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User Info: StarryKnights

StarryKnights
6 months ago#21
“Yes. I also used the thesaurus,” she said augustly.


...is this a thesaurus joke?
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory." ~ Leonard Nimoy

User Info: LordQuidigibul

LordQuidigibul
6 months ago#22
You were not kidding when you said this was ~85% dialogue... I honestly completely forgot they were walking/hiking in a snowy area.

One question, who's the narrator? I only ask because of the word 'vixen'. It's used in the opening paragraph and then again randomly by the Lanara character. To me, that's a bit odd to see a somewhat rarely used word come up twice in 1 chapter... Unless the character is an actual fox...

It kind of reads like maybe you really did use a thesaurus to improve your lexicon.
The name... As in a pound or a quid. As pronounced by a newborn.

User Info: CloverKitten

CloverKitten
5 months ago#23
Minor things like hurricane volunteering and other commitments have gotten in the way of lengthy posts like what this topic is demanding, but this is me carving out a block of my day tomorrow for it.

In the mean time...

StarryKnights posted...
...is this a thesaurus joke?
Sort of? It's not like I used a thesaurus to come up with that word, but it seemed like an appropriate and/or ironic place to use an isolated "purple" word and she really was using a "proud" tone that warranted the word.

LordQuidigibul posted...
You were not kidding when you said this was ~85% dialogue...
Would you say that's a bad thing? Did you have any trouble keeping track of who was talking? One of my goals was to imply tone and body language and small personality quirks through barely-interrupted dialogue, did you feel like you were able to envision those things?

I honestly completely forgot they were walking/hiking in a snowy area.
Hmm... I can see how that might be the case with only this chapter, but I very much doubt that'd be true if I shared chap 2, which has no dialogue at all and ~60% of the words describe trudging through a blizzard and freezing half to death.

Compared to that, there really wasn't much to describe as the characters trudged through a calm white landscape, mostly bundled up and rarely directly facing each other. I suppose I could make something interesting happen or elaborate on the setting or something, but that would take away from what I'm going to optimistically call this chapter's "charm" for the sake of superfluous details.

One question, who's the narrator? I only ask because of the word 'vixen'.
This is a tricky question for me. It's like, 95% third-person limited*, except I usually imbue the narrator with a splash of the focal character's personality rather than the purely detached impartiality I usually see the perspective portrayed as. That splash isn't very apparent in this chapter, though, owing to the high amounts of dialogue and the focal character himself going through a detached impartial phase.

* Full disclosure, the narrator is tp-omniscient but self-filtered through a tp-limited focal character and mimics that character's personality instead of using a tp-omniscient's consistent personality, so it reads far closer to tp-lim than tp-omni despite technically being the latter. Or maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about.

But she has what resembles a foxtail (irrelevant in this chapter as it's completely covered, but faintly alluded to when she centers her description of telepathy on hair) and generally carries an air of sly and playfully-haughty elegance, hence vixen.

It kind of reads like maybe you really did use a thesaurus to improve your lexicon.
Hmm... I do occasionally use a thesaurus to help me remember words on the tip of my tongue or to make a pesky sentence flow more smoothly, but I consider myself to already have a solid vocabulary and would be very wary about using words I discovered through a thes. Definitely didn't consult one for this chapter.

Personally, I'm a fan of "big" words (mostly for their specificity and cadence), but usually try to limit them at most to one every few sentences to keep things flowing, provide adequate context, and control what I emphasize. Going overboard with "big" words is a particular paranoia of mine (I tend to "think" with them and use them in real-life conversations in ways I immediately regret), so if there were any words that were distracting or felt out of place I'd love if you could indicate them for me.

User Info: LordQuidigibul

LordQuidigibul
5 months ago#24
Well, "vixen" is not exactly a big word, or fancy. It's just unusual. To me, it also has the connotation of sexy, so to me it's weird reading both the character and the narrator describe her as such.

As long as you're having fun with this, you may as well write it out to the best of your ability. Hopefully you don't get burnt out by your structure before you're done with it. Only then can we really find it out if this style could work anyway.

CloverKitten posted...
Would you say that's a bad thing?

That depends entirely on what's being said and what you hope to accomplish with this.

One of my favorite stories doesn't even have any real descriptions, it's all pure dialogue, since it's a play - No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre. On the other hand, one of my other favorites - Crime and Punishment - had virtually no actual dialogue for some sections, just the narrator talking to himself, and it just felt to go on on and on and on and... you get the idea. Yet, they both essentially touch on a similar message, that one's own actions and how they treat other people can often times lead to one's own worst suffering - or at least that's where they share a common theme for me.

The former - No Exit - did this by pitting three characters against one another, showing us their true character in how they spoke to and treated one another. The latter - Crime and Punishment - did this by having the narrator, and main character, practically torture himself in his own mind with his constant rambling... and us, the readers, we the readers were tortured.

CloverKitten posted...
Did you have any trouble keeping track of who was talking?

No.

CloverKitten posted...
One of my goals was to imply tone and body language and small personality quirks

Imply Tone: Check
Imply Body Language: I don't recall this at all, but then again I didn't reread this after my first comments.
Imply Personality Quirks: Check.
The name... As in a pound or a quid. As pronounced by a newborn.

User Info: CloverKitten

CloverKitten
5 months ago#25
Okay, whoa, swear I'm not dead. It's just that every time I sit down and start articulating explicit responses to the points raised, I come up with ways to actually address them in the writing itself and get lost in that instead.

So even if it looks like this topic died, it's been doing good work in the shadows. Hopefully I'll be able to set aside enough time to respond in detail over the weekend, or at least go over the points that don't deep-dive me into revision.

User Info: LordQuidigibul

LordQuidigibul
4 months ago#26
At times like this I truly wish the expression "Silence is Golden" were true, because boy I'd be rich right now.
The name... As in a pound or a quid. As pronounced by a newborn.

User Info: CloverKitten

CloverKitten
4 months ago#27
I'd be too thoroughly gilded to appreciate my own wealth.

This topic has probably been my most successful motivator to write more consistently; I've obligated myself to try to address it every day but it always just turns into research and actual writing.

At this point I'm kinda scared that answering it would permanently harm my output.

User Info: LordQuidigibul

LordQuidigibul
4 months ago#28
Take your time. This board will be just as lively as ever.
The name... As in a pound or a quid. As pronounced by a newborn.

User Info: CloverKitten

CloverKitten
4 months ago#29
In the interest of giving something substantial to discuss, while avoiding the shifting details of my particular story, let's just back this up to the broad idea of presentation/organization for a moment; I'll still reference my story, but only to ground my organizational rationale in example and context.

User Info: CloverKitten

CloverKitten
4 months ago#30
OzymandiasIV posted...
"Hey, here's a bunch of stuff I wrote that's totally skippable, hope it's cool that I jacked up the price for completely irrelevant, arbitrary bit of musings."

Every part of your story should be necessary and contributing to some aspect of the story.

why write in that kind of format if you're going to tell people they can just skip over what they don't like?
Maybe I didn't articulate this clearly, but I don't consider any of this stuff to be completely unimportant and disposable. Every chapter provides valuable insight into characters, how they interact, and themes/ideas/moral dilemmas that enrich the narrative.

However, these also aren't things that I think need to be forced into a rigid and linear narrative. If the reader finds they're swept up in the action of the main story and really wants to continue with that, I don't want to force them to slam on the brakes and read about two characters learning to respect and understand each other through a discussion of their differing neurobiology and their abnormal perceptions of the world simply because that conversation must have happened in that way for some of their future interactions to feel natural and consistent with their earlier characterizations and because it must have occurred at that exact moment in the plot.

It is an important conversation, and one that I feel really lets the characters play to their strengths and maybe even teaches the reader something about neurobiology that sparks a broader curiosity in the subject (one of my favorite things about science fiction; that moment when you feel compelled to go look something up... and not to pick apart what you just read :P)

... But it just isn't important enough for me to go "stop, you can't continue the story until you read this chapter". I can't stand it when fiction suddenly becomes mired in something I don't immediately care about, especially if that thing serves little more than a nuts and bolts transition between important events. A recent popular example where a good work really threw me off with a mandatory detour I just didn't care about was the long Karen backstory in season 3 of Daredevil. After 2 minutes of that, if there had been a box that popped up saying "you'll still be able to understand the plot and characters, skip to [timecode]?", I would've clicked yes immediately... but I watched it all the way through, hoping it would matter, and in the end I felt it was a waste of time that did little to develop her character and failed to provide relevant information that couldn't already be gleaned from the rest of the show.

I've said this before, but now I'm really going to elaborate on it: I intend to treat my readers like they're intelligent and thoughtful. To that end, I'll be structuring the main chapters such that they can be read independently of the character and thematic enrichment of the other chapters, and that an intelligent and thoughtful reader will be able to fill in enough of the gaps for themselves to keep things straight, but always be aware that there's supplemental information available within the book to elaborate on those developments and transitions and themes and ideas if they choose to visit them in greater detail.

And since I'll be treating my reader like they're intelligent and in tune with what they're currently in the mood to read, I'll be giving them the equivalent of that skip-ahead bubble that I would've clicked in Daredevil... even if I think these chapters are important and really explore the heart of the story, the reader may just not be in the mood for it and I intend to let them forge ahead with the comfort that they aren't about to miss a major event. The chapter will still be there when and if they decide to come back to it.

And so...
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