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''Hey, I Was Using That 4th Wall!''

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by poor yorick, Jan 15, 2008.

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  1. The_Face

    The_Face Ex-Manager star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 22, 2003
    I've started keeping a notepad by the bed for exactly that reason, actually. Unfortunately, my light is across the room now, so I'm writing in the dark. Interpreting the handwriting is probably a bigger challenge than incorporating whatever idea it is. :p
     
  2. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Well, it explains why I occasionally start sounding like a Valley Girl. When I was writing a 12-page story in Valley, I was really really bad about it.
     
  3. LeiaLovesHan

    LeiaLovesHan Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Nov 2, 2007
    A valley girl Ophelia.... *muses* scary.


    I've gotten pretty good with writing in the dark and being able to interpret. gets better with practice =:D
     
  4. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    LOL, that would be quite frightening.
     
  5. SithGirl132

    SithGirl132 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 6, 2005
    My biggest experience of characters running away from me was in my NaNo fic, when I was trying to choreograph lightsaber battles. Both times, I was alone in my very small and trapezoidal room, with lots of debris and expensive fencing gear on the floor. My characters demanded that I get up and physically choreograph the battle, just so all of their moves would be realistic. Then the amphistaff came out, and then another battle with five people...
    I nearly died in the process, and I'm glad the door was shut since otherwise my housemates would be trying to commit me now. But the battle did turn out like I'd expected.

    I also constantly have the experience of planning to write an OC, but then a canon character knocks on the door, threatens me with a blaster or lightsaber, and demands to be included. And then I go off and dig through Wookieepedia and my books to write the character properly, and then he or she insists on doing something totally different than I'd imagined... It's ok when I don't know where the story is headed. But when I do know what I want... or when the new character starts messing up the previous canon...

    No, we never claimed to be a sane lot.
     
  6. LeiaLovesHan

    LeiaLovesHan Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Nov 2, 2007
    lol! I don't quite get up and begin choreographing my own battles, but I will sit there at my computer and have silent conversations (reactionary facial expressions included)to work out scenes. Agreed, always best to write fanfics in private ;)
     
  7. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    I will constantly stand up to choreograph. And fall down.
     
  8. SithGirl132

    SithGirl132 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 6, 2005
    The problem with falling down in choreographing that battle was that it was about midnight, the floor of my room was no longer visible, and there was expensive fencing gear around.
    Actually, as all fanfic writers know, there is nothing wrong with acting out a scene to make it work right.
     
  9. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Absolutely nothing wrong. My roommate just cracks up when I keep falling over at 3 a.m. intentionally because I want to figure out a position from which a move will be made.
     
  10. SithGirl132

    SithGirl132 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 6, 2005
    I saw the cover of Invincible, and immediately began choreographing backwards to figure out what could have gotten Jaina in such an awkward position. Of course, I ended up on the floor.
     
  11. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Does physically acting out a battle help to write the scene better? I've never written duels before, but I have a story coming up where something similar will show up. If doing it physically really helps, then I might have to try it (with the door locked, of course).

     
  12. SithGirl132

    SithGirl132 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 6, 2005
    It does for me. Some duels I can see in my mind, but the more complicated stuff I actually need to act out. Just make sure that no one who will think you're crazy is around.
     
  13. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    It helps a great deal. Not only do you have a better sense of where you're placed in a duel, but you also figure out what muscles would be aching in positions or what weak points you have exposed there.
     
  14. little_miss_jedi

    little_miss_jedi Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 6, 2005
    I don't write many duels so I don't choreograph them as such, but I have been known to get up and act out a scene before I write it - and usually have it morph dramatically into something I never intended it to be and thus altering the whole story. I swear it's the characters manipulating my mind - with the Force? I suppose I'll never know :)
     
  15. thesporkbewithyou

    thesporkbewithyou Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 13, 2005
    The only time I've actually had any character speak to me wasn't even for a fanfic. I was helping my mom peal potatoes, and was having a really difficult time with this one. All of a sudden, a voice that sounds suspiciously like Obi-Wan's when Luke is just about to blow up the first Death Star comes to me and says, "Use the Force."

    It was helpful advice, lemme tell you.

    My problem is that I write like I speak, so no matter how hard I try to get the character I'm writing about to sound like him/her/itself, he/she/it will always wind up sounding a lot like me.

    Although, I do always carry the focus characters around in my head. They don't necessarily do anything; they're just there.

    But I guess the closest I've ever had a character talk to me when writing was for this year's Nano. I'd planned on having the prologue be of the main character (who has sort of a "Chosen One" role) being born. But then my antagonist comes along and decides that she wants to tell her story, and how she fell. I had the unexpected ...er... pleasure?... of finding out how my world's version of Hell was created and what it looked like, and that their version of the Fates was sick and twisted, with imagery sort of borrowed from Poe.

    She also gave me a clear cut motive for why she was doing what she did, which I didn't have before.
     
  16. Space_Wolf

    Space_Wolf Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2007
    The cloest thing I've ever come to this was making a blog with one of my OCs as the blog's owner...Werid experience, espeaically when the character started talking about wanting to eat my pet chinchillas...
     
  17. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2002
    Oh holy crap. My 'original characters" and some of the canons can be more like real people than some real people. They do entirely what -they- want to do, and I'm just responsible for writing it down. :p
     
  18. Space_Wolf

    Space_Wolf Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Thankfully, my OCs have been leaving me alone recently because I've been too busy to write anything. But the Open University course is almost at an end now, so I'll start to write complusively soon enough.
     
  19. misssolo

    misssolo Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2006
    I tend to fall so deeply into some characters(especially my own) that they become more like imaginary friends than anything. They become so real to me that my friends have to smack me around a little bit sometimes to get me out of the house and away from the story.

    There's this massive list of things you should know about your characters floating around on the internet somewhere that's really helpful. It takes about 3 days to finish the list, but it's amazing.

    As for choreographing battles? I used to make my sisters help me put together these horribly gory wand fights when I was really into Harry Potter. It's strangely liberating!
     
  20. thesporkbewithyou

    thesporkbewithyou Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Where is this list you speak of? I'd love to be able to fill it out!

    Just as an aside, anyone who wants to know how to perfectly break down that pesky Fourth Wall should read Jasper Fforde, both his Nursery Crime Division series, and his Thursday Next series.
     
  21. mrjop2

    mrjop2 Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 6, 2007

    Choreographic saber duels is the best part of writting a Star Wars fanfic! Yea, I will admit, some of the moves I have to act out to make sure they are physically possible for a human to do. Other than that, I choreograph the fight scenes with great detail in my mind. Writting the saber duels are a blast! It also helps to have a visual of the OC character so it brings your OC to life. Thanks to Lavo from the Fan Art forum, he was able to bring my character to life as scene below.

    [image=http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z201/mrlavo/jacina.jpg]


    With the image above and the careful thought, boy, my characters become so real to me it's as if they were cannon characters themselves, but you get to know them more deeply which makes them fum to write about.
     
  22. SithGirl132

    SithGirl132 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Without a doubt, choreographing lightsaber battles whether in your mind or physically is one of the most fun parts of writing in the Star Wars fandom. I haven't written a good lightsaber battle in a long time... great! all I had to do was say that, and I got bitten by a rabid bunny for a current story so I have an excuse to write another lightsaber battle.
    You know the fourth wall has broken when you swear your real life is just inspiration for fanfiction.
     
  23. ardavenport

    ardavenport Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2004
    I don't really have conversations with characters about what they will or won't do. If they won't do something they just freeze in a big writer's ice block. No dialogue, no action, no plot. No options I try with the story fit unless I have the characters doing things that fit their characters, which means that there is a whole lot more staring at the screen than writing going on.

    For my latest story, for Monday Mush, I thought I would have Qui-Gon rescuing Obi-Wan from a well. What could be mushier than that?

    Problem: Obi-Wan wouldn't go into the well. Obi-Wan is not an inherently curious character; he really isn't inspired to explore things. Learn things, yes. Explore, no. Even with the Force; he just takes that as it is. It would have taken space pirates to beat him up and throw him down into the well to get him in there and that would have required waaaaaaaaay more back story than I wanted to do. And the story would have turned into angst instead of the fluffy mush that I was aiming for.

    So, someone who was dumb enough to jump into the well had to do it for Qui-Gon to rescue. Not as mushy as I wanted, but the details tied together well and I got some mush.

    Lesson: don't corner the characters into something they wouldn't do (at least not without enough solid back story ammunition--not just an excuse to get you to the next scene--to make it stick). That way lies writer's block.

     
  24. Broken_Circle

    Broken_Circle Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2007
    I think I've discovered a type of fourth wall breakage I didn't know about before - when somebody else talks and you can almost hear a character saying the exact same thing in the exact same tone, and suddenly you know you have to write something with that line included. I had this happen the other day and it was weird - especially since the character was an eighteenth century Naval officer speaking through my mother!
     
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