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Author Topic: Swords & Scoundrels: Ask the Author!  (Read 4496 times)

Offline JMack

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Swords & Scoundrels: Ask the Author!
« on: August 02, 2016, 11:47:47 PM »
Here is the thread to ask our Author of the Month about her bank account, PIN, credit cards, investments books!
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Swords & Scoundrels: Ask the Author!
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2016, 12:48:36 AM »
So just so everyone's aware, Julia actually has a Q&A in the book itself (at least the Kindle version I got) where she covers a number of things - what inspired her to write the book, her favorite characters, and some other really interesting stuff. So, you can read that right now and learn the answers to all of those questions.

I have a few questions I'd love to learn more about when Julia gets some time, so I'll get the ball rolling, even though we're going through next month.

Questions!

1 - The first thing I thought of, when we were introduced to Reyes and the fact that it transformed, was the "tuning" segments from the movie Dark City. So, I was curious if you've seen it, and if you took any inspiration for the awesome (and treacherous) transformations. Also, if you *haven't* seen Dark City, I heartily recommend it.

2 - In your bio, you mention that you spend time "killing pixels in MMOs". I'm curious what MMORPGs you've played (or are currently playing) and what type of gamer you are - roleplayer? Explorer? Adventurer? PvPer? Or some mixture of all of the above?

3 - As an aside to 2, do you do much gaming outside of MMOs? If so, what are some of your favorites? And also, are there any videogames you'd say have influenced your writing?

Offline Francis Knight

Re: Swords & Scoundrels: Ask the Author!
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2016, 12:00:50 AM »


Questions at last! :D



Questions!

1 - The first thing I thought of, when we were introduced to Reyes and the fact that it transformed, was the "tuning" segments from the movie Dark City. So, I was curious if you've seen it, and if you took any inspiration for the awesome (and treacherous) transformations. Also, if you *haven't* seen Dark City, I heartily recommend it.

It's one of those films that I'm pretty sure I have seen at some point, and enjoyed it, but remember little about (oddly I tend to forget films but remember books. Old Man is t'other way around) The actual inspirations were a throwaway comment from Old Man and a youtube vid about someone who had designed a clockwork city (though it worked in a different way, it still got the old cogs going)

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2 - In your bio, you mention that you spend time "killing pixels in MMOs". I'm curious what MMORPGs you've played (or are currently playing) and what type of gamer you are - roleplayer? Explorer? Adventurer? PvPer? Or some mixture of all of the above?

I started, as i suspect many did, on WOW. I play with a small group of mates and we then progressed to WAR (great PvP, not enough PVE), Neverwinter, Guild Wars etc, but my current fave is the Star Wars MMO. The different class storylines are fantastic - the first time I've ever been shocked by a twist in a game story. Gameplay is also great fun (esp if you are an Inquisitor and you get to shock people tee hee) I tried roleplay, but it did seem a little too...er...well not for me. I am mainly a "blow the crap out of it" DPSer though I do alt as a healer. As long as I can also blow the crap out of things. I can't tank to save my life.

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3 - As an aside to 2, do you do much gaming outside of MMOs? If so, what are some of your favorites? And also, are there any videogames you'd say have influenced your writing?

I do lots of non MMO gaming. Bioshock, Deus Ex, AVP, Witcher etc. As for influencing my writing...my Old Man says, when I am having trouble "Go play X game, it'll give you ideas" but it doesn't because I get so caught up in the game...if anything it is an escape from thinking about my stories by burying myself in someone else's
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Swords & Scoundrels: Ask the Author!
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2016, 04:21:20 PM »
I started, as i suspect many did, on WOW. I play with a small group of mates and we then progressed to WAR (great PvP, not enough PVE), Neverwinter, Guild Wars etc, but my current fave is the Star Wars MMO. The different class storylines are fantastic - the first time I've ever been shocked by a twist in a game story. Gameplay is also great fun (esp if you are an Inquisitor and you get to shock people tee hee) I tried roleplay, but it did seem a little too...er...well not for me. I am mainly a "blow the crap out of it" DPSer though I do alt as a healer. As long as I can also blow the crap out of things. I can't tank to save my life.

Haha, awesome. SWToR is an extremely well done game from the solo story perspective - and while I was initially leery of their "group members make decisions for you" idea for story choices, I tried it with a friend and ended up loving it, especially with the random roles.

If you ever end up trying Elder Scrolls Online, let me know. :0

One other question since we've got an open forum ... one thing I especially enjoyed in the book was the descriptions of swordplay. In general, anytime there was a fight (sword or otherwise) the descriptions were tight and punchy, and it was easy to imagine how the blows were playing out. It *felt* like well choreographed sword fight, so I'm curious if you have any experience (like fencing) or if you simply did a lot of research.

I'm largely junk at writing sword fights, so I tend to do a lot of abstraction. So I'm curious what your approach was when writing fights for this book, as I thought those were well done.

Offline Francis Knight

Re: Swords & Scoundrels: Ask the Author!
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2016, 10:56:56 PM »

Haha, awesome. SWToR is an extremely well done game from the solo story perspective - and while I was initially leery of their "group members make decisions for you" idea for story choices, I tried it with a friend and ended up loving it, especially with the random roles.
It does make for great stuff when you have two mercenary smugglers and holier than thou Jedi who wins, and refuses the money. Cue much talk of "bloody do gooders" :)


Quote
One other question since we've got an open forum ... one thing I especially enjoyed in the book was the descriptions of swordplay. In general, anytime there was a fight (sword or otherwise) the descriptions were tight and punchy, and it was easy to imagine how the blows were playing out. It *felt* like well choreographed sword fight, so I'm curious if you have any experience (like fencing) or if you simply did a lot of research.

I'm largely junk at writing sword fights, so I tend to do a lot of abstraction. So I'm curious what your approach was when writing fights for this book, as I thought those were well done.

Very little actually, though we do have a large selection of swords/knives/bat'leths. The get used mostly for gardening (and occassionally scaring new neighbours acciedentally!)

My approach to any action scene is a variation on the rule of three -- One sentence action, one reaction, one emotion. Because who did exactly what with their sword/laser gun/disemboweller is not the point (in a book, different in films perhaps) it's how it affects the characters. So what say Vocho actually does with the sword is less important than what impression he thinks he's making/what damage it just did to his handsome face. Petri is more concerned with the honour, and whether he measures up etc, or later in the series he has other concerns, but the impact on them as people is paramount {ETA you also want to leave enough room for the reader to imagine the scene as they will and less is more there. If I say "he rispoted" you can imagine your own retaliation. If I describe it in detail, the impact is less, and it doesn't draw you in as much }

IMO only, a sword fight described only as " he turned his feet widdershins, set his sword at 38 degrees precisely and thrust for the wibbly purple bit at the bottom of the colon" is actually pretty boring. It'll work on screen but the heart of a novel is how the action impacts the characters -- how they react, their internal life. You can't recreate spectacular fight scenes from films on paper. So you shouldn't try. Focus on the character and how the fight affects them

YMMV obviously. 
« Last Edit: September 10, 2016, 11:03:57 PM by Francis Knight »
My tongue has been in my cheek for so long, I've eroded a new mouth.


Duellists Trilogy (as Julia Knight) coming soon from Orbit!

http://www.juliaknight.co.uk/