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Author Topic: Writer Discussion Table  (Read 109650 times)

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Offline 50 Words for Paipis

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Re: Writer Discussion Table
« Reply #1545 on: August 09, 2015, 02:59:32 PM »
That's been a problem for me too. The rule is "write about what you know," right? So if you're going to write about something you don't know well, you have to learn as much as you can about it so that you do know. How do I do that?

I was looking at the "thanks" section of my copy of Memoirs of a Geisha. The author made several trips to Japan and talked to several geisha's about their lives and childhoods, as well as experts on Japanese culture and mannerisms, as well as just Japanese people who grew up during World War II. He also read a lot of Japanese poetry which greatly informed the prose style. Thing is, not everybody has the resources (or is dedicated enough) to do this. So what other ways can we write while looking like we know what we're doing?

We write from experience, so, essentially, what those authors are doing is deliberately experiencing something so they're able to write about it. Often, the reason we choose characters with certain lifestyles or who live in a certain place, is because we've experienced them in movies, TV Shows, books, etc. I can write an imitation version of Memoirs of a Geisha once I've finished it. A lot of writers, especially screenwriters, rely on this instead of actual research. If they are writing a mafioso, they watch the Godfather, instead of interviewing actual mafiosos or mafia experts. At best, they'll read a book on them or watch a documentary. This is one solution. It does not match up to actual research, but the reader may not be able to tell the difference. (Note: This is why you have a lot of unrealistic tropes in film, so beware).

The other solution is that we can simply write about what we've already experienced. Harper Lee did this, John Kennedy Toole did this, etc. We can write almost literally about it, or we can abstract that experience into something else. I can describe and personify run-down southern American towns well because I've seen a lot of them. Many people base their characters on people they know, and write about places and cultures they've experienced (or the equivalent in their fictional universe).

For the average writer who cannot travel to the place they want to write, they are probably going to want to use a bit of both of these.

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Writer Discussion Table
« Reply #1546 on: August 09, 2015, 03:56:07 PM »
Maybe I should go into an insane research mode.

Offline 50 Words for Paipis

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Re: Writer Discussion Table
« Reply #1547 on: August 10, 2015, 01:54:24 AM »
Reading books on the subject helps. Just go to your university's library. It's literally there for research.

Offline Lumaria

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Re: Writer Discussion Table
« Reply #1548 on: August 10, 2015, 02:12:26 AM »
It really depends "how" deep you want to make a story follow a certain part of history and/or society and/or skill set. If you want to know the "behind the scenes" information, then yes, do what Memoirs of a Geisha has made, then go travel and speak to these people. you dont have to speak to them face to face or travel. you can skype or find an intermediary.

But if you're mostly trying to be unique, and not trying to follow the common tropes of it. then get the bare basics, and may be a little more after that, and make sure your story is saying "we're not trying to be the historically accurate, but the unique/misfit/maverick type that no one knew about"
Stop playing victim....you know what you did.

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Writer Discussion Table
« Reply #1549 on: August 10, 2015, 01:41:37 PM »
Looks like I'll need to go for a balance to be realistic. Maybe I can escape by writing surrealist literature.

Oh, another question. I'm tasting the bitter medicine of being a complete beginner in a language and have decided to write 100-300 words every day in German. Now I know how it feels to be a complete beginner in a language.

I can usually churn out tips for absolute beginner writers in English, but now I know how real the struggle is.

Any ideas?

Offline 50 Words for Paipis

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Re: Writer Discussion Table
« Reply #1550 on: August 10, 2015, 01:49:40 PM »
Learn the way anybody learns a language. Immersion. Watch films in that language (without subtitles if you can), read books (possibly kids books first) in that language, so you can get a feel for the usage of certain words. If you encounter words you don't know, have a German dictionary in hand (not a German-to-English dictionary mind you) and read the German definition of that word. If there are words in that definition you don't know, look those up, and repeat until you can put it together. But you should probably have a level of competency in the language before you do some of these things.

That's all I got really. It comes from no experience at all trying to write in another language.

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Writer Discussion Table
« Reply #1551 on: August 10, 2015, 01:51:27 PM »
Haha, still helpful tips. I guess I'm using the english-german dictionary too much. That's why I bought a german grammatik book.

Damn. I'll need to do some serious chopping of my English based media if I'm to get anywhere.

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Writer Discussion Table
« Reply #1552 on: August 11, 2015, 06:59:55 PM »
DAMMIT IT HAPPENED AGAIN.

I was writing a super hero story and was looking in the tv troupes pages for web serials just for fun and found a humungous popular web serial called Worm. It completely defeated me. I have no words. I hate this crippling jealousy dammit.

Offline 50 Words for Paipis

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Re: Writer Discussion Table
« Reply #1553 on: August 12, 2015, 01:16:11 PM »
This has probably been posted a bajillion times. It's pretty old. But I'mma post it again:
https://iwl.me


I just revisited it for fun and there is probably a decent-sized margin of error, but I figured it would give me some names of authors I might find interesting.

I got David Foster Wallace twice.  :hmm:  I mean to read Infinite Jest when I get the chance. Both texts were more character oriented, and the characters in it were very relatable people. I know that DFW, despite his intelligence, tried as much as possible to be an ordinary, unpretentious everyman. I'm guessing he wrote very relatable characters as well.

And I got Dan Brown twice. Likely because of the historical and religious themes in the texts I used. Have never read anything of his, but I always got the impression I wouldn't like it that much.

And I got Arthur Conan Doyle once. I think I can see why, although I can't really think of how to explain it. Something to do with small details, and subjective reactions and perception described vividly. 

But yeh, I think I'm going to pick up a David Foster Wallace book after I finish one of the books I'm reading. I also kinda wanna see that new movie about him.

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Writer Discussion Table
« Reply #1554 on: August 12, 2015, 05:21:36 PM »
Who in the world is Margaret Artwood? Damn. I want to be able to write like Hemingway.

I like little apps like these. The Hemingway App is also a favourite. Then theres the 7th Sanctum for crazy character generations. Always a blast.

In other news I'm adding writing 300 words of german per day to my writing regimen. Which means I have to write 700 english words a day and 300 german. The thing is the german is being impossible, so I've decided to go 'tracing'... except with novels.

I'm going to type out a german novel I've been wanting to read on the side to fulfill that quote. Hopefully by some freaky osmosis I'll learn the proper way to write the language, because coming up with words on my own was proving to be pretty hefty. I can do that in english with no problem but mein gott...

Anyways, I'll see how this turns out. All I can say is that the first session went really well. I definitely at the very least learnt a word or two. And I can tell that I need practice because I still need to look on my keyboard for where the special chararacters öäü and ß are. If anything I'll be able to touch type in this language too.

Reminds me of the training I did with tracing Bleach pages for that Insane Massive Training Workshop. I didn't learn anatomy or anything, but that definitely helped me with coming up with panel ideas and seeing into the mind of Kubo a little bit. Since recently I've been in training mode rather than making projects I might as well consider making studies on that front.

Random thoughts
 

Offline Nairbons

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Re: Writer Discussion Table
« Reply #1555 on: August 12, 2015, 11:14:02 PM »
I write like Douglas Adams? Yeah, I can live with that.

Offline Funkermonster

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Re: Writer Discussion Table
« Reply #1556 on: August 19, 2015, 03:24:40 AM »
So I made a synopsis of a manga I plan and introduction to its characters to make in the story developmnt boards about a day ago, its been about a day and its only got 11 views and 0 comments so far. I know I'm being impatient, but I really am itching to hear what people think of it (if anybody's willing to help, I can link to it). I cannot publish anything right now since I'm only 16 and am still in high school, but within the next few years I wanna find a way where I can start with it. With said series I'm making I've taken at least a 2-year headstart in pre-planning it: I know who my main characters are, a few supporting characters, the general plot synopsis, and I've made some attempts to draw some of the characters. But now that I've done those, I dunno what I should do next. Should I keep practicing my art skills until I am totally satisfied? Should I try to get the first chapter/issue down? Is there something more important than either of those that I may be missing? Basically my question is, when you start your own manga series, what do you think would be the most important steps to starting it after you got the synopsis and the main cast? After I did that I feel I hit a roadblock and I don't know what to do next.

I also still await critiques on it before doing much, as I want to know if people even think its a good concept in the first place. If its reception is too bad, I'll just have to throw it away sadly

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Writer Discussion Table
« Reply #1557 on: August 19, 2015, 05:47:44 AM »
Well usually if you want people to read your stories you should try reading others. Over time people feel inclined to read yours. There's also Review Swaps if you're interested http://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,13165.msg224014.html#msg224014

As for stories be careful of trashing them because of critiques. It seems like you've worked on it for a long time so it'd really be a shame to just toss out a story just like that

Offline Funkermonster

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Re: Writer Discussion Table
« Reply #1558 on: August 19, 2015, 02:19:31 PM »
That's not a bad idea, actually. Could never have thought of it on my own, thanks for pointing it out. I think I will look for some others' stories to read, should earn me a bit more attention from others' and it should be fun to do anyways. The last post in the review swaps thread was in July, it doesn't seem to be very active but I'll give it ago and see if I get anything out of it anyways. And yeah, been planning my story concept for quite a few months now, and to just throw it all away does sound pretty ridiculous so I highly doubt I'll do it. But at the same time, I occasionally worry that if no one's even going to read or like it in the first place, it would have all been a wasted effort.

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Writer Discussion Table
« Reply #1559 on: August 21, 2015, 06:37:47 PM »
Question, would a story like Bayonette ever work out as a novel? As in if it originally came out as a novel. I'm wondering how video game characters who's primary skill is to kick ass would be taken in written form.