your sleeve.

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Del Perro Dog

Del Perro Dog:

This is a common problem. I find the trick is to find more inspiration. My current story has a sort of hybrid setting, so I've been watching films and playing certain games that have helped sow the seeds of my design. If you're writing a story about bikers, watch things like Sons of Anarchy; if you're writing about drugs, then Breaking Bad might help; if you're writing a GTA fanfic, of course, play GTA more, but also watch some crime movies. Read books too.

 

Planning is critical, but there are times where you just have to write. I tend to write chapters/scenes, even during the planning process. Later on, I incorperate them into the plot and story (though sometimes you have to axe them).

 

Sometimes, you just need a break. Sometimes you need a fresh perspective, and I find that working on something else is good at times - it changes your mental gears, and still has you working on your writing. One Shots, another story you've been working on. Be careful about having 2 stories on the go at the same time, though. Keep one as your primary focus, and use the other to help refresh you, and come back to it later.

 

Sometimes you have to brute force it. Just write, even if you're not feeling it. At least you've got something. It might be crap, and you might delete it in the edit, but you might have a small diamond in the rough.

 

Also, as strange as it sounds, exercise. Visit the gym, and pump some iron, go for a run. Get those endorphins going. Get yourself pumped. I find I write quite a lot at the gym, in between sets. It might not be the best I've written but i've got some decent clippings from doing that, and ideas may well still follow.

 

Consider your writing enviroment, too. Are you writing in a noisey place? Do you need somewhere uninterrupted? You could visit your local library and write, or take your laptop to a coffee shop (this is a popular choice, though I've never fancied it), or to the beach or a park. Go for a walk and find some nice vistas to chill in front of and soak up some inspiration. Go and sit in the park and just observe people. Slightly loose morals, but listen to passing conversations, and jot them down, maybe even thinking up little backstories to go with them. Look at people and describe them. When you're going to work, instead of killing time with Candy Crush, write little scenes or dialogues with your characters. Growin those characters can often help when you feel burned out about your story; the character will start tugging at your sleeve.

A lot of ideas to try out here.

 

For a side project I might make a choose your own adventure comedy book, just some light writing to pass the time.

 

For writing environments I have my bed...maybe out on the deck, that's about it. Can't get around much without a license where I live.

 

I might try the listening into conversations, could be interesting and a nice thing to do during the long bores in class where I can't access my laptop. I've started plastering it with sticky notes every time I think of a scene.

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