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Writers' Workshop General Chat Thread

Greninjaman

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I have four stories set up, but I don't know which one I want to focus on! I have:
A Pokémon Anime Rewrite/Reimagined Series
A Dragon Quest Reimagined Story
A Final Fantasy Reimagined Story
A Legend of Zelda Original Story

I can't decide...
Might use a random number generator to help me decide.
 

Torchic W. Pip

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I have four stories set up, but I don't know which one I want to focus on! I have:
A Pokémon Anime Rewrite/Reimagined Series
A Dragon Quest Reimagined Story
A Final Fantasy Reimagined Story
A Legend of Zelda Original Story

I can't decide...
Might use a random number generator to help me decide.
Hey, I use random number generators when trying to decide what to write, too.
 

Greninjaman

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I used a random number generator and the Final Fantasy story is the one I will focus on. The other three can wait.
 

SuperTrainStationH

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Yeah go for it @Greninjaman, I'd otherwise say just go for the one you care most about, but if its all the same, I've pulled up the Wheel of Names website myself for similar decisions.

Also, hey yall.

Hoping to maybe read some neat stuff and make people happy.

Since the last time I've posted here, I've read William Strunk Junior and Elwyn Brooks White's "Elements of Style" seven times, all without a professor assigning it to me.
 

Torchic W. Pip

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Yeah go for it @Greninjaman, I'd otherwise say just go for the one you care most about, but if its all the same, I've pulled up the Wheel of Names website myself for similar decisions.

Also, hey yall.

Hoping to maybe read some neat stuff and make people happy.

Since the last time I've posted here, I've read William Strunk Junior and Elwyn Brooks White's "Elements of Style" seven times, all without a professor assigning it to me.
Hi there.

I think I once started at least one of the editions of Elements of Style. Forgot which one, but it had some good advice.

I remember once reading a book about writing for screenplays. It's called Essentials of Screenwriting by Richard Walter. The stuff in it really stuck with me, even for writing non screenplays.
 

SuperTrainStationH

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Since I've been gone for a few years, what's the guidelines these days on "bumping" threads?

I used to sometimes read and review stuff from the second page and never thought twice about it, but it seems like things move slower than they used to, and even stuff on the bottom of the first page can have a month or more since the most recent reply.

Just trying to find that balance between maybe injecting some life into a overlooked piece and maybe getting some slightly lapsed writers hyped to keep on going, and pointlessly dangling a lapsed project back to the forefront, especially with the apparent pace of the board these days.

I'm not complaining that its "too slow" here mind you, just trying to take a temperature on things.
 

Torchic W. Pip

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Since I've been gone for a few years, what's the guidelines these days on "bumping" threads?

I used to sometimes read and review stuff from the second page and never thought twice about it, but it seems like things move slower than they used to, and even stuff on the bottom of the first page can have a month or more since the most recent reply.

Just trying to find that balance between maybe injecting some life into a overlooked piece and maybe getting some slightly lapsed writers hyped to keep on going, and pointlessly dangling a lapsed project back to the forefront, especially with the apparent pace of the board these days.

I'm not complaining that its "too slow" here mind you, just trying to take a temperature on things.
I mean, I try to avoid reviewing anything posted at least half a year ago. Fanfic can be weird with updating. Sometimes it's consistent, sometimes it's not. Sometimes the distance between chapter updates is short, sometimes it's long.

I don't know what the official policy is, though, so maybe I'm doing it wrong lol.
 

Greninjaman

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I got a question regarding villains. First, some context:

Pirate Captain Sam abducts Princess Tina because she has the power to unlock a seal that blocks a cave. Said cave is home to an undead pirate, named Bonebeard. Obviously, Captain Sam is the Main villain.

Now to my question: Would Bonebeard be considered a Main Villain even though he mostly only appears at the end of the story as the "Final Boss" so to speak. He is the final obstacle of before the end of the story. Of course, there will be myths, legends and stories about Bonebeard.
 

SpinyShell

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Said cave is home to an undead pirate, named Bonebeard. [...] Would Bonebeard be considered a Main Villain
How much of a role does Bonebeard play in the story? Is he aware and involved in Captain Sam’s quest, pulling the strings behind the scene, for example?
 

Greninjaman

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How much of a role does Bonebeard play in the story? Is he aware and involved in Captain Sam’s quest, pulling the strings behind the scene, for example?
Well, he does plan on taking over the world, but he needs the Princess to break the seal so he can do that. There is nothing he can do until then.
 

OrionTheAbsol

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I got a question regarding villains. First, some context:

Pirate Captain Sam abducts Princess Tina because she has the power to unlock a seal that blocks a cave. Said cave is home to an undead pirate, named Bonebeard. Obviously, Captain Sam is the Main villain.

Now to my question: Would Bonebeard be considered a Main Villain even though he mostly only appears at the end of the story as the "Final Boss" so to speak. He is the final obstacle of before the end of the story. Of course, there will be myths, legends and stories about Bonebeard.
Bonebeard is probably what you would call the "Greater-Scope Villain." A character who is probably not present for the most of the story, but poses a greater threat than the current "Big Bad." In other words, Bonebeard would still have an important role to the story, despite his smaller screen time. So yeah, he can be considered a "main villain."
 

Greninjaman

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Bonebeard is probably what you would call the "Greater-Scope Villain." A character who is probably not present for the most of the story, but poses a greater threat than the current "Big Bad." In other words, Bonebeard would still have an important role to the story, despite his smaller screen time. So yeah, he can be considered a "main villain."
I forgot about the "Greater-Scope Villian" thing. Thanks!
I think it would be best if I take a look at the link just to learn a bit more about it.
 

SuperTrainStationH

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Yeah, one of the challenges I've seen discussed with a greater-scope villain is making sure the escalation of stakes upon their revelation or introduction near the end of a story makes sense for the reader. Some video games, such as some of the earlier Final Fantasy games do something similar, but here the escalation is more important to the PLAYER as they are suddenly challenged with an even more difficult boss than what they expected to be the ultimate fight, yet for the characters in the game in terms of storytelling, the new surprise villain might not hold much weight for them like it would to the one holding the game pad.

Good luck!
 

Greninjaman

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Regular monster battles are easy enough to write in a story. What about those monsters that could be considered boss battles in a video game? Just have the fight take longer in comparison, and have the monster be harder to beat than everything else that was fought up to that point in the story? OR should I not look at this from the perspective of a video game?
 

OrionTheAbsol

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Some video games, such as some of the earlier Final Fantasy games do something similar, but here the escalation is more important to the PLAYER as they are suddenly challenged with an even more difficult boss than what they expected to be the ultimate fight, yet for the characters in the game in terms of storytelling, the new surprise villain might not hold much weight for them like it would to the one holding the game pad.
You just defeated the evil wizard that tried to conquer the world! Now go defeat the TRUE final boss: giant naked tentacled green woman coming out of a black hole! This is necessary, we promise!

Regular monster battles are easy enough to write in a story. What about those monsters that could be considered boss battles in a video game? Just have the fight take longer in comparison, and have the monster be harder to beat than everything else that was fought up to that point in the story? OR should I not look at this from the perspective of a video game?
I mean, if you're writing a story, you might want to reconsider using gameplay mechanics for the sake of using them, just because they're in the video game. The "random encounter" is one of those things, and you wouldn't want to go overboard on these types of scenes. Overall, they serve little purpose and are inconsequential to the story at hand; they may help explain how the characters get stronger, but there are better ways to go about this.

"Random encounters" make sense for a RPG because that's how your characters gain experience, level up, gain more stats, get money/gear, etc. But are they that important to the story at hand? Most of the time, no, and they're smaller interchangeable experiences.

As for the "boss fights", they're boss fights for a reason: to test the protagonist (and the player) as a major obstacle. In some fashion or another, the protagonist has to fight these bosses; they're often larger monsters that are in the way of the characters' destination or they're agents of the Big Bad. Often, they're foreshadowed or mentioned/seen ahead of time, building up tension to the fight itself. Likewise, these types of characters can show up in a story as being more powerful than the average enemy. In fact, they may even be important to the story in some way!

So you may want to ask yourself if these "boss fights" are actually necessary to your story. Do they serve a major story purpose? If your answer is no, you might want to reconsider even adding it.

I suck at writing fight scenes. Monster or other.
I learned a few things about fight scenes while writing the first several chapters of Stray, which I don't mind sharing. Since it is a war story, it's important that I keep the fight sequences as interesting as possible. It might help you to know that my story was partially inspired by the Fire Emblem series.

Most of your fight scenes ought to serve some kind of purpose in order to drive the story forward in some way. There were instances where I considered adding fight sequences just to "add tension", but found that there are better ways to do that: sometimes, characters witnessing something disturbing or an argument broke out.

To kinda illustrate my point, I'm going through my fight sequences thus far to explain their purpose. Though I'm trying to be vague, these are some major spoilers for those interested in reading my story later on...
  1. The initial battle sequence against the Shadow Pokémon - immediately shows two important factions to the story; the Peacekeepers and the Shadows. There is immediate tension as some of the Peacekeeper soldiers were inexperienced, but their job is to protect a nearby village from the Shadows. The battle also gives a glimpse of some key characters; the protagonist and the deuteragonist.
  2. The siege of the village - after the Peacekeepers' initial victory over the previous battle, a much larger force of Shadows appeared. This battle shows just how ill-prepared the Peacekeepers are, mainly because their own governing body left them to die. A number of characters died, including the commanding officer of the Peacekeepers. This forces the survivors to abandon the village to seek refuge elsewhere, including the protagonist and deuteragonist.
  3. The survivors getting picked off - this is pretty self-explanatory. Some of the supporting characters (Peacekeeper survivors) ended up dying in a brutal manner because the Shadows had them surrounded. They weren't just "defeated"; they were killed in action, to illustrate just how bad things are going with the war. One of the supporting characters ended up betraying the group and left the deuteragonist for dead. However, the protagonist managed to save the deuteragonist from death.
  4. The Shadow Houndoom battle - I initially struggled with this one because the main purpose of it was simply for the protagonist to save the deuteragonist. Simple purpose. However, I failed to make the battle "interesting" during my first attempt; my protagonist won it relatively easy without barely putting up a fight. Since then, I went back to this sequence and expanded upon it. I made sure the protagonist puts up some kind of struggle in trying to kill the Houndoom (he sustained some injuries in the process). Because this is indeed two Pokémon fighting each other in a one-on-one match (no trainers, of course), the two fought each other like wild animals trying to rip each other apart. One is more intelligent and resourceful than the other, and stood victorious for it.
  5. The Shadow Mankey - This is not really a "fight sequence" (though it originally was in earlier drafts), but I think it's important enough to bring up since it does bring in conflict. The Mankey was one of the deuteragonist's former comrades-in-arms, but was cursed by the Shadow Pokémon and is about to turn into a Shadow himself. The Mankey attempted to harm the deuteragonist, only to be killed off promptly by the protagonist. This scene distresses the deuteragonist, as he was hoping in some way to save the Mankey, but the protagonist brought up an important lore reason on why this is not so simple.
  6. The Eevee - Again, not much of a battle. Though part of its purpose is to "increase tension," this Eevee character will later serve an important purpose to the story. There's also a lore reason to why the Eevee attacked.
  7. The Shadow Salazzle battle - Like the Mankey before her, the Salazzle was one of the deuteragonist's former comrades-in-arms and she was actually introduced very briefly earlier in the story. Initially, the deuteragonist was unaware that she became one of the Shadows, and so he let his guard down. The deuteragonist, feeling stressed about the deaths of his comrades, desperately wanted a sympathetic ear to allow him to vent in a healthy way (since the protagonist was rather cold and uncaring). The Salazzle did play the part of being a shoulder to cry on, but it was a farce to manipulate the deuteragonist into becoming a Shadow. The protagonist came just in time to kill the Salazzle, but was very harsh towards the deuteragonist for his actions. This led to a falling-out between the two, temporarily having both go their separate ways.
  8. Shadow Gengar and his cronies - this battle sequence is what I consider to be the real "climax" of the story arc. The deuteragonist accidentally wanders into a nightmare realm and is unable to escape. But there were more Shadows waiting for him; once again, trying to force him into becoming another Shadow. The protagonist managed to wander in to save the deuteragonist, but was in a weakened state and was surrounded by numerous enemies. The Shadows had the protagonist trapped, and the deuteragonist was forced to decide on whether to sacrifice his life to save his own skin or refuse to join the Shadows (under a very possible threat of a painful death). The deuteragonist, having been a poor fighter up to this point, managed to find a third option and saved the protagonist. The Gengar among the Shadows "killed" the deuteragonist, prompting the protagonist to avenge him. After a difficult battle, the protagonist succeeded in killing the Shadow Gengar, but was left stunned and dumbfounded when the Gengar was seemingly overjoyed that he was defeated (will be explained later). The protagonist barely made it out alive, but also found that the deuteragonist survived as well. The two were reunited as they continued to struggle towards their end goal.
  9. The Eevee - Part II - Not much of a battle, but an important introduction to a supporting character. The Eevee targets the deuteragonist once more for the same reason as before, but was easily defeated by the protagonist. But instead of killing her like the protagonist desired to, they ended up sparing her and even allowed her to join their group, making her the tritagonist of the story arc for a brief time. This Eevee would survive the journey and later serve as an important character to a later part of the story. She's sort of a "Chekhov's gun" plot device in this way.
  10. The final sequence in the forest - just as the group was about to reach their destination, another fight broke out. But this time, a new faction was introduced; this faction would serve an important antagonistic role for the next story arc. However, a Shadow Pokémon introduced earlier tried to prevent the group's escape (to show that he's still around). The group managed to escape the battle though; the protagonist seemingly developed a heart and some caring potential for his traveling comrades, and so made some sacrifices to keep them alive and bring them over to safety. The sequence ended with everyone finally reaching their destination; however, the protagonist was grievously wounded in the process and his life was endangered.

The main takeaway here is that your battles/conflicts ought to serve some kind of purpose that drives the story and characters forward in some way. However, that's just ONE part that I had to think about the battles.

The OTHER part is structuring the actual battles themselves; which participants are involved and what are their specific actions? They might even have some nasty choice words for one another. Knowing fighting choreography can help TREMENDOUSLY.

For obvious reasons, I had to avoid writing the battle sequences as these rigid one-on-one, turn-based fights that are often depicted in the Pokémon mainline games. While some of the Pokémon characters here demonstrated human-level intelligence, they still fight like savage animals regardless. The smarter fighters know how to play to their own strengths, when to dodge an attack and when to counterattack. They will also figure out their opponent's weaknesses. With a series like Pokémon, there's MASSIVE potential in weaving out interesting fighting sequences.

I can see Fire Emblem fight sequences being similar, but for different reasons. Of course, due to the gameplay mechanics, the opponents in a one-on-one fight would trade blows with one another (sometimes, one of them "doubles" due to having higher speed). A great way to imagine Fire Emblem fight sequences is to figure out how the characters use their respective weapons and how skilled they are at it.

Swords are pretty standard melee weapons, and the warrior can choose to either block or dodge attacks; but they're not as long as spears hence why spears have an advantage. Spears are great for skilled fighters who take advantage of a spear's long range, but can easily be parried by the heavier axes. And of course, axes are great for dealing massive damage, but typically have poor attack range and have a hard time blocking sword attacks.

Then you got archers, who are great at striking from long distances and are especially useful against flying units. But some archers only know the bow, and no other weapon. So they're at a massive disadvantage against anyone who manages to close the distance on them.

You get the gist of what some weapons do and what kind of abilities that certain warrior classes have, but there's another factor to battles in Fire Emblem: the armies will have a much better survival rate if the soldiers work together in a team. Say you have an archer and a sword-wielding mercenary within the same vicinity of one another. An enemy spear-wielding pegasus rider is headed their way, intending to strike at the mercenary. So the archer stepped in and felled the pegasus rider. But then an enemy axe-wielding fighter appears and manages to wound the archer. That's when the sword-wielding mercenary steps in to kill the fighter and save the archer.

That's all the advice I can think about for now, but I hope it helps out regardless. I was initially bad in writing out battles too. But with some practice, I got the hang of it.
 
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