July 11, 2020, 05:59:39 AM

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Re: Say Hi, I'm new thread Okay, let's see... Hello everyone, my name is Kaci.  I  decided to join the FF forums because I do enjoy the articles and thought it'd be fun. I am a writer  - two novels co-written and published,  a couple screenplays co-written, one filmed and being edited,  and lots of unpublished things - and a reader, but I'm newish to the SFF genre (I'm getting better!).  Oh, and I am female; my username tends to leave people guessing. 0=)

So yeah. Hi!

July 17, 2015, 12:57:04 AM
Re: Annoying Reading That is a pretty good discussion on swords. Out of my league, though.  Anyway, I turn the grammar and spelling editor off when reading for myself, so unless it's REALLY bad I'm not going to notice.  That said, the shortlist of peeves:

1) Too much talking during a fight.  You're trying to kill each other, not bake a cake.
2) Female characters -I admit I'm a bit rough on female characters. Most are either useless or men with bras.  As someone else alluded to (Misty, I think?), there's more to being tough than being able to bench press 5 tons.  (This works the other way, too: there's more to being "sensitive" or whatever than emotionally vomiting left and right.)
3) The male lead being wimpy to make the female lead look better.
4) *Never* telling me what a character looks like. (First person is the exception; it can be too awkward to have the narrator describe him/herself.)  Ex: There's one book I read where two thirds of the way through the book you learn this major character's skin color. The color didn't matter, but if you haven't given me a basic idea of what a character looks like in the first few paragraphs of introduction, whatever image I conjure is what they look like, forever.

Things other people mentioned already:
--Characters doing things that don't make sense or are out of character. (It doesn't have to be *rational,* but people follow *some* sort of thought process, and I should know at least the gist of it.)

Miscellaneous aside: I don't mind omniscient. The Iliad is omniscient. But a good omniscient POV is never confusing, and that's where I think many people mess up.

July 17, 2015, 01:40:56 AM
Re: Person of Interest Yeah, I really do like it; I  just got behind, and apparently prefer to watch one show at a time these days.

@ArcaneArtsVelho -  Thanks! hello!

July 17, 2015, 05:02:39 PM
Re: Violence in fantasy
So recently I finished to outline a story that happens in my world, and the first thing that came into my mind was - "Man. This world is brutal. It's entire story is brutal. Dude. WTF?".
My goal was to create a story when everyone is hurt in some way (physically and mentally) and where painfull but quick death is actually a blessing. And to forestall - I don't use violence just for the sake of using it, but still it's a key component of my world, and i made sure it's justified (most of the times).

What do you think about it? What is the thick red line that separates "grim/dark fantasy" from "butcher's fairytale" (this is how one of my friend reffers to it)? How not to turn a story into a parody? How far can one walk into a Mordor of description?
Do you often use violence in your writing. Or maybe in other way: Do you LIKE to use violence in your writing.
I also want to say is that I never read any of GoT books, and never even watched a second of it's TV series. But as far as I know - it's a hurtfest/killfest/rapefest/tearsofreadersfest/cutthedongfest.

Maybe it's a time to read it? Or do you know other authors that like to "play" with their characters in this way? Or maybe even better?

Stephen Lawhead, specifically Pendragon Cycle and Song of Albion, is really good at walking that line of violence-but-not-overly-done, I think. He'll leave you chilled for days without overdoing it.  Dan Wells writes YA serial killer novels...that might be another good middle-ground (not as dark, but, well, I did say YA serial killer).    I actually thought Hunger Games towed the line, especially when you consider how much could have happened to Katniss that didn't, and how much was implied but not shown. Ender's Game is another.

I tend to write pretty brutal worlds and/or characters with brutal backgrounds, myself, so these are my thoughts. First, read through your own manuscript yourself. If it's too much for you, then I suggest finding another way to convey it. I've come to prefer a less-is-more approach for the really nasty stuff (if this is what he's showing me, dear Lord what's this over here he's *not* showing me?), but I do think the first line on this is whether or not you yourself are comfortable with it.

Second, show it to someone whose judgment you trust who is either also a writer or is at least an avid reader in your genre. Pay attention when this person reacts, and ask them to be specific with their reactions. (Ex: I showed one friend a scene I was having trouble with. Because it was him,  since *he* said one character reacted too violently for the situation, I scaled it back. )

Third, having done this, look the thing over again. You said your goal was to keep the violence focused on driving plot and character. So, in this pass, is there anything distracting from that? (Ex: Scene 12 is the really important violent scene, but Scenes 4 and 7 have the same level of intensity. Since you want to emphasize 12, don't put 4&7 on the same level. I don't think this is something you can do until you have a full draft. Or, since your outline is done, mark the ones that really need the emphasis, and make some notes on ideas of how to not be as intense on scenes around it. So the violence is there, but you're making sure the reader doesn't make Level 10 of intensity into Level 1.

July 17, 2015, 06:22:36 PM