Writing Assistance Thread

Discussion in 'Terraria Literature' started by nababoo, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. nababoo

    nababoo Dark Caster

    Welcome, everyone, to this "help" thread for writing!

    The purpose of this thread is so that you can post any troubles you may be experiencing with your writing, and other members will respond accordingly. We have at our disposal here a large amount of skilled writers who are willing to share their advice, help each other, and better the writing community here at TO.

    Just remember -- be kind and receptive; other writers may be at different skill levels, and we must tolerate that accordingly.

    Also, feel free to browse through and see the general responses of the very skilled writers we have here. Some questions are universal as well ;)
  2. Spyder Z

    Spyder Z Hornet

    (W)elcome (r)eaders (i)nto (t)he (e)scritoire (r)oom('s) Thread

    I do not have "Sticky Fingers" so I offer a title instead. ;P
    Sable and Blue Lit like this.
  3. AyeAye12

    AyeAye12 Paladin

    I have sticky fingers! /SHAMELESS BOASTING

    Well a problem I find is pace, in my opinion. I find my stories pass by so much that readers will be left confused. Anyone got any tips fro pace?
    Sable likes this.
  4. Mercenary Lord

    Mercenary Lord Corruptor

    I usually write out an outline first. Sometimes a bit of meaningless drivel is helpful to lowing the pace down, and other times taking out details that you like, but aren't needed, might help.
  5. nababoo

    nababoo Dark Caster

    I would recommend thinking out the idea first. Pacing is something that can't really be edited out, as it's consistent throughout the whole story.

    Thus we note the importance of outlines, written or otherwise.
  6. EpicXeno

    EpicXeno Green Slime

    I have trouble with climax. NOT IN THAT WAY.
    Building up a story is fine for me, I can throw in the right amount of details, and spend hours thinking up plot points to lead up to an epic finale. I have still been working on A New Existence, but I am trying to release the last few chapters all in one update. But once it gets to the points where I need to usher in the climax of that section, and present it, those two things really are lacking, and I can't think of any ways to fix it. I always re-write them, but it's always the exact same with the pieces in different places. Just go back and read some of the fights in A New Existence, the fight is okay in itself, but then it's just over. Just like that. Any tips?
  7. Mercenary Lord

    Mercenary Lord Corruptor

    Climax is when a main conflict is resolved. There doesn't have to be anything grand or flashy to resolve a conflict.
  8. EpicXeno

    EpicXeno Green Slime

    I don't want it to be grand and flashy, it just always disappoints me. When I get to those parts of the story, it just seems my quality of writing drops way below average.
  9. Mercenary Lord

    Mercenary Lord Corruptor

    Hm...when I get the chance, I'll look into it.
  10. Princess_Kally

    Princess_Kally Cursed Skull

    Does anyone have any tips for the use of symbolism? I find that most of the time, if I don't write it as extremely obvious, then most of my audience neglect to mention it, which probably means that they haven't picked it up.

    But I dislike exceedingly obvious symbolism, since it feels like I'm hitting people with a giant hammer screaming "LINKS HERE!!! LOOK1!!"

    General tips would be appreciated. : )
  11. Razor Knight

    Razor Knight Mushi Ladybug

    Symbolism is something tricky. No matter how obvious/obscure you make it, there's always going to be a reader or twelve who either get it too easily (if you were going for obscure symbolism) or not get it at all (if you were trying for the obvious.) I'm a fan of an old show which was packed full of obvious symbolism and puns, yet a rather alarming portion of the fans of said show completely missed them until they were told about them.

    In some cases, however, the audience can be already conditioned to ignore obvious enough symbols, as many will use those as a distraction/flavor. Of course the sword that guy took out of the lake is not the real Excalibur, it would be too obvious. Wait, what you mean it is the real thing?

    My tip would be, be as obscure/obvious as your story needs to be, no more, no less. The best writers out there write for themselves first, and then for their audience (however big or small it may be.) If you don't like obvious references, then don't add any to your stories.

    Edit: Is it okay for writers who are argueably skilled but don't (yet) write Terraria stories to jump in? I realize I should have asked before jumping in... But jumping before you look can sometimes lead to a lot of fun. Or a lot of fractures.
    Varler, Sable and nababoo like this.
  12. Garneac

    Garneac Yellow Tyrant of Death

    You can try to situate yourself as firmly as possible within your character's mindset. That is to say, there are events that can happen which will trigger associations for, let's say, Dryad. This offers you, as a writer, the space with which to reflect and call up earlier references, etc. Ever notice how some authors seem able to effortlessly have characters recall past events mirroring those of the present? And how those recollections can than lead to discoveries or musings on other matters? The point here isn't to take up space with words. Instead, you want to make Dryad's reactions as realistic as possible by fleshing out her personality to the extent that her response to something will open up instances of further clarity for the reader. It also slows down the pace. Writing this way forces you to write more, but not necessarily bogging down your writing with endless, too specific details. The more you write the easier it'll become to manage pacing. Also, reading excellent prose is a definite help. You'll pick up so much by learning what published authors have on lock down.

    I dunno. Just look at what you've written and see if you've managed to recreate as logically and clearly as possible the way you had it set up in your mind. Perhaps that travel from one town to the next could be elaborated upon in more than one sentence. Then again, that brief five word explanation is more than sufficient.

    Totally understandable. I don't think I can really offer much by way of help on this particular issue without re-reading A New Existence as a refresher, but I do have some suggestions for fight scenes in general.

    A flaw in a lot of fights is the author's insistence to detail every single movement. At first this might seem like a good idea, since you (the general you, that is) want to recapture as much as possible the threat and urgency of the situation. What ends up happening is the superfluous detailing slows everything down to a crawl. So, instead of, say, describing how each thrust, riposte, downward slanting cut and other sword strike was deflected by an opponent, why not just say your character couldn't find a hole/opportunity in the enemy's defense? You would set up the scene with a few tentative cuts which would allow your character to make that sort of judgment, thereby doing away with annoying specificity.

    Then again, there are times when specificity can be a great thing for certain character types.

    And sentence length. Short and sweet to mimic speed and brutality. Not that that's always the way to go.

    And, again, read more books that you think make great use of fights to understand what the author did to make it all come together.

    (If you bring up a specific example of a troublesome fight in A New Existence, post that part in this thread, maybe people could better address the issue?)

    RazorKnight mentioned some good points. All I'd have to say is a) is the symbolism actually necessary, or is it a hankering for added "literary air" and b) have you developed the symbolism consistently?

    For the first, sometimes encoding a message within symbols might be better served by conveying it direct. Remember that thanks to reader response, an audience's interpretations can vary wildly from whatever emphasis you've placed on a symbol of choice.

    Also, if a symbol is only included once, with no further support in either clarifying it down the road or leading up to its inclusion, it can be troublesome as there is no context within which a reader can deconstruct and extract pertinent information. I'm not saying to repeat the symbol again and again. Rather, do certain threads of the story continue to connect with this symbol? These threads are necessary in order to weave understanding. Also, I think writer's should remain vigilant on discerning between reference and symbol.

    I don't see why people can't go ahead and offer help. It'd be up to the person in need to decide whether to accept or not. Plus, other helpers in the thread could correct what they think is misleading/erroneous aid from another contributor.

    Then again, it is nababoo's final word, so I'll stop there.
    Sable, Oranje, EpicXeno and 1 other person like this.
  13. nababoo

    nababoo Dark Caster

    Of course you can help! It is a community contribution, and as Garneac stated, it's up to the reader whether to take the advice or not.

    About 15 days late...
  14. AyeAye12

    AyeAye12 Paladin

    You know, I've been trying to find a way to write battle scenes shortly/better, but never found the method. That one you mentioned, describing how Protagonist A can't get into Protagonist B (NO INNUENDO INTENDED) sounds like a great idea :D O course, can't use that repeatedly because then it will become cliche, but I'll go in that direction.

    With Archangel by 2SFH and your advice, my whole chapter about fighting against a horde of godly goblins will hopefully be a cakewalk XD

    Thanks for the advice people!

    EDIT: I mean come on. Just listen to it.

    Sable likes this.
  15. nababoo

    nababoo Dark Caster

    I would also suggest the gestures of the opponents -- a jeer from a goblin would certainly anger the character.
    AyeAye12 likes this.
  16. Mercenary Lord

    Mercenary Lord Corruptor

    Been there, heard that. I have more TSFH songs that I can count.
  17. nababoo

    nababoo Dark Caster

    Talk about inspirational music
  18. Mercenary Lord

    Mercenary Lord Corruptor

    You said it. Then there's Killer Tracks, Audiomachine, Future World Music, Focus Music, Epic Score...it goes on and on.
  19. nababoo

    nababoo Dark Caster

    Well, anyways, how much do you guys usually write in one sitting? Just wanted to see how I was doing :3
  20. Mercenary Lord

    Mercenary Lord Corruptor

    However much I feel like it. For a short story, I usually finish it. For a larger project, just until I get bored and stop liking my prose.
    nababoo likes this.

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