Author Topic: Suggested Writing Excuses topic...  (Read 2806 times)

cvgurau

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Suggested Writing Excuses topic...
« on: October 12, 2008, 08:22:01 AM »
The only Writing Excuses forum I could find was for writing prompts, and since this isn't that, I thought I'd start a thread here.

I've been listening to WE pretty faithfully since quite near the beginning (the BIC HOK and writer's block episodes were especially helpful, I think), but one thing I keep hoping to hear covered is how to write an action scene.  I haven't read Dan or Howard's stuff (at least, not recently, in Howard's case), but I know Brandon writes some spectacular action scenes.  It's always something I've had trouble with, and when I can do it, it's usually in the heat of inspiration.  Later, when that flash has passed, I go to review the scene, and I'll either love it or hate it, but either way, I won't really remember how I did it.  I'd like to  come to a point where I can write an exciting, convincing fight/chase scene without having to be under the thrall of the muse. 



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If you write only when inspiration strikes, you'll never finish anything. -- Bob Mayer

Dangerbutton

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Re: Suggested Writing Excuses topic...
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2008, 05:15:52 PM »
Oooh, I agree! I could really use a bit of insight on how to make action scenes actually feel like action.

Miyabi

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Re: Suggested Writing Excuses topic...
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2008, 06:25:20 PM »
This topic goes here.  But I agree, that would be a good one.
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Re: Suggested Writing Excuses topic...
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2008, 10:50:04 PM »
Oooh, I agree! I could really use a bit of insight on how to make action scenes actually feel like action.

Same here!  I'd like to be able to avoid the: up, up, down,down, L, R, L, R, type of action scene.
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Reaves

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Re: Suggested Writing Excuses topic...
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 04:08:01 PM »
For me I've found I like to write very visceral action scenes; I like to get into the technicalities of parry and riposte, fleche and remise. I'm not sure if thats a good thing or not, but its fun to do, and I would greatly appreciate a topic like this on writing excuses.

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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Suggested Writing Excuses topic...
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2008, 07:16:00 AM »
Karen and I want to hear a podcast about what (not) to do when you're creating a fake language in your book.
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Dangerbutton

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Re: Suggested Writing Excuses topic...
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2008, 08:58:25 AM »
oooh. hey, that's a good idea too. Those fake languages are tricky. . . especially if you've never learned another language, so you only have one language to use as a model for how to make a language (And its a rather convoluted language, too)

spejoku

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Re: Suggested Writing Excuses topic...
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2008, 09:16:31 PM »
I'd really like the action podcast, along with the language one.  Although it would be nice if they did a podcast on how to put a convincing romance, or even just understanding women as characters.  that'd be kinda funny too  ;)
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tyrca

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Re: Suggested Writing Excuses topic...
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2008, 10:37:15 PM »
I've written action, and kind of enjoyed it. I discovered that the movies and TV I've seen really have an effect on what I write.

The thing I would love to hear explored is POV. When I was in school, it was Point of View, and described who in a paragraph is moving or talking or thinking. But now when I write things and take them to my writing group, or have criticism from someone else, they seem to be using the term differently than I understand.

Have things changed? Does POV mean something different, or more than it used to? Up to now, when I get critiques about POV, I don't fully understand what they are trying to get me to fix. I feel like I felt in 8th grade when I first encountered Algebra. None of it makes sense yet.
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JinxedOne

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Re: Suggested Writing Excuses topic...
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2009, 06:11:09 PM »
I have a little trouble myself, but I've found that there seems to be a delicate balance between the details of individual actions and the scene over all (and unfortunately it's still very subjective to the reader as well).  The only guidelines I've gleaned from reading are:
   1.  Keep an active voice throughout the scene.
   2.  Use very concise descriptions, but give enough information to:
        a.  picture individual battles (especially if it is associated with an action that will affect plot)
        b.  feel what the character is feeling (especially if it might affect the character's personal viewpoint)
   3.  Avoid obvious transitions to another part of the battle scene, "on the other side of the field...", just go there, but use paragraph structure to indicate a change instead.  Obvious transitions slow the action.
   4.  Say enough to give some feel for how long the battle was - there should be a progression in the type of language used.  As the scene progresses, describe how the characters are tiring.  You may have to rearrange the order your individual action scenes to convey it properly (but don't lose continuity - if one scene has to happen in order for another to happen, make sure it's in order :).

Just my amateur$.02,
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Necroben

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Re: Suggested Writing Excuses topic...
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2009, 06:38:04 AM »
I don't remember if they'd done this, but I'd like a podcast about agents.

What they do. Is it more beneficial for a writer to have one?  How to get an agent.
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It's ok to be strange, as long as it's on paper. :)

Rane

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Re: Suggested Writing Excuses topic...
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2009, 07:03:36 AM »
One podcast I'd love to hear would be one on Brandon's essay about magic systems, but I'm not sure how the others would be able to contribute to that, having not read their works. (yet)
EDIT: Never mind. I found the one they did about that. I should probably listen to it.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 05:48:39 AM by Rane »

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Re: Suggested Writing Excuses topic...
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2009, 01:50:46 PM »
Some topics I'd like to see discussed.

  • How to kill off characters so your reader actually cares (but not so much that they put down the book to mourn).
  • How to rewrite and keep your sanity.
  • How to write when holding down another job and maintaining a life.
  • Knowing when something is ready to be sent off to submission.
  • Artwork and illustrations--when do they help and when do they hurt your writing?
  • Conventions and conferences--how to get the most out of them and which ones should not be missed.
  • Outlining and notes (I think you've touched on this before).
  • Writing from life and writing what you know.
  • Writing and mental health--how to keep both.
  • Ratings, censorship, and keeping it clean.
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Reaves

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Re: Suggested Writing Excuses topic...
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2009, 10:36:36 PM »
I'd love to see a podcast on pacing.
Quote from: VegasDev
RJF: "AHA! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Cairhien, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a warder when he is only the distraction! Get him Rand! Buzzzzzzz!

Renoard

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Re: Suggested Writing Excuses topic...
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2009, 11:04:20 PM »
I like to see a discussion about magic systems, but one thing occurs to me.  Magic is supposed to be magic.  You know magic thinking and illogic.  No I get the idea of coherent systems of "alternate" sciences and the "any science, sufficiently advanced. . ."  But, done responsibly, I'd like to see magic be magical more often.  A pod-cast that discussed these issues without just being an apologetic for the current Tor/Baen stance would be nice.
You can always get what you want if you never count the cost.