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Antenox Commoner | joined 07 February 2005 | 4 posts


Fight Scenes? posted 07 February 2005 in Writing TipsFight Scenes? by Antenox, Commoner

First off, the following is just pure theory and personal opinion until someone actually tries it himself.

Generally, keep descriptions short and terse. The pacing of the writing should reflect the pacing of the fight itself. Before, I used to describe, in detail, every thrust, every parry, every shift in footwork. But then someone told me, "Is that really what's going through your mind when you fight?" Easy answer: no. It depends on the perspective you're using, but now what I do is I put myself in my character's mind, and what my character sees during a fight is utter chaos (unless my character is a master combatant), so my writing reflects that with lots of sentence fragments (at least, more so than in my normal style). I also keep it a little bit unclear as to what exactly is going on, so that it seems like my character is just reacting to events precisely as they happen, instead of overanalyzing them with paragraphs upon paragraphs of description.

Now, for large battles, my style becomes very different, and I transition into a writing style that I call "fake Tolkien," because I so completely loved how Tolkien wrote the Battle of Pelennor Fields. I also haven't read very many books (not any in recent memory, actually) that have kept me as captivated in the outcome of a large battle as Tolkien. But Tolkien's prose is so different from anything we know now, and it may not be entirely appropriate for any modern story.

Regarding this, different people will have different styles that are also dependent on mood. It doesn't do to describe a battle in a glorious fashion when the mood is supposed to be despairing, for instance, and vice versa. That's just stating the obvious, though.

Hope this helps! Keep in mind, I'm just an amateur. If RSB comes here himself and contradicts me, just ignore me completely. In fact, forget I exist. <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> view post


Getting the words down. posted 07 February 2005 in Writing TipsGetting the words down. by Antenox, Commoner

Firstly, I CANNOT write at home. I just can't. I've tried and tried, but there are too many distractions. Internet, television, food, you name it. I am very easily distracted.

So I usually take my laptop out to some isolated place with virtually no interactive technology. Most commonly, this is a coffee shop (I like Borders' Cafe, personally), or, while I'm at school, waiting outside of my classroom. I can then just stick my iPod earbuds into my ears and listen to some songs (with NO English lyrics!) and start pounding at my keyboard. I sometimes also write just before bedtime. For some reason, sleep deprivation gets my creative juices flowing, although most of the time those juices are rancid and quite unusable by the next morning (forcing a revision).

Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. I've found that my writing reflects my current emotions, which are themselves reflected by the music I'm listening to, so I've made up maybe two dozen playlists labeled "Fantasy-War" or "Fantasy-Epic" or "Fantasy-Despairing."

Now, as for actually writing, I am the kind of person who goes over the last sentence I wrote ten times before moving onto the next, so I progress at a snail's pace (about 300 completed words a day). That's improved somewhat, though; now I review and revise my writing every chapter instead of every sentence. <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

I've taken to the practice of jotting down IMMEDIATELY any ideas that come into my head, either on a post-it or on my computer or on my own hand, if I have nothing else to write on. If not, I will either forget it or replace it with another idea in a couple of hours. Now I keep all of my spur-of-the-moment ideas (including short descriptions of scenes that just pop into my head but which don't have any kind of context whatsoever) in a Word file on my computer. view post


What area of writing are you good at? posted 07 February 2005 in Writing TipsWhat area of writing are you good at? by Antenox, Commoner

Definitely world-building, but that just seems to be common among all fantasy authors. I mean, that's what fantasy is all about, right? Telling a story set in a world other than our own?

Anyway, I like writing history. Not so much culture; I've always fancied myself a part-time history student (despite my current goal to grab that elusive Electrical Engineering degree), so I love to incorporate thousands of years of history into my stories, but to do that I have to write those thousands of years of history first. Right now, I have maybe a dozen different worlds with very distinct histories.

Writing descriptions of cities and people and then associating them with a particular mood or atmosphere is my second strength. At least, that's what I've been told, and that pleases me, since that is also what I'm striving for.

My biggest weakness: character interaction. I just...suck at it. The end result usually turns out fine, and sometimes people love it, but it takes me FOREVER to get a character interaction scene down. Also, for some reason, my protagonists almost always suck compared to my antagonists in terms of reader interest, to the point where my protagonists are effectively placeholders that are never replaced! I guess I just love the bad guys more. <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> view post


History posted 07 February 2005 in Writing TipsHistory by Antenox, Commoner

I always write the history first, before I write anything else. Sometimes, it's all I write.

As for how I write it, I start at the beginning. The very, very, very beginning. As in, "God created the earth" type beginning. This is pretty tough for me, since I don't really like the idea of Greek-style pantheons in fantasy (I much prefer to have a Christian-type OverGod, who is completely impossible to fully comprehend and describe, but whose consciousness and intelligence and involvement in the world are obvious).

Anyway, I progress quickly through the first few ages of my world (shaping of the world, birth of the races, etc.), and then I really hit my stride when I write about a historical age roughly equivalent to classical Greece or Rome. In fact, my current book attempt is set in this kind of age (probably the reason why I'm progressing much more in this attempt than in previous ones).

I usually skip through any "Dark Age" type eras, and then bring focus to "Renaissance" type eras. Basically, I write the history of those periods in history when civilizations are flourishing, and not when civilizations are stagnating. view post


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