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Author Topic: The Writing Column Q & A  (Read 888 times)

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Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2016, 09:27:15 AM »
I don't think about the piece that has me stumped.  I'll find prompts, challenges or contests to spark something, anything.  Here on E The Storytellers Cafe is a good place to go for that. 

Running into a block can often leave us feeling vulnerable and as though our creativity has fled when it is simply the story that is holding us back.  Working on other pieces can free up our minds.  That will help me find another way to look at things. 

I also read a lot when I can.


Do you find it difficult to work humor into a story?

Offline Miscellany

Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2016, 09:47:54 AM »
A.   Not usually,  I have a quirky sense of humor and I like to interject humorous elements ; if they are fitting to a character.   Sometimes, the humor comes from something happening to a rather rigid individual that puts them in a scenario that is outside of their comfort zone.  Reactions to something different , can be just as a amusing , if not more.

Q.  When a story starts to go dry ,  how do you interject a twist that might spark the life back into it ?

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2016, 07:55:05 AM »
That is a tough one, isn't it? There are so many reasons why a story can die, from lack of planning to lack of chemistry to a block you can't quite figure out. I am not very good myself at this and I am uncomfortably aware of it. However, there are some tried methods to make at least an attempt to push on. One is to end the scene gracefully but quick and then move on to the logically next one. Another is to throw in an external factor like random enemies or an accident or even terrible weather. I guess the best question to ask yourself is, what kind of fun are you really wanting to play out in that story and how can the next scene advance the story toward that. Well, actually, the REAL best question is to put that one to your cowriter.... because none of us are alone in these writing projects here on E.

I am passing on this one from Miscellany: Q.  When a story starts to go dry ,  how do you interject a twist that might spark the life back into it ?

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2016, 08:42:46 AM »
Adding conflict works quite often or a character that can enter a scene and cause a reaction in one or both writers.

There are two ways to look at the stories we do in role playing.  One is as a game where each player controls action in the the story and the other play off of that.  The direction is sometimes discussed but usually isn't.  The other option is as a collaborative story with constant discussion between the writers. 

It's easier to redirect the story with communication that without it.  Honest communication, actually saying out loud (in writing) what you want and what your concerns are gives your partner something to work with.  When you are explicit there is no doubt.  When you are only vague and drop hints don't be surprised if your partner doesn't get it.  There is a lot of truth in the statement that two heads are better than one.


I'll leave the question open for other opinions.

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2016, 06:09:13 AM »
I'm not sure to what else to add.

However, I think there are many other things that can stop a story's progress than the lack of spark - or at least, that is my experience. I pause to call it a writing block because it is just one of those factors. For me, writer's block is that terrifying feeling of opening a thread to write the next post - and all the words above me just shrink into one block of grey mass of intertwined words. The length of the piece, the excitement of the story, the intenseness of the scene - it just zones out and eludes me. Some times I can be staring at the damn thing for half an hour then I have to go do something else, like a bit of non fiction or the dishes. The worst thing is that the next time I go back, the grey zone is still there. I can talk with my cowriter, I can read the thread from the start including the preparatory notes and my cowriter's Ons, I can go read some wikipedia articles about the story theme, nothing seems to help. My conclusion so far is that this is an entirely mental issue. Usually I DO snap out and then I can write a post in one go, but days and WEEKS can go by while part of my head is blanking out the issue.

Anyone else have this problem?

Offline Undine

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Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2016, 07:44:34 AM »
No, I'm afraid I don't - my head just doesn't work that way, I suppose.  "Writer's block" or "blanking out" isn't something that normally affects me; I can usually look at most any story I'm a part of, and see exactly where I mean to go.  The only things that stop me from writing during my time not spent at work or with family, is either exhaustion or physical pain (or both) at the end of the day, sapping my ability to do what I want for a partner and our story. 

Normally I write in chronological order from when I received a last post because... Well, I guess it's just something I consider to be polite, as strange as that sounds  xD  There may be other stories I'm writing that 'excite' me more at the time because they are in a 'juicy' place plot-wise, or they may be just beginning and beginnings are always lots of fun.  The one time I know I write out of order, is when I have to set a scene I feel a little intimidated by, that I doubt my ability to do it right or do it justice; or when the content involves something so emotionally charged I have to be 'ready' to write for it with lots of sleep and a clear head.  But no, I'm afraid there's never a time when I do sit down to write, that I 'blank out' and simply cannot get something down. Granted, sometimes what I do wind up writing surprises me, or isn't where I thought things would go - or sometimes it's a far smaller or far larger response than I originally intended, but that is just the way stories go sometimes ;) 

And since I was obviously zero help for the Captain's question, does anyone else experience what he does?

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #31 on: July 16, 2016, 08:24:08 AM »
I've seen instances where one character seems to be overwhelming the other.  There is a feeling things are not going in a good direction for one of the writers.  Cases like that, where the desires of the partners aren't meshing, need more communication and perhaps some compromise.  Also, when one person moves too quickly or too slowly in a certain direction is can leave the other writer lost or floundering.  Here again communication and comprise might be necessary if you want to keep the story going.

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2016, 12:46:20 PM »
Okay, let's get this thread going again.

What is most important for you when you start a story; the characters, the setting, the plot or the smut direction and potential? This is E after all.

Offline AndNich123

Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2016, 12:52:37 PM »
The plot. With strong characters, the plot can build up making the smut explosive, but smut just for the sake of smut can leave one feeling unfulfilled.

-hat are your reasons for preference of non-con or con?

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2016, 01:15:21 PM »
Hrm. Straight out rape scenes doesn't really do much for me. I guess I feel the opposite character's pain more than I feel the opposite writer's pleasure. I have a lot more fun writing dubious-con, where the victims squirms and moans despite wanting to. The kind of scene where he/she tells my character how awful he is and how filthy the deed was and can he please do it again....

Passing it on.

Offline Nicholas

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Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2016, 01:27:06 PM »
I have no real preference. It always depends on how a story goes, the characters involved, how comfortable I am, what fits into the flow and generally how it all develops. All this. What I never do is rape because that doesn't interest me and I don't feel comfortable writing it.

Passing it on.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 01:33:27 PM by Nicholas »

Online Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2016, 08:32:57 AM »
I can add that one of the reasons I AM doing non-com is that I know that tormenting the cowriter's character is pleasing to the cowriter him/herself. But I have to have a character background that explains it. Let's take a typical bad guy character, a pimp who keeps a handful of street prostitutes. He will be sweet talking new girls into the job, then turn harsh when they fail to deliver the quotas of customers and payments. In a story the violence is then easily understood. Could this become a love story? Yes, certainly. But it isn't a story I could write - there is no way I could sympathize with the character. But it's not because of the violence. Compare this with the fact that I am soon to embark on a story where I play the Joker against Harley Quinn - the epitome of cruelty and abuse. Why is this acceptable to me? For one thing he would not dream of sharing her with anyone. Whatever bad things he does to her, it isn't because she is an income source. It is personal and it goes both ways. The character is so much deeper, the relationship so much more complex, that the madness gets a reason of its own. And yeah, I know... there'll be a lot of disagreement to the above statement. We are many with relations to those particular characters. But this is my interpretation.

Anyway. New question. How do you guys keep track of your story writing. I know some have only a couple of stories going and others have dozen spread over multiple sites and communication systems. So how do you cope? 
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 08:34:53 AM by Captain Maltese »

Offline Neithriel

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Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2016, 08:51:40 AM »
This is a question that is...harder to answer. For me personally I've tried many different mediums for writing. I've done chat, Skype mostly, I've done chat sites as well (f-list), Rp in MMO's. The list continues, but I do find many of them just do not work for me personally. I find that, chat, as in skype and chat sites are...too quick for me. In other words mostly, the responses I get are boring and for lack of better words, simple. The response time is quicker obviously - and perhaps I enjoy more details and well thought out responses then what they can offer so I've backed out of all my rp on those sites.

As for the others - MMO's currently I have one partner that I'm writing with or will be - I'm playing Black Desert Online and its with a friend, an amazing friend that I've known for a very long time. We moved from World of Warcraft to Black Desert together, we chat on skype - and play BDO together, we both poke at one another to ensure we get the time we need or the other wants for the stories we have. So we help one another, in that - and its a MMO rp, a bit different then writing here I'm not certain it applies.

As for my stories here? I have all of them bookmarked, and I try to keep a running list in my story thread and O/o's so I can find what I owe easily enough in several places. Although I admit I recently found out I forgot one story. Somehow, I thought I had responded, and I hadn't. Now I'm struggling to find the words that I thought I had put to the story. So I'm trying to respond to that one. But that is how I keep track of my writings. 

My question: How do you get over that hurdle, that moment in the story where all thoughts vanish. The story isn't over, and you still desire to write with that plot and partner -- just for that one post, that one response the words are dancing just out of reach for you? How do you get over that?

Offline Nicholas

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Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2016, 09:18:39 AM »
I either have my story threads in my bookmarks and I also keep track of it all in my A/A thread. Since I only write on Elliquiy, it's pretty easy to keep track of things for moi.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2016, 10:29:35 AM »
My question: How do you get over that hurdle, that moment in the story where all thoughts vanish. The story isn't over, and you still desire to write with that plot and partner -- just for that one post, that one response the words are dancing just out of reach for you? How do you get over that?

I look for something new, something that hasn't been discussed between us as writers or between the characters and go with that hook.  The thing is that what I write can be changed if it is too far out there for my partner.  I have no problem with that.  It gets us past the sticking point, though.


How do you handle a character that fights you every step of the way?

Offline Illandaria

Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #40 on: August 22, 2016, 01:09:39 AM »
Usually I try to ask myself why the muse isn't cooperating with that particular character. Sometimes I find that if I slow down and remember that I'm not on a deadline and I don't have to have the character figured out RIGHT NOW, the details come more easily. For example, in an RP I'm doing with a friend off of this site, I had every character trait but the name for the character I wanted to introduce. We wrote something else, and I let him simmer, and then, voila, a few days later, his name came to me.

Here's my question: How many threads can you handle at a time without being overwhelmed? Is there an upper limit to what you can handle?

Offline Nicholas

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Re: The Writing Column Q & A
« Reply #41 on: August 22, 2016, 01:28:22 AM »

How do you handle a character that fights you every step of the way?

My characters are like that, sometimes. I rather see it as a challenge and not as hindrance, actually. I try to listen to them and usually it is enough to just let them do what they want. It might not always be what I had planned for them but characters get an own mind and I just go with the flow. I've long found out that forcing a character this way or that is a real muse killer and not very amusing to begin with. But if I let a character do, it's often very surprising, entertaining and it opens more doors for new plots!

Here's my question: How many threads can you handle at a time without being overwhelmed? Is there an upper limit to what you can handle?

There is a too much for me. But, in the end, it all depends on pace. I can have five or six threads outside of my group if the pace is comfortable enough. I think that also would be my personal limit. I made the mistake and took too many stories long ago and it didn't end well. Not going to make that mistake again. :-)

Passing the question on.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 01:31:25 AM by Nicholas »