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WIP I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - by Kathryn518 - M - HP/SW

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Revlisflow, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. Jon

    Jon The Demon Mayor Admin DLP Supporter

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    I think a big question that kathryn needs to ask themselves when writing one of the pure interaction scenes is;

    'Does this advance the relationship or is it just retreading the same ground?'

    I enjoy interaction between characters a lot, but it can become frustrating if no appreciable progress is made between characters, after all, they shouldn't be static and there is an interpersonal plot along with an actual one.

    Can we agree on that guys?
     
  2. Johnnyseattle

    Johnnyseattle Auror DLP Supporter

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    Yes, a much more eloquently put version of the "get on with it" that I said. :)
     
  3. kathryn_518

    kathryn_518 Squib

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    The problem with 10 k chapters is that rarely do things all fit together then. I get the urge to change or worse, I haven't figured out all the pieces of story going together at a later point.

    It's funny. Plums says the same :p 'they should all be banging.' But they're not all going to.

    I understand I'm not going to please everyone. I won't try to. Clearly I've got people who dislike my writing here, and that's fine.

    But I'm not so stupidly arrogant as to think that I might not find constructive criticism that could be beneficial, and anything that will help my writing style is always appreciated.


    Not to intentionally double post here, (as it didn't show me page three until just now)

    That's my struggle. Trying to figure out a way to advance the relationship without retreading the same ground, while at the same time, I *HATE HATE HATE* the jarring feeling that happens when a relationship changes without any seeming reason or ground work.

    I also struggle to do so with multiple people.

    Event X happens.

    Person(s) A B and C are there to witness. Person D is not.

    Person A and Person B deal with personal fallout

    Person C has to bring Person D up to speed and deal with their own issues in the process.


    That second part is where I really struggle. Allowing it to happen off screen.
     
  4. Peter North

    Peter North Dark Lord

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    I agree with what most everyone is saying here about the pacing. This update was actually really enjoyable to me because of the way things progressed more than usual I think.

    We finally find out how Harry removed the horcrux and people are finally starting to figure out who Harry is. I really hope that the next chapter has Iris and her family finding out a bit more about Harry.
     
  5. Donimo

    Donimo Seventh Year

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    You can still write ahead of your posting schedule. You could post 5-10k chapters at a time, but still keep that 40k word bank you seem to like.
    All that would change is chapter length which really is the biggest liability to the pacing issues in your fics. If you have a 10k chapter and nothing has happened it clearly needs work before you post it.
     
  6. kathryn_518

    kathryn_518 Squib

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    Pretty sure you meant my other fic, I'm Still here. >_>
     
  7. Peter North

    Peter North Dark Lord

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    Yes indeed sorry I'm not really sure why I missed the title of this thread.
     
  8. Snapdragon

    Snapdragon Seventh Year

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    My knee jerk suggestion to limit your problem is not writing Harem stories, at all. I suppose that's not something you or more likely plums want to hear.

    But IMHO they always end in this kind of tripe where too many people talk about nothing to provide them a role.

    Define core character(s) and focus on them and use other characters as part of the setting.

    Though sometimes a less talkative approach to cover everybody and their pet's perspectives would be helpful. For instance Tsu Doh Nimh splitting the perspectives in 2 different stories was a smart decision as it keeps the main story flow and even produced an entertaining sidekick fic.

    I prefer "I'm still here" vastly over the SW and DC story. Most characters in that story have a personal motivation outside of "curiosity/the force" and they act according while keeping it mostly fresh.

    I really like what you did there with the Flamels, Draco and Reginald Black. They have an identity.

    Sure, I see the looming danger of the Harem cancer but it's fortunately not just there and I naively keep the hope you'll pull a U-Turn.

    The SW story is like waiting for Godot. It lacks substance as the tidbits of plot are just not enough to carry its weight. I'm also not a friend of these bad cliche pairing(s) as I associate them to certain bad HP/SW crossovers we all "know".

    I'm not sure the SW story can be "repaired" from my perspective as suggesting a different approach now is far too late and surely not something you would enjoy listening to after all the invested work:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
  9. Jon

    Jon The Demon Mayor Admin DLP Supporter

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    This is a great piece of advice that you should definitely add to the list of things to focus on when writing multiple-person dialogue. People shouldn't be just participating in dialogue for the sake of participating, they should have objective goals for the conversation, or if they don't have one, they should be passive, doing something else until there is a point for them to be involved.
     
  10. Meerkats

    Meerkats High Inquisitor

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    I really really get this. It's the struggle of having a relationship make sense while making sure that not too much of the development happens off screen as to make it seem unnatural, at least to yourself.

    I think at a certain point it becomes a matter of having to go back and edit what you've written with a fresh take, and kind of fight yourself to tone it down a bit.
     
  11. Gene

    Gene Third Year

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    Incidentally, despite my dislike for how this story has progressed, I rather enjoy that one, to the point that it's one of my favorite ongoing (as in, have been updated in ~3 months) stories on the site, if not my absolute favorite.

    There are a bunch of differences, but the two big ones I can think of are the pacing and the characterization. It's hard to get less vague, or I would, but perhaps some examples would work best. (If you're not Kathryn, be warned that I'm going to be spoiling a story I consider quite good, so, uh, don't read more.)

    In I'm Still Here, basically every chapter is advancing the plot in some way: you're introducing mysteries (what's with the un-openable thing in the chamber? What the hell is Bellatrix doing at Hogwarts (probably possessed by the ring horcrux, but to what end)? What exactly is going on with Iris reliving some of Harry's memories?) characters (the Flamels are very well-realized), straight up plot (Daphne learning Harry's big secret, Harry rescuing Regulus, Fleur confronting Harry), or the like.

    That kind of continual and varied progression is a lot less present in the other story: it feels like they might as well have just been on Harry's ship learning magic for the past 3 years.

    As for characterization, part of the problem is that Star Wars is just...bigger. It's a galactic-scale story! That means you need to be very careful to give depth to most of your characters, which just isn't there. Contrast to I'm Still Here, where even the characters you dislike, like Dumbledore, are being given nuance.

    Oh, and the preaching is much worse here than in I'm Still Here: there are a few rants from Perenelle that could stand to be toned down, but they're nothing compared to Harry's rants about the Jedi. In general, it would serve you well for some of the rants, in both stories, to just be straight up wrong, if you feel the need to keep them in.
     
  12. Immet

    Immet Seventh Year

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    I was going to give you constructive criticism and was going to skim through to see bits that I found a bit dull and some suggestions for how to improve it. But, and this is a really nitpicky but, I got completely stuck on the third paragraph of the story.
    Which are the verb, subject and objects in that sentence? I've forgotten most of my grammar so can't remember how do describe it optimally, but you have something like "The A, who was B, but C". Which makes no sense.

    There is a point to this other than you need an editor to go over previous chapters, I'm just finding it slightly difficult to articulate it.

    How about this: assuming that it was meant to describe the environment and that the bartender was a busty Zeltron with a power girl cleavage window, you bring up that the Zeltron has big breasts and that Ahsoka doesn't, but there's no emotion to it, it doesn't suggest any history, and while you could take from it that Ahsoka is jealous of her breasts it isn't actually there. You could have comparing her basic garment to the much more expensive one, or even just having some quiet envy.

    All there is in the first few paragraphs are saying that theres a quiet bar, a Togrutan female with no description, and a big boobed Zeltron as opposed to Ahsoka's smaller but growing breasts.


    -------


    Compare that to I'm Still Here , and on the one hand you have a description of the main character, with evocative imagery describing his walk and clothes suggesting a history. On the other you have two women with the only description being the size of their breasts.

    Actually, thinking about that, is or isn't Ahsoka the main character? You set her up to be and have the first few chapters from her perspective, but then Harry becomes the main character.

    That's the biggest problem of the story in my current opinion. As the focus changed to Harry, the story took a turn for the worse.

    Maybe it's having the trope of the complete outsider looking in, but having Ahsoka learn about something new as the reader does works better (or at least more easily) as a story than having Harry teach you the reader as the main character's students learn. Ahsoka as a main character is learning about magic and Harry's history as the reader does, but Harry as a main character is changing emotionally on a personal level as he teaches Ahsoka which is a lot harder to do and isn't working so well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  13. Hymsicality

    Hymsicality Second Year

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    Is it possible to try writing tight 5000 word chapters? I think it's a pretty huge problem when each chapter is roughly the size of a novella but little to nothing gets done in it.
     
  14. kathryn_518

    kathryn_518 Squib

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    Things do happen and the long chapters tend to cover man different aspects and characters.

    I Mean, it's possible to scrunch the entire story down to 8 words. "Good guys win. Bad Guys lose. The End." But that's not exactly riveting for a story.
     
  15. Donimo

    Donimo Seventh Year

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    This is a straight up straw man argument. There is a reason why no one else uses 30-40k word chapters.
     
  16. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Tactical Tomato DLP Supporter

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    Make the chapters as long as you want--so long as there is something happening. If the only outcome of a scene is that the scene happened, it probably wasn't needed. Less is more, show over tell, etc.
     
  17. kathryn_518

    kathryn_518 Squib

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    No this is me making a point. In this case I don't particularly care what else people do when it comes to size. I post what I want. I hate when other people post small chapters because I always want more, and I usually read a 5k chapter in 10 minutes or so, so I go looking for other things to read quickly.

    My chapters are long because they ARE several chapters combined into one. If I post every time I have 5-10 k words, then things come out choppy or just wrong and I end up with chapters I regret. (Chapter 4 of I'm Still here comes to mind)

    It's a completely POINTLESS chapter I wish I would have saved to come out through dialogue and interaction rather than a ginormous info dump.

    Instead I combine several chapters of action/events/interaction, into each "chapter". Because I make sure they all flow, and then post them all at once so people aren't waiting for some artificial time passage.
     
  18. Donimo

    Donimo Seventh Year

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    No, it is a straw man argument. It means what instead of arguing against what someone has said, you make something up and argue against it instead. For instance:

    Your writing is decent, you have a lot of good ideas, your content has issues but that could be fixed with a proper beta who will tell you when your doing stupid shit. However the biggest issue with your work is the pacing. Perhaps repeating what has already been said is foolish, but it is the truth. You write a lot of nothing that goes nowhere. The best way to fix this is to break one of your chapters up into 4-5 chapters. Then you could see that each chapter accomplishes nothing alone, and trim off the fat.

    Really long chapters aren't a problem. If that is what you want to post, go for it. The problem is that one of your chapters has about as much progression as a 5-10k chapter from a better writer.
     
  19. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen Prestige DLP Supporter

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    kathryn_518 I think a lot of the problems with your fic can be boiled down to your inability to realize that just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.


    PS: You should kinda care what other people do. Just a little.
     
  20. kathryn_518

    kathryn_518 Squib

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    Except it's not just 'progression.' There is character development that is part of everything. Character development that comes from different people offering different insights, and different reactions to the same stimuli. If I was telling the story from a single viewpoint, without any view toward other characters and how they develop. You would be absolutely right.

    And I also realize that may be a style I chose to adopt on other stories. Maybe. Part of why I write the way i do is because different characters develop at different rates and in different directions. I like examining that. I'm sorry if that irritating, but seeing someone go from one point to another based on actual action scenes are also fun for me.







    Your first part is a legitimate point, no argument there. Some of my fics suffer from me trying to jam too many ideas into one story rather than taking ideas and splitting them into other stories where they might fit better. I understand that, and am working on getting better at it.

    As for caring what other people do about length? Not so much. I'm happy to take constructive criticisms and try and improve the fundamentals and structure of my writing.

    Grammar, story elements, ways to streamline some things. Fine. Ways to improve expressions and physical mannerisms, all of that I'm always willing to learn.

    But some people like longer chapters. Some people like shorter chapters. I happen to like longer chapters. So I don't particularly care what length other people are posting, I don't post until I'm satisfied with a whole section, and whether i split it up into 4 or 5 chapters or drop it out as one massive update won't make a difference in what is written since that is all finalized before I post.