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

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Recent comments have made me a little curious. Thus, I have a related question. CatKnight and stnylan have pointed out that a concrete plot helps a story's characters stay connected. My question is this: what if there is no single plot that connects characters but only large themes? Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace jumps to mind as a story with no singular plot that unites everyone, if I recall it correctly. With that in mind, it seems like concepts can keep a story united as well as a common plot. For example, might two completely separated and unrelated characters telling stories about lost love be able to co-exist in the same narrative? I do hope someone can understand what I babbling about.
 

CatKnight

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Unfortunately I never read "War and Peace" (I know, shame on me) so it's hard for me to answer your question.

I suppose....I'd answer yes. Tentatively. I'm pretty sure I know what you're trying to say, just not sure I've ever read anything along those lines - perhaps the Arthurian legends, where everyone is bound up in one theme and narrative but living different lives.

Something has to...give closure, I suppose. Usually that's the main plot. I suppose there's no reason it can't be a central theme, for example if we have two lovers going through the narrative trying to deal with their relationships.

To have closure, we need them to have a definitive stopping point with climax/resolution where we can decide if they 'won' or 'lost.' For example, a narrative about people just trying to get along during a war wouldn't really qualify ... life goes on after the war, thanks, and they probably have the same problems. (Now, if these people are all refugees from the same village trying to find a place to rebuild ... we have a potential scorecard: They either succeed, or they fail to recover...so long as the author doesn't leave us with them still 'trying.')

I'd say your example of lost love works if again, we know by the end of the tale whether they're going to be okay or not. They need to find a new love, or find something else significant to live for, or even give up and die or go insane, just so long as we're not left wondering.

Make sense?
 

coz1

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Yes, I believe I understand the question and I'd agree with CatKnight. It is certainly possible and workable to use thematic elements to tie a plot together, and unrelated characters could each fulfill the thematic point. King's The Stand offers this at first, though by the end of the book he has brought the most omportant characters together.

I'd say the basic need for any story is to have an arc - a beginning and an end that combine to push the story forward in it's plot. The thematic elements that pull that arc along are as much a part of the plot as the characters' interaction, but you'd have to make sure you weren't just telling two or three different stories that just alll happen to have the same theme. I'm sure it has been done, and in fact there are several films that do that very thing - much of Altman's work fits this catagory, especially Short Cuts, but in telling the different stories, they still need to have a comman theme that ties into the larger arc of the total story.

Now I feel I'm beginning to ramble so I'll let someone else try and tease the logic out of that. ;) Well that, and I need to eat my lunch. :D
 

CatKnight

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coz1 said:
Yes, I believe I understand the question and I'd agree with CatKnight. It is certainly possible and workable to use thematic elements to tie a plot together, and unrelated characters could each fulfill the thematic point. King's The Stand offers this at first, though by the end of the book he has brought the most omportant characters together.


Now that's interesting. (True, but interesting.) In On Writing, Stephen King talks about his situation in The Stand.

Bluntly, he lost control and he admits it plainly. He says he had no idea HOW to get his characters anywhere near the plot points because they'd run too far away from him. He says the solution came to him in a dream, and that's when he killed a good half of them off.
 

stnylan

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I think that is possible Quintillian - but it is a great deal more difficult to pull of successfully. I think Stephen King's experience with The Stand illustrates the difficulties of having un-connected characters.

On a more limited scale, have you ever read Inversions by Iain M Banks? In that there are essentially two separate stories, running alongside. They both have an over-arching theme (though it takes a while to discover what that is), and many similar smaller themes (strangers in a court, love, mystery). That seems to be somewhat more along the lines of what you are suggesting.
 

CatKnight

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The comments regarding The Stand got me thinking. The SolAARium's talked a few times about characters who've taken on a life of their own, and we can debate whether that's good or bad.... personally I like it - but there's an unquestionably dark side to this:

What do you do with a runaway plot?

You know roughly where you'd like to go, but you have no idea how to get there anymore - at least not within your lifetime. Talk about an instant source of writer's block. You can't really slam the plot back into place without it looking fake ... and yet if you don't, God knows where you'll wind up.

My writing philosophy has always been to wing it. Know where you'd like to end up when the dust clears, and sooner or later you'll get close. For most of my projects that's worked just fine.

Most of my projects are under 4-5,000 words. I have an AAR that's passing 160,000 with no end in sight. I have another AAR where the characters wound up starting a plot that, frankly, barely exists. Again, usually that works out well enough as my imagination will usually catch up and think of something neat... but it's problematic.

Any thoughts?
 

coz1

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The one and only thing I can say to a runaway plot is this - outline and do so now! Had I not developed an outline for Into the West very early on, I would be flapping in the wind with no clue as to how to finish up at this point, and that's if I ever came back to it after some of my breaks. But I sat down at the very beginning and wrote out a very brief but solid outline of where I wanted to go with each chapter, and then wrote a more developed outline for each chapter as I began to work on it. Doing this will easily allow for some changes or "winging it" if you so desire as each chapter unfolds, but you are trying to fly blind if you have no idea where you are going. If you don't know "where" you are going, then it begs the question, do you know the "why" of what you are writing? To me, the why will dictate the where (if that makes sense.)
 

Amric

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Now in terms of everything, I have a storyline and plot in mind..and and an ending<depending on how things go, of course>. But how I get there is as much a journey of discovery for me as it is for my readers. My characters almost always have a life of their own, 'telling' me what they would or wouldn't do. That is not to say that I have a problem killing them off when it is necesary to tale.

I HAVE, however, relatively recently started to pay more attention to what my characters LOOK like...I have a character list and every character, from the main ones to the one offs<shows up only once and is never seen again usually> that tell me what they look like and some of their characteristics...This is due to LD, who has a character sheet he has for each of his characters...It was a great idea and I use my own variant of it....

I know a plot outline is useful, but I've never used it....sometimes something comes up in the process that is so good that I stick it in because it WILL fit into the plot. With an outline, for me anyway, it seems to limit what I can and cannot do. Is an outline wrong? Of course not! Use it if it helps. But if it doesn't, don't feel constrained to use one. It IS important to know what your story is supposed to be about and what the end ought to be...but flexibility is important to me...

With the art of writing, and it IS an art, you have to do what works best for you personally. Anything else will make it more of a chore than a joy. If you aren't enjoying the process of creative writing than there is little point to doing it...At least that is my opinion....
 

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With regard to the previous topic I was just telling coz1 on the phone that I've finally figured out what I find so irritating about Turtledove's characters: he has all these different characters and points of view but they never converge. They never come together in any meaningful way as part of the resolution of the plot, they just stay out there providing this panoramic picture that never changes.

Koontz on the other hand goes to the other extreme. If he introduces a character you'd better believe they are all going to be present for the denouement, no matter what convulsions his plot has to endure to make it happen.
 

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I had a clear plot in mind - or maybe I should say a plot idea and a general story arc - before I started 'Spirit' and 'Napoleon'. With 'Napoleon' there was a tendency for the characters to run off on their own - the whole treasure-hunting sequence was fun but irrelevant - but IN GENERAL the basic plot was adhered to and I think that AAR has a 'backbone' that carries the weight of all the strange events. There are far too many characters - and they do tend to go wandering off on their own, but many of them are Napoleonic Marshals, so what can you do - but IN GENERAL I think 'Napoleon' trundles right along.

'Bremen' was built around an essay format that liberated me from having to develop characters or tell the story in chronological order. Where I deviated from that (the 'Republic Militant' section is too dry and too long) 'Bremen' is less successful. But it DID give me the chance to write a whole series of smaller pieces, which is GREAT practice. The hardest fiction is the short stuff - anyone can ramble out a novel or a trilogy or a Turtledovian nine-book series. Writing terse, muscled prose - that's hard.

'Dragons' is - well - a mess. I started it with a vague idea, ditched that, fumbled around, wrote some stuff experimentally, threw scenes to characters I liked and got to the point that I saw no way to wrestle the thing into shape. I joked with CatKnight in an earlier PM about feeling like I was being entombed in that AAR, saying 'For the love of God, Montresor!' as the bricks were piled higher. It didn't help that it was a 'HistoryPark' story and thus very much in the shadow of 'Napoleon'.

Then I started dreading writing on it. Not hating it - just feeling so utterly crushed and inadequate to the labor, you know? So I stayed away from it for FAR too long - I should have wrapped it up in a year or 18 months. After three years of pounding I think the AAR is stale, stale, stale.

Fortunately, coz1 and I have a phone conversation every couple of weeks and when we can stay off politics ( :D :rolleyes: ) we talk about writing. We've been doing this since the Washington DC 'mini-con' a few years ago where we talked writing for two days while we drove up to DC and back. Coz1 is the one who hammered and pruned on 'Dragons' and pushed me to actually make up a plot that would sort-of fit. So for TWO YEARS I have been struggling out of my own swamp, and there is FINALLY an end in sight.

My suggestion: Don't do what I did. KNOW THY PLOT. Write it out in scenes if not in full storyboard fashion. And stick to it - relentlessly. Because few of us are disciplined enough to be 'professional' writers we need to be extra careful to set it up, write it out and stay within the limits. You don't learn to draw on a blank page, you learn by coloring inside the lines. THEN you get a blank page. And a pencil with an eraser. :D



One of the hobbyhorse topics in music is FORM, which doesn't sound very important. I mean, you have a melody, right? And sometimes you have a second melody? How hard can this be, and does anybody really care about whether a march has three melodic lines or four?

What form does in music is to relieve the composer of certain decisions. If you are going to write a march you write (intro)AABBC(D)C with a 32-count melody per letter and D being optional. A symphony is a particular set of pieces, each of which has a particular form. Knowing this a composer works within the guidelines - or can trespass on some of them - and concentrate on the music. Portraits have conventional poses and backgrounds, novels have forms, statuary and dance have conventional types and forms.

So I think settling on a pre-set form (quest, coming-of-age, heroic struggle, tragic confrontation of character flaw, etc) gives us beginner writers a FORM we can follow. You can mix it up a bit, but you'd best master the form before you try to break it.

In music (and in the other arts) you have to decide what the purpose is, where the point lies. And then you shape elements to support that, whether stage backdrops or musical harmonies or alliteration or whatever. For me, where I am right now, the PLOT is the point of the AAR and everything, characters and setting and prose style and illustrations and all is just a means to get the reader to the desired end point.

A story, probably apocryphal:

A student came to Alban Berg (ThreePenny Opera [Mack the Knife]), one of the pioneers of twelve-tone composition. 'Master,' he said, 'I want to learn to write as you do.' 'Go write twelve chorales,' Berg said, 'in the style of Bach.' And the apprentice did. When he came back, music in hand, Berg said, 'Go write twelve more.' This went on for a while. Finally the apprentice said, 'Master, I want to learn to write as YOU do.' "Ah!' Berg said. 'I can only teach you the rules - not how to break them!'



My suggestion is you lay out your concerns or, if you don't want to go public try PMing. I've done that with coz1, stnylan, Amric, Rens and others. We can help you brainstorm and, hopefully, you'll get yourself back on track.
 

CatKnight

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Laying out my concerns...

It's no secret the 160,000 word monster is "Resurrection." (I'm not as worried about "Tannenberg." If the characters want to run around, fine - it's mainly bracing a history book account. I just have to explain why people are trying to kill them. I can do that.)

Resurrection started with the basic idea of a World War II gone bad (atomic exchange), one in a world where the US Revolution failed. Given the chance, would our Brit go against his own country's past if it meant saving the future? I gave him a personal motive - a lost girlfriend/fiance, then let him go. Initially I intended to let the EU2 game engine tell me whether he succeeded or failed, so there was no plot.

Then all these characters started showing up. A good number of them started as throwaways...extraneous details. John Preston's now a major character: He started as simply a kid making sure Heyward made it to Congress without running afoul of the Brits. Most everyone else developed in similar fashion.

Then the first bad guy turned out to be an English assassin from 1946. Well, someone brought him to the 1770s - enter a fallen angel/'devil'. It was a bit of a miracle and sudden insight I came up with a plausible explanation for him.

My first attempt to impose some sort of structure was dividing it into parts. I envisioned four parts. I'm now in part 4 of an expected 5 - the buildup of resources towards the expected showdown.

Around late part 3, I found myself stumbling bad, so wrote down a few touch points - places the plot really should hit to at least get me into 4 and 5. All well and good, and I limped out of 3. Then I decided the entire sequence of events for 4 and 5 looked....artificial. Unbelievable. So I tossed it, wrote enough notes to stagger forward, and am now in a morass.

I know what my bad guy's next move is. My only problem is I'd prefer the hero to be right on his tail there, as there's a piece of information he could use from that scene. If I do that though (contrived, but whatever), then it prevents a sequence of events the bad guy needs to consolidate his position for the showdown.

As for my hero, here's my swamp: He's off to Congress. I have no idea what he expects them to do about his problem: Tell the fallen angel to play nice? The politicians want to use his claims of trouble to strengthen the Federal government. All well and good, but that's at best limited help - a side issue to the main showdown. Bah.

That's ignoring the other characters, who are actually more or less where they're supposed to be if I ignore some extraneous details, but they're all naturally clueless.

So...Bah. Runaway in progress.
 

stnylan

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I think there are two, inter-related, ways that a story can run away from you. The first and most obvious of these is the well-known habit of characters insisting on having lives on their own! The second is that, when we set out on the journey of writing getting from start to finish can look fairly straightforward, but as we proceed along the way we encounter many twists and turns, roadworks and contraflows, and so on, with the end result that getting from A to B is a lot harder, and longer, than at first appeared. Usually a combination of the two leads to a runaway story.

Like CatKnight and Director (and at the risk of turning this particular discussion into writAARs anonymous ;) ), I am suffering from this problem. In Memory of France suffers particularly from what I have outlined above. While writing it on the wing, I have always had a rough idea of the overall plot. That has remained fairly solid in the fifteen months or so since I started. The main character has not altered significantly, and even the supporting cast are all playing broadly the roles originally assigned and envisaged when they were first introduced (with one partial exception). The devil has been in the details. To use the analogy of travelling - I keep stopping to look at all the pretty scenery. Personally I don't yet mind, but I can begin to sense a time when I might. It sounds CatKnight (and to date I have only read about a third of Resurrection) that something similar has happened to you as well as character spin-off, and from what I've read was happening at quite an early stage.

I suppose it should first be mentioned the easiest, and probably least appetising, way of resolving problems like this is the dreaded Deus ex machina. However, it is not always such a bad idea. Stephen King has already been mentioned in this discussion, in relation to The Stand, how he was lost until he discovered the way to focus his characters together, and to focus the entire story. Simplistiscally, he came across the The One Big Thing that made it all make sense. It is, in its own way, a DEM, just one that was writtein into the story. Of course, we do not have the luxry of re-writing all our earlier updates to craft everything in so nicely, but I think the general idea still holds. Firstly, what hidden gems are there in past passages or episodes that could be elaborated on? We all usually scatter such possibilities throughout our writing, and surely it is only just that we use any and all opportunities in our time of need? But even a fairly obvious DEM can offer a lifeline as a way of thought. It need to be eventually followed, but can allow you to see the problem from a different perspective.

Another drastic way of stirring things up, breaking the prison, is to kill one or more of the characters unexpectedly. Shake things up a bit. A new element to make everyone sit back and take notice, and allow you, the writer, to re-jig a few things. What happens if one member of Congress suddenly gets challenged to (and loses) a duel? What does this mean. The ramifications will surely effect both your protagonist and antagonist, and hopefully enable you to position them both where you need them.

Unfortunately, that's where I will have to leave it at the moment.
 

Amric

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Director brings up a good point...There is no shame in turning to someone else for help. Asimov had issues with certain of his writings and turned to Heinlein, and vice versa. Director, Coz1, and I have 'spoken' periodically about writing. Granted they do it a LOT, whereas I do it rarely. But I have had people PM me with something and I have tried to help them. I have even written 'guest' spots in other people's stories. Nalivayko wrote in a couple of mine. I wrote in one of his...I've written in a few others as well. Sometimes all it takes sometimes is having a good fan who makes an observation that sets you on track.

It's a great thing for a buddy to give you a hand in your story when you have a problem. Or when you can help him or her. Sometimes it can be easy, other times it can be difficult. But being able to 'let go' and let another hammer away at a problem you can't solve can be a relief. Does that make you a bad writer? Of course not. It makes you smart enough to know when you need help.

Sometimes a helping hand is all it takes to get you back into the groove and back to creating a wonderful tale. Never be afraid to ask for help. Some of us old timers here have good ideas still....:)
 

coz1

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Yes, sometimes getting some help from others can very much assist in getting control of the work again. And that seems to me what the issue is - as the master of the work, it is all well and good to allow your characters some fun and chance to spread their wings, but in the end, you are the one driving the carriage and if the horses bolt, you must gain control of them again. That is why I preach outline. But that is only one way of many. It comes down to, once again, knowing the why and where of the work. Why are you writing it and where is it going? You truly need to have an end result in mind to know how to get there. Otherwise you are only wandering around aimlessly. The prose itself can always be interesting and a joy to read, but if there is no end goal in mind, it is really nothing more than literary masturbation. Nothing wrong with that as an exercise, but I think you begin to see the pitfalls of such. ;)
 

TheExecuter

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The young man sighed as he closed the large, ancient volume. He coughed lightly as the dust blossomed from the tome's pages. Satisfied, he pushed his glasses back onto his nose and strode towards the door.

Upon entering, he peered around at the famous names adorning the various comfortable and ornate chairs: LD, coz1, Amric, Stynlan, CatNight, Director...

Beginning a soft incantation, he began to move his hands in the air, making the shape of a throne. A light bluish haze sprung up and moved to the center of the room before taking a concrete shape; that of a child's rocking horse. The young man slumped, and shuffled over to the horse and began rocking slowly, back and forth...back and forth...


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Imagine, after two weeks of reading the entire thread, that you guys would be discussing the very thing I foresee struggling with in my new AAR! I will divide my post into two questions.

1) I am writing a history book type alternate history of Japan and the story is threatening to run away from my careful plan. How do you guys restrain yourself to your plot if another, attractive subplot comes along beckoning from across your misty imagination, promising the allure of endless pleasures on the island of sirens?

2) As this is the first alternate history I've written, how do you handle getting away from reality? I mean, I've only made a few changes from how it actually went in 1936, but 1937 has introduced some major differences and 1938 is looking to be substantially different than how it all really went down. Those of you who've written good stuff (mettermrk comes to mind) have shown an ability to invent a seamless history and make it plausible. Do you have any insights you could share about creating a believable alternate fiction from base research?
 

Amric

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TheExecutor, I can see how you feel about your problem. It's not as bad as you fear, actually. For your first point being about subplots. Well, I have been known to write a subplot that sometimes over arches the main plot. Why? Because it turned out to be better than the original plot. But if you want to be careful, you ruthlessly restrain yourself by not introducing the subplot whatsoever. I'm not personally a fan of this....

What >I< would do is go ahead and write it in, but always be aware that it IS a subplot and that it does not overwhlem the main plot. If necessary you have to have an 'out'. Something that will wrap up the subplot nice and neat. Or you can just leave it dangling. Personally, if you are unsure of what to do, and it sounds like you are....For your first AAR, and I am presuming that this is, perhaps it would be best to not introduce the subplot. If you are completely unsure if you can contain it, it's best to leave it alone.

I've ignored subplots that have come to me because in the end it wouldn't fit into the overarching storyline. If it don't fit, you musta quit, as Johnny Cochrane would say. If you can't make it fit, don't use it. It's kind of a simplistic answer. But it will work.

As for the second problem. Writing alternative history is just that. Alternative. Once you get past the opening, things will have no choice but to change in ways that YOU, the writer determine. Of course it will be different. But that isn't really a problem. You KNOW what happened in reality. You just have to fit it into, if you can, what you've already done.

Take my Byzantine's Khan. I've changed things considerably by having Temujin go to Constantinople and become one of them. No more Genghis Khan. Can't happen now. Therefore the massive wave of Mongol hordes destroying everything in it's path can't happen. My concept is to return the Eastern Empire back to glory.

Well that didn't happen in reality. Yet it doesn't stop me from doing it. Why? Because I am going to wreak havoc all over real history. I have to work in a few things. Such as Barbarossa going through the empire on his way to the holy land. Possibly the Venice inspired 1204 conquest of Constantinople<I'm not going to let it happen, obviously>.

I'm going to change how the empire fights. Obviously in the game I can't really do much about that other than moving a few sliders around. It is going to use my game playing skill to make it all happen. But as the writer, you are the one who makes the rules. The seamless bringing together of alternative and real history is something that takes hard work. Put together a concept like, 'what might happen if I do x?'

'Will this make sense if I do y?' You look at each instance and decide if it will work. If it doesn't look like it will, change it so that either it will, or you rethink how you go about it. I know it doesn't make sense, and since I am a bit tired it is a bit rambling. I think someone else will have to fix what I've rambled on about for your second question. I'm not doing it well at all....


Btw, nice imagery on the chairs and such. It was kind of cool...
 

TheExecuter

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Amric said:
TheExecutor, I can see how you feel about your problem. It's not as bad as you fear, actually.

Good, I won't worry too much about it. :D

I've sortof decided what to do about the alluring plot...I'll hint at it as a possibility and see where the game takes me from there. One of my "sins" is not having finished the game before I've started writing. :eek: I know, I know, but I would never have started writing the story if I had to finish the game first. I might have to add the subplot later depending upon how things go.


Amric said:
Put together a concept like, 'what might happen if I do x?'

'Will this make sense if I do y?' You look at each instance and decide if it will work. If it doesn't look like it will, change it so that either it will, or you rethink how you go about it.

For all your "rambling," this is very helpful to me. This type of reasoning implies lots of research into the setting and characters I would presume. I'll have to see how I can implement this into my planning sessions. Once again, writing on the fly...
 

Director

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I think one of the things we face with Victoria and HoI but NOT with EU2 is how well known the characters are. The Doge of Genoa in 1552 can be portrayed as a blood-crazed psychotic with little in the way of justification. If you show Teddy Roosevelt, Victoria, Admiral Yamamoto or General Guderian that way you had better justify it as more people are familiar with the latter people. You can take more liberties with lesser-known people and fictional characters.

Imperial Japan is a fascinating case because you had officials and officers who did not see anyone non-Japanese as human... and then you had western-educated men like Yamamoto who had respect for the West and feared where Japan was headed.

My advice is: if the character is historical, try to make decisions with the same values as the actual person had. Where there is no evidence or the character is fictional, do as you please.

For the subplot... and I do LOVE subplots... my advice is to decide roughly how many posts (or how much of each post) you need to make the sub-plot work. Remember, the more you add the longer your AAR becomes (looks forlonly at 'Dragons', now more than 3 years old).
 

TheExecuter

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Director said:
I think one of the things we face with Victoria and HoI but NOT with EU2 is how well known the characters are. The Doge of Genoa in 1552 can be portrayed as a blood-crazed psychotic with little in the way of justification. If you show Teddy Roosevelt, Victoria, Admiral Yamamoto or General Guderian that way you had better justify it as more people are familiar with the latter people. You can take more liberties with lesser-known people and fictional characters.

Imperial Japan is a fascinating case because you had officials and officers who did not see anyone non-Japanese as human... and then you had western-educated men like Yamamoto who had respect for the West and feared where Japan was headed.

My advice is: if the character is historical, try to make decisions with the same values as the actual person had. Where there is no evidence or the character is fictional, do as you please.

The trouble is getting people to do different things than what they did in real life and finding plausible explanations, right? This is where I get to be the "God" of the story and make it all work. Of course I risk violating your famous "suspension of reality" and potentially earning my story a quick flight to a convenient wall or "round file."

Director said:
For the subplot... and I do LOVE subplots... my advice is to decide roughly how many posts (or how much of each post) you need to make the sub-plot work. Remember, the more you add the longer your AAR becomes (looks forlonly at 'Dragons', now more than 3 years old).

Part of my plan is not to write a Homeric epic a la 'British Interests' or 'Advantages', but rather a more cursory examination of what happened. I'm targetting somewhere in the vicinity of 30 to 40 posts total. So in that respect, it is highly unlikely that the subplot will be allowed to develop as much as it wants to right now. We shall see how well I can control the course of my very own beast. :rolleyes:
 

CatKnight

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If you're aiming to keep this small, then definitely cut the subplot entirely. It's only going to set you wandering. Normally in an alt history piece I'd say little harm done if you're careful, like Amric said ... but if you are trying to keep this small, then you really need to stick to the point.

Regarding not having finished the game first....I'd hardly call it a sin. Indeed, if you're going to take Amric's advice and make decisions based on whether x makes sense for character y, you really can't. Characters don't really change and develop in my experience until you start writing them out.

Incidentally, while Director's absolutely right in saying the modern characters (like Yamamoto) are more well known than say...the Doge of Genoa in 1522, and attention should be paid to their personality, don't be afraid to let them develop and change as well. Something like a World War is going to be traumatic, and people will come out differently than they came in.