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Article Dumping: Writer's Block Edition:

 276 chihuahua 0, Mon, 21st May '12 5:14:47 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
 277 chihuahua 0, Tue, 22nd May '12 1:45:15 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
 278 chihuahua 0, Wed, 23rd May '12 2:09:22 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
Wednesday:

 279 chihuahua 0, Thu, 24th May '12 2:07:15 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
Thursday:

 280 Nightwire, Mon, 28th May '12 8:31:03 PM Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Paperclip Curator
http://io9.com/5912366/why-i-write-strong-female-characters

This is why Greg Rucka is my hero.
You see, I used to be an awkward nerd just like you, then I became Electro.
 281 Noaqiyeum, Wed, 6th Jun '12 12:10:04 PM from out of the night from pole to pole Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
the it-thingy
Chi - since you mentioned it in this post and it's an issue I have something of a passion about, here's the best article I've read on the subject of the problems with 'Christian fiction'.

[no one cares]
We dance around in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
- Robert Frost
 282 chihuahua 0, Wed, 6th Jun '12 12:44:18 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
[I care]

-starts reading article-

[down] You're welcome. Although I'm not compiling links this week, I'm still doing some posting on my Twitter (@chihuahuazero) and Google+ profile (which is much more streamlined).

edited 6th Jun '12 1:01:59 PM by chihuahua0

 283 Noaqiyeum, Wed, 6th Jun '12 12:57:48 PM from out of the night from pole to pole Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
the it-thingy
(Also, I'm going on a binge of the last page and a half. Thanks for compiling these. :D )
We dance around in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
- Robert Frost
 284 Noaqiyeum, Wed, 6th Jun '12 1:26:08 PM from out of the night from pole to pole Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
the it-thingy
Plotting with Layers (Janice Hardy)
We dance around in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
- Robert Frost
 285 Iulla, Sat, 9th Jun '12 9:32:48 AM from America Medioccidentalis
Brohirrim
The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar

I don't know if you've seen this yet (I think it was just posted yesterday), but it's got some good points. It's a compilation of short tips by a storyboard artist who works for Pixar.
fortiter in re, suaviter in modo
 286 chihuahua 0, Sat, 9th Jun '12 9:47:12 AM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

This is something I should focus on more in my writing. Which might mean putting more weight on the protag-antag relationship Bryan and Finn has for most of the book.

 287 Noaqiyeum, Sat, 9th Jun '12 12:51:44 PM from out of the night from pole to pole Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
the it-thingy
Ooh, that is good. I especially like this one:

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it's poison to the audience.
We dance around in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
- Robert Frost
 288 nrjxll, Sat, 9th Jun '12 12:59:42 PM Relationship Status: Not war
I don't really agree with this one:

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

It feels just as cheap to me if the conflict comes from unfavorable coincidences as it does when it's resolved by favorable ones.

This one strikes me as an interesting idea, though:

#9: When you're stuck, make a list of what WOULDN'T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

I'll have to try it sometime.

Easily entertained
#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

It feels just as cheap to me if the conflict comes from unfavorable coincidences as it does when it's resolved by favorable ones.

I see where you're coming from, but it's a bit more complicated than that. You're right that a Diabolus ex Machina is a bad plot device, if that's what your thinking. But a lot of plots are born when somebody just plain gets screwed over by misfortune in Act 1 and has to use their wits and resources to overcome it. The problems only happen when the unfavorable coincidences are constant or blatantly bizarre instead of merely uncommon. Even then, darker comedies are free to ignore that advice.

#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d'you rearrange them into what you DO like?

I gotta try this...

edited 9th Jun '12 1:08:37 PM by KillerClowns

 290 nrjxll, Sat, 9th Jun '12 1:18:52 PM Relationship Status: Not war
I see where you're coming from, but it's a bit more complicated than that. You're right that a Diabolus ex Machina is a bad plot device, if that's what your thinking. But a lot of plots are born when somebody just plain gets screwed over by misfortune in Act 1 and has to use their wits and resources to overcome it. The problems only happen when the unfavorable coincidences are constant or blatantly bizarre instead of merely uncommon. Even then, darker comedies are free to ignore that advice.

If there's any trope I'm arguing against here, it's No Delays For The Wicked, not Diabolus ex Machina. Having the protagonists be put in trouble (or deeper in trouble) by arbitrary chance, while the antagonists suffer no such problems, has always struck me as a cheap way of extending a plot or conflict.

It can work in comedies, but in serious works it tends to undercut the gravity of the situation if, instead of things coming as a logical result of in-story forces, there's only a problem because (essentially) the author wanted one.

 291 Noaqiyeum, Sat, 9th Jun '12 1:22:22 PM from out of the night from pole to pole Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
the it-thingy
If there's anything I've learned from Schlock Mercenary, it's that coincidences making things worse for the villains don't have to mean things get better for the heroes.
We dance around in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
- Robert Frost
 292 chihuahua 0, Sat, 9th Jun '12 3:45:43 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
 293 chihuahua 0, Mon, 11th Jun '12 8:42:29 AM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
More will be posted this afternoon:

Monday:

edited 11th Jun '12 1:35:37 PM by chihuahua0

 294 Mr AHR, Mon, 11th Jun '12 2:33:16 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Huh? What?

LRP?

As in LARP?

Well.

—reads—
 295 chihuahua 0, Tue, 12th Jun '12 8:51:11 AM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
 296 chihuahua 0, Wed, 13th Jun '12 7:58:51 AM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
 297 chihuahua 0, Thu, 14th Jun '12 9:59:18 AM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
Thursday:

 298 chihuahua 0, Mon, 18th Jun '12 2:46:04 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
A new week!

Monday:

 299 chihuahua 0, Tue, 19th Jun '12 5:42:09 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
 300 Morven, Tue, 19th Jun '12 6:04:24 PM from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Liked a bunch of these recent ones. The tips on deep point of view are well-taken; I try to do this but don't always succeed.

I really liked the "Why you need to stop rewriting" one. It reminds me of a saying in software development: "Write one to throw away." Why? Because the first one you write, you started it without knowing the details of what you were trying to accomplish. It was an exploratory work, an "understanding by doing" effort.

By the time you finish writing the first version of something, you know what you're trying to do. But the words, or program/function/subroutine, that you have still contains a lot of what you wrote before you wholly understood the task.

So, "throw it away." (Don't really trash it, of course — just don't refer to it while writing it again). If necessary, write down everything that you learned, but if the piece is short, you don't even have to do that.

Doesn't work for everyone, and doesn't work for every situation, but if you have a case where a piece of your work technically works — it accomplishes what it should — but isn't quite "right" it might be just the cure you needed.

I think I may expand this to a blog posting of my own, in fact.

edited 19th Jun '12 7:28:21 PM by Morven

A brighter future for a darker age.
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