Amph The Writers' Guild

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by -RebelScum-, Jan 3, 2006.

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  1. -RebelScum- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2004
    star 6
    But you shouldn't get too extreme with the names though, take A Song of Ice and Fire, you have Dany, Tyrion, Tywin, Eddard, Arya, but you also have Jon, Robert, Sam and other "normals".

    Also, look at His Dark Materials, it has an original and great plot, but it isn't insane or completely off the wall, or back to Ice and Fire it's not entirely and completely original (basically a fantasy War of the Roses) but it's extremely well told. So don't be original for the sake of being original, or you will end up a gimmick.

    -The Scummy-
  2. Andalite-Bandit Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 6
    Well, I am pretty happy with myself, because I've made some pretty decent progress on my feature film in the last two days, after two or three weeks of pretty much not doing anything. I do have an excuse though, I was in Germany for 10 days. I'm now up to about page 45, and I pretty much know everything I am doing up to a certain point that might take me up to 55 or 60, and then things get a little fuzzy but I have an outline of the basics. I'm thinking it will end up being around 100 pages. The first draft anyway. I'm also happy, because I was concerned before I started writing about the feasability of shooting this, but I'm pretty sure everything is doable, provided of course that I can get a few thousand dollars, which I'm pretty sure I can do. la la la.
  3. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    When you said other "normals" above, Rebel Scum, did you perchance mean "cliche?" :p
  4. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    I'm not overly concerned about the originality of things, as Excellence says no story is truely original these days but I do want to avoid the obvious cliches.



    e.g.


    long lost/orphaned child bringing down evil parent

    The bad guy kills good lover in fit of pique

    The bad guys assistant get touch of conscious and turns coat/get killed/commits suicide in failed attempt to prevent bad guy winning

    etc...




    i have no issue using some but it's how their used and whether I'm actually able to put them into an "orignal" contect and setting.


  5. -RebelScum- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2004
    star 6
    I just meant it in the sense of being real names.

    -The Scummy-
  6. sidious618 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2003
    star 6
    I'm not sure how this works but I have apiece that I'd love some feedback on.
  7. Knight_Dilettante Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2002
    star 4
    I'm gonna leap in here with some feedback 'cause I'm under the impression that's what we're supposed to do. So I'm gonna ignore the little voice that says, "what do you know, you can't even get commas in the right place," and post. Feel free to have a mod edit this post out if I shouldn't have.

    Twinky_Stryder Don't hide! That's quite an intriguing extract. I'd have read further and probably bought the book if that had been something I picked up in the bookstore.

    I found myself a bit confused by Butler because your dramatis personae seemed to say he was a friend of Kern's but he talked more like a servant. Am I confused or is he both or??? The two aren't mutually exclusive of course but it might be something to think about in how he talks? I can see that he might talk like a servant when others are about and more familiarly when it is just he and Kern but then once Elara is "in" on the secret of the room, maybe he'd also talk like a friend in front of her as well. If I've just got the wrong end of the stick, my apologies. I'm extrapolating from a small data set, I could easily be extrapolating in the complete wrong direction. I love your description of Butler as a Crookedly tall guy by the way. Excellent image.

    I loved the library imagery too (I'm a total sucker for books, naturally) and that it was more books than Elara thought existed. That's a great insight into her character. I also thought it was clever to put limits on when mind reading would work based on the emotional state of the readee. Telepathy always seemed like a dangerous thing to play with I think, too easy to go too far with it and then get stuck in some place where either the bad guy should know everything because he can read minds or the good guy should and either way you don't want them too only some other part of the story hinges on being able to read minds and then you really are stuck. Or maybe it's just me that that sort of thing happens to.

    I have been suffering from a similar problem Twinky (if I may be so bold as to shorten your name) which I call "the editor voice". That's the one that says, "that's crap" or "that's not original enough" or "*yawn* that's so 5 minutes ago" or whatever. I've decided that I need to learn to ignore the "editor voice" until I'm ready for it. One thing I have thought about trying is to use a typewriter instead of a computer for the first draft. That way I can't go back and futz with what I have already done except as handwritten notes. If it is typewritten I can scan it in and let optical character recognition load it into a document for me for later editing and I can use margins and such (and a blue non-photo pencil if necessary) to make notes about changes that I seriously need to make. Of course, I don't have a typewriter... So I might try a new document for each days work first and see if that helps any. Dunno if any of that rambling will help you out but I leave it there just in case.

    TWS Ooooh, creepy! I like it. Again, if that had been the first chapter or the back blurb on a book or something I'd have read further and probably bought it. Too creepy and I might have had to pass on it. Just creepy enough and I'd have bought it. I am a bit of a wuss creepy-wise though I have to admit. I can write creepier than I can usually read actually... I wonder what that says about me?

    My own writing is once again slow to stagnant. Though I think slow rather than completely stopped at the moment which gives me hope. I did manage to do a dare fic on the fanfic boards recently but only because the dare was specific and the muse bit at it. I also did a tiny bit of revising for something and scribbled out a few ideas for another couple of fanfic stories but in terms of original works about all I managed was to finally find the hook for a story/script I've been contemplating for ages. I had the "message" (not that it is really a "message movie/book/whatever" because I really don't like them usually) but I couldn't find a framework that would work for me. I finally have the bar
  8. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    Planning the story is a great idea and although I've been working on my latest incarnation for over a month and haven't even started writing the first manuscript doesn't bother me.

    I have a very good character progression for all my main and major characters, I have names and references to important minor characters as well.


    I have a rough basic and rough detailed map of the story and a notepad thats now full of ideas that reference back to the characters.


    The next part is the lay the story timeline down on a spreadsheet and write out how the story should progress which will also have comment boxes for key bits of dialogue or similar.

    There will be a row for each character and this will show when they should enter the story.


    If anyone wants my plan in detail feel free to PM me and I'll send you the details
  9. Sanctimoniously Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2005
    star 5
    I'm here...somewhat...stuck with using the library for my Internet access because of minor financial problems. But rest assured, Sanct is still coming up with new material. My latest focus is a story that follows two Canadian soldiers through a fictional war with North Korea. One is an avid Counter-Strike gamer who views the war as "CS with better graphics and guns," and the other is an honour student who lost his scholarship to college and joined the Army to pay his way to the future he wants. I have the eleven-page file saved under the name "War is Pergatory."
  10. Andalite-Bandit Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 6
    I just hit page 80 on the first draft of my feature, and I think it's turning out pretty nicely so far. I think my scriptwriting is more suited to feature length projects anyways, I always felt like I was cramming too much stuff into my short films, the ideas were too big and probably would have been better off as feature stories. Example, my sophmore year short was this story about this mysterious supernatural Creature who had no eyes, and he went to this photographer who was obsessed with photography and was like "Give me your eyes or this girl is going to die", and that sort of craziness is just too much for a 15 minute project with sub par acting. Oh well. I am pretty happy with this one so far. We'll see how it turns out when I actually shoot the thing. eek.

    In terms of planning, my writing advisor last semester had me write up short character bios for the main guys and talk about their spines, which certainly has helped a lot. Then I wrote up a rough outline, and then like a 15 page treatment, and then I just started writing. I wrote the first act by itself, went back and edited a few times, and then I just started going from there. The major events I had planned out, but I've changed things and added stuff and just figured out a few things as I've gone along. At page 80, I'm coming up towards the end. I don't want to go too much past 100 pages, because I have to shoot and edit this, so if I get too long that's going to mean bad things for scheduling and budgeting.
  11. Andalite-Bandit Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 6
    [image=http://www.mmem.spschools.org/2F.9798/Titanic/Titanic.Images/sinking.jpeg]

    Noooooooo.
  12. Knight_Dilettante Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2002
    star 4
    Well, I don't know how long Master-FatBurt's planning find will work for me but I'm very happy I asked for more info on it because I think it will get me over a particularly annoying problem I was having with a fanfic and even more cool for me it got me thinking again on an original story I have been mulling for years now. <happy_dance>

    Now to just make some time, and peace and quiet to write in!

    KD
  13. Andalite-Bandit Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 6
    I think the spreadsheet thing could indeed be very helpful, but for me it's a little too organized. I prefer to map things out in my head and jot down some plot points in a simple word document, and then write an outline. Sometimes. A short film I just did the other day for example I got the idea that night, I wrote down the very basic plot points on word, and I had the script done in like 4 hours. I've touched it up since then, but I like it.

    Sometimes I will outline certain scenes that might be complicated. Like right now I am working on one of two big zombie rampage scenes, where the five main characters are split up and each has various encounters with zombies, so I just finished a rough outline of it all on Word.

    My zombie feature is still coming along. I've been going slower lately but I'm in the 90's, and my goal is to finish the first draft in the next few days and email it to my Producers and some other people and get feedback before starting in on the second draft. I'm hoping to have a third or fourth draft done by the time school starts in August, which should be pretty close to a final draft and good enough to start going ahead with the pre-production and casting.
  14. Andalite-Bandit Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 6
    People should post here more!

    Anyways, I finished the first draft of my feature and sent it to my producers and a few other people on my crew for some feedback.
  15. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    What is this film gonna be about?
  16. Andalite-Bandit Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 6
    Well it is pretty much the same concept as the zombie short film I posted earlier in the thread a ways back.

    The idea is that there is a scientist who has found a way to reanimate dead bodies, basically creating zombies, however, when the main character is killed and brought back as a zombie, for some reason he is able to remember his past and he has retained his free will. So he's basically his regular old self, except he's dead. And then the movie is both about him being manipulated by this scientist while also trying to regain acceptance from his friends, who are somewhat freaked out about having a zombie hanging around.

    Since at mt school I have free access to a wide variety of equipment, as well as crew and cast, the budget is far lower than a feature film would normally require. I basically only need to purchase food for the all-day shoots, DV stock, zombie makeup, 2 external hard drives, and some misc. props and costumes that we can't scrounge up for free. I am thinking I will only need to raise between say 4000 and 6000 dollars in order to do this. Possibly less. The finished film will then be sent off to a variety of film festivals, and perhaps something will come of it.
  17. Jairen Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2000
    star 4
    I thought I'd post a quick sample of my work, just to get a general response. This is the opening of Chapter 7, the first introduction to a new character.

    **********

    CHAPTER SEVEN

    RAKAN

    The crowd flowed apart as he walked among them. Only after he had passed did they move together again, almost as if huddling for warmth or safety. Always they watched him, ready to move again if he turned and walked back towards them. Rakan felt an almost sensual pleasure at the fear he could feel radiating from them. He walked the streets of Araker slowly, his head held high and no guards to interfere with where he wished to go. He had no need of them any more. He had made sure that as many people as possible had seen the last man who had threatened him. It had taken days to remove the remains from the market.

    As little as two years ago he had been afraid to walk the streets alone. A lowly palace servant with no prospects, he had been invisible to the courtiers and lords that swamped the palace. It had all changed the night he met the spirit.

    The memory came back to him easily. He was cleaning up after one of the King's parties, a task he had loathed back then, and still did. The hall was quiet, shadowed now that the torches had dwindled, what little light they cast flickering with. His broom was resting against the column, whilst he gnawed on a discarded bone, getting what little meat he could from it?s picked carcass. He was ripping the last piece of flesh away when he had felt it, a silence so profound he had thought he was deaf. His eyes had been drawn to the throne, the huge granite claw that dominated the room. The bone fell to the floor, discarded without thought as he stepped up to it. For a fleeting moment his mind considered the treason of approaching the throne, but the silence drew him closer, drowning his thoughts, quenching his will. As he reached it, he felt the compulsion build within him, forcing him to move, positioning him onto the centre of the throne. He pulled his legs up, crossed in front of him, and bowed his head, letting the great claw clench into a fist, enclosing him inside.

    His mind rebelled then, forcing him away from the memory of what happening within, of what he saw. All he knew was that the promise had been kept, and within the week he was the King?s Advisor, second in authority for the whole kingdom. Shaking the thoughts away, clearing his mind, he focused on the information he was returning to the palace with. After a morning of negotiations with the Cadran Guild, concerning their continued inability to locate and kill the boy Jairen Gilthain, he was satisfied that they had been reprimanded sufficiently to carry out the contract without further delays.

    Almost happy, he stopped for a moment at one of the many stalls lining the street, grabbing an apple and taking a big bite.

    "Here, hold on a minute," the owner said, glancing across from another customer. Rakan saw the bob of his adam's apple as recognition lit his features. "I didn't realise it was you m'lord. Please accept my humblest apologies." The man touched a hand quickly to his forehead in submission.

    Rakan considered it for a moment, but his business took precedent over any personal considerations so he simply walked away, taking another bite from the apple as he left. He glanced back once, making the stall owner start. Dropping the man from his mind, Rakan left the market square, a large area just at the end of the main road leading to the palace. He walked up to the gates, glad to see the guards were paying attention as they snapped off a sharp salute, a slight trace of fear in their eyes. He felt that sensual thrill again at the way they seemed to sway away from him as he passed inside. He glanced up at the sun from inside the courtyard, checking his timing. Satisfied that he knew where the King would be, quick, sure strides took him in the direction of the royal gardens. As soon as he entered he could hear the voice of the King.

    "I can look around the garden if I choose to," a f
  18. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    The slow death of this thread makes me sad.



    Writers must post moer!!!!!



    I have now got myself in a position to start planning my chapters in full.

    I have all the basics of my characters done and outlined the major/minor events that will happen tothem throughout the course of the book.

    I have the books timeline in place as well.

    Through the planning process I used I have also changed the motivation of my main character and how and why she it to do what she does. The change has altered a couple of the fundemental ideas and plot points but I think it allows for a more natural and understandable resolution to her story.

    With these changes in place I have embarked upon fleshing out the chapters themselves which will allow me to decide what goes where so that when I start to write I know what is supposed to happen and when.



    This means that when the story is completed it can only be ruined by my crappy prose as apposed to people saying that it's convoluted and disjointed.


    I hope to actually have the first chapter up "soon"
  19. JediNemesis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2003
    star 4
    Jairen, that's pretty good. I liked it a lot. PM follows :)
  20. Sanctimoniously Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2005
    star 5
    I've also been hard at work at several different storylines.
  21. Andalite-Bandit Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 6
    I'm just about finished with the second draft of my feature. I completely altered one of the plotlines and added a completely new and very important character, and I think it has made the overall tone of the story a bit darker and it is a good improvement. I think this draft is going to end up a little over 120 pages, which is getting past a 2 hour running time most likely, so I think on the third draft I will have to focus on shortening it a bit. Over 2 hours isn't bad for a movie at all, however it gets a bit into the range of being too difficult for me to shoot as a student production. Ideally I'd prefer around 100 to 110 pages.
  22. Jairen Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2000
    star 4
    Twinky, just wanted to say that this was a great piece. Whilst only a small extract, it was paced well, drew me into what was happening, and left me wanting to know more about Elara. Who is she? What is this possible destiny related to her blood (I assume this relates to her ancestors in some way, i.e. a bloodline)? Who is Kern really, how does his past fit in with what he is trying to do now, and what are his plans for this possibly innocent young woman?

    The fact that it grabbed me enough to want to have answers to these questions is a great sign. The little hints within it to Elara's world are well placed. There are a few bits that need some work, mostly repetition of some words within the same sentence that make it sound odd, but apart from that, really enjoyable.

    JediNemisis, thanks for taking the time to read it, it's always great to hear back from anyone who's read some of my work. Thanks for the PM, I've sent you a response, and good luck with anything you've got going at the moment.
  23. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    A short extract from an early chapter of what I hope to be my first planned and fully written book to be called


    Twilight.


    I'm not going to give any hints as to what has come before and what is to come after. But I'll take any feedback you want to give.


    This is a small extract though and has been rewritten a few times based on how the plan for the novel has altered and I fully expect to adjust it again before I'm finally happy with it (Which will never happen with me).







    "What do you mean stripped?" she asked puzzled.

    "Well" Robert went on, "In my youth I was considered to be lacking focus... Well in the area's they wanted me to focus anyway. I was too fond of playing pranks and messing around, I didn't really concentrate on my studies like I should have"

    Jayne looked at him puzzled "they stripped your power because you played pranks?"

    "Thats but one aspect of the problems I had at the academy" he continued with a chuckle, "the Dean didn't like my relationship with his daughter though. I know, it's the epitome of cliche really isn't it?
    But I was a trouble maker and wasn't that skilled nor powerful. When their patience finally ran out they had to expel me."

    Robert walked over to the window and looked out over the street and into the field ahead. Clouds were starting to gather shrouding the sun.

    "You know what?" he said matter of factly, "they were right to expel me as well, my skills lay in the weaker power of seeing, as this skill really has no usable purpose within the modern world, the board felt it right to suppress my ability and leave me to lead a more normal life ."


    "Can you not use magic anymore then?" Jayne asked.

    "Thats a different story and isn't one to go over now. Lets just say I'm more than ably equipped to deal with anything life throws at me." he replied with a sly wink.

    Jayne sat up in bed and looked at the drip attached to her arm. "Saline?" she asked.

    "I assume so. Medical things aren't really my area of expertise, I'm a dream interpreter these days."

    "Dream interpreter? Why are you here with me then?" She asked puzzled.

    "Well Jayne, you've been unconcious for 2 days and I was called here this morning to look over the notes and recordings that have been taken of you whilst you were asleep."

    "Two days?" Jayne looked horrified, "How are my parents, where are my parents?"

    "Concerned and tired so they were sent home, they're aware your awake though and will be here shortly. It was thought I should speak with you first due to the circumstances though."

    "What do you mean? Is there anything wrong with me?"

    "No, you're quite healthy according to the experts, you're dreams are very vivid though, can you remember anything of them though?"

    "not really no, I can remember little things, glimpses of things I think I should remember, you know"

    "I think I do" he replied, "I had that problem when I was younger, I'd see things during the day or dream them at night. The daytime visions I could remember but the night time ones seemed more real and substantial. I could never truely recall them though."

    "Thats it yes, the main thing I remember though is a sense of fear and loathing."

    "I get that impression when reviewing the recordings and transcripts of your many outbursts. I'd like to talk you through your visions if you want. I think they are a manifestation of the seer skill I posess.
    You'll be pleased to know it can be controlled and focused. I'd like to help you do that or at least point you in the right direction so that your gift can be harnessed."

    Rain started to patter at the window, Robert stepped away to look at her. Jayne looked forlorn and lost and was staring at her hands. He saw the panic on her face and realised she was on her own in a hospital bed with a man who'd just she her that she could have a power that had been giving her nightmares for most of her life and had just caused her to pass out for 2 days.

    Robert seeing a dawning of realisation strike her face started to started to walk to />
  24. Sanctimoniously Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2005
    star 5
    Anyone care to explain to me why this thread is at the bottom of the page?
  25. Andalite-Bandit Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 6
    It is a sad thing.

    Well, I've recently finished up the second draft of my feature. I'm just waiting to hear back from my producers and then I'll start up on the third draft, which should be close enough to final draft for us to use to start up the pre-production work.

    I've also been thinking about a second concept recently, but I'm not sure at the moment if I want to write it as a script or a novel.
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