Tag Archives: write more better

The Sharon/Steve thing that no one asked for that I am spite-writing anyway:

Anger flashes in her for a moment.  She wants to throw her mug at the wall, shake him, demand to know why he came here looking for answers she can’t give him.  Like she didn’t – doesn’t – spend every day chewing on the guilt of what she did for SHIELD, looking for ways to make herself square with herself, with the world, how much she would give to be square with Steve but she knows that’s not going to happen.  Her fists clench, nails digging into her palms, curled so tight her hands do shake visibly now.  Then she hears Steve shift just slightly and it breaks the spell.  She forces herself to take a slow, deep breath.  Then another.  Her hands uncurl.  Whatever anger she’s feeling, Steve is probably carrying ten-fold and she has no right to try and put hers on him as well.  

roane72:lux-obscura:Things I am really good at:   Character studies Character…

roane72:

lux-obscura:

Things I am really good at:  

  • Character studies
  • Character interaction
  • Dialogue
  • Writing body language

Things I am pants at:

  • PLOT

Sooooooo… basically these two are going to talk and posture at each other for an unknown amount of pages, probably resolve nothing, and everyone who reads it will say, “That was amazingly written!  …what was it about?”  So I will respond:

“I don’t know the author is dead!!!!!”

And laugh maniacally while I bury myself in a pile of unused outlines.

THIS IS MY DESIGN

I have a theory.

Everybody but EVERYBODY I know says they can’t write plot. And yet, when I read their work, I can see the plot as plain as day. Literally: EVERY WRITER I KNOW, who says they can’t plot, absolutely can and does.

I think what it is, is that we don’t really know what we mean when we say ‘plot’. Telling a story is so utterly innate to human consciousness, that we do it without thinking about it. We don’t recognize when we’re doing it. 

Learning to write is really just taking the things that we do instinctively and learning to do them deliberately instead. Plot seems to be the biggest thing we do without realizing it. 

You’re not pants at plot. You just don’t know how to do it deliberately yet. What you’re feeling is the level of frustration where your awareness is temporarily outstripping your skillset. Follow your instincts, and you’ll get there.

I think when I say plot, I’m mostly thinking in terms of the Western idea of a story driven by conflict/resolution with running subplots, a climax and a denouement.  You know, the plot structure of every piece of “canon western literature” we were ever subjected to in school.  

But someone (and I’m pretty sure it was @havingbeenbreathedout but I can’t swear to it and there’s no way I’m going to find the post) reblogged something about how that framework isn’t the only way to tell a story and pointed out some examples of East Asian novels and literature that took a totally different stance on the idea of what a ‘plot’ is or should be.  (And forgive the vagaries – I’ve got one eye in writerbrain and one in analytical brain and I don’t split the difference so well rn.)

So I think when I’m yelling about “I don’t know how to make a ploooooooooot!” it’s partially what you said, about awareness outstripping my skillset, because I am absolutely working on ‘how to build a plot’ in the traditional sense with Epistaxis (which is why it’s gone totally underground for the moment) because I think the story I want to tell there would benefit from some cohesion in that aspect because so much of the rest of it is from Bucky’s unreliable POV.  (Holy wow run-on sentence, sorry)

But I think the other part is learning to realise that you don’t have to follow that model and plenty of successful works do not.  It’s been about realising my strengths and playing to them when I write for pleasure, just to write, not beating myself up for not knowing what I don’t know (yet), and also for figuring out how to make that work for me.

Thank you for making me think about this.  I didn’t realise I needed to or had words for it.  

Things I am really good at:  Character studiesCharacter interactionDialogueWriting body…

Things I am really good at:  

  • Character studies
  • Character interaction
  • Dialogue
  • Writing body language

Things I am pants at:

  • PLOT

Sooooooo… basically these two are going to talk and posture at each other for an unknown amount of pages, probably resolve nothing, and everyone who reads it will say, “That was amazingly written!  …what was it about?”  So I will respond:

“I don’t know the author is dead!!!!!”

And laugh maniacally while I bury myself in a pile of unused outlines.

THIS IS MY DESIGN

When you finally sit down to write for the first time in forever and then the cat tries to…

When you finally sit down to write for the first time in forever and then the cat tries to help 

then your copy of Scrivener is corrupt/broken and THEN you do the frantic “search all the folders” for your reg key and redownload and reinstall.

…thankfully all my backups seem to be intact.  

In the meantime all I had to hand was index cards.

Ain’t barely 8am and I’m already feeling like, 25% done.  Is it too early to break for coffee?

(probably not)

(Also, take your meds you egg – let’s not have a repeat of yesterday)

thequantumwritings: Sometimes i think about the idea of Common as a language in fantasy…

thequantumwritings:

Sometimes i think about the idea of Common as a language in fantasy settings.

On the one hand, it’s a nice convenient narrative device that doesn’t necessarily need to be explored, but if you do take a moment to think about where it came from or what it might look like, you find that there’s really only 2 possible origins.

In settings where humans speak common and only Common, while every other race has its own language and also speaks Common, the implication is rather clear: at some point in the setting’s history, humans did the imperialism thing, and while their empire has crumbled, the only reason everyone speaks Human is that way back when, they had to, and since everyone speaks it, the humans rebranded their language as Common and painted themselves as the default race in a not-so-subtle parallel of real-world whiteness.

In settings where Human and Common are separate languages, though (and I haven’t seen nearly as many of these as I’d like), Common would have developed communally between at least three or four races who needed to communicate all together. With only two races trying to communicate, no one would need to learn more than one new language, but if, say, a marketplace became a trading hub for humans, dwarves, orcs, and elves, then either any given trader would need to learn three new languages to be sure that they could talk to every potential customer, OR a pidgin could spring up around that marketplace that eventually spreads as the traders travel the world.

Drop your concept of Common meaning “english, but in middle earth” for a moment and imagine a language where everyone uses human words for produce, farming, and carpentry; dwarven words for gemstones, masonry, and construction; elven words for textiles, magic, and music; and orcish words for smithing weaponry/armor, and livestock. Imagine that it’s all tied together with a mishmash of grammatical structures where some words conjugate and others don’t, some adjectives go before the noun and some go after, and plurals and tenses vary wildly based on what you’re talking about.

Now try to tell me that’s not infinitely more interesting.