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  1. #46
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onions
    Hmmm. Not sure what you mean by repetitive writing. Certainly, there's some information that's repeated and could bear culling.
    And like I said, you might choose another way of conveying information once in a while other than dialogues in a closed room.
    But there is a great vibrancy in your writing. It's alive. And there's a sense of an author knowing what he's doing every step of the way, nothing there by chance and no faltering of the pace. Your characters alone keep it interesting.
    Yeah, you'll have to do some editing, but nothing out of the ordinary.

    You're not getting fidgety about this, are you?
    I've just written a conference, where everybody pretends to talk about the Aimless One, but they're really talking politics. A lot of it, by the nature of the scene, is summary of official stand-points. It's 18k words of close, consecutive and linear prose (with the only breaks being PoV-changes). Writing this was quite tough. It ended in a semi-climax that I didn't expect until I wrote it. I think it works, but I'm not sure. Writing this monster of a scene was quite exhausting, and at times a chore. What I'm really worried about is that the scenes that felt like drudgery to write are as boring to read.

    So I need a bit of a break to see how to make the tansition to day two of the conference. No more than a week, perhaps a week and a half, as two days have passed already, and then I'll write again.

    What's written is written; what doesn't work gets addressed in the edit. But what's been written up to now needs time to settle in my head.

    And I'm pretty much always worried about one thing or the other about my writing, so me being worried doesn't worry me.

    The Order's giving me the most head ache. I want to be fair, but I just don't understand them.

  2. #47
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    Don't understand the Order inhowfar?
    (only if you care to explain, I'm interested)

  3. #48
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    I've a problem with understanding the motivations behind faith. I'm worried they'll come off as strawmen, because oef that.

  4. #49
    Edited for submission Holbrook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnstorm
    I've a problem with understanding the motivations behind faith. I'm worried they'll come off as strawmen, because oef that.

    You understand the motivations behind belief in a cause? Their faith right or wrong. The pushing of their order for power and control. Treat it as any other branch of politics. Sometimes people of faith are far more blinkered and hidebound than others, sometimes far more open. Approach it like any other party in your story, set aside the fact that it is a religion for awhile. Remember it's followers are people.

    does that make sense?

  5. #50
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holbrook
    You understand the motivations behind belief in a cause? Their faith right or wrong. The pushing of their order for power and control. Treat it as any other branch of politics. Sometimes people of faith are far more blinkered and hidebound than others, sometimes far more open. Approach it like any other party in your story, set aside the fact that it is a religion for awhile. Remember it's followers are people.

    does that make sense?
    Yes, it does.

    In a way, I'm trying that. I'm not so much worried about their actions, as I'm worried about the PoV. And I can't even put my finger on it. Words don't flow with these specific PoVs (Sir Alvin, Sir Duras, Rowan), as they do with others. I can describe them from other poeple's PoVs just fine (I think). I find the "Holy Halls" scene a bit weak, for example (apart from half-baked culture). That one's in for a bit of an overhaul (most definitely for setting, but perhaps also for character/PoV and internal politics tweak).

    Currently, I'm not treating them any different than I do the other characters. But when faith becomes a foreground issue I don't have an instinctive language-set for them and writing can become a chore (and sometimes reads "false").

    I'll just plow on. I doubt I'll manage to write them with confidence, though. Exploring "faith" both as an explicit belief system and as unacknowledged conditions of thinking are a major theme, so I can't really deny them their allotted PoV-scenes.

    ***

    Btw:

    Feyshore: Wouldn't someone who's researched Orman know that House Flaym "has the ear of the King"?
    True. The statement, though, is actually more of a speech act (offering the "voice" of a "house" before the king to defend criminals). It's not what's said that matters, it's the implications. It's not only the man himself, but the entire house that's behind the soon-to-be guild's cause. The speech act behind the statement isn't "informing", but "making an offer". (And a risky one at that.)

    I do have to rework that scene a bit including more setting. (But then that's true for lots of scenes. Hehe...)

  6. #51
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    I really liked the Holy Halls chapter. It gave me a kick.
    Yes, they are more one sided than the other two factions, but that also makes them interesting and focussed my attention more (does that make sense?).
    With the Order, you're concentrating hard on working out the belief issues - more so than with other characters who seem to have a very distanced view of their own existence and the meaning of their trade. Maybe you could try and develop their characters more, and letting them discover more of a personality aside from issues of faith as the story develops.

  7. #52
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onions
    I really liked the Holy Halls chapter. It gave me a kick.
    Yes, they are more one sided than the other two factions, but that also makes them interesting and focussed my attention more (does that make sense?).
    With the Order, you're concentrating hard on working out the belief issues - more so than with other characters who seem to have a very distanced view of their own existence and the meaning of their trade. Maybe you could try and develop their characters more, and letting them discover more of a personality aside from issues of faith as the story develops.
    That's perhaps the problem I have. Faith demands a person, not a professional role. I don't know what it's like to be a person within a specified faith-system (as I'm pretty much outside of any I know of). I'm unsure of how to separate the personal from the professional identity for people of organised faith. Perhaps, I don't know how to tell personal issues from issues of faith.

  8. #53
    A not so good guy MrJims's Avatar
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    I'll just jump right into the faith aspect of this conversation.

    For the truly, deeply faithful, there is no difference between personal and faith issues. There faith is there philosophy in it's truest sense. It governs, guides and comforts them and they move through the world.

    Others within faith-based organizations are just following the rules. They don't like there old self or believe in a promise of the faith, (heaven, salvation, wielding the power the organization holds). These people participate in the faith but are not truly in it. They would have personal issues.

    And of course the is the type most people today fall into. Parents had a faith, raised them in it and now they token worship. These people can still rise high in the infastructure if they have good cross over skills or friends. They also have personal issues, like why are they doing the motions of this faith for instance.

    Was that even helpful?

  9. #54
    aka. Stephen B5 Jones MrBF1V3's Avatar
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    Yeah, remember the "believe" part of the Serenity movie. There are some who "believe hard".

    In a faith organization you will have the true believers, and you'll have the power brokers and the social belongers. Some will be a mixture. You will see the focus of such an organization by how it deals with a perceived threat.

    If it helps,

    B5

    I once heard that many psychologists joined the field because they thought (or knew) there was something wrong with themselves. I suppose this could also be true of the hierarchy of a faith organization.
    Last edited by MrBF1V3; July 3rd, 2006 at 11:48 PM.

  10. #55
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    Thanks, anything helps to get things sorted out.

    Interestingly, I have exactly three PoV characters, and they roughly fit those categories.

    I don't actually have problems writing them from someone elses PoV; my problems start when I'm writing others from their PoVs. Order-based PoV has led to more aborted scenes than any other character.

    I'll just plough on. It's impossible to avoid their PoVs, so I'll just ooze through those, as I did up to now. Interestingly the "relic-salesman" scene is an exception. Damned if I know why... (Edit: <-- Unintended pun)

  11. #56
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Isn't it funny how even when we are not of a faith, the dominant faith of a culture effects our language, like using the word damned?

    You do Oram's pov just fine, but perhaps you are more comfortable with that because he has turned away from his faith, been confused by it and doubts it?

    The personality of a person is maybe the key thing, whether it's a character of faith or not. The personality of the person, how they view the world and other people, effects how they interpret their faith and its meanings, and therefore, what actions they may take, and how they view others. That's what leads to that division between those intent on faith, those intent on reform, politics, etc.

  12. #57
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG
    Isn't it funny how even when we are not of a faith, the dominant faith of a culture effects our language, like using the word damned?
    'tis culture, isn't it? Who knows how much boils beneath the surface?

    The personality of a person is maybe the key thing, whether it's a character of faith or not. The personality of the person, how they view the world and other people, effects how they interpret their faith and its meanings, and therefore, what actions they may take, and how they view others. That's what leads to that division between those intent on faith, those intent on reform, politics, etc.
    True that. Still, faith seems to require a certain personality trait I lack, and writing the perspective is... hard.

    ***

    Why does this come up again right now?

    Well, on page 1 I talked about troubles with a key scene (the one where political opponents are caught together in a situation neither of them cares for). Well, I ended up splitting the scene. Part 1's been written long ago, and now - guess what - I'm stuck with part 2!

    Grr....

    I hate this scene. I am kind of pleased with part of what I've got down on part 2 of this scene, and I do kind of like the way the idea for the scene developed; with a resolution I did not think of initially, but which is both plausible (I feel) and will tie in nicely with the theme of the novel.

    However, I can't seem to write the bloody thing.

    I'll finish that stupid scene tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, or the day after that. I'll probably hate writing it. And in half a year or so, I'll hate editing it.

    Does this ever happen to anyone? Hating important scenes? Wish I could hire a ghost writer.

    (Kidding, just frustrated after yet another try.)

    ***

    Otherwise, I'm getting slowly back into gear (real life can be quite distracting...). 78.5 k and growing. I think the draft might end up being twice as big. Then I'll cut lots, so it's probably about 120 - 140 k words in the end.

    ***

    Sometimes I find myself editing unwritten scenes in my head. Is this strange?

    ***

    I'm in a funny mood lately. For example, I've been trying to post in the Flash Fiction Contest voting thread for days, and somehow didn't manage. (Edit: But I *did* manage to vote.)

    ***

    This isn't the most coherent post either.

    ***

    I'll stop typing n
    Last edited by Dawnstorm; October 15th, 2006 at 07:56 PM.

  13. #58
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Well, I finally read that scene -- or at least the version of it that I have; you may have rewritten now -- and it seemed to work perfectly fine to me. The "religious" characters you have are all very interesting.

    I think that's one problem you are going to have -- you have a large cast and they all offer unique pov's which you like to play with. So it may end up being the tricky part finding the balance between using those pov's and having the text become very fractured. I don't think that for this particular type of story -- a mystery -- that you'd want it to get too splintered. But that's for later, when you're revising.

    I'll finish that stupid scene tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, or the day after that. I'll probably hate writing it. And in half a year or so, I'll hate editing it.

    Does this ever happen to anyone? Hating important scenes? Wish I could hire a ghost writer.
    Not exactly. I get weary that I have to write an important scene, because a lot has to go into it. And I get frustrated when I know what I want in my head and I can't get it to work that way on the page. So some scenes come out at a creep. But more and more, I'm letting myself be okay with that, because it's a draft and because sometimes surprising little bits come up on their own that seem to work well.

    Sometimes I find myself editing unwritten scenes in my head. Is this strange?
    No, I do it too, but I try to minimize the writing and editing in my head, first because I won't remember what I did in my head, and second, because it makes my brain a lot less interested in dealing with it when I'm working with paper. Plot planning is fine, though I'm careful about that now too, but writing in my head I try to squalch, especially in the shower.

    But your first draft is very polished prose, so I think you are the type of writer who does a lot of the work in your head and then puts it down on the page. And I refuse to have sympathy for you, because you have many more pages than I do.

  14. #59
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG
    Well, I finally read that scene -- or at least the version of it that I have; you may have rewritten now -- and it seemed to work perfectly fine to me. The "religious" characters you have are all very interesting.
    Thanks, for that. The "religious" characters require the most thought/conscious effort. I haven't re-written anything yet. That's for afterwards.

    I think that's one problem you are going to have -- you have a large cast and they all offer unique pov's which you like to play with. So it may end up being the tricky part finding the balance between using those pov's and having the text become very fractured. I don't think that for this particular type of story -- a mystery -- that you'd want it to get too splintered. But that's for later, when you're revising.
    I might downplay the mystery and replace it with more social unrest; this would make it more of a riot-story with a mystery in the background. This is the first time, actually, it comes out as a mystery. It started out as an "obsessed witchhunter story" (kinda like Moby Dick) in a more traditional fantasy setting. To the extent the healers pushed to the fore, the magic started disappearing... The mystery-aspect is a side-effect of changing the structure from a diverse group travelling to factions meeting in a centre. The centre had to be organised, and thus there had to be police, and investigations. But the investigations are merely a superficial ploy. (I need city-administration as a back drop, and that's how the mystery emerges.)

    The true balancing problem I'm facing is actually more one of balancing faction PoVs against each other, so that none stands out. I do think, after cutting a few scenes, I'll have to re-write many from other PoVs (as well as action PoVs, and reminiscence PoVs - which makes it a four way grid).

    But not yet.

    Not exactly. I get weary that I have to write an important scene, because a lot has to go into it. And I get frustrated when I know what I want in my head and I can't get it to work that way on the page. So some scenes come out at a creep. But more and more, I'm letting myself be okay with that, because it's a draft and because sometimes surprising little bits come up on their own that seem to work well.
    My problem with this scene (as it was with part 1, the one you've read) is that it goes well until I notice that I've slipped out of character for one of the two characters involved. Then I have to go back and delete until I arrive at a prior point, and redo it - slightly different. So I write a couple of hundred words down, but actually advance about 50 - 100. Iteration after iteration, and lots of re-reading. I'm literally getting bored with the scene.

    But your first draft is very polished prose, so I think you are the type of writer who does a lot of the work in your head and then puts it down on the page.
    Yep, stories usually have an incubation phase. That, and I'm a very slow writer. 1000 words can take up to four hours.

    And I refuse to have sympathy for you, because you have many more pages than I do.
    I'm curious how people can do NaNoWriMo...

    And one of these [edit: days] you'll have to share a sample...

  15. #60
    Registered User Dazzlinkat's Avatar
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    Dawnstorm, have you thought of writing the whole scene completely from each POV? Since you already know how you want the scene to go, you can focus on just that character through the scene. I know this means alot more writing, but when your done you can THEN write your scene using snatches from each POV as you want without worries of losing touch with the characters.

    (Of course, you could always threaten your characters with your mighty eraser if they dont sort themselves properly for this scene.)

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