1. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    Writing a Epic Fantasy Story

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by drifter265, Jan 31, 2013.

    I have an idea for a epic fantasy story and I've been having trouble figuring out which medium to work it through. The ones I'm trying are script and novel.

    I like script because you don't have to express their thoughts and can just work on the action and dialogue to do it. Then I also like novel because I feel it would work for my story but don't want to express all their thoughts every time something significant happens. That's what I tend to do. How do I not do that and just work on the story? I feel if I don't include the thoughts that each chapter just ends up being three pages and it ends up kind of boring. I want a novel that when you read it, is like watching a movie in your head. I don't want the reader to know that the main character has three older annoying sisters and that he got sick four times when he was eleven if he doesn't have to.

    That's kind of my problem. I want to write the novel version but want to not have to explain every little detail about their life and what they're thinking every time something significant happens. I just want to explain what happens in the moment and "show" what they're thinking with their actions and not have to say it. That's why I like script but I don't want to write a script. Is it going to be a boring novel if I just write it like it's a script?

    I'm new to writing fiction. I have wrote a lot essays and reports for college and stuff (being very descriptive and cohesive, of course) and have been trying for months how to write this story but I either write too little detail or way too much. Please help.
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You can write it as a novel and only include the thoughts that are relevant at the time. You don't have to explain every detail of your characters' lives. Include what you want and leave out the rest.

    I see four problems with writing it as a script. First, script form doesn't allow you to use your own language to describe scenes - the movie audience will never read it. This is important if, like me, you like language and like the sound of your own sentences.

    Second, the accepted format of a script is a total pain in the butt to write in. You'd pretty much have to get yourself screenwriting software to keep from going crazy.

    Third, you're much more likely to be published in novel form than you are to get your movie made. Economics dictate this. When a studio is investing upwards of $100 million to make a movie, they pick and choose their scripts very carefully.

    If your script does get bought by a movie studio, and the studio miraculously gets around to making your movie, it's very unlikely that it will resemble your original work very much. Studios are notorious for having scripts rewritten, revised, pulled apart and reassembled as something else. You might want to write a fantasy about hobbits in Middle-Earth, and by the time the studios are done with it, it will be Die Hard In Middle-Earth, starring Bruce Willis and Adam Sandler, with songs by Randy Newman and Kanye West, and directed by Mel Brooks.
     
  3. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Writing down a characters internal thought process (he thought this, she thought that) is an example of telling, rather than showing. Ideally, you wouldn't do it at any noticeable level in a novel because you'd be missing the opportunity to demonstrate it through their words and actions.

    John didn't think it was a good idea but didn't say so.

    "That's an... interesting suggestion." John said cautiously.

    Depends on whether you want it read and published or not. I don't have anything to back up this claim but a vague sense of what everyone I personally know is doing, but there are a larger number aspiring to make the next blockbuster movie than the next bestselling novel. As a result, if you're aiming at people actually getting your story and enjoying it, a novel would be the better option: Your odds of success are better and once it goes to print the job's a good'n - there isn't any mucking about with actors and shooting and budget and all sorts of bull.

    If circulation isn't a priority and you're just writing this for you, it doesn't really matter: Scripts and novels have their respective strengths and weaknesses with regards to exposure and immersion, so you should write accordingly depending on what you want to emphasise on. If I have very specific visuals in mind, I tend to animate while if the physical aspects are less important than the character interactions, I write.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't you have that backwards?
     
  5. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    I think I'm just going to get rid of the dialogue. I'll write the story with [Jack said it was best to go west so they did] than instead of what I usually write which is something like: ["I think we should go west, guys," said Jack excitedly]. I think its better and less kiddy now that I read it. Seriously, if I have all that useless dialogue it'll just slow it down and it would never get anywhere. It would all just be stupid small talk. This is a pretty great revelation for me actually.

    Before I would write, ["Gosh, I'm tired Mr. Francis, I think I'm going to bed," said Jack. "Can you get me some water, Jack?" said his mother bitchily.] Now I can get rid of that stupid crap and just write: [Jack was tired and went to bed. His mother asked him for some water. The next day.... blah blah.]

    GREAT!
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I strongly advise against too much of this sort of thing. You won't be writing a story so much as a summary of a story. It'll read like a police report instead of a novel. Besides, if you don't let the characters use their own words, you're missing a huge opportunity to let them express their personalities. Your method will drain them of most of their individuality.

    There's a reason writers use all that "stupid crap" in their stories. It works.
     
  7. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    I think my problem is I don't do the latter enough and I do the former way too much for every scenario. So, if its absolutely necessary and something I think is important to their character, I will write the dialogue but I'm going to try and write in the latter more so that I don't go too much into pointless dialogue.
     

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