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Thread: General Discussion: THE STORY

  1. #41
    Pokémon Master brennen.exe's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsune Inferno View Post
    Should I note them or save these little pepperings for the comic proper?
    I'm no writer, but I'd save them for the comic proper. My reasoning is simple: it's fit the format better, give more personality to the format, and would distract in the prose form.

    Quote Originally Posted by brennen View Post
    I suck at writing. To be continued.
    Hidden:
    Rather than attempt to explain my situation well, I'm just going to thought-vomit right here:

    Ever since I was a kid, I have had a strong passion for fiction, starting with The Phantom Tollbooth that my mom read to me when I was a kid. Most of that early passion was spent on RPG games, however, which quickly led to me wanting to write a story for a video game-- I was about 12, I think. Due to the way I think, the way I process information and approach a subject, I always created the world first. I would create the world, the history, the mechanics, and somewhere in all of that I would be designing the main character. My problem as a kid-- and now, for that matter-- is I would always push design and characteristics in the direction of what I thought would be "cool". That doesn't really work well, especially when you naturally attempt to write actual story around that "cool" factor. Anyway, long story short I tried and failed a lot... I've never progressed, I simply suck at bringing characters to life and making the plot and dialog flow in a natural and, for that matter, interesting fashion. I'm good at identifying these things, and helping others modify and enhance their own projects, but it never works for me.

    However. Since I was a kid, I have had a certain 'world' and 'story' that has haunted my imagination. The idea by itself was pretty simple, pretty stupid probably, but there were some details that just always stuck and never changed. I wrote the notes down on some paper back then and left them in my room, and though the concepts never really left my imagination, the overall motivation to make anything of it died out. So then comes my Senior year of high school. Looking for colleges I go to art schools and such but, again, I quickly realize... wow, I suck at doing this by myself. Well, anyway, I soon after learned I was great with computers, so that's my career now. But my story idea... I found the papers from my room a few years back, and ever since I have been slowly but surely expanding on the details and outlining the timeline and plotline. Little bit little, here and there.
    ^^ So I suck at writing. Wait. Rewind. I don't know the first thing about writing. But I have this story idea, right? I've been adding and adding and adding to it over the years, little tiny bits at a time whenever I notice my notes and revisit them. I don't know what to do with them though. I don't want to make the ideas public, because I always refine them and want to keep the nature of it relatively secret, but I know I could never write it myself. I've always though, "If only I had a friend who was a good writer, I could give them my material that is essentially a framed story already and they could make it come to life!" But that's... not gonna happen. So... what do I do?
    Last edited by brennen.exe; December 3rd, 2011 at 11:55 PM. Reason: Severe lack of time, so I wrote this out super fast and did not proof it. g2g!

  2. #42

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Well, that's how I've always done it honestly. I started out playing around and tinkering with video game worlds and ideas. I have about 200 or so game ideas lost to the cosmos I bet. Some were bad, some were awful, some should have never been thought up, but there were a few I regret dropping to this day.

    My standing as a writer had changed quite dramatically over the years. I used to be just horrible at it. Awful. But through a lot of reading and a couple of English courses, I discovered that this was probably something I wanted to do. I tried and tried until I managed to pull off something that works. I'm still not a fantastic or great writer but I started somewhere.

    There's really no one way to writing. The easiest thing to do would be to determine your story's definite beginning, where you want readers to enter your story, and do your best to make that scene come to life in prose. What's difficult is that voice is also important, but that's something that develops over time rather than immediately. So, if I were you, perhaps try writing a couple of short stories and then have someone look at them and give you critique and then build from there. Writing's not hard if you keep at it. Oh, and read a lot too if you can. It makes the writing process a great deal easier.

  3. #43

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    I'll try to address as many points as I can:
    1. As Fox said, all writing styles evolve in their own way, and reading good books (or even bad ones for examples on how not to do things) is a good way to absorb technique and look at stuff you want to experiment with. I used to do a Stephen King kind of style before settling on a style more closer to Martin's way of doing things (at least in some parts.)
    2. World building and your desire to keep adding to it does show a desire and dedication to make something work, even if it's the only thing you write. Don't let the fact that you're only starting out discourage you; just do things in increments.
    3. Being secretive is one thing, and I respect that notion, but don't wait until your story is absolutely positively polished before sharing it, because it's not going to be. Even if you're 100% confident, you will be totally reliant on other people to dissect your story and tell you what you did wrong. That's how you really polish it. Think of it as a painter outlining the landscape first before doing his layers and layers of paint. My suggestion is to find a partner or someone you trust, even if it's not a fellow writer, to critique what's on there. Stephen King even used his wife at least a few times, I believe.
    4. Do what's cool, leave the story down for six months, then come back and take out every thing that disgusts you. That's what I did with Yukino. Sometimes you have to please yourself for motivation and making the work fun, then it'll just be a matter of sifting through what works and what doesn't later, which will be much easier once your idea of 'cool' changes down the line (I presume).
    Or something like that.

  4. #44
    Pokémon Master brennen.exe's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsune Inferno View Post
    I used to be just horrible at it. Awful. But through a lot of reading and a couple of English courses, I discovered that this was probably something I wanted to do. I tried and tried until I managed to pull off something that works. I'm still not a fantastic or great writer but I started somewhere.
    I'm afraid time isn't really on my side in this regard. I've got my family to take care of, a huge project I've been working on with my dad, work, and a house that somehow always needs something done to it. I keep my notebooks with me at work and wherever I go in case I have a free moment to write a bit, but for now that's the best I can do. I do read a lot, I always have, and I've tried doing shorter stories before but... it just goes totally against my nature. I still try, of course, I'm not one to just give up when something isn't going my way, but I've known plenty of people that, no matter their efforts, they just can't really improve beyond a certain point in certain categories. At this point I think I've concluded that if anything ever comes of my writing, it'd be as a co-author or editor, since that's when I work best. I'll keep going on my skelleton story though, until/if a time comes that something can come of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsune Inferno View Post
    So, if I were you, perhaps try writing a couple of short stories and then have someone look at them and give you critique and then build from there.
    A friend recommended I write short stories for my son, since he's almost five. That's probably the best and easiest place for me to start, since I already make up stories and dictate them to him before I read him a book at bed time. Yeah, I think I could do that, since he has the same factors that need to be in his stories, haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsune Inferno View Post
    The easiest thing to do would be to determine your story's definite beginning, where you want readers to enter your story, and do your best to make that scene come to life in prose.
    The opening scene, where in the timeline the story begins, and the first events of the story are among the portions of story that I already have planned out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuddles the Dark View Post
    World building and your desire to keep adding to it does show a desire and dedication to make something work, even if it's the only thing you write. Don't let the fact that you're only starting out discourage you; just do things in increments.
    That really is most of what I write, right now. History, timeline, mechanics, factions, etc... I've just been making a functional world. If someone were to stab their finger at anything in the story and say, "how does this work?" or "does it even make sense that _____ is _____??" there would be an answer and a reason. I don't like when people just go, "well, it's fiction and not the real world so we can just pretend it makes sense." You know? I mean, to each their own, but it bugs me and I refuse to (knowingly) do it myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuddles the Dark View Post
    Being secretive is one thing, and I respect that notion, but don't wait until your story is absolutely positively polished before sharing it, because it's not going to be. Even if you're 100% confident, you will be totally reliant on other people to dissect your story and tell you what you did wrong. That's how you really polish it. Think of it as a painter outlining the landscape first before doing his layers and layers of paint. My suggestion is to find a partner or someone you trust, even if it's not a fellow writer, to critique what's on there.
    No worries there. My two closest friends have heard just about all of it, and both of them are intelligent and tough critics, avid (fiction) readers, gamers, and have more or less "seen it all". Both have expressed interest in what I have created so far-- though they of course have given hard cretique-- and ultimately approve of the direction I'm going. Another friend, a "writer" or sorts, has heard a good bit of it, and she seemed to be mildly interested; hard to say with her though, she's not very expressive sometimes. My wife has heard a lot of it, but she has no interest in such things, so as much as she tries to support me she never quite follows it all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuddles the Dark View Post
    Do what's cool, leave the story down for six months, then come back and take out every thing that disgusts you. That's what I did with Yukino. Sometimes you have to please yourself for motivation and making the work fun, then it'll just be a matter of sifting through what works and what doesn't later.
    That's basically what I've been doing, though not intentionally. I found the notes from when I was a kid and went crazy scrapping and adding to them, then put it down and forgot about it again. About 6 months later I saw it on my desk and decided to type it all up in a more organized fashion, which included more scrapping and revising. Then I dropped it again. This happened a lot over the past five or so years, though the gaps were sometimes only a month or two. Now, at least for the last month or so, I have been keeping a notebook with me at all times. I'm trying to write it out more now, more as an active timeline with information on how the events take place, when, and where. A basic skelleton of the story, if you will. A lot of my ideas play out in my head like a movie, and then I try to write it out how I remember it... if that makes sense? That's what I meant in my earlier post by "haunted my imagination for years". Whenever I zone out somewhere, "scenes" play out in my head like a movie, and usually not by choice.
    Last edited by brennen.exe; December 4th, 2011 at 12:19 PM. Reason: Sorry for the length-- once again I'm short on time so I couldn't trim it.

  5. #45

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    What's amazing is that you've basically got all the pieces in place already. You mentioned characters being a weak point, which is something best developed by research or just studying the mannerisms of close friends and family and perhaps infusing some of them into your characters?

    Time is a very very icky thing, unfortunately. The best thing I can recommend is setting aside maybe 30 minutes to an hour each day (or every other day) and devoting that period to writing. If your schedule is really tight, it can be difficult, but it will allocate a couple of hours out of your week, which is better than nothing, and shouldn't totally disrupt your daily routine.

    Like I said, in sense of story and world, you seem to have things down pat. If it's really that smooth, it'll flow out like fine wine if you let it. The only thing that'd be a challenge is working with prose and establishing voice, all technical aspects of the writing process, which can only develop with practice.

    So hopefully that helps. It'd suck for such a nice, meaningful story to go untold.

  6. #46
    Pokémon Master brennen.exe's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsune Inferno View Post
    The only thing that'd be a challenge is working with prose and establishing voice, all technical aspects of the writing process, which can only develop with practice.
    Well like I said, I know nothing about writing, so I didn't do a good job explaining what I suck at when it comes to writing. The 'prose', 'voice', and technical aspects of writing are what I suck at. That's why I keep refining all the details and mechanics; everytime I take a stab at actually writing it out, it looks retarded. If I had someone else write it out, then I helped them fine tune it, I'm sure it would be pretty good. I mean, I dunno, my story as a whole might suck-- a few people finding it interesting doesn't really say much-- but I think it has potential. Anyway, thanks for the responses... I'll give smaller stories a shot and see if that helps. I might come back in here from time to time to ask questions, but don't expect much out of me, haha.

  7. #47
    The villain eternal. Kylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Quote Originally Posted by brennen.exe View Post
    Well like I said, I know nothing about writing, so I didn't do a good job explaining what I suck at when it comes to writing. The 'prose', 'voice', and technical aspects of writing are what I suck at. That's why I keep refining all the details and mechanics; everytime I take a stab at actually writing it out, it looks retarded. If I had someone else write it out, then I helped them fine tune it, I'm sure it would be pretty good. I mean, I dunno, my story as a whole might suck-- a few people finding it interesting doesn't really say much-- but I think it has potential. Anyway, thanks for the responses... I'll give smaller stories a shot and see if that helps. I might come back in here from time to time to ask questions, but don't expect much out of me, haha.
    Ah, I see now. I'd really like to give some advice on this, but honestly, I can't say anything of real value unless I see a specific example of your writing. I understand your reasons for withholding your writing for now, but I can't give any advice unless I can pinpoint exactly what you need to improve.

  8. #48

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Why is my genius under-appreciated and misunderstood? How do I cultivate my greatness?

  9. #49
    The villain eternal. Kylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Quote Originally Posted by THE SEA View Post
    Why is my genius under-appreciated and misunderstood? How do I cultivate my greatness?
    Please elaborate.

  10. #50

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Ah the joy of multiple projects.~ Which of the damn things do I work on now? They're all so enticing too.

  11. #51
    check up from the neck up eerie's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Well, as I've said before, I don't really come into this section as often (every once in awhile.. I'm kinda in the middle of writing Kylor's story atm) as maybe Crossword does, but if you guys ever need anything don't hesitate to ask me. This is one of the sub-sections I have powers in, anyway, but besides that, I definitely support what you guys are doing in here.

  12. #52

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Quote Originally Posted by THE SEA View Post
    Why is my genius under-appreciated and misunderstood? How do I cultivate my greatness?
    Doubt this is serious but it is something I'd like to mention; writing is a lot like art (and since you're both a writer and an artist, this should be relevant to you). You must always strive to be better and never be satisfied with what you put out. If you're not your own worst critic then your development halts and you'll be unable to view your work objectively. Many will claim that their work is perfect but even if it's true that whatever it is is really great, I guarantee you that you'll look back in 20, 10 maybe even 5 or less years and say, "I could have done this" or "This wasn't as good as it could be".

    To cultivate your greatness, you must have a love/hate relationship with your work. Love the story and the characters but hate the writing and your treatment of them.

  13. #53

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Quote Originally Posted by Kylor View Post
    Please elaborate.
    Another example of my genius not being understood.
    Imho
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Kenny View Post
    Doubt this is serious but it is something I'd like to mention; writing is a lot like art (and since you're both a writer and an artist, this should be relevant to you). You must always strive to be better and never be satisfied with what you put out. If you're not your own worst critic then your development halts and you'll be unable to view your work objectively. Many will claim that their work is perfect but even if it's true that whatever it is is really great, I guarantee you that you'll look back in 20, 10 maybe even 5 or less years and say, "I could have done this" or "This wasn't as good as it could be".

    To cultivate your greatness, you must have a love/hate relationship with your work. Love the story and the characters but hate the writing and your treatment of them.
    Holy shit!
    Doubt this is serious but
    Why, of course, the serious part was my being a (humble and modest and great) genius. ^_^
    I guarantee you that you'll look back in 20, 10 maybe even 5 or less years and say, "I could have done this" or "This wasn't as good as it could be".
    I look at what I wrote several months ago and I already can't stand how badly it smells.
    Nice post, Kenny. Great to have you back.
    Last edited by THE SEA; December 14th, 2011 at 02:45 AM. Reason: Chill ^_______^

  14. #54

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    hey, is this a general thread? cool.


    FUCK MY WRITING PSEUDONYM!

    Yes, that´s right. A couple days ago there was a job position i applied to but they asked for examples of writing. Pretty understandable cause it ´s an editorial job of some sort. So Heres goes me applying but, lo, i can´t give any examples of my best writing (well, the best among the filth) because it´s acknowledged to my pseudonym not to me(Anonoymous by B not by A). So now i look underqualified because i could only cite my research papers (not really the best example for this type of job) and other applicants will look better (and the worst, for me anyway: and ex of mine is among them). So yeah...fuck my writing pseudonym.


    Uh, am i allowed to curse? should i change it?
    Working thru some stuff. Dunno how long i will be here.

  15. #55

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Of course you're allowed to curse, we're all adults here (presumably). Naturally, cursing too much will make you look like an idiot, though. But I wouldn't worry about it otherwise.

    To address your concern, perhaps you should try writing a few essays. I'm unaware of whether or not you're applying in another language but if it's in English, we can help you out. If you are applying in another language, you could find somewhere else online to get reviewed. I'm willing to bet writing.com can help. What you want to do with your essays is basically write either a short story or an interesting biography of someone else. Try your best to avoid personalizing it.

    This will show that you've willingly left your comfort zone and you're capable of writing, in appropriate detail, about other people or stuff. It'll also show, if the work is exceptional, that you have the judgement necessary for an editorial position. Essays are more than likely your best route to go if you don't have any published work to cite.
    Last edited by Jazzy Jinx; December 15th, 2011 at 05:31 PM. Reason: And forget the research papers (unless they're exceptional in their own right). Do something new and original.

  16. #56

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    No,it´s in my native language; sadly. The thing is that my essays, stories and poems are all atribbuted to my pseudonym so i can´t use them as reference and i couldn´t cite the pseudonym´s writing in the job application because i would be giving away my "secret identity". And the research papers are alright but they aren´t a proof of creative writing so they are not really helpful. Well, let´s just hope i can still get the job based in my cultural organization experience. I´ll start doing what you say Kenny, although it´s too late for the job now. Well, the´re will be other openings. it´s a shame, it was a nicely payed job -_-
    Working thru some stuff. Dunno how long i will be here.

  17. #57
    The Tetsuo Ishimaru of AP Gizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    General thread, yay! Guess I should ask questions here.

    1) Anybody want to share their methods for writing? I feel like I have to be in the "right mood" to write, but most of the time my "freetime" doesn't match a time when I wanna write. There are other times when I come up with a bunch of ideas but when it comes to actually writing them out...there's this block since my thoughts are sporadic.

    2) Are there any examples of badly written works? I'm not talking about subjective "this work sucks, it's so dumb", but books or stories that provide a clear, bad example of writing and then there's an example of why that passage or work is bad?

    3) On the flip side of that, anybody want to give examples of their favorite authors or well written works to emulate? And they could just be books that are fun to read as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nightwing
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  18. #58

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    My writing process goes like this:

    First, I brainstorm, coming up with the setting first, followed by a story to fit that setting. Then I come up with the principal characters. Once that's taken care of, I plan out the key points of the story; using Stargazer as an example, in my head it would look something like this: A) Terry's awakening as a Stargazer and joining Trident, B) The botched raid on The Beings' hideout, C)... (I can't really go on without dropping spoilers, but you get the idea)

    Rarely is everything planned out to the last detail. I have the main key points and key bits of dialogue planned out, but I leave plenty of flexibility so that I can incorporate new ideas and alterations as they come. It's a very organic process.

    Then I write out my first draft on paper (in a seventy sheet spiral notebook, FYI). The actual writing process can be rigid or loose depending on the chapter in question. Again, I leave myself plenty of leeway and flexibility.

    After the first draft of a chapter is written, I type it up on Microsoft Word. This is where I do most of my editing: rewriting of passages, whether they be major or minor, added dialogue and narration, even adding completely new scenes. This stage of the process can either be very tricky or very relaxed - again, it all depends on the chapter in question. I'm likely to expend much more time and angst on an important chapter than a throwaway one.

    After all that, I copy and paste it to the forum, correct the formatting (tedious, but essential in my eyes), and submit it.

    Two additional things that I find helpful:

    1. Length. You want to approach each individual chapter as if it were its own story. Do not stop until that story is sufficiently told. Don't worry about how long it is - the longer it is, the more fleshed out it is. Ideally.

    2. When it comes to characters, I find that it helps to draw them out on paper or whatnot. Artistic skill is irrelevant: it just helps to better capture what kind of people they are and how they express themselves.
    ~Stargazer~, ~Distance~ original stories.
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  19. #59
    -COLATECHOCOLATECHOCO- Sai-chan's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    My writing process? Well, normally I just write poems--and I only write those when I have a sudden bout of inspiration and start writing without stopping. Two of my best poems were written like that. Otherwise, I never really write.

  20. #60
    The villain eternal. Kylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    My writing process goes like this: I think about what I want to write, and then I write it. I know it sounds like a joke, but that's pretty much how I do it. Really, everyone has their own methods, and trying to do things in a way that doesn't fit you is the fastest way to derail your creative process.

    As for works to emulate/not emulate, I wouldn't say that there's any specific things I can point to, but what I can say is try to get inspiration from anywhere you can. It doesn't even have to be a story. For my own story, I've gotten ideas from books, film, animation, plays, fiction, true stories, writers I admire, works that I've hated, documentaries, history, personal experience, places I've been to, photographs, just listening to people talk... any sort of experience is good experience, and any new thing you see or hear can make you think or change your perspective, as long as you keep an eye out for it. It's hard for me to say "look at this and you'll write great," so find out for yourself what works for you and what gives you good ideas.

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