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Author Topic: Things that have made me a better writer.  (Read 812 times)

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Online NO1SY

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Things that have made me a better writer.
« on: March 18, 2021, 07:05:13 PM »
Hello everyone!

So I've recently been returning to some of my old writing projects in preparation for a Writers' Workshop, and let's just say that... well, a lot of it is pretty cringe... Not just from a conceptual standpoint, but on actual literary and language levels too...

So I wanted to begin a thread that, for one, outlines the real, practical things that I think have led to me becoming a much better writer since I initially posted those pieces back around 2014. This is not to say that I'm on a level with professional writers, or even editors and reviewers, but I still think that there is valuable information here.

I think I will focus on just one aspect at a time in my posts, and hopefully it will spark some useful discussion and bring other people in to share what has worked for them too. Although my recent endeavours have been much less graphic novel focused, I believe a lot of the points will still transfer across the related mediums. Maybe other members can help bridge that gap with their advice.


Online NO1SY

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Re: Things that have made me a better writer.
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2021, 07:57:23 PM »

READ MORE

This will be the start of a two-part point I think, because whilst just generally reading more is great, I also don't think that it is enough by itself for serious improvement. But I will ellaborate in a future post. For now, reading.

When I started my post-graduate degree, I found myself with this weird thing called a "commute", roughly an hour long each way. This was a great opportunity for me to pick up reading again. I had fallen out of reading in general; dropping books for manga in my teenage years, then finishing most of the complete manga stories I was interested in and moving on to keeping up with weekly releases, which I burnt out on because I dislike reading stories that way, and never returning to books because videogames held my attention in my free-time. I don't like phone games or newspapers, and can happily multi-task when listening to music, so I decided to pick up some books on my Kindle for the journies.

Since 2016, therefore, I have read just shy of 200 books of varying lengths, plus several manga series that I had never gotten to before or that I had been holding off on until they completed. Before I continue onto the benefits that I feel this has had, let me just mention that I know that there is a not so insignificant cost associated with this, especially if you are the sort that cannot give up their physical copy books. Digital books can be criminally cheap though if this is an option for you - Amazon also has hundreds of store pages worth of kindle e-books listed for completely free if you sort by price low to high (you just have to wade through a few thousand vampire romance novels to find the real gems in the sci-fi/fantasy section...).

In my experience, the benefits of passively reading a ton seem to be imparted via some sort of mental osmosis... without paying any special attention, you will find yourself adopting literary and language aspects of the stories you read that you most strongly resonate with. Examples I can think of are things such as narrative voices, preference for perspectives, tone, and level of description. I imagine there is some psychological reason around basically wanting to emulate what we enjoy, to recapture and use those feelings. Broadening the types of stories that you consume will inevitably expose you to a more varied pool of these stylistic apects, and then it really just becomes a question of instinctually writing based on whatever you have gravitated towards from that pool.

There is an iterative process that happens here as well on the conceptual level. Often if we read a story and enjoy it, we wish to emulate it to some extent yes, but often the stories we read leave us with further questions or full on voids that we wish to fill when it comes to future media we would like to consume. It can be good as a writer to come away from a story that you've enjoyed saying something along the lines of "I wish that the story had also gone here," or, "I would have written that a bit differently", as it means that there is room for your own creativity within that space. This is why a really good time to jot down some concept or plot ideas is soon after you finish reading a story. The obvious pitfall here however, is potential for very derivative concepts.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 05:07:23 PM by NO1SY »

Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Things that have made me a better writer.
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2021, 09:19:25 AM »
This will definitely be useful to me, I look forward to learning more :D
I was almost about to start a topic on how to gain writing skill so this is super timely for me.

I see a lot of similarities in the way any skill is learned, be it music, language, art, or writing. You need to have a target quality or product that you're aiming for, with a way to assess the quality of your own work and also a way to improve it.

Reading is a good way to learn new vocabulary which can add to your own works, as well as learning other writing concepts like similes, metaphors etc, and getting ideas like "oh wow I never thought of doing it that way".

In art this would be the same as copying or studying the artists that you like and learning how they used the lines and shapes to build up an artwork.

I see writing and art as having 2 major divisions: concept and execution.
i.e. having the idea and developing it vs actually writing or drawing the final product.

I think that there is definitely a chance of beginner writers copying their favourite works or using generic tropes without realising it, and it coming off as a clone or just a generic piece of work without having any flair or style to it. That's the issue I'm facing at the moment but I'm just ignoring the cliches and just getting used to producing work at any level haha
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Re: Things that have made me a better writer.
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2021, 07:18:32 PM »

THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU READ

By this I basically mean: Work out specifically WHAT you like in a piece of writing and WHY you like it. This applies to manga and books that you read, but really is transferable across most media.

I'm quite an analytical person, so I think this came quite naturally to me when I consume pretty much anything from books to food. My brother dedicates all of his analytical mind to TV and Film, and we love getting into discussions of details, be it directoral, production or story, when we watch something together. I also noticed that I generally think a fair bit more about the content of the music that I'm listening to than most of my friends - compared to them I can more definitively pinpoint aspects of a song that appeals to me and more effectively put into words why. To me, understanding things in this way leads to greater appreciation and enjoyment of them overall.

But there is also further determinable utility in learning this kind of critical thinking as a skill when it comes to being a writer. As artists, a large part of the creative motivation is to create for ourselves and for others, so I pose the question: How can we even create something good if we don't know why we think something is good in the first place? Sure, we can just latch on to the aspects of stories that trigger just general positive responses in us without going deeper, and just regurgitate them in our own work, but this leads directly to the issue of derivative storytelling that stifles progression, expansion and creativity. It's how we get crappy Naruto knock-off number 2000 but so few series like Demon Slayer, which capture the same feelings that Naruto initially evoked in us by focusing on the under-the-hood content as opposed to the superficial layers.

If you are serious about writing, then you should be reading at a serious level too.

Now, I don't want to sit and study absolutely every book as I am trying to read it... So I tend to read books once through for pure entertainment purposes, and then if I feel like there is significantly more to be gleaned from it than I was able to take away from my own natural analytical way of consuming media, then I will go back and do a deep dive - making highlights of specific technique that I pick up on, clever use of language, how the author gives subtext, moments of well done foreshadowing, distinct moments of character growth, effective sentence structure, impactful openers, how they set tone or focus on evoking specific feelings/emotions, how to write an effective metaphor etc. I'm looking for the lessons that can be learned from the bits I like most about their writing/work and trying to think of how I can apply it to my own stories, which can be completely distinct from the type of stories I am pulling these lessons from.

An example of this recently for me was my experience reading the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. In particular I was fascinated by the way that they pulled off the fairly tired concept of the "dark lord" and why I was captivated by it in this series when I have rolled my eyes at it in nearly every other series since The Lord of the Rings. Notes that I took highlighted the direct and gauling interactions that the being was having with/through its subjects, establishing and constantly reinforcing the fear and danger of the being throughout; tangible evil effects on the world that the being was having through the thinning protective cage, which added this impending and increasing tension throughout; and examples of their fantastic ability to put the strange, nebulous magical power of the being into words. I feel I can use the notes I have taken to inform my writing in genres outside of just fantasy and plotlines outside of the concept of dark lords, such as stories of mystery, crime-thrillers, and horror.

I really want to hammer this point home, because I feel like critical thinking is so poorly taught to us in general these days (it doesn't mesh well with hyper-consumerism). Try to think about the fundamental reasons why you like what you like, and try to put that into words. Then try to apply this reasoning in other places, which will inevitably expand your own opportunity for experience. And then try to apply this reasoning to your own work.






@Suuper - I hope you find this useful!

There is definitely a lot of cross-over when it comes to how we can analyse the media we consume, and honestly, maybe even how we apply the lessons learned? I feel like I may have learned a lot about the presentation of tone from music, and I think that some of that may come across in my writing every now and then - in particular if I am writing a melancholy, bittersweet or depressive scene then I think I pull a lot from the imagery I get from listening to Katatonia.

But yeah, to your point where you compare to art, I think that studying and learning gives us the control and capabilities to be truly free in expressing our creativity. Picasso had a great quotable line about this, about Rules, Masters and Artists.
« Last Edit: Today at 04:52:05 AM by NO1SY »

Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Things that have made me a better writer.
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2021, 03:17:34 AM »
That totally makes sense as a separate step, if you're analytical all the time, you can't sit back and enjoy the works that you like. I think sometimes when not in an analytical mode you'll notice different things, like more arbitrary things that affect whether you like it or not.

As an overthinker myself I definitely find this comes easier to me as well, although I've not discussed it with many people too deeply, mostly regarding anime is the most in depth discussions I've had.
I also dont consume much media to actively analyse, except manga, but I mostly look at the art rather than the story, but that's my artist background, and I'm trying to look at the story breakdown more nowadays.

And most likely there are can be multiple ways to achieve the same thing, done well by different authors, so it's not just one perfect way to achieve something but a range of ways, like a toolkit :P

Quote
I'm looking for the lessons that can be learned from the bits I like most about their writing/work and trying to think of how I can apply it to my own stories, which can be completely distinct from the type of stories I am pulling these lessons from.
This is definitely an important point. I think you need a certain amount of skill to be able to see how to use elements in a completely different setting, but once you do, you're able to use so many more references to help improve your skill.
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Re: Things that have made me a better writer.
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2021, 07:19:51 PM »

STUDY UP ON LANGUAGE AND TECHNIQUES

All those things that I barely paid attention to in english classes throughout middle-school: how to use punctuation; proper grammar and sentence structures; metaphors, personification and similes; choosing thematic adjectives; invisible words; narrative perspectives; nattartive voice; paragraphing; alliteration; tenses; synonyms and antonyms; verb conjugations; connectors; poetry... All these things that I thought I'd never use ever again after throwing my poetry anthology in the recylcing when I went off to Sixth Form College, never to study English again. Well, it bloody well turns out that they are actually bloody useful if you want to bloody write stuff... who knew!?

Even if you are going to be writing a graphic novel, at the very least this all applies to the dialogue you write, but it should also apply to the scripts and story-boards you provide to publishers and artists. If you are handing in writing that is riddled with language mistakes, or that does not make sense, then it reflects rather poorly on you as the author and will likely be a barrier that prevents you from getting picked up by publishers or artists (This applies to the wider job market in general... make sure to proof-read your resumes/CVs and cover letters, otherwise they often just end up in the bin regardless of how stacked they are...). Copy editors and editors really only correct for these things after a partnership has already been formed, and even then they'll have limits to what they will accept. Even if you self-publish, poor writing technique and mistakes are often immersion breaking for readers and will put them off.

To be honest, I don't know how I really ended up improving in this regard over the past five years... I think taking up creative writing initiated it, as I had to start thinking about use of language again, and then I think that had a positive impact when I came to writing my dissertations for university, and then I think the meticulous nature of those formal pieces fed back into my writing. And then somehow I felt confident enough to apply for copywriter positions at scientific journals, which then never happened because I got onto my Masters course. And this kind of feedback loop continued until now when I'm writing stories again, and I'm, once again, finding it super useful to apply those same skills in my PhD for reports and presentations.

If you are like me and were more into finding the funniest place-names on a world map at the back of the classroom instead of listening to your teachers... then Google pretty much has you covered nowadays. You can search pretty much any grammatical query or language concept or definition that you need to find out about. Someone somewhere has either written an article about it, or asked the same question on a Q&A site before and received an answer. Moreover, if you don't have Thesaurus.com open every moment you are writing then you are just doing it wrong! I think there are definitely things to primarily focus on over others, for instance, narrative perspectives; tenses; basic punctuation and basic grammar are probably more foundational and important to learn first before writing at all, and then the rest can be learned as needed to add extra depth to your writing.

Something else I wanted to bring up here is language barriers... English is a dumb language sometimes, often having weird and convoluted rules that it itself regularly breaks. I know that popular western markets generally use english as standard, making it attractive to write in, but part of me thinks it is almost better to write in your native language so that it does not pose a major barrier to creating your story and effectively communicating it. The better written the work the more likely you will be able to publish it, and then you can get it translated more easily afterwards.


« Last Edit: March 21, 2021, 07:22:04 PM by NO1SY »

Offline Coryn

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Re: Things that have made me a better writer.
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2021, 07:42:04 PM »
So, I will hop onto this bandwagon with some less well thought out pieces of advice, but trust me!

1. Take breaks! Obviously, writers have built in breaks in the form of writers block, jobs, social engagements, etc. All those things are the bane of anyone who just wants to go home at night and bang out of a few pages of a novel. But don't forget about planned breaks. We all need time away from the computer screen or the printed page. We can't be consuming content all the time (piggybacking off of NO1SY's quip about modern society). You need to give yourself time away from the world when you just allow yourself to think. I'm a big proponent of going on a long walk in nature, or just down the street if you have to. Put in some music (podcasts are no good I find), or walk with only the noises of the world. Whatever you do, give your mind the opportunity to wander while also moving your body. The ever changing scenery will keep your mind moving, where just sitting on your couch will inevitably lead your mind to move back towards your phone.

2. Read things that aren't novels! Read history, read theology, read science! Broaden your understanding of the world, and it will give you more building blocks to play with in story telling. Real world knowledge and experience are super important when it comes to world building. Imagine that.

3. Help others! Recently NO1SY and I have been collaborating over google docs, and it has really made me think harder about my writing. Every time I write dialogue, there is now a little NO1SY sitting on my shoulder asking "could this be a character moment?". MangaRaiders is an excellent opportunity for this (duh)! We have hundreds of stories on here, all with writers eager to have someone review them! But not only are you helping others, you're helping yourself. When you critique someone else's work, you are constantly asking "Why do I like this? Why don't I like that?" And then you have to put those thoughts into words. If you can help others, you can help yourself, because you will learn to look at your work objectively.

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Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Things that have made me a better writer.
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2021, 03:22:41 PM »
@NO1SEY
Quote
All these things that I thought I'd never use ever again after throwing my poetry anthology in the recylcing when I went off to Sixth Form College, never to study English again. Well, it bloody well turns out that they are actually bloody useful if you want to bloody write stuff... who knew!?
I really shot myself in the foot there as well, I never thought I would end up actually wanting to write in my later life. I wish I could give my young self a slap and say "learn all you can in everything, it'll all be useful"

Quote
Even if you are going to be writing a graphic novel, at the very least this all applies to the dialogue you write, but it should also apply to the scripts and story-boards you provide to publishers and artists.
Yeah, this totally caught me off guard recently (last month!)
Even several years ago when I thought I wanted to write manga comics, even for a living, it never crossed my mind how much writing, and elements of writing that that would involve. Especially as you say dialogue, which I am massively suffering on at the moment.

Quote
To be honest, I don't know how I really ended up improving in this regard over the past five years
Same with my art to be honest, it's a combination of a lot of elements, but basically if you are doing work in the area you want to be skilled at, you will gain skill. Maybe not at the rate you want, or the specific skill area you want, but you will definitely gain skill.

Funny you should mention language barriers because I'm in a funny boat, in that some lines for characters I think in Japanese first, despite Japanese being a secondary language that I mostly learnt off anime. And then I have to translate the sentence back into English and it never sounds quite how I imagined it lol

@Coryn
Regarding taking breaks, I have quite a different take on that. I do definitely have down time all the time for basically no reason, and I do agree a planned break is a good thing. But for dealing with writer's block, I'm much more of an aggressive active problem solver than passive thinking on a hike problem solving. But that might just be what works for me personally, or I'm still nooby with my writing and haven't hit a "true" writer's block yet, so I dont know if I'll always think that way.

But a nice country walk is good for you nonetheless, so writer's block or not, it's good to do it anyway :P

Quote
Read history, read theology, read science! Broaden your understanding of the world, and it will give you more building blocks to play with in story telling. Real world knowledge and experience are super important when it comes to world building. Imagine that.
So massively important, in my fantasy stories I've been using a lot of medieval research to write my characters and backstories. For instance, medicine is typically not very advanced, so life expectancy is much lower. Older people are therefore basically a rarity. So one of my characters who is very old (with magic) now stands out more and might more likely lead to people asking how she's managed to stay healthy etc. Just a random example. Or knowing manufacture techniques and materials available helps to design the clothing and how it looks as an artist.

Quote
But not only are you helping others, you're helping yourself.
Again as a nooby writer I'm only just coming round to understanding this and how useful it is, and for the exact reasons you say. Not only can you learn from others but you train your analytical ability which is so useful for quality control, as I like to call it, and being able to improve your work to the next level.
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Online NO1SY

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Re: Things that have made me a better writer.
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2021, 07:09:14 PM »

LEARN THE RULES OF STORYTELLING

This is a bit of a reductive statement... but bear with me.

A quote that has stuck with me since I read it in a gallery is from Pablo Picasso: "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist."

I read some one-hundred-and-fifty manga series and now far more than that in books. I have watched probably one-hundred anime series and as many TV series and movies if not more. I have listened to far too many D&D campaigns, and run and participated in some myself. I would like to think that, by mental osmosis, I kind of got an idea of how to build, structure and tell a story. But I think, at least six years ago, relying on this kind of intuitive second-hand experience to guide me resulted in derivative story telling when I tried to emulate my favourite plots, or sloppy pieces of work when I attempted to break the rules that I didn't really have a solid grasp of.

Luckily for me, my unhealthy attachment to YouTube provided me with some absolutely excellent resources to help me set a more solid foundation for my conceptualization, world-building and plotting. These videos generally fall into three categories I think: Educational, Informational, and Reviews.

Under the Educational category I listen to lectures on story-writing, video essays about writing/story-telling concepts or literary analysis, and slightly more conversational videos about writing concepts. These are sources that I feel helped to teach me HOW to write stories. Here we have Brandon Sanderson's 2016 BYU Lecture Series and 2020 BYU Lecture Series, as well as his writing advice and FAQs and conversations in his signing sessions; Hello Future Me's "On Writing" videos; Tale Foundry's "Tale Bits/Tips" videos and other series delving into various renowned works; and Daniel Greene's infrequent conversations on writing topics and his interviews with authors.

Under the Informational category I find videos on subjects that I am interested in that I may hope to draw inspiration from when conceptualizing my fictional universes, characters and plots. This could be anything from learning about medieval history, to cutting edge science, to established ficticious universes. I am looking for WHAT could be the content of my stories. Here we have Hello Future Me's "On Worldbuilding" videos; Shadiversity's dives into medieval history and realism in fantasy; The Explorind Series' videos on the Cthulhu Mythos and the SCP foundation; Because Science/Kyle Hill's videos on... science stuff...; VSauce for esoteric discussions; Kurzgesagt's "In a Nutshell" videos for more science stuff made easy; Comics Explained for videos on Marvel and DC comics; and I suppose even the Adeptus Ridiculous Warhammer 40K podcasts at this point....

Under the Review category I listen to media reviews of mostly books and videogames (sometimes music and very rarely movies). It may seem a weird thing to use as a source in the context of this post because the value of review content (if not soley for the purpose of entertainment) tends to require the watcher to identify a commonality with the reviewer's opinions - hence why I do not watch Anthony Fantano's music reviews because his taste and expectations of music are so different to my own. But, I think that there is some further utility in review content. For one, it keeps your fingers on the pulse of trends in the current media landscape. And secondly, it familiarizes you with critique and feedback - what things to look out for, what lands well and what misses etc - that you will receive and should learn how to give. Altogether it may provide guidance for WHY certain things work in your storytelling. My recommendations, although highly personal, are Daniel Greene; Merphy Napier; and SkillUp.

There are no doubt other sources for this kind of information outside of just YouTube, although I enjoy this form better than that of a textbook - I can just put a more auditory video on on my phone in my pocket and listen to it like a podcast as I work in the lab.






2. Read things that aren't novels! Read history, read theology, read science! Broaden your understanding of the world, and it will give you more building blocks to play with in story telling. Real world knowledge and experience are super important when it comes to world building. Imagine that.

So I think this is a fairly useful adendum to my "Read More" post. However, I must profess that I actually really don't read much outside of just novels at the moment, and have never read much non-fiction outside my work. However, hopefully I have displayed that there are other sources for such information. The greater a knowledge base you begin with, the less likely you will have to front end a bunch of time-consuming research before beginning your story writing, and also the further into more esoteric aspects you can delve.

3. Help others!...

Super important and watch this space for my expanded take on this. I have a general order that my points kind of build up in, so I didn't want to deviate into this yet, but happy you brought it up, and happy to be that little NO1SY on your shoulder! :tongue:

Funny you should mention language barriers because I'm in a funny boat, in that some lines for characters I think in Japanese first, despite Japanese being a secondary language that I mostly learnt off anime. And then I have to translate the sentence back into English and it never sounds quite how I imagined it lol

Very interesting! 1. that you were able to learn Japanese mostly from anime and 2. that your mind is defaulting to it over your native language. Direct translations from western eurpoean languages into english often break down when you start getting proper grammar involved - this can only be more difficult from more distant languages where the structure is completely different or where they rely heavily on context/inference. On top of this the idioms, concepts and humour tend to be completely different.
« Last Edit: Today at 05:05:31 AM by NO1SY »

Offline KeanFox

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Re: Things that have made me a better writer.
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2021, 10:32:18 PM »
Hi NO1SY Thanks for typing all that, I been enjoying it. Coryn covered some of what I wanted to say.
I want to ask you what (just a random question) do you want to write a novel or a manga/comic?

The dark lord stuff, yea. I have been thinking about it. I might talk about it here later or just make a new topic

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Re: Things that have made me a better writer.
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2021, 06:14:53 AM »
Hey there KeanFox! I'm glad you are enjoying this thread.

Even if someone has covered your own points before, feel free to double up. This is a thread about experiences after all and no two people are likely to have the exact same.

I look forward to reading your take on Dark Lords!


I want to ask you what (just a random question) do you want to write a novel or a manga/comic?

At the moment I have a bucket list goal of writing a published novel. I have become more and more enamoured with language and wordplay and unfortunately that doesn't come across as much in graphic novel format - where the artwork does a lot of the heavy lifting instead. BUT I would absolutely still love illustrations and splash pages for whatever novel I end up writing!

Regardless, I would still like to write for, or be involved with, a graphic novel project at some point, I just currently don't have any more ideas of my own for that medium. I think there is a huge amount of value with writers collaborating with artists to tell stories, it’s just a bit more difficult to find and form those relationships.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 09:47:48 AM by NO1SY »

Offline Coryn

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Re: Things that have made me a better writer.
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2021, 11:14:31 AM »
@Keanfox: Personally I'm all about the novel format. I think there's room for an "anime" style story to be told in writing alone here in the western world. Obviously you have light novels, but I'm going for a more classic book series feel.


@Suuper: That point about medicine is actually right on point! A few years back I read The Histories by Herodotus, an ancient greek historian who is known as "The Father of (Western) History". He actually brings up life expectancy in the ancient world when comparing Greece to Nubia. As Herodotus tells it, the Nubians have a life expectancy of 120 years (Herodotus didn't do a lot of fact checking, lol), while Greeks only had a life expectancy of 80 years. In short: it's not that a lack of medicine meant a lack of old people. It just means that the ancients didn't account for infant deaths in their statistics. If you made it  to adulthood, you were probably going to live into old age.

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Re: Things that have made me a better writer.
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2021, 12:43:47 PM »
So as far as I am aware, the reason the ages of people got up to weird high numbers in ancient civilizations is because of calendar differences and a lot of guessing... I believe some of the biblical societies were working off of a 10 month lunar calendar for instance, so much easier to reach into the 80yo range compared to medieval societies using more modern solar calendars.

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Re: Things that have made me a better writer.
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2021, 12:42:29 PM »
Just because you're working with a 10 month calendar or a lunar calendar doesn't mean the year is necessarily shorter though. Most lunar calendars are only about a dozen days short of a regular year as I understand it, so you won't be that far off by age 80. And a 10 month solar calendar (ala the early romans), would still work out to 365 days, just with longer months.

In the specific case I paraphrased, it was only part of a wider point. The Nubians (or well, "people south of egypt", was basically all it meant to be Nubian back then), it was the story of an ambassador to a Nubian king. The living to an old age thing was just one of a list of supposed differences the Nubian court told the ambassador. Included were also the "facts" that Nubians had black blood, organs, and even semen. In other words: clueless greek goes to africa, gets told a bunch of tall tales.

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Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Things that have made me a better writer.
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2021, 04:30:05 PM »
If I recall correctly some lunar calendars have leap-months to make up the difference, so it ends up very similar to the modern year length.

But I can imagine that if a year was permanently shorter then as time went on the new year would start on different seasons?
People might count their age by saying "this is my 50th winter", regardless of the actual year date.

Interesting nonetheless, and shows that research is definitely important if you are writing in any of those specific time periods. But it also makes us aware that different time counting methods exist, and we can equally make a new one for a fantasy story if we wanted, which I'm considering at the moment.
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