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  1. #181
    Quote Originally Posted by RAD View Post
    Considering the immenent "Cain Black Knife," I can't help but recall a statement made by Caine in "Blade." Something along the lines of "I wish I could meet the guy who keeps reaching down in my life and turning everything to (explitive)."

    And I realized, that would be you.

    So, considering everything you've put Caine through (and presumably will put him through in the next book) what would happen if you ever met your main character face-to-face?
    He'd beat me to death.

  2. #182
    Quote Originally Posted by Chewbaruuk View Post
    Hello, Mr. Stover, I joined today so that I could ask a few questions of you. Let me begin with a few personal details.

    I am a Senior in high school. For my Senior Project, I am writing a short novella set in a personally modified version of Star Wars. I'm utilizing no known characters. I should have well over threescore pages now, yet I have only six. "Writer's block" is beating me more thoroughly than Mace beat those nameless guards at the sanisteam showers on Haruun Kal.

    Every time I sit down to write my "masterpiece", I change plot details. For some reason, no particular sequence of events satisfies me. Not only that, but a few changes have necessitated the slight alteration of two of the main characters.

    1) How do you settle on one specific timeline?

    2) How late do you make significant changes to the story in some way?

    3) How do you set up the skeleton for the story?

    4) Do you make an outline?

    5) Do you write the whole thing in the order it appears in the book?

    The odds that you'll reply before Monday are slimmer than a mortal's odds of defeating a god incarnate, considering how you've not reponded to this thread in well over a year. Yet ask, I must.

    Well, thanks for your time. Much luck and success with all your endeavours!
    First: Never write Star Wars unless you're getting paid for it.

    Second: buy, borrow or steal WRITING TO SELL by R. Scott Meredith. Read it. Believe it.

    That's the whole story.

    Every time I have proceeded without an outline, I have paid for it in blood. And yes, I always write the story in chronological sequence . . . except when I have change the chronology after the fact.

  3. #183
    Quote Originally Posted by Rheingold View Post
    It seems like this forum isn't very active, but I was wondering, are you ever going to post on starwarsontrial.com again? There are a whole bunch of questions waiting to be answered in the Ask the Defense thread....

    Thanks!
    I don't post in starwarsontrial any more, because I can't waste my time scrolling through all the bloody spam. Sorry. Ask a question here, and I'll get to it within a few months . . . sometimes faster.

  4. #184
    High Priest of Cainism Shehzad's Avatar
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    Welcome back, Matt.

  5. #185
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    well then, i've read Heroes die and blades of tyshalle. They are pretty violent books (I had nightmares every single night when reading Blades of Tyshalle) how do you think of all the gore and violence in those books? Was it the worst you could ever think about and where and from what did it all come from? care to share your life?

  6. #186
    Quote Originally Posted by Kanos View Post
    well then, i've read Heroes die and blades of tyshalle. They are pretty violent books (I had nightmares every single night when reading Blades of Tyshalle) how do you think of all the gore and violence in those books? Was it the worst you could ever think about and where and from what did it all come from? care to share your life?
    Yeah, pretty violent. How do I think of all the gore and violence?

    I read the news.


    Forget my life. It's not as interesting as you think.

  7. #187
    Quote Originally Posted by MWStover View Post
    First: Never write Star Wars unless you're getting paid for it.

    Second: buy, borrow or steal WRITING TO SELL by R. Scott Meredith. Read it. Believe it.

    That's the whole story.

    Every time I have proceeded without an outline, I have paid for it in blood. And yes, I always write the story in chronological sequence . . . except when I have change the chronology after the fact.
    Hey, you responded. Cool.

    Really? It's now nothing more than a test of my own ability. Y'know: to see if I can actually write sth I find more entertaining than the majority of what I read. Truth be told, it's more of an excuse to procrastinate. Well, that and to engage in conversation w/one of my friends. This is my first sandbox.

    I'll probably buy the book if it'll help me long-term.

    I've:

    1) re-done the roster

    2) set up a look for the galaxy's political landscape

    3) come up w/ideas for new tech

    4) fleshed out all but a few of the newest chars, including past and future

    5) decided on a number of key events

    6) gotten a better laptop

    Now, all that remains is to fill in the gaps between the events and start writing. If I can do this right, I can use it as a model for any future project.

    Anywho, thanks for the advice. I look forward to seeing how your next book turns out.

  8. #188
    You're welcome.

    Me, too.

  9. #189
    Well, I inadvertently wound up taking your advice, since I was forced to leave the sandbox in order to allow the continued growth of my story, as Star Wars was holding me back, from a certain point-of-view.

    I'm pretty sure that asking a simple question, "How do you write the way you do?" would elicit an equally simple answer, so I'll be more specific: how is it that you manage to make the reader personally feel the feverish surreality of Mace Windu's experience on Haruun Kal? How do you take sth so abstract as an idea and transcribe it to an organized series of crude phonemes?

    I can see that the reason why your fight scenes are of superior quality is because of the psychological aspect. If that were removed, you'd probably not have much of an advantage over your peers. However, I wonder how you can so elegantly mix internal conflict w/its external counterpart, effectively creating a form of wonderfully violent, artistic prose.

    When writing, there is a balance that must be struck. The writer is tasked w/giving the best description of whatever's goin' on while avoiding wordiness, if there is such a word. If not, there is now. Pace must be controlled and some details hafta be sacrificed in order to prevent a monotonous tone. There is that which should be explicitly stated, and there's that which should be left to the imagination. How do you balance these aspects of your writing?

  10. #190
    First off, thanks.

    Second, that balance, such as it is, is nothing more than the result of experience. I go back over my own books, looking at what I think works, and what I think doesn't. The key to avoiding wordiness is to say the minimum necessary to make the action clear. If you want to screw around with pretty word-pictures, write poetry.

    Sartre said that a poem is a thing in itself, an object to be contemplated. Prose, on the other hand, should be a window through which the story can be watched.

    A fan of mine (and prospective novelist, taking college-level writing classes) wrote to me once with a rule of thumb that I have taken very much to heart:

    "When somebody tells you something's wrong with your story, they're usually right. When somebody tells you what is wrong with your story, they're usually wrong."

    So I trust my instincts. When I'm working on a story (Shatterpoint being a perfect example of this, in fact), I'm constantly trying to approach the story as a reader as well as a writer. I'm asking myself: What would make me like this story even more, if I were reading it instead of writing it?

    As far as psychological elements go, the real secret is that there's no secret. Some writers seem to approach psychology and emotion as something, well, kind of free-floating. Unconnected from a person's physicality. And that just ain't so. Emotion is an expression of brain chemistry, as is thought; both are affected by what happens to the body . . . and both can affect the body, too. In other words, how you feel is always connected to what you feel. And vice-versa.

    Hope this helps.

  11. #191
    Thank you for clearing that up for me. Should I have any further questions on the subject, I'll be sure to post them here.

    Btw, when do you think we'll be able to see Caine Black Knife on shelves? And wasn't Black Knife the clan of the ogre who helped Caine?

  12. #192
    Mid-to-late 2008.

    He was an ogrillo (and yes, his clan was Black Knife).

  13. #193
    An observation and a question:

    In "Blade" worlds literally collided, reality was torn apart and reshaped, empires fell and rose, entire civilizations were decimated, characters became heroes of mythic stature, a new god was born and every complacent preconception of the reader was not only challenged but raked over hot coals, eviscerated and turned inside out, leaving many of us with questions that still haunt us to this day with all their possible implications.

    So, how do you top that?
    Last edited by RAD; November 5th, 2007 at 02:45 PM.

  14. #194
    I don't try.

    CBK is as different from BLADE as BLADE was from HEROES DIE. I use the "Studio multiverse" because it's useful in addressing my favorite thematic concerns. I use Caine because I find his ruthlessly self-centered nature compelling . . . and because I like how he turns a phrase.

    As I said before BLADE came out, "People who are expecting BLADE OF TYSHALLE to be a Bigger, Faster and Louder version of HEROES DIE are gonna be disappointed." The same goes for CBK. Doubled.

    CBK isn't going to go back over the themes of BLADE. I'm (mostly) done with those -- I won't come back to them unless I feel I have something new & useful to say -- and (I hope) I'm done with Giant Brain-Shattering Epics. CBK isn't about the State of the Universe. It's about being Caine. More or less.

    If I could summarize my themes in a sentence or two, I wouldn't have to bother writing a whole novel, would I?

    And last I heard, we're expecting CBK to be on the shelves in late summer/early fall 2008.

  15. #195
    Filthy Assistants! Moderator kater's Avatar
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    Excellent news.

    Adding to the previous question, do you look for something new in each story, in terms of themes and maybe style, to sustain interest and what sets you off - current events, ideas, or something simpler?

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