The SolAARium: Discuss the craft of writing - Alphabetical Index in the 1st Post

coz1

GunslingAAR
29 Badges
May 16, 2002
13.798
490
hearthehurd.typepad.com
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
I read King's On Writing and quickly too. A great read, full of excellent advice on many different facets of the craft and business. I have not read Elements of Style but have heard much about it. For me, the only reading I did really to get me going as the writer I may be at the moment is a lot of work here, to be honest. That and reading lots of other fiction - historical, horror, thrillers, etc. To me, that's the best tool. The more you read, the more you recognize what works and what does not, at least in your own mind.

And I am fairly sure all those teachers that tried to teach the "right style" of writing would look at my work today and think "rubish." But the difference between now and say high school or college is I no longer care. I write for pure pleasure and nothing more at the moment. And the more stuff I read, the better writer I think I become. And that goes for just the act of writing itself. The more I sit and write, again, the better my craft (and habits) become.
 

Lord Durham

The Father of AARland
12 Badges
Apr 29, 2001
6.633
2
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron II: Beta
A book I have found extremely useful is William Zinsser's On Writing Well.
 

Lord Durham

The Father of AARland
12 Badges
Apr 29, 2001
6.633
2
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron II: Beta
Mettermrck PMd to ask me some questions regarding writing and publishing. I asked if we could move it to the forums, and he graciously agreed. Hopefully my meandering information will prove useful, and will generate some response and additional questions. I'll handle this like a Q & A session.

Be warned, a lot of this is based on my own experience. Results may vary. :)


Q) I'm wondering if you have any suggestions on what I could do to develop my skills.

- Keep writing.

- Work on developing your own 'voice'--your own style.

- Work on developing detailed and descriptive characters and have them interact realistically.

- Be descriptive by setting the scene using the senses: what do you see, what do you hear, what do you smell, taste and touch?

- Use a thesaurus. A thesaurus is a writer's best friend.

- Use character sheets. Develop a life history for each character. You may not use half the information, but it's there, and you'll find it comes in handy if you want to justify a character's actions, or reactions.

- Practice writing believable dialogue. Writing good dialogue is harder than you think.

- Read. That may sound dumb, but you can pick up lots of hints and ideas from established writers.

- If possible, take a course. I used the Longridge Writers Group and they paired me up with a professional writer.

- Join a critique group. If you have friends who like to write, great. However, don’t be afraid to try and form one on-line with people you know. There are several established ones on the net already, too. Critters, for example.


Q. I would like to put my Roman AAR together as a book someday, piecing it together when I'm done. What would be a good approach? Trying to find some sympathetic literary agent? Finding a magazine to serialize it in?

This is tricky. Paradox claims to have ‘exclusive rights’ to any material posted here. That’s not quite true. At best they may have non-exclusive rights, meaning you can take your material and go home if you want.

However, at best you will be able to sell anything posted here (assuming you rework it for submission) as a reprint. Not all publications accept reprints. Especially reprints from new authors. Changing a few words and adding a few paragraphs won’t alter its status, either. Your best bet would be to expand it into a novel. A few stories have won awards as shorts and novels; so using that tactic is not out of the question.

A word of caution. If you post a story on your own personal website for the world to see, and then try to sell it, it will be considered a reprint. By putting it on the net you have for all intents and purposes ‘published it’.

You may be able to locate a kind soul who will be willing to serialize it for you. Usually there’s no money involved, though.

Some publishers, like Baen Books, don’t require an agent. Most do. I wouldn’t worry about an agent until you have a polished novel ready to go. In fact, an editor gave me some interesting advice, which I think I mentioned elsewhere. Some publishers today are looking for trilogies. Some prefer to see a completed manuscript and a synopsis for at least two more books. That explains a lot, actually, based on what I see in the book store these days


Q. Did you have ever have to copyright your writing on your own or is that handled whenever you get it published somewhere?

The days of adding a copyright symbol to your work is in the past. So long as the source material resides on your hard drive, disk, or as a hard copy, you own the copyright. The only way you can give it up is to sell it and sign a contract guaranteeing payment or some other deal, like contributor copies. Even then, depending on the type of contract, the rights may revert to you after a set amount of time. And then it becames a reprint, and you can try to sell it again. :)

Hope that helps.
 

coz1

GunslingAAR
29 Badges
May 16, 2002
13.798
490
hearthehurd.typepad.com
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
I certainly could not do any better than the advice LD provided above. I would point you to my AARticle in the gazette On Characters if you were interested in that point of writing (Here's a link and I might add, there are a lot of other good AARticles there that assist in other areas of the writing practice.) I'm not near as good as some suggest I might be, but I do think that my character development is one of my stronger suits and that AARticle explains why.

And LD cannot be more right (and it is one of my weak suits) - read, read and read more. It is advice Stephen King gives, and I imagine it is advice that any successful author would give. The more you read, the more you expand your paradigm, if you will. The box just gets bigger and bigger.

And if you wish for more info on copyright and specificaly how Paradox interacts with that, there is a thread way down the main AAR page that covers a good deal of info on that that I find useful. Renss asked about it recently and found it helpful.

I have posted my AAR on my blog as well as here, but to publish it in any meaningful form, it would require a great deal of re-working. That may not take away the publishing issue, but it makes me think that if I wanted to get published, it would need to be something wholly different. My work here is only for practice and feedback to perhaps develop those skills to use at a later time.
 

Pirate Z

Captain
19 Badges
Jun 13, 2004
491
2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
It's my personal belief that dialogue is the most powerful part of any story. Learning how to write that is very important, because only in dialogue can you express the true feelings of your characters. The rest, although important in it's own way, can still not hope to draw the reader in as dialogue can. In dialogue the reader can relate. With dialogue your can draw a reaction from a reader in a way that dry description cannot hope to achieve.

Now, how to learn how to write good dialogue. Frankly, I don't have any idea. Practice, I guess. It depends on the author.
 

unmerged(34884)

Mombotian Marshal
Oct 2, 2004
1.577
0
Ok so here's my story and question.

I have just started a new AAR which basically is my first AAR. After reading lots of other pieces in the forums i have basically just begun with writing. The AAR i am working on now is a collaberative one and i helps a lot to write with another writAAR. I already made the first three posts before i started to put them on the forum so i could change it all a bit. As i now learned a story evolves as you go. I started out with a very dry and hard for me to write story, which was ok but needed more. The next day i took a look, and more ideas came into my head and i could develop the story further. Mind you the AAR is in its beginning fase so it could use a lot of improvement but we are having fun and thats what its about.

I have read the previous post and also others and thats the subject im pondering about. The development of characters and how the audience can best understand (or not) what they feel. I would like the readers to be entertained by reading the story and i want them to get it. So the story shouldnt be to thin and give enough information. At the same time i want the reader to be challenged, i dont want to give too much information. I dont want to lay it all out for the reader, they have to figure things out themselves. Of course its hard to find a balance but im just curious how others think about this.

Plus for the characters, im just wondering if its interesting to give more background information and show their innermind. Or is it better to leave things in the open. Also depends on the story, so its more an open discussion how others deal with this.

Ok hope i dont loose all of you in this spin of my mind. But thx in advance.
 

Mettermrck

The Fuehrer of the Dance
117 Badges
Jul 11, 2001
4.817
4
Visit site
  • Magicka
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Galactic Assault
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • King Arthur II
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Lost Empire - Immortals
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Commander: Conquest of the Americas
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Ancient Space
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Diplomacy
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
Sometimes it helps to write out your characters, give yourself an idea on their history, their background, their motivations. Include a visual description of them, maybe tell yourself some of their prejudices, their preferences, etc. If you want to outline what you plan for them, that's fine. I sometimes make characters and let them react to the story and go from there, with a loose idea in my head. Other times you can script some of it.

I know what you mean about holding something back. Sometimes you feel like you have a big secret and you're just dying for everyone to find out. I've had times where I was too subtle for my own good and nobody picked up on something. Other times, they found it out the second I posted it. :)

Anyhow, a little preparation work for character identity and development can go a long way.
 

unmerged(34884)

Mombotian Marshal
Oct 2, 2004
1.577
0
Mettermrck said:
Sometimes it helps to write out your characters, give yourself an idea on their history, their background, their motivations. Include a visual description of them, maybe tell yourself some of their prejudices, their preferences, etc. If you want to outline what you plan for them, that's fine. I sometimes make characters and let them react to the story and go from there, with a loose idea in my head. Other times you can script some of it.

I know what you mean about holding something back. Sometimes you feel like you have a big secret and you're just dying for everyone to find out. I've had times where I was too subtle for my own good and nobody picked up on something. Other times, they found it out the second I posted it. :)

Anyhow, a little preparation work for character identity and development can go a long way.
Yea i was thinking about making an outline of all the characters now and the basic story cause it probably will help making connections and bond the story. Right now it are loose incidents and events that are somewhat binded. But as far as my ideas goes i think its best to get them from anything and dont script too much. I had a couple of times where i was writing something that i came up with a better idea or a whole new idea. So the script/outline for this AAR probably will be pretty loose.

And a technical question how is dialogue written in the most convenient way? Cause now i just write it within the lines itself, but i also see people use seperate lines. I guess it depends how much you use it etc., but what are the techniques?
 

coz1

GunslingAAR
29 Badges
May 16, 2002
13.798
490
hearthehurd.typepad.com
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
There are a couple of different things that you bring up there, Oranje Verzet. As far as characters are concerned, Mett gives very good advice. I wrote an AARticle in the Gazette sometime last year that dealt with that very thing. You can find it in the Index (in the second post of the Gazette thread if you are interested.) There are a couple of other AARticles that deal with similar aspects. As well, Lord Durham provided a handy guide to "character sheets" earlier in this very thread. They are most helpful and assist in keeping knowledge of the inhabitants of your AAR straight.

The point for any character is to keep them real. You don't want to make them a comic book type or a broad shell. What you want is something that is realistic. Think of a movie you have seen. Do the characters in the film seem realistic to you or do they overact or underact? Do they seem believable? This works exactly the same in a book/story. In many respects moreso since you must provide a "look" unseen. Your description will provide the reader with a way of looking at them. And your knowledge of that character only helps in that endeavor.

As for holding back, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. As long as what you want to tell (and hold back) is part of the story, then you have every right to keep it silent until just the right time. Most times it helps the storytelling to do that very thing. It's certainly difficult to set something up that the audience does not get, but with work, one can become accomplished at foreshadowing and subtle clue setting. Some times it may very well be the author who is not doing a good enough job with setting those clues. Other times (especially here) it may just be the reader who misses that clue. But that is what makes a story fun, often times. You don't want to beat the reader over the head. You want them to constantly be wondering where you are going (in some sense - don't get too carried away with that.) But that's what keeps them coming back for more.

As for dialogue, I would suggest reading a few plays. As a former actor, I find that has helped me immensely with writing dialogue. You certainly want to space it just as you have no doubt seen in any book. It helps the reader. And you want it to be believable and not stilted. Reading plays gives you a good idea how to present such when it is needed. In the end, simply think of a conversation you have had when writing dialogue. If it is not believable as normal conversation (given the world of your story), then it is probably not good dialogue.

I hope that helps and wasn't too much to read through for the questions you asked. Perhaps others have some ideas to add here as well.
 

CatKnight

Disciple of Peperna
85 Badges
May 20, 2004
4.558
9
  • Victoria 2
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Legio
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
  • The Showdown Effect
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • War of the Roses
  • 200k Club
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal
  • Diplomacy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Dungeonland
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
However you do it - outlines, character/biography sheets, what have you - you want a very clear idea of who your main characters are and how they'll react. Think about how they look, how they talk, what their take on life is and so forth. For a completely character driven AAR you'll also want their objectives, i.e. what they hope to accomplish.

This can be scripted or free form as Mett said. They might have a very specific role in your story or you might be making the story up as you go. I tend to be middle ground - I have an idea where my characters will end up, but I'm not necessarily sure how they'll get there.

Everything doesn't have to be, and indeed shouldn't, be in final form on day 1. Characters develop over time. New details are added, and old ones that don't really hook your readers (or yourself) can quietly and safely disappear. Watching a character grow and change can really interest your readers and yourself. Watching them change your story before your eyes can be downright scary!

I'm going to break from coz1 though and say that it's okay to...keep an eye on....stereotypes. Your characters should be much more than just a stereotype, but it's okay to use one as a base. They work for a reason.

Stereotypes help fill in the blanks. If I'm reading a Crusaders' AAR and see a knight in gleaming armor on his steed, unless you tell me otherwise I'm going to assume he can fight, that he's at least a lesser nobleman, he's almost certainly Christian, probably has pride issues and so forth. The author doesn't have to tell me these things: it saves us both a little time. Later if I find out this knight can't fight to save his life I'll probably want to know why - but that's what makes a character real. So...a stereotype or two is okay in my book. Just don't let it end there.

-----

Trying to decide how much or how little information to give readers can be tricky. It’s as you said, you want to give the readers enough to challenge them and make them think…but don’t want to give everything away. As Coz said, this is perfectly okay and even welcome. I know when reading an AAR I like to speculate about what the author DIDN’T tell us.

I watch my readers’ posts very closely. If they seem confused and it’s important, I’ll toss in another few hints. If they figure it out too quickly I’ll consider adding an extra layer of complexity. I’ll also add the clues in slowly over a series of posts. For example, you might get the first clue in post 5, the second in post 10, two more in 12 and 13 and I’ll spring my surprise in post 15. This lends continuity because now the readers can point back to the early posts and think I’ve planned this all along. (The truth is I probably didn’t think of it ‘til later, but went through a back post and found a loose detail I could use to further my ends.)

Knowing how much to give I think is an art (as opposed to a science) and hard to teach. It relies on your instinct. My advice is to keep an eye on your readers, they’ll be giving you clues too. (For that matter, they’ll also be hinting what they want to see in your story also. As an author one should take all the ideas they can get!)
--------

Lastly writing dialogue is…hmm, my readers seem to like mine, but I think I’m still learning. My dialogue tends to drift very close to question and answer sessions. Best listen to others here.

However, I can tell you that I separate dialogue and let it stand alone only when it should be absolutely clear who’s speaking and I don’t need a descriptor like ‘muttered’ or ‘whispered.’ (A renowned author named Stephen King advises ANY descriptors like that are fundamentally flawed, but I disagree.)
 

unmerged(34884)

Mombotian Marshal
Oct 2, 2004
1.577
0
Love the explanation of stereotypes. Its indeed a good way to not over explain every detail. But it probably only works with a well defined audience. Or maybe that doesnt matter. If they dont understand, then they probably read the wrong story for them.

And also the readers feedback is indeed a good help. They will help me/you/all form the story as they give feedback on whats clear and what not. Come to think of it this kind of story writing is one of the most interactive ways imaginable. And certainly a good training ground to get some skills.

The loose details, exactly what im doing now :D . Not on purpose tho but its funny you mention because it just happened in my AAR. Someone asked 'why did he say this?' I thought about why i wrote it, and didnt have a reason. In my reply i hinted an answer. And now i got a possible event for the future concerning why he did that. Maybe i wont use it, but its an open ending for that subject.

I dont use Dialogue that much as for now. And its mostly short quotes. In future or maybe even next few posts i will alter my way of writing. But i do think thats its much more interesting then plain text, altough it can be hard to write sometimes. A great dialogue is entertaining, but a boring one is killing. And descriptors are sometimes just needed right? Stephen king thinks they suck?
 

CatKnight

Disciple of Peperna
85 Badges
May 20, 2004
4.558
9
  • Victoria 2
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Legio
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
  • The Showdown Effect
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • War of the Roses
  • 200k Club
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal
  • Diplomacy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Dungeonland
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
Oranje Verzet said:
And descriptors are sometimes just needed right? Stephen king thinks they suck?

If I remember right.... (anyone who's read his book feel free to jump in) ...he feels they're inferior. King admits he has used them on occasion, but doesn't like it.

He argues that if you want to say...show your character is angry, then instead of saying "he said angrily" or "he growled" then you should show it: "Cat strode across the room, his face twisting. He stopped in front of Oranje and glared, pounding on the table for emphasis. 'Do what I say, or you'll never see your pet dog again.' "
 

unmerged(34884)

Mombotian Marshal
Oct 2, 2004
1.577
0
CatKnight said:
If I remember right.... (anyone who's read his book feel free to jump in) ...he feels they're inferior. King admits he has used them on occasion, but doesn't like it.

He argues that if you want to say...show your character is angry, then instead of saying "he said angrily" or "he growled" then you should show it: "Cat strode across the room, his face twisting. He stopped in front of Oranje and glared, pounding on the table for emphasis. 'Do what I say, or you'll never see your pet dog again.' "

Don't kill my dog! You got me convinced, Mr. King ;) . Its not inferior but i guess its somewhat easy and basic to use it. Depends on the story again i guess, but inferior is a bit too much superiority thinking. I do like the descriptive style of showing the entire feeling, but if the simple qord angry covers it all why not use it...

"Oranje backed away, his eyes lighting up. He grabbed a firepoke laying on the floor and threathened Cat. 'Don't you touch my dog, i will stab you right here.' "
 

Pirate Z

Captain
19 Badges
Jun 13, 2004
491
2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
CatKnight said:
If I remember right.... (anyone who's read his book feel free to jump in) ...he feels they're inferior. King admits he has used them on occasion, but doesn't like it.

He argues that if you want to say...show your character is angry, then instead of saying "he said angrily" or "he growled" then you should show it: "Cat strode across the room, his face twisting. He stopped in front of Oranje and glared, pounding on the table for emphasis. 'Do what I say, or you'll never see your pet dog again.' "

Basically that's a copy of old Hemingway -- namely the technique of leaving the obvious out, leaving it to the reader.

**SPOILER ALERT**

Such as in The Old Man and the Sea, at the end, when the kid, Mandolin, finds the old man after he comes back from the sea. Hemingway writes that Mandolin saw the old man's hands, and then started crying -- instead of saying that he saw the old man's hands and saw that they were bleeding, cut up, etc. after spending a day or two with a rope in his hands which held a huge fish on the other end.
 

Craig Ashley

Prodigal Son
3 Badges
Jul 1, 2002
1.252
0
Visit site
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
I try not to use "emotion+ly" as a descriptor for my dialogue. It doesn't really add much to the feel of the piece. The dialogue and the character's actions do that, and especially if it is used a lot, it gives a sense of amature quality.

I will however, use terms like "growled", "spat", "shrieked", ect. Why do I make this distinction, I feel those terms can add to the immersion. They help the reader "hear" the dialogue just right in their head. Just take this simple bit of writing:

"You son of a bitch," he ______ as he rose up from his seat.

He growled adds menace. Shrieked adds a more hysterical/angry edge to the words. Spat gives a hint of contempt along with boiling anger. Now you can rely on this technique to convey all of the emotion in your dialogue. But it can be one arrow in the writer's quiver of methods.

But yeah, I try to avoid angrily, sadly, mournfully, ect whenever possible.
 

Gaijin de Moscu

A Rising Tide
41 Badges
Sep 3, 2002
1.294
39
Visit site
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
coz1 said:
I have posted my AAR on my blog as well as here, but to publish it in any meaningful form, it would require a great deal of re-working. That may not take away the publishing issue, but it makes me think that if I wanted to get published, it would need to be something wholly different. My work here is only for practice and feedback to perhaps develop those skills to use at a later time.

I couldn't agree more with you. In the last 12-18 months, I've been working seriously on turning one of my AARs into a novel (in fact, as LD mentions above, an editor recommended me to 'beef it up' into a trilogy which I happily abided with). It's been a slow going process, with the full-time job, kids, divorcing and re-marrying and changing countries, but I'm still puffing away at it...

There's hardly anything left from the original AAR. I've gone through so many re-plottings, character development rounds, and re-writes, that now both the concept and execution are completely different.

My advice is to get a professional mentor, at least at the first stages. I used to be so proud of my writing when AARs were all I did.

Since then, I wrote 4-5 short stories (just for practice and feedback, published on internet) and many chapters of my novel... when I entered the 'professional' world and began to actively seek feedback from published writers and editors, I had to go through some major reality check.

There are companies who do this kind of 1:1 coaching... Writers Digest and Font International are the ones I'm in touch with. Also, www.writing.com is a great place to get some real mind-opening feedback (this one gets repetitive after a while, though).