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Discussion The Scribble Pad (Fanfic Writing Discussions)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Briannakin , Jun 18, 2017.

  1. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    I don't think things necessarily have to be explained. For example if it's something that was established as part of the character prior to the story starting (it's not a part of the plot) it can be assumed that whatever it is was either a personal choice, or all options have been exhausted. Just to throw out kinda a real world example, there are people who are deaf who are candidates for cochlear implants, but not everyone wants them. So we have a 'cure' for some hearing loss but it doesn't work for all. So it could be a choice, or it could not be an option, but I wouldn't need (nor should I demand) an explanation from someone who is deaf on this topic.

    I know that when we're writing a story, it's our job as the author to show the world and explain it, but sometimes you want something to be a part of someone, but not be the only thing about them. And maybe by not addressing it you are showing it's a part of their life, but not something they dwell on or think about all the time because it's just a part of their life. By addressing something it might make it seem as though it's more integral to the plot rather than a part of the character.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  2. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard FanFic Awards Volunteer star 4 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    This. I have an iPad with the iPencil stylus and use it to draw. In fact, the little sketch of Kanan and Hera in my avatar was done that way. So it’s very plausible a character in the GFFA could use her datapad in lieu of a sketchbook.[/QUOTE]
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  3. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Thank you. Yes. As a person with a disability (and a disease), and as an author who likes to write these things, sometimes I am torn between just establishing a fact; moving on if it's not integral to the story, or addressing "the bantha in the room". Because I know people. People are curious, and that's okay. It's annoy at times to explain myself (or my characters) over and over, but it's also annoying when people try to ignore it. So when it comes to fics, I've done both approaches. Maybe it is "lazy writing" but sometimes I just want a character to struggle with her health, as I have, and it's stupid to feel like I have to justify writing that.

    With my WW OC but I honestly debated not showing how they ended up disabled, but I decided to do it because it was a pretty big character defining moment. For other characters, it isn't.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  4. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    I think what I am trying to say is that for most characters with an health issue, be it Tenel'Ka, Luke, or someone that pulled a chess move that Chewie didn't like; this is a conversation between them and their health professional. And maybe friends and family.

    For someone with the influence of characters that you write for, @Briannakin , be it the Organas, or the President of the United States, I feel that FAR MORE people will be trying to get involved, entire universities (and maybe improve their reputation, or get a royal warrant, into the bargain); doctors coming along to advise of new discoveries or technologies; the other planets offering to sweeten trade deals by offering to helping out.

    Absolutely no problem you giving an OC a disability; it's the apparent lack of follow-up from the rest of your world that I queried.

    Edit: That Big Zoo multi-species hospital, on Alderaan, literally had nothing to offer.
    Okay.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  5. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    I disagree. Normally I would just leave it at that, but I think this is an important conversation to bring up.

    First, the fic that you read was a diary. I'm not saying it was a good diary by any means. I write for fun and sometimes plot elements get skipped over if I feel like I don't want to write them. With my diaries, I try to imagine someone actually sitting down to write the them. I've played around with very biased POV characters in my diaries and sometimes that isn't for everyone and that's ok, just don't read my stuff if it bothers you. In the diary that you read, the diagnosis was in the past and the diarist was a new mom to twins. Which would be more on her mind and which would she want to write about more? Okay, yes, as the author I could have addressed it more, I will admit that, but I know if I was writing a diary, I probably wouldn't even mention my disability or disease. A lot also happens off screen in any story. Pick a TV show, does it follow one character every moment of their life?

    Second, even royalty and powerful people have the right to pick and choose what treatment they wish to have. In the actual The West Wing TV series, Aaron Sorkin gave the President Multiple Sclerosis. The TV show never showed him being part of any medical trials or any special treatment. There's a powerful scene later on in the series where the president falls in the bathroom. You might say, well why didn't he have someone watching him at all times; he has enough secret service agents? I say the dude has the right to be in a bathroom by himself. The episode has some really great undercurrent themes of pride and when you are disabled, a lot of pride can be taken away from you so a lot of disabled people try to live a "normal life", even at their own detriment. I know I'm not equate to royalty or the president, but my life would be 10 times easier if I used a power wheelchair, and I do have one (it is at my mother's house being used as a cat bed). But I don't use it anymore because it makes me feel more disabled than I am.

    If you disagree, that's fine.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  6. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017
    Has anyone else ever scrapped a big project?

    I have a 57k word fic that I've finally just decided to abandon and move on. It was good practice, and I'm definitely going to use some of the OCs and other stuff from it in the future, but it's still painful to go through all that work to just give up on it.
     
    Chyntuck likes this.
  7. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    That is a lot of words to abandon, @Flyboy240. I've abandoned fics before, but nothing that had that kind of girth. What's causing the abandonment? Hit a dead end? Lose interest? Write yourself into a corner? What's at the core of this decision. I'm not saying don't do it. Just be sure why you want to do it. :)
     
    Chyntuck and Flyboy240 like this.
  8. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017

    I wrote it without a concrete outline so the story ended up growing out of control, the latter 2/3 of it just sort of feel like aimless wandering with no overarching plot. It was good practice and now I don't have to worry about fixing it, which would take a total re-write which I just don't have the motivation for.
     
    Chyntuck likes this.
  9. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Nowhere that big, but I've scrapped fics in the 10k range (well, not scrapped, but they are unfinished on my laptop somewhere). I think one of the hardest things to do in fanfic is just to say "no, I'm not having fun with this anymore" and just walk away (and it is something I have to learn to do).
     
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  10. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I was just telling someone that at the last Celebration I went to a writing panel with Delilah Dawson, who said, "Don't be afraid to kill your babies." Which means that if a scene or a character isn't working, then, scrap it. In your case, I'd suggest going back to the point where things started meandering, junk back to there, then step back and take a fresh look. I think plotting is one of the hardest things to do. Maybe if you cut back to where things went off track, you can refocus and think where it's all going.

    And of course, what gets cut goes in a separate file, which can be called on if necessary. That way, it wasn't all for nothing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  11. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I would never, ever cut a 57K anything. Don't do it.
     
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  12. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Behind Door Number One, keep digging.

    Behind Door Number Two, acknowledge that during this process, we both know where the other is coming from, say "Drokk it", and move on.

    *Chooses Door Number Two*

    So, a 57k project? Whooooh.

    Well, certainly don't erase the data. You may suddenly get inspiration one day, and you want the material on standby.

    Certainly, try to identify where it all started to go wrong.

    Feel free to PM me a summary, the last chapter, and what it is you aren't happy about.

    You could be just burned out from such a big project. Working on something else for a bit, or working on a series of "quick wins", may help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
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  13. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    @Flyboy240 Given what I've seen of your stories I find it difficult to believe that you'd go to the trouble of writing 57,000 words if it were all worthy of the recycle bin. Surely the subject must have appealed to you if you wrote so much about it? Maybe what you have doesn't work as a 57K-word story, but there must be material for a bunch of vignettes in it, for instance – material that doesn't tell one single story from beginning to end, but that can tell the reader about a group of characters or events in an impressionistic way.

    That being said, if you really think it's useless stuff in any shape or form, my advice is to step back from it a little, and if you confirm your impression later when you look at it again, burn it with fire. I find it immensely liberating to delete old files once I've decided never to return to them. It's as if freeing up space on my computer frees up space in my brain at the same time.
     
  14. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    @Flyboy240 - Any fanon that you can strip-mine from this epic, for the Fanon Thread, before you deep six it, if you choose to go that way?
     
  15. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    I absolutely agree with everyone else - don't scrap it. Save it in some file, take a break, do something else for a bit, then come back to it and see if you can backpedal a bit, maybe just scrap a few chapters (by scrap I mean copy and paste into a different document), go in a different direction, take scenes and make a vignette collection. But if you just don't want to to anything with it, don't feel like you are obligated to. This is a hobby.

    My other hobby is quilting and my teacher is kinda infamously known for starting quilts... and never finishing them. Back when I was learning from her, I'd always comment on her BOXES of unfinished projects (and I ended up taking a few and finishing them for her). I'd bug her about "if you just finished the binding, you'd have a perfectly good quilt". She'd just shrug and say "Yeah, one day maybe I'll feel like finishing them, but today I want to have fun." I think that attitude can be applied to fanfic.
     
  16. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017
    Thanks for all the support :)

    There are definitely salavageable elements in it- characters, locations, plot points etc. I'll probably use a lot of them in future stories. My February fanon post was taken from it. I'll probably come back to it and edit it eventually, but for now I have other things I'm more motivated to work on.
     
  17. Lady_Misty

    Lady_Misty Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 21, 2007
    It's VERY important if you're using a translation program to reverse it and make sure it still makes sense. Here's how a conversation could possibly go; the top one is the original and the bottom is translated back into English from the language I chose to use as the language of the people of this particular world.


    My Emperor, I beg you to not tell them anything! They could give the information to anyone or the Sith could pull the information from their minds! We know from their story that the Sith are hoping to use Kyber Crystals for a weapon; we must not give them access to any more information!



    My emperor has asked me not to say anything! They were able to communicate information to anyone, Sith was able to draw out information from the heart! Sister knows from their story that she wants to use Kyber Crystals as a weapon. It is necessary to prevent access to further information.


    Wow, I wonder where 'sister' came from and how the speaker went from asking the Emperor to not reveal information to saying that they had been asked by their Emperor not to say anything.

    This was Google Translate by the way.
     
    Flyboy240 likes this.
  18. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    @Lady_Misty - In the event that I am translating from English to another language, which is generally my modus operandi, why should I assume that the error is happening from English to Whatever, rather than only during the Whatever to English stage?

    The first translate may be perfectly fine.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  19. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard FanFic Awards Volunteer star 4 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    So, my muse has been unexpectedly inspired by the Rebels finale and has been working overtime on a story idea. There are a couple of problems though: A.) I've got several on going projects; the last thing I need is to start something new, and B.) It's going to be a pretty emotional story, and those can be hard for me to write.

    Do I write what the moose muse gives when it gives it so I don't lose it? Shelve it until I finish some of the open projects? How many stories is too many to have going on at one time (I know that's a "your mileage may vary" kind of thing, but generally speaking)?
     
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  20. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    @Lady_Misty and @Sith-I-5 my advice is don't trust Google translate - or any other online translator - for anything - either too or from English, or any other language for that matter. I have lived for many years in Japan and can tell instantly when someone has used it to translate blocks of text: The result is totally incomprehensible.

    I would say use it to translate individual words only, then study or get help putting these into sentences.

    Even then be careful to check nuances and meanings - heart to mind is a pretty close mistake compared to some I've seen, yet completely changes the meaning of the sentence.

    K
     
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  21. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    @Raissa Baiard I too am currently in flux with dozens of projects suggesting themselves to me, then fighting it out at the back of my subconscious to see who gets out of my head and onto a page first.

    I think the trick here is to chill and remember this is fanfic. No-one is going to pay you for writing this, there are no deadlines - and don't take this the wrong way - but no-one will really care if you don't get round to writing something (because they won't know).

    We do this because it's fun. So, I potter round with a project until it gets stuck, move on to the next, and so on. Yes that means I have lots of unfinished bits lying around but I can always come back to them later and it is OK to not finish things. I go with the muse when it strikes and enjoy it.

    Seriously, don't worry about it. It's nice to finish and post something, of course, but the fun is really in the act of creating.

    K
     
  22. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Using translators for individual words, fair enough.
    But learning to stitch them together into legible sentences could take years; I'm not halting a fic in its tracks for that long for the sake of second language accuracy. Sorry, I'm just not.

    I have a good collection of Spanish words, for instance, and a smattering of phrases, and have used them on Spanish citizens, either in Spain or the UK, but do I understand, despite spending years on it, sentence construction? Male, female, casual, non-casual.

    Kriff no.

    Apologies in advance, if you are a native speaker of a secondary language that I choose to use to spice up my prose.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  23. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    I
    I definitely agree. English is not my first language, but since I doubt there are many Norwegian fanfic readers out there I have chosen to write in English, which is a bit challenging when it comes to fiction actually. There are so many nuances in the language which we don't necessarily have in Norwegian. Thus googletranslate has become a very good friend lately. Still, I don't trust it. Sometimes the most weird suggestions come up and sometimes it actually suggests English words that are identical to the Norwegian word. Cross referencing with a dictionary in "the other language" is a good tip, just to get a confirmation that the translation isn't totally crazy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  24. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    @Raissa Baiard - you should never ask me this question because I wanna devour anything you write, pure self-indulgence. [face_love] [:D]

    Seriously, I think no more than 2-3 longish projects is ideal unless they include what I like to think of as a viggie collection so there's no set chronological order or tight plotting that needs to be done. So you can put that particular kind of thing to the side and work on that thread when you're stuck on the chaptered things. [face_thinking]

    I would at least plot out, write a rough draft of the first few chapters, maybe the first 2 or 3, just to see if it's really something you wanna go with after all. And then if another project stalls, you will have something to work on until the other things stir again. :cool:

    As long as the burgeoning project has enough details in an outline or a few lines of narrative/dialogue that you can come back later to and expand on. If you just leave it to: "I'll remember without writing it down" [face_laugh] :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  25. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Start writing it but don't post it until one of your other projects is wrapped up? I'd definitely strike while the iron is hot.