1. tkh1304
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    tkh1304 New Member

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    Are your characters always in 'Bullet time' mode?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by tkh1304, Oct 8, 2011.

    I am currently writing a story. It has processed half-way through the main story. And then, when I just thought that I should keep this pace up, my best friend said to me that:

    "Are your characters always in 'Bullet time' mode? Why did they, even it the heat of action, always has such luxury time to look around the scene?" (or something similar to that).

    I'm pretty shocked about this, so I am trying to fix my mistake. Apparently, I love describing scenes, and tend to associate these scenes with the characters in order to make the reader (and myself) not feel that I just put the scenes there for the sake of the scene.

    However, it seems this way of writing unnecessarily prolongs the whole chapter, and I often ended up in a 5 A4 Paper, or about 3000 words for each chapter. My friend also said that I has been focusing a lot on describing the scenes, and there wasn't much plot progress in each chapter. In short, the story is snailed down due to my habit of writing

    Currently, I still feel a little shocked because this critique strikes directly to my most confident aspect when it comes to writing. But, I don't know how to fix it, because I just let out whatever pops out in my mind on the paper.

    Would you please give me some advice about this?

    P/S: And yes, in case you find that my English is annoying, I'm not a native English speaker. Sorry about that
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd get a couple more opinions before you accept that you have a problem here - and I'm saying that as someone who dislikes lots of description. Your friend may just have a taste for fast action.

    Beyond that, it's hard for me to know what to say, without knowing more about what your writing is like. Have you posted anything in the Review Room?
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    At the moment, I wouldn't worry about it. Not everything has to go by in real time. Look at all the directors (John Woo, for example) who like to shoot their best action scenes in slow motion. And they're celebrated for it. And 3000 words per chapter isn't all that much, so don't worry about that, either.

    Write your story. Then check it over for pacing. But get YOUR ideas down on paper before you start interrupting yourself because of what someone else said.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sorry - double post.
     
  5. tkh1304
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    tkh1304 New Member

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    Thank you for your replies :)

    @Chicken: My friend is also an writer, and he is good at building and processing plot, not detailed description. Arcording to him, my problem isn't lie in the detailed descriptions in the my story, but too many description at unimportant parts, leaving no space for reader's imagination and making the story flow too slowly. I guess he is right at some part, because I tend to describe everything popped up in my mind, so what I am doing is mainly showing my own imagination to the reader.

    Btw, I write in my native language. However, I develop my writing skill in English first, so my writing is pretty much similar to English way of writing ^^
     
  6. Croga
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    Croga Member

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    On editing move your description away from battle.
    They might notice the glass bottle busting someones face or the showers of blood, but they are not stopping to smell the roses.
    Bit of biology really fear takes the blood from your hands and shoots everything to your legs, so you can run. Battle is not a time to look around its focused.
    Long battle scenes will give too long of a plateau though (rhyme) which will diminish suspense and emotional connection over time. There is too much of a good thing, but slow it down gradually and not just with description.

    Fast action, short sentences. "dialog slows the progression of the story, but is still fast." short description of something connected to the action, perhaps a wound or an explosions. "Dialog again, because we are going back up." Fast paced action.

    If your scenes flow like the above (while it is not the only way, or even the right way to do this, just a way ha.) they should avoid stopping dead and plateaus keeping your reader engages and excited.

    ---------- Post added at 09:41 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:34 AM ----------

    On editing move your description away from battle.
    They might notice the glass bottle busting someones face or the showers of blood, but they are not stopping to smell the roses.
    Bit of biology really fear takes the blood from your hands and shoots everything to your legs, so you can run. Battle is not a time to look around its focused.
    Long battle scenes will give too long of a plateau though (rhyme) which will diminish suspense and emotional connection over time. There is too much of a good thing, but slow it down gradually and not just with description.

    Fast action, short sentences. "dialog slows the progression of the story, but is still fast." short description of something connected to the action, perhaps a wound or an explosions. "Dialog again, because we are going back up." Fast paced action.

    If your scenes flow like the above (while it is not the only way, or even the right way to do this, just a way ha.) they should avoid stopping dead and plateaus keeping your reader engages and excited.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    can't give relevant advice without seeing what it is you're concerned about... post a small excerpt so we can tell what's being referred to as too slow, or too fast, or whatever...
     
  8. tkh1304
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    tkh1304 New Member

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    I tried to translate a small part of my writing to English. Hope it isn’t too bad ^^

    ---

    (Summarization: This is a flashback of my story. A boy stealthily broke into his village’s chieftain house in order to steal his staff for a certain purpose. He had been succeed to go into the room where the staff was. Because the staff stuck in one place so he take the head (which is a unicorn’s horn) out of the staff. By the time he done with it, the chieftain was coming to his room)

    There was sound of footsteps behind the door of the room. Not even having time to sigh in relieve after his success, the boy panickly took the horn rolling on the floor. He must hide before anyone entered this room, but where?

    His glance went around the room, and stopped at the sight of a wardrobe. Hastily, he ran toward it, opened the wardrobe and hide inside. Unlike what he expected, the wardrobe is pretty big with only a few colourful oufit for ceremonial purpose, so he could hide even deeper inside when time came.

    By the time he closed the wardrobe’s door, there was sound of someone entering the room. Through the gap in the middle of the wardrobe, the boy nearly skipped his breath, because the one who went inside the room is not anyone but the chieftain himself. Holding the horn spreading its warmth in his hand, the boy knew the fact that if he got caught here, the chieftain would be extremely furious. He didn’t even want to think what punishment would await him. Hope that that man wouldn’t notice his precious staff now had become the headless one.

    It seemed the chieftain was busy doing something else with stacks of book on the table, mumbling: “Where is that stupid book? I should just dye it with ink for the sake of finding”. The boy heard that, and he giggled when thinking that his little cousin wouldn’t like this at all. She loved books and treated them with care

    (Btw, the cousin girl had appeared as one of the main character in this flashback, so don't mind her)

    His giggle was most the stupid thing the boy had done. The chieftain immediately stared at the wardrobe. Not sure if he had noticed the boy, but there was noises of someone approaching the wardrobe. The warmth of the horn couldn’t stop him from sweating in shiver a lot. The boy even stopped breathing, as if it would help him avoid being detected.

    The sound of footstep stopped outside of the wardrobe, and its doors was slowly opened. Like a roach who afraid of light, the boy tried to run away from the light shined into this dark cozy space, until he had no where left to run. Maybe, he should use a surpirse attack, pushing down the chieftain and run as fast as possible. To where? Maybe he would give it a thought while running

    [/spoil]
     
  9. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Description definitely is one of my favourite parts of writing but I try my best not to get too carried away. I've just recently written an action sequence and I felt there wasn't too much unnecessary description
     
  10. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    If there's a suspenseful part of a story, I like description, but not necessarily about objects in the scene. Is the MC scared? Then write about how the blood drains from his face and his heart pounds in his chest, etc. I liked the last couple of paragraphs, especially the reference to a roach running from light.
    Although this is getting into more of a review, you could probably remove or change some sentences like the very last one. Surely his mind is racing as he's trying to figure out what to do, but when you say "Maybe he would give it a thought while running," it sounds like he's not too concerned. Perhaps it's just a translation error, though.
     
  11. tkh1304
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    tkh1304 New Member

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    ^Sorry, bad job at translation. I mean to write that he absolutely had no idea where to run, hence he would try to figure it out while running (maybe finding another good place to hide, or just run straight down to the stairs...whatever came in his thought first, if he actually done the 'pushing down the chieftain' part)

    Thank for your advices. I guess it isn't necessary to describe the clothes make the chieftain a colourful peacock in ceromonies inside the wardrobe, or how big the wardrobe was. when the boy was so scared of being detected ^^

    By the way, I have never use heart beats in my stories, so I guess I will give it a try when it comes to romantic scene or thirlled, horror one :p
     
  12. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Besides the obvious translation errors, I don't see anything wrong here in terms of "bullet time." In fact, if you hadn't said to look for it, it would have never entered my mind at all.

    It is my opinion that some "bullet time" is needed for the reader when things need to explained or details to come across. It just needs to be separate from the character and obvious that it is, so people like your friend don't read your work then come to that conclusion you are worried about.
     

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