Writer's group numero cinco
I don't know why number five. I bet you'd be really confused if I said 'setenta y cinco', wouldn't you?
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KittenOnTheKeys

Hey everyone! I've been wrestling for this question for awhile and so finally I've decided to see what you all think.

So, I've been thinking of adding a subplot to "Untitled Novel" in which Adrien, throughout the whole story, is writing a concert/show thing of his own. As the story progresses, the work turns into a metaphor for himself and his life (kind of unwittingly on his part). Is this a reasonable and/or interesting addition, or would the story be as good or better with it left out?

Thank you in advance :)

8/2/2010 #1
L. W. Perry

I haven't read the story, so I don't really know, but I think the idea sounds like it could be interesting.

8/2/2010 #2
scharlie18

I think it'd be worth a shot. Just make sure you keep a back-up of what you already have, so that if you don't like it, you can go back w/out too much hassle.

8/2/2010 #3
person is gone

Hm... if composing piece was a main part of the plot, then definitely. However, if it's not but it's still kind of moving on through the story at a regular pace, I think it could be really useful... then it develops as he does, and it makes sense. I can imagine it coming to a great crescendo at the very end, as in one of the last things of the book. That would seem worthwhile. If it kinda stopped mid-book or came to a finish a bit before the actual ending, I'd find it a bit odd =/

But then I think I'm just being picky! I think it's a cool idea.

8/4/2010 #4
KittenOnTheKeys

Yeah, I planned on it to go basically exactly as you described, actually. It would develop as he develops and tie in to the final climax of the story. Only problem is I'm not sure how to work it in...I'm not all that familiar with how writing and then staging a show goes. I'm not even sure about the timeline of the story from beginning to end quite yet, so maybe this will help.

To the research sites!

8/4/2010 #5
KittenOnTheKeys

Also, for the end I had in mind that he would be forced by some means to perform in the show, something he'd obviously have trouble doing since (this isn't really clear from the story yet) he isn't really a fan of singing in front of others. This "exposure" on the stage is meant to mirror the "exposure" of his past secrets.

Awful or not?

8/4/2010 #6
person is gone

No, I think the exposure thing sounds really cool :) Especially with it tying into the climax - it sounds like the perfect kind of sub-plot for a story. As long as it's subtle. I've found that, with me, when I attempt a hidden meaning I go a bit overboard and make it too complex and surreal and add too many things in XD

Aye, research. Maybe I should start doing that.

8/4/2010 #7
Thetis of White Isle

Research is a very, very good thing to do in your writing. Especially since you only have so much life experience to work from. Not too many people can write a formula and make it interesting every time--John Grisham, reportedly, has done this--but you need to explore new ground, ground that you haven't written about regularly to prevent yourself from getting too stiff-necked in your ways.

For instance, there was this story I was working on that featured a lot about runway modeling, which I know nothing about. (Because I don't like watching TV, and by extension, dumb shows like Project Runway. This has its disadvantages as one can see, however.) I saw a book in the store about a biography. The best thing to do when faced with gaps in your knowledge. Learn how to research. Then you can actually write about what you're writing about, the terms, the nature of the beast, so you don't do something stupid like having a forty year old runway model. -_-; Now that the Internet is around, you can find pretty much anything you need at the click of a mouse.

Maybe getting some other forum games like the one where your character answers a question should be put up. There was this great thread on BWB about putting up a question about your story or characters that you're having, and someone would come and answer it, make suggestions.

8/6/2010 #8
person is gone

Aye, I've started researching now! Looked up the makings and feelings of a flour mill, and shall be researching, eh... lesbian love-making, haha. That shouldn't be too difficult. But my goodness, yes, I've done workshops on proper research and writing up results and organising information, I just never thought to apply it to writing. I also know nothing of common formulae in creative writing, and all these other terms and common plot devices and so on that writers use. But I'm working on that :) Amazon books hears my desperate cries for help.

I like that idea for "Ask your character a question". But what question, and what characters? Do you mean story characters answering a question like, "What was your childhood like?"/"What's your ideal date?"...?

8/7/2010 #9
scharlie18

Research is a great thing, but I still have yet to write a story that requires it. *sheepish smile*

I may be misinterpreting what White Isle said about the question thing, but it sounds like she means that if you have a point in your story where you are undecided as to what to do, then you ask, and other people give their advice/suggestions. Which is actually something I could really use right now, coincidentally. Murph.

8/7/2010 #10
Thetis of White Isle

You nailed it, scharlie. :) It's the kind of thread Kitten already made: the type where you ask questions about plot and characters or whether something will work. BWB also had a proposal thread where you'd write out the plot of something, and ask if it was viable.

If you have something to ask, scharlie, why not ask it? Maybe one of us knows the answer?

8/7/2010 #11
scharlie18

So, what is BWB?

You make it sound like the question is 'What is 2+2?' lol Nah. I think I have the answer, actually. :D *dances* I'm excited about this now.

8/7/2010 #12
Thetis of White Isle

Gah, didn't mean it like that. I don't think writing is that easy, but one of us may be able to see beyond, have an advantage in our perspective that you may be lacking. That's all.

BWB is Break Writers' Block. I haven't been there in a while.

8/7/2010 #13
scharlie18

I know. Sometimes that's exactly what a story requires, a break in your perspective. For now, I think I'm good, but it's good to know where to go if I need help like that. :D

I've never heard of BWB. Is it a forum?

8/7/2010 #14
person is gone

Oh well :] I still like the idea of asking your character a question... as writing practise. Maybe some other time, when we all have developed stories.

At the moment, I have no plot to question =/ I'll get there eventually, I hope. I also have not yet found any good femslash, and am despairing...

8/7/2010 #15
scharlie18

Isn't that kind of like the game, your character answering a question? *points to the forum topic 'The Game'*

I know there's a community (at least one, maybe more) that's entirely for femslash stories. http://www.fictionpress.com/community/Femslash_Fanatics/29/ Found it. :) There's 43 stories there. Maybe some there are good?

8/8/2010 #16
scharlie18

Oh, and if you find one that is good, let me know.

8/8/2010 #17
scharlie18

Oh, and here's another: http://www.fictionpress.com/community/Femslash_Stories_and_Poetry/1102/

8/8/2010 #18
person is gone

Haha, thanks! :D I actually just wrote the first romancy bit, and that was fun. I think it turned out well. It's very tame, though. I've yet to get to the juicy bits, which is where some further reading might help.

I actually need some help with it before I really get started, but that belongs in another topic...

8/8/2010 #19
person is gone

Actually, I'm an idiot, and that belongs on THIS topic. Derrr.

Ok, so. I'm writing slash fiction. What I'm struggling with right now is the dynamic between the two characters and I need help with it, ideas and suggestions maybe. So the one character - Vayia - is a tribeswoman from a distant land and has magical ability (but for this, that's irrelevant). In this world, lesbians are frowned upon, as is magic used by women, so she travels the world and evades society.

Then she meets Hope, a farm girl who lives in a small farming village, and they fall in love. I'm trying to not make one more tomboyish, or much more dominant in the relationship either. Vayia is pretty much captured in my head. She's adventurous and confident, and quite curious about everyone and everything around her. She's generally the calm type, but gets excited and theatrical when telling stories or when engaged in an acitivity, and is a bit of a drama queen. However, she's rather naive when it comes to dealing with people, despite being experienced in the general ways of the world.

Generally, she's kinda optimistic and happy and naive, and curious. I think curious is the best word for her.

Hope is my problem. I can't pinpoint her character. (Dunno how weird that sounds, if you've had this before...) However I imagine her, the image of what goes on between them seems unnatural or like a weird pairing (and not the kind that's like "opposites attract"). She's a farm girl, so she's had her fair share of hard work and dealing with a big family. That makes her a bit tough. But she's also been deprived of the experiences that formed Vayia, so she doesn't yet know her place in the world, and is more unsure of herself than anything else.

Beyond that... she comes out bland =/ I can't get any defining trait for her. If she comes across as funny in a joking/teasing way, Vayia's curiosity for people just doesn't seem to fit. If she's serious, the story just doesn't seem right. I don't want to make her too cocky because Vayia already embodies that trait for the most part. But it seems that when I leave out these traits she's more the bland, boring, passive character, and that wouldn't make for a very engaging or interesting love story.

Ok, so typing that out has helped me a bit, but I'm still stuck =/ Does anyone else have any suggestions? I keep trying to think of a well-known character to compare Vayia to to give you an idea (she's sane at this point), but none are coming to me... gonna go search for characters to base off of ^^

8/8/2010 #20
Thetis of White Isle

Yep, BWB is a general forum on FP. I think. It might be in the 'fiction' section. Been a while since I've been in there.

That sounds like an interesting story. Vayia sounds pretty fleshed out, but as for Hope...you've got the start of something, but since you don't know her yourself very well, that may be a problem. Romance is difficult (at least to me) to write because you have to come up with two different people that are going to be drawn to each other for a reason, and sometimes that reason will change. What brings them together initially may change over the course of time, and what keeps them together will often be for a different reason. (First they're attracted to each other physically or she reminds her of someone, etc., then...?)

To define character, I tend to go by how they act. Ask yourself how they would react to a certain situation that will happen in the story, and why. (Intuitively, this may seem somewhat backwards, but bear with me.) Some people's characters will sound bland when you can't describe them in the right terms. Just because they're not 'exciting' or 'flashy' in an obvious manner doesn't mean that they're not interesting to read or write about.

Is Hope an introvert or extrovert? She does sound more subdued than Vayia. What about Hope draws Vayia to her? Did Vayia make the first move, or did Hope? (I would think Vayia, unless there's some characteristic I'm missing about Hope...) How did they meet? Try not to base your character off someone else's, because it's your character, and you don't want it to be some sort of carbon copy.

Don't know if that helped, but it's a starting point.

8/8/2010 #21
person is gone

That does help, actually :) I think I'm starting to get somewhere with them. I decided to make Hope a bit more feisty and bossy, but incredibly protective. They're both fleshing out their weaknesses and pet peeves as well. But yes! I get it from how they act, that is a good idea indeed. The problem I had before was that I couldn't even picture a situation between them because her character was so... fuzzy. I was looking for a character close to what I imagined her to be so I'd have a skeleton to build on.

Maybe it's just difficult for me because I've written romances before and automatically fallen back on girl-guy cliches that have been used in books/films/drama again and again... girl-girl is a bit different without one being tomboy-ish.

Hope is, for the most part, and introvert, with a bit of a rough exterior. Vayia is an extrovert with a flashy exterior. I think they're both individual and different now, with factors that will attract each. I think Vayia makes the first move... yeah.

Merci beaucoup, Île Blanche!

8/9/2010 #22
Thetis of White Isle

So that's what my name looks like in French. O_o; Never was sure. Glad to be of help. If you need any further assistance, we are here. ^^

8/10/2010 #23
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