1. Hi there, Guest

    Only registered users can really experience what DLP has to offer. Many forums are only accessible if you have an account. Why don't you register?
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Introducing for your Perusing Pleasure

    New Thread Thursday
    +
    Shit Post Sunday

    READ ME
    Dismiss Notice

Questions about YOUR FANFIC that don't deserve their own thread...

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Ched, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. Niez

    Niez Fifth Year

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2018
    Messages:
    153
    Thanks guys, the post was meant to be slightly tongue in cheek, but I do appreciate the advice. I understand frustration is part of it though I’m not sure alcoholism is a solution @Stenstyren. Whisky never seems to work with my other problems (maybe it's the brand?).
     
  2. Otters

    Otters Second Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    55
    High Score:
    2005
    Writing those first three chapters was a valuable part of the process of creating the overall story. They may not appear in the final draft, but they will definitely have contributed to the final product. Your understanding of where plot and characters are going will be clearer and more grounded in chapter 1(4) than chapter 1(1), and the subsequent quality will typically be much improved.

    Plus, that was three more chapters of practice to hone your craft. That's never a waste. I once heard an author say that people should strive to write a million words before they even begin the first draft of their first attempt to make a serious publishable novel, and they had something of a point to my mind.
     
  3. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,539
    Location:
    NJ
    This is pretty much every story I've ever written. You kinda have to figure out why it's happening. Is it just that people like instant gratification, or is it because all the extraneous world building stuff could perhaps work better as the behind-the-scenes motivation for the characters? Words need to have a purpose, and that purpose isn't always evident at first.
     
  4. LittleChicago

    LittleChicago Headmaster DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Messages:
    1,023
    Location:
    Calgary
    You should feel complimented. Christ, I wish I could drink at work. I'd get so much more writing - that is to say, any - done. Would have an easier time falling asleep under my desk, too.

    @Niez; I had an English teacher in high school who once told my class that there is hardly a work of fiction out there that can't be improved with the removal of the first chapter; he never elaborated because some smart ass suggested trying that with the Bible and long-story-short my mother had to talk to the principal.
     
  5. Hot Salsa

    Hot Salsa Hαn Sαlsæd First

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    Messages:
    389
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Millenium Taco
    I have a constant problem with writing fics. It's this niggling voice in the back of my head that's telling me:

    "You're doing it wrong! You're doing it wrong! You're doing it wrong!"

    This, of course, refers to a lot of things. The ones I have in mind are pacing, characters, story flow, plot, etc. Whenever I think how I want the story long-term to go this voice rears its ugly head.

    Mind you it's not an actual voice, I'm not a schizophrenic. I think I'm just too paranoid.

    Do you guys have a particular way of dealing with this, if it happens to you? I just bang my head on a desk.
     
  6. Silirt

    Silirt Headmaster DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2018
    Messages:
    1,048
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Georgia
    This isn't that specific of a question. I have my doubts about how my story I'm currently writing is going to turn out, but there's virtually nothing I can do to make that go away, so there's no reason to worry about it.
     
  7. Hot Salsa

    Hot Salsa Hαn Sαlsæd First

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    Messages:
    389
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Millenium Taco
    Good point. I'll just ignore it.
     
  8. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    7,261
    Location:
    The South
    I highlighted the part that I want to address with my own thoughts.

    Try outlining. DETAILED outlining. Go overboard with more outlining than you think you need then tone it down to what actually works for you.

    Here's the thing. I can hold a short story "in my head" without really outlining, but for anything longer I get that litany of "you're doing it wrong, you're doing it wrong, YOU ARE DOING IT FUCKING WRONG" every time I try to write anything longer than 5k words or so without an outline.

    But when I have an outline? I can write it, because even if the writing itself is shitty I don't have to stress about getting it 'wrong' when I write. I can fix the writing later. It's getting the story wrong that stresses me out.

    I've dialed down the amount of outlining I do a lot, but when I first realized I wasn't writing anything b/c I kept second-guessing myself outlining fixed that for me. I ended up doing a lot more outlining than I needed, so I do significantly less now, but it let me figure out HOW I write.

    It's unique for everyone. But if you haven't tried outlining yet give it go.

    If it doesn't work then drop it and don't do it again. It's not for everyone. But it helped me sort out my own methods.
     
  9. Hot Salsa

    Hot Salsa Hαn Sαlsæd First

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    Messages:
    389
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Millenium Taco
    Thanks. It does seem like a sound idea.

    Particularly because you can just write the outline like a script format. That feels strangely appealing now. Sure, I'll know how everything happens, which might be a bit boring, but I won't be stumbling around in the dark.

    Thanks a lot, Ched.

    Edit: I keep getting fucking Grammarly ads even though I already use the goddamn app. Fuck you Grammarly.
     
  10. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Headmaster DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,160
    Location:
    UK
    I’ve just seen this, and I empathise with this so much. I miss the absolute surety I had when I was younger that the defecation I threw up on ffn was solid gold.

    To an extent I’ve found that the deeper my understanding of models of outlining becomes, and which works best for me, the more the voice that tells me everything I write is dire is diminished, too (although outlining has become its own sort of vice, now).

    So yes, the first reason I’m writing this is just to say this resonates with me - on a ‘I’d join your cult’ level, yogi Ched.

    The second is to ask, does it resonate with whoever else is seeing this thread too? I wonder if there’s something we can do about it as a group - if there are more than three of us.
     
  11. Otters

    Otters Second Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    55
    High Score:
    2005
    I have the opposite problem. If I write by the seat of my pants, inspiration can carry me through. If I sit down and try to outline something, I always set an inadequate space for the idea I have and cram them too tightly, and end up needing five times the wordcount to get to my original goal.

    Maybe I'll take a leaf out of Halt's book and make some plot technique threads when procrastinating from actually writing.
     
  12. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Messages:
    1,681
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Philippines
    Ssshhh, don't give away the secret.
     
  13. LittleChicago

    LittleChicago Headmaster DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Messages:
    1,023
    Location:
    Calgary
    This is going to sound tautological, maybe even redundant, but I tell myself the story.

    Okay, I was wrong. It sounds stupid.

    What I mean is, I say it all out loud; if it makes sense out loud, I write it down. If it doesn't, I rephrase it until it does, or if it never does, I don't write down. Stories are just words in your head, used to put words in other people's heads. If the story you tell makes sense to you, it'll make at least some sense to people with similar points of reference.

    Stories should only slow down if you're going into detail; go into detail only if you're introducing something or talking about something obscure -again, talk it out until you hear it make sense. Likewise, you can assume everyone reading knows what water, bread, cars, phones and rabbits are. No need to explain. Even thoughts and feelings, realisations and insults can happen rapid fire.

    Another solution is to write only scenes. Leave them completely disconnected. You'll have to train yourself to do this; it's like building a muscular system without ligaments. Just seems wrong, but remember that you can go back and adjust the connective tissue, adding in a few lines here and there between the good stuff you're certain of to smooth it out. This way, you're only working in small, digestible chunks.
     
  14. Zombie

    Zombie Lo-fi Snake Jazz Moderator DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    5,865
    How has that helped you with writing your next book, Jim?

    I'm super self critical of my own work, my few attempts at original fiction have never went as well as my forays into Fanfic. The difference being that when I start trying to create a universe from scratch, I feel like its a thing where I lack the actual talent to pull it off in a effective manner.

    With Fanfic, I have the same feeling, but atleast I have a skeleton of something to base it off of. If you like writing, and you like writing fanfic then, as I've been told, you just got to write. I think in the long run the hard part is actually putting words on paper, the editing process is much easier.

    I have this weird bystander effect where if I read my own words, its like it was written by a totally different person. It helps me in the editing process, but there is this weird sense to it because ultimately I know its mine. The small victories is when I read back what I wrote and think, "Man, that's a solid fucking line,' or, "I nailed that, it's exactly the tone/style/etc I was going for." Its hard to not have the you're doing wrong thing, its just a matter of pushing through it I've found.

    I've been staring at the same paragraph for something I've started for over a week now. I hope to turn it into a story soonish, but we'll see.
     
  15. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,539
    Location:
    NJ
    I'm going to echo Ched. It actually looks like we had the same thought at practically the same time, though I don't check this thread that often. I've been working on bringing one of my fics out of hiatus. Had been there for a couple months now. Essentially put it off to the side to write the Daphne challenge, and that challenge fic took me like a months to plot out and write. So when it was over, I was struggling to get back into this fic I put over to the side, but it was at something like 40k words, and I didn't want to just give that up. Don't get me wrong, I've dumped fics that size (and longer) in a blink, but I wanted to try and salvage it.

    Getting back into it was rough though. I decided to edit the entire thing, and that was probably not the smartest idea. Turning something into a grind is not the way to go about trying to get back into and enjoying the story. After that, I decided to actually post the chapters (after doing another edit), hoping that some feedback would get the creative juices flowing. Decided to post on SB for an ego boost (it's a Worm fic). Turns out getting an ego boost from people who can't differentiate Harry Crow from Wastelands of Time doesn't do as much as I'd hoped.

    Eventually, I hit a wall again. I hit the point where I actually needed to write new words, and it was a struggle. The issue I was having was writing a fight scene from the POV of someone who can see the entirety of the battlefield but isn't skilled at hand-to-hand combat herself (Taylor). My normal writing processes is a very loose outline, where I note down every single idea that comes to mind and try and have a rough idea of a timeline for where those ideas would pop up, and then I sort of make the bridging scenes connecting those ideas on the fly. It wasn't working this time, because I had to keep track of too much going on at the same time, it was a bit overwhelming. So I ended up very precisely outlining what I wanted to happen. Like, if the fight was 2000 words, I spent 500 words outlining it. It helped me figure out what I wanted to do, but without spending too much time floundering around with the scope of it. It was almost like choreographing it. That being said, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's good, just that I managed to force myself through the wall.
     
  16. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,022
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Blocksberg, Germany
    Topic: Dorea Black & the Potter relation.

    So we know the facts: Dorea and Charlus are not James parents, Euphemia and Fleamont Potter are. We also know, from the Black Family Tree, that Dorea and Charlus Potter existed, and that they had a son. And we finally know that after Halloween 1981, Harry was the last Potter. Given those facts, which history would you give Dorea, Charlus and their son?


    The most obvious is disregarding Euphemia and Fleamont, and making Dorea and Charlus James' parents. The BFT has Dorea dying in 1977, well before Halloween '81. If they were the last Potters and Charlus died too, this would fit the world and intended outcome (Harry is the sole living Potter, really a must for plot purposes). Drawbacks: It contradicts Rowling -- directly for the names, and also for the often-repeated fact that James' parents died of old age, and had him late in life --, and you'd also think Sirius would've mentioned Harry's grandmother is a Black. So it's kinda hard to work into Canon.

    The other alternative is keeping Euphemia and Fleamont, and giving Dorea and Charlus a different place. If Euphemia and Fleamont were old-ish, say, 60, they'd be born around 1900. If we go with the theory that wizards live longer, possibly even in 1880 or yet further back. Dorea was born in 1920; if Charlus was of similar age he could be a nephew (the son of Fleamont's brother), for instance.

    The advantages here are: It keeps the stated facts. It also accounts for Sirius not pointing out Dorea and Charlus in particular; they'd be some distant enough cousin to Harry that I already don't feel the need to work out the particulars. But there are clear drawbacks: When James and Lily died, Dorea and Charlus' son would at most be in his early 40s. So not only do you have to account for the early deaths of Dorea and Charlus, you also have to kill off their son and potentially his family. Essentially, there's an entire collateral line of Potters you have to remove. At some point, it stretches credulity.


    So given those alternatives, which would you pick? Why? What's the story with Dorea and Charlus? Are there any other options I missed?
     
  17. Niez

    Niez Fifth Year

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2018
    Messages:
    153
    I could be wrong, but I think this is the only reference to Harry's grandparents in the whole seven books:

    “Where did you go?” asked Harry, staring at him.

    “Your dad’s place,” said Sirius. “Your grandparents were really good about it; they sort of adopted me as a second son. Yeah, I camped out at your dad’s during the school holidays, and then when I was seventeen I got a place of my own, my Uncle Alphard had left me a decent bit of gold — he’s been wiped off here too, that’s probably why — anyway, after that I looked after myself. I was always welcome at Mr. and Mrs.
    Potter’s for Sunday lunch, though.”

    J.K tells us about Harry's grandparents dying of old age in an interview from 2005, I think, and of Fleamont and Euphemia in Pottermore. So yes, I think the safest, and easiest way to resolve you problem is to simply ignore those later statements and go with Dorea and Charlus as James' parents, rather than concocting a whole new branch of the family that mysteriously dissapears before Harry is born.
     
  18. HPFicFan

    HPFicFan Squib

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    Messages:
    17
    Gender:
    Male
    High Score:
    0
    @Sesc
    Of note here is that Charlus and Dorea do not exist outside of movie canon. Harry's grandparents were never mentioned by name in the books and it was with Pottermore that JKR expanded upon the Potters' family background.

    Abraham Potter, as mentioned in a Pottermore article, was one of the twelve original MACUSA Aurors. As far as Charlus and Dorea are concerned, I like to consider them as members of a branch family. My headcanon is that Potters were numerous in number but the two wars against Grindelwald and Voldemort snuffed out many members of the family until only the main and a single branch were left. Fits in nicely with James joining in the war effort right after school - Voldemort/his followers murdered his cousin, his wife and their son - which served as a wake up call in his final year.
     
  19. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,022
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Blocksberg, Germany
    @HPFicFan: Well, the BFT is of the same quality as Pottermore -- extra material from Rowling. Just released before Pottermore existed, and not really used there, I guess. So Dorea and Charlus exist in the very same sense as Euphemia and Fleamont exist.

    Otherwise fair, I suppose -- the reason I dislike the "killed" solution is much the same as not liking Dorea and Charlus as Harry's grandparents: You'd assume, if he had had some relation that was killed in the way the Boneses or the Prewitts were, it'd have come up at one point in the books.


    Not sure what I want to do, other than using Dorea somehow -- otherwise, the easiest solution would be simply disregarding the BFT, and removing her (and Charlus) entirely. So still interested in more ideas and opinions, feel free to post.
     
  20. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,968
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    High Score:
    13,152
Loading...