NaNoWriMo: "Death Blindness"

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Larcent

Senior Member

07-11-2012

Okay, so for my first tip. This part here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiaoLong View Post
I think it makes him more reasonable, his "exception". I mean, I feel people in general are all a little jaded of characters with unbreakable convictions, with like, Ned Stark, and stuff.
This is wrong. Name one character in fiction who has fans on the basis of how "reasonable" he or she is.

There's a saying: "The difference between fiction and and non-fiction is that fiction has to make sense."

What that means is that in real life, people change their minds all the time. They behave irrationally. They can be "reasonable" and change their minds in order to please others. Sometimes they make important life-changing decisions without thinking them through. Yet, we do not yell at God that he's "writing" them out of character.

Decisions that fictional characters make have to make sense in the context of the personality the writer his given them. When a character makes an important life-changing decision it has to be "earned" by the character having grown into a new understanding of the world. Galio can't just decide to accept Lux's help because he hates to see her cry or because he's making her sad. It's clear throughout the book that emotional responses are not enough to cause him to change his position on necromancy.

Poppy's argument that he's pointlessly martyring himself has traction because that's exactly what everybody told him in his first life about Dederick. Learning from his previous life could have given him the insight to acknowledge that his usefulness does not have to lead to a pointless death. But I didn't set it up well enough and the ending isn't quite as earned. There's a kernel of it there, but I could have done more.

The idea of characters "earning" growth is so important because otherwise your story is just about people doing things and it's hard to become emotionally invested or attached to any of the characters. How can you when they could just suddenly change their minds? This is one of the reasons why everybody was upset about what Jayce's lore did to Viktor. The sudden shift of Viktor from a bitter victim of intellectual theft to also turning out to be a thief wasn't earned. There was nothing in what we know of Viktor to indicate that he would cross that line. In fact, what we knew suggested the opposite. It appeared to be behavior that was beneath him. And so Jayce's lore needed to be changed, and it was.

Also, Ned Stark did eventually see reason, didn't he? And how did that work out for him?


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MiaoLong

Senior Member

07-11-2012

Hm... very true. I think maybe I've been drawing too much from GRRM's Song of Fire and Ice. I wonder if one's plot had no higher direction, do the characters have to follow suit? I feel that a character making unearned decisions usually is reviled as simply serving the plot; that they act in such a way solely to advance whatever it is to get the story to where it is, and the readers can sense that. Therefore it follows that if your plot had no goal to begin with, perhaps an unearned but still reasonable decision would seem less jarring?

But I see your point. It's a pity I won't have much area to apply this knowledge at the moment. My Yi story is really linear, and focused on action, so there's not much room for much decision-making to be earned beyond 'kill him', and 'block this', and I worry that'll flatten my protagonist.

Oh well, it's largely done now.


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Larcent

Senior Member

07-20-2012

I've decided on Soraka for sure for the next book. It's actually going to be more of a challenge than writing Galio because she comes with much stronger motives and drives I need to work with.


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Grand Viper

Senior Member

07-20-2012

Hey Larcent, this is probably not going to earn me points, but I really do like the way how you developed your characters. As you said, there's a few things here and there that you yourself have pointed out, or said by others, but really that's why we write fanfiction: To enjoy, and to learn.

Anyways, basically what I'm asking you is if you ever have the time if you can take a look at my stuff and give your opinion please. The main story I write is a Riven story, but I'm really trying to focus character development with her, motives and so forth and an entire slew of champions. I also do a bunch of short stories, but I don't want to make you read that much quite yet =p. Just take a look at the fanfiction index and look under Riven, I don't want to post the url in your thread. I'm not sure how tasteless that is, if it is at all, so I'm not going to risk it.


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Larcent

Senior Member

07-21-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Viper View Post
Hey Larcent, this is probably not going to earn me points, but I really do like the way how you developed your characters. As you said, there's a few things here and there that you yourself have pointed out, or said by others, but really that's why we write fanfiction: To enjoy, and to learn.

Anyways, basically what I'm asking you is if you ever have the time if you can take a look at my stuff and give your opinion please. The main story I write is a Riven story, but I'm really trying to focus character development with her, motives and so forth and an entire slew of champions. I also do a bunch of short stories, but I don't want to make you read that much quite yet =p. Just take a look at the fanfiction index and look under Riven, I don't want to post the url in your thread. I'm not sure how tasteless that is, if it is at all, so I'm not going to risk it.
Sure, I'll go take a look.


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Larcent

Senior Member

07-22-2012

Apparently crocodiles are psychic: Renekton Bot posted a bunch of helpful tips that would have been my helpful tips if I had bothered to write them out: Writing Tips.

I definitely agree with him that one of the big mistakes beginning writers make is going into too much detail on the wrong things. Detail is important in order for the reader to visualize what's going on, but if you go too far you'll leave reader with the impression that what you're telling them is really, really important and if it's not it becomes distracting and confusing and makes it harder to keep them focused on the plot. If you describe a sword in detail, that sword better be very important. Riven's sword is very important to her and probably you would want to go into detail about it in a story about her. Garen's, maybe not so much.

Also, a great quote from the Stephen King book Renekton Bot references: "When you're a writer, you read everything with contempt or envy." I didn't quite grasp that quote until I made a career out of writing, and hoo-boy is it true. I can watch bad television shows and bad movies and find enjoyment from mocking it. But I cannot read a bad book anymore. I simply cannot do it. I could when I was younger, and it's good to do so because it will help you recognize how things go wrong. But I'm too old now and I can't bear it.

I actually read a lot less fantasy than I used to, which is a shame, but I just can't get through a lot of it anymore. I love the genre. The writing of the genre, though, is a problem. Terry Pratchett is a huge influence on me (and coincidentally, his background is in journalism). The book I realized was influencing was "Night Watch," where a character goes back in time and ends up being his own mentor. (Though when I described the plot to a Rioter when I was being interviewed for an editor position there she brought up "Robocop," which I totally didn't even think about but fits pretty ****ed well, too)


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Grand Viper

Senior Member

07-22-2012

I was thinking that after I finish my story, to do a big overall edit of it, things I missed in prior sessions, sprucing up my grammar, changing some things I learned from writing it and so forth. Honestly, I read Renekton's article, and all I can really say is that I agree with both your sentiments and his guidelines. I hope that when you do read my story you do give an honest critique.

With that said, I will warn you ahead of time, I honestly thought Du Couteau was spelled: Du Coteau, and Boram Darkwill as Barom. Really have to go back and fix those sometime...


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Larcent

Senior Member

08-25-2012

A teaser for the Soraka book as I start putting the plot together in my head:


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MiaoLong

Senior Member

08-25-2012

Yep. We totally know what that's supposed to mean, haha.


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Larcent

Senior Member

09-18-2012

[Reads new Soraka lore]

[Everything comes to a screeeeeching halt]

My entire plot just broke.