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The process of writing -- discussion

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2 years 2 months ago #53586 by E. E. Nalley
E. E. Nalley replied the topic: The process of writing -- discussion
My best advise is to realize we are story tellers. And in as much, the mechanics are a good thing to keep in mind, there are only 3 stories:

Man Against Man
Man Against Himself
Man Against Nature

Now, hopefully no one is bothered by the generic male pronoun, they are used with effect. To look at the stories, we have two people who are fighting over whatever, bragging rights, a common love interest, a kingdom, a scrap of food, when ever someone is opposed by someone else, you're telling a Man Against Man Story.

Whenever we turn our mental gaze inward, we get into the realm of Man Against Himself. Someone trying to overcome their better or worse nature, fighting their inner demons or simply trying to better or worse than they were are these kinds of stories.

Finally, we have the stories of survival, Man Against Nature, and understand that 'Nature' can be many things, not just the great outdoors. Any unfathomable source counts as Nature. This includes epics like The Odyssey, as well as H. P. Lovecraft. And you're not locked in to just one! You could have a survival story of a man fighting his inner demons while shipwrecked by his greatest enemy.

For a good idea of who your hero is, I heartily recommend Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
Thomas Jefferson, to Archibald Stuart, 1791
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2 years 2 months ago #53587 by Anne
Anne replied the topic: The process of writing -- discussion
So you're saying that Kelly is essentially man against man, plus man against nature? At least the first part of the story looks like those two. Then it is Kelly on a journey, but that could be man against nature, and man against man again. Yeah I think I understand those two ideas pretty well. I hope I do a good job of portraying them.
So Kelly at Whately might be Kelly against herself?
Against the school system? (Nature?) or is that man against man.
Against the bullies? (Man against man?)

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2 years 2 months ago #53588 by E!
E! replied the topic: The process of writing -- discussion

E. E. Nalley wrote:
For a good idea of who your hero is, I heartily recommend Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces.


And after you figure out your Hero/Protagonist, then the next step is the Villain/Antagonist. Because after all they are people too. Just trying to solve their own problems in a unique way.

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2 years 2 months ago #53590 by null0trooper
null0trooper replied the topic: The process of writing -- discussion

E. E. Nalley wrote: My best advise is to realize we are story tellers. And in as much, the mechanics are a good thing to keep in mind, there are only 3 stories:

Man Against Man
Man Against Himself
Man Against Nature


a.k.a "Who", "What"

This is a good starting point for the long-held idea outside of academia that the very nature of a story is an accounting of something happening. If there is an actor and an action, there logically should be an outcome (even if only implied), that may be positive, negative, or even neutral/inconsequential/other, from the point of view of the storyteller and the audience.

Even scientific reports, not commonly considered literature an not without reason, require an action by some actor that has a discernable outcome.

The outcome can be the action being reported. I can even be left implied.

"Jesus wept."

More or less context may need to be provided, depending on how much of it the audience can be safely presumed to know. Some of what the audience "knows" from the outset may be wrong from the actor or storyteller's perspective.

"When", "Where", "Why", and "How" go on to establish the external and internal settings of the story.


In the end, maybe it doesn't matter that the imagery in "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" still works with the song "Science Fiction/Double Feature" ? At their core, both source stories are "about" a "Fall" from some idealized but impermanent situation, some conflict leading to a final (for now) reconcilation with Self, Shadow, Anima/Animus, leaving the hero(s) able to function in the imperfect outside world where his future had always lain.

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2 years 2 months ago #53591 by Rose Bunny
Rose Bunny replied the topic: The process of writing -- discussion
I'll let you in on a big secret. When I write Essy and company, I have general goals I want to establish, but 90% of what goes on in the posted chapter is written as I am writing. For example, what I'm likely to post tomorrow... I only really know the characters I plan to use, what I want to do with the chapter, and
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. Anything beyond that will be filled in as I go. >_<

High-Priestess of the Order of Spirit-Chan


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2 years 2 months ago #53604 by Anne
Anne replied the topic: The process of writing -- discussion
Well beyond Kelly and Sally, (they're rooming together...) I'm not sure who I'd put in a story with them to continue A boy named Kelly. Though I can say that I'm considering whether or not Dump Truck and co'y have had enough lessons in leave the weak kids alone. Then there is the whole (all too serious about themselves) Bad Seeds, Spy Kidz and Capes... So who will gather Kelly up to play Frisbee, other than Sally, and who will be her antagonist, other than Blood Wolf?

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2 years 2 months ago #53605 by null0trooper
null0trooper replied the topic: The process of writing -- discussion

Anne wrote: So who will gather Kelly up to play Frisbee, other than Sally, and who will be her antagonist, other than Blood Wolf?


You might want to read "The Devil's Dance" , where Bloodwolf talks to Jimmy T and Chimera:

“You are both Shifters,” he shrugged, “odd ones, but shifters. No one ever messes with shifters,” he added in an odd tone.
A light slowly clicked on, “Your um, fights would not be tied into that, would they?”
“Sometimes,” he half sneered, half growled, “sometimes I just like to fight.”


Hence, one of the reasons I write Bloodwolf as getting along with Metro.

Likewise, someone's sure to find a part-time frisbee-chasing coyote cyute. There just has to be a reason for them to meet in the first place. Other people may be a bit squicked by the whole "is she an animal pretending to be a human, or vice versa" issue - a reaction sure to get Coyote's attention, no?

It helps to fully know your character's personality, interests, and quirks. From there, you can get an idea of how established characters or groups with their own personalities and stories might react in a common situation. Maybe that can give an indication of what kind of OC would make a good foil/antagonist for them, if that's needed.


Most of the established cliques don't fit most of the student body anyway, so it's no big deal if a character doesn't get in with the Capes, or whoever. Can you picture Metro in the FSHA?

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WhatIF Stories: Dream A Little Dream For Me

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2 years 2 months ago #53618 by Rose Bunny
Rose Bunny replied the topic: The process of writing -- discussion
Well, if you are trying to think of who would get along with Kelly, think about how it works with Danny. "So fuzzy and cute, I just want to pet him"

Yes, you could have wondercute on his ass, wanting to play with him. He could get drafted into unwitting playmate territory for Buttons, adding Clover into the mix. Certainly there could be walks where Kelly joins along with a certain corgi.

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2 years 2 months ago #53621 by null0trooper
null0trooper replied the topic: The process of writing -- discussion

Rose Bunny wrote: Yes, you could have wondercute on his ass, wanting to play with him. He could get drafted into unwitting playmate territory for Buttons, adding Clover into the mix. Certainly there could be walks where Kelly joins along with a certain corgi.


Picture Parents Day 2008: "Oh, hey, Kelly! Let me introduce you to my half-brother... er... once he finishes chasing down the jerk who joked about playing fetch. I'm still debating the wisdom of leaving him in Razor's company for a while."

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1 year 6 months ago #61101 by Katssun
Katssun replied the topic: The process of writing -- discussion

Bek D Corbin wrote: The only advice I can give anyone is that writing a plot and making the characters tromp through their paces doesn't work that well (I cite the Prequels as an example); what works better is 'XX, YY & ZZ find themselves in THIS situation- what do they do?' works a lot better. We've tried to make Whateley character-driven, which is why it's done as well as it has.

If following this method, is it better to develop out a list of the actors, and then one or two situations you'd like to see them land in and deal with and mature the story naturally from there?

A good story in my mind always has growth. It doesn't have to always be positive, but it is a change in a person.

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