× Please remember that experience is relative. Just because you aren't a completely new author doesn't convey a right to throw around the weight of your experience as if you are Stephen King, Jim Butcher, or Brandon Sanderson. Unless you ARE Stephen King, Jim Butcher, or Brandon Sanderson... in which case, go for it. :)

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The process of writing -- discussion

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10 months 1 day ago #61107 by null0trooper
null0trooper replied the topic: The process of writing -- discussion

Katssun wrote:

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);


Aside from forcing the characters through The Hero's Journey, the Prequels also suffered from snorting too many lines of the original trilogy's symbolism, plus inserting the merchandising tie-ins they wanted to make without finding out what kids would want. I'm almost certain the writers had no understanding of the demographics they were deliberately targeting.

Katssun wrote:

Bek D Corbin wrote: 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?


Not always. Ideally, each character that you add to your cast should have their own personalities, quirks, limitations, and motivations. Understanding those things, the author should start seeing other characters and events fall into the "Not likely", "Nope", and "Hell No" categories. Using them anyway is how a lot of fanfics fall on their face.

i.e., If XX and YY are on the scene, and ZZ would rather chew glass than go there with them, ZZ is now auditioning for Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film.

Ex. "Pejuta, Generator, and Bloodwolf are hiking through the quarter-acre of the Reservation that isn't Class X"
Reader 1: "One of these things is NOT like the others; one of these things just Doesn't Belong."
Reader 2: "I don't know, Brain. Just because Jade is a city girl, that doesn't mean she can't enjoy nature."

Double-check how you use established characters, because protagonists are built to be the objects of projection and misidentification.

Ex. : One reader was enamoured with Metro's story as a rebel leading the fight against a corrupt and soul-crushing authority.
Author: *chokes on drink*


It's very important that it makes sense for XX and YY to be involved in the event. It doesn't matter that their power set is perfect for resolving the conflict if there's no reason beyond that for them to be involved.

Ex. "The German Club's macguffin is missing! Luckily, the Spy Kidz just happen to be sharing the meeting room..."
Reader 1: "what."
Reader 2: "They can barely manage English comprehension!"
Reader 1: "Two out of the seven junior spymasters can understand a foreign language, and German isn't one of them."

So the story might need more setup to the desired events than initially planned, just to get the cast in place without killing each other and to give good reasons that any other people who should be there aren't. If you need them to act OOC, then show why they'd be acting in such a way.

Forum-posted ideas are freely adoptable.

WhatIF Stories: Metro 2.4: Running With A Devil / Discussion Thread
Meetings By Pale Moonlight
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10 months 1 day ago #61113 by Katssun
Katssun replied the topic: The process of writing -- discussion
It was more of a question for my writing outside the WU, but thanks for the great examples. As the ideas are bouncing around, they're already helping.

A few other examples for fun, based on the discussion:

- A character with a background in sports medicine isn't going to take up ownership of a banana plantation, but someone with a finance background might.

- An average looking, self-reflective misfit finding herself in a beauty queen body won't suddenly lose all of their old interests and focus solely on fashion, shopping, and dating, but they might want to show off a little more than they used to. Vanity and the power that comes with that kind of change can get to anyone in the end.

- The likelihood of someone forced into classical piano lessons for many years switching to the euphonium in marching band is not great, but also not impossible. However, joining a rock band is not far-fetched and an easy logical jump.

- A subway attendant has a good reason to be in a collapsed tunnel or witness the setup for an elaborate bank robbery. But a retired Navy SEAL also ending up on the same passenger train (instead of just taking a plane between to major airport hub cities) as two high-ranking Pentagon officials who are the only ones with codes to a secret weapons satellite is pretty far-fetched.

- Who is more likely to know how to build a quality zombie fence? A ranch-hand, a gardener/farmer, a police officer, a roadie, or the jewelry boutique clerk who was also in the National Guard? One is an obvious setup for convenience, where the others are equally capable of putting something reasonable together without so specific a background.
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10 months 19 hours ago - 10 months 19 hours ago #61115 by Sir Lee
Sir Lee replied the topic: The process of writing -- discussion

Katssun wrote: - A character with a background in sports medicine isn't going to take up ownership of a banana plantation, but someone with a finance background might.

Actually... the sports-medicine person might find themselves in the unwanted role of having to care for the banana plantation. Consider inheritance, sentimental attachment, legal entanglements that make selling it difficult...

There's a Ridley Scott sorta-romcom, A Good Year, that's pretty much about this sort of situation. A high-stakes financial-markets guy inherits a French vineyard where he spent his childhood summers. His first impulse is to sell it and return to his job in London, but as his childhood memories surface, he finds it harder and harder to let go of it. (The fact that he had a finance background is pretty much immaterial in this case)

Don't call me "Shirley." You will surely make me surly.
Last Edit: 10 months 19 hours ago by Sir Lee.
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10 months 17 hours ago #61116 by Katssun
Katssun replied the topic: The process of writing -- discussion
There are several films referenced through my post.

If you want to remove the foul taste after watching A Good Year, I recommend Under the Tuscan Sun instead.

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