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    Thread: Writers' Corner

    1. #1
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      Writers' Corner

      This forum is dedicated to the writers of DV. Post your ideas, excerpts and inspiration here, as well as your tips and feedback to the aspiring. Feel free to brainstorm or bounce your ideas off. Discuss Lore for your fiction or Canon for your fan-fiction, providing feedback and criticism at your leisure

      This thread is intrinsically dedicated to ideas unready for their own threads. Perhaps you're excited about an idea but want assistance with the story or other details. Whatever your cause to post here, remain aware of the guidelines in order to reap the most from this thread.

      Spoiler for Guidelines:
      Last edited by Original Poster; 04-14-2014 at 02:14 AM.
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      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      (Game of Thrones spoilers)

      As a send off to promote the purpose of this thread, I'd like to describe my personal writing method, which is basically the Snowflake Effect.

      How To Write A Novel Using The Snowflake Method

      As a fantasy writer creating a brand new world and aspiring to create a series, my first step is a sentence that describes the subject and the subject's inevitable outcome. To use Game of Thrones, the heading is, "The Warden of the North is killed by choosing honor over the realistic intrigue of the Capital when the King names him his first counselor" or something like that. However you would write it, keep in mind the detail starts from the end. The method works from the back, forwards, in the sense that the protagonist's character arc is dependent on their final outcome by the story's end. From this sentence, I would then devise a paragraph and from that paragraph, a page, and from each paragraph in that page, another page. Between each step, I would also expand the character bios. Character biographies and lore can enable one to circumvent writer's block by filling in aspects of the story, there's no rule to which aspect to develop first, one fleshes out the story as necessary. Eventually, you land at a scene-by-scene outline of your story.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    3. #3
      Frigid Academic Aristaeus's Avatar
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      Hmm, interesting thread. I suppose I will participate.

      Anyhow, I mainly write fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary drama. Right now, I am writing two separate series, one of which is drama and romance, the other of which is fantasy and sci-fi. Both stories take place in twenty-first century UK. I also have several other novels on hold. As far as the fantasy and sci-fi novels are concerned, though they do have their share of violent moments, for the most part their main focus is the drama, not the action. When writing in the sci-fi and fantasy genres, I often originally intend to write something light-hearted and comical, but ultimately end up doing something MUCH darker.

      Unfortunately, I have not had much time to write, due to a very busy schedule.

      One of mine main issues with writing is mine wording. When it comes to language, I am stuck in the past. For instance, I will often end up writing in a formal, Victorian style dialect for a story that takes place in the year 2012. I really think that has a lot to do with me reading too much Arthur Conan Doyle as a child.

      As far as setting up the main plot and writing the story goes, mine methods are a little unconventional and difficult to explain. Before writing any sci-fi or fantasy story, the first thing I usually do is flesh out a complex magick system. If it takes place in a fictional world, I anal-retentively map out every little detail, right down to the countries, their laws, their lifestyle, and so on. Typically, I do not like to look for ideas or force mineself to think of any; when I do that, I often end up with a piece of rubbish. I usually just wait patiently for an idea to pop in mine head--like a python that lurks silently until it ensnares an unsuspecting prey. If I think said idea is good, I write it down immediately. If I am not at home, I either write it down on mine memo pad or email it to mineself. Sometimes mine magick concepts and whatnot derive from various mythology, but aside from that I usually come up with mine ideas on mine own. Being the old-fashioned coot I am, I always write down mine stories with pen and paper first, then type them out on the computer. Oftentimes when I am writing, I will listen to a song that I feel best reflects the mood of the scene (truth be told, I do this whilst reading, too). I also sometimes give mine stories and characters their own theme songs.

      I used to write fanfiction when I was much younger, but nowadays, it just isn't mine thing. When I did write fanfiction, I had a completely different way of doing it than most others. For instance, say I wanted to write a Star Wars fanfiction. Mine story would take place in the Star Wars universe, but instead of using Luke, Darth Vader, or any of the characters that appeared in the movies and spinoffs, I would just create mine own original cast and have them act out their own separate story. I might mention some of the characters that appeared in the movies, but that is pretty much it. I just...cannot use other people's characters. In the end, only their creators know them best.

      Personally, mine advice to any aspiring writer is to develop your own unique method; something that works for you--as opposed to forcing yourself to adapt to another writer's ways.

      "I hate that term, 'Method'. My belief is that everyone's got their own 'method', and as long as it works, that's OK." ~Robert Carlyle
      Last edited by Aristaeus; 05-02-2014 at 05:54 AM.
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      Be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief,
      and submit without complaint to unavoidable necessity.
      That is the way of the Stoics.



      "Do you know what happens to those who lose their true purpose?
      Inevitably, they destroy themselves." ~Saïx (Kingdom Hearts II.5)

    4. #4
      Member jumpscreamfly's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Aristaeus View Post

      Personally, mine advice to any aspiring writer is to develop your own unique method; something that works for you--as opposed to forcing yourself to adapt to another writer's ways.

      "I hate that term, 'Method'. My belief is that everyone's got their own 'method', and as long as it works, that's OK." ~Robert Carlyle
      I completely agree. I've tried to force myself to write in styles similar to others, but what I've found useful is to take a break and wait for inspiration. Making myself carry around all three of my notebooks and my USB, just in case. Sometimes I don't get inspiration for months and sometimes it doesn't stop. For some reason I also found I write best when I am feeling any emotion except for normal/fine/okay.

      But then again that's just me.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Aristaeus View Post
      One of mine main issues with writing is mine wording. When it comes to language, I am stuck in the past. For instance, I will often end up writing in a formal, Victorian style dialect for a story that takes place in the year 2012. I really think that has a lot to do with me reading too much Arthur Conan Doyle as a child.
      I do this ALL THE TIME. As a result, I usually end up writing things that fit that mood. My #1 recurring character (Egoman) talks somewhere in-between, using ridiculous words like "radical" in down time, but when it gets serious he talks like he came straight from the early 1800's. It creates some fun contrast for the character.
      And, the way you write out the universe around your story first is a really great way of doing it. (I'm going to keep referencing Egoman because I have been writing that stuff for a couple of years now) Egoman's universe takes place in our own, so that's not to much of a problem, but when I'm writing something large (especially sci-fi) I try to write out a few different stories then the one I want to use; that way, I will have set up a sensible universe for it all to take place. Then I have some "bonus content" to give away later.
      Also, the method thing no longer applies when you resort to parody or satire.
      If anyone is interested, I can write some summaries for the main Egoman books. Just if you're interested.
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    6. #6
      D.V. Editor-in-Chief Original Poster's Avatar
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      If anyone is interested, I can write some summaries for the main Egoman books. Just if you're interested.
      Sure are.

      Quote Originally Posted by EG0CENTRAL View Post
      I do this ALL THE TIME. As a result, I usually end up writing things that fit that mood. My #1 recurring character (Egoman) talks somewhere in-between, using ridiculous words like "radical" in down time, but when it gets serious he talks like he came straight from the early 1800's. It creates some fun contrast for the character.
      And, the way you write out the universe around your story first is a really great way of doing it. (I'm going to keep referencing Egoman because I have been writing that stuff for a couple of years now) Egoman's universe takes place in our own, so that's not to much of a problem, but when I'm writing something large (especially sci-fi) I try to write out a few different stories then the one I want to use; that way, I will have set up a sensible universe for it all to take place. Then I have some "bonus content" to give away later.
      Also, the method thing no longer applies when you resort to parody or satire.
      I like to try and mix people with diverse backgrounds and give them diverse speech patterns so I can feel more distinction between them as I slowly flesh them out. Otherwise they blur together at the beginning and it takes a while to get to know them. They'll usually evolve their own dialect and then I get to go back and revise the beginning to remain consistent with the voice I found, but a lot of the time it also starts off very anachronistic. I don't let it bother me because I have faith they'll find their place in whatever world I'm making for them and if I need to change the beginning to fit that then I will. The only problem is sometimes a character does something or says something that I realize later they wouldn't, and whatever it is becomes integral to the story. But it's fun to write out of corners like that, too.


      Quote Originally Posted by jumpscreamfly View Post
      I completely agree. I've tried to force myself to write in styles similar to others, but what I've found useful is to take a break and wait for inspiration. Making myself carry around all three of my notebooks and my USB, just in case. Sometimes I don't get inspiration for months and sometimes it doesn't stop. For some reason I also found I write best when I am feeling any emotion except for normal/fine/okay.

      But then again that's just me.
      I like to challenge myself and try other styles, otherwise I get stuck in a rut. But ultimately you're right, you have to find your own style. I also think it's important to explore and challenge yourself, corner yourself, force yourself. For me, sparks of inspiration come from making frictional surfaces bump into each other.

      Quote Originally Posted by Aristaeus View Post
      Hmm, interesting thread. I suppose I will participate.

      Anyhow, I mainly write fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary drama. Right now, I am writing two separate series, one of which is drama and romance, the other of which is fantasy and sci-fi. Both stories take place in twenty-first century UK. I also have several other novels on hold. As far as the fantasy and sci-fi novels are concerned, though they do have their share of violent moments, for the most part their main focus is the drama, not the action. When writing in the sci-fi and fantasy genres, I often originally intend to write something light-hearted and comical, but ultimately end up doing something MUCH darker.
      I get bored trying to write action. It's overly technical and abstract and even terrific action authors like George RR Martin and JRR Tolkien would lose me attempting to describe how a battle unfolds. It's also not the action that makes the story good, but the stakes. I prefer sticking to the drama and the dialogue myself, but I wouldn't say my stories lack for either action or violence, they just lack for fight scenes. I like to keep violence short, abrupt and surprising.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    7. #7
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      I only asked because there's a lot of Egoman stuff. I'll put in in chronological order, as opposed to what order I wrote them in.
      Also, some of these titles are really bad and probably going to be changed if I ever decide to do anything with these.
      ALSO, I don't have too much time tonight, so I'll post more tomorrow (sorry).

      Spoiler for Egoman:


      I get bored trying to write action. It's overly technical and abstract and even terrific action authors like George RR Martin and JRR Tolkien would lose me attempting to describe how a battle unfolds. It's also not the action that makes the story good, but the stakes. I prefer sticking to the drama and the dialogue myself, but I wouldn't say my stories lack for either action or violence, they just lack for fight scenes. I like to keep violence short, abrupt and surprising.
      You've got the idea. You can't spend too much time on the action itself because describing it can be extraordinarily awkward. Focus more on the setup; make the stakes high and the action suspenseful. Try to have people on the edge of their seat.

    8. #8
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      Excellent thread idea OP! I've been wanting to contribute something, and today I get a chance at last.

      I've been reading a book about Nietzsche and the Nazis (apparently they twisted his philosophy pretty badly actually), and it started me once again thinking about master/slave morality. That links to an old thread I started about it, just for some back story if anybody's interested. Essentially his concept of master morality is rule by the strong, in which strength, personal charisma, and ruthlessness are valued, and weakness is seen as pathetic, while slave morality is the concept behind Christianity and Democracy - valuing humbleness, gentleness, submission, the golden rule etc, in which the strong are seen as evil.

      I'm not advocating one over the other, so don't misunderstand, I'm just using his concepts as a framework to view things through, and when you do, you start to see certain things very clearly.

      For instance, you know that old saw that the good guys in stories are always boring, while it's the bad guys who are more fun to play and for the audience? It's because the protag's hands are always tied by morality - specifically slave morality, whereas the bad guys and certain supporting characters embody master morality, which makes them a lot more fun. Today this is almost canon in fiction, and in the presentation of historical fact as well - strong ruthless characters (except for that one wacky supporting character who turns out after all to have a heart of gold underneath it all) are seen as evil and must be defeated by the humble protector of the meek and mild. It's why there always has to be that sequence of unendurable torments for the hero, he needs to be pushed beyond all limits before he's allowed to get angry and react with any violence (and even then the violence usually has to be within acceptable limits). Unless of course he's an anti-hero, like the Clint Eastwood character from the Dollars trilogy - strong and self-centered, not defending anybody and using the weakness of the humble against them as freely as he uses the strength of ruthless characters to defeat them.

      These opposing concepts of morality are seen all throughout society - and speaking in very broad generalities it's usually the middle class who are driven by slave morality (even though the lower class is filled with devoutly religious people, they grow up in areas where strength is valued and weakness reviled). And of course the upper class consists of the rich and powerful - and you don't get that way by being humble and meek.

      Keep this in mind - it's a nice meta-device to help you understand the motives of various characters and why they almost always have to be written in certain ways - or to help you mix things up.

      What's fascinating to me about it is that you can write a character that will universally be seen as evil because he fits most of the criteria according to the standard slave morality code, but when examined he's actually not evil at all. He just fits the stereotype so people will make assumptions. And the opposite holds true as well of course - you can create a main character who will be initially assumed to be good simply because he's meek and humble, but it can become clear (subtlely) that his real motives are less than altruistic. When you understand the tropes you can play around with them.

      Additional Thought:
      One thing accomplished by thinking in terms of master/slave morality is that you're not falling into the stereotypical good/evil polarized thinking, so you're not just creating stereotype characters. When you understand slave morality doesn't = good and master morality doesn't = evil, but instead they're two opposed modes of thinking, then you see that your 'bad guys' actually are people with real motives that aren't understood properly by the 'good guys'. This allows you to write them much more 3 dimensionally (assuming this is your goal).
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 07-31-2014 at 01:17 AM.
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    9. #9
      Frigid Academic Aristaeus's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Excellent thread idea OP! I've been wanting to contribute something, and today I get a chance at last.

      I've been reading a book about Nietzsche and the Nazis (apparently they twisted his philosophy pretty badly actually), and it started me once again thinking about master/slave morality. That links to an old thread I started about it, just for some back story if anybody's interested. Essentially his concept of master morality is rule by the strong, in which strength, personal charisma, and ruthlessness are valued, and weakness is seen as pathetic, while slave morality is the concept behind Christianity and Democracy - valuing humbleness, gentleness, submission, the golden rule etc, in which the strong are seen as evil.

      I'm not advocating one over the other, so don't misunderstand, I'm just using his concepts as a framework to view things through, and when you do, you start to see certain things very clearly.

      For instance, you know that old saw that the good guys in stories are always boring, while it's the bad guys who are more fun to play and for the audience? It's because the protag's hands are always tied by morality - specifically slave morality, whereas the bad guys and certain supporting characters embody master morality, which makes them a lot more fun. Today this is almost canon in fiction, and in the presentation of historical fact as well - strong ruthless characters (except for that one wacky supporting character who turns out after all to have a heart of gold underneath it all) are seen as evil and must be defeated by the humble protector of the meek and mild. It's why there always has to be that sequence of unendurable torments for the hero, he needs to be pushed beyond all limits before he's allowed to get angry and react with any violence (and even then the violence usually has to be within acceptable limits). Unless of course he's an anti-hero, like the Clint Eastwood character from the Dollars trilogy - strong and self-centered, not defending anybody and using the weakness of the humble against them as freely as he uses the strength of ruthless characters to defeat them.

      These opposing concepts of morality are seen all throughout society - and speaking in very broad generalities it's usually the middle class who are driven by slave morality (even though the lower class is filled with devoutly religious people, they grow up in areas where strength is valued and weakness reviled). And of course the upper class consists of the rich and powerful - and you don't get that way by being humble and meek.

      Keep this in mind - it's a nice meta-device to help you understand the motives of various characters and why they almost always have to be written in certain ways - or to help you mix things up.

      What's fascinating to me about it is that you can write a character that will universally be seen as evil because he fits most of the criteria according to the standard slave morality code, but when examined he's actually not evil at all. He just fits the stereotype so people will make assumptions. And the opposite holds true as well of course - you can create a main character who will be initially assumed to be good simply because he's meek and humble, but it can become clear (subtlely) that his real motives are less than altruistic. When you understand the tropes you can play around with them.

      Additional Thought:
      One thing accomplished by thinking in terms of master/slave morality is that you're not falling into the stereotypical good/evil polarized thinking, so you're not just creating stereotype characters. When you understand slave morality doesn't = good and master morality doesn't = evil, but instead they're two opposed modes of thinking, then you see that your 'bad guys' actually are people with real motives that aren't understood properly by the 'good guys'. This allows you to write them much more 3 dimensionally (assuming this is your goal).
      This is a very interesting post, and it made me reflect upon many of mine novels.

      Personally, I've never liked the typical selfless do-gooder, nor have I liked the typical greedy tyrant.

      In mine sci-fi & fantasy novels, the main protagonists usually aren't the nicest of people, due to their upbringing or some other trauma. In the beginning, they usually have their own personal agenda, but under a twist of fate get dragged into something much grander.

      All of the major villains I create have very profound reasons for doing the things they do. In their mind, they're doing what they genuinely believe is the right thing. They often start off kind-hearted, but something happens which, bluntly put, makes them evil--or at least evil in the eyes of everyone else. The shallow villains are usually puppets in a grander scheme.

      Anti-heroes are mine favourite type of characters to create and read about, because they're never really 100% anything. One moment, they're helping the protagonist, the next moment they're the protagonist's worst enemy. One of mine favourite anti-heroes is the crime lord Johnny Marcone from the Dresden Files. In fact, "anti-hero" is the best way to describe most of mine characters, no matter what side they're on.

      Most of the people I create are tough, dangerous female characters. I just find them much more interesting to write about than the typical knight-in-shining-armour. [Shrugs] Perhaps it's simply because I hate clichés.
      Amedee likes this.
      Be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief,
      and submit without complaint to unavoidable necessity.
      That is the way of the Stoics.



      "Do you know what happens to those who lose their true purpose?
      Inevitably, they destroy themselves." ~Saïx (Kingdom Hearts II.5)

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