1. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    That stupid cinematic muse

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Imaginarily, Sep 17, 2015.

    It's so damn stupid.

    I don't want to be a screenwriter, or involved in film like at all. My muse doesn't seem to know that. Every single time I get a neat idea or if I'm letting something marinate, it's in the form of a mental cinematic. It is, ounce for ounce, exactly like watching a movie of my story, right down to the dialogue and it is damn difficult to translate it all into text.

    Often, infuriatingly, I am unable to completely transcribe the scene from my head into words, and critical elements are lost in the process. A character's mood, the tone of the atmosphere, even dialogue itself suffers.

    A part of me thinks I need some serious training in vocabulary (there is a word for everything, I'm told).

    I am curious what suggestions you all might have for how to translate my ideas into the corresponding words. (Yes, I have tried thesauruses... thesauri? That's not really the problem, I don't think.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
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  2. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can relate to this. Well I think I can. tell me does this sound familiar in terms of the problem.

    I had a scene where a girl attacks a police station. Really awesome scene with one woman acting more like an army as she lays out 50 guys with a combanation of martial arts, magic and just overal badassness.

    In my head it is clear and epic. On paper it still sucks. Because the coolness of what she does requires speed. And describing things fast means skipping detail and skipping detail means it is unclear what she does. Making it clear slowes it down and weakens it!

    Sorry. Don't mean to rant but is that what you mean? Sadly as you can sort of see. I haven't completely fixed the problem myself but I can say this. it gets easier. In my case I just wrote a lot. More scenes I wrote like this, the more i figured out just how to do it right. I don't think there is any one tip that makes it suddenly easy. I think it is a process. Learning how to covert your style into a new media. Which I think you will get but from hours and hours of effort but then again. I am no expert.

    Also some concepts will never truly covert. In those cases it is how can you redo the scene in a new way that keeps the original meaning. Again in my expirence something that takes time to learn.

    I hope that helps. :D
     
  3. IronG
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    IronG New Member

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    YES! YOU! YOU UNDERSTAND ME!

    Stupid brain doesn't understand that the technology to transform mental imagery to words is not yet available! I suffer from this terribly as well. Nothing ever translates well from the brain to the page, I know. It's all wrong if compared. I often find that when I try to write down what I thought of in my brain-movie, I just, like, get distracted and sidetracked, and end up following an idea or dialogue line that totally deviates from what I originally had thought of.

    I've often tried to write inside my mind, as in, I try to imagine the text as opposed to the "movie", but it hardly works. Music only makes it harder, I think.

    Try reading prior to writing. I often find it helps me concentrate on the writing, as opposed to the feeling I get when imagining brain-movies.
     
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  4. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    @GuardianWynn Yes! That's a very common roadblock I encounter -- fight scenes, anything fast-paced, and anything that I need to come out "just right" I can never find the perfect words!

    @IronG WE CAN SUFFER TOGETHER. And, I do need to read more. I used to read a few pages of Lovecraft every night to get my brain into insane sleeping mode, but lately I have been a huge slacker. There is definitely an improvement in my quality of writing when I read, too. Dammit, maintenance!
     
  5. IronG
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    IronG New Member

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    @Imaginarily NEVER-ENDING SUFFERING FOR ALL!

    I too used to read Lovecraft at night some time before! I'd love to go back to reading. Hell, I'd read a cooking book at this point and be glad of it... Life has a way of getting in the way, I guess.

    Also, fight scenes are a massive headache. It either sounds like a shopping list of karate chops and dance moves, or it drags on forever in a very confusing and dull way. Sometimes I wonder why I even took up writing as a hobby. I could have driven nails into my temples for the same effect!
     
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  6. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    :D

    Like I said. I don't think it is about the right words. More learning the right balance of style which takes time and practice. :D

    I got some short fighting scenes. We could exchange fighting scenes for critique if you want. I might see something in yours I can give advice on and you might see something in mine that gives you ideas. Or the reverse. If you want. :)

    What kind of things do you write about? If action is requred?
     
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  7. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    I shall now rant, and flex, and beg, at the same time. Aren't I talented?

    Jack's expression instantly soured when [character name deleted; I do not own copyright to her] shook free of it; he squinted angrily, jaw clenching. As she swung for him apparently with every intent to incapacitate him again, his hand shot out to catch her wrist; he yanked her forward off the chair and spun her in a quick, precise movement so that she landed with her back against his cool chest, her arm wedged up between her shoulder blades. His other arm clamped around her waist, holding her to him, and his words came from just behind her ear.​

    "If you want to leave this room alive," Jack hissed, once again through clenched teeth, "I suggest you listen." He spun her around the other way to face him, his grip cold and firm on her wrist, the taser crackling angrily between them. He blinked once, slowly, and laid his gaze into her again. "Let... me... go."

    This scene takes up all of like FIVE SECONDS but look at all that text.

    @GuardianWynn Help me... ;-;
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
  8. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Their isn't very much wrong with this. I mean it seems a little wordy and the phraising seems a bit awkward but it isn't long. Just because screen time shows it as 5 seconds doesn't mean it needs to be reduced to 5 seconds worth of reading.

    This reminds me of a difference between comics and TV shows. See as I recall(like I said. I am no expert.) Comics show action very quickly. A few pages at most. Because you don't see every motion just the important pieces and since several panels on a page. A fight scene can be delt with awful fast.

    Yet a monologue can take over twice as long. Or a conversation. Because a conversation requires a lot of space for words. So it takes longer. Makes sense right?

    Yet in an anime. A dialogue between two people or a monologue takes 30 seconds but the fight scene that took half the space as dialogue may get a full minute of screen time in the animation.

    Because these things don't tranfer perfectly but that is the point. They don't have too. The difference in pace is something to embrace. To see what you can get out of it. See animation can show more things at the same time. So holding longer makes no sense. You have to show one thing at a time, which gives you the chance for different and possible better atmosphere.

    Does that make sense?
     
  9. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    :bigconfused:

    Sooooort of? Maybe it's 2 AM right now and my brain has gone on strike, but I kinda get what you're saying there. And thank you for the compliment about my scene, hehe. :-D

    I often find it difficult, too, to fill the spaces between characters talking. In a movie, they can pause for effect and the audience is right there with them; in text, it's hard to tell the reader exactly how long to wait before the scene continues.
     
  10. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    2AM. Then I think you are in The United States? Or Canada. lol.

    Well the fun fact and similiarity between movies and writing here is they both tell us how long to hold. See a movie shows you. if it holds on a shot it does so for a reason. Writing can do the same thing by holding on a scene by extending the level of detail.

    One could write;
    "I turned my head and I only managed to see a small glipse of a shadow leaving my sight."

    But we could extend the scene;
    "My worn body was reaching its limit. I heard a splash. Someone was behind me! Turning my head I saw a shadowy figure limping away. My eyes wouldn't focus fast enough and before I could define anything useful he was gone."

    These are two examples of the same concept but with different paces. Neither is right or wrong. they are different and hold different values in context. :)
     
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  11. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    I can hear my English teacher from 5th grade in my head:

    E X P A A A N D.

    :dead:

    This is such a weird pendulum for me. One of my biggest challenges in writing is pacing for slow and fast scenes, but it still boils down to that cinematic nature of my muse. I can see in my head how I want a scene to unfold, but the words don't match the tempo.

    Argh. I must practice, I guess. Practice for days. Thank you for the insights. :bigwink:
     
  12. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Practicing for days. Don't think that has ever hurt anyone. :D

    I am not at home currently but when I get home I could show you some of my scenes that are fighting based. It may inspire some ideas for you. If you want to see. I wouldn't want to push. lol

    I could also critique your scene better. Sorry I am sort of limited when on my phone. lol
     
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  13. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    Yes, yes, gimme all the critique! I want to grow. :-D Go ahead and PM me whenever you're ready. I'm trying to finish a post and then I plan on falling over...
     
  14. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I get off work in about 5 hours. If I am tired I will sleep and then reply in the morning if not I will give you a more proper critique then. When I have a keyboard! Oh keyboard. How I miss thee... lol.

    Sleep well my new friend. :)
     
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  15. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Thank you for this, @Imaginarily. That's exactly how my muse operates. Like a small film going on in my head. I can see my characters moving, talking, doing the things they do. As for the excerpt you posted, well, that's kind of how it works in writing as I understand. What would take five seconds in the movies to see would take a paragraph to write in words because we want our readers to be able to fully understand with our senses what's going on, what our characters are doing, etc. Movies (or any other visual medium) kind of do half the work as viewers can see what's going on. In books, all they've got to go by are huge chunks of words. That's why it seems to take longer to write a scene that, were it a visual medium, would've only taken five seconds. It takes a lot of words to convey that image into the reader's brain. But don't worry, know you're not alone. Plenty of authors have this issue as well. Good luck. :)

    And don't get me started on fight scenes as well. Either it's an incoherent mess or a series of blocks, kicks, jumps, etc.
     
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  16. IronG
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    IronG New Member

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    @Link the Writer Fight scenes are the devil, m8. Let's all write cooking books instead!
     
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  17. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can totally relate to this. Even when you can get it out there, things are never the same as you had them in your head.

    One suggestion I've heard is to view a scene from some form of visual media, and then try to write out that scene.
     
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  18. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    I will try this. O.O Thank you for the suggestion!
     
  19. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Read more, watch less.
     
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  20. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    I'm a very visual person, so I have the same problem. I get around it by starting with the bullet points of the scene, and then layering in details.

    And fight scenes, as I understand it, are meant to be kept brief, relaying the minimum of information, allowing the reader to fill in the gaps in their mind's eye. Put too much detail, and the pace slows, robbing tension.
     
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  21. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    I started doing this in roleplaying to keep my posts attentive to my partner's, and I can tell when someone doesn't do this because bits of my post get forgotten in their reply.

    It's disheartening, planting little plot and character cues that you hope your partner will follow, but they get ignored. :superwhew:

    In my solo prose, I'll use bullets if I have a big detailed scene that I want to come out in a specific way, but I don't use them for everything. I use a lot of stream-of-consciousness notes for shorter things.
     
  22. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Well, I don't literally write them out with bullet points. That was a way saying that I start with the main actions: A goes here, speaks to B, learns C.
    Then I go in and expand on those.
     
  23. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    Oh I literally do bullet points. Hehe.
     
  24. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    My advice?

    If you write in 3rd, try writing in 1st.
     
  25. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    How does that help getting a cinematic scene into words?
     

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