General writing fiction discussion thrad.

Ghost X is right. So, to flip his advice on its head, if you want an "unputdownable" book, end each chapter in such a way that the reader is compelled to read on in order to find out what happened next. Ever since I started binge-watching shows on Netflix, I've learnt that it's easier to stop watching in the middle of an episode than at the end.

Clement is also right: you have probably reached the stage where you need a second opinion.
 
A

andrewdiaz

Guest
Creativity is not just writing. It is just like fantasy or imagination. What we think and what we write should have some sort of uniqueness and the readers must accept it. Not you, but the readers must decide it.
 
I've found these days I no longer have any patience for writers who try to wow me with their ingenious use of language (unless they're poets, when that's the whole point). I want language used so artfully that I don't even notice how skilful it is. What do others think?
 
Yeah, I agree, but it is a matter of taste, I guess. A good story to me is not how fancy it is written (which puts me off, if anything), but how it is structured. The more layered, less predictable, and well-written (has a good flow, etc) the better. A ground-breaking intellectual theme helps too :P.
 
I've never really had much time for poetry beyond the ones that are absolutely top tier, or so bound up in emotion that it didn't matter. Trying to impress with language itself generally makes me think they're trying to distract from the content.
 

Cthulhu

Administrator
AKA
Yop
I've found these days I no longer have any patience for writers who try to wow me with their ingenious use of language (unless they're poets, when that's the whole point). I want language used so artfully that I don't even notice how skilful it is. What do others think?
I think it provides a good source of lulz, especially when used online, :monster:. See https://www.reddit.com/r/iamverysmart for some examples.

Obstreperous.
 

Flare

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Flare
It depends on the subject, like you said with poetry and language, Lic, but when it comes to a novel/story, I rather the language be common and have a brilliant and engaging story, than have it be suffused with 'ingenious and complex' language but with a boring story or one that's hard to follow.
Another thing, I find that books for middle grade readers or young readers, they can still be written with an engaging story and deep themes and characters, and when I find a book intended for young readers that's very compelling to me, and that an adult can enjoy as well, I think the writer is an excellent one.

Anyway, I want the grammar to be correct and preferably no typos; that's what I need to see in order to read something in the first place, because if those two things are bad, I can't read something. But it's the story and the characters that will pull me to continue reading.

Did I get off track or am I still making sense? :awesome:
 

Starling

Pro Adventurer
You don't need fancy words to write a good poem/story. I once essentially wrote my thoughts on something while sticking to a rhyming scheme and fairly average word choices and it turned out really nice. I don't have the poem in writing anymore but I remember the gist of what I wrote. For stories, it's probably best to stick with language that sounds relatively natural with the occasional less common term where appropriate.
 
AKA
Jesse McCree. I feel like a New Man
Hey guys I have a literary question in character arcs/development. Is it possible to craft a character storyline without any origin or are origins really necessary to complete a story? Like no definitive beginning and all for both the protagonist and his antagonist.
 
Plenty of successful characters don't have histories. In fact, many characters, when origin stories are created for them, has that very mystique (which may ironically add to their appeal) destroyed. Write about what is relevant to the plot. If there is particular trait about a character that helps the story progress, but it appears suddenly so as to seem a bit convenient, then that's not really good either.
 
AKA
Jesse McCree. I feel like a New Man
The only character arc which was explored and seemingly diminished the strength and charisma of said character was Darth Vader. However, when Joker from TDK and Bane from TDKR entered the story, Joker carried the story so well in spite of lack of a definitive beginning however when Bane carried the story and introduced his origins, it somehow fell flat because it
focused on Miranda Tate/Talia Al Ghul upon the reveal, leaving Bane as second banana until his death
. I'm curious because I'm choosing in between exploring the origins of how a certain character became BAD or more or less acting on their desires/being an anti hero in order to create a better understanding of said character.
 

Zef

Rookie Adventurer
I think it is important that you have a basic skeleton on why the villain is the way they are for the sake of being consistent, but you don't necessarily have to reveal all to the reader.
 
AKA
Jesse McCree. I feel like a New Man
Could this also apply to the protagonist? Like provide only everything at face value and not explore his/her past? Or reveal it all at the ending point of the tale?
 

Cthulhu

Administrator
AKA
Yop
It depends on whether you as a writer want to, :monster:. Lots of books don't dive too deeply into a character's past, or just tiny details - as far as I can recall, villains (insofar as there is such a thing in anything but murder mysteries or teenage high fantasy) get even less depth / backstory.

Have you read Game of Thrones? If not, you should; it's got hundreds, if not thousands of characters, each with their own backstory (or lack thereof) and end to their storyline (or lack thereof). Some just exist for one paragraph, others are introduced in chapter one and are still around 5 books / 5000 pages later.
 
AKA
Jesse McCree. I feel like a New Man
I'm considering buying the first book to get a hand on how they're handled. Baccano and Durarara has a cast herd but they change from book to book and they're light novels, how the author crammed 20 + characters into a single book with little to no background but still made them shine is a miracle.
 
Decided to do a writing exercise where I pluck a subplot from one of my bigger story lines and see what I can do with it. Exploring characters and settings more than I otherwise would, etc. Very preliminary at the moment, so no show and tell, but thought I'd share what I've been working on over the past couple of nights anyways :P.

Whilst doing the above exercise, I'm trying to do something else simultaneously. I don't know whether I've brought it up in this thread before and don't know the technical name for it, which I'm sure exists and know some well-known authors practice it, but I like the idea of there being more than one story in a fictional universe, which leads to conflicting accounts that are impossible to reconcile, for lack of better description. It prevents fanbases from seeking to explain everything, yet encourages readers to participate with the story in other ways. Perhaps Ivalice is a good example, where the timeline doesn't exactly line up perfectly over the course of the history portrayed in the games, leaving room for interpretation. However, where there isn't much historical overlap in Ivalice, I plan to overlap a lot in what I'm doing :P. Where characters and/or places in one story will potentially appear in another, but have different roles, etc. I don't really think of it as what Marvel and DC do with their alternate universes either, although I guess it may be the same?

So yeah, if you know the technical name for what I'm talking about, I would love to know it :monster:.
 

ChipNoir

Pro Adventurer
^Closest term I can think of is Extended Universe, but that's more a term used for fiction made by author others around an established IP, like people who write Star Wars or Lovecraft stuff.
 
Multiple viewpoints? Parallel narratives? Is this the Rashomon approach to story-telling, where different characters from different viewpoints experience the same event differently, so that for each of them it is a different event?
 
Parallel narratives sounds like it could be it going by sound alone, but I'll research later :p. I'll look into whatever the Rashomon thing is when it isn't 2:34am too, but that isn't what I speak of :monster:. With POV story-telling, there is generally a shared objective reality that can be pieced together. I describe a scenario where said reality is not objective :p.
 
that would be hard to do but interesting to read. The reader's instinct is to try to construct an objective "true" narrative from all the competing viewpoints.

(Look how much we complain when Square changes the FFVII story depending on whose eyes we are seeing it through!).

From the very little I know, it's a very Japanese-y approach to story-telling.
 
AKA
Fancy
<doesn't bother reading through thread to see if this has already been done bc lazy>

I was reading through a book of prompts the other day and wanted to share a few that I liked!***

  1. Writing in third person, omniscient, introduce yourself as a character in a story.
  2. Write a scene in which you are the villain who has just been thwarted by the 'good guy'.
  3. An estranged parent and child who haven't spoken in ten years are in line together at the post office in December, their arms full of packages. What do they say to each other? What goes unsaid?

***When I say 'liked' I mean, 'remembered' :P
 

Agrippa

Pro Adventurer
I've already typed out Chapter 1 of one of my two crossover fan fics. It's not the FFVII based crossover I promised, but it's something. Hopefully I'll get a good start on both of them.
 
Top Bottom