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Writers' Workshop General Chat Thread

Aqua Ninja Frog
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I'm watching the latest episode of chuggaaconroy's Rescue Team DX let's play, and he says (about Sun and Moon) that "you don't need world-ending melodrama to tell a compelling story." That's good advice. Several of my original fantasy story ideas have gotten stuck because I felt like I had to include a video gamey "save the world" plot.
I do agree. The world-saving plotline has been used so many times and in so many ways that it's hard to do something new with it.
 
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Me am stalking bug
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One should remember that the world does not always consist of the planet, but of what you care for. Your own world, so to speak.

Been a while, just thought I'd pop my head in and see how things have been.
 
Aqua Ninja Frog
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Here is a question I have been meaning to ask: How much detail is TOO much? Like, you are wrting a story and you are describing the Forest Elves (in terms of appearance of the forest elves, their lifestyle, as well as the layout and appearance of the village) for example.
 
Me am stalking bug
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A single paragraph, 3 to 4 sentences long, is the max I would use for descriptions. You can cheat it by describing their general appearance and then describing an individual of the group, but any further than that tends to start getting too long in the tooth.
 

RK9

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Here is a question I have been meaning to ask: How much detail is TOO much? Like, you are wrting a story and you are describing the Forest Elves (in terms of appearance of the forest elves, their lifestyle, as well as the layout and appearance of the village) for example.
Short descriptions can be tricky, since people may think the appearance details matter eventually. Long descriptions are kinda bad. It just takes all focus away.

Personally I think it's nice if you reveal stuff bit by bit. Using descriptive words for features like the eyes for example. (Using "In his x-Coloured Eyes). In terms of lifestyle as well, I think it works well if you manage to portray it through their actions or through analysis/assumptions from characters. I find that dumps of information is a good way to bore me, in general.
 
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it sort of depends on the scene and context. if you have a scene where someone specifically discovers a creature new to them, it makes sense to describe the creature well, as the POV character would be analyzing them with that level of detail anyway. however, keep also in mind how hectic the current situation is - if it's a very unexpected and short-lasting event, the character will have other worries to think about on the spot and there the description should be general. later on, however, the character can be thinking about this encounter or explaining it to someone else, and the observations that were left unwritten before can come through then.

a tougher setup is when the thing to describe is something already familiar to the POV character. realistically, they probably wouldn't consciously make note of things they've seen so many times - but luckily, realism is something we can and usually have to stretch in order to make for a better story. to help out the reader, you can mention how a person's long, black hair fluttered in the wind even if the length and color of the person's hair were something the POV character had seen a billion times.

but also: don't feel pressured to describe everything. if the reader sees a character's appearance a little differently than you, that's okay (provided it's not somehow actually plot-important what shape their nose is). in terms of choreographing fights or other events, it's good to establish any out of place objects beforehand if the fight will make use of them, but something like a computer in an office is something you can reasonably assume is there just from being told they're in an office, and so there's no need to mention the existence of the computer beforehand. you can mention it, but it would be best if there was some point to mentioning it, such as showing something on its screen or remarking how it's one of those old bulky ones instead of modern sleek ones, which would imply this office and probably workplace definitely isn't the most high tech out there.
 
Thesaurus rex
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canisaries summaries it pretty well. One thing I would pick up on is that everyone has different preferences. My sister actively likes more description than most - so do I, but but readership generally doesn't so my style is more concise than it used to be.

It's a question of how long a piece of string is.
 
Aqua Ninja Frog
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I have done something that I wish I had done a while ago: Make a flipping map of the areas of my story. That will help visualize the events of the story.
 
Small ripples lead to big waves.
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There are a couple of subreddits I'm on which have prompt threads where people are expected to post their responses in said threads. I barely use Reddit nowadays, but it's a good way for me to get fanfic ideas out of my system, and I wish there was something like it on forums I still use (ie: here and Zelda Universe). This MLP roleswap snippet was written in an hour and it shows, but you know what? I had fun writing it. I know we have the weekly prompt thread, but only LightningTopaz posts in it.

To be more specific:
  • r/MysteryDungeon has one user-submitted, user-voted prompt a week.
  • There's a weekly writing snippets thread on r/mylittlepony. Someone usually posts picture prompts there, and I post text prompts.
 
Small ripples lead to big waves.
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Since you're here, uA, I have an idea for a fanfic involving Pokémorphs. (It's a fusion fic with BNA: Brand New Animal, if any of you have heard of that.) Sometimes, I'm struck with a wave of inspiration that allows me to write rough drafts of the beginnings of stories in about an hour - how do I replicate this?
 
A cat who writes stories
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I've seen BNA, aye.

I have no idea how you'd replicate those bursts of inspiration. All I can tell you is that in my experience, the best tools for making progress with writing are an interest in your subject matter and good discipline.
 
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I'm glad you're interested. I shouldn't waste the times when I feel inspired. Would you mind reading the proof-of-concept oneshot once it's finished?
 
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I've encountered a bit of an issue. It's not a big issue and it really doesn't matter but I've been caught up in a tough decision. I've been trying to decide whether to use the word crap or shit in a certain situation. They mean the same thing but they're of different intensities. It doesn't really matter but it's oddly difficult.
 
Small ripples lead to big waves.
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On Zelda Universe, someone called EzloSpirit suggested a writing contest, and now I'm trying to set up one. I've ran a contest before, but I'm currently stuck on the prizes; I don't think you're allowed to give people money on ZU (or here). Someone suggested a piece of art (made in advance), but do any of you have ideas? ZU doesn't have anything like the Review League, by the way.
 
Thesaurus rex
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I'm really not going to help with the organisation of a contest on another site. There's more than enough effort involved in running the Workshop
 
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@Nitro Indigo
i mean you can have art as you said, provided by volunteers (if you can get hold of any), but you can also have something like a feature interview. another pokefic forum i'm on had something a bit like that for every participant in a contest, but i really enjoyed talking about my creative process, so i think that'd be a neat prize. it doesn't have to just be about the contest entry, either - you can allow them to talk about their other stories. they'd basically be winning free advertisement.
 
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