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king007

Lounge

902 posts in this topic

An other matter I'd like your advice on: I wrote something that I think is cool to describe someone in the moments between life and death. As if time stops and he sees the incoming danger but his mind is busy remembering or thinking of something else. I'd like to know if you agree that it sounds cool or not lol or if it's a bit excessive in its usage of words. Bare in mind that these are just intended as the first lines. Is this a good foundation to build upon the rest?

 

"I breathed, and breath came in. I looked, and my eyes beheld. They saw not what was in front, they saw instead what lied beyond. I stared, but stare I did not. For to that end, one should have a choice, and time should have a voice."

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"I breathed, and breath came in. I looked, and my eyes beheld. They saw not what was *before me* (or 'in front of me'), they saw instead what *lay* beyond. I stared, but stare I did not (this feels awkward, 'but did not see'?). For *in the* end (at the end?), one should have a choice, and time should have a voice."

Interesting. I like the feel of it, the tone. I don't find the 'usage' of words excessive, presuming that the whole piece would not follow this rather poetic and portentous tone, which would probaby get old quickly, and would best be used sparingly. It may or may not be a good foundation in that it's not clear from these lines alone what kind of story it is going to be.

P.S. What is your new avatar? I liked the cat, but I can't make out the new image at all :)

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"to that end" : for that purpose. Staring is looking deliberately at something for a long period of time. If you have no choice in the matter or if the time had no meaning or no flow, then it shouldn't be called staring even if it looks like it. So this should excuse the use of "stare I did not."

 

Thanks for the other corrections.

 

I actually thought of continuing to use the same poetic and portentous (a new word added to my dictionary) style. Isn't that how ancient people spoke? If I should change it, the transition to normal speech would seem odd, would it not?

 

As for the avatar picture, here is a link to clearly view it. I like it because it seems godly for some reason; I think it's the colors. It's a cover for a Japanese light novel called "Overlord".

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It's not the vocabulary as such, but the formality. I would imagine people in ancient times spoke just as crudely and roughly as many do today, for one thing, I'm sure a very small proportion would have been educated at all, and the rules of grammar were probably still being invented. There are ways to convey 'old fashioned' modes of speech, of course, such as not using contractions.

 

Cool artwork on the Overlord thing, too.

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I just discovered there is a Lounge. This seems crucial knowledge. How long has this been a thing?

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Welcome, it's been here since about a month ago :)

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Hello folks--shameless plug ahead!

 

My novella "Tuning the Symphony" is available today, and several of you helped make it possible!  You can get it in print from Amazon and Createspace.  It is also available at Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords in ebook format.  If you like it, tell a friend or leave me a review online.

 

So what is this about and why would you want to read it?  Here's the back of the book blurb:

 

 

 

Change one note and the universe changes with the Symphony

 

One apprentice will become a full majus today.  The other will wait months for another suitable challenger.  Rilan Ayama is skilled in using her song to change the Grand Symphony of the universe, but her opponent, Vethis, is crafty, and not above a little simple bribery. Though Rilan is counting on the support of her closest friend Origon, he remains absent.  She has only a cryptic note saying important matters of his family take precedence, and he needs her help.  The mystery pulls Rilan's attention away from the most important test of her life.

 

Maji create portals to between the far flung planets of the Great Assembly of Species, but many places still remain out of easy reach.  A search for Origon's brother leads Rilan and her friend across the wilds of one of the ten homeworlds.  There, Rilan's fledgling skills are pushed to their limits as they investigate a secret that could bring down all six houses of the maji.

Edited by Mandamon
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Congrats, Mandamon!!  :D

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I'm currently having a difficult time trying to decide how to introduce my plot to my main characters. Like, I know how the book is going to end. I know the implications of said ending. I know HOW it happens and what needs to happen in order to make the ending work the way it needs to. But I can't quite figure out how to let my characters know there's a problem they are about to become involved in.

 

I've considered the "mentor" figure, and scratched that idea as it wouldn't work. I've considered dreams, as dreams are part of the magic system and will be used during the book, but I discounted this as being too deus-ex-machina as at the beginning of the book there is nothing that sets my 2 mains apart as being special to this task, it is literally something they grow into as part of their personal character arcs. Honestly, the book is more about these 2 characters and their personal stories that happen to coincide with the plot happening in background which they inadvertently become part of as the book progresses.

 

All that said... I feel that they should have some way of being aware of the plot in some form. I'm so stuck. Anyone care to help me brainstorm this out?

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Call to action? That's my go to, although I do need to figure out something else. Slaughtering a village of faceless villagers will both motivate the heroes and demonstrate how evil the villain is. Or,make a pet go missing, or a disappearance.

 

Essentially, start a large quest with a smaller quest.

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Perhaps I should add some backstory so my predicament makes sense.

 

I don't necessarily have a villain. I have forces at work that keep the world balance tilted in their favor, and that balance is beginning to be upset as one force tries to break free from captivity from the other force holding it. The book ends with one force tipping the scales dramatically in their own favor. This only happens because of the actions (and in some case inactions) of the main characters. These characters are not well informed. They don't know what they're doing, not *truly*, they simply think they know based on their own research (that they pick up along the way during their personal story arcs).

 

The battle between the 2 forces is concurrent with but mostly separate from the character arcs of the main characters. It just so happens that the main characters end up directly impacting the battle between the forces.

 

I think this is what is making it so hard for me to clearly define to readers (and therefore my characters) the battle plot and why/how the main characters are important enough at the beginning of the book to actually be the main characters.

 

Right now I'm trying an exercise to outline the book using all my notes as a guide for the outline to see if that helps me. I'm not much of an outliner but at least I feel I'm attempting to work this out.

Edited by Shadowfax
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I have a similar problem with my novel. My main character has cognitive issues, amnesia being the least of these, and doesn't have a true understanding of what he's doing, what's real, and what's entirely in his own head. Some of his issues extend to one of the major supporting characters, and since both play their cards close to their chest, they don't start figuring things out until farther along in the story. They have to grow into their knowledge and power as the story goes along. So far, that's led to confusion and a fair amount of frustration with readers here in the group. The hints I've dropped so far haven't been enough, and since I can't reveal details the main character can't readily access, I feel stuck. I've basically written myself into a corner as far as that's concerned! :P

 

Are your mains paired up when the story begins, or are they drawn together somehow farther along?

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I feel your pain! Luckily, as I'm mostly in planning, and only have a few scenes written, I have wiggle room to write myself out of this conundrum. On the other hand, I think you have a good setup for some major wow moments :D

 

My mains are paired up - they are actually a brother and sister, and so the bond is pre-established and simply reiterated through interaction.

 

EDIT:

 

I just had a thought.... My characters don't HAVE to know of the plot, right? Is it good enough to let the readers know but not the characters? Then, there would be tension created as the reader (through another viewpoint character) would see the "big picture" while the mains wouldn't, nor would my mains know what consequences their actions are creating....

Edited by Shadowfax
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Well, I sure hope the scenes I consider wow moments translate into wow moments for readers! If I can get them to hang in there with me, that is. ;)

 

Are your siblings aware of their separate research right off the bat?

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Only one of the siblings, the sister, is the actual researcher. She considers herself a scholar of sorts (more akin to Earth's concept of archeologist). During her early chapters she uncovers clues at a "dig site" (it's not a formal one, just a place she started digging, and I haven't finished the history or motivation for why she chose that location yet) that begin her character arc. She's addicted to knowledge, it's probably one of the only things she actually holds sacred. She's driven by these clues to find out more about the history behind what she uncovered. During this arc, she encounters a lot of opposition from organized religion, political entities, and even her own brother, who has a simpler way of looking at the world than she does and becomes influenced over time by one of the forces at work.

 

Perhaps that IS enough to tie the mains to the background plot? Maybe I'm so used to there being some sort of entity saying "oh, you found that, now you're on a path you can't change" that I felt I had to have the same. Maybe... maybe I don't. Maybe I disregard the need to have some voice of wisdom helping guide my characters? Perhaps I alternate viewpoints enough to give readers clues to the battle of forces happening in the background while allowing my mains to operate in ignorance. I don't need an Allanon, a Moiraine, a wizened old fool or anything to guide or direct my characters. I should just their natural inclinations drag them through the mud plot!

 

This talking and brainstorming thing really does help xD

 

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It totes does! Brainstorming is one of my most favorite things. :D

 

I think the sister's thirst for truth and knowledge is an excellent plot driver on its own. Moiraine? This girl don't need no stinkin' Moiraine!

 

Being stubborn or pedantic where her convictions are concerned could make for a fantastic character weakness, and set up meaningful conflict between she and her brother as she tries bringing him around to her way of thinking.

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Being stubborn or pedantic where her convictions are concerned could make for a fantastic character weakness, and set up meaningful conflict between she and her brother as she tries bringing him around to her way of thinking.

 

This is actually the main character plot for the brother, but saying anything more would include so many spoilers it wouldn't be funny. She is a rather static character, in the grand scope of fantasy. Her immutability is both a strength and a weakness in that she literally refuses to change what she "knows" without solid empirical evidence. Her brother is more faith driven. Definite tension :D

 

Thank you so much for this back and forth. I've literally been stuck in this rut for a long time. By long time, I mean somewhere in the realm of years. I can't even remember how many.

Edited by Shadowfax
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You're very welcome! And I feel your pain, these many years in the making. I've been working on my current novel in some form or another since *gulps* 1989. I don't know if I'm embarrassed just having dated myself, or if I'm proud for being so tenacious and enthusiastic for going on nearly two decades.

 

I will get this thing right, someday.  :blink:

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Don't worry about feeling dated. I was alive and already making up stories in my mind by 1989. I just never got around to trying writing until 1992 when I had an amazing teacher in middle school :)

 

And I would go with proud tenacity. I've shelved so many projects that had potential that I should be embarassed. But, potential for a work doens't mean I could have made it what it could have been. This one though, this one I can *feel*. So if you can feel that one, then you should be proud for clinging to it and nurturing it through all these years. It's like a child and you're the mother. You can't just let it go, not when it's a part of you that large.

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Oh, good. I don't feel so angsty and alone. ;)

 

This novel of mine has been both curse and boon companion over the years. It's tormented me in the wee sleepless hours of the night, and kept me company on countless road trips and flight delays. The characters and their relationships are what's kept this project going. I'm pretty sure I can pinpoint (maybe even to the day, if I consulted an '89 calendar) when Baxter's character first took shape. 

 

I'm reminded of this interview of Diane Gabaldon's I once read, where she talked about Claire Fraser's character, and where her distinctive narrative voice originated. I'm roughly paraphrasing here, but Gabaldon said something like: "Claire simply appeared, stormed up to me and said, 'I'm Claire, who the hell are you?'"

 

And that's pretty much how Baxter went about it, only with more sarcasm. Heh. Anyway, I've carried that dude around with me for so long it's not even funny, and I feel compelled to do him justice. Here's to hoping. *crosses fingers*

Edited by Marci
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Well I'm excited to read about him, though sad I've missed the first 5 chapters. Hopefully I'll catch on :D

I've been reading the critiques on the board and all the stories seem fascinating based on the tidbits I've gotten to learn about that way lol

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I'll happily send everything your way. When I submit on Monday, you'll have my email address. If interested, drop me a direct line and I'll forward you the previous submissions. Just keep in mind this rough draft is rough; I've already made drastic revisions based on feedback from the group, but those aren't fit to be seen quite yet.  ^_^

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Don't worry about feeling dated. I was alive and already making up stories in my mind by 1989. I just never got around to trying writing until 1992...

 

 

Tarnation, yee ain't nothing but a couple o' youngsters! (shakes walking stick in your general direction)

 

Maybe, I should start submitting my first novel, painstakingly 'crafted' over 25+ years before there was Writing Excuses or Reading Excuses, in a land before time itself existed... (cough)

 

QUOTE - Marci said: "I will get this thing right, someday."

 

My point is you can do it, look forward, keep going, repeat after me 'Finish first, fix it later.'

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land before time

 

​Totally saw that in theatres xD My boyfriend laughs at that. He just turned 21 in December <blush>

 

EDIT (to avoid a double post, though it's not at all related to my above comment):

 

I'VE DONE IT!!!!

 

I've figured it out completely-ish. I have turned a plot device into a character. Well, she was always, technically, a character, but now she's a PoV character who will actively participate in the book instead of being a passive, in the background, end-of-book requirement thing. I'm incredibly excited. Through her I can show a completely different aspect of my worldbuilding, as well as the magic system (which common folks like my 2 mains don't know about, due to the nature of how magic is guarded and used in this world). I've just spent the last couple hours figuring out her plot a bit and I can definitely weave it in to the side of the book that shows the bigger picture - AND - have moments of crossover between that side of the book and the side with my 2 mains. Tension! Excitement! Plot! My stream-of-consciousness synopsis writing has just filled in MAJOR gaps in the center of the book that will CLEARLY take the hook to the resolution. I'm so beside myself we're holding hands and rubbing shoulders!

Edited by Shadowfax
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