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  1. AsherianCommand
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    AsherianCommand Active Member

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    The Newborn God - Characters Help

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by AsherianCommand, Mar 3, 2014.

    Hey guys I have been writing quite a bit on one of my stories and I have used germanic names.

    So I have come up with this world Called Òr.

    (This world is Based on Celtic/Anglo Saxxon Mythos)

    So I have eight characters, and many other minor characters.

    So my main eight Characters are the following: ( I have used German Naming Conventions)

    Count Balduin Stauffenberg - He is the Count of Stauffenberg (A Massive City to the north of the Capital of Talderia, the city is named after his family name), a general of many wars, more of a warrior than a general, often sent on menial tasks by his King, he has a family and is a prominent leader in society. He is a famed swordsmen and Hero. He is the Main the Protagonist of this story, he often has affairs with many other women, and often disobeys the kings direct orders. He often is known for punishing soldiers, his legion, Known as the Count's Legion is notorious for torturing its prisoners, the legion itself is currently involved with fighting the Druids of Taeld (Woodland area to the north of their kingdom).

    Balthasar Tomislav- A Royal Guard of the King, tasked with guarding Count Balduin on his journey. He has never been to a real battle, (unless if you count quelling uprisings). As like most royal guards, he is treated well and given many chances. But recently he has grown to hate his king as he has been mistreated heavily by his king as an errand boy. (Dueteragonist)

    Radigost Damir - A Royal Mage of the king, also tasked with guarding Count Balduin on his journey. He has been in battle before and has graduated as one of the top magi's. He is one of the few magi's that can use his hands to cast magical spells (you usually need a focusing iris such as a wand or a staff, he only uses his hands to cast magical spells). He is young and often well spoken. He is obsessive and knows he is powerful mage. (Triagonist)

    Giaus Antonian - A General of the King, tasked to guarding Count Balduin on his journey. He has been in battle several times. He is the eldest of the party. He is a known horsemen and often defeating his enemies. He has had his legion disbanded and his power taken from him by order of the King. He is now a shadow of his former self, constantly bickering with the many other generals. (Quagonist?)

    The King of Talderia - The King of talderia, he is a very rich man, and often abuses his citizens. He is a very powerful king and if he wishes you dead, the task will be carried out thoroughly. He hates Balduin and his legion, he often calls them savages and finds them intolerable but useful. He often has many affairs and runs a harlem.

    The Steward of Talderia- The Leader of the Talderian Military, he is a very powerful man. He is the one in real control of the Kingdom of Talderia, he dabbles in many different arts and is often accussed of leading a cult, all rumors have been put to rest.


    How does that look? Or should I flesh out the villains more? Are my characters stereotypes? Should I make my characters better? Should I focus more on them in the story? Should I build them up?

    I can't reveal my story yet and what I want to do with the characters.

    All I can say is it is the King vs the Count. But somethings don't turn out for both sides.
     
  2. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    at first it reminded me of GoT, only the king and the steward seemed a bit cliché to me but to be honest it really depends on what you do with them. With such prominent characters there is ample opportunities for plot twists (again much like GoT) so its something i would read.

    I did initially struggle with identifying the antagonist, it was clarified at the end but i admit it wasnt obvious straight away. Also are there no main elf characters? you only mentioned them once and they seemed a little out of place.
     
  3. AsherianCommand
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    AsherianCommand Active Member

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    There are no elves in this novel. In the second one thatn I write they will be. There will be mentions of them but they aren't really prevalent as say LOTR.

    Plot twists yes I will do that.

    Yeah the main bad guys are quite unoriginal. They are my primary concern, not the main protagonists I have fleshed them out as well as I can.

    And yes I am slightly inspired by GoT, but I really was inspired to write it due to the fact that I noticed most fantasy worlds never delve too deep in certain matters and they always took stuff from other worlds.
     
  4. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    This leaped out at me. I'm not sure the planet Òr would have a New York city.
     
  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Hmm ...I'm wondering if maybe you're making your top-pyramid characters too horrible. Count Balduin and the King of Talderia. Both of them are BAD, but so bad that they mistreat the people who are supposed to be guarding them and doing their bidding? This is plain foolishness on their part, really. Even BAD people, if they plan to stay on top of the pyramid, need to cultivate loyalty, if not affection, in the people who keep them there. If there is no reward for supporting a tyrant like that, the support will fade. I'd say pissing off your most important guards, etc, is not a good life plan. Maybe you should construct some good reasons why these minions have stayed put all this time.
     
  6. AsherianCommand
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    AsherianCommand Active Member

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    Whoops!

    True. But if he is a hero I thought he would be given leeway. He really isn't a tyrant, he imprisons soldiers that do not follow his orders.
     
  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I presume you're talking about the Count here? I guess it wasn't clear from your OP that he was going to be the hero, and that he was punishing his soldiers for just cause. It just made it sound like he was horrible to everybody for no reason. And I thought, well, pissing off the people you need to carry out your commands is probably not a good idea.
     
  8. AsherianCommand
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    AsherianCommand Active Member

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    I might need to clean that up. But sadly there is no edit button that I can see ;.;

    He's just not a very good man, he will kill someone if they insult him.
     
  9. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Count Balduin : Military commanders who deliberately disobey the King's orders are traitors and rebels. A King would never give important missions to people he could not trust. Kings are funny that way.

    Balthasar : Unless the Kingdom is already in the process of falling and the King is powerless or useless, the Royal Guard are normally the elite of his warriors, and most importantly, the ones he trusts to stand right behind him with a sword.

    Radigost : Since he is a top mage, it is obvious that he knows he is powerful. More important is does the King trust him.

    Giaus : If he is a burnt out, discredited commander, why is he guarding the count?

    The King : The King is always the richest in the Kingdom. That is part of the job description. If he hates all his top military and they hate him, who is giving him power? More generals that you have not listed?

    The Steward : Are all of the above (other than the King) secretly loyal to him? If not, where does his power come from?

    In pre-industrial days, the army was the only source of power, whether is was a standing army or the followers of the ruler's lords. If they are not absolutely loyal, the King is basically screwed. The Hollywood image of the hated, feared King, is nonsense. A King that the lords and generals hate is a dead King.
     
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  10. AsherianCommand
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    AsherianCommand Active Member

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    Hey, Bryan! Just first want to thank you for reminding me on something! I love the criticism! Oh my god do I love criticisms and people tearing my crap apart. I love it. Anyway. Back ontopic

    As I have said, The entries won't allow me to edit it. It was meant to say that the Character himself does his work for the King extremely well, brutally efficient, but goes beyond what he is suppose to do.

    He is hated by the king because he is just too good at what he does, He has popular support, but he is not really liked by the other generals or Lords because he is really that good what at he does. All he knows is how to wage war, he's really not that peaceful of man. But you couldn't tell that if you met him. He is calm and seems very quiet. But he is constantly planning and conniving, he is sadistic, but yet honorable. He does harm to those who he knows will do harm to him or his country.

    He is also a loving father, Which i needed to include but, I forgot to add that. His family is everything to him, even though he has affairs, it doesn't mean he doesn't care about his children. In this cruel and dark world that he lives in maybe his actions are concerned normal or good? Maybe he does not take pleasure from what he does. But anyway, I will go into more detail in the book and show both sides of the character, which gives this character more conflict and more depth (And some complexity).

    I agree, Why would he send him with a person he hates? I mean its not like sending some you trust with someone you hate has never been done before...

    There is suppose to be more about him, but yet again I am still planning him out. Maybe he is a newer royal guard and has to prove himself. I wish I could reedit the entry :/


    Maybe a threat? Mages are powerful, and he is probably seen as a threat.

    Maybe some baggage that must be gotten rid of? I mean Giaus is a character that I have thought about for a while, and I found his absolutely necessary to the story, as he is the direct opposite of the Count, he is not only more honorable, but he fights when he must. This maybe why the king dislikes him. The King wants something done.

    Not really The major villain of the story. Nor am I really focusing on him. The King is merely a tool for the story. A common hatred, bonded by these characters.

    Now you are thinking :p Where does his power come from? I have lots of bits in my writings that point to it in the story, of some external force aiding them. Something that cannot be seen.

    Unless said king is just a puppet for the lords. You never know. I am still planning out that part of the book. The character development and the plot are concerned its really more focused on The Count and seeing this world.

    The king may have angered those few lords, but no where does it say that he has angered any other lord. The Count maybe a very important leader of society, but it does not mean everyone sees him that way. Tensions build up as you build up your own career and you make enemies that way. If two men despise the King, it does not mean all the men hate him. Maybe their attention is dragged away from the king and see other problems such as a war brewing, or the druids rising up.

    Anyway I have to continue writing the characters and editing them. I will keep everything you have said in mind and improve my characters.

    Plus It is a world where magic is prevalent. Where does the Steward get his power is probably the best question you can ask. Why is he so powerful? Why does he have the military behind him? Why does the Count dislike him? Also, I might need to include background in the world through the dialogues, because they worship a God called The God of Power, or the Scion of Power. That is their kingdom's main religion and is probably the most important fact in the entire story.

    Also here is another few characters. ( I will improve them as I go on I really wish I could edit stuff) .;)

    The Witch of Taeld: The Witch of Taeld is a folk tale, she is said to use magics that none can discern, she can control the bodies of those living. She is said to be extremely prejudice and often leaves entire Caravans in ruin.

    Leroic Stauffenberg: The Brother of The count, Leroic is a horse lord, or a Calvary Commander, he leads from the front of the battlefield, and is the second in command of The Count's Legion. He is the Youngest of The Count's siblings, and is considered to be the most mannered. Leroic is also a very proud knight that was knighted by the King himself much to the dismay of his older siblings.

    The Drancorian (I need a name for him, but I need a good name as he is a prevalent figure) : The Third in command of The Count's Legion, the Drancorian is a man of many words, he is bull headed and is often seen at the forefront. He is currently leading the Count's Legion in a campaign against the Druids of Taeld.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  11. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    First problem. It seems you think it's important not to let anyone know the plot, in the way you think your characters, and their backgrounds matter. But that's all crap that only you need to know about in order to keep their behavior consistent with their personality, background, and needs. What matters to a reader is one central fact: Can you write a scene that will make the reader want to turn the pages? If you can't do that reliably—if you don't make the reader feel as if they're living the scene and have a stake in the outcome of the next few minutes, they're going to close the cover and never meet your brilliantly constructed characters.

    Characters can be created as needed, and their characteristics are, and must be malleable, because as the needs of the scene develop you're going to have to change either the character or the situation to motivate your characters to behave as needed. And if your characters are rigidly pre-written you're going to have to change the world to fit them, because the characters do what their nature and perception of the situation drives them to do, not what the script you provide orders them to do/say (at least if you want them to seem real to the reader they will).

    Asking people to evaluate your characters without knowing why a given characteristic matters is a waste of time, if for no other reason than that in the course of the story they're gong to have to change, or that character won't be where you need them to be to take advantage of that characteristic when you need them.

    I'm sorry if it seems that I'm saying that you wasted the time to create the characters, because it's not wasted time. Asking if we like them, though, is.

    Write it, or at least ten pages of it, and post it. Then we'll find out if the characters in those pages seem real. Until they do, and until the action feels natural and entertaining, not much else matters.
     
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  12. AsherianCommand
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    AsherianCommand Active Member

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    Ah yes. I get you. But, I prefer figuring out what is going to happen first, I always feel like the characters do indeed come first, then I base the story around them. I have rough estimation of what will happen, but yet again, I do not feel confident that they will flow naturally. It is something I struggle with, and mostly because I am still learning how to deal with child characters, and I realized after writing 14 pages in that most of the characters I had written were either A. Unneeded or not expanded enough. It currently me trying to figure out how to grow the characters, how to build up the relationship between the reader and the character and make them so much more relate-able and then B. they felt unnatural, or a little too extreme, they did actions that were not exactly sane, it was in character (sometimes) but then it seemed a little random, and raised an eye brow. Plus I also wanted to expand their details or information about them so I the writer know that People find them interesting and not robotic.

    Yes I get much of what you are saying. The Characters themselves will change and will grow. That is something I am going to do. But currently as I reread parts of it, it is either unclear or confusing. I sometimes jump to a scene or I forget a character. That is my primary concern.

    Nor am I asking if people like them. I am asking if they seem believable given the context of the setting. Do they make sense? I mean the part where someone told me about the hollywood king is something I have taken into consideration. So I will change that character to fit the time and to make it a bit realistic, as their is quite a big suspension of disbelief in the story. (Hopefully I am using that correctly)

    But I will post it once I finish the beginning. I am quite weird, I write ending to beginning. As I find the beginning the hardest, I always draw a plot line and then a character line and if they intersect brilliant, but if they don't I change the plot to the character. (As you have suggested I do,)

    I will post it in a day or so on this thread, but first I need to figure out how to write child characters. (Which I am currently doing research on).

    Also thanks for the feedback! I did not think I was coming off that way!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  13. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    Might I respectfully point out that this hasn't resulted in a sale, as yet? I say that only to point out that what "feels right," and even seems to make sense, can somethiem be the result of missing information. A lot of what reads well to us when we begin writing is the result of twelve years, during our basic education, of learning and perfecting the general nonfiction skills we're given to prepare us for an adult life as a productive and employed adult. Great on the job, where the writing is author-centric, fact based, and meant to inform but not terribly useful in creating emotion-based and character centric writing meant to entertain.
    Unless you're telling the story in real-time, from within the POV of the protagonist, it won't, because it will be an external view of the action—a description of action and places the reader can't see, with dialogue whose emotional content they can't hear. And because it's external the danger—and it's a very real trap a lot of new writers fall into—is that because you can not only visualize the action you know the mind-state of the characters, you'll describe what you see happening, as if you're reporting on the camera view. That's true in nearly fifty percent of the fiction by new writers I've seen over the years.
    Why are you trying to "figure out" things that are covered in the first few chapters of any book on fiction writing technique? The best you'll be able to do is come up with something that feels right to you, based on your school days report writing skills. Seems to make more sense to find out what the publisher you hope to sell the story to thinks is the right approach. Why struggle to reinvent something that became common knowledge long, long ago?
    If you write them well any character is believable. If not their bio, and its reasonability, changes nothing. What I'm getting at is that the information you posted is definitely useful to you. And lots of people create character resumes. But no one who doesn't hold the manuscript in their hands can tell you if they work in the situation you present. It's how they behave, not your intent that matters because intent dribbles off the words as you type them.

    The reader needs none of what you present in the character outline to understand the story. They want to experience it in the way the protagonist does. And when s/he meets someonenew, no one comes to them and gives them a background lecture. They figure it out, as we do in life, through conversation, research, and context. If your actors require more than that in any given scene, they're not living their life as you and I do so they can't read as real.
    Lots of mystery writers do that with the entire novel. They say it makes foreshadowing easier.
    Well, do you know the inciting incident? Does your protagonist have their initial short term goal, the one the inciting incident interrupts? Do you have a good handle on the disaster that will end the scene? If so, what's hard?

    But on a more basic level do you understand the elements that make up a scene, and how that differs, on the page, from a scene in a film or a play? I ask because of you don't, and if everything I just mentioned isn't something you use as a matter of fact as you write, that might explain your problem in deciding how and where to begin the story. Every tale is different, of course, but a scene is a scene, and has specific characteristics dictated by the medium and the objective, in the same way usage and physics dictates a wheel on each corner of a car.
     
  14. Monte Thompson
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    Monte Thompson Member

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    To say that Ór is unlike any other then make it Earth like and have a New York City is a contradiction. It's all a bit too Avengers for my taste. Employ the same originality you used on choosing a name for the rest opf the world. World building is a painstaking and tedious thing but can also be very fun, let your imagination go wild , but always check that your ideas aren't coming from somthing you've seen or read.
     
  15. AsherianCommand
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    AsherianCommand Active Member

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    I have a new york city? Wait what? Where did I say that? It is a Terran world which means it can support life. That is what it means by Terran, Where did I have any of that type of stuff? No-where. Its an Anglo Saxxon-Celtic World, Plus I only included a short description. How could figure out how I built the world?

    Avengers? Wait where did you get that idea O.O, Its a collection of Lords and A Mage, nothing deus ex machina. Nothing that is overpowered. This would be considered normal in this world.

    Something I've seen or read. Correct. There is very little influence apart from celtic and anglo saxxon which is where this story draws its background from.

    If it helps you how I am writing this. I am writing it in a First Person of the Count. This way

    And to answer it, yes I can picture it hell my first sentence begins with a character looking out a window and its around two paragraphs long. I believe in showing, not telling.

    Mostly to figure out how certain people act in extreme situations

    Great Advice, Yes I agree their bios don't really make the character, but nowhere in my current iteration do I have that. It is only what we see in the reading.

    I completely agree! Why would I give anyone the character outline? It is a character outline, I didn't really want to post my story Until I felt like it was more readable. I wanted the character to not to appear as evil

    ^Just to answer that yes, I know everything that will happen because I have a draft form of it. I basically have written it before, a very rough draft, which was around 20 pages? I only had The Count and he was by himself, which really didn't add anything. It was quite empty.
     
  16. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    Okay, two basic misunderstandings. First, using first person has absolutely nothing to do with being in the character's POV. It defines only the mode of presenting POV if you do that. If you simply tell the story while using first person pronouns it's still telling. And wearing a wig and makeup, to pretend to be the character at some later time is unconnected to making the reader experience the story, which is what they come to us for. Telling informs. But readers want to be entertained.

    Two lines:
    I went to the garage and got the car.
    He went to the garage and got the car.


    In first and third person, say precisely the same thing, and neither are in the protagonist's POV because it's an overview. And people don't live overviews. POV is presented in real time. Believing that using first person pronouns in some way places the reader in the character's POV is one of the more common new writer mistakes because when we leave high school we believe POV refers to personal pronoun choice. It doesn't. POV refers to how the protagonist perceives the scene. Were you and ten other people given the task of wandering through someone's home, alone, looking at whatever you cared to, and going where you pleased—but tasked with writing up what you observed and what you concluded about the people who lived there, none of you would write the same report. The fireman and the interior designer, for example would each notice different things and reach different conclusions. That's POV.

    And second, talking about what there is to see has nothing to do with showing. No way in hell can you make me see what the character is looking at in a few paragraphs. you can just list the names of what was seen, devoid of emotional context. To provide even a static picture would require the traditional thousand words, and that's four standard manuscript pages.

    Showing refers to making the reader perceive what the protagonist is actively paying attention to, as they perceive it. Opening a story by telling the reader what someone they don't yet know can see, without making that reader want to "see" it, means that the POV is yours, the voice is yours, and that nothing is happening in the story while you're talking.

    The short version: tell the story, don't talk about things in it.
     
  17. AsherianCommand
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    AsherianCommand Active Member

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    I would have to disagree. The First person in this is actually quite necessary, I know its a new writer humbug. But. The reason why I choose it over third was to make the story more personal, you see it from only one character's point of view, his horror is your horror, the things he does is something you could see. Him killing a man in cold blood is something you will see, You are just a conscience in the back of his mind. There is metaphorical reasons to use something or literal reasons. For me I am using it for metaphorical reasons and to tell the story.

    I personally whenever I read a story, I need to remember where I am, why I am here? What is the environment and room I am standing in. What does it look like, how do people look, what does a sword feel like?

    I consciously decided that there was no other way to tell the story other than first person. When I was planning it, If I just told the story in third person (I tested it, It sounded weird, infact this is the first story I have ever written that doesn't change POV.) So I took this showed it to someone knows about editting, talked to them about the story and the characters, and then.... They also suggested what I thought, in the terms of this story, First Person is the only way I could accurately tell the story and stay true to how I see the character, third person kind of makes this guys story a little cheapen, it gets rid of that connection between reader and character.

    I mean its like reading the entirety of Hills Like White Elephants in first person. It just doesn't work. Certain stories work with either or.

    On the topic of it being an overview. Its really not, plus. I think it would best to wait for me to post my material before you make an assumption.

    I understand you are trying to help but you can't really generalize me along with other writers, I have my own way of writing, and I do writing differently.

    Personally I see it differently. This story is very different than what people are thinking of it as.

    All I will say before I release it. It is extremely dark. Its not some fun loving fantasy story, like tolkien's nor is it like George R.R. Martin's. The reason why I am placing the descriptions in the beginning is because of one reason its to show the progression the romanticist beginning but then it turns into the modernist point of view. Its this twist that makes it different and making the story a little bit different.

    Anyway I will continue writing and fixing up grammatical mistakes and writing it so it is entertaining.
     
  18. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    This is a common new writer mistake, believing that changing the personal pronouns makes it personal. or that changing "he" to "I" somehow makes the reader "see" the scene. Simply put, telling is telling, and pretending you're the character changes nothing. If you're telling the story from the POV of the narrator, be that narrator the author or the author pretending to be the protagonist at some undefined later date, you cannot make the reader feel as if they're living the story because the narrator is not on the scene. And if they're not the reader can't be. They're not living the story, they're being told about it. So everything they "hear" is history, and immutable. No uncertainty. No reason to worry about the protagonist's immediate future, or what they should do, just the author presenting a history lesson on some events in the life of a fictional character. And there's as much entertainment value in that as there was when your history teacher said, "Okay class, read chapter three through five tonight." The narrator, even when you use "I" and "my," and the person living the story cannot be the same person because they live at two different times and places.

    Tell the story from the viewpoint of the narrator and it will read like a slide show narration, minus the slides. And the fact that the simple act of changing the personal pronouns to third person makes you feel that your story is boring, as you report, should tell you that the presentation, not the personal pronouns has problems.

    I've often thought that first person books should come with the disclaimer, "This story was written by a trained professional. Don't try this yourself without such training." But then, perhaps all books should come with that disclaimer.
    Let's get something straight from the start. You have no idea of if you write "differently," because you know little about how professionals write for publication. And that's not an opinion, that's the professional evaluation of someone who owned a manuscript critiquing service.

    But let's assume that you do "write differently." That means you'll sell nothing because you're not providing what the reader expects to see. And yes, I know you know what you like, but everyone says that. And if that was meaningful—and accurate—we would all be making money selling our work in the bookstores.

    But the simple fact is that fully 75% of what publishers get is deemed unreadable because the people writing it have no craft other than the nonfiction techniques we learn in our primary education. And of the rest, all but three percent is viewed as amateur writing (their term). So if you've taken no meaningful steps to learn what the publishers view as professional writing, like it or not, believe it or not, you are an amateur as far as publishers are concerned. And they're your customer.

    Seems to me that were you to learn what the publishers expect, and the pros take for granted, you could ignore any part of that knowledge, or build on it, should you choose. But if you take no steps to learn the profession, you're no more, or less, prepared to write a novel than everyone else who went through your school system. And how many of them are selling their work?
     
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  19. Monte Thompson
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    Monte Thompson Member

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  20. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Gota little vibe of the spaces wolves of 40k, should give it a whirl might hold some inspiration.
     
  21. AsherianCommand
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    AsherianCommand Active Member

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    Space Wolves were influenced by Celtic and Anglo Saxxons o_O

    I did play 40k, but I often consider their writing an embarrassment to their older writings.

    But I really didn't take any inspirations from 40k or warhammer. I really just made it from scratch.

    As much as I love 40k. I really don't want over the topness in my story that is very apparent in 40k.

    Don't get me wrong I love Space Operas, but this is not really a fantasy opera. The next book I write.. Will be.

    Its fine!

    Nor am I saying, nor refusing to learn. Your just assuming I am.

    Any balant statements like that make me question if your expertise or sense of wisdom. I have agreed with alot you have said, but now I question whether or not you are truly understanding what I am asking. I am not asking you for how publishing works.


    Uhuh, yes because we shouldn't learn from other people's writing. This is something that many people would disagree with you.

    I disagree, full heartily with everything you have said in your last post.

    Characters fit into the story. Like a giant jig-saw puzzle. The Story comes first, not the characters, the characters sort of meld into the story, but they follow a path that I have given them, but they are still living. If I went with your advice, and decided to make a character story such as Hills like White Elephants then nothing would happen. That is not the point of my story. This story has these characters are part of a story, this idea of fate deciding what will happen to these characters. But they are living it. You will see it for what it is.

    Anyway I do not wish to argue anymore.
     
  22. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    Not really. I'm going by what you said. You, specifically, said you were using first person to make the reader feel more connected, and as if they were living the story. I don't mean this as an insult, but that's literally the mark of someone who has yet to dig deeply enough into the structure of fiction.

    But it's not my intention to get into a pissing contest. If you feel your writing does involve the reader it's easy enough to prove. Post a page or three and get some reader reaction. If people start pestering you to read more you have them hooked. If not, you'll have an idea of what areas need work. Win/win.

    My wisdom isn't in question, because the things I've been saying can be found in any basic book of fiction writing-technique. So apparently, you're unhappy with some pretty high powered writers and teachers.

    One of the first things a writer needs to learn is to check their ego at the door. No one is questioning your talent or potential. For all we know you may be the next Stephen King, etc. I've reacted to what you said. And the advice I gave was that you need to acquire more craft because you're claiming to be unique in your approach, while at the same time making comments we hear here every week, from new writers who, in reality, are writing exactly as we're all taught to write in school. That's why I suggest posting a piece of your writing, to see if you're really blazing a new path in the reader's eyes. Remember, once you hand your work to a reader, you, your intent, and anything about you become irrelevant. It's your chosen words and that reader's perception of what they mean, without you handy to clarify. And to make things more difficult the reader is expecting you to entertain them and manipulate their emotions, beginning on page one.

    Here's a trick Sol Stein suggests. Find a friend, one with no acting talent. Give them a few pages of your work and ask them to do a cold read of it. Don't even tell them it's your work, so they won't feel they need to be "kind." When you read your work you know how to read it, and what the intent of the line is. But a reader has only their interpretation of the words to any given point. It can be a humbling experience—painful, too, but really useful.
    You can't. You're looking at the product. But you have not a clue of the process or the decisions the writer had to make. You can no more learn how to write by reading than all the TV you've watched made you a director, or a screenwriter, or... It's a profession. And you don't learn a profession by guesswork.
    Of course you do. What does that have to do with it being either right or wrong? Until you sell some work based on your ideas they're just, "This is what I think." People thought the Earth was flat. They believed it implicitly. Did that change the curvature? Did a belief in the body having four humors that must be in balance, something every doctor once believed, have any connection to reality? No. Education beats guesswork every time.

    People who believe that are rejected before the end of the first paragraph. Story comes in a distant second to writing skill. You're thinking in terms of facts and events. But that's a nonfiction technique. Fiction is emotion based and character centric. The reader comes to us to borrow our imagination to play a game of let's pretend in real-time. They want to fall in love, and be filled with rage, laughter, and all the human emotion. They want to feel what the character feels in the tiny slice of time they call now, not learn that someone in a book felt that way.

    Look at a history book. It has drama, betrayal, love, adventure, and all the things that make a good plot. So why don't people expand a historical event, report it in more detail, and sell lots of books? Because they're boring. They're author-centric. Someone is reporting events. They're fact based and they inform. But they don't entertain because they're immutable. There's no uncertainty. We know what people say and do but don't know why, and what they're trying to accomplish with an action or a few words. So we know, but we don't care.

    You're worried about the plot and having it fit together. You're focused on Story, with that capital S, but ignoring the things that make a reader turn the page. The story, with a small S lives in the desires, the perceptions, the needs, and the struggle. Anyone can create a plot. Placing the protagonist into a situation so real that when someone insults the protagonist the reader feels anger, takes writing skills far in excess of the general skill we learned in school.
     

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