1. Rem Nightfall
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    Rem Nightfall Banned

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    Freshie Novelist Needs Some Help [No Guns allowed]

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Rem Nightfall, Nov 4, 2008.

    'Ello, I'm trying to write a novel...don't shoot me I know what you are thinking, another person needs help...I'll try to make this painless, I hope. I want to write at least one novel in my career. Comic books are nice, but there is something almost mythical about writing a novel.
    The couple things I'm finding difficult is:
    I'm so use to drawing out the pictures, and drawing out everything...that I have trouble putting things into detail. How can I become more detailed? How can I make my work more detailed? Are there any little projects I can do?
    Another problem is, show v.s. tell, but I'm reading a thread on that already so no help needed there.
    And the third problem, I don't know how to write fighting scenes. Its a lot easier to explain in a comic book. To draw every contorted movement. The problem is that if you use words like contort and flexed, is that you get a certain image for it. My character is an odd ball, like so many of my characters, he doesn't actually have super powers to stretch his body like Mr. Fantastic. He is just a contortionist with an extreme ability to kill you. How do I make fighting scenes seem more realistic in a novel? How do I make fighting scenes seem less comic book like and more story like? How do I make my fighting scenes fast and quick?
    I also have issues with having a voice, a certain ring to my writing. I can't seem to put personality into it, yet. Though I'm reading up on that as well.
    I'm also reading up on SPAG, I'm a big offender.
    Thank you for the help and answering my game[ not really a game, but game sounded more fun] of twenty-one questions. I really appreciate it.
    Thank you once again.

    Here and Now
    ~Rem Nightfall
     
  2. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    How do you get more detailed.... i guess everyone is different, but i play my scenes like a movie in my head (after i've soend a few minutes directing it). Remember your senses and use them. Sight, smell, taste, sound, touch. (i always do them before i write. What is the main character going to see (then cut down what is good to tell and whats good toe not tell the reader), and vise versa with all senses.

    Be your character, KNOW your surrounding before you write, if you know what your characters knows, then they can help you with the detail.

    With the fighting scenes i cant help you, i use guns in my scnes and they dont move much lol....well ok, maybe not.

    I think i lack this a bit as well. I have a feeling it gets better with time, and self-critism, learning ones style.

    Just my five cents
     
  3. Rem Nightfall
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    Rem Nightfall Banned

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    Thank you for responding. I appreciate the help.
    I think I have mental issues, I know I'm not very nice to myself, because I cannot know my character. I have never known my character. Because I draw comics book my characters are just that. Just characters. I have never really connected to them. I see their expressions, and I just say I like that expressions.
    I am no fun when it comes to characters. I think that is another one of my problems.
    This is a big issue for me, I had always consider myself a writer, but I see all these people...my character is me, its great to know your character, to be a writer you need to know your character.
    So, does that mean I'm not a writer?
     
  4. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've no expereince with comics, but im guessing if you do multiple comics and are pretty good at doing them, you dont get to spend asm uch time with them as a novel (from conception to completion).

    heh, i know my characters (Only because i've spent a year with them for a couple of hours a day, and changed them so much) but i am most certainly not my character or vise versa. ;)

    Im guessing your just beginning to start making a novel... how long you been attempting to write one? If you just write for story sake, im sure character will come. I mean for me character didnt come easy at first, but after a while i had a story i created and i just one day had a place for a certain character that suited the world i build, and one day i just added him in. It didnt come over night it took week/months of building (i didnt see this coming, it just happened).

    I guess maybe you just need to find the right recipe, maybe there will be an idea one day you'll grasp that'll just grab you and force you to write a certain character (which you might do), and then in time, things will just click. Maybe its just me but it seems to me things just happen when you write, no matter what people say, they'll just be a time when things just happen/get better. Like life whenever your after something, and you TRY do do it when under pressure, it never happens

    (sorry for the rant and blah blah - its 4am) lol
    GOD NO, everyone is different. Dont be discouraged if tihngs take a while. I mean im english, and its my only language but i think its really my 4th language ;) im hopeless, but i have a dream, a goal and im having fun, and for me thats enough to maybe get me over the line for being ok ;)

    Dont let something simple keep you back! if you have a pasion, and having fun then keep pushing foward
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It sounds like you are very visual-centered in your perceptions. For building up characters for writing, visual appearance is usually thye least important aspect. It may be a matter of training yourself to "see" a character's emotional composition and thought patterns instead, and then to also learn to paint those abstractions in words rather than with ink and color washes.

    It is not a matter of deficiencies. The best teachers learn that students have different optimal modes of learning. Some learn best from reading, some by seeing pirctorrial representations, some by listening, and some by hands on practice. Most will do best by attempting all mode. Thje teacher should not exclude students by only teaching in the mode he or she happens to personally prefer.
     
  6. Rem Nightfall
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    Rem Nightfall Banned

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    Funny thing, I was never always visual centered. When I was a child I prefer words over drawings. I actually wrote short silly little stories. I went into my time capsule[yes, I have a time capsule do not laugh] a few days ago and read some of my stuff from when I was like six and nine, the characters, the story it was all very nice and detailed. I don't think I'll ever write stories about talking unicorns ever again, but all I am saying is I wonder where my detail went.
    As I started high school I began drawing and began creating stories from my expressions of the characters rather then getting to know the character. I do not know what happened in the middle when I began to morph this way.
    Now I'm more drawn to drawing and have forgotten everything.
    I find as I am typing this out it appears this is more personal issues of my writing then actually sitting down and writing, I knew I had mental issues, I think I have lost something.
    I guess I had been attempting to write a novel for a year now. Ever since I felt my writing and my characters were lacking something. Though getting l
    I guess when I realized I had only been writing a story based off of "that character looks awesome, let's make a comic about her".

    Here and Now
    Rem Nightfall
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the best way to begin to solve all of those problems is to READ... read lots of the best works by the best writers... and read constantly... that's how you can absorb how vivid imagery is created with words and how all the technical aspects of writing are dealt with effectively...

    no how-to, or advice from others, or even a writing course can provide what reading does... to be a good writer, one must be a good reader...
     
  8. Rem Nightfall
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    Rem Nightfall Banned

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    This makes me sound like I'm not a reader. Now this definitely means I'm not a good writer.
    I don't write novelistic stories, but I do read. I just don't know how to get my ideas down in a detailed manner. Or I don't know how to make them sound more detailed, great this makes me sound stupid.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No need to take it that way. Many people who have read humdreds of novels don't do so from the perspective of an aspiring writer.

    Simply reading novels will give you as sence of what is good writing, and what is not so good. But unless you are reading with the aim of seeing HOW the writer makes the words come to life, or fails to do so, you have a great untapped resource within easy reach.
     
  10. Rem Nightfall
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    Rem Nightfall Banned

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    I wasn't taking it anyway in particular, but I'm saying writing doesn't just stem from reading, does it? Cause I know I like the way a movie introduces itself, rather then most novels. I'm an introductory man. You really have to get me into the story with your introductory. And the problem is that I can never literately analyze a book, you know stuff about its theme or anything, cause um....I live in a book. Meaning I get way into the story, I become the story. That makes no sense, cause someone who gets into the story should know how to write a novel. Yep, I'm officially insane in the membrane.<--More or less a mental not.
    Shouldn't someone who gets into a novel or some sort of story, know how to write a novel?
    Do you think its to hard to start off with a novel?
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A novel is a huge project, I would never recommend anyone dive into writing a novel without first exploring their writing with short stories.

    Also, I tend to read a book I like more than once. The first time. I let the story carry me. The second time I often pay more attention to HOW the writer wrote it.
     
  12. Rem Nightfall
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    Rem Nightfall Banned

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    All right I see where you are going with analyzing the book. I'll do that.
     
  13. Little Miss Edi
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    Little Miss Edi Contributing Member

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    Personally I think that if you've got a good grasp on graphic novels and comics then you'll be able to find a foot hold with novels. Like your skills as an artists/illustrator it'll take practice but you can break down action like you break the story into panels, can seperate chapters like you would issues - at least you've probably got half a grasp on dialogue (I struggle badly with that).

    I used to draw images from my novels because I found they could fade away before I had a good grasp on them. I also did it to correlate mood and tone, the imagine in my head would be lost in my writing if I didn't get the 'feel' right - in theory, you won't have that problem. Keep reading, keep writing and keep drawing. It will take time, but eventually, if you're dedicated enough, you'll get there!

    Good luck.
     
  14. ManicParroT
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    ManicParroT Contributing Member

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    It sounds like a difficult transition. Still, think about the amazing stuff you'll be able to create with a solid grasp of both illustrating with words and pictures.

    Now that I think about it, all my favourite graphic novels and comics have good writing and drawing. None of them have only one or the other.

    On the fighting: I personally find that the best fights are ones that describe the general feeling of a fight, rather than detailed descriptions of each movement and action. R A Salvatore (an unoriginal hack, in my opinion), writes fight sequences that I find annoying, largely because I remember him being too detailed about every cut and parry. George R R Martin writes combat that I like a lot, because it involves loose images rather than descriptions so detailed you could be reading a manual.

    When I watch the fights in the Jason Bourne series I can't even remotely explain the sequence of punches and blocks and kicks, but the fights leave me breathless. Similarly, in good writing I've always found that excessive detail makes the fights tedous because it breaks down something that happens in seconds and makes it take ages. Detailed fight descriptions are counter-intuitive because good fights are fast.
     
  15. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I don't mean this to sound catty or anything, but...

    I always find it puzzling when people who are admittedly new to writing come into forums and basically ask, "How do I start writing?" They'll usually back this up with comments like, "I've just started and it's hard. I can't make things detailed enough/get into my characters enough/insert various writing-related problems here."

    Why I find this puzzling is...

    How many people who have just picked up a clarinet for the first time and tried playing a few notes come forward to ask, "I've just taken up playing the clarinet and it's really hard! How do I get beautiful music to come out?" Like one is expected to produce a perfect result on the first (or even second or third) try?

    The only real answer is to practice, practice, practice. Sometimes for years.

    I've been writing seriously since I was eleven and I'm STILL learning. Reading other people's works and analyzing them is good, as was already suggested, but honestly, if one is new to writing, of course it's going to be hard, of course one is going to experience various problems like not enough detail or an inability to get into their characters' heads or whatever. That's why you keep writing. You might churn out lousy stuff for quite a while (years--I know I did, I probably still do sometimes at least), but at least you're learning. The only way to learn to play a clarinet is to hit a lot of really lousy notes first.

    Unless you're some sort of prodigy, but most of us aren't.

    Don't be too hard on yourself at the outset, and yes, maybe try something smaller than a novel first. Practice practice practice and learn.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    great analogy, tehuti!... and don't forget that anyone wanting to play an instrument must also constantly LISTEN to and STUDY the artistry of the best, just as myself and others here are saying that to write well, one must read well and constantly...
     

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