John connolly is a writer I love but he insists on opening every new chapter with about five pages of description, advancing the plot only slightly forward each time. By the end of his books, not that much has actually happened but they're still about 500 pages long as he describes each locale in great detail, delving a bit into the history and such. Not afraid to say that I skip a lot of those bits.|
Then you've got Conrad Williams who just slaps you in the face with ten scenes at once, lets you figure the details out yourself and just gets on with his story, although he's too ambiguous in places. But then his grasp of the written word is better than your average so he's skilled enough to do so.
Edited by BillCityfingers at 16:33:12 27-11-2013
Return of the Revenge of NaNoWriMo '13 • Page 18
sunjumper wrote:Absolutely. The best writers tow the line considerably when it comes to accepted guidelines, and some of the best works of all time have shattered the conventions for when they were written. But one of the problems with experimentation is that, arguably, you have to have mastered the rules to begin with before you can start bending or breaking them with any skill. Experiment away before that, of course, people's personal drafts are their own business, but also expect failure more often than success, and don't expect publishable results. You may learn a lot out of it, but you also may just learn that trying to do X just plain doesn't work (as I've found many times in my own writing). Guidelines for writing aren't set-in-stone have-to-follow things, but they're also guidelines because they work nine times out of ten, or ninety nine times out of a hundred, or however reductive you want to be. I guess "be acutely aware of them" rather than "obey them" is the best course of action, and even then it's still primarily for revision and editing purposes.
I think people are just so happy when they find useful rules that they then tend to stick with them no matter the consequences to the point where they are doing things that were not intended by the rules at all.
But it is always easier to stick to the rules and point at them to justify one's actions rather than to stick one's neck out and experiment.
Some nice examples of both ends of the spectrum.
Both can work but as you said they require considerable skill.
True. All thoserules and guidlines are there because people discovered them the hard way and ignoring them all will in most cases just lead down a long frustrating path. Of course the one who walks without prior knowledge will be the one who most probably will find something utterly new and exciting, but as you said, the greatest majority will fail and we never hear of them because they never got anywhere.
Learning about the rules is very helpful a general undertanding why they are there leads to a better understanding why stuff works.
It is only that knoweledge that alows someone to consciously break a rule knowing very well why they are doing it.
I have learned a lot from books filled with rules that I absolutely hated as they made me confront the rules and think very carefully why I did not like them. That in turn either made me grudginly accept them or helped me formulate my own set of convictions based on the failings of what I had been told.
Which is always better then running into something arms flailing and hoping for the best.
Curious device from the dead guy. Stowed in back of brain for later activation.
The Hunter prison sounds minatourish.
The debate on superstition vs science is very funny, particularly since the plan seems to be to defend science with a magic torch =D
She can't see the light in the bright sun on the way there, but can see it easily on the way back - suggest striking a balance between the two (maybe shielding it with her hand to see?).
Can't remember what green means.
Nicely ominous and a wise retreat it seems. I like the seeming tendrils groping out beyond the temple towards the Zeppelin.
The state of dehydration was a bit of a surprise after no mention of it at all on the walk back, perhaps a headache and some confusion in order there?
I am wondering if the hunter will fully sleep, now that it knows prey are near the temple. Expecting dire things.
And I am now finally ahead of time again. Only by a 150ish words but success is on the horizon.
Here's the end to chapter 6. In which our heroes enter a forbidden ancient temple with their badly damaged airship. What's the worst that could possibly happen.
Wrote almost nothing last night. Brain's all over the place, going from euphoric manic enthusiasm one moment to dour defeatism the next. Christ this is difficult now. I've done the 50K for the month yet cannot even feel any sense of achievement. I thought I would be over the moon but I'm not.
Day Twenty Eight
That's it - I'm done at 58368.
Those of you still writing, I am cheering you on, feeding you barbequed fallen nanoers and beating you with a stick, whichever works best to key you tapping away until you reach the end of your stories.
The official hour grows late, but even if it takes longer than the thirty, you can finish!
@MetalDog Well done you! So jealous you've finished!!!!!
Cheers Bill - don't be jealous, you'll get there.
If you've gotten stuck, swamped, emboggened, I recommend doing something dull and physical - like housework, or exercise. Something about being bored out of your skull while your body works is great for thinking about story problems.
Well. I did an hour or so work then pissed about on here for far too long but I am writing in between so it's all good I suppose!! Was aiming for 100k by close of day sat bu a bit behind with that now, so aiming for 90k. My plan is to finish this in whatever state by Dec 15th.
Finally done with Day 28
Edited by BillCityfingers at 01:48:44 29-11-2013
Less then 2.5k to go.
For the 50k not for the mythical the end. As this shit is going this will be around 100k.
First half of chapter7.
Lane's revealed cable expertise feels a little 'discovered background/talent' here.
I like how reluctant Lane is to go back to the temple, particularly after all her former scoffing.
This bit feels like a bridging scene mostly pulling its weight on character development and interplay and it does the job well, but in later drafts I would like more forewarning that Lane's an electrician.
The ominousness of the temple increases!
Presumably it's dark in there and lit by the ship? Or does the rock glow? Where is that golden light mentioned in 6 coming from?
Ah - Idris answers that question. I'm beginning to see why you thought my magic was so minimalistic by comparison, even your RL type setting is way more flashy boom magic stuffed =)
You have a number of amusing typos in this and the last chapter, but so, so many it would be tedious to list them here. I maintain that you must write at rocket speed when you get going.
"As the door opened the still hot night air streaming into the ship..."
Suggest removing the 'still' because you can get by without it and it avoids the impression that you mean 'not moving'.
Enjoyed the farcical rope-wrangling from Lane =)
Now half expecting loose demons.
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The rock glows golden in the night, I mentioned that before, but need to sign post that better.
Lane isn't an electrician, but I see what you mean. While I would argue that these are the things that usually come up by surprise in normal life you are right that in a book that looks vaguely convinient.
The bridging chapter wasn't really one. I think. Shit needed to be done and glossing it over would make it appear like something that happens in a few minutes. Also the characters like to talk which is fine with me as it adds personality to them.
Flashy boom magic? Young lady that is me being restrained and incredibly subtle! I think part of the problem is also that I see everything before my minds eye. I could, an artist that can actually draw provided, sketch out pretty much everything that was shown here so far.
I am incredibly reliefed that you liked the slapstic scene. Again it wasn't planed but it looked like something that would actually happen while at the same time being less boring then describing Lane mooring a Zeppelin.
Oh! I just remembered that you wrote you new last chapter!
BRB with feedback!
No items speak. How ominous.
Lord Sil does make a rather likable impression. He did give the command to kill an innocent girl to gain the favour of someone with a petty vendetta. Not even against the ones that wrong him… Ah well.
The letter bit is amusing and helps me go through my checklist of suspicions.
There is also the part in the conversation with Sil which shows rather clearly how clever and capable Winter is while at the same time being a bit of child. Which is why he worked so well with Myrtle together. Which is also why this feels like the prologue book to a longer series. (hint hint)
Also he said he would not serve another man. He never said woman… It is also interesting to see that Lord Sil might have gotten more than he bargained for seeing how Winter is a saint now.
Now that is one devils bargain there. Sil seems to understand the basic tenets of loyalty though so Winter is going to grow. Not sure if I would call it to prosper.
Poor Horse… ;_; but she seems to be doing alright.
The goat should totally be named Karl!
It is a bit strange that Brother Rowan is apparently still looking at Myrtle funny after Saint Karl told him that she was obviously alright.
A nice way to wrap things up .
Those are great names for goats.
I also like Horse’s little bit at the end it brings a peaceful end to the story, pointing towards the uncertainties of the future (book 2?) and brings the story full circle.
This was a great one.
As much as I miss Balestra and Szwejkowski I am incredibly happy and privileged to witness this story grow turning into a real great fantasy novel. Thank you so much for writing it.
My personal target is 12k tomorrow to end on 100k. If I don't do that I'll be pissed.
I'm having a lot of wine on Sunday.
12k in a day?
Wow. I once wrote 10k in a day full of feverish inspiration with a short story that needed to get out into the wrold. Took me 8 hours and afterwards I was more dead than alive.
I wish you success with your epic plan, even if you should fail Bill you will remain a monument to hardcore writing and my personal hero.
Now I have to go and face my own text. 800ish words to go.
Time to add Eye of the Tiger to my playlist.
Edited by sunjumper at 00:31:42 30-11-2013
Edited by sunjumper at 00:32:12 30-11-2013
@sunjumper ha ha. I do feel I am being a tad ambitious!!!
Go for it
And I did it!
With a day to spare no less.
While this adventure story of mine looks suspiciously like 100k work I managed to write 50,000 words in a day shy of a month and I am actually rather proud of my self. Now excuse me while I drink cava and feel horribly smug!
@sunjumper brilliant!!! You having some days off or are you ploughing on?
I'd like to write a bit more tomorrow and then be really lazy on Sunday.
Actually now I can also resume reading your mega-epic. Looking forward to that.
I also need to get back to RT's story which I also enjoyed alot.
Well done, Sun!
Cheers for the feedback and kindness. Don't slack too much now, you have an end to write yourself!
I am completely and totally, utterly and fantastically fucked.
Since meeting the 50k in the middle of the month I set a revised target for myself of 100k. Struggled with motivation on quite a few nights and was on 88k by last night. Set a target for 12k today and made it. With 9 mins to go... Fuck me I am not doing that again. Been typing solidly since 3.30. I feel drunk.
But I did it (whoop whoop!).
I need a drink.
Bye NaNo... What a crazy fucking month that was.
12k in one day?
Congratulations and don't eat me please!
@sunjumper cheers!!! I feel completely fucked!
As you did that to yourself you should be feeling completely wanked...
@sunjumper I have wine now. It's all good.
Well deserved Bill. Especially considering that you wrote in your NaNo profile that you never got a story beyond the 10k point what you did to day and the entire month is nothing short of amazing.
You must have writen about 3.2 every day in avarage to get there. Thst is an enormous achievement. You worked insanely hard, I can only watch at your efforts and be in awe. You are an inpiration.
I wrote a few more words today too only 1.7kish but it is still good going especially considering that I have already 'won'. I have never so far ever reached the 'The End' point in my novels so I really want to crack that with this one.
Not sure if the chapter is allready done but I guess I have now enough new stuff for another update. It also bumps my word count a little which is also awefully nice.
Cheers! yeah, most I've ever written in my life in the past month. Back to feeling really good about it all and after having today off ready to get back down to business tomorrow. I'm going to constantly look back on this as a reminder of what I can do if I put down the xbox controller for long enough and pull my head out my arse, stop whinging and just bloody well get on with things.
Yours and MD's positive feedback at the start spurred me on amazingly and actually have you both to thank. The motivation that gave me to get going was irreplacable. Thank you again.
When you aiming to type those two legendary words 'The' and 'End'? I'm trying for before christmas.
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