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Writer's blood

posted by GaryCXJk on - last edited - Viewed by 360 users

First of all, there might already be a thread about it, but meh, at least not in the past ten pages, so yeah, totally justified.

Anyway, are there any Telltalers here with writing skills? Wanna share tips or tricks for fellow soon-to-be-authors? Or do you just want to share your stories? What are your writing projects and plans currently? Here's the place to be, and the place to go.



Anyway, I first have a good question for you guys. As an author, either soon-to-be or an already established one, what are the places to be when it comes to publishing stories and other writings, both free and commercial? Do you have some personal favorites, and why?

Anyway, I'm sure you guys are wondering, what's up with him using anyway at the start of nearly every sentence? Aside from that, a lot of you will also be asking, what does Gary do when it comes to writing?

At the moment, I'm working on a Dutch novel, it's mainly a fantasy novel, with some sci-fi fantasy elements mixed in. To be honest, it's fairly hard to do a true sci-fi fantasy blend, because there's a thin line between what is science fiction and what is fantasy, at least that's how I see it. The way I see it, sci-fi stories are generally more about explaining things, rather than it just being there, unlike fantasy, where everything can happen without any real explanation. In that opinion, my novel is a bit more sci-fi than fantasy, as it tries to explain elements in a way that makes it sound a little bit science-y.

The novel is set on a world called Ertar, and tells about a woman called Nikene who travels the world because she just needs to. The story however basically tells the life of various characters. Nikene might have been a hero once, but she knows that fame doesn't last, and that sooner or later she won't even be needed. And what she did surely didn't shape the world as it was now.

Yeah, that's basically what the novel is all about. Right now I'm at page 61 (about 8000 words, so quite some pages less). I'm hoping to one day release the novel, or rather, the trilogy, as I intend it to be a trilogy of some sorts.

Also, I've had this concept since 2003, so yeah, quite some time.

33 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I was writing a novel a couple of years back (I still have the synopsis blu-tacked to my wall), but that kind of fell to the wayside, especially now I'm doing video reviews. I should really try to get back into it.

    Mine was about a private detective having to deal with demons invading Earth and getting caught up in a holy war. ...that doesn't sound too appealing to publishers, does it? But it was pretty good, I think.

    Really need to get back to that.

  • I've been writing, on and off, two different stories.

    One is a bit of what I guess I'll call a technomancy nihilist adventure. It has the surface coating of a some what standard fantasy/sci-fi but underneath, all victories are fairly hollow and nothing really means anything.

    And then, for fun, I have a series of noir-mystery-type short stories (also fantasy) that I was working on with mgrant. I'm fairly horrible at writing good mysteries, but I think I'm learning the more I write. And it's also super fun. In any case, the characters are pretty hilarious (if I do say so myself) and I feel that they kinda save the story from any shortcomings in the actual plot.

    Oh, also, in the tips and tricks category, I have determined that it is extremely helpful (especially with fantasy) to iron out DnD type character sheets for the characters. For me, it helps me categorize exactly what the characters can and cannot do and prevents them from being too overpowered or Sue-like. It also really helps me figure out their personality based on stats so that they remain fairly consistent throughout.

  • I'm just so slack... I have stuff going on in my head all the time, but never get it down. It's like I have to know every detail before I can start writing, which of course never happens.

  • @skeeter said: I'm just so slack... I have stuff going on in my head all the time, but never get it down. It's like I have to know every detail before I can start writing, which of course never happens.

    Honestly, I've found that possibly one of the easiest things to do is to just write a scene. Doesn't even need to be at the start. Then keep on writing scenes until a story comes out of it. You don't even need to use all of the scenes if they don't fit.

  • I used to be employed by Blizzard Entertainment producing creative content.

  • @Alcoremortis said: Honestly, I've found that possibly one of the easiest things to do is to just write a scene. Doesn't even need to be at the start. Then keep on writing scenes until a story comes out of it. You don't even need to use all of the scenes if they don't fit.

    Yah, I've just got to get my butt into gear... of course I've been saying that for years and years...

  • @skeeter said: Yah, I've just got to get my butt into gear... of course I've been saying that for years and years...

    I guess it also depends on where your focus is. My focus tends to be characters and they're usually the first thing I have ironed out. So I could basically just stick them in an empty room and let them have at it. Then I just write down the result and maybe come up with some sort of setting and plot out of it.

  • I myself never find the need to prepare before writing. I sometimes just start writing, and if it's something that I don't like, I rewrite afterwards. As long as you have the back bone, you can always come up with the details.

    The way I'm writing my novel is this. As soon as I figure out what to write next I'll just write it down. If I don't like what I've written, I'll reword it, or even just let it rest for a couple of days.

    It does help though that I already have the entire story in my head. I already have the end goal for my characters, and whether or not they will actually get to this end goal doesn't matter. Writing is something fluid, ideas can change, details can be made depending on what direction you have written yourself into.

    For example, let's start with a simple plot, something I already have in mind for a story I'm writing, called Order of Z. It features several characters, which is something I actually started with (actually, it was the setting, but the setting was the same as some of my other ideas). First you have Jules, who might be a paladin, but he at least is a knight who wields a huge motherfracken sword. Then you have Claythen, mostly known as Clayth, also a knight. He wields a lance. Peter is an archer, although he does have elements of a rogue. Clayth's love interest, Aurelia, is an acrobatic elf with some minor magical skills. She possesses powers of nature. Finally, of the main beginning cast, you have Bohr, a giant (in this world, giants are only just bigger than humans, but not that much). He mostly uses blunt objects, but looks can be decieving. Despite the fact that he looks like a brute, he's the most philosophical person on the team.

    The entire setting is a fantasy setting. It takes place on a planet called Phandagron, which is one of the several planets on Digit-5. Unlike the other planets, this one doesn't have a lot of modern facilities. Not that they can't have them, but most just prefer the simple life of fighting with swords and stuff. It just isn't as exciting if you can simply gun down a dragon.

    So let's set up the quest. During the first part of the story, Jules' love interest, Rhonda, one of the strongest knights, ironically gets kidnapped just outside the city gates. It is then that Jules gathers everybody to get her back. But what is the reason Rhonda got kidnapped?

    Now that I have the basic story, let's write the story down. Now I'll have to say, I'll be making this up as I go. I haven't yet written this down, and it actually was meant to be for a sprite comic I wanted to do one day. So, here we go.

    -----

    Out of all the places on Phandagron, the city of Mountain was most likely the most beautiful Clayth has ever seen, which was ironic, seeing as it had the most idiotic names ever. Given, he was a bit biased, since he was born and raised here, but there was no other city on Phandagron or even the entire system that had a view this beautiful. From here he could almost see the Beat Cluster Station floating many distances away, in the big darkness some people refer to as space. Even in broad daylight the station was visible.
    "What are you looking at," asked Aurelia.
    "The view," Clayth replied. "Even after so long, this view still amazes me."
    Aurelia laughed. "You humans are easily impressed."
    The sun reflected on her long red hair, making it appear as if it radiated magical beams of light back into his eyes. Her hair waved in the wind, but he could not feel any breeze at all. For a moment, time stood still, there was nothing but Aurelia.
    "Friends," a voice said. Clayth became a bit annoyed, but didn't let anybody know, instead replying: "What is it, Jules?"
    "Are you guys up for some practice?"
    Jules seemed very excited about it going on a practice, and Clayth knew he wouldn't go unless they both went, so he reluctantly agreed.
    "What kind of practice is it this time," Clayth asked.
    This got Jules really excited. "Okay, remember when you read about the Hall of Shadows and you were all, like, 'It would be incredible if we could go there one day,'?"
    Clayth's eyes got big. "No way! That's awesome! When are we going?"
    Jules hesitated a bit, and he could already see the disappointment in Clayth's eyes. "It's not exactly the Hall of Shadows. But it's close!"

    "When I asked for a mirror fight, I didn't expect to fight an actual mirror," Clayth said in a disgruntled manner, wondering what a mirror was doing in a forest in the first place.
    "Wait a bit," Jules said. "This isn't just a normal mirror. Just wait until the others arrive."
    Not long after he finished his sentence Bohr and Peter arrive.
    "What's the rush, brah?" Peter said.
    Suddenly, with fear in his eyes, Bohr pointed at the mirror. "It's that mirror!"
    He quickly rushed to the mirror, trying to smash it with his gigantic club, but before he managed to smash the mirror, he could hear Jules utter words, after which a quick flash came. When everybody regained their sight, they could see dark versions of themselves, on the other side of the room.
    "Too late!" Bohr exclaimed.
    "Well," Jules said, "it's time to duel!"
    Clayth looked at Jules. "Wait, is that your battle cry now? I mean, your previous was bad, but-"
    Just at that point the shadowy version of Jules screamed: "Attack!"

    Both sides rushed at each other, each taking on each other's counterpart. Clayth tried to stab his counterpart, but his shadow parried. Meanwhile, the sound of two swords clashing could be heard where Jules and his double were. Arrows flew through the air as the two Peters tried to hit each other, and several small quakes were caused when the two Bohrs made their moves. Aurelia could see an evil grin on her own doppelgänger, as terror was all over her own face.
    "This is too dangerous," Aurelia yelled. "Jules! How can we stop this?"
    While still swinging his sword, Jules replied, "I guess by smashing the mirror."
    With a brief "Got it," Aurelia rushed to the mirror, jumped up and swung her staff.
    "No!" Bohr screamed. "Breaking mirror will make them permanent!"
    A loud crash could be heard, while all Aurelia could mutter was "Great," after which she yelled: "Now what?"
    "Hit them!" Bohr replied, quite angrily and a bit out of breath. He could see that the other Bohr was also a bit tired. He rushed towards the other, and the other did the same. Then, suddenly, he found an opening. He swung his club and hit the shadow to the other side of the room, where it vanished.
    Peter hid behind a tree, and his shadow did the same. He looked around, and then found the spot he was looking for. He immediately fired a barrage of arrows towards that one spot. The first arrow hit a tree. The second arrow hit the first, after which it ricocheted and hit another tree, all until the last arrow finally hit his shadow self.
    "You know you can't win," Aurelia's double said to her.
    "Look around you," Aurelia said, while both Clayth and Jules defeated their own.
    "We might vanish," the double said, "but we will always come back."
    "Well," Aurelia said. After a brief pause, she looked into the figment's eyes, and said: "Come back from this."
    She rushed towards her mirror self, and with a swift roundhouse kick kicked the other into oblivion.
    "That was the most stupidest idea you ever had," Clayth said to Jules.
    "Hey," Jules said, "at least we defeated them!"

    -----

    So yeah, that's just the first few lines I just written from scratch, and all based on a short description. I might not even use this story eventually, but at least I've got the setting.

    Basically, when you have an idea for a story, just write it down. Some day it might come in handy for something.

  • I do similar things, but my short excerpts are almost always character studies. Basically, I prefer to start writing scenes that demonstrate turning points for characters or that outline their basic personalities, likes dislikes, etc. Because for me, the characters are the most important part of the story and so I want them to be very well defined so that their actions make sense to the reader.

    Or even if their actions don't seem to make sense at first, I want there to be a very solid reason that I may choose to divulge later that will make them make sense.

    Also, for some reason, a lot of my characters tend to carry on extensive internal monologues that are occasionally punctuated by dialogue. This has happened to the extent that I ended up having one character be almost entirely mute, even though he was telling most of the story. He'd think complex arguments and theories that would sometimes take up several paragraphs, and reduce all of that to "Shit."

  • I personally don't do inner monologues. This is due to the fact that I suck in them.

    And that's another thing with writing. Know your limits, so you can either work around them, or work on them. Of course, the latter is more preferable in the longer run, but if you want to at least write down your stories now, you can always find ways to avoid them.

    Also, of note, most of the characters for the novel I've been working on for nine freaking years have changed in such a way that even their names aren't the same anymore. Most even have their roles changed to fit the story better.

    An example of this is the character of Kuona. Originally a very side character without any traits of any kind, she got promoted to a main character in the current concept. Meanwhile, Gray got demoted from main character to supporting character.

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