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Old 03-01-2007, 06:18 PM   #1
machievelli
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General Questions on Writing

This is for any question on writing a fic that doesn't seem to fit with any of the other threads of questions. If you have a question concerning canon or other things, please ask them here.

JM12


A note on Canon:
Today I read Jaeís amusing little piece about how to judge what is and is not canon, and while it amused me, it also made me think because I have had writerís comment on how I protest their misuse of it.

Jae compared it to religion, and since I have sent failed scripts off to the Star Trek Next Generation, I understand the term better than she might realize. You see, when you create a world such as any television show, they patiently compile what a character will and will not do. This is called, oddly enough the showís Ďbibleí. As an example, in the bible for Star Trek NG you cannot have a ship travel faster than Warp 10, or have say Jean Luc Picard suddenly decide he is really German. Nothing is allowed to break the continuity.

One reason I stopped watching the Star Trek Enterprise series, was that they had decided after Gene Roddenberry died that they would change the accepted canon first contact to another when they made the 2nd NG movie, then totally threw away canon by having a Romulan ship uncloak 100 years before the cloaking device was created and at the same time, were using the transporter over 50 years before people had done so successfully, also part of canon. I felt that if the people screaming about how you donít fit into the canon were doing that, why bother?

In fact eight years ago while I was in a writerís slump, I started compiling a Ďcanon of the written wordí for star Trek. Did you know that according to the authors, Kirkís father had three different jobs? From Iowa Farmer to Commander in Star Fleet. Uhuraís was just as bad, with five different versions. I wanted to write an encyclopedia that says Ďall right, this is what has already been said, so letís not add to it, eh?

When I got into Star Wars (Picture a guy in his later 20s scrounging money to see it in a theater five times when it first came out) I decided that canon is important. It stops people from taking a character and ruining him or her by having them do things you as the author would not approve of. As a writer know I'd be upset if you took one of mine from my work (Including Briana Solo and Sienna Dodonna) and put them through unnatural hoops. This does not include as you might have noticed alternate universes. I allow for that because youíre stating right off the bat ĎI am stepping outside canon, so donít judge it by thatí. But I have protested having the Republic send negotiators who arenít honest, which is an actual book in the canon itself (a Whatever to whomever figures out which one) down to a kid over at the Galactic Senate that had Han go as a negotiator, and Luke as his slave to pander to a planetís own mores

So when I tell you itís outside canon, I am not being an evil old man, even if I am one. Iím just applying that attitude the Christians came up with a few years ago, and changing the wording a bit.

What would George do with the character now?


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile

Last edited by JediMaster12; 11-10-2008 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 05-06-2007, 09:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machievelli
So when I tell you itís outside canon, I am not being an evil old man, even if I am one. Iím just applying that attitude the Christians came up with a few years ago, and changing the wording a bit.
Must say that to yourself every night so you may sleep.
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ctrl_Alt_Del
Must say that to yourself every night so you may sleep.

Sometimes it helps, especially when I see 'canon' books where things slip through the cracks. All I can say is, 'not on my watch'


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:57 PM   #4
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?? On Canon and writing in general

So i've had a general idea of a SW FIC in the back of my head for a pretty long time. After playing KotOR and finding this forum i've found the inspiration to start forming it into writing. But i have a few questions so far.

First question on canon, that for some reason really concerns me and i don't know why because its such a small detail, is: Lightsaber color. I looked on wookieepedia and it was a little vague on accepting the guardian = blue, consular = green, sentinal = yellow thing as canon. My story is not directly related to KotOR, but the time frame is around there probably. Are there opinions out there on this? Should i just randomly give saber colors to my Jedi or stick with the KotOR format?

Secondly on general writing. I am a very slow and not very experienced writer. I've been away from school for a long time and when I was there writing was something i found tedious at best. What I have in my head are points through the story that I want to get down. Significant battles and plot development points. Is it normal to write a story in the linear fashion it would be read? Or is it fine to write bits of the beginning, middle and end, then go back and fill in the details and refine the progression?
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:53 PM   #5
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I always go on the basis that your canon is yours, and mine is mine. Put whichever lightsaber colour you like I'm sure that the Jedi aren't *that* restrictive! And even if they were, most of us like our main characters to be...different:P

I really can't help you with the latter; I always tend to jump back and forth trying to give back story and end up confusing the readers. If you don't want to cover all the boring bits in between, try just writing a series of oneshots of the of the significant battles and plot points which you mentioned

Hope that this helped!



The sun goes down and the sky reddens, pain grows sharp.
light dwindles. Then is evening
when jasmine flowers open, the deluded say.
But evening is the great brightening dawn
when crested cocks crow all through the tall city
and evening is the whole day
for those without their lovers

-Kuruntokai 234, translated by A.K. Ramanujan

[Fic] Shreds of a Dying Belief
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:55 AM   #6
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Give Jedi whatever lightsaber color you want, but in my story I gave my characters colors that describe them. You don't have to though because a majority of the Jedi used green and blue lightsabers.

On the last part, I think it's ok to write bits of the beginning, middle and end, then go back and fill in the details and refine the progression because a lot of books and movies use flashbacks. Depending on the timeline, some things can be left out. I'm not an expert though. You're probably not going to think of everything the first time. That's why we go back and edit.
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:01 AM   #7
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As the local critic, I can tell you that a lot of leeway is not only allowed but requested in what you can or cannot do. As for color of the saber, I see not reason why it can't be whatever you wish.

As a writer for over 30 years, don't worry how the story comes out of your brain. I have stories where I came up wirh sections in the middle or end first, and only later found out to link A (Which didn't yet exist) to Z (The end) and sometimes it is like the Gordian knot when you do. Write it as it comes, shift parts around until they mesh, and don't give up.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:32 AM   #8
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Is it acceptable...

To use the Sunrider name in a fic? I know LA had some copyright issues with Jeep on the use of the name.


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Old 04-16-2008, 10:58 AM   #9
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I'm pretty sure the copyright still holds. The car company held off a lawsuit in return for LA never using the name again in new fiction. But I don't think there are still sunrider cars being made, and they might not really care.

You're really at the mercy of whether or not they care or have come to see it as low priority since they've moved on to making other kinds of cars. If you were just doing it as fan fic and not hoping to ever profit on it, I doubt they would care. If you looked to make money off a story with the name, you might find that suddenly something they'd set aside they suddenly cared about again.


"If force is the game, the murderer wins over the pickpocket." Ayn Rand

"Justice is the midpoint between being treated unjustly, and treating others unjustly." Aristotle
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:00 AM   #10
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It's fan fiction. It's not worth the price of a stamp for them to send out C&D's over fanfics.

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Old 04-16-2008, 11:06 AM   #11
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Point taken...thanks Inyri!


"You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."

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Old 04-16-2008, 11:08 AM   #12
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They would send you a nasty e-mail first anyway, most likely. And unless you were trying to sell your fanfic, nobody'd care. Of course if you were trying to sell your fanfic I think you'd have greater moral repercussions to worry about than a cease and desist letter.

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Old 04-16-2008, 11:34 AM   #13
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Too true


"You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."

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Old 04-16-2008, 11:49 AM   #14
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We use Jolee, Carth, Bastila, and others in fanfics, so I doubt using Sunriders will be a problem.


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Old 04-16-2008, 02:39 PM   #15
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Just remember to give credit where credit is due. If you right a songfic make sure you give credit on the lyrics. Just protects you from someone who might want to do that.

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Old 04-16-2008, 02:44 PM   #16
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Why would a star wars fan fic quote earth people songs? If the premise of the fiction set a long time ago in a galaxy far away, the star wars characters would have never been exposed to that.


"If force is the game, the murderer wins over the pickpocket." Ayn Rand

"Justice is the midpoint between being treated unjustly, and treating others unjustly." Aristotle
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:53 AM   #17
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What you like the most in a fic?

What I like in a fic are complex characters...
Actually, we all like them
I also like things that seem to be at the beginning banal, too exaggerated or with no logic and at the second half of the fic- that's where the fic start to end, but just starts!- you receive some explanations and if you put them in a right way, you will find out whats with those weird things at the beginning...


*Note: Chapter 8 is out!*
[Fic] The war of the ancients, seen through the eyes of one young men, as he walks the road of destiny... The Triumvirates War

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Old 07-19-2008, 05:04 AM   #18
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I like to see original ideas,
good take on characters
how the story/characters progress throughout the story.
and multiple plots.



if theres none of that, then I won't be too interested.


"If God is a DJ, then life is a dance floor, love is the rhythm and you are the music."



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Old 07-19-2008, 06:18 PM   #19
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I like to see original ideas,
good take on characters
how the story/characters progress throughout the story.
and multiple plots.



if theres none of that, then I won't be too interested.
I agree with that, but I really want to see description in it. That just puts the icing on the cake.

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Old 07-19-2008, 06:27 PM   #20
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I liek too sea gud punctuashun in a storie. Oh, and seplling too.







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Old 07-19-2008, 06:36 PM   #21
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punctuation and spelling and describing makes a good 'skeleton' of a story. but what i think is, despite the fact these are important, people get put off the 'plot' because of it.

spelling etc. requires learning, but sometimes, really good, original ideas are ignored because of this.


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Old 07-19-2008, 06:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
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punctuation and spelling and describing makes a good 'skeleton' of a story. but what i think is, despite the fact these are important, people get put off the 'plot' because of it.

spelling etc. requires learning, but sometimes, really good, original ideas are ignored because of this.
That's not to say that you shouldn't at least try to use punctuation, or at least take the time to spell properly.

You won't get a good story if the reader can't tell what the words are.






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Old 07-19-2008, 06:48 PM   #23
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some people have english as different languages :P
and younger people may not understand punctuation as much!
i love english, and ive tried to perfect it - and even i make mistakes.


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Old 07-19-2008, 06:49 PM   #24
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For me, the most important thing is originality. I have more respect for an author who is able to come up with his own characters as protagonists, rather than use existing ones. This does not mean though that I don't like seeing known Star Wars characters as supporting characters in someone's fic.
The same goes for the story. I prefer to come up with a story on my own, rather than use something that's already been told and tell it in my own way (I've only done this once, because I had a very very very good idea how to tell it, but I strive not to let it become a habit) and it means that's the kind of story I like to read.
Style is important, of course, the story must be well written. You can have a great idea, but if you don't know how to put it to (virtual) paper, the story might not end up being what you wanted it to be.

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Old 07-19-2008, 06:53 PM   #25
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ideas in my head always turn out not as good on paper.
my imagination is wild though.


"If God is a DJ, then life is a dance floor, love is the rhythm and you are the music."



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Old 07-19-2008, 07:03 PM   #26
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Quote:
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some people have english as different languages :P
and younger people may not understand punctuation as much!
i love english, and ive tried to perfect it - and even i make mistakes.
Some people have English as a different language, and younger people may not understand punctuation as well. I love English and I've tried to perfect it, and even I make mistakes.


...sorry.

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Old 07-19-2008, 07:09 PM   #27
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ideas in my head always turn out not as good on paper.
my imagination is wild though.
I know this all to well. Trust me.

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Old 07-19-2008, 07:13 PM   #28
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what, the writing on paper...
or my imagination is wild?


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Old 07-19-2008, 11:31 PM   #29
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ideas in my head always turn out not as good on paper.
my imagination is wild though.
I understand this. I often can imagine a scene as if I were watching the story unfold, but articulating the subtle gestures and facial expressions along with the story is difficult. I could almost see every scene from my Yuthura Ban story in my head, but I could not imagine anyone else seeing what I imagine based on my descriptions.

Even the rate at which words are said and the emotion behind them could make all the difference between a story that is told and one that touches the reader. Simply getting the dialog written is difficult, but using the right words to describe how the dialog is said... that takes skill.

I try to diversify the words I used as well. Instead of using 'he said' after every quote, I would use 'he shrieked' 'explained' 'asked' 'growled' 'wailed' 'commanded' 'shouted' 'requested' 'cried out' 'sobbed' 'interrupted' 'objected'

When one diversifies the words used to describe quotes, it almost defines the emotion or the situation behind the one saying it. This may not sound like much, but I find this to be critical to many of the best stories I've read.
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:32 AM   #30
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^ Totally agree!


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Old 07-20-2008, 01:05 PM   #31
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very true.
I hate the word 'said', so i try to use as many synonyms as possible.
also, I can't use the same word more than once unless it's not got a wide range of synonyms. It frustrates me and makes me feel as if the story isn't complete, or good. which, I guess, it probably wouldn't be.

I love using different ways of describing things in my story - sometimes you've got to be adventurous with descriptions, and take the risk that it may or may not make sense to the reader. ^^

Quote:
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Some people have English as a different language, and younger people may not understand punctuation as well. I love English and I've tried to perfect it, and even I make mistakes.


...sorry.

pfft, it's a conversation not a story. :P


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Old 07-20-2008, 02:27 PM   #32
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I like action-packed stories with lots of uber ship vs uber ship fighting.


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Old 07-20-2008, 02:38 PM   #33
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I like action-packed stories with lots of uber ship vs uber ship fighting.
Dogfighting? How could you write dogfighting without using lots of jargon? I may know what a split-S, inverted vertical reveresment, and lo Yoyo... do you know about these terms? These are what you would expect with ship-to-ship fighting. Do you mean this?
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:43 PM   #34
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You don't need to use that much technical jargon to write decent dog-fights. Read the X-wing series -- they're completely understandable to your average non-pilot.

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Old 07-20-2008, 02:48 PM   #35
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You don't need to use that much technical jargon to write decent dog-fights. Read the X-wing series -- they're completely understandable to your average non-pilot.
Agreed. I've only written one dogfight, and I didn't need a ton of technical terms.






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Old 07-20-2008, 02:57 PM   #36
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Nah, I don't tend to read those kind of fictions.
...But I bet they're fun to write.


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Old 07-20-2008, 03:02 PM   #37
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I understand this. I often can imagine a scene as if I were watching the story unfold, but articulating the subtle gestures and facial expressions along with the story is difficult. I could almost see every scene from my Yuthura Ban story in my head, but I could not imagine anyone else seeing what I imagine based on my descriptions.

Even the rate at which words are said and the emotion behind them could make all the difference between a story that is told and one that touches the reader. Simply getting the dialog written is difficult, but using the right words to describe how the dialog is said... that takes skill.

I try to diversify the words I used as well. Instead of using 'he said' after every quote, I would use 'he shrieked' 'explained' 'asked' 'growled' 'wailed' 'commanded' 'shouted' 'requested' 'cried out' 'sobbed' 'interrupted' 'objected'

When one diversifies the words used to describe quotes, it almost defines the emotion or the situation behind the one saying it. This may not sound like much, but I find this to be critical to many of the best stories I've read.
Yes! I can see so much of it in my head, but it is just so hard to write it down. I see something on TV or in a book or game, and I just get a chapter flowing in my head. It just never comes out as good as I would want it to on paper or when typing it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inyri View Post
You don't need to use that much technical jargon to write decent dog-fights. Read the X-wing series -- they're completely understandable to your average non-pilot.
Yes, that is true, but I think that it could always help.

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Old 07-20-2008, 03:29 PM   #38
TheExile
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Well, my romanian teacher- romanian is my mother language- always says that if you want your creations to be as you want in your head, read as much as possible, so you can see diversity in language and in the written way of expression...
I should start reading books in english =/


*Note: Chapter 8 is out!*
[Fic] The war of the ancients, seen through the eyes of one young men, as he walks the road of destiny... The Triumvirates War

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Old 07-21-2008, 12:07 AM   #39
Bee Hoon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheExile
I should start reading books in english =/
Yes, you should. You'd be missing out on countless awesomesauce books if you don't.

Well, personally, I like to see a polished fic, and by this I mean minimal typos, punctuation and grammatical errors. I have virtually nonexistent typing skills, and hence make a ridiculous amount of typos, but if I can take the time and effort to proofread my fics, others can too!

Besides that, good characters can make or break a fic. There's two extremes for me; either I feel that I know a character inside out, or that I can never predict what a character is going to do.

Referring to TheExile's first post, inserting banal elements in the first half of a fic may simply turn off readers. Do keep in mind that a lot of us have Darth RealLife breathing down our necks, and thus would rather limit our reading time to fics which are original and interesting. Ergo, such a plot device may backfire severely. It's good to have a twist here and there, but don't go overboard with the illogical thingamajig.

I could suffer through a familiar plot if the author puts a different spin on events, or has really great style.



The sun goes down and the sky reddens, pain grows sharp.
light dwindles. Then is evening
when jasmine flowers open, the deluded say.
But evening is the great brightening dawn
when crested cocks crow all through the tall city
and evening is the whole day
for those without their lovers

-Kuruntokai 234, translated by A.K. Ramanujan

[Fic] Shreds of a Dying Belief
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:15 AM   #40
Arcesious
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If you've read the things I write, I never use much jargon besides 'fore, aft, starboard, port' and whatnot of naval speak. I never liked starfighter dogfights. I always loved Giant, agile uber ship vs infinite fleet of giant uber ships action. Lots of huge explosions, crazy manuevers, extremely overexaggerated ships...

The occaisonal friend of the hero getting killed and then the hero going crazy and blowing everything up in a heroic, tactically rediculous way... You could say I have little taste for intricate stories, although I do enjoy a very detailed and balanced story once in awhile...

That's probably why I don't reply to many other fanfics much... I simply prefer the stories I've created myself, because they are the most exciting to me... And a lot of other ones.. simply aren't my style. Same with many other authors I bet, as for preferring their stories over others because it moreover means something to them... *shrugs*

I don't want to come off as arrogant, self-centered, or narrow-veiwed about what I prefer in a story though, so please don't take this the wrong way...


Please feed the trolls. XD
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