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Tutorial Writers' Wretreat or Crytics' Crypt? (love needed)

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by spawning of Bob, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Infinity Turtle
    Saurus

    Infinity Turtle Active Member

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    Just an open question:

    When writing about lizardmen, is it more effective to aim for a more "hive mind" simple thought process and build complications from observations and analysis...?

    Or at least what are some thoughts on different approaches; are some more interesting than others, or simply another route?

    (Just going through another creative writing phase and hoping to channel some thought and effort into Lustria)
     
  2. Aginor
    OldBlood

    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    I dislike the hive mind idea for Seraphon/Lizardmen.

    I thinking is this way:
    A Slann thinks extremely complex and takes many things into account, plus he magically scans possible futures for solutions. From the other Lizards' point of view, he is closer to a computer than anything else. Half of the time they don't get the decisions but since is is always right they do it anyway.

    Skinks are about as clever as humans. Some are more clever than humans. I think those are good main characters for stories.

    Most Saurus are not particularly bright, I'd say below average humans. But with more experience they grow more intelligent as well. Some of them are spawned with more intelligence and those usually become leaders. Those are also more likely to become Oldbloods.
    Saurus most often think about war and fighting. It is their main purpose so their thoughts might be centered around that. However they still do other work and they can focus on those tasks. They still probably need Skinks to tell them what to do exactly though.

    Kroxigor are basically Hodor. They can think, but only very simply, they need other Lizards to tell them what to do.
     
  3. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    basically Aginor articulated the bulk of the sub forums thoughts on hive minds so completely and so succinctly that it ended discussion on the topic.

    Here's a new topic. Too little forethought into background and fiction is full of inconsistencies and plot holes, but I think it's easier to go overboard. I love rich depth fulled worlds but I want to see them as the story develops. A big problem fantasy writers often have is they start with a massive backstory, prelude, or appendix that needs to be read before the story can be started.

    I wrote a lengthy non-fiction style post going to depth about the culture and makeup of a fictional universe for a gameline that is out of print. I wrote about Lizardmen taboos, Lizardmen defensive strategies, Lizardmen religion, and Lizardmen city planning.

    I applied these principles to develop my own fluff city and started writing. I haven't posted it yet, it needs editing, and after a preliminary proofreading I saw the page count. 34 pages. That's longer than about half of my fluff pieces. The links above total ~40 pages in MS Word.

    This was ostensibly intended to add depth and plug in plot holes before they are created, but I have to admit a portion of my motivation here was my writer's block. This might have been me compensating for not posting any fiction in a long time. I have two WIP medium length stories (estimate will end up 15-40 pages), a sequel to my events in Klodorex and a sequel to my Southland's spin-off. I'm working on, a poem absurdly slowly. and my opus, Witch Hunter Verrick will probably end up being closer to 200 pages than to 100 pages.

    I had the thought, the hours I spent writing the fluff discussion starters I could have finished one of my WIP fiction pieces. I could have painted 500 points of models. I could have cleaned my apartment.

    I am planning to someday create fiction in my own fantasy universe. I have over a 100 pages of background material. Not one of page of a story.

    On the plus side, writing 30 pages of background for Klodorex (and comparing it against the 8th edition Lizardmen army book material) gave me inspiration for a new story I can write, so there is a place for writing background material.

    What is a good way to create a balance between foundation and story?
     
  4. Crowsfoot
    Slann

    Crowsfoot Guardian of Paints Staff Member

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    But then we would have no fluff.....
     
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  5. thedarkfourth
    Temple Guard

    thedarkfourth Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I don't do any of that before I write stories. Mainly because my stories are quite short, and I see no need for a wider universe unless I'm doing something extensive. Even then, I don't go that in-depth. I wrote a 40,000-word novella once featuring a whole galactic war and multiple civilisations, and I didn't write down any background before hand. I just had the outline of the various factions and a vague historical overview in my mind. With warhammer, I feel I know the lustrian universe well enough that I can write a story set in it without any prep at all.

    Having said all that, I also work on a collaborative project that requires LOADS of prep so that we can all write in the same universe. Our readers have so far only seen a fraction of what we have done behind the scenes, which breaks my heart a little. I'd always rather create just enough background that I can showcase all of it in my story, than have extra background that gets left behind.

    Additionally, I feel the events of a specific story are way more important than anything else, so I allocate my time accordingly. But I agree it's also nice, with longer stuff, if a story can reveal a huge amount of depth about a made-up world. There's an important point to bear in mind, of course: it's best if the world is constructed in order to allow for a great story, rather than writing a story purely to showcase a cool world. Most of my favourite fantasy writers do that. Stories are what hook readers, worlds are merely a nice curiosity, but they're empty without dramatic events well told.
     
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  6. The Sauric Ace
    Salamander

    The Sauric Ace Well-Known Member

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    Since the primary material I write up are for roleplaying games, it tend to be heavy fluff based. I feel like I need that information down on paper before I can get a hand on what the plot of the first scenario should be. I definitely don't think this is the only way to do it, some of my best games has sprung from doing the exact opposite.
    I Agree that it can be a great tool for handling writers block, getting some fluff down gets the creative circuits running i guess. It's also just a nice thing to have coincidence within the universe, writing these things down, creating a map, etc. means you give yourself a means of looking up your previous thought on the matter, making sure your not contradicting yourself. At least when it can be avoided :p
     
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  7. Infinity Turtle
    Saurus

    Infinity Turtle Active Member

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    For some reason, I've always been interested in the writing process, and now that i think about it, i probably over plan; As someone who reads historical fiction and Wikipedia articles, it's probably no surprise that I'm interested in the background...

    It's only as I've gotten older that I've realised all of the times I sat my father down and made him listen to my extensive universe building and with more thought I realise that a lot of the time he was probably internally face palming going "and when are you going to actually write it?"

    When I plan, I plan to much, and if I down plan, then I improvise horrible abominations of inconsistent rubbish...

    I think that's why writing Lustrian stuff is easier... someone else spent ages making the background and history, you just use it as a stepping stone...

    But thanks for your advice and I will be sure to incorporate it into my creative writing! :p
     

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