Tag Archives: Writing

Be right back – Building worlds

Hi everyone

I know I haven’t been posting a lot these days, and I’m afraid it isn’t going to get any better. This blog was started even before I started writing, I had no clue whatsoever of what writing was actually. I have a clue now, and I’ve noticed that I’ll have to focus purely on what I’m doing at the moment. Its not that this blog is going to stay empty. That’s certainly not the plan. But I’ll be posting very little for the oncoming period.

The reason for that is that I’ve started building my world. And the more I write about it, the more I think up to write. The premise is to build a new one. Loosely based on the earth we live on right now, but with a different history. And different science. I have to study up about these subjects, if I ever want to build a compelling realistic world. I even have plans to develop some sort of language. Not a whole dictionary mind you, more like a couple of words. Maybe some sentences. But not more, I’m not Tolkien. Far from it :P.

But well now the 15 of you πŸ˜€ that are reading this have been informed. So see you next time, and hopefully I’ll have a large chunk of world to talk about then.

Cya πŸ˜€

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Chapter 1, the white screen

Hi again everyone

So, exams are still happening. And believe me I wanted to post last week, but I just couldn’t really. I actually need to get some writing done to post things here :P. I said that I was going to design my world as a first, but I’ve noticed that writing the first chapter has changed my thoughts about the world in many ways. So I’m first going to complete that. For the moment I have about 4 pages, which is nothing I know. But I’ve finally found a way of writing which I’m comfortable with, and feel good about. Which is very hard for me. Perfectionism isn’t really something I care about normally, but my writing seems to be the odd thing out here.

I think I’ve deleted about 10 000 words already. Thinking this won’t cut it, this won’t cut it at all. Seems that was largely the fault of trying to force myself to write in the first person. Because things felt awkward and I wasn’t feeling the things I was writing, I rewrote them in the third person limited. The effect that had was amazing. I smiled at that realisation. The scene flowed more natural, and some of the plot devices I’ve had in my head will work a lot better in this narrative too. It allows me to describe my main character more. And that’s awesome, since he’s kind of a complicated guy.

Now that I’m speaking of characters, I’ve come to a weird conclusion when writing some of there characteristics. The more I thought about it, the clearer it became. Those people, are actually fragments of my self. In some way, not literally of course. The main character for example, is a wise nose. But he’s also very dedicated to this grand plan of life he has made for himself. That is something that I have never been able to do. Dedicating myself to something entirely. So he is something of a, wish? Or more like a what if situation for myself. What if I was like that? How would my life look right now? Those are questions I’ve been asking myself lately, which is funny, because I normally don’t question myself like that. For the record, I completely hate the main character. Really, if I had to talk to someone like him, I’d probably be irritated in like 5 minutes. If he’d want to talk to me that long of course :P.

I’ve read somewhere that once you’ve defined a character somewhat, they start talking to you. And in doing so, define themselves so much further. At first, I thought this was absolutely ridiculous. I mean, people that here voices in their head, are mostly seen as crazy right? But apparently that’s normal, they do actually talk to you. When thinking about dialogue, they tend to answer lines thrown at them on their own. Certain reactions to certain situations just play out by themselves in my head. It’s actually kind of awesome. That way I’m sure it has a natural flow and feeling to it. I’m always scared that the story will look completely fabricated and that it’ll have no shred of feeling to it. I’m not a “feeling” person so that fear is very real for me.

On the note of feelings. I’ve started to develop some kind of use when watching movies or reading books. I analyse everything now, pondering about the emotions that are portrayed there. This is something I’ve never done before. For example, when I watched the last Harry Potter in the cinema. When I got out of the theatre, I overheard 2 girls talking about how they cried their eyes out when Snape died (I hope I haven’t ruined anyone’s day with this spoiler). They also said that anyone who didn’t cry was clearly a robot. Well, seems I’m a robot. And I’m afraid my emotion AI is a bit broken too. But I’m fixing it apparently. Which can only be a good!

Thanks for reading! And see you next time πŸ™‚

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Researching is important!

Hi there! Happy new year!

I’m having myself two weeks of vacation for the moment and thought that I would have waaaayyyyy too much time, and so able to write a lot. Well, that hasn’t been the case. One of the reasons is that I’m studying for my exams. I started an evening course in IT this year. I never finished college since I was way to lazy to study, I’m paying for that now. And I understand that it was a mistake to act the way I acted in the past, so I’m trying to sort of redeem myself through this evening course. It’s hard to study, work, sport and write at the same time. But I manage, one way or the other. I’m quitting table tennis next year though, the evening course has priority on everything else so for times sake I have no choice.

One of the things I did do was reviewing everything I had for the moment, and starting to review that (Which was about 11 pages). Of course, as is natural for me, I started doubting the quality and level of writing. So I started to look up writer stuff. And in doing that I discovered the necessity of research. While originally just trying to wing it, that brought a lot of changes with it, and in turn absorbed a lot of time too. Basically I’ve changed, EVERYTHING. And started researching the norse mythos as a basis on which to build my world. I’ve also deleted my prologue, by reading a certain article on Wordplay. This is the link: http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2007/12/skip-prologue.html

What is described in there, is a loose description of what my prologue was meant to do. It was no fun to notice that, it was a feeling that really frustrated me. But still, I can see the logic now and a prologue was no necessity from the start. In fact it was a ploy to force feed my readers information. Which honestly doesn’t sound like a very good idea. So, that’s gone.

Instead of going for the first chapter, I’ll be building up my world first. Drawing some maps, writing the history and conflicts already existing when the story begins. In my daily life I work with maps all the time, since I’m a GIS (geographic information systems) user. It’s something I like to do very much, and so I have a basic understanding of geography and the foundation which our world rests on. You need an actual world as a basis for the characters and the story and since I refuse to use the modern world I just have to create my own. Sure there’ll be some likeness with our world as it is, but which fantasy world doesn’t have those. Drawing has never been one of my good points sadly, but I get the feeling that if I ask someone else to do it, I won’t get the result I want. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, and I’m not like to burden other people with that. So I’ll just try and do it myself. Maybe I’ll even post pictures (if it actually looks like a map :P).

As a finishing note, I’ve been having this strange feeling of late when I’m thinking about my writing in general. A sort of nervous feeling. This is something that doesn’t happen a lot. I tend to be a very uninterested person about almost everything. But when I get that feeling, it means I care. Which is a good sign to say the least. And now for some extra time, now that would be awesome πŸ˜€

That’s it for this week. If anyone knows some good books of norse,celtic, greek or roman mythology. Or has something to say in general, feel free to leave a comment πŸ™‚

Cya!

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January 2, 2013 · 10:20 pm

A matter of perspective

Hi πŸ˜€

In my last post I talked about how I wanted my book to start, and why I wanted it to start that way. Well I pretty much changed that plan already. While I’m still going for the prologue, the only difference is that I plan to start in the past instead of in the future. In doing that, I get the ability to show a character that’s going to be a very big deal in the future. In the story a big “happening”, well, happens. This past character experiences this and is a big factor in causing it too. I thought it would be pretty interesting to start with something like this, because then the readers get a sort of inside look from the beginning. An explanation for events yet to come. Instead of offering a flashback at a later stage, I’d like to establish a sense of knowledge from the get-go. And as I said before it gets people interested in the story and it’s further continuation. Which, as I see it, is a damn (can I say damn in here?) important piece of a book, if not to say the most important. The one that gets you the random readers, walking into the store, seeing the title and wondering, what is this book about? That makes those first pages of the utmost importance. In my eyes a book can rise or fall based on about the first 5 – 10.

As the title might suggest I’ve been pondering about what kind of perspective I’m going to use. My preference goes out to the first person perspective. That way you experience the story as if you were living inside of it yourself. Although it is through the eyes of another person, or character, you can feel the impact of certain words and happenings a great deal more. I plan to use different characters in the first person too, but it’ll only be 3 to 4 characters. That way I’m able focus on these characters more, and people will find it easier to relate with some characters. They can be alot more interesting too, as you are able to experience everything through their eyes and mind. A goal in that perspective would be to actually changed the way I write, depending on the character.

While looking studying the different perspectives for a bit, I came across the omniscient perspective. The thought of writing as an all knowing entity in the universe I’d be creating myself did appeal to me at first. But writing in that manner feels impersonal, detached and I’m not able to empathise with the characters that much. That perspective does provide a certain ease of explanation, you can go everywhere and however you want. For example: a character runs into a town, when using the omniscient form of writing you can just go and explain every single thing of that particular town. When using the first person perspective however, just explaining it doesn’t cut it. The character has to experience it, or else the reader will never know of it. Or let him/her meet another person that happens to be pretty knowledgeable about the place they’re in at the moment. But still, even if I’d have to do a little more work I’m a pretty big proponent of the first perspective. Which is exactly why I’ve chosen this it.

Now for something else, naming. In my last post I questioned the fact if it would be a good idea to follow some naming guidelines, like languages or time periods. I decided to go with a sort of gut feeling in the that department. When I feel a certain name is fits the story, or character, that’s when I’ll decide it stays. In the hopes it forms a bit of a coherent result. So, in trying that, I tried to come up with a name for one of the key characters of my story. The first name was hard to come up with, but all in all it took only about 10 minutes. The last name however was horrific, the fact that another character has to carry this name too made it really hard to just pick one. I did find a very handy tool to aid me in that aspect of the writing process.In the previous post, I talked about the writing.com community and its motivational character. I went to their website yesterday and noticed a small banner on the top of the page talking about writing prompts. Not knowing what the hell a writing prompt is, I looked it up. And it seems these are random items of text that can give you some inspiration about what to write next, or where to place a certain scene. While these things are handy, but less important to me, because most of the time I know what has to happen where and when. The cool thing is, they have character prompts too. Personality, name, age, occupation… While I’m not planning on completely copying said prompts, they did give me some good ideas for the name I was thinking about yesterday and I’m sure they will for future characters. If this has sparked your interest, both of these are available as apps on android and IOS. For less than 5 euro, you can have both of these apps which can keep the inspiration killing monster at bay.

These were my thoughts and questions of the week, and if you happen to have a comment, feel free to leave one πŸ™‚

Until next week, cya!

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Getting started!

Hi there, first post! Now isn’t that exciting πŸ™‚

First I have to say that at the present moment I’ve actually started writing. Which was no easy task at all. I kept delaying and delaying by saying things like, I’ll start when I’ve finished that book, or I can’t write when I have a project that big coming. Having read the entire “A song of ice and fire” series without even getting a good start says a lot I think. But the good news is I’ve finally found the resolve to actually do it. Only problem is that I’m kind of scared to let people know, afraid of their opinions and comments really. I know that I probably shouldn’t make a big deal out of things like that but it bothers me. What if people I know say the story isn’t good, or even better absurd? Or the writing’s all wrong? I’m not sure that I could handle that in this stadium of the writing process, so I’ve kind of limited that group of people to the bare minimum.I’ll tell more and more people as I get some confidence in my storytelling.Β 

Writing this blog is a big step in the confidence area, and serves as a part of my “writerification” (don’t know if that counts as a word). Creating an account on writing.com was also a part of that, as far as I can see it’s a living and breathing community of people that fell in love with the written word. And would like no more then to express themselves that way. If being a part of something like that doesn’t help me in my quest, I’m not sure anything will. The site gives you the possibility to write, post and review stories and books and the like. I’d like to try and get some opinions on my way of writing and the story in itself that way. Better to change some things now than to edit 100 pages of text for some weird language mistake I keep making. I still am pretty scared though and hope through the bottom of my heart that it doesn’t get shot down, that would be a little depressing I think.

But like I said before, the journey has begun, and that is the most important! One of the first problems I’ve encountered is how to actually start the book. Do I make a prologue? or just throw the reader in the story? While pondering the possible answers of that question, I started asking myself what I like in books the most. And I honestly have to say that I like myself a good prologue. Sort of like a quick look in the future and the things to come. When I pick up a book for the first time, that is one of the things that could motivate me into reading it. It makes me all curious and I start asking questions about how did they come to this point, and what does this mean, and that and so on… If I could succeed in just that, I’d be a very happy camper. Seriously, I would be. Because honestly a good story takes you on a trip through your own imagination, you create your own expectations and answers to various scenes that are described and at the same time you hope you’re right. When those hopes get shattered I get this odd feeling that something isn’t quite right. The ability to do that is a rare gift in my opinion, don’t get me wrong, I do like a predictable book at times. It’s just that the unpredictable ones are the real pearls. But i’m afraid i’m trailing off a bit. Long story short, I started with a prologue (but you probably guessed that already).

A second problem is a title. I just can’t come up with one. Maybe I haven’t written enough, or maybe it’ll pop up in my head someday. I have no clue, at all. Also naming the characters is a tough nut to crack, mostly because I’m doubting the need to follow a certain language pattern. Like more germanish names, or simple english names. What I’d like to do the most is just randomly come up with some fantasylike names, ’cause honestly a cool character namedΒ bobΒ loses a part of that coolness.Β 

Being my first post this is a bit of a short one, expect longer ones in the near future. Vacation coming up next week so I’ll have a little more time to continue the story and with it tackle some new problems most likely. See you next week!

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