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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
    Cold One

    Infinity Turtle Well-Known 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
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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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.....
     
  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.
     
  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
     
  7. Infinity Turtle
    Cold One

    Infinity Turtle Well-Known 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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  8. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    When i'm writing my story, Psyche of War, i like to write down a chapter's plot first with very vague descriptions about the setting and characters, sort of like some rough draft. Then i rewrite the chapter as a final draft with vivid descriptions of the setting and characters' thoughts.

    This process allows me to brainstorm what should come next, whilst not overwhelming my dim witted brain with trying to be descriptive with the chapter at the same time.

    Not sure if this is what everyone does and is an old fact, but i wanted to share anyway.
     
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  9. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    I should probably do the same thing. It takes me very long to write a sentence because I usually want to get the wording right immediately. But it does slow down the thoughts as well.
    I do my drafts only in my mind, often chapter-wise. Of course there is a major idea for the plot, so the results are set, and I usually have motivations for the characters in mind, or dialogue snippets, but most of the things happening in a chapter are planned while writing and that often leads to either the descriptions and wording being good and the events are a bit bland, or the other way round. After the whole thing is finished and I read something else I notice that in my stories especially the descriptions of fights and characters are often a bit less interesting than I would like them to be.
     
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  10. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, i remember trying to use this process for my first story, and the subsequent others that never came into fruition.

    In my experience, writing the main idea and the general plot makes it easier for me to organize the chapter first, and then try to get the descriptions right.

    Although i think this made some of my descriptions pretty dry. Not sure.
     
  11. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Step one in an outline is to write the dry description.

    Step two is to add hooks. It's not necessary to add the hooks to your outline but I sometimes do.
     
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  12. Y'ttar Scaletail
    Kroxigor

    Y'ttar Scaletail Well-Known Member

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    Me, I usually have very little planning. :p

    Often it's the concept of a character (or one of my existing ones) and a very rough idea for what will occur to them and perhaps a potential result. The majority comes along as I write. For example: Tekris and Gribble go to Rokso's Pub.

    As I write, Gribble gets annoyed that Tekris is being tight fisted on spending the money they earnt from their clients. Gribble then scoots away and starts bothering the barkeep whilst Tekris is able to enjoy his drink until a shadowy Skaven joins him and starts spewing random cryptic lines (which I don't always know what it means.) I might then learn that Gribble has an allergy to lemons, Tekris seperates his money into sections in his money pouch, or shadowy Skaven is actually all in Tekris' head and is his forgotten personality of being Mizzreek.

    I suppose I find myself writing like i'm in a roleplaying game as both Dungeon Master and Player Characters. This can be problematic when certain characters start writing themselves into scenarios or tilt the results. Even worse when I let them become effectively fourth wall aware and they find a way to write themselves fully into stories they were only meant to cameo in and avoid death when I try to kill them. I often try and treat my characters as if they were living beings, laughing and crying with them as we journey together. :p
     
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  13. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    lol, literally before you posted, i was thinking about starting up an interactive RPG story thread on this forum.

    Player, or players, could choose the main character's name, personality, physical attributes, etc.

    They'll also have the ability to choose what the main character will do once confronted with dialogue, enemies, environmental problems and such. Finding and acquiring items could allow for special options which will mostly result in a positive outcome, BUT could have the chances of being wasted if used inappropriately (using a potion of kroxigor's might on a speedy clan rat for some nonsensical reason).

    Sounds pretty nerdy, but ehhhhhh

    oh wel
     
  14. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    If someone did it, I'd probably participate but I've seen this sort of thing before It's a lot of prep work for whoever is running it for an uncertain payoff. I think your effort would be better spent on stories.

    If you do want to keep pursuing this, I would recommend opening a new thread.
     
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  15. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Maybe. I was thinking the central plot could stay the same, but the main character could approach the objectives/challenges differently.
    Sort of like one of my most favorite video games ever, Deus Ex, where the player could over come obstacles as they see fit without changing the plot.

    Will probably do this after i complete my story.
     
  16. Y'ttar Scaletail
    Kroxigor

    Y'ttar Scaletail Well-Known Member

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    Differing styles I feel might cause conflicts. :p
     
  17. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Oh yea, and on top of it, i haven't decided how options would be chosen if there's more than one person playing yet.

    Having the ability to implement polls into separate posts on a thread would be kewl.
     
  18. Infinity Turtle
    Cold One

    Infinity Turtle Well-Known Member

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    *enters discussion late*

    I have so many story and plot ideas for various universe and characters that it's actually a bit weird... When finally stop procrastinating to write some ideas down, this is usually what I do. Whether it be writing entire story overviews or just for chapters. Then I can just add bits of description later on and not force myself to be constantly creative.

    I'm always daunted by huge ideas and put off starting to write them for as long as possible, even though I ultimately enjoy it, which is why short story comps are great because I'm encouraged to keep my writing-juices flowing. :D

    Often I find myself spending more though and effort on planning stories, character arcs, designing outfits, drawing maps, etc. than actually writing, though... Any tips to get over severe procrastination??? :shy:
     
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  19. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Hm, take my advice with a grain of salt, i'm a very newbie writer, but i usually like to focus on a story's theme, and hidden message. For characters, i only focus on their pasts and motivations. These pasts and motivations lay the ground work for their philosophical views of their fantasy world, and in their opinions, how the world they live in should be and other things.

    Not sure if it's helpful or not, but i like to give each a chapter a focus. What i mean, is that a chapter could be entirely focused on being an introductory chapter that introduces the reader into the setting and the main character. Another one could be focused on expanding upon the story's plot and characters, and so on.

    hope it helps :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
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  20. Y'ttar Scaletail
    Kroxigor

    Y'ttar Scaletail Well-Known Member

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    I use things like campaigns in the setting (i.e Animosity (which I don't think exists anymore), or Moulder Pitfighters) as an excuse to churn out stories. Each turn lasts one or two weeks in which time I need to write at least one 350 or 700 word piece to give a bonus to my character's campaign actions, the last Moulder Pitfighters campaign lasted over a year and created my longest saga to date.

    There also is the National Novel Writing Month event in November where your goal is to write a 50,000 word novel (or selection of short stories or whatever if you want to be a rebel with a pen.)

    Another thing I had attempted to do over on the UE was to do story challenges, for example write pieces in a post-Skavenocalpyse world.

    Finally, you could get together a group of trusted and likeminded people and do something world building. Such as creating a Temple City (or expanding on one that is only mentioned in the lore) and together coming up with the history, former heroes, and the like.

    Putting a timer on things I find gets you over the procrast rut at any rate.
     
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