1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Description that avoids anachronism...

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Wreybies, Oct 18, 2016.

    Ok, it goes like this:

    I've skipped past a part in my story that just doesn't want to come me right now, and I need to keep writing because it's been waaaaaaayyyyyyy too long.

    Tevin (my hunky, standard blond Disney Hottie) and his lover Brenn -(little Lord Fauntleroy, soft and round) have set off on their journey aboard the Northern Wave. Brenn, deeply invested in shedding the trappings of his soft former life leans into the work of sailing a large vessel of the caravel style.

    [​IMG]

    Tevin takes note of the way this is changing Brenn, both mentally and physically, and he very much likes what he sees. Cockblockery is about to ensue, though. ;)

    Brenn will never be the trim, flat-stomached V that Tevin presents. He's just not built that way. Instead he's naturally inclined to be an endomorph (corrected). That belly will always be there to some extent. The muscles start to show, the arms become impressive, the legs stout and sturdy. He's on his way to becoming a little muscle-bear of a man.

    My trouble is that this is being seen from the perspective of Tevin, who doesn't live in our world, who has never seen a bear because there are none. Every metaphor and simile I come up with runs me into anachronisms from my world, things Tevin would never know. And I hate checklist descriptions like I gave in the paragraph before this one. He had this, he had that, blah, blah, blah.... SOOOooooo boring.

    There has to be a route I'm not seeing because I'm stuck in one frame of mind. Someone help me please see the exit to that other route!
     
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  2. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    Is there a way to have Tevin discover these things about Brenn through physical interactions? And I don't necessarily mean of the erotic variety but maybe in a way that's not cerebral. Let the reader experience Brenn's stronger arms, gut that shrinks but won't go away, general bearishness(?o_O).

    Maybe I've misunderstood, but it seems you're looking for a way to get the point across in a well-placed metaphor. And I agree that check-lists aren't great. Have you considered spreading it out a bit, working it into the broader story?
     
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  3. Grub-r
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    Grub-r Member

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    To me this is what the term "barrel chested" always brought to mind. Strong, imposing , thick, but not of the washboard abs verity.

    If he knows what a caravel is he'll know what a barrel is.
     
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  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You've not misunderstood at all. You're on point. I'm just now getting into this scene, and as it always goes with me, it's just a scene that's still pretty amorphous. I imagined Tevin on deck with his father at the helm, Brenn somewhere forward on the ship, doing whatever physical work is to be had there (I imagined heavy ropes and pulling of lines and knotting and other nautical shit), Tevin's father commenting on how Brenn has really leaned into it, and the crew is getting on well with him, and Tevin takes note of Brenn, shirtless, laughing with the other crew and clearly changed.

    Now you've got me thinking in another direction. That's what I'm needing. ;)
     
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  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, he would! :agreed:
     
  6. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    Maybe have Tevin try to participate and feel inadequate next to Brenn's aptitude? Just a thought.
     
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  7. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Tevin spun on his heels. Face to face with fulsome fellow Brenn, he smelled hot breath on his cheek, knew if he could only wrap arms around him, he would, but then Brenn was rather broad, cuddly like a, like a furry creature that might lounge in a forest, black, white fur, none of this mattered to Tevin, he adored Brenn.

    'Brenn, I lust for thee,' he said in his strange Maritian tongue, almost a squeak in ether.

    'I lust thee, too,' said Brenn, and salt-stubble collided.

    One tongue glued to the undersides of an other tongue, twisted over, darted around a mouth ever more lubricated in the new joy, their passion mounting under breeze. The Vessel lifted another roller, they rolled the length of the deck together...blah blah...

    Get on @Wreybies, you'll be great. 'He had...' - this always disappears draft 3/4: get straight to the words - no 'it was a day like...' becomes 'A day like...' is all I can add.

    ...maybe..?
     
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  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well, this is Tevin's life, which is why he's the strapping lad that he is, but there's no reason that I couldn't flex that idea in a slightly different direction. Instead of inadequate by comparison, perhaps chagrinned that the ship and the crew have made Brenn one of their own, that Tevin's help and attention, while appreciated, isn't really needed anymore. That's a great in for him to really taking stock of the change in Brenn, the mental aspect, more than the physical. ;)
     
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  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You are a treasure Matt. In a very alternate universe you and I are the most envied couple in our milieu. :whistle: :-D
     
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  10. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    "salt-stubble collided."

    :superlaugh:
     
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  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Matt's a flipping magician with words. ;)
     
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  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    A collective thank-you to you all. Just what I needed. A nudge in a different direction.

    a_tip_of_the_hat_by_jollyjack.jpg
     
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  13. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why can't you just use bear?

    Also, mesomorphs are not small nor are they likely to ever be round. Are you thinking of endomoprh?
     
  14. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I was about to say barrel chested too :3
     
  15. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Because there are no bears and it's 3rd limited.

    Yep. I goofed. I did mean endomorph. ;)
     
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  16. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I want your comparison to come in ship terms. I don't know enough about ships to know what those terms should be, but I bet they exist.

    X was a sleek racing schooner, cutting through the waves; Y was a packet ship, sturdy and tough enough to sail through any conditions. Or whatever.
     
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  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I was writing a few different "colors" last night and one I'm leaning towards is a personification of the ship in relation to Brenn, to the tune of (but not the exact wording), "The ship did her work on Brenn, broadening his back to pull her nets and lines, deepening his chest to scrub her decks. A doting mother, she rewarded him generously......" Something like that. :) I haven't given up the idea of a more metaphorical approach, though....
     
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  18. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Endomorph/Ecto/Mesomorph is the sort of word I do use - but a bit 1970s/The Book Of Lists if we're judging ourselves harshly, I think so.

    Also, part of the 'experience' is confusing the three...always recalling that flash to the cortex - 'my god, the fat, pludgy one is me!'
     
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  19. dbesim
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    dbesim Contributing Member

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    I think you've got a good idea brewing up in all this. I do enjoy a little adventure in my story reading. So you writing about a voyage and male-to-male romance and you have some key ingredients for interesting, modern story-telling. One suggestion is not to let your writing get too complicated in terms of how you approach using metaphors, personification (and other such technicalities) because it could get in the way of a reader's emotional engagement with your story. Sometimes simpler descriptions can help readers understand better and poke them a little along the way. The part where you invite chemistry, you may need to make sure that the readers are seeing it too and that you're maintaining their emotional connection with your story. What an author likes in a story isn't always the same as what a reader enjoys and you might need to think about that too.

    :) Good luck with you writing and I hope it continues to flow on.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
  20. Laurin Kelly
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    Laurin Kelly Active Member

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    You've gotten some great advice here. I'm just popping to to say I'd read the hell out of your story - love the premise and the pairing.
     
  21. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    Grub has already mentioned barrels , but other nautical comparisons could include him having "arms corded like hawsers" , or "legs near as stout as the foremast "

    or if the caravel is armed he could be compared to a cannon ( A carronade would be perfect but you are about three hundred years too early) , perhaps his rounded body reminds tevin of the shot the used in the basilisk cannon with which the caravel was armed
     
  22. cydney
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    cydney Banned

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    I was reading a romance novel once set in West Virginia. In the middle of a love scene the author goes into this detailed description of strip mining. One of the most erotic scenes I've ever read! Didn't mention a thing about the two people but just the words he used - down, deep, grip, shift, roll, suck, on and on & the way he used them was very erotic to me! Of course, it's probably my dirty mind - just sayin you don't always have to be describing two people or what they're doing. You can imagine (very strongly) something else & use it as a perfect metaphor.

    Works on me! May not work on someone else. I might be just real sensitive about stuff like that.

    But what Matwoolf mentioned about the ship - imagine imagining a ship roaring and writhing in the sea and compare it to a male body in orgasm -- now THAT would be fascinating!

    And what I've said may not have a thing to do with your original post - BUT it inspired me to share. :) Hope you don't mind.
     
  23. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No worries. :-D This particular scene isn't meant to be a sexy scene. It's meant to be loving in a way that is protective. Up to this point, Tevin had serious doubts about Brenn cutting it aboard the Northern Wave, and ten chapters back this wasn't even in the cards. As much as Tevin loves this life on the waves, it's a physically demanding life and Brenn has never had to lift a finger in his old life, as the son of makeshift aristocrats. More than anything the image I had in mind for this scene was a sense of pride from Tevin. We all want our loved ones to succeed and on this day, in this moment, Tevin sees that Brenn has done that. The ship has made him one of her own. @BayView mentioned the idea of making comparisons in nautical terms, which I've been thinking about muchly. The Northern Wave is a fishing and cargo vessel. She's stout and strong, and not unlike Brenn, she's got a bit of a belly. She's taken him in as her child, and like a mother and child, there is a resemblance. This is the happy that Tevin feels in this moment.

    Sadly, some foul plans are afoot. :wtf:
     
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