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Thread: General Discussion: THE STORY

  1. #121
    Pump-Action Pumpkin Jazzy Jinx's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    I still think writers should practice using dialogue tags as little as possible because though I don't agree with everything marimo's teacher is saying, I do agree that it's used as a crutch much too often. Amateur writers often try to use it in place of actual description but it comes off as repetitive and unnecessary instead. They're meant as markers so the reader doesn't get lost and loses track of who's speaking. If the speaker is obvious and the descriptions are adequate, then they're unnecessary.

    Only using the dialogue tag "said" is really freaking dumb, though. If you're going to use them at all, you at least owe it to your readers to mix it up because the words will start to blend together and take you out of the moment.

  2. #122

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    In my country the only writtings I've seen without tags are those of elementary school kids. There is some weird styles, and Fernando Pessoa even joins dialogue and discription without any kind of quotes or marks (Its called free indirect speech in a literal translation) but no writter (that I recall) completly avoids tags. But portuguese writting always has that eloquent type of description. One of our best authors ever spent a whole chapter (like 4 or 5 pages) describing an house in great detail. (And I love dropping unrelated trivia).
    I personally find beautiful when I see poetic prose, its a narrative, not some news article, and it annoys me how people try to get rid of every unnecessary detail. I, personally, am not a fun of simplistic writting. When we're writting we are telling a story. We can tell the story in a simplistic and direct way. Or we can tell the same story with extra detail to make the prosefancier. And dialogue tags kind of help doing that.
    However they really sound bad when poorly used, and if something that sounds bad can be left out, we can obviously leave it out.

    But its like desert. I can have dinner and avoid the crappy pudin. But if I can have a wonderful cake I will take it.

  3. #123
    Pump-Action Pumpkin Jazzy Jinx's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Quote Originally Posted by gotta<3OP
    However they really sound bad when poorly used, and if something that sounds bad can be left out, we can obviously leave it out.

    But its like desert. I can have dinner and avoid the crappy pudin. But if I can have a wonderful cake I will take it.
    It's this right here exactly. Unless you're really good at maintaining the stream of consciousness and your descriptions are above par, you're better off just saying more with less. But it's also tied in with styles. Some of us are really good at imagery and so we capitalize on that, others are good at dialogue. You cater to your strengths and focus on them but no matter what it is you do, you always have to make sure that the point gets across.

    And that's why amateur writers are often told to cut out as much as possible. They tend to focus much too strongly on getting the point across and not enough on the stream of consciousness. With seasoned writers, they have far more liberties and can get away with more because they can make it work.

  4. #124
    honk honk<-foxes say this Kitsune Inferno's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Quote Originally Posted by gotta<3OP View Post
    In my country the only writtings I've seen without tags are those of elementary school kids. There is some weird styles, and Fernando Pessoa even joins dialogue and discription without any kind of quotes or marks (Its called free indirect speech in a literal translation) but no writter (that I recall) completly avoids tags. But portuguese writting always has that eloquent type of description. One of our best authors ever spent a whole chapter (like 4 or 5 pages) describing an house in great detail. (And I love dropping unrelated trivia).
    I personally find beautiful when I see poetic prose, its a narrative, not some news article, and it annoys me how people try to get rid of every unnecessary detail. I, personally, am not a fun of simplistic writting. When we're writting we are telling a story. We can tell the story in a simplistic and direct way. Or we can tell the same story with extra detail to make the prosefancier. And dialogue tags kind of help doing that.
    However they really sound bad when poorly used, and if something that sounds bad can be left out, we can obviously leave it out.

    But its like desert. I can have dinner and avoid the crappy pudin. But if I can have a wonderful cake I will take it.
    Yet usually description serves a greater purpose. Like, say, your house example. I'm willing to bet the descriptions said something about the characters or the setting or even the mood. A tidy house can imply that a character is a busybody, a house without electricity in a modern setting can say something about how out-of-touch with the world its inhabitants are, while a room with lots of pictures can evoke a longing mood, or cause the protagonist to reflect on past events. I'm not saying you should cut out detail, but all detail should serve a purpose. It's much more engaging when the details ultimately tell something rather than just being superfluous.

  5. #125

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Of course. In the house example it was a nice way to lett us know more about the main character before going into a big flashback.
    But I think superfluous details serve to help the reader form an image of the action center. Obviously going into great details to describe a sidewalk which will only be passed once its meaningless. But if kept consistent it's not necessarily bad.


    Well, but now I am curious. Why're adverbs that bad?
    It's difficult to say the guy talked in a weird way, without attaching adverbs, and sometimes using an equivalent just sounds even more forced.

  6. #126

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    James Joyce disregarded quotation marks entirely in his dialogue and Thomas Pynchon writes in the most symbolic and dense prose possible for him.

    There is a difference between 'learning to write' (which is about how to adapt your voice in a way that allows best reader comprehension) and there being some universal method everyone follows. There isn't.

    There is only one universal rule in art: doowutchulike.

    You can expand your ideas in copious amounts of theory and academia, but never allow it to decide what you like doing.

    I'm a poor writer, but I can't imagine writing theory differs in execution very differently than music theory

    If you think using only "said" is boring, your teacher can't stop you

  7. #127
    Discovered Stowaway poopbucket's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Quote Originally Posted by The Beast View Post
    James Joyce disregarded quotation marks entirely in his dialogue and Thomas Pynchon writes in the most symbolic and dense prose possible for him.

    There is a difference between 'learning to write' (which is about how to adapt your voice in a way that allows best reader comprehension) and there being some universal method everyone follows. There isn't.

    There is only one universal rule in art: doowutchulike.

    You can expand your ideas in copious amounts of theory and academia, but never allow it to decide what you like doing.

    I'm a poor writer, but I can't imagine writing theory differs in execution very differently than music theory

    If you think using only "said" is boring, your teacher can't stop you
    The best writers I've worked with are the ones who don't always follow the prompt.
    But if you're just starting, follow the prompt. Don't do your own thing until you're good enough to. It's not about confidence, more about once you get basics down. It's like a sport. A Pitcher in baseball won't start making up his own style and whatnot until hes learned how to pitch and has a few innings under his belt.

    ....

    But yeah, said it pretty freakin boring. But don't use too big of words either, and dont force words in that dont feel right. The most important part is the flow. Do what feels right to you. Then your editors can fix it so it feels right to everyone. Well, whatever, but if anyone wants to write together sometime, like via email or whatever. Or just wants to share writing for editing or just to have someone to read it, hit me up.

  8. #128
    Pump-Action Pumpkin Jazzy Jinx's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    I have to give it to you, Cuddles...

    You are a Reading God.
    Last edited by Jazzy Jinx; May 20th, 2012 at 02:38 PM. Reason: I've just been sitting here, watching him read and review. It's starting to scare me.

  9. #129
    Pump-Action Pumpkin Jazzy Jinx's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Writing Process: Discussion & Tips

    Kitsune and I were talking on AIM a moment ago and he mentioned a writing concept known as the "through line". Personally, I've never heard of it before, but from what I can gather it's something like the stream of consciousness. Whether or not you've heard about it though, Kitsune is going to share his thoughts on it.

    ---

    Incidentally, seeing as how this thread and the General thread that brennen made both serve mostly the same purpose, is it possible for one of the mods to merge the two together? I'd prefer it if I kept the first post but if brennen gets priority being an admin, well then... Oh well.

    Thanks, CCC.~
    Last edited by Jazzy Jinx; May 21st, 2012 at 03:15 AM.

  10. #130
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    Default Re: The Writing Process: Discussion & Tips

    A "through line" is basically like the spine that your writing follows, and it's kind of what ties everything in your work together. It's most obvious in argumentative writing where you should be arguing for a particular point. If you lose sight of that, your work goes off on a ridiculous tangent and you might not even be arguing what you started with. It's something that plagues me all the time, and that's what happens when you don't have a through line.

    Basically, as long as you have a beginning, middle, and end, you've got a through line. Almost. Your story could be... Fox lives in a village and goes on an adventure -> Fox winds up opposing the Raccoon Army who is trying to destory the world -> Fox becomes a rabbit to defeat the Raccoon Army Leader. Sure you've got a beginning, middle, and end here. But that Act 3 is rather... disjointed isn't it? You can't really have that. Just having a beginning, middle, and end isn't enough.

    The beginning is the defining stage. This isn't just about defining the characters and setting, but also about defining what is at stake in the middle, and also defining the final conflict. All great stories kind of have this full circle element to them, and that's because the ending should be directly rooted to the beginning.

    The middle is the transitioning stage. Here, you're developing plot threads that build a kind of bridge between the first and third act.

    The end finally should take what happens in the transition stage and look at directly how it impacts the defining stage to create the resolution stage. The climax should have some rooting in the opening chapters.

    So I'm just discussing basic plot structure? Well, yeah, but the importance of this is that the "through line" is what keeps everything on track. You don't have to be obvious to the reader, but you have to have this destination in mind from the outset and the "through line" is basically that.

    So if Fox is going to be a rabbit to beat the final boss, you might need to litter some rabbits along the way. Foreshadow. Yeah.

    Dammit, Kenny, why are you making me do this? >_>

    --- Update From New Post Merge ---

    You're going to jail, Kenny.

  11. #131
    Pump-Action Pumpkin Jazzy Jinx's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Incidentally, if you're reading this brennen, I'm sincerely sorry if you're opposed to this merge. If you want, you could always split them up again and just close mine.

    Otherwise, let the discussion keep on rolling.

    Spoiler:

  12. #132
    Carcharodon Piledriver! Crossword's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    That's pretty much what I do when I've been writing. Come up with three main points at the beginning, middle, and end, and use those three as a guideline for how to proceed. How do I connect point A with point B? How do the characters get to those points? How would it make sense for them to do so, etc. Up until now I've just done this in my head, but for my next story, if I ever get around to actually writing it which I hope I will, I've actually jotted down notes and bullet points on how the plot will unfold. Should help greatly when it comes to remembering things.
    ~Stargazer~, an original story.
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  13. #133

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Ahh I'm so embarrassed.... my mom's been pestering me to see some of the writings I did. I just... it feels so silly. I finally sent them, but IDK. I liked the characters which Bartart inspired me to create and I hope to keep using them, but they make me cringe somehow. I was perfectly fine with them before (except the British ninja one, and the two short stories), but I feel more shy about sharing things. I just scrolled through them all trying to figure out which ones would be okay to show, and I found myself hating each and every one. =____= I'm not even entirely sure what's making me feel this way. sigh.

    I should think up more through lines. My problem is I always tend to have a beginning and somewhat of a middle but never an end.


  14. #134
    this is my design LaCaSiNa's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    I have beginnings and ends, but usually figure out the middle stuff while writing.

    By the way, I would just like to ask what methods do you guys use when trying to think of what happens next in your story? Do you keep it all inside your head or use pen and paper perhaps, writing down ideas? I have a habit of storing every single thing in my mind and in general I have no problems with it, but of course some things are bound to be forgotten. I used to have a whole notebook full of character descriptions, drawings and explanations of various stuff. I'm really sad that it's gone now, even though most of the things I came up with as a teenager were simply embarrassing. Nowadays I have a notebook where I jot down names, but I have filled only one page so far. I wish I could learn to utilize it more, because I'm afraid my mind won't store everything for all eternity.

  15. #135

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Apparently my mom thinks my writing has come a long way. =3= I don't remember the last time she read my stuff, but in a way it's nice to hear from someone who always used to do that. I mean, I feel like my writing still has a long way to go and that I haven't improved much.

    The thing I hate is when I keep something only in my head thinking "hey I'll remember that! no problem!" and then I forget. ..... I never have plans for anything. Which I guess is a problem. It all tends to be episodic with no concept of what the journey's end will be.


  16. #136
    honk honk<-foxes say this Kitsune Inferno's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    @LaCa: I try to write down things, but I always default to "mind-storing" things. >=\ I've been making it a habit to at least write down things already established on the page (eye color, hair color, body type, backstory) in a master document to prevent inconsistences though.

  17. #137
    Carcharodon Piledriver! Crossword's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Most of my stuff is currently in my head, though I do have a notebook filled with sketches and drawings of the characters, including ones that I have yet to introduce. I also have a document on my computer with lists of all the characters' attributes. Eye and hair color, height, age, birthdate, stuff like that.

    Since Stargazer's plot is pretty straight forward that's largely the extent of my preparations. My next story's plot is looking to be a little more complicated, so I've done some bullet point outlines, as I mentioned above. Simple stuff for now, like ''So-and-so does such-and-such because of this-and-that'' ''Such-and-such happens to other so-and-so'' ''Shit goes down''.
    ~Stargazer~, an original story.
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  18. #138
    Pump-Action Pumpkin Jazzy Jinx's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    @marimo: I think your stories are really good. It might seem like I don't read anything since I usually never comment on anyone's works but I actually do look at every thread in here. And I have to say, you have a very solid style when it comes to clarity. That's something even I have trouble with. Your works are, for the most part, always usually clear and laid back. It's a style that I'll never get tired of reading and I don't think anyone else here would get tired of it either. So yes, you should feel proud.

    And keep writing.

    @Laca: I have a billion notes. I've been taking notes since I was six years old and have tried to save as many of them as possible. It's true that a lot of them are flat out stupid but they can also offer interesting new spins and ideas on whatever you currently have laid out for your own story. I believe note taking is a life saver since they're kind of like a tome of ideas to dig into whenever you need to fill in those pesky holes in the story that your creativity can't seem to tackle.

    It also helps you see how you've evolved as a writer over time when you compare/contrast your new ideas to older ones. Or it can save you if you've gone too far with your current ideas and need to simplify them back again. No matter what though, I'd recommend at least some level of note taking to everyone.

  19. #139
    Discovered Stowaway poopbucket's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    Quote Originally Posted by LaCaSiNa View Post
    I have beginnings and ends, but usually figure out the middle stuff while writing.

    By the way, I would just like to ask what methods do you guys use when trying to think of what happens next in your story? Do you keep it all inside your head or use pen and paper perhaps, writing down ideas? I have a habit of storing every single thing in my mind and in general I have no problems with it, but of course some things are bound to be forgotten. I used to have a whole notebook full of character descriptions, drawings and explanations of various stuff. I'm really sad that it's gone now, even though most of the things I came up with as a teenager were simply embarrassing. Nowadays I have a notebook where I jot down names, but I have filled only one page so far. I wish I could learn to utilize it more, because I'm afraid my mind won't store everything for all eternity.
    It's always good to write down your ideas because oftentimes you'll just keep writing and end up with much more than an idea. Although it's a pain to write every single idea... For me, I usually don't finish a story in one go. I generally have to switch to different projects multiple times before finishing one. And if I didn't write down as much as possible then I'd never ever be able to remember everything.

  20. #140

    Default Re: General Discussion: THE STORY

    I'm like George R.R. Martin: I'm terrible at writing things down. Everything big and small (the small parts are the worst) are stored in my cranium. The only reason they stay in there at all is because I look forward to writing every single thing I think of because it's all cool, creative and/or challenging.

    No sarcasm.

    Ironically I'm better at preparing character designs in my drawings than writing down plot points (though TC does have a master document. It needs it a hell of a lot more that Bound.)

    Btw Crossword I'm just waiting for when I can sit down and read your story in one sitting. ^^; I haven't forgotten ya.

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