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POPULAR: Simple Questions, Simple Answers

The acest of trainers
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Hey, guys!

As a way of tidying up the Written Word, we have come up with a fairly simple thread which will consist of - you guessed it - simple questions and simple answers! Instead of making a new thread every time you want to ask your fellow writers for a quick opinion or for a bit of advice on something, feel free to post the question here.

Feel free, too, to start new threads as well if you wish for a more lengthy discussion or you think your questions are more complicated than what would fit in this thread. If you're unsure of whether you should post here or start a new thread, feel free to PM one of the moderators.
 
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Can I Have Some Help?

Hi everyone! So, I'm new here, and I'm writing a non-Pokemon story... It's about a girl who, as a child of four, witnesses her mother's and father's death rather gruesomely by the hands of an unknown man and woman. This changes her as after she is adopted not long after, she sets out to dedicate her life to killing vampires, who she then knows were the ones responsible for killing her parents. But at the moment, I'm a little stuck on that part. I have a few ideas, so I'd like your opinions on it! :)

My first idea was that I could skip a few years to where she's already killing vampires as a teenager, but I was also thinking of showing some scenes of her as a child and the people taking her in and all, and then skipping a few years. Any ideas? :)
 
Girl with the Ghosts
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Deciding which scenes to show in your story is very important, and something that is definitely worth thinking about carefully. The bare-bones answer is to 'write the scenes that are important to see'. That is, if nothing especially interesting is happening, if the scene can be assumed or inferred, or doesn't show something that we haven't seen before, or accomplish something important, than obviously its unneeded and inclusion of the scene could disrupt the flow of the work. This is why stories rarely mention going to the bathroom unless there's something important about it, like Psycho attacking the girl in the shower type of thing, since disregarding those types of situations, we can assume it happens, its not particularly interesting, its something we all know about and its unneeded to understand the plot.

For your situation in particular, a thought that I think would serve you well though is to try to combine the 'parents getting killed' and the 'meeting the new guardians' so they happen back to back, the experiences tie-in together, and we don't have to spend extra time on things and can hurry and skip to the 'good part' when she's a teen. I don't know the circumstances you have planned for the adoption and parents' murder, but I think in this particular case, changing or tweaking whatever you might have already so those things get quashed together and play off each other would ideal for scene conservation, as well as raise emotional impact.

Alternatively, you could write all of the scenes you could possibly think you might want to include. After this, you can go back and examine what those scenes do for your story. Ask yourself things like "What does this scene accomplish?", "Is this scene required to understand the story?", "Could I have imparted this information in any other way?" I always think to myself "What is this story really about? What's the coolest part of the story, the part I really want to read/write the most?" and that is usually the part I should be spending the brunt of my space on, and I should try to get to said part as quickly and effectively as possible. While set-up is necessary, it can also pull a story down if it drags on too long. Remember that information about something that happened in the past can be dolled out in bits in the present, meaning you can skip showing it directly, get to the good part, and also give a more mysterious quality to the character.

I hope that helped. Still I think some more information would be necessary to really give a thorough opinion, this is just based on what you've said.
 
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Deciding which scenes to show in your story is very important, and something that is definitely worth thinking about carefully. The bare-bones answer is to 'write the scenes that are important to see'. That is, if nothing especially interesting is happening, if the scene can be assumed or inferred, or doesn't show something that we haven't seen before, or accomplish something important, than obviously its unneeded and inclusion of the scene could disrupt the flow of the work. This is why stories rarely mention going to the bathroom unless there's something important about it, like Psycho attacking the girl in the shower type of thing, since disregarding those types of situations, we can assume it happens, its not particularly interesting, its something we all know about and its unneeded to understand the plot.

For your situation in particular, a thought that I think would serve you well though is to try to combine the 'parents getting killed' and the 'meeting the new guardians' so they happen back to back, the experiences tie-in together, and we don't have to spend extra time on things and can hurry and skip to the 'good part' when she's a teen. I don't know the circumstances you have planned for the adoption and parents' murder, but I think in this particular case, changing or tweaking whatever you might have already so those things get quashed together and play off each other would ideal for scene conservation, as well as raise emotional impact.

Alternatively, you could write all of the scenes you could possibly think you might want to include. After this, you can go back and examine what those scenes do for your story. Ask yourself things like "What does this scene accomplish?", "Is this scene required to understand the story?", "Could I have imparted this information in any other way?" I always think to myself "What is this story really about? What's the coolest part of the story, the part I really want to read/write the most?" and that is usually the part I should be spending the brunt of my space on, and I should try to get to said part as quickly and effectively as possible. While set-up is necessary, it can also pull a story down if it drags on too long. Remember that information about something that happened in the past can be dolled out in bits in the present, meaning you can skip showing it directly, get to the good part, and also give a more mysterious quality to the character.

I hope that helped. Still I think some more information would be necessary to really give a thorough opinion, this is just based on what you've said.
Thank-you for taking the time out to comment on this for me! I know where I wanna go with this a little bit better now!
 
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Reader and Writer
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Maybe you begin the story with the character in her teens when she's already killing vampires. Introduce the reader to her at this age first, then gradually sprinkle in clues to inform the reader of the chapacter's past and why she is what she is ALONG WITH the regular storyline.
 
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Maybe you begin the story with the character in her teens when she's already killing vampires. Introduce the reader to her at this age first, then gradually sprinkle in clues to inform the reader of the chapacter's past and why she is what she is ALONG WITH the regular storyline.
Oh my gosh, that's a good idea, I can't believe I haven't thought of that yet! Thank-you!!^^
 
Girl with the Ghosts
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I think Legacy has a good idea there. A lot of writers write 'extra' beginning stuff and then cut it out later. I think its a common thing to 'over-write' the beginning. You can always go back and fix it though, either cutting scenes or adding more. Try to save everything you cut though. When I'm writing a fic I have a document of just extra bits I've cut, and a lot of the time i find a place for them somewhere else.
 
I like to singa
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Yup. Generally, prologues are entirely unnecessary.
 
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Thank- you @NoirGrimoir and you as well @Prof. lugion for commenting on this, you've all been very helpful so dar, and I appreciate all your suggestions! :)
 
Brock's Pikachu
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Just how early is too early for a clip show in a fic, if at all?
 
Secret Sword of Justice
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If I knew what a clip show was, I'd help you, LT, but I'm afraid I don't, so... xP

Anyway, I'll quote what I said in the Writer's Block thread since AT14 said it should go here. It was about a Fire Emblem oneshot I was planning to do that told the story of one of my major FE original characters, as this character becomes famous and legendary enough for his tale to travel to a different world. The story would be told through Chrom, the main character of the new game FE: Awakening, since he seems to know some tales about past FE heroes himself.

So, to go with that oneshot I mentioned earlier, I decided to write this little intro featuring song lyrics. It's based on and inspired by "The Legend of the Sword" from Disney's The Sword in the Stone. I'm a Disney fanatic and grew up with their classic films and characters, so some of my writing takes inspiration from them. And I thought this was fitting for telling the story of that character that becomes a legend.

The Legend of the Secret Prince

A legend is sung
Of when Astryn was young
And war had torn the land
The good queen had ailed
And no one could prevail
At deciding an heir to the throne

It had seemed that all hope
Would be dead with men
Or found by a miracle alone
And that miracle appeared
In fair Medann
An old, wood portrait

And when the ill queen laid eyes on this relic, which depicted an unknown, but beautiful woman, she uttered these words: "My sister...my nephew...where could he be...? Her little boy...must be there..."

And so started a grand journey to seek out the prince the queen had spoken of. Though many had searched far and wide across the land, none could find a man that much resembled the woman in the portrait, and so, faith faded once again. Nobles had begun vying for the throne, and the ailing queen's condition only worsened. Without someone to enforce law and order, people lived in fear and despair. And time had all but run out...

Basically, Astryn was left in a similar situation to England from The Sword in the Stone. Only, they were already ravaged by war, and this led to the queen remaining very ill instead of her death right away. The people know it's only a matter of time before she passes on, and she has no children. Yet, they find that portrait and thus evidence that the queen may have a nephew that no one knew about for some reason. I'm not an expert with song lyrics or anything, but I do have a little experience with them. What do you all think? Cause I'm not sure...lol.
 
Girl with the Ghosts
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@LightningTopaz; What's a clip show? Like a flashback? What are you talking about?
@Kelleo; While I'm a little leery on adding poetry type things to stories unless you actually figure yourself some kind of poet (I'm totally not, I'll read it but I can't write it for shiglitz, mostly because I don't have the desire to bother), this seems kind of interesting, and it's not a prophecy so that makes me really happy. I do think it could use some work, though.

You start out with alternating couplet stuff:

(A)A legend is sung
(A)Of when Astryn was young
(B)And war had torn the land
(C)The good queen had ailed
(C)And no one could prevail
(D)At deciding an heir to the throne

While my personally preference is to resolve B, by making that D line rhyme with it (This turning it into B), I can see this working too. This is a pretty traditional rhyming poem style. But then you suddenly switch to this:

(A)It had seemed that all hope
(B)Would be dead with men
(C)Or found by a miracle alone
(D)And that miracle appeared
(B?)In fair Medann
(E)An old, wood portrait

There's no couplets at all. It's confusing. Whatever you do, make sure it's consistent throughout. So maybe try to make the rest of the poem match up with the first, or try a few different ways to scatter the rhymes (maybe try ABABC DEDEC, that's also a pretty traditional one). I don't think this is a bad idea, but I think you need to work on it a bit more to make it viable.
 
Secret Sword of Justice
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@NoirGrimoir;: The reason I suddenly switched was because I was keeping to the tune of "The Legend of the Sword." I did say it was based on that melody, after all. Otherwise, I would have stuck with one rhyming system. :p

Also, I do have some skill in poetry. I've written it several times before. More than song lyrics, actually.
 
Girl with the Ghosts
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Hm, I say stick with one thing, even if it doesn't match where you initially got the idea from. Most people who read your fic aren't going to be able to identify the song without going and looking it up and most of those people won't even do that. I think it's better to make it work as a stand-alone piece rather than trying to fit it into something else, especially since this isn't even a Sword In The Stone fic, you just borrowed the idea. But of course it's your fic and you're the one writing the poem/lyrics, so your opinion trumps all.
 
Secret Sword of Justice
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True, but then I could provide a link to the song myself if I must. Make it easier for readers. Thanks though. :)
 
Brock's Pikachu
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By clip show, I mean a group of flashbacks to events in the past, that usually, but not always, have some kind of theme.
 
Because I like Tophats
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So when is it too early for a clip show, you ask? If it was a journey fic, I'd say it's way too early after the main character has won his or her first badge, contest or something similar. Maybe around the fourth badge would be more appropriate. The best moment to have a clip show, in my opinion, would be where a character reflects back on everything that has happened so far as part of a character development.

Now, I had an idea of a supporting character of the fic I'm currently writing, and I would like to hear your opinion. You see, he's a Pokémon trainer but he's also a poker player and as such, I got the idea of implementing his battle style from the said poker, bluffing and perceiving his opponent throughout the battle, both the human opponent and the Pokémon. I'm not certain if he should say some poker terms during battles like "Go all in with Hyper Beam!", or "Check with Protect", as it sounds a bit too cheesy to me.
 
Girl with the Ghosts
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@LightningTopaz; Never too early, I had a flash back in my very first chapter in my own fic and people seemed to like it. Though I do think that we should have a firm grasp of what the character is like in the present before we do any kind of flash back. Flashbacks are more 'supplementary' or 'informative' so they shouldn't do the work for you in terms of describing the character's personality and such to the audience. So if you think what you've written so far gives us a good picture of who the character is, then sure, flashback away.
@Tophat Dragoneye; Awesome idea. And dude, it's pokemon, I would be disappointing if he didn't use cheesy phrases like that! I say go for it. You can always lampshade the fact by having someone else point out how ridiculous he sounds doing that.
 
Brock's Pikachu
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Another question: I'm a bit stuck with the plotline with the current episode of "Pokemon: The Song of Jewels"--I established in the last episode that Wendy's Vaporeon Mizuchi is afraid of Brock's Sandshrew, Terra. (after a noodle incident involving a Sandslash) That said, I want this episode to be the one where Mizuchi has to rescue Terra or save Terra from something as a sign that she is beginning to tolerate Terra (after a few controlled meetings that go very well) In my notes, I do the classic Beedrill swarm, but I'm wondering what other types of hairy situations Terra could get into that Mizuchi could save her from.
 
Girl with the Ghosts
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Getting washed down a river seems like a good situation to me. Ground pokemon probably don't know how to swim, and a Vaporeon, as a water type, would be ideal to save it. I think this has the advantage of not making the Sandshrew look weak, since its perfectly reasonable that a sandshrew couldn't swim but be otherwise good at battling.
 
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