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Writing novels

I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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2/9/2010 1:47:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I am interested in writing a novel, the particular genre if Fantasy, though this may change.

At any rate, do people have tips for:

- Brainstorming and coming up with ideas
- How to develop a workable geopolitical system
- Developing characters whilst avoiding repetition
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I-am-a-panda
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2/9/2010 1:58:14 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 1:49:33 PM, pork_chop wrote:
Whatever you do don't commit the fantasy flaw.

Which is the inherent evil vs. good battle?

Nah, I'm more interested in a political view of the situation, with some magic thrown in there. I'm no however putting it in the middle ages, probably on the turn of the Renaissance, at least of the time I'm focusing on.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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2/9/2010 2:00:58 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 1:58:14 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
At 2/9/2010 1:49:33 PM, pork_chop wrote:
Whatever you do don't commit the fantasy flaw.

Which is the inherent evil vs. good battle?

Nah, I'm more interested in a political view of the situation, with some magic thrown in there. I'm no however putting it in the middle ages, probably on the turn of the Renaissance, at least of the time I'm focusing on.

holy crap, politics and magic!?
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/9/2010 2:02:30 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 2:00:58 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 2/9/2010 1:58:14 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
At 2/9/2010 1:49:33 PM, pork_chop wrote:
Whatever you do don't commit the fantasy flaw.

Which is the inherent evil vs. good battle?

Nah, I'm more interested in a political view of the situation, with some magic thrown in there. I'm no however putting it in the middle ages, probably on the turn of the Renaissance, at least of the time I'm focusing on.

holy crap, politics and magic!?

Oh you mean it's a book about modern liberalism.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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2/9/2010 2:10:02 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
General George Washington castes Magic Missile!

Sorry, I'm probably not helping.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Itsallovernow
Posts: 29
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2/9/2010 2:13:02 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
It's difficult to come up with a book soley by an idea. What I did with mine was clear my mind and use whatever my senses could detect to mold a short story, and, if I like it, compose a book out of it. I did this only twice before, when I was deathly comittied to it. The first time didn't work out the way I wanted. The second did. I was in my room listening to the radio and the song "Heartless" was playing. I don't like that song, because I don't like most forms of rap. Instead, I focused my energies on the lyrics and message. I immersed myself in music (as I do often). Now, I'm working it into a trilogy (for Greeks believe all good thigs come in threes). I'm over halfway done with the first story. Here it is: http://www.fanfiction.net...

It's still a work in progress, and the first chapter is corny, because I just wanted to introduce the characters, but the rest (save for more details on the setting) is pretty much how it will be. It's gonna turn out great, I think.
I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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2/9/2010 2:21:52 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 2:02:30 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 2/9/2010 2:00:58 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 2/9/2010 1:58:14 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
At 2/9/2010 1:49:33 PM, pork_chop wrote:
Whatever you do don't commit the fantasy flaw.

Which is the inherent evil vs. good battle?

Nah, I'm more interested in a political view of the situation, with some magic thrown in there. I'm no however putting it in the middle ages, probably on the turn of the Renaissance, at least of the time I'm focusing on.

holy crap, politics and magic!?

Oh you mean it's a book about modern liberalism.

Probably Feudalism vs Classic Liberalism. A bit of Machiavelli and other notable writers thrown in there for good effect.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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2/9/2010 2:22:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 2:00:58 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 2/9/2010 1:58:14 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
At 2/9/2010 1:49:33 PM, pork_chop wrote:
Whatever you do don't commit the fantasy flaw.

Which is the inherent evil vs. good battle?

Nah, I'm more interested in a political view of the situation, with some magic thrown in there. I'm no however putting it in the middle ages, probably on the turn of the Renaissance, at least of the time I'm focusing on.

holy crap, politics and magic!?

Yep. It adds another dimension. To monarchies suppress magic to stop uprisings, or give it care and use it to their advantage?
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
pork_chop
Posts: 37
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2/9/2010 2:24:38 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Just whatever you do don't make it about a boy who was an ordinary normal boy, but then some magical sh1t happens to suddenly make him the only one who can save the world. Then he has a whiny attitude about it at first but then accepts it becomes a man, has some sidekicks, defeats the evil wins the day. Also thrown in their are orcs, elves, dwarves, humans, dragons, giant eagles, talking trees, etc.
I-am-a-panda
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2/9/2010 2:28:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 2:24:38 PM, pork_chop wrote:
Just whatever you do don't make it about a boy who was an ordinary normal boy, but then some magical sh1t happens to suddenly make him the only one who can save the world. Then he has a whiny attitude about it at first but then accepts it becomes a man, has some sidekicks, defeats the evil wins the day. Also thrown in their are orcs, elves, dwarves, humans, dragons, giant eagles, talking trees, etc.

Coo', will avoid.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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2/9/2010 2:29:06 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 2:24:38 PM, pork_chop wrote:
Just whatever you do don't make it about a boy who was an ordinary normal boy, but then some magical sh1t happens to suddenly make him the only one who can save the world. Then he has a whiny attitude about it at first but then accepts it becomes a man, has some sidekicks, defeats the evil wins the day.

-Eragon
-Harry Potter
-Ender's Game
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
pork_chop
Posts: 37
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2/9/2010 2:38:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 2:29:06 PM, wjmelements wrote:
At 2/9/2010 2:24:38 PM, pork_chop wrote:
Just whatever you do don't make it about a boy who was an ordinary normal boy, but then some magical sh1t happens to suddenly make him the only one who can save the world. Then he has a whiny attitude about it at first but then accepts it becomes a man, has some sidekicks, defeats the evil wins the day.

-Eragon
-Harry Potter
-Ender's Game

LOTR - One that essentially started it all. But its not a flaw when you invent it lol. It's just overdone to the point of death.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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2/9/2010 2:39:23 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Dune is a good example of world creation. The politics are varied and in depth (on and off world), and a lot of time is spent creating a planetary ecology as well. I'd recommend you read if you haven't already.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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2/9/2010 2:40:39 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 2:38:21 PM, pork_chop wrote:
At 2/9/2010 2:29:06 PM, wjmelements wrote:
At 2/9/2010 2:24:38 PM, pork_chop wrote:
Just whatever you do don't make it about a boy who was an ordinary normal boy, but then some magical sh1t happens to suddenly make him the only one who can save the world. Then he has a whiny attitude about it at first but then accepts it becomes a man, has some sidekicks, defeats the evil wins the day.

-Eragon
-Harry Potter
-Ender's Game

LOTR - One that essentially started it all. But its not a flaw when you invent it lol. It's just overdone to the point of death.

*cough Terry Brooks cough*
Itsallovernow
Posts: 29
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2/9/2010 4:18:03 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 2:22:42 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
At 2/9/2010 2:00:58 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 2/9/2010 1:58:14 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
At 2/9/2010 1:49:33 PM, pork_chop wrote:
Whatever you do don't commit the fantasy flaw.

Which is the inherent evil vs. good battle?

Nah, I'm more interested in a political view of the situation, with some magic thrown in there. I'm no however putting it in the middle ages, probably on the turn of the Renaissance, at least of the time I'm focusing on.

holy crap, politics and magic!?

Yep. It adds another dimension. To monarchies suppress magic to stop uprisings, or give it care and use it to their advantage?

Mine involves that. The blood line of the current king overthrew the Crusaders (cliche name that will change). He decided to keep them to prevent insurgencies. However, he always feared their influence would invoke a rebellion that would overthrow him. In book 2, this comes to haunt Menar, since he's born into it and then holds power for killing one of the founders of the Heartless. By doing this, he earned the trust of the Crusaders.

The king then tries to incorporate him to his own uses, in which Menar declines. This strengthens his paranoia and he is later warrented for treason and attempted murder on the king (this ties in to book 3 when Menar joins the Heartless to kill the last Founder.) And that's just one aspect of the book. There are many twists to it!
Itsallovernow
Posts: 29
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2/9/2010 4:25:03 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 2:24:38 PM, pork_chop wrote:
Just whatever you do don't make it about a boy who was an ordinary normal boy, but then some magical sh1t happens to suddenly make him the only one who can save the world. Then he has a whiny attitude about it at first but then accepts it becomes a man, has some sidekicks, defeats the evil wins the day. Also thrown in their are orcs, elves, dwarves, humans, dragons, giant eagles, talking trees, etc.

I agree with this. With Menar, he already possess abnormal skills, though this is attriuted to his parents. One who is a Heartless member, the other died an notable Crusader Officer. When his mother bound her soul to the Heartless powerwell (created at first to help empower himself and other angels to take over heaven) she becomes souless, thusly, Menar is concieved souless. In this, Lucifer (who I'll have trouble emboding) theoretically owns his would-be soul.

He thinks that this entitles him to Menar's being. However, his mother (too long to post) had Estan's father leave him with one of his old "battle buddies" as his godfather. She kills Estan, because Estan said that one of them needed to be alive to make sure Menar would be protected, and that she could do that more easily if she was alive and informed. Also, he didn't want her to be killed for abandoing the Heartless, so he told her to make it seem like she went on an elaborate mission to kill him. (Which the Heartless see a great victory, since Estan is one of the Crusader's lead officers).

Menar grows up in the 16th century religious organizaition of the Crusaders in a group home (comprised of mainly orphans) called The Sanctuary. Well, I'll post more if anyone else wants to know, but I'm tired of typing. Egh!
Itsallovernow
Posts: 29
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2/9/2010 4:47:58 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Actually, I got my idea of conducting magic from Eragon:

1. Energy
2. Knowledge
3. Willpower

If the first isn't properly done when using magic, like in Eragon, you will die. However, only large spells, require direct energy. Though, I decided not to incorporate that he can draw magic from other sources. In the Eragon Cycle, I questioned "Why not just sap all your enemies strength, kill them, and become omnipotent?". Instead, effects can contribute or enhance it. (eg If there's a flame present, you can expand on that so it doesn't consume your energy, because the energy of fire builds upon itelf. Much like the sun, though I know that's maintained through hydrogen, which is where hydrogen was first discovered, btw, not on Earth)

Lack of the second will result in damage/death to the user, the persons involved, the persons near, and/or other unpredictable events, moreoften psychological damage, since there is a Connection that must be developed to utilize magic (see bottom for details) in the mind, that often breaks down and causes insanity.

Lack of the third will just result in failure. The main reason I this one exists, is due to hightened emotional sense, often in adrenaline rushes. This attributes to Menar's aggresive nature since he is Satan's son (theoretically), which begins to be triggered more often. In the last book, when he joins the Heartless, he finds in difficult not to indulge in this. He must fight this with the good ideals he was raised on, while questioning his beliefs (yes, there's a religius aspect, definately, though not oriented around it).

=The Connection=

More often, magic is only practiced with young ones (eg orphans), becuase it takes a lifetime to develop and master your Connection. This Connection refers to the theory that man is connected to nature and can influnce it with mindpower. The Five Elements that it is associated with is in referance to the early chemist belief that everything was made of Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Spirit.
PoeJoe
Posts: 3,822
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2/9/2010 4:53:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Some scattered, general tips:

- Show, don't tell. It's a trite saying, but it's important.

- Don't be too self-indulgent with your writing. Always remind yourself that you are writing for an audience, not yourself. What is cool to you may not be cool to your readers.

- Too many long sentences can be a killer to comprehension. Keep things readable.

- Don't use too many adverbs. In fact, I'd even cut down on adjectives.

- If something sounds slightly weird to you, it will sound extremely weird to a reader. So, change it.

- Don't pretend you are an artist. Recently, I read a colleague's short story, and the first line of that story had someone "esoterically laughing." What the hell does that mean? He told me it was his artistic way of saying his character laughed too loudly, and that it was the best way to describe his laugh. BS. Just say he "laughed loudly" or, if you must, "guffawed."
Television Rot: http://tvrot.com...
Harlan
Posts: 1,880
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2/9/2010 5:10:44 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/9/2010 2:38:21 PM, pork_chop wrote:
At 2/9/2010 2:29:06 PM, wjmelements wrote:
At 2/9/2010 2:24:38 PM, pork_chop wrote:
Just whatever you do don't make it about a boy who was an ordinary normal boy, but then some magical sh1t happens to suddenly make him the only one who can save the world. Then he has a whiny attitude about it at first but then accepts it becomes a man, has some sidekicks, defeats the evil wins the day.

-Eragon
-Harry Potter
-Ender's Game

LOTR - One that essentially started it all. But its not a flaw when you invent it lol. It's just overdone to the point of death.

You just described the monomyth and now your saying that it was "started" by a series of books that came out in the twentieth century?
Harlan
Posts: 1,880
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2/9/2010 5:14:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
- Don't pretend you are an artist. Recently, I read a colleague's short story, and the first line of that story had someone "esoterically laughing." What the hell does that mean? He told me it was his artistic way of saying his character laughed too loudly, and that it was the best way to describe his laugh. BS. Just say he "laughed loudly" or, if you must, "guffawed."

That's great. Esoteric to mean loud.
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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2/9/2010 6:15:58 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I'm a bit of a writer myself(just a side hobby) and I'm currently working on some fantastical/alternate universe political type thing. Mine has quite a few cliches in it though: good vs. evil(a corrupted dictator oppressing his own people and the lower classes rebel, etc.), the underdog becoming the hero, and I may even throw some forbidden romance in there too. Yea, I'm probably not the greatest writer, but like I said it's just a hobby for me.
I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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2/10/2010 11:42:16 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Itsallovernow wrote:
LOl ima advertise mah novel heah!

At any rate, your idea is unlike mine.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
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2/10/2010 5:24:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
My suggestion is to write everything down. No matter where you are, no matter what you are doing, if you come upon an interesting idea or you have a story skeleton or even just a clever line you might want to put somewhere in it (you can come up with the context for it later), don't wait until the time comes to write it down. Write it down as soon as you think it up or it might not be as great as how you first imagined it. I came up with a random story idea during class and although I won't be writing any time soon, I typed it up quickly right in the middle of my notes and put on the first slide "Refer to slide 24". Just random crap like that. Write everything down!
I-am-a-panda
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2/14/2010 7:15:42 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
My writers block is that I know key events and characters I want - How to string them together into an interesting and coherent story is the issue
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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2/14/2010 7:18:19 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/14/2010 7:15:42 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
My writers block is that I know key events and characters I want - How to string them together into an interesting and coherent story is the issue

Maybe the issue is that you should have looked for the issue first, instead of the characters and events.
I-am-a-panda
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2/14/2010 7:52:09 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/14/2010 7:18:19 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 2/14/2010 7:15:42 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
My writers block is that I know key events and characters I want - How to string them together into an interesting and coherent story is the issue

Maybe the issue is that you should have looked for the issue first, instead of the characters and events.

Explain.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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2/14/2010 7:54:58 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/14/2010 7:54:18 AM, bringoutyourdead wrote:
make it about a giant fish.

Named Minnow
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."