Discussion NSWFF Writer's Support Group - December's Topic: Action Scenes

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Mira_Jade, Dec 5, 2012.

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  1. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    I have wanted to comment on this all week - you guys and your thoughts are just awesome. [:D]

    I am exactly the same way - especially with the last line. [face_laugh] I can write anything from sentences to an epic 100,000 words + story. It all depends what fits the story best - and there have been many a time when a simple drabble has turned into a 50,000+ story. Or, I took the idea for an epic and wrote it in a drabble form just to get it off my muse's mind so that I could work on something else. It's a crazy world, the writer's brain. 8-}:p

    I have outlines up to wazoo - sometimes, it seems like my notebooks are filled with more outlines than stories. :oops: Even when I don't have time to write, that never means that my mind is standing still - it is plotting and planning and scheming. The trick for me seems to be getting from the outline to the fic stage at times. There are so many ideas out there for the having.

    And I have always enjoyed your streamlined updates with that! I never would have guessed that you didn't use outlines, and used minimal editing. The shorter chapters really help with that, I'd imagine. And now I am fascinated - I want to try writing a story that way. Spur of the moment and edge of my seat. [face_thinking]

    My chapters normally average around 5,000 words according to FF.N - my oneshots 3,000. I like writing 'short stories' and posting them as oneshots - in 10,000 - 30,000 chunks of words so as to not interrupt the plot and flow, and then let people read at their leisure. I had an experiment on FF.N with a Dark Knight Rises story (which isn't posted here for fear of overloading the boards with words. :p) where each chapter was 10,000 -20,000 words, simply because I was telling a character's life story, and each chapter, instead of revolving around a set length, told the whole tale from one point of her life to the next. I used those key moments as cut offs, rather than anything else. But, within those long chapters, there were dozens of smaller segments - some less than a drabble long. It took a lot of planning, and very careful editing, but it was an enriching experience in the end. That's where every story is different - and that type of difference determines the length, I have come to find.

    I agree with you on that! Drabbles are the ultimate way to fight DWB! I've found that no matter how stumped I am with my writing, drabbles just have a way of opening the floodgates. They are like little writing energy shots. [face_laugh]
    Idrelle_Miocovani likes this.
  2. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Mira--woah! 20,000 words per chapter sounds intense. I imagine it did take a lot of editing and skill to get that story exactly the way you wanted it! And you should post it here sometime [face_batting]
  3. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

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    That's really fascinating, Mira! I agree with Nat, you should post it here. :)

    I, too, have outlines up to wazoo. I like that word. Wazoo. It's very... zoo-y. :p

    When I first get an idea for a story (fan fic or original), it tends to come from a scene I see in my head. If the scene is powerful enough, I usually end up writing it. If not, then my imagination let's it fade. Sometimes I come back to it. Sometimes I don't. Occasionally, that one scene will lead to a full-length novel because I want to establish the events that lead up to that scene and what happens after, so then I go away, plot some, and hopefully start writing. :p
  4. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Wazoo is a great word :D

    The ideas I like best (the ones that make longer fics) are stories I daydreamed about and finally decided to put to paper (er, well, computer). @Dantana Skywalker said she had the idea for her new Star Trek fic come to her in a dream.
  5. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

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    I did, yeah. Normally I don't bother writing them down, but it just wouldn't leave my head. I've written 46k words in the last . . . two weeks almost?
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  6. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

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    Wow, Dantana, that is impressive. You're basically almost done a NaNo entry! :eek: I'm in a similar boat - started working on a fic about two weeks (maybe less) ago, and have punched out 30,000 words. Which is a little more than I was expecting. I keep trying to remind myself, "You want this to be a novella, not a +50,000 epic! :p

    Daydreams and dreams are useful for me. I was just telling Mira about a bit of my process. Before I start writing, I see a plot bunny and potential story usually as a single scene (with stuff that happened before it and stuff that happens after) and I have this tendency to make dialogue up and act it out as one of the characters in the scene. This usually tends to be a very intense, intimate, two-character scene. Even if I don't get as far as acting things out, I will almost always speak out some text before starting to write. It may be the actor in me, but it's also something I've always done. It's like playing make-believe.

    And who knows, some day I might find myself LARPing. [face_laugh]
  7. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

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    And I'm probably about 2/3 of the way done with writing. It's taken over my life to an alarming degree.

    I usually have problems finishing stories that I start. Length isn't the problem; motivation to keep going is.
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  8. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

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    I hear you.

    Every time that I've abandoned a story (or sometimes a drabble series, but at least those are usually so open-ended and could technically run forever that it doesn't matter if you officially finish them or not), it's been due to lack of motivation. Or sometimes my personal beliefs and attitude have shifted so much during the process of writing the story that I start to dislike what I was working on and I just don't want to finish it.
  9. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    @NYCitygurl: Thanks! It sure was a chunk of wordage to write, but it was such a learning experience. I just may start moving the beast over here, if you guys are interested. :) It's only eight parts long, but it is long. ;)

    @Idrelle_Miocovani: There is nothing more zoo-y than a wazoo. :p Okay, I am done after that. [face_laugh] I so agree with you about starting with a powerful scene in mind and going from there. I almost scene to write an entire story around a snippet of a conversation - normally an explosive one. And once the dialogue is there, the rest falls into place. It's always fascinating where inspiration comes from. Like . . .

    @Dantana Skywalker: What a fascinating way to come up with a story! I can't say I have ever had anything like that happen. But the 40,000 words is impressive - both to you and Idri. True inspiration always makes for the best writing - when it just pours from your fingers. I can't wait to catch up on your fic - I am loving your Khan so far. =D=
  10. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    July's Topic: Writing Style

    “Style is the mind skating circles around itself as it moves forward.” ~ Robert Frost


    The Discussion

    So, you know what you want to write, but now, how to write it. Style plays such an important part in our writing - finding our artistic 'voice', so to say. In your opinion, what constitutes as style? Are there different styles you have experimented with in the past? What would you consider to be 'style', or simply breaking the rules of writing? What styles do you feel comfortable writing with?



    The Exercise

    It is time to step out of your comfort zone! Write a thousand words in a style you haven't used before. Afterwards, what did you find out about your own writing? What patterns or tendencies did you find when trying to write in a different way? The forum is wide open for discussion, folks! :cool:


    (And, big thanks goes to @Idrelle_Miocovani for the topic suggestion!. [:D])
  11. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Ooo I really can't wait to see what people have to say about this :D
  12. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    I killed the thread with the last topic! :oops:8-}

    Let's try this one then . . . :)







    September's Topic: Inspiration


    "You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it." ~ Neil Gaiman



    The Discussion


    What moves you to write? Do you get your inspiration from day to day things? Music, poetry, reading other people's work? What moves you and your muse? And, once you are inspired to write, do you have any interesting quirks or habits while you write? Is there a food you ear, a beverage you drink, or a song you need playing in your ears to get you going? Share what works for you, and learn what works for others. :)



    The Exercise


    There is no exercise for this one. Just feel free to discuss!
    Last edited by Mira_Jade, Sep 3, 2013
    serendipityaey likes this.
  13. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    Music definitely helps to inspire me to write more; it's too bad that I don't use it when I need to the most when DRL strikes. Otherwise, for the most part, if I get the time to write and not get rushed while writing (which occurs more often than not) then that is when I will write something inspiring (hopefully). ;)
  14. serendipityaey Force Ghost

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    I feel like I get inspiration everywhere, everything about life and people and just wanting to figure out what makes us go, which is why I end up focusing on character moments and relationships instead of storytelling, and it drives me.

    More specifically, i love music, music gives me ideas, makes me *Want* to write, it's like the spark - and other works, especially other fanfic I love inspires me to put the work in, it's like fuel for me which makes it difficult and frustrating when what I love to read runs dry... I've also found other writers sometimes find this hard to understand about me but I don't really think of myself as a writer, but a lover of that which inspires me combined with the drive to learn and understand it. :)
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  15. amidalachick Force Ghost

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    Fascinating topic! :)

    I think I get what you're saying, serendipityaey, and I feel similarly. I have to have some sort of inspiration to write, and if it's not there, I can't just sit down and come up with a story. I like the way you put it, as being a lover of what inspires you as compared to a writer.

    Inspiration definitely can, and has, come from anywhere - a line from a book, a dream, a coworker's comment - but the biggest sources for me are TV and music.
    serendipityaey likes this.
  16. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    That is such a beautiful way to put it! I have to agree with that statement a hundred perfect. =D=

    For me too, my biggest inspiration is music. I find it near impossible to write without it. I love lyrics and the way words play together, so poetry often inspires my muse like nothing else, as well. Normally, I will be inspired by something I hear, a phrase will develop in my mind, and along those lines or two, my idea for a story is born. It's funny how the writer's muse works, that's for sure. :)
    serendipityaey likes this.
  17. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    I used to get inspiration from music, but I've been listening to it less as I write. I've been getting more ideas at random times--in the shower, in the car--when I have space and activity but not something that requires me to interact with other people.
    serendipityaey likes this.
  18. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    October's Topic: The Characters we Love


    “I will go to my grave in a state of abject endless fascination that we all have the capacity to become emotionally involved with a personality that doesn't exist.” ~ Berkeley Breathed



    The Discussion


    So, we have our style figured out. We have an idea for a plot, our dictionary and thesaurus at the ready, now, we only need our star! What type of characters do you tend to write about? What kind of person attracts your muse? What type of characters do you like in other people's writing? Are you drawn to the bright and cheerful personalities, the dark and dreary? Look at your characters of choice, and answer me this - do they have anything in common? What can you tell about what your writing from looking at the characters you choose?



    The Exercise


    There is no exercise here. Just feel free to discuss. :D
  19. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    As long as the person is a main character in the story, then they are the one's that I will mainly write. Their characteristics can be anything from bright and cheerful to dark and dreary. The heroes are the ones who have their flaws, but find ways to strive above them. The villains are mostly one-dimensional pure evil, but even expanding their scope to show their insights and reasons makes them more fleshed out then purely one-dimensional.

    Each character shares some things in common like their mission if more than one is assigned to a mission or assignment, but there are differences in their types as to being either bright and cheerful through situations or more task-oriented and decision making types.

    Examples would be Nyota, who has a bright and cheerful personality, while Spock is more logical in his approach to decisions; but both complement the other and therefore the reason they love each other's personality. Levity of the situation is what Nyota brings about in her jovial and loving approach, while Spock's decision making choices are calculated to extreme perfection due to his upbringing as a Vulcan.

    Meanwhile, other characters like the cranky Doctor McCoy, to the bold, but inexperienced Captain Kirk both have their uniqueness in personalities that complement each other while maintaining their leadership qualities.

    I would say that my writing tends to show these personalities and qualities that they have to the reader so that they can go inside of the character, rather than show only outer factors like their build or features. Getting inside to know what these characters think and do is an important part towards making the reader want to read more about the different dynamic personalities of each one.
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  20. TrakNar Force Ghost

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    I tend to favor characters who are a bit unhinged in various ways. From my SW psychodramas to a current Pokemon RP I'm in, if the character isn't of sound mind, then I love to write them. I love writing their thought processes and how they rationalize things and justify their actions. Currently, in the aforementioned RP, I've been rationalizing and justifying many of Mewtwo's very destructive actions. Of course, to the other characters, he's still just a violent animal, but he has reasons for why he feels the need to use so much force, even though others don't understand those reasons.

    The thing is, no matter the character's mental stability, every action has a purpose. Every thought has a purpose. There is a reason that a character does what they do, even if that reason only makes sense to them. What I find fun is rationalizing those actions to the point where the reader can say, "yeah, I can understand."

    If I can make the reader understand a character's actions and even sympathize with them, then I've done my job.
  21. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

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    I am so sorry, Mira, but I'm getting a huge giggle out of the sequence here.

    For me, no matter what I'm writing (fan, fic, original work, plays) characters always come first, usually hand-in-hand with a basic plot. Then come the specifics of the plot. Then the style. I probably spend the most time thinking about style and figuring it out. Style is very, very important to me and it can dictate pretty much everything because it controls how the characters and plot are executed on page.

    Types of characters I gravitate towards? EVERYONE! 8-} I will write anyone and everyone. I think this is a direct result of my theatre background. I've played, and therefore lived in the heads of many a variety of characters. There are some that I find more intriguing than others because of personality/background (for example, out of the entire cast of characters in the Hunger Games, I find Finnick the most interesting). But usually, for me, the characters drive the plot. I don't really need to spend too much time thinking about their specific motivations because it becomes clear as I'm writing. I find that as long as I think about a character as a person instead of an archetype or a trope, they end up being a well-rounded character.

    Then again, I am mostly writing plays these days. And playwriting is a very... direct and fast-paced kind of writing. Since you can't dither around with paragraphs describing the action and what a character is thinking or how they react to something, everything has to be put into the dialogue. And then when the play goes into production, you cross your fingers and let the actors do their thing. :p
  22. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    Oooh, some great comments. :D

    @RX_Sith - And I do love your Star Trek characterizations. You have everyone down pat - your stories are always a pleasure to read. =D=
    That is really the perfect way to sum it up. I find that really interesting about writing the mental instability, too. I would definitely love to see a few of those fics posted over here. [face_mischief]

    That is probably more accurate! [face_laugh] There goes my snazzy intro. :p

    THIS.

    I pretty much agree with every word of this. =D=

    I flitter from fandoms and characters so much - and even characters and ideas in original writing - that it's hard to narrow it down. From heroes to villains to the grey spots in between, if the character has a good background and well rounded motivations, I will normally enjoy trying to delve deeper into writing them. Again, you make the differences between play writing and real writing very interesting. I love my prose when writing, I can't even imagine trying to keep all of that extra information in the dialogue. 8-} =D=
  23. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

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    I had a conversation with a co-worker once about writing plays - she loves writing novels and short stories, but she found the inability to express characters inner thoughts difficult to work around (since contemporary theatre doesn't really go for the whole Shakespearean soliloquy character info dump any more :p ). Even if you're not into writing plays, I think the exercise where you write a story by using only dialogue is a really good challenge because it forces you to make specific character choices in order to give each individual character a distinct voice. (Which I think is an exercise you've run in this discussion thread, yes, Mira?)

    I think asking yourself why a character is doing something is one of the most useful tools for creating and writing a multi-dimensional character. Every action and spoken word should have a reason behind it. What happened to make a character decide to do X, Y, Z? Why are they responding that way, with that particular action? If you find yourself answering "because..." or "it's cool that way" or "that's the way I see it", you might want to go back and find the specific reason why something is happening, otherwise the character will fall flat. Every action in real life has a reason behind it, even if the person doing said action/re-action doesn't realize it at the time.

    One of the dangers of fan fiction writing, I think, is running into a situation where you have to write a character you're just not a fan of writing, but you're forced to include them in the action because you don't have a good reason for them to be absent. This happens in those big, epic ensemble-cast stories. I found when I was writing Star Wars epics, I would end up having to include R2-D2 and C-3PO because I knew they would be present, but I just really didn't like writing them so those moments always ended up being the hardest to write. Eventually I found a way to make their inclusion in the plot intriguing and specific, so I could have fun writing their parts -- otherwise, I probably would have been better off excluding them from the story since they were just clogging things up.

    I think this kind of thing happens in professional writing, too - take Book 2 of Legend of Korra, for example. For the first few episodes, Asami, Bolin, and Mako feel completely useless and tacked on because (IMO) the writers knew they would be tagging along after Korra and it would be weird for them not to be present, but the writers didn't give them a clear and specific reason to be included in the action other than "they're Korra's friends". It would have been more concise and made the pacing of the story more balanced if (a) the writers had left Team Avatar until there was a clear, specific reason for them to be there, OR (b) had a clear, specific reason for them to be in the action at hand.

    ... oh dear, I have no idea if that makes sense or not. 8-}
  24. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    November's Topic: From a Certain Point of View

    “Luke, you will find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly upon our own point of view.” ~ Obi-Wan Kenobi


    The Discussion

    Once you are writing, one of the most important decisions to make is what point of view to write from. Do use First Person? Second Person? Third Person? Do you use an epistolary point of view? When are some POVs more fitting than others? Do you differ POVs when writing, or do you stick to one narrator? When you use Third Person, do you stick to subjective, objective, or omniscient forms of that POV? (And for a review of these definitions, wikipedia has a handy article here.) Look at your writing, what patterns do you see? :)



    The Exercise

    Write a short story, from 500 to 1000 words, and write the same story from First Person, Second Person, and Third Person POV. What do you notice when you change the POVs. What is different? What stays the same? What kind of impact does the story loose and gain with the differing POVs?
  25. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

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    Feb 5, 2005
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    So I wrote a response to the exercise and then it turned into a +2,500 word fic and it was incredibly depressing since that's mostly the kind of thing I'm writing right now and I didn't have the heart to re-write it in two other points of view.

    I'm going to re-think this and do something silly. I need some silliness in my writing. :p
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