1. The second prompt is revealed! (Q2 2018)

    "Breaking into Snape's office in the middle of the night was a risky move at the best of times..."

    Deadline is June 18th, also known as the 22nd Anniversary of a seriously sad day—a tremendously black day for anyone.

    As with before you can check out the new thread discussing scoring, rules, and other such matters in the in the Story Competitions forum.

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Writing Advice and Resource Thread

Discussion in 'FanFic Discussion' started by Halt, Jan 18, 2018.

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  1. Seyllian

    Seyllian Auror DLP Supporter

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    I feel like I am the inspiration for a lot of this...
     
  2. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    Depends. Do you write worm fic?
     
  3. Seyllian

    Seyllian Auror DLP Supporter

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    Our irc conversation
     
  4. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    Our conversations on IRC gave me a chance to put my thoughts in order but my investment in your stories pales in comparison to the hundreds of stories I've read with a good premise but no actual deviation or deviating without reason.
     
  5. Ludwig

    Ludwig Third Year

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    Like how King wrote the opening line in The Dark Tower? It gives us the protagonist, the antagonist and the setting all in a few words showing us exactly what the story is about.

    If the author writes a story with a slow start should he/she change core aspects of the story in favour of getting a stronger start?

    The link to Taure's work is the same one as the link to The Magnate btw.
     
  6. contra

    contra First Year

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  7. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    Yes King's opening for DT is iconic for that reason. Another opening I like is from Dresden Files - The building was on fire and it wasn't all my fault.

    I didn't touch on opening lines, but they can be used to act as a "promise" so to speak. It hints at the reader not really what your endgame is so much as what "mood" the story is. Will it be grimdark? Fluffy? A classic hero's adventure? A reversal of tropes? Second, opening lines allow you to introduce important things about your story. Third, and this has to balanced with the other two points, there has to be a sort of "poetry" to your words. It has to flow right. If you look at both the examples we've discussed, there's a rhythm to them that makes it roll off the tongue easily.

    In my mind, a strong start is not mutually exclusive with a slow start. Slowness/fastness is a matter of pacing, strong/weak is a matter of execution. and framing.

    That said, if forced to make a choice, I'd say no? Chances are if you change a core aspect of the story it either 1) Won't fit the rest of your world as well, 2) Makes you dislike your own story, or 3) Ruins your plot. Those are losing trades to make. You can't sabotage yourself in the long run for short term benefits.

    Besides that, there are ways to make an opening stronger that don't require drastic changes to your story. Using dialogue for example. It may not be the strongest and most memorable opening, but it can be used with just about any story and does the job decently (provided you can write dialogue).

    My official explanation is "I like to shill my fic". What do you mean I made a mistake? No more questions from you sir!

    Link is fixed.
     
  8. Story Content: Raising the Stakes
    Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    Raising the Stakes

    Not to be confused with what cattle ranchers do for a living.

    Raising the stakes is an integral part of plot and pacing. Beyond having good characters, it's a way to keep readers invested in those characters and their outcomes. In other words, raising the stakes keeps readers reading.

    The most common mistake writers make is raising the stakes through superfluous means: the calamity that was supposed to destroy a country is now going to destroy the world, putting several million people in danger instead of several thousand, etc. etc. etc. This is a failure to understand that stakes must be personal.

    The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic, and the same applies to stakes.

    In essence, raising the stakes is making things worse for the character. If you go from imminent destruction of a city to the imminent destruction of a dozen cities, it's not really any worse for him personally. But if you go from the imminent destruction of a city, to pointing out that it's his home city, then there's emotional weight.

    There's four general ways to raise stakes:
    1. Making it known what the personal consequences are
    2. Same thing goes wrong, but make the failure point worse
    3. Using subplots and side characters
    4. Adding problems using Try-Fail Cycles (from Writing Excuses 12.41).
    For example, if you tell Harry someone's been taken into the Chamber of Secrets, that's sad. If you then tell us it's Ron's sister, then there's greater weight. Same thing goes wrong, but the specificity introduces emotional weight.

    If you then tell us that not only will someone die, but Hogwarts will have to shut down, then that's making the failure point worse. Same thing can go wrong (Ginny dying), but not succeeding is even worse now. Keep in mind that you have to make failure points personal still - failing and meaning a rando muggle gets blown up doesn't really matter to Harry.

    Subplots and side characters can also be introduced. Telling us what the consequences are for other characters if such and such goes wrong (or doesn't go wrong). Letting us know Dean Thomas is a secret Voldemort mole and his family will die if he doesn't delay Harry from the Chamber can heighten the tension of a scene in the reader's mind.

    Finally, Try-Fail cycles can be used, usually at the conclusion of such plotlines.

    Ginny gets taken to the Chamber of Secrets. Do they succeed? There are two general ways to answer this.
    1. Yes, but! They succeed, but the cure was worse than the cancer. Problems result from the solution to the previous scenario. Yes, they rescue Ginny, but she's now psychotic and wants to kill Harry because of what happened in the chamber. Yes, but because they were busy doing that, they couldn't stop Voldemort from killing Dumbledore.

    2. No, and! They fail, and things get even worse for them. They fail and Hogwarts has to shut down. They fail and Voldemort returns. They fail, and Voldemort now has a 60 foot killing machine.
    Now, try-fail cycles are useful for building stakes, but readers can and do get tired of these if you're not careful. You cannot write an entire story of things just getting worse or people will get tired and stop reading.
    1. In these cases, you can simply answer a plot with Yes. They succeed and there is no greater problem - this is usually how stories are ended properly.

    2. Yes…but! They succeed, and the consequences are delayed to much later. This gives your readers breathing room. Let the characters revel in their successes for a while - for you are a generous god.

    3. Humor or light hearted scenes can also be used to break up fatigue from raised stakes. However, it has to serve a purpose beyond just that. If it feels to the reader like "Oh, we're having this nice scene because things are about to get a lot worse", then the reader is too tense about what comes next that it doesn't stop the fatigue.
     
  9. Sorrows

    Sorrows High Inquisitor Prestige DLP Supporter

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    This is a simple bit of advice that really stuck with me, it came from the epilogue of Pratchetts last book, I cant find a copy of the whole thing online but essentially it talked about how he constructed a story.


    Most stories start with an idea, or a scene or a handful of scenes that develop in your head, a conversation, a dramatic moment, something you can't stop thinking about. You find yourself wanting to get your characters to that point. So a lot of people sit down and start to write Chapter 1, with all the setup and character introductions etc etc, writing towards the awesome moment burning in their head, and all to often loose motivation long before they reach it, especially if they hate planning out stories before hand.

    Pratchett assembled stories like you would a jigsaw. He would write that seminal scene first. Then any others that had come to him. The he would go back and start writing the connecting tissue, working out how each scene reached the next or how each charecter reached that point. Then he might go back and write the beginning, or perhaps the end, with each pass over the draft adding more scenes; building in character arcs and thematic moments and jokes around those key moments and the message he wanted to impart.

    Its why The Shepard's Crown, had a beginning, middle and end and yet feels unfinished. It was never completely fleshed out.

    It seems obvious, yet until I read that it never occurred to me that you could write a story like that, write the fun bits first and then work out how to get there. It totally changed my approach to writing
     
  10. contra

    contra First Year

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    I agree with the sentiment that it's easier to develop a few of the awesome moments from the start. However, unchecked, I also think that such can just as easily be a detriment as it is a benefit.

    If, and specifically if, one writes their story based on trying to cool moments that just spring out from the mind without knowing exactly how they want the story to pan out, the story gets butchered. Character arcs might get tossed under the bus just for a cool moment that you can't get out of your head because tis so awesome it needs to be included even if it doesn't make sense.

    I don't know the specific case, nor if this happened in this example, but a very particular pitfall that can occur here is having your characters become passive, shoved into the next scene by contrivance. If you end up not being able to justify bringing the character to the next scene based on their own active decision making, you end up with a weak protagonist.

    I don't think it's doom and gloom to do this. I primarily want to at least present some form of caution before letting this style of writing take over the story as a whole. It definitely feels better to write this way, because we hate developing everything properly writing proper development to any idea is necessary and tedious and painful, and we would love to just get to the cool moment.

    Still, unchecked, such a method could hurt the overall story, since you could end up sacrificing pretty much everything that isn't the cool scene, and you might even end up having characters not even feeling like they deserve the moments in those scenes if you screw up that badly.

    A good example is Rogue One. Overall, that movie is just a few characters tossed together almost randomly and dragged from place to place for awesome setpieces. Literally, that's what the director said he was doing in an interview. That's terrible story writing if that's the majority of your game plan. The story could've been so much better if the story wasn't just based on a few cool scenes, then writing everything to navigate from point to point.

    By the end, some of those cool bits won't fit. Kill your darlings. As much as you love them, if they don't fit the story created around them, remove them.

    This video says everything better than I will.



    What I want to get across is that writing from scene to scene is not enough. Still ...

    I'll be back to edit this just to make sure I get this message right.

    I think I've got this post to a better version of what I meant to convey and will leave it all for posterity, and now it's time for me to pick up all the tomatoes and rocks thrown at me to see what I can learn. And the point that I'm trying to make is probably best presented after all below.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  11. Lungs

    Lungs KT Loser Prestige DLP Supporter

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    okay listen here, sir. stories function on these cool moments. If there's not a scene in your head in which you're like OH MY FUCKING GOD THIS NEEDS TO BE WRITTEN, then you're better off not writing. Sometimes it's necessary to throw a character arc under a bus. If you feel that way about a fucking character arc, which is a LOT of work to put together, then it probably wasn't that fucking good to begin with and your readers will be happy you knocked it off.


    that's not something that just happens, that's just terrible writing. No matter what happens, your character's at the core of it, either you nail the scene and your character follows the scene down, so to speak - and sometimes you have to pick up the pieces afterwards, or you write something particularly tepid and your characters end up equally tepid.


    Speak for yourself. That's what makes a story pop - proper development. When you rush out a sick scene in your head, then it's just going to be a sickly scene - where everything's kinda diseased and a little boring. If you have an amazing scene in mind, it should follow that the characters necessary have to already been written. I think there's a strong misunderstanding here - that there are good authors who like to do this thing where THIS AMAZING THING HAPPENS CUZ OF THESE AMAZEBALL CHARACTERS BY THE WAY, when the "by the way" bit is already part and parcel of the story if it's any good. Don't do afterthought-tastic writing. By that i mean, don't write something and then be like "OH THIS THAT AND THE OTHER THING" by the way, that's just shitty, and doesn't do your characters justice.

    REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. That's not EVEN WHAT THAT MEANS ODFJOAIFOIAJOFAIJSOFASJOFIJ. That means if you're hard attached to some story plot or concept or character you shouldn't even do it at all, and MORE SPECIFICALLY that you should cannibalize it and put it together in a way that makes it work. If you're writing a story to get to a certain point YOU FUCKING BETTER get there, otherwise you'll have written something clinical, dry and depressing (from a writer's perspective). What's the fucking point. You had this scene in your head, make it fucking happen lol.
     
  12. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    QFT.

    I won't beat a dead horse here on how many ways I can say you're wrong. So I'll just settle with this, when you go to edit your post later to make sure your message is correct, I would suggest deleting everything and starting over. Its okay to have a contrary opinion, but it reads to me like you're trying to give advice to Sorrows, who was just making observations, and adding some flavor to the OP which I find to be valid. Its a nice addition and comes form a vetted author. Which I put more weight behind his words than your own. Its a nice follow up to a well thought post from @Halt .

    Your examples are very poor. You're jumping from thought to thought with no validation. And you give terrible advice.

    Maybe when you post, you should do so when you have more time. I understand that you're an author and you want to share your experience, but you're conveying that in a terrible way. Give me something that is inline with the OP, give me something well thought out. Don't just assume everyone writes the same way you do.

    I know I don't.

    I find this interesting because I write in a similar way. I can hammer out words on words if I have an idea of a scene in my head. The hardest part for me, however, is writing the connecting tissue. I'm not necessarily trying to have a message, only that there are moments when I have a supreme idea that I want to share with everyone, and then I start thinking, "Alright, now how do I get to here."
     
  13. Sorrows

    Sorrows High Inquisitor Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Well that garnered more of a reaction than I expected it to.

    This way of putting a story together is by no means the only nor the best way. It clicked with me because having that seminal scene down on paper, along with any other scenes that burn brightly in your mind speaks to how I develop stories in my heard. Normally I have a few clear moments as well as a overall vague plot or situation I want to explore. Writing backwards from the moments that I see clearly, rather than trying to write towards then a chapter at a times is far more motivating for me. Subsequent drafts will fold them them into the context of the story you have written around them.

    If you are a person who likes to lay out your story before writing it, then this method is probably not for you. If you want to release it chapter by chapter on ff.net then it wont work unless you are prepared to write the whole thing out before posting.

    As @contra mentioned, this kind of method can have its pitfalls if the story is written only for those cool moments, for me having those cool moments down on paper while they are fresh and urgent motivates me far more then having them sit in my head until they grow stale while I try to construct a story around them.

    In that case, it felt unfinished because it was, The Shepard's Crown was Terry Pratchetts final book, and he died before he could finish, because of his writing method there was a whole book to publish, however you can see that there would have been more had he lived a little longer.

    EDIT: after some searching I found the quote.
    Rob Wilkins
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  14. contra

    contra First Year

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    Aftermath. Coolio. Thanks for the criticism, all the more thanks to those who were civil about it, because I would imagine that's the best way to educate someone and fits better into a thread about teaching rather than the usual spouts of internet rage.

    Anyways, responses first, point at the end. Hopefully.

    Yes, stories function on cool moments. They also function on the characters, the setting(s), the arcs for each character, their interactions, the theme or intention of the piece of writing, etc.

    So, why should you dumpster a character arc for the sake of a cool scene? In terms of dumpstering, destroying, throw under a bus, I don't mean kill or end there. I mean doing something that doesn't make sense for that character. Otherwise, why include that character in the first place?

    Obligatory: character bashing is an exception to be dealt with on its own terms.

    Was in response to "I don't know the specific case, nor if this happened in this example, but a very particular pitfall that can occur here is having your characters become passive, shoved into the next scene by contrivance. If you end not being able to justify bring the character to the next scene their own active decision making, you end up with a weak protagonist." which was a response to the beginning middle end bit.

    So terrible writing isn't something that just happens? Oh boy, that's news to me.

    I think I've read enough to be able to state that some stories are driven more by complete contrivance than character development. It may be a commentary about "it's a small world," or it may be a cheap way to write yourself into the next cool part of the scene. Either way, you didn't address my point here, though I did make it rather poorly and took my time to clarify. That said, I'll get to it later.

    Was in response to "we hate developing everything properly"

    I misspoke and have since resolved it. Hate was the wrong word for it, and I had meant the love/hate relationship one might have with any sort of job rather than just meaning that 'we' all hate that part. I believe it safe to say that this dynamic exists for most people, that for all the things we do that we enjoy (fuck I'm still here chugging away) we do things that we don't. This is certainly not the case for everyone, and I should have taken more steps to both do that and clarify what I meant to say.

    The first half of being hard attached is absolutely what I meant, though I've certainly never seen the second half despite having put in a good day's research into it when I was trying to figure out what it meant.

    In developing my case, what happens when in the process of writing the story, you find out that that wonderful scene that made you write this story in the first place no longer belongs? Do you do all that you can to keep it in, even though for all the literary skill in the world it can no longer make sense? Or do you 'kill your darling,' because whatever after you've come up with has grown beyond whatever you initially had?

    If you argue with "that scene was never good enough in the first place then," I respond with "how were you ever supposed to know?"

    To be honest, the video I'd linked argues everything better than I did. Meh.

    My bad for putting my unedited thoughts out into a forum of hyper-attentive/critical writers. Put it out there intending to get back to it, got it torn up, came back. Helped in understanding what I needed to do to establish my point better, at least. My words definitely came across as more contrary than I remember. I don't think my examples were terrible, considering just the two, but I definitely could've talked through the Rogue One example a lot more cleanly. The video speaks for itself, so.

    I didn't scrap it, I attempted to clarify what I meant and probably brought it more in line. If I didn't, this post will eventually clear things up.

    In the end, I do agree with Sorrows. However, I think it's worth adding more to the conversation because I also feel what she presented is somewhat misleading (yes I was too, anyway). While Halt's advice and the other posts have been very targeted towards minor details and what is best done to fix them (and have little room for error, as they are highly technical), Sorrows addressed the larger whole of how to even start and how to write. Granted, it's an alternative and people don't write the same (I'd ask you not to assume that I assume that, but assuming is human and all that). My advice was in service to not completely commit to the previous advice, hopefully, I've made that point better now.

    If I haven't ... probably not going to try much more. I have enough essays as it is, and I'm not going to invest that much time to build a structural deconstruction with all the evidence and bring it forth when no one for this particular point of the discussion has. And even then, I probably won't. It's an interwebs discussion.

    This was the biggest issue for me that I didn't properly address to begin with, woe is me. The connecting tissue, and even the body as a whole, remains of far more importance than scenes. If you don't understand how to write the connective tissue, or are developing it as a spur of the moment to bridge from scene to scene ... why assume it'll be done right? What I am trying to warn against is thinking that this style of writing has no flaws to it.

    Even then, are there points to those scenes? What's the point of having Anakin duel Obi-Wan for 15 minutes in The Return of the Sith? Nothing for the story, that's for sure, all that was in the script was "they fight." That was the cool moment, put in more detail through the film but has no greater meaning than selling the coolness of being able to use the force, not anything for the betterment of the story itself. There probably was a good dozen other amazing moments the creators wanted to sell, and they built in between to get to those points, but did they succeed with a good story?

    Thank you for not outright dismissing me like the other two did.

    This is the point I should have gotten to. In retrospect, I took what you said to its ignorant extreme to make my point, just to point out the hole which you avoided. Nothing you said was wrong, but I felt that it was worth bringing the hole into the light. What's done is done.

    Write how one needs to—personally, I do a bit of all you said. I have my one moment, I add an idea then lay out a pretty solid outline that still gets screwed with anyways as I first work out why should be where and what gets there. I prefer to have the very beginning and end set up already, since to me, that's a story. A character gets from one place to another or changes. Then some ????? happens as I write then figure out I need to change what I even already had to begin with, and I maybe profit.

    But that's starting from a greater view of the entire story, having a better idea of what's to happen and come and what your moments are in service to.

    If you truly begin with only the moments, is it really a story? Especially if that's all you have to begin with. Starting this way, it's easy to fall into the traps of what makes bad writing, since it's about moments and not the story.

    If you know how to write the story—the character, themes, etc—you can very well construct your story around those interesting little points you began with. But to say to just do this is taking for granted that the much more difficult work that one might've bypassed for the interesting stuff is the foundation.

    What's to say you have a jigsaw to begin with? You have a few pieces, but for all you know some aren't damaged, or that you can create pieces that actually fit together, or if they fit, present a picture worth looking at? How do you know they're even from the same puzzle? Writing by this method is highly suspect to problems. One of all you might know better, but considering the POV of a fresh writer looking for advice to just start? They might just focus on 'it's cool' or forget the important part of connecting things well.

    After all that, TLDR: However you write, remember: the cool moments you wrote may be cool, but it's all the other, far more difficult and essential buildup that is the end-all-be-all of the story, not the cool moment. Don't take that part for granted. Focus on them, don't just write the cool moments and string them together, expecting it to sell everything.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  15. Lungs

    Lungs KT Loser Prestige DLP Supporter

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    this is dlp, civility is earned.

    did you miss literally everything i said.


    seems to be the case if you're actually defending what you're saying.

    big whoop i wrote the response before you edited, don't do this ex-post-facto shit with me, i've been flamed harder than you can imagine on this forum and it made me better than i was. I'm not even being particularly rude, i've just been disagreeing vehemently.

    if your story exceeds your scene, then you've got to do work on the scene which is what i said. you wrote the story for the scene, letting it go is cheap. don't be cheap.

    don't give me that, make it good. if you can't make it good, shelve it until you can.

    this is what we call "vacuously true", which means that yes this is correct, but if your my-dick-is-on-deck moment comes from that kind of scene then it's shit and you're going to learn that it wasn't that scene which inspired your writing, and if it did well, sucks to suck i guess.

    imagine a world where something like your scene in mind can happen and why it'd be important that it did. also what does the bold text even mean holy fuck, THE MOMENTS ARE THE STORY!!!

    i wouldn't be giving advice like this if i were you - as i said, it's vacuous if true and i think dlp is a little beyond this point: the advice you give to a new writer (i'm assuming you're also a newer writer to be honest) shouldn't be any different than the advice you give to a more seasoned writer in my opinion. That's how bad habits are developed.

    And fixing the problems and being able to fix these problems while writing is part and parcel of the process. People write by different ways, means, productive levels etc etc. Who are you to say that writing that way is bad, necessarily...
     
  16. Sorrows

    Sorrows High Inquisitor Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I am not so sure I see how I was misleading. I shared a way of writing used by a well known and respected author that for me was eye opening in the context of a common problem for all writers (a lack/loss of motivation.) I don't even think that I suggested people adopt it. Halt's posts are perhaps more universal in their relevance but I trust that most people on DLP would be smart enough to know this is only one of many ways to write and would not to adopt a method of constructing a story that did not work for them.

    [/QUOTE]

    In my personal experience, the thing that stalls new writers the most in their quest to improve is just writing. Sitting down and getting all those perfect and wonderful ideas out of their head and onto (metaphorical) paper. Just finishing something, imperfect or not. Perhaps this way of writing will produce a flawed story, but every story is flawed in some way to some people.

    But the second story you write - and more importantly finish- will perhaps be less flawed, and the third less still. If writing this way, or any other way, makes you actually write then in the end you will still be better than the person with the perfect character arcs or plot progression or outline that never left their head.

    Pratchett wrote over 70 books and was Britain best selling fantasy author until JK came along, so I would say that it works for some people.

    Perhaps we should leave this there, this is a nice thoughtful thread that Halts created and we are rather messing it up with all this nonsense.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  17. Lungs

    Lungs KT Loser Prestige DLP Supporter

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    this x100000. i think that's even more than just new writers though. it's such a struggle to sit down and pen (type?) it out.
     
  18. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    This thread, isn't for you then. Halt is offering writing tips based on his experience, and Sorrows follows up with a quote from a well known author, which you're allowed to disagree with. I disagreed with your opinion because I felt it was half-formed and not entirely correct. I might have been too harsh I suppose in saying that everything you wrote was incorrect, but what really throws me about your entire argument is that you're backpedaling. That you don't have time for this discussion because you have soooo many essays.

    All I was looking for was a more formed idea and some clarification in the follow up. Which you did provide, but my advice to you still stands. Don't start a post with a half-formed idea and not expect someone to tear your shit apart. We're all college grads here my friend, so I'm not going to just one line LOL UR WRONG. This isn't your average internet forum.
     
  19. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    Interesting thread. I'll throw a few out there that I've noticed as well.

    1. Your reader needs to be able to make some type of connection with the main character. If I do not care about the main character, I'm not going to invest the time reading about the character. I'm not going to care what he or she goes through, and i'm quickly going to find it boring.

      1a. This does not mean the main character needs to be a 2000's emo child or a blow-torch carrying white-hat in a crowd of baby-raping enchiladas. Nuance the character's reactions. Fifth-year Harry doesn't have to save half the female population from evil Malfoy. Just have him stop and pick up piece of parchment a first year dropped and hand it to her. In other words, give the character a redeeming quality.

      1b. Do not screw with the redeeming quality. Again, you can nuance it. You can trick the reader into thinking something else may be happening, but in the end, the redeeming quality needs to continue to redeem.

      1c. Break the redeeming quality. Yeah, opposite of two. If you truly want to indicate a shift in a character, then have the character break the redeeming quality. However, if you do, there are a couple of things to note. First, there has to be foreshadowing. Otherwise, it comes across completely as narrative ex-culo, which is a derivation of this.

    2. Somewhat reminiscent of 1c, characters must development, but that development has to make sense. Even if you give your character a "power-up," it has to make sense. Why does the character want it. What in his or her personality has prepared the reader for the power-up? Is there a moral or social issue associated with it, and how has the character's previous interactions and thoughts identified possibilities of what might or might not happen?

    3. In disagreement with a previous post, it is okay to break the rules of English when there is a purpose behind it. Yes, he and she refer to humans and it and that refer to nonhumans. However, if you're writing about particularly virulent Death Eaters who are discussing a Muggleborn, it is okay to use "it" rather than he or she when they refer to the Muggleborn because doing so expresses dehumanization. This works particularly well in concert with another dehumanization in the sentence. For instance, Death Eaters talking about a Veela: "What's wrong with it?" "How the hell should I know, do I look like a Gamekeeper?"
     
  20. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    Nah, I'm good. Discussion like this is cocaine to me.
     
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