May 26, 2020, 12:36:00 AM

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New person incoming! Hey all! My name's Kat, and I've recently started planning my first novel. Characterization is my favorite part of writing, and fantasy (likely described as the darker variety) is my preferred genre.

I haven't been writing for near as long as some people here have, but I've read every writing blog from this site's start in 2013 in...oh, a weekend and three extra days? Call my research an obsession. Don't get me started on the Psychology Today articles.  ;D

Hoping to continuing learning all I can here from all these amazing looking people!

March 09, 2016, 03:32:29 AM
Re: New person incoming! Thanks guys, and what do you mean? I love being pestered with questions! You see, I'm a bit of a attention hog. ;)

I'm not necessarily new to writing, but I really started trying to improve and push myself about three years ago after...some embarrassment. It's only that I'm just starting to write anything lengthy.

Strange magic indeed. I was looking for some articles and came across the site a month back. I only just thought about actually joining the forums. Silly me for waiting so long.  :-\

I'll definitely take advantage of the critique board. Oh, and of course I'll try my hand at the monthly writing challenge.  Always in need of practice, and this one looks interesting. I haven't really written much horror, so it's should be a nice way to start widening the horizons.

March 09, 2016, 05:19:47 PM
Re: Knowing a bit, but the rest is a great big jumble of nothing
How much of your writing is discovery writing? If you know your world well, sometimes you find out things about locations that you hadn't considered until you brought your characters into those locations. Sometimes those discoveries can become integral to the plot, they can almost always at least lend to your characters' development. Otherwise, you probably need to flesh out supporting characters a bit.

Really, it just sounds like you need to start actually writing the story and see where it goes if you're still just outlining. It's hard to develop an intimate understanding of your characters and setting until you write them.

It’s hard to answer the first part of that, because it seems like my writing has actually changed for this. I’ve written out some scenes and snippets, and I’m honestly not sure how it’s going to be with this one, because it’s turning out completely different than anything I’ve tried for in the past. I’m pretty good with the key players, but yeah, there are some minor ones that I need to focus on. I’ve just been trying to figure out how they’ll fit in. I’ve gotten about three different ideas there, and I’m trying to puzzle out how to bring some of them in. I’ve actually been debating if the ones I originally planned should go in the next book due to their background and complications with getting them in the correct place. There’s another option I’ve thought of, however, and I think I’ve plotted out those characters fairly well. It’s pretty easy for me to close my eyes and slip into what characters feel from their perspective in situations, and understand their reactions and how they work. Understanding the people I write is my top strength.

Plot is harder, which is why I’m trying to focus on things pertaining to that. I’m realizing how much goes into it, and how it’s not just one thing, it also ties in with multiple smaller things no less important. Character arcs, mini plots, etc. World building can have a huge impact too, and I didn’t realize the story world would be what it is when starting, so I know there’s some major parts that will depend on details relating to the world around the events and characters.

I don’t want to plan so much that it becomes rigid and inflexible, but I want to make sure I know enough and understand enough about what’s going on that I won’t be lost and make the story seem wondering and ill planned. Not with this one.

Yes.... Write. Just write.

Knowing your plot is one thing, writing the story quite another. If ideas don't come by themselves, then it doesn't matter, you're still doing valuable work that can be edited later.
If really nothing comes to you, then you probably need to put down that story and write something else to hone your skills, like our writing contest.

On my own WIP, I have thousands of words of just snippets and quotes that came to me as I dwelled on chapters and events, and such thinking made me profoundly change the plot details and the character arcs. I've been at it for over a year now and I barely start to be confident I have enough.

Finally, why do you care about length? What's wrong with writing a novella or a short story?

Yes, I completely agree about plotting vs writing, but I’ve also come to realize about myself that my writing is nowhere near as good without details in mind. Maybe I’ll end up like Tolkien, not continuing what I’m writing until twenty years after my first book. I don’t know.

I've written out scenes to explore some of my ideas. The reason I'm trying to work on a lot of fleshing out before hand is this is the first story I've actually gone before hand and planned to this extent. Every other book I've tried to write I've been a pantser, and found myself lost by chapter two. The reason I care about length is I already know there's going to be another book or two after, and when I meant short up in my post, I mean it'll really be too short. If I put the other parts of the overall story with it, it just won't work, not the same way. It just...feels wrong, I suppose. I'm normally able to be flexible about those things, but with this story idea, it's one of those that's just "No, not this time. Listen, you person who’s writing me, you can't do that. It won't fit. It needs to be a new book after. Otherwise it won't be the same, so just do it this way. It’s my story, and you’re just telling it. It won’t work."

And that probably sounds completely crazy.

Trust me though, I thought about doing it and combining the books into one, but this is the story that just kinda went and slugged me. No other piece I've thought of has EVER stuck in my head like this. It's the one I want to get out there, even if it's not the first book I publish, because I know the first book published normally is the one that's hardest to get out there. Normally. Unless you're J.K. Rowling.

 A lot of ideas are coming, just…not an important few. It can be edited later, but if I realize ¾ through that I should have done something different in the first quarter that drastically changes the plot, I’d like to minimize the time spent as much as I can. Yes, it will always need to be edited after. Tightened up, checked for grammar and the correct strength of wording, adding in foreshadowing, etc. But something as big as this I want to try to understand upfront as much as possible. There will always be changes and times you realize this is not how this character would handle their situation, so we need to change it to something else. But those are the roads they go on, directions changed to get to a point you KNOW you must have, unless it’s really, really, really big thing, like how Pierce Brown picked a character’s name out of a hat, having to kill him and throw away a major character arc in the next book.

March 25, 2016, 09:52:43 PM
Re: Why Do You Want to be an Author? I want to make an impact on people. When I was a kid, I didn't have many friends. In fact, I was bullied quite a bit. Books helped me feel like I wasn't alone. My mom didn't like fantasy, with all the "magic" and "witchcraft" jaz. Threw away the copy of The Last Unicorn I got from one of the people I actually did call friend when she moved. So, I'd go to the library and grab books about five years above my reading level and sneak them home, then did the entire reading under the covers by flashlight bit. When I read about all these amazing worlds, about characters who were able to do exactly what they were always told they were incapable of, it gave me the dream that maybe I could accomplish something one day, that maybe I'd have friends like the ones this character had to support them.

I want to give that to someone else. I want them to see the human struggles inside a book, a character who's gone through far more than they ever should have, and somehow survive. Or not. Maybe they won't, but I still want to give another little girl somewhere to turn to during the nights when she's not sure where to go. There are books I remember reading at age eight that haven't left me yet, and that's the kind of story I want to share. Maybe I'll even inspire another person to pick up a pen and do the same. If so, that would be enough for me. Who needs to become the next Rowling or Martin? That's not what I think this should be about. If that's what it is, I have some bad news for you. The odds are stacked against you...but then again, I did just say it's those situations that really give you some hope. Maybe you'll pull it off, like the characters you're writing. I don't know. For me though, if I help even one reader, inspire one child or teen or adult, that's all I'd ask for.

Though, it might also be that I simply love sending fictional people on a barefoot walk through Hell. :)

March 26, 2016, 01:07:28 AM
Re: You know you're a writer when... When your family looks at you like you're crazy, and you just realize at that moment you've been talking out both sides of a story conversation and...and with hand motions.

When you do the same thing on a walk in public.

When you go to sleep tweaking scenes you're planning in your head to figure out which works best.

When you try to figure out what so and so would say if in so and so show.

Would this character like chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry?

Closing your eyes and becoming a character, then being grumpy for the next few hours because your character just went through a horrible experience, and how dare I make myself feel that. Yes, I need to understand how she feels, but that was horrible.

March 26, 2016, 01:58:28 AM
Re: Relating to characters
Read a wide range of character types. There are MCs of all different shapes/genders etc. That will help to bring you into other mindsets and expression. What kind of character are they? Put down a few main things and try to find a,few books that have similar characters. Study them, then use that as a muse.

You can't teach experience, but you can allow yourself to open up to more than your own.

You have to disconnect your self from the character. The character doesn't care about what you think or care about. They have their own self. That is what you have to tap into.

For me, there is a lot of placing myself into that characters mind. Think about who they are. Their past, their experiences that make them. Their motivations, what drives them? This is a hard thing to do for some people. I speak from experience. I am a night writer for a reason. I need time to get my mind right and into the character. Once I'm there, I feel it. You should see some of my facial expressions.  :o Its a weird thing being in that place.

Practice is the big thing. Write until you get closer to what you want. If its not right, try again. Keep doing it until it is. Then write more until it's perfect. Write out of your comfort zone until you've got it.

Ah, THAT place. I love and hate it all at once. Problem for me is I don't always do it at night. I find myself there in other places...such as a crowded hallway.  8)

March 26, 2016, 03:24:52 AM
Re: Character Facebook status
I think the exercise is hypothetical: take your character and think what they would post on facebook if they had an account.  At least that is how I took it...

Yes. That's exactly what I meant. Oh, I never did one myself, did I? I should do that. Some language incoming. XD

Avari posted: It's official. Life hates me, my writer is a sadist, and now I've broken an arm escaping a giant lizard. To top off my day, Caius is still an obsessive psychopath, the sadistic bastard.You think he'd give up trying to catch me, but nooo, some people just can't stand losing can they? Stubborn ass.

I swear, if I don't run into him again for the rest of eternity it'll be too soon. I'm getting real tired of this shit and I really need a vacation. #GetMeOutOfHere #FourthWallBroken #INeedANewWriter

Caius Liked this

          Caius replied: I may be a sadistic bastard, but at least I'm a magnificent sadistic bastard. I know this won't make you feel any better, but at least I get some enjoyment out of this. Silver linings.

PS: Just so you know, your location is on. Start running if you want a head start, and you can be sure that we'll have a talk when I get you home. Your actions lately leave much to be desired, and I was the one responsible for you. You've gotten me into a bit of trouble...oh, and watch the language. There could be children on here.  Good luck fighting back with that broken arm. ;)

         #GoodLuckDarling #I'llCheckInOnYouSoon

                 Avari replied: Wait, when did you get on my friends list? I really shouldn't be surprised. Shit. Screw this I'm out.

April 03, 2016, 04:22:32 PM
Re: Fantasy Memes and silly stuff about books from the internet I have some! This is my new favorite place...

April 05, 2016, 09:55:22 PM
Re: Fantasy Memes and silly stuff about books from the internet I like that one too. XD

I laughed so hard at this one.  ;D

April 06, 2016, 08:54:06 PM
Re: Fantasy Memes and silly stuff about books from the internet That last one though is too accurate.

I will take your writer mugs, and raise you a bunch of writer shirts!!!

And this is just a little four square comic I love!  :D

April 07, 2016, 03:11:55 AM