Writers' Workshop General Chat Thread

What I tell you three times is true.
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Messages
340
Reaction score
213
I just realised that I have a problem writing prose where I picture what I'm writing as an episode of a TV show, so adding dialogue tags feels like it ruins the pace.
My personal solution is to get as straight to the point as possible with dialogue and let your audience "fill in the blanks" when it comes to scenery description. I found it's okay if my readers interpret my characters' appearances differently or the layout of a room differently. The only time I dive into actual descriptive prose is when something actually matters — i.e., a scar a character received that other characters might comment on, or a particular set of furnature my characters are using. I've found this technique works best via first-person narration, as the narrator will only bother narrating what they think is strange or unusual. I tried this with third-person narration and got mixed results.

Oh, and I have massive writer's block for my current project. I think I need to learn how to make .GIFs; I'm overdue to talk cinematography, and I just experienced a surprisingly good pan shot I'd like to share visually. Taking advantage of the mixed mediums I'm using/cutting down on my attachments. I could write my way around it, but I'm doing everything I can to delay, which isn't a good sign.
 
Small ripples lead to big waves.
Joined
Mar 18, 2017
Messages
1,806
Reaction score
649
I've said this before, but I have a habit of not putting much thought into what characters look like, especially if they're human. On the other hand, I find it hard to like book protagonists who I can't picture. (eg: The Wind Singer, The Last Wild Trilogy, Phoenix by SF Said; another reason I don't like those last two so much is because both of their protagonists are boys with no personality besides "shy", who have no agency and are only there because destiny says so, and are accompanied by far more interesting female characters who I can actually picture.)

Also, someone on another website mentioned the idea of a Gardevoir turning into a human and not knowing how to walk without psychically manipulating gravity, and now I want to see that. I'd write it myself, but I have another fanfic on my plate. Are there any Pokémon turned human fanfics out there? It gets brought up a lot in the PMD fandom, but I've never seen one.
 
Thesaurus rex
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
6,664
Reaction score
2,386
Description is an art of balance. I find it's generally best to think in impressionistic terms - paint a general picture, fill in vibrant details when you need them.

Different media make different demands - I find the hardest description to do is battle or action. What on-screen can be conveyed in a matter of seconds takes many more words much more carefully chosen
 
What I tell you three times is true.
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Messages
340
Reaction score
213
Description is an art of balance. I find it's generally best to think in impressionistic terms - paint a general picture, fill in vibrant details when you need them.
True, but I think different readers have different definitions of "general". For instance, I'm not interested in a character's appearance unless it's significantly unusual (i.e. a mohawk, bowtie, etc), so when I read a paragraph where a character's hair color, clothing, eye color, etc. are described, I get bored quick. I suppose that's more personal belief than prose preference; I'm not a stickler for appearance in real life unless it actually gives information about the person. For instance, someone who spends an hour on appearance each morning will likely act differently than someone who spends five minutes.

Different media make different demands - I find the hardest description to do is battle or action. What on-screen can be conveyed in a matter of seconds takes many more words much more carefully chosen
Another personal tactic of mine is to lower wordcount as the scene speeds up. To me, there's an implied passage of time for every word; the more time the reader's reading, the more time's literally passing. By cutting words, the pace speeds up, implying everything is moving faster.

Gimmicks also work wonders. I wrote a spy-esque escape scene where the person being chased was being coached over the phone, with idle dialogue mixed in to keep them calm. The more dialogue, the more time passes. Plus, the characters have an in-universe reason to describe their surroundings. It reaches a point where the person escaping doesn't have time to talk, letting me "keep meter" by throwing in unanswered dialogue from their handler.

Another way around action; describe the scenery before the action starts. For instance, in a Pokémon battle, describe the arena before the battle begins. Scenes where characters are moving from area to area without a break tend not to translate well to prose. Keeping action scenes contained keeps you from "interrupting the flow" with constant scenery description. Backtracking through previously explored areas also works, and first-person narration lets you excuse descriptive lapses as "I wasn't really focused on the carpet when there's bullets flying". Which can also be used for character development; who notices what in the heat of the moment comes from training, craftiness, muscle memory, etc. A soldier will scan a room differently than a police officer, for instance.
 
Small ripples lead to big waves.
Joined
Mar 18, 2017
Messages
1,806
Reaction score
649
Okay, that slipped my mind, but I was thinking more of a traditional transformation.
 
What I tell you three times is true.
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Messages
340
Reaction score
213
Okay, that slipped my mind, but I was thinking more of a traditional transformation.
I'm not sure a "traditional transformation" is possible, but I think I know what you mean. Problem is, most fanfic writers aren't Pokémon (as far as I know) (you know who you are), and so there isn't much point in a traditional transformation. Humanity is mundane; making Pokémon more boring while making the transformation as vanilla as possible doesn't have much potential. Then again, a competent writer can make anything interesting to read. But it probably isn't their first choice of premise.

Also, family's dragged me to Old-White-Peopleville for this year's running of 'Merica's oldest Fourth of July parade. The neighborhood's been shooting fireworks every ten seconds or so for the past two hours, and local time's 10PM July 3rd. I'm pretty sure this is what war sounds like. Russia might be invading. I probably won't be getting much sleep tonight, again.

Oh, and it's hot. Very hot. There's no air conditioning. 'Merica.
 
What I tell you three times is true.
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Messages
340
Reaction score
213
The Fourth of July is officially over. Yeah, it's the 6th local time, but the parties and spare fireworks gave it an extra day. Though by that logic, you have to include the 3rd. And maybe some of the 2nd, too. I live in a very patriotic neighborhood. I stayed at home as much as possible. It's very hot.

Anyone wanna see explosions?

Close Woosh.jpg

Far Woosh.jpg

Big Woosh that I covered with my thumb because I suck at photos.jpg
 
Recording Time
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Messages
558
Reaction score
693
I hope you had a nice 4th of July, although you don't seem to be a big fan of it :p
Still, it must be annoying to have people launching fireworks when it's not actually the 4th.
 
Thesaurus rex
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
6,664
Reaction score
2,386
Bonfire Night is just as bad here in Blighty. Nobody seriously cares about celebrating a thwarted bomb attack on Parliament anymore (Much less about celebrating the gruesome deaths of a bunch of Catholics), but we still have tons of ordnance launched every year. For about a two-week period either side of Bonfire Night. Sometimes with fireworks used as weapons. Sometimes against firefighters, if you can fathom the sheer mutton-headed barbarity of it.

Sometimes the season blends into Diwali, which I don't mind so much, since at least that's sincere
 
whoa i finally changed my pfp again
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
1,601
Reaction score
1,490
fourth of july would never work here as the nights are way too bright this time of year to properly enjoy fireworks. in fact kid me wondered why anyone would use fireworks in conditions like that until i found out that it actually gets dark over there
 
A cat who writes stories
Joined
Feb 6, 2012
Messages
1,590
Reaction score
1,050
Wait, what?
I recommend you perform a Google search for "Bonfire Night" and read about it via Wikipedia or some other website.

Hello all! Some of you may know that recently I had some rough family news. I'm okay now! Bounced back the other day, caught up on housework, had a lovely charming weekend, and I'm ready to resume productivity. Hopefully that means more of me around here, as usual.

To anyone struggling right now: it's gonna be alright. Let yourself feel down about it if that's what you need. You can always bounce back.

also thanks for plugging DE, Canis
 
Small ripples lead to big waves.
Joined
Mar 18, 2017
Messages
1,806
Reaction score
649
I knew about the treason part, but not the Catholics part.

Wikipedia said:
Within a few decades Gunpowder Treason Day, as it was known, became the predominant English state commemoration, but as it carried strong Protestant religious overtones it also became a focus for anti-Catholic sentiment.
 
A cat who writes stories
Joined
Feb 6, 2012
Messages
1,590
Reaction score
1,050
@Nitro Indigo - it's all one. Guy Fawkes et al committed treason because they were Catholics and wanted a Catholic monarchy. And then they were executed. Hence, "the gruesome deaths of a bunch of Catholics."
 
Thesaurus rex
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
6,664
Reaction score
2,386
I live about half an hour's walk away from Holbeche House, where some of the plotters were captured for execution
 
whoa i finally changed my pfp again
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
1,601
Reaction score
1,490
i live sorta near this church that has a rock that bleeds
 
Top