Anyone want to talk about writing?

For fiction and non-fiction outside the Black Library range. This includes book reviews, recommendations, advice on writing, and publishing fiction of any nature.

Anyone want to talk about writing?

Postby Rob P » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:19 pm

Dump your tips here. Dump your queries here. Dump your problems here.

Want to talk about any aspect of writing fiction or non-fiction, then dump it here and maybe can help each other out.

*Waits anxiously for the first reply*
User avatar
Rob P
 
Posts: 1361
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:09 pm


Re: Anyone want to talk about writing?

Postby Rob P » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:47 pm

I've read a few books on writing over the last couple of years and I have a few in my reading list to get at. I also attended a few writing seminars at EdgeLit last year and found them quite interesting.

One of the seminars was hosted by AK Benedict and concerned story structure.

AK Benedict has written a number of successful novels including The Beauty of Murder which can be purchased at here or from all good books stores.

Image

There was a lot of talk about audience expectation of a certain structure which is fed into us so frequently that we unconsciously recognize when something conforms and when it does not.

These are taken from my notes.

The main thrust of a story is that a character starts in one state and he ends in another state.

Please see the image above for reference.

(1) The Start - There is an Inciting incident that spurs the protagonist into action and there is exposition. The scene is set and the protagonist's flaw is revealed.

(2) The Rise - Obstacles are presented, the antagonist is revealed and events occur.

(3) The Climax - This is the most tense part of the story. This is the turning point for the development of the protagonist. You know the flaw identified at the beginning, this is the point where they overcome it or it overcomes them and they then get 'locked in'.

(4) The Falling Action - This is where the fallout of the climax takes place. In many books this can take place very quickly after The Climax and in other books not so much.

(5) The Resolution - This is where the knot is unravelled. The protagonist at this point has completed their journey. There should be a recognisable difference between who they were at (1) and who they are now. Physically they may have returned to where they were at (1).

Try and think of a good example of a story which materially deviates from this cycle.

And that's all for now.
User avatar
Rob P
 
Posts: 1361
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:09 pm


Re: Anyone want to talk about writing?

Postby Rob P » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:10 pm

I might re-read Libby Hawker's Take Off Your Pants!: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing soon. Would anyone be interested in a rundown of it afterwards?

The same for Ursula Le Guin's Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story.
User avatar
Rob P
 
Posts: 1361
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:09 pm


Re: Anyone want to talk about writing?

Postby Erunanion » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:57 am

I'd be interested in a run-down of that.

I've got a copy of Rachel Aaron's 2K to 10K[/url] (https://www.amazon.co.uk/2k-10k-Writing ... B009NKXAWS) that I imagine addresses the same topics, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. If we're putting up tips up I can move it up my reading queue and summarise if anyone is interested.
Check out my shiny new website, with genuine new-blog smell! - http://www.jonathandbeer.com

The Emperor's Mercy - Prologue - The first piece of fiction I've put up on the Bolthole's new incarnation.

"It is the 41st Millennium, and never underestimate the ability of the universe to infinitely screw you over." - Lord Lucan
Erunanion
 
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:10 pm


Re: Anyone want to talk about writing?

Postby Rob P » Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:43 pm

Sounds like a plan. I read a book with a similar title about a year ago and the advice was extremely generic. I'll re-read (it was short) and post a summary at some point. I've also got a couple of the Chuck Wending 's books which are great for what they say.

I should really get writing. I'm thinking reading all these writing books is procrastination dressed as progress!
User avatar
Rob P
 
Posts: 1361
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:09 pm


Re: Anyone want to talk about writing?

Postby Erunanion » Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:27 pm

I worship at the altar of Chuck Wendig. I have all his writing books and follow his blog pretty religiously (although the writing advice posts have slackened off in the last few years, I suspect because he now has more than enough work without making more for himself).
Check out my shiny new website, with genuine new-blog smell! - http://www.jonathandbeer.com

The Emperor's Mercy - Prologue - The first piece of fiction I've put up on the Bolthole's new incarnation.

"It is the 41st Millennium, and never underestimate the ability of the universe to infinitely screw you over." - Lord Lucan
Erunanion
 
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:10 pm


Re: Anyone want to talk about writing?

Postby Dennis the Hamster » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:35 am

My advice would be to read Lisa Cron's 'Wired for Story', which takes apart storytelling from a neurological basis. It sort of undeprins all the stuff about voice, structure, and so on.

http://wiredforstory.com/

Gav
www.gavthorpe.co.uk
Facebook - Gav Thorpe
Twitter - DennisHamster
Check out my Angry Robot titles too! http://angryrobotbooks.com/our-authors/gav-thorpe/
Dennis the Hamster
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:32 pm
Location: Nottingham


Re: Anyone want to talk about writing?

Postby HungryP » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:39 pm

A lot of good has come out of listening to the Writing Excuses podcast for me. It's 12 seasons in, but each is only 15-20 minutes. It's easy to binge on while doing other stuff, though they do suggest starting with season 10 as it's a more directed, project start to finish, discussion than the other seasons.
User avatar
HungryP
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:10 pm


Re: Anyone want to talk about writing?

Postby Pyroriffic » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:25 pm

I would also add that sometimes it doesn’t matter how much theory you read on how to write (good grief, that was an awkward sentence), it all counts for nothing if you don’t put it into practice. So write. Write, write, write.

How about I reinstigate something like the 600 word limit drabbles, complete with a word prompt?
I reject your reality and substitute it with my own.
User avatar
Pyroriffic
 
Posts: 1232
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:23 am


Re: Anyone want to talk about writing?

Postby Xisor » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:16 pm

Pyroriffic wrote:I would also add that sometimes it doesn’t matter how much theory you read on how to write (good grief, that was an awkward sentence), it all counts for nothing if you don’t put it into practice. So write. Write, write, write.

How about I reinstigate something like the 600 word limit drabbles, complete with a word prompt?


We were discussing that at the weekender. (Strictly, after the weekender in the dungeon of Pit & Pendulum.) I think we arrived at exactly that conclusion too.

Drabbles would be a great one, Pyro - it might even be enough to get my writing muscles some exercise!

----

As a self-hating 'theorist', feel free to disregard this... :lol:
"When my housemate puts his bike in the middle of the living room floor, I find that inordinately jarring, annoying and rude, but for me to refer to it as "genocide" would be incorrect." -Ath
xisor.wordpress
Xisor's Dice-o-matic Maiminator
User avatar
Xisor
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4867
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:13 pm
Location: Canterbury


Re: Anyone want to talk about writing?

Postby Rob P » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:58 pm

Thanks all.

Gav, thanks for the link.

HungryP, I also listen to Writing Excuses and agree.

Sarah, I think you are bang-on. I write far too little and find every excuse under the sun to procrastinate. Like Xisor, I think a drabbles would be great.
User avatar
Rob P
 
Posts: 1361
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:09 pm


Re: Anyone want to talk about writing?

Postby Rob P » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:16 pm

Okay, so this one is called 5,000 Word Per Hour: Writing Faster Writing Smarter by Chris Fox. https://www.amazon.co.uk/000-Words-Per- ... bc?ie=UTF8

Here is a brief summary of the main points:

(1) Plan what you are going to write so that when you write you are writing for the entire time.

Write a couple of paragraphs setting out the main points of the novel. The following questions should be answered:

(a) Who is the protagonist(s)?
(b) Who is the antagonist(s)?
(c) What is the major conflict between them?
(d) What is the ending?

It then mentioned, not unlike the story structure in one of my earlier posts, the 'story timeline'' pattern:

(i) The inciting incident which interrupts the protagonist's life.
(ii) The first doorway: once the hero steps through their world can never be the same.
(iii) The second doorway: once the hero steps through it the final confrontation with the antagonist begins.

He then recommends that you prepare your scene to include:

(a) Which characters will appear
(b) The time and place the scene appears in
(c) The major action that will occur
(d) The goal of the scene
(e) The emotions you're trying to evoke

(2) Do not edit as you go along. Just get it on the page no matter how terrible you might think it currently is. It's more important to complete what your writing in the first instance than the overall quality of any part (editing comes later). The logic is that people get so bogged down in perfect sentences that they lose the will to carry on and don't finish. If you need something earlier to change for the story to work, then write going forward as if the earlier stuff caters for this and note to update earlier on edit. There is also something about how when you come to proof what you've written you will notice consistent flaws in your writing and can then work to correct them.

(3) Mark a slot of time for writing each day and stick to it. Knock off your internet and any other distractions. Do 'micro-sprints' of writing and work up to full 'sprints'.

(4) Log your wordcount per day. There is an ios app (free with premium option) for this which is called something like 5KWPH or use a spreadsheet. This will mark progress.

(5) Learn to type faster or start using dictation software.

(6) Editing. Edit in one go at the end, not whilst creating first draft. Use notes created earlier to retrospectively tidy up changes made during first draft.

(7) Write with others - whether literally in the same space or through places like this so that friendly competition motivates you to write more.

The book goes on to outline reward systems and to recommend some other books by other authors relating to motivation, which pretty much tells you that this book is really about motivation and technique to keep the writing going rather than about the art of of writing or storytelling.

The weakness so far in this book from my point of view is that I don't have a problem writing sentences quickly or planning my time or devotion of time; my problem is actually turning my fiction ideas into coherent and lovely sentences. I'm competent at writing reports etc, but i'm in awe of well written sentences in fiction. Can this even be taught?

Erunanion - I would be interested to know if the 2k-10k book provides more useful tips.
User avatar
Rob P
 
Posts: 1361
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:09 pm


Return to Board index

Return to Published Works

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests