>NaNo thread on /tg/
>NaNo thread on /v/
>NaNo thread on /r9k/
>No NaNo thread on /lit/
Gotta rectify that. What are we writing?
I will just write the same schizophrenic ass diarrhea w/ a loose narrative that I always wind up writing, but I guess now I will write it w/ greater frequency. my main character's name is Cola Guy.
What I love about NaNo is all of these horrible Fantasy/Action/Teen writers who come out of the woodwork and prove how poor the competition really is.
You'll find vloggers who talk about writing 14,000 words per day. Let me tel you: If you are writing 14,000 words per day, you are not writing quality prose. You are simply spewing out brain-farts from the magical fantasy land in your head that you have created to escape reality. Invariably these kind of writers "wear" their writing, so to speak. They become too immersed and it shows in the finished product.
Incidentally, I started writing my first novel a week ago and will use the above as motivation.
While I agree that those kinds of people and their writing are usually garbage, you can write a lot in a short time and have it not completely suck so long as you heavily edit it later. Though obviously 90% or more of the people we're talking about aren't going to do that.
If you want to see something depressing go on youtube and search 'self-publishing' or something. Loads of YA writers publishing their own garbage books, putting loads of money into something that fucking nobody wants to read.
He has people who'll actually publish his shit though. And he spent years sending short stories out to various magazines before his first book got published.
If the average /lit/ poster with no publishing credentials churns out a novel in 3 weeks, chances are no one's going to want to touch it.
>If you are writing 14,000 words per day, you are not writing quality prose
Even if you write only 140, it will always benefit from an edit. Having 14k words to edit, increases to chance to have more quality in the end.
How is this depressing and not fucking amusing?
Pulp authors can push out publishable novels in under a week. 50k words in a month is damn easy if you disregard quality.
It depends on what kind of work you're writing. Didn't Flaubert need one week per page?
NaNoWriMo is a good/bad idea.
One thing that happens is that many participants will write stories very fast, producing low-quality work. On the other hand, it works very much as a motivation to actually write instead of procrastinating the task - that seems what most people here suffer and have very low standards regarding the amount of daily work they should be doing if they want to be writers.
I wouldn't worry much because of the quality of the prose and plots of NaNo are bad - most of them are very young and inexperienced. Unless they're genius, they will write bad stuff at the start, NaNo is a good way to get that out of their systems if they re-read they works later and realize the mistake they committed.
because a lot of people who pursue writing are just lazy, talentless posers who want fame and validation, and think that writing novels will be an easy way to get it.
because i tricked all of my teachers in highschool into thinking i was smart when i bullshitted all those essays, surely i can do the same with a novel.
>that perky demeanor
I feel sick.
I used to write a lot as a child, but quit about ten years ago. Every November I think about using this to get back into it, but forget until halfway through the month.
Thanks for reminding me on the first OP. I know it's stupid bullshit but even stupid bullshit can be a good motivator.
You're just mashing a number or symbol key, aren't you?
I bet it'll still turn out better than 99% of the shit that typically comes out of this, and there's something terribly sad and banal about that.
I'm doing okay actually. There's just that moment of fear when you start, no matter how prepared you are.
How much word building should I do before writing my fantasy novel? I've figured out the religions, languages, and politics of the last 500 years. When should I develop my characters and their ancestry?
I annotated American Psycho specifically for this, because I had read it before and admired it greatly, so I wanted to write something close to its spirit
And also, I wanted to do the project with a female protagonist. HOWEVER! I've found that Patrick Bateman was a way for BEE to explore alienation in an absurd context. Bateman the character originated from a place of pain inside Ellis. If I want to write a female protagonist -- something that I've noticed is much more prevalent in films than in literature -- it has to be her own satire exploring alienation.
Is there any way we can form a /lit/ NaNoWriMo sub-group?
I fuggin love you guys, don't wanna mix with nobody else.
>I annotated American Psycho specifically for this, because I had read it before and admired it greatly, so I wanted to write something close to its spirit
Just write 500 brand names and products down on a piece of paper then jerk off onto it. That's basically what Bret did.
The world you're building will mean jack shit if your characters, plot, and prose (i.e. the book itself) are as flat and boring as cardboard. Start working on those. You can get away with a bland style (see GRRM) if your characters and plot are good enough, but even he has a skillful sense of description and direction about his world, and the writing flows smoothly so you aren't left with a hiccup amidst the action. Pay attention to all three, all the time.
Pretty much this. The point of NaNo is to do the fucking work. If you give a shit about the book after you've finished writing it, you'll go back and revise it. If you care at all about being published, you'll be doing this anyway, for just about anything you write, ever. Hell, you might even throw it out entirely, which might be a good call if you think it's irredeemable hot trash (save it anyway though).
It's less about publishing and more about learning to get shit done, something that many of the people, that look down on the NaNoWriMo crowd, can't do.
Besides, writing a full novel is always a great practice and can serve as a chance to try a completely new approach. Well, and motivation.
This so much.
Also one could just write a novel about writing a novel and throwing few scenes from the character life in-between. One should be able to fill tons of pages with his/her brainstorming alone and parts from the novel inside a novel AND then rewriting them.
you mean like this chick
I don't know why Nanowrimo is considered cool. Writing fast isn't good, it's what a hack does. Better to spend 2 or 3 years on your novel, planning, writing, and editing it.
Get over yourself dude. For a novice, any writing is good writing. Nanowrimo gives beginners a built-in network and motivation.
You're definitely right in the long term, but this is for people who haven't gotten to that point. Go curmudgeon up some other thread.
>Writing fast isn't good, it's what a hack does.
You seem to be under the impression that the end result of NaNoWriMo is supposed to be publishable quality. That is not the case at all. At least skim over the thread before posting redundancies.
>It's less about publishing and more about learning to get shit done, something that many of the people, that look down on the NaNoWriMo crowd, can't do.
Fucking thank you for saying that. I don't care much about NaNoWriMo myself, but I certainly don't hate it. It's getting more people interested in writing. Isn't that kind of a good thing?
Lets write a stream of consciousness meme novel. Anyone can contribute.
I've got a few ideas rattling in my head, but one I'm toying with is a series of vignettes based around immortality, space colonization, and the organization of societies by ideology and demographics.
no, a novel about memes, written in the stream of consciousness style. What the hell makes you think this isn't a serious idea.
Memes are the product of collective consciousness of mankind, so it i makes sense that a novel about memes would be written by a large group of people.
> Having 14k words to edit, increases to chance to have more quality in the end.
Assumes all mental processes lead to the same arrangements of words. If you are writing 14k words in a day, unless you're 45 and already an accomplished author, the strain of writing that much is going to result in the simplest shite possible.
I don't expect to succeed
but my novel idea is about an introverted cynical shut in, who happens to witness an alleged rape between a college quaterback and a girl who has parents who are well respected with the deans and the higher ups at the college the both go to.
Since this cynical shut in is the only one who witnessed the alleged rape, he is then called to testify.
since this is a big event, there is pressure on this cynical shut in to tell the world that what he witnessed was in fact a rape, but to him, he feels like what he witnessed wasn't a rape at all, and when he testifies must make the choice on whether or not to tell lie because people want him to, or to tell the truth because of his moral standards
I'm sure you guys will totally tear this apart but here goes (1/2)
The four boys were sat on a wall outside of the church, which was closed. The wall was dark and mossy and high enough so that the boys’ feet dangled and kicked against it. Next to the wall was a road and on the other side was a row of houses. It was late afternoon and there was hardly any traffic.
The boys were wearing school uniform with hooded jumpers over it. They were not of the rough sort though and minded their own business. From left to right there was a tall skinny one with glasses and a short one with long greasy hair like Noel Gallagher and who was holding a Gameboy, and then there was a baby-face with a bowl cut and a really fat one with a squashed up face. They were looking at the Gameboy of the boy with greasy hair and laughing with each other and they did not notice the two older lads dressed in black with white stripes and with their hoods up until they were almost right next to them.
‘Hey up.” the skinny one said and nudged his head towards the two approaching figures. They stayed where they were but without smiles on their faces and the boy with the Gameboy folded it up and put it in his pocket. They kept their eyes towards the floor as the older boys walked past them with their hands in their pockets and then as they were past them the two appeared to say something to each other and the boys knew they were in trouble.
As they sat there the fat boy looked to his left and saw one of the lads take a left behind the hedgerow and he hopped off the wall to signal to the others that they should leave. As this happened the one who had remained on the pavement turned and ran at the boys and at the same time the one who had gone behind the hedgerow came up from behind the wall and punched the tall boy with the glasses and he fell off the wall and landed on his hands and the fat boy swung at the one on the pavement and missed hitting his shoulder. The other two boys dived off the wall and they grabbed the fat boy by the shirt and they all started to run down the road towards school while the lad hopped over the wall and the two of them ran after them.
They ran after the boys like two wolves chasing a herd. They quickly caught up to the fat boy and one of them kicked him expertly in the back of the legs and he fell and then one of them kicked him in the stomach a couple of times and they ran after the other three.
There was a road coming up on the right, and the tall boy with glasses shouted something and continued going straight while the other two darted right and the lads went right after them. Now the two boys darted down a side street and nearly tripped over a wheelie bin and made their way down an estate. The estate was like a rat warren of walls and garden fences and the boys ended up running down a set of fenced back-gardens and they had lost track of where the lads were in their excitement. They stopped a minute and panted and then the two lads came around the corner and started walking toward them catching their breath.
‘You’re gonna fucking get it now.’ said the bigger of the two lads. He had taken his hood down and had a bald head with a mole on it. The other lad was younger and wiry and stared at them with his eyes bulging out of his skull. There was no time to think and the greasy-haired boy picked up a large stone and threw it at the bald lad’s face. It scarcely missed and the two lads ran at them again. The boy with the baby-face stepped backward and hit the younger lad in the stomach and made him bend over with sickness and then ran while the greasy-haired one tried to run past the two lads in the gap that had appeared but the older lad grabbed hold of his arm and threw him against the concrete post of the fence at the side of them. He looked to his right sharply as the baby-faced boy rugby-tackled him to the floor and landed a decent hit across his jaw. By this time the wiry young lad had come round and hit the boy in the back of the head but he had felt the hit in his stomach and the other lad’s mouth was bleeding. By sheer luck they had come apart and the fighting stopped.
The older lad spat on the floor and said something along the lines of ‘watch your fucking back, we’ll be seeing you again’ and the two disappeared back around the corner they had come from. For a couple of minutes the boys watched to see if they were going to run back at them but then they dusted themselves off and walked back down the estate towards school. The boy with the long hair looked at his torn jumper and then back at the other.
‘Nice one mate,’ he said. ‘You really helped us out there.’
‘No worries.’ the other boy said.
‘Nah, seriously, you’re a fucking hero mate. Wait ‘till they hear back at school about this I swear. You’ll be like Rambo.’ They both laughed and headed back to school where they were greeted by their Head of Year at the gates.
‘Thomas, Sam. Two-thirty is not the time that lunch finishes and you both know it.’ she said. She was a short, wide woman with short, spiked blonde hair and two tiny squinted blue eyes.
Oops, this went over into 3, sorry.
‘We can explain, Miss’, said the boy with greasy hair whose name was Tom. The other boy, Sam, started up with him. ‘We got jumped by two men up near Swithens Drive.’ Tom showed the teached his ripped up sleeve and scraped hands and her face changed from scorn to sympathy. ‘Come in boys, I’ll have to take you to see the school nurse then.’ She said. All in all things had turned out okay. They had an excuse for being late and they got to miss fourth period, and for the next two weeks at school Sam was the one who had fought off two year-Tens from another school at the gardens at the back of Swithens.
If we're making generalizations, I'd say that they're allergic to structure. Alternately, they think that they can magically shit out enough words in a coherent sequence that they'll be able to make the deadline without needing significant editing.
Though to be fair, I don't usually start writing with a clear structure in mind. I write down scenes that come into mind as I think of them, then go back, see what the overarching story is looking like by picking out the plot important events, putting them in sequence, and then drafting a general outline for the entire story based on that. Then I go back and fill in events and details that connect the plot points. So I will admit that I don't think it's entirely terrible to go into a writing project without a concrete plan, you just have to accept that you'll probably have to do a lot more significant revisions early on and will fumble around a bit as you try to figure out what point you're making or ultimate goal you're going to reach.
But that's for general writing, not a challenge like NaNo.
For something like NaNoWriMo, it's essentially guaranteeing your project blowing up in your face.
>amazing, crazy, crazmazing month
>talking like a character from How I Met Your Mother so maybe people will think you are funny
>not having a will, soul, or thoughts of your own
>just being a woman in general
ugh tbf kinfolk
fuck, do I have to think of an idea by the end of today?
god I can't think of anything... I just finished Blood Meridian for the first time so everything I come up with is reminiscent of that
If the alleged rapist was a college quarterback, wouldn't there be counter-pressure not to testify against him? After all, he would also be a popular kid.
Try to switch them around; tell the story of the quarterback who witnessed an alleged rape of Stacy by a shut-in nerd.
I've done 2k words on my first day for my NaNo novel. This is my second attempt, only managed 15k last year, so I'm adding to it this year.
Done 500 words for my short story too, goal is 10k by the end of the month, so my total daily goal is 2500 words.
Weird fact, after deciding to call my novel 'Venice 2027" I've look around online for cyberunk inspiration images and a possible book cover pic. After finding pic related, I reverse reverse google searched it to ask the artist if I could borrow the pic for NaNo, and then I realised that the image is titled ~"Venice Beach 2072"
I still cannot get over the coincidence, very spoopy.
Post your word counts, fagmuffins. No slackers allowed.
Started on mine early this morning.
Got about 1200 words.
Having fun so far.
I've already got a handful of other projects going, but I dunno, it's nice to have something to participate in.
Kind of sad how everyone on here thinks they're "above" this, but probably has never even finished a novel.
>Kind of sad how everyone on here thinks they're "above" this, but probably has never even finished a novel.
I agree completely. Some of the most enduring literature of all time was written as a marathon.
The writer of 'Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' thinks you're a faggot.
Cool cover bro. You may be able to troubleshoot /gd/ for advice if you want to make it slicker after you're done with the actual writing.
Hope the story doesn't suck. Got a brief summary?
Oddly enough, I got an idea that totally revamps my current novel, so I chucked out the 50 pages I already had and I'm re-writing it from a new approach... so, let's fucking do it WriNoMaNia
>rekindle your love of writing
>with a grueling ordeal
No. Here's what you do: Find a relatively cheap B&B in small town a few hundred kilometres away and book in there for two weeks. Go alone. Leave your computer at home. Leave your phone at home or off. Spend those two weeks strolling the countryside, drinking whisky with the blue-collar workers in the local tavern, and writing. On paper. With a pencil.
Then you'll remember why you loved writing.
I'd just start writing and worry about the craft aspect later. The first thousands of words you're going to write will suck either way, even if you read every book on writing before.
Writing a book sounds hard at first, especially when you are used to reading good books.
You feel so much pressure to be that great writer you imagine yourself as, but in reality, you are just setting your own bar too high.
The trick is to realize that if those "Bad" writers can get away with it, you can too. Write shit, then make it better latter. Not everyone gets to start out as a master, and there is literately no difference between you and the people you hate. You just project your own inadequacy onto them.
I write YA sci-fi with a female protagonist, and it's gonna make me rich. I love NaNoWriMo, but holy shit the people who's doing it from Norway are the fucking weirdest people I've ever come across. And for some reason they all write "urban fantasy"
>If you are writing 14,000 words per day, you are not writing quality prose.
>You are simply spewing out brain-farts from the magical fantasy land in your head that you have created to escape reality.
>as if all prose weren't brain farts from magical fantasy land we create to escape reality
I want to write a 10 chapter novel that sits around 100 pages. My goal is to not outline the book at all and only outline individual chapters, building them off of one another. I hope I can write pretty quick and get a ~10 page chapter done every day or so. Then spend a day outlining the next chapter, then two or so writing it. I'll have to use my weekends as boosters to get more writing done.
I've wanted to write a story for a long time that uses my city of Columbus, Ohio as a backdrop with which to criticism millennial values like the fetishization of shitty art, extremist almost paranoid ideology, and taking internet shit way to seriously.
Ideally the story will start out as a pretty normal, but mildly eclectic, romantic bildungsroman before dissolving completely into a surreal nightmare of conspiracy theories, political obsession, shitty art, and self-obliteration.
No idea if it will be good or not, but I'm more excited for NaNoWrMo because I'm usually a very slow and laborious writer so I think giving myself a time constraint like this will be healthy for my process and help me make more natural work.
I'll also like the chance to fuck around with different styles and experiments. Also, don't really care about the 50,000 word goal. My goal right now is 10 chapters of 10 pages roughly. If I finish early I'll type some short intercalary chapters or some shit.
That actually sounds like a great way to approach it, and unlike most NaNo story ideas yours doesn't make me retch immediately. When you finish it make sure you post it (or a link to it) on lit.
>Ideally the story will start out as a pretty normal, but mildly eclectic, romantic bildungsroman before dissolving completely into a surreal nightmare of conspiracy theories, political obsession, shitty art, and self-obliteration.
It's not a competition faggot, use it as a chance to experience dead lines as a professional writer. learning to work fast is integral to most professions, writing even more so because you'll be shit broke all the time if you can't churn word counts out.
>On a roll, shits getting real
>"Aw heck yeah, that was good"
>done for the night, gonna read some book
>oh my god i am worthless this is golden material i will never be worthy why am i doin this i surrender
I was hoping to write the whole lifespan of the character in the novel, but I'm worried that the leaps between chapters might be too large and sudden, plus it might look like I'm trying to cram too much in
What's the best way to go about it?
I understand the 'cramming too much in' thought, but honestly, no leap is too far as long as you keep it interesting. Leaps don't really matter as long as nothing overly drastic takes place in a gap.
I had an opposite experience.
I tend to be stubborn, so when someone argued that "The maze runner" was a great book I read it out of spite to see how bad it was. My writing suddenly looked more than passable in comparison.
But then again, when I read Grapes of Wrath i wanted to never touch a keyboard again.
This is exactly what I'm doing.
The first year I did some sci-fi stuff about a guy waking up in post-apocalyptia with superpowers and tries to stabilize the civil war between the three remaining nations.
This year I'm going to write some YA stuff about a couple of teen gangs who've all got superpowers.
Guys, does this sound familiar? I want to check if what I'm doing is basically a subconscious plagiarization of someone else's work.
- Man finds himself being hunted by cosmic horror
- Avoids it by selling his soul to another horror entity
- Lives as a slave in horror dimension
- Tries to stage a revolt and become the next horror entity
>having 14k words to edit, increases to chance to have more quality in the end
Writing isn't a fucking statistical distribution. The very act of writing such an amount of words per day has consequences of its output value. I'm pretty sure absolutely nothing of worth is hiding in thoses 14,000 daily garbages. Gustave Flaubert also frequently threw away 96% of a page but he was an experienced writer. Honoré de Balzac is often put out as the endlessly writing cliché but before cutting his sleep and writing thousands and thousands of words each day, he spent most of his life having the same kind of lifestyle many here have. He wrote more than 100 books, for fuck sake, he knew what he was laying on the paper, in the end.
Experience is certainly a crucial factor but how are you going to get it? By spending a week on a page like Flaubert? It will still suck if you're a beginner, so might as well write hundred pages in that time, which leaves you with more material to analyse and improve.
Writing 14,000 gives no experience, as some faggot above said it's only brain-farting. A neophyte should indeed spend a week on a page or at least write a decent amount of words, a quantity that won't be absolutely contradictory with the mere idea of thinking about what you're producing. Assuming you have a job, writing 4,000 words each day, with no exception, is already quite hard.
this is like saying journaling is only brain farting. If you don't see the value of grabbing onto a thought and expounding upon it as much as you can, seeing where every loose end takes you. and what ideas it allows you to articulate that you otherwise never would have, then god help you.
4k each day would be quite a lot and closer to 14k than one page a week. (going by both extreme examples)
>a quantity that won't be absolutely contradictory with the mere idea of thinking about what you're producing
Where did you get the idea that 14k words would be completely thoughtless? It could be done in 14h or 1k words per hour, which isn't that fast. Obviously requires the person to be a NEET/free contractor/pensioner/insomniac. Sure, you won't have the time to reconsider every word and phrase at that speed but you're not supposed to do it while writing the first draft either way.
Well, you're the one who started to talk about a page a week and I speak of a completed page, ie already rewritten and corrected, just like Flaubert did.
>It could be done in 14h or 1k words per hour, which isn't that fast
Even a wealthy man who doesn't work can't write continuously for fourteen hour every single day. With such a schedule, you won't ever reconsider it since tomorrow is already dedicated to another 14k words rant. This would be pure shit, the very transcription of everything that we think of during the day, with no coherence, no structure and no style.
this is really fucking dumb and transparent. Typical 4channer cynical shut in who every time he hears about a rape thinks "pshh, i bet it wasn't really rape, it's just those damn feminists who hate men"
what a stupid fucking idea.
I'm going to say my piece on this, because I'm doing this NaNoWriMo thing for the first time this year.
I'm doing it because I'm a lazy piece of shit who has never pulled through with any project or endeavour in the past 5 years of my life.
I spent the whole of October planning out my story - scenes, characters, locations etc. so to those who think this event is about starting one the 1st Nov with no ideas and just writing garbled shite for 30 days you're not entirely correct.
On the 30th when I will hopefully have written 50k words, my "novel" isn't going to be amazing I know. But I'll be 50k words ahead of where I was 30 days prior and I'll continue to add to and edit those 50k words until the work is finally ready for public consumption.
For me, the month is a single event within the whole process of writing a novel - an event that gets me into my chair writing a decent amount per day so that I'll have a good meaty chunk of prose to be proud of.
If anyone has a better way to get people motivated to write then why don't you mass market it and make it a worldwide unofficial event.
>If anyone has a better way to get people motivated to write
What would be the point? If somebody has something to say, the person will be motivated without any outside events.
Also how many words do you have on day 3?
I kind of see what you're saying but I don't think that all you need to be motivated is good ideas or something to say. There are plenty of people with nothing to say who still say a lot - so it's not beyond the realm of belief for there to be people who have a lot to say that don't say much, if that makes sense?
I'm on just over 5,000 words now, including prologue, and retiring for the night.
You get feedback, support, motivation and the tools needed to write. There's evidently a lot of hate for it here but if you're an aspiring writer who needs a kick up the arse to get going, there's nothing bad about it at all.
The downside that people on /lit/ seem to be worried about is that it just causes an influx of YA/genre fiction writers who think that just because they've written a lot in a short space of time it makes them an 'author'. Which I guess you could say is a bad thing but on an individual level there's nothing but good that the event can do for you.
What does feedback and support mean though? As I understand it you're not actually posting your work to the site. Or do I have that wrong?
Think it could be good either way, I just don't understand what it is besides a word count tracker.
There are forums on the website, and podcasts etc. to help you. There are also sub-groups of people who you can share your work with and get peer-reviews and such.
>>7318449 are there age-specific sub-groups? If you're over 30 I imagine the fantasy/YA shit has a cutoff point at around 21 so sticking to older groups will certainly have a more mature community.
>tfw three days in and you're done nothing
>tfw you know you'll just blow it off again.
Although I have a pretty big exam in a week and a half so I'll probably write some while procrastinating for that.
If it helps, I enjoy expressionistic poetry and modern literature from 1900-1920. I don't care for intelligible stories and easy reading. I want my shit to be complex, obscure, and deliberately fucking with pleb taste.
>There are plenty of people with nothing to say who still say a lot
>people who have a lot to say that don't say much, if that makes sense?
Well, if their will/motivation to deliver the message is that weak, is it truly worth delivering? Perhaps it's a bit dogmatic but I think that if you truly have something to say, you will find the motivation to say it. Take the guys who wrote from a jail cell from example.
Though I don't mean to diss anybody who gets shit done, however they managed to do it, it's admirable in it's own way. Just a rant about my ideal of a struggling artist, who writes against all odds and adversaries.
>tfw working on NaNoWriMo and main project at the same time
Though to be fair, skipping uni helps. And stream of consciousness, that shit is almost like cheating.
How does YA/fantasy prevent it from being interesting? Hell, you have even a lot room with experimental if you write YA, since it's more about target group than a genre.
Also how many complex and obscure stories have you written so far?
>Also how many complex and obscure stories have you written so far?
Like, a lot. I've got around 1000 pages of stories centering around different writing techniques or philosophical ideas or psychological phenomena.
I think nanowrimo is a pretty fun activity.
I just have enough grit and determination to stick to it.
I decided to write for this year's Nanowrimo. I'm honestly really poor with grammar and phrasing, but I really like to come up with stories in my head, have since I was a kid. I also haven't read anything in a long time, worth noting at least.
I'm doing a collection of short stories and was just looking for some pointers as to how make it all work together better? I'm trying to create a very grim and almost lifeless fantasy country, that's surrounded and walled off by other countries which are fairly high fantasy in structure. The stories all focus on the grim country, but I'm having trouble deciding what stories to put into the work and which ones to leave out. I have over 13 different story ideas right now and keep adding more every day. It's my first time writing something in almost 6 years and so I feel a bit overwhelmed. It's a lot of fun though to finally be creating again, even if my writing is piss poor.
What's the point of your story? Coming up with something meaningful to say (i.e. maybe the whole thing is a riff on themes of disconnection, or loneliness) can inspire order, structure and direction in otherwise chaotic writing.
Only shit writing doesn't contain meaning to it.
Well that's the thing. I don't really know meaning beyond just trying to tell a story. I've always wished I could think of deeper meanings to things, but in the end I just end up coming up with whatever I feel would allow the story to flow better. I'm not really that intelligent of an individual, and so I honestly don't even know how to add some deeper meaning to it. I don't intend to be a literary master of course. I'm not really good at subtlety, to some degree at least, and so I have no idea how to create or interject some kind of deeper meaning. I barely graduated high school but I love to create worlds and ideas, world building is my favorite thing to do. Unfortunately beyond that I have no idea. Sorry if this makes me sound ignorant or stupid or something like that.
I think it's good to have a balance of works in your head. Even when you read less than stellar books, I find that the process of going through it and figuring out what I would've done if I was writing it exercises my capability to think more critically when I go back to my own work. When you've got works you admire, then you can try to suss out what about them intrigues or inspires you.
Okay. I've been re-reading a lot of lesbian iCarly fanfiction recently alongside my University work so I'll write an edgy teen romance as viewed by Tacitus.
Just use desu and senpai a lot desu senpai.
But seriously you'd need to have good knowledge of specific customs and locations and the culture before doing something like this so I'd recommend not doing it unless you have good knowledge of Japan that isn't from anime and only do it if it's absolutely necessary to the plot.
I need a handle to sign up to this site for memes. What meme should I be, boys?
Names are dumb, you wanna go for some postmodern-tier memery
nothing. I don't have the attention span to write a novel and though ideas are circulating around in my head most are generic as shit and are only fragments of ideas.
>reincarnation and a purgatory between lives where inhabitants are tested to ascend to nirvana or plummet back to earth for another cycle
>a stretch of america where the roaring 20s never ended
>twin magicians, a boy and a girl, one pure of mind and the other pure of heart
and a bunch of other bullshit that I can't think of a way to fit together into a coherent story that isn't shit
Behind The Name random generator. Tick the culture of the characters parents, flip through a couple of names until one jumps out. Either stick with that name, or it will inspire another one which I'll use.
I like this method for its randomness, and for the disconnect it gives between the character and the writer. None of us get to pick our own names, keeping that rule true for a fictional character makes everything feel more real.
I DID IT. I caught up! Take that being sick.
Plus I feel really good about my pace.
I'm actually doing this but I did around two years of research and altered the setting slightly to cover blind spots. The setting is a Japan of 2017 that was annexed by the United States in 1952, so it helps cover a couple of blind spots, especially regarding Japanese law. The culture I've done a fuckload of research on and still do so daily. Look for academic papers. If it takes place in a school I HIGHLY recommend you read up on ijime; there's a lot of decent sociological studies on it with examples. It is a specific facet of Japanese school life that in a microcosm captures many cultural values.
If you have no idea about anything about Japan, I strongly advise against it. Haruki Murakami and Sri Lankan picture books do not count as cultural exposure.
Since my book features mostly Japanese names I just search kanji I like and try to find a name that sounds good. For non-Japanese names I use Germanic sounds or French sounds since I speak the latter fairly well (I'm rusty though) and the former I've been meaning to learn German and Icelandic.
Hey NaNoLit, quick question: is it normal to write something, feel good about it, and then a few hours later (without even looking at it again) feel really awful about it. Like, you feel as though you wasted that hour you spent writing, and all you can do is cringe when you think about it.
Happens to me every time, and it just now set in for NaNo. 7000 words and I don't even want to open the document today because I feel like it's a waste of time and probably just awful. How do I overcome this? Is my brain broken?
Research. Endless research.
Yes, always. You were performing a mental colonoscopy. Now you can take the bad ideas and figure out what was bad with them and build new, better ideas. If you can't stand looking at what you wrote before, don't even bother looking at that, just give yourself a big break at the bottom of the document and start writing from there.
That's pretty much the point of Nano, to get over that feeling. Anybody who starts NaNo and is at least partly self-aware realizes that what they're writing is garbage, but the process of writing garbage is to first step towards self-improvement. Those 7k words probably already made you a better writer, you just won't know it for another few months when you try again.
First off, see my post here: >>7322505
Acquaint yourself with ideals of both the Nipponese Zeitgeist (eg; wa (和), yamatodamashii (大和魂), honne/tatemae (本音・建前), ie (家), etc.); and also aspects of modern subculture (Shibuya fashion, variety shows, idolshit, 2ch, le jazz maymay, etc.) Start with Wikipedia shit for basic stuff then go into more detailed cultural studies on specific concepts. Pay attention especially to where American culture has influenced Japanese culture as well. The American occupation of Japan began in 1945 and ended in 1952. It's probably best that you have a working knowledge of Japanese history from at least 1952 onwards, since that's more or less what Japan is today, though obviously older concepts date back to older periods, like certain forms of art and the family registry system. Also good to know are social problems in Japan (ijime, falling birthrate, hikkiNEET/freeters, adolescent suicide, the society of gaps, the 2030 problem, marginalized minorities such as the Ainu, Burakunin, Ryukyuan peoples and Korean/Chinese expatriates, etc.).
There are a lot of very small differences between our cultures that you might not consider, so it's always, always good to check WHENEVER you sense you're not sure. For example, recently I found out that policemen in Japan tend to have a lot closer relationships with suburbanites and other nearby residents. A new policeman would often go door to door and introduce himself. If he sees something unsafe in terms of security, he may leave a note or his card in your mailbox. This might be an invasion of privacy in American terms, but in Japan the police are thought more of a paternalistic figure looking out for the community.
For Japanese character naming, which you might also ask about, I tend to use this site http://classic.jisho.org/words?jap=&eng=&dict=enamdic
I usually use a method similar to Gen Urobuchi's where the names aren't so complicated that they're hard to spell or remember, but unique enough that by some miracle I become popular, someone could Google them and get relevant results.
Generally I go for unusual last names but common first names, in terms of the sound, but I try to use unique spellings for the first names as well. Avoid anything whose meaning sounds like, overly edgy unless you're going for that effect. Like, if the character's name means DOCK FRAME MASTAA then you've fucked up.
Some other things to keep in mind regarding names are conventions regarding their construction so you don't look like a huge nerd and name a male character with a super female name.
Female names have virtually no restrictions regarding what characters they contain. Like, if you wanted to name your kid fucking Tree there's probably four different ways to read 木 that are plausible female names. Most Japanese names in general are between 1-4 syllables, though two and three is most common. As for female name conventions, many names end in 子 (ko-child), 音 (ne-sound), 香 (ka-fragrance). This is a convention and not really a super hard and fast rule. Ayano, Mashiro and Sakura are all super common names in Japan and none of them end in those characters.
Male character names are a lot harder. Many, many male names in Japan end in 郎 (rou-son) or 介 (suke-no appropriate in context meaning). There are, of course, exceptions; Shun, Ken'ichi and Yukio are all legit male names.
As another rule, avoid names with like, three vowels in a row (this includes ん); they sound anime as fuck. These are names like Ain, Rein, Reon. They look fucking weird and for some Japanese speakers are actually hard to pronounce, for some reason. Avoid characters with negative traits unless you want that. These would be characters like 死 (death), 病 (illness), 殺 (kill), etc. These names are weird and also generally kind of snowflake-y.
Surnames are usually location names or natural objects, reflecting a heritage similar to the Western convention of naming people after the places they came from. I try to use more interesting last names since Japan is fucking overflowing with Tanakas, Yamadas and Yamaguchis.
Lastly, avoid the name Hanako. It's like, the Bob of names.
Examples of my character's names:
暁星苺姫 (Maki Akeboshi- shining+star/planet [these two characters are an old word for Venus that read as gyosei normally; since she's associated with pride I decided to associate her with the morning star], strawberry+princess [her mother was a strawberry farmer])
青木永花 (Eika Aoki- green + tree [common-ish last name, calls vitality to mind], eternal flower [she's terminally ill and I'm being post-post ironic])
森乃林 (Kiki Morino- Forest+from [grew up in Aokigahara's general area] + grove [this character normally reads as Rin, but the individual radicals 木 read as ki. There's two so Kiki. I think I'm more clever than I probably am.]
I hope this was helpful to you fucking weeaboos.
Wanted to tackle my YA book since that's the easiest of my projects to write. Unfortunately even my YA concept requires piles of research that I still haven't had time to do. November is probably my fucking busiest month every year and I never finish.
Is it correct to use "because" in this sentence?: More money should be invested in wind, solar, and wave power _______ we don't need to burn so much coal, gas, and oil.
My teacher told me is not, that is "so that"
Just as some background, I know some if not most of your cultural points as well as the Japanese language aspect (been studying it for 5 years). Things like honne/tatemae, yamato damashii, variety shows, idols, 2ch, shibuya/modern fashion, modern japanese history, korean/chinese minorities, ijime, falling birthrate, NEETs/freeters, suicide rates, the lost decade, as well as Japanese naming conventions were all stuff I already knew. Don't know if this helps but thank you for the advice though. My major problem is how to put Japanese customs and culture into character interactions. Should I have them interact like "normal" people and if not how much "Japanesse-ness" should be present in their personality to make it seem realistic while at the same time not alienating the reader?
Eh I've just been doing it like you would a constructed culture; have your characters interact like normal human beings and only stop to explain shit when it's important. Just treat the setting as normal backdrop that's just part of the character's lives. If you exoticise it too much and explain shit like a billion fucking times a chapter it will read like very dry historical fiction. Avoid Japanese words unless absolutely fucking necessary (things like kotatsu and futon are okay, and food names, but under no circumstances should a character say itadakimasu or senpai). Generally speaking, cultural preconceptions probably will work best with the audience if it's treated like a normal facet of the character's personality. Like, for example, if your protagonist is a bully, then you can write them bullying some weak nerd for reasons of "they're fucking up the social order" or "goddamn I hate that they're so quiet, she's probably acting high and mighty", which are attitudes that can resonate if presented without dictating in lockstep that it's Japanese culture. You simply develop this hatred for someone undesirable like you would any other trait and avoid over-explaining to your reader that there's some hegemonic aspect to their behavior if it's irrelevant to the plot. You can subtly imply that this is normal in other ways.
Here's an example from my book. My main character has a large scar across her right cheek due to an assault on her as a child. She's bullied because a) the scar makes her look like a punk and b) the resulting PTSD from the incident made her extremely introverted for a long time. One of her bullies is a character who is half-Japanese, half-white, though she's not the ringleader and just goes along with it. My main character shows a mixture of distaste at her mixed-status but doesn't hold her as culpable as the bullies since if she didn't bully then she'd be their target instead. Without having to get into too much detail, I have established that a) distrust or distaste at halves is a normal behavior, b) that bullies pick on those who are different and c) active audience members may be in on it out of fear, thus giving some dimension to it. All naturally and without having to explain the complex social interactions of high school girls.
Oh ok that makes a lot of sense. I was just wondering because I wanted to write a story with Japanese mages with a magic system loosely based off of the Nanoha series (magic is coding and programs and all that) and that's mainly why I was wondering. For the most part though, it sounds as if I should just explain a character's quirks and how social norms work from a social point of view instead of a cultural point of view.
Yeah, probably best that way. Like, Hanako is bullying Akika because she's a weirdo who doesn't talk to her and is a short shorty, not because she feels a strong urge to preserve the wa by eliminating dissidents because she hates individualism and wishes to ostracize people who subscribe to it.
While the latter is an accurate description of her behavior, it's not the first thing that comes to her head when she's stealing Akika's shoes. If you present this stuff in an anthropologist's field notes kind of way it feels sterile and lifeless, and the reader can't connect to it and thinks your moonman culture is made of fucking aliens or some shit. You will have some fagosaurs who won't connect with your characters no matter what they do since certain non-overlapping cultural phenomena might seem weird to Americans or Yuropoors, but as long as whatever they're doing isn't fucking repulsive or repellent, you should be fine for the overwhelming majority of readers (generally speaking murder, rape and pedophilia tend to trigger pearl-clutching, but those things are frowned upon in Japanese society as well, so unless your character is a weird smelly NEET that constantly faps to lolis then you should be good).
>generally speaking murder, rape and pedophilia tend to trigger pearl-clutching, but those things are frowned upon in Japanese society as well, so unless your character is a weird smelly NEET that constantly faps to lolis then you should be good
Thankfully I don't have that in my story (since the main interpersonal problems have to do with opening up to others and the Japanese-esque problem of intimacy with others) mostly because the main cast is girls.
Completed 50k two years ago with <10k to spare. The pride I felt in completing it was short lived because the quality was terrible. Instead, I'll just keep plugging away at my current projects. But good luck to anyone trying to make it through
I've got murder but it's portrayed as a negative action and by that point the character should be sympathetic enough to withstand the sin.
You should be fine. Just focus on universal or at least understandable motivations for Shinji-kun not wanting to talk to women like "I've never dated a girl", "what if she gets to know me and thinks I'm a loser", general lack of self-esteem and confidence linked to specific incidents of being constantly beaten down, etc., rather than "I was taught that men and women generally should keep to their kind because men perform x role in society and women perform y. I can't let them see my honne. Years of being the nail that stuck up eroded my self confidence." Shit like that feels weird and alien. You'll get garbage like the stuff Maxine Hong Kingston writes about being Chinese where the main character is unlikeable as hell because they're preoccupied with abstract reasons for their behaviors rather than relateable, human feelings.
half the time I come up with words I don't recognise and have to look up again just to make sure it's an actual word or if I'm making shit up. I don't know if anybody else has that problem, but I feel a bit surprised at my own vocabulary sometimes. Anybody else get that?
(not in the last five days, obviously)
I know I've been babbling on and on about Japan and shit but since this actually seems to be a productive thread I'd like to talk more on my book because I'm insecure about it. Such is the curse of the critical artist.
To be brief, my book takes place in an annexed Japan in the contemporary future. The main character has a rather nasty scar across her face that has caused her to be ostracized by her peers. This scar was received from an assault on her and her mother ten years prior, but her mother was killed. The protagonist is approached by a supernatural entity that promises to give her power in exchange for her soul, eternal damnation, yadda yadda, but with a small twist in that the entity actually genuinely wants to help her succeed and assists her in trying to gain immortality so he doesn't have to collect her soul. The protagonist gains electricity based powers.
There are eight other girls with contracts for a variety of reasons. For example, one character is terminally ill and is trying to expand her lifespan before it's too late, another is an idol who has been forever overshadowed by another unit member, another has gained memories of her past lives and desperately wants to correct wrongs her past selves did, and so on. Characters are loosely based on the classic cardinal sins, as well as the two cut ones, vainglory and existential despair.
Cosmology is based on Japonic-Buddhist ideas, well as some Enochian Judeo-Christian elements.
Does this sound remotely interesting to anyone? Would anyone read this?
yeah, that sounds interesting although it also sounds like anime, so I'd be worried about it being all shitty mary sue fluff shit and no substance. I'd read if it was well-written and well-done, but that ought to go without saying.
I guess lets just say that plot wouldn't turn me away from an otherwise quality book.
I'm planning it to be a trilogy but each book will probably be around 300-400 pages each. They all end on the protagonist's birthday, April 30, except maybe the last one which will be longer and the part after the 30th will be labelled book 4 even though it's published together.
Currently I have about 40-odd pages in their second draft. Still haven't finished a chapter yet and I'm debating whether to name the chapters or whether to just use the numbering. I like named chapters but I don't want the titles to sound too edgy.
The protagonist is liked by almost nobody, partially due to shit beyond her control and partially because she's stubbornly introverted to the point she alienates people. I tried to avoid her power getting haxxed with some limitations and she should get fuckinh rekt at least twice throughout the course of the story, so I think I avoided Sue shit. Also there's more focus on protagonist's choices and interactions rather than ELECTRO POWERS SHOUNEN BATTLE DESU since I fucking hate shounen, so hopefully it won't be too much like my Burmese coloring books.
I usually just number the chapters unless I have a specific idea of what will happen in each chapter (like what I have for my modern fantasy story). It tends to work like episodes just in an overall linked story format in my mind. Personally I'm at about around 65 pages on my own low fantasy book (around 45k words) but if I would love to read your draft.
I'm on my phone at work right now (I'm a librarian) and don't have the draft on me, but when I get home (like, 5-5:30 4chan time/EST) I'll either pastebin it or give you my Skype or something.
Oh gosh I'm so happy you guys seem interested in my work.
Don't worry anon I love reading other writers' stuff. if you could post a pastebin later that would be great.If you don't mind we could exchange drafts as well (just keep in mind mine is a bit more rough).
I read your other posts before but didn't know what to say besides "interesting read", guess this a better opportunity.
With the annexation of future Japan and powers from helpful supernatural entity, it sounded a lot like Code Geass with less politics and mechas but more magic, at least till the other girls came in. The main character sounds promising so far; if I got it right, she's going to murder somebody, how's her personality beyond that?
Electricity power is cool too, are you going for the shock & awe route or something more subtle? The line between too awesome and mundane shit is rather narrow, although I guess one could counter that with hight energy use.
From what you said so far, it sounds interesting enough, my "concerns" are
the other girls, who might take too much attention/time away … also is there a reason, that they are all female? If not it would be bit too weeby. How does the annexation of Japan affect the plot?
And the most important one, what the fuck will your main character actually do?Given the powers there are bound to be fights but "trying to get immortality" is rather lofty. What are the conflicts on her way?
I genuinely would like some critique since I've edited the second scene countless times and am still unhappy with it. The last scene is the roughest since I've written it more recently and haven't gone over it as thoroughly.
This is my first time pitching any of my work to /lit/ so I was a little anxious that /lit/ would just shit on it like the usual shitposting in the critique threads. Plus my friends seemed to like what I wrote but seemed skeptical that it would interest anyone enough to read it, so it's good hearing it from a third party that it sounds okay.
My biggest struggle on a prose level is image metaphors. I don't know, they always feel kind of awkward when I use them, especially simile. I'm fine with thematic metaphor, but the more compact ones worry me. Also, I'd like someone to look at the dialog, I guess. I find writing dialog to be the hardest task. I like to think I'm decent at it but it is more time-consuming to get it to sound right.
I liked named chapters. It's an easy way to create atmosphere and expectations, although it can be hard to come up with names sometimes … on the other hand, the names help also you to maintain the focus.
Also, I volunteer to read it too.
>go to youtube
>literally every single vid is by a woman
Why are men so under-represented in such things? Is it because instead of doing something like this so that you can vlog about it and get attention, we do it because we have a genuine interest? Or a desire to improve regardless of what people think of us and the attention we get?
>tfw five writing buddies
>all of them are writing gals
I don't even know. Also, when I look at my shelves, almost every book in there was written by a male. 1200 books and there are about five women in there. I dunno, man.
This isn't unique to NaNoWriMo or YouTube at all...if you ever take a creative writing course or join a group, it will be mostly women. Men aren't culturally encouraged to read or write fiction anymore. Your book library is probably all shit from authors 50+ years ago.
Men--and to a lesser extent women--aren't encouraged to pursue literature nowadays. If we do anything academic, it's supposed to be STEM or history. Humanities and the arts aren't considered to be viable options to pursue higher education in, as you can tell by the prolific news reports about how students in those fields can't find jobs after graduation. The main reason I'm into literature was because my mum would just drop me off at the library for hours and fuck off to work or whatever she needed to do and also because she forced me to read the Greeks when I was a kid because a book about child raising told her it would make me smarter.
That said, I am an engineering student, so it's not like I'm doing much to further the field outside of hobby writing I don't intend to publish.
Be tough but fair, please. The main things I'm very concerned about, as I mentioned, are the dialog and the simple metaphors (not symbolic or thematic ones, more like simile and small devices). Thanks for your interest and I sincerely, sincerely hope this isn't complete shit. This is a third or fourth draft, I've lost track. There's actually about eleven pages done after this section but I'm still working on that section, so I'd rather wait than show you something I know can be polished up more.
In response to your questions:
>With the annexation of future Japan and powers from helpful supernatural entity, it sounded a lot like Code Geass with less politics and mechas but more magic, at least till the other girls came in.
It's a little different in terms of the dynamic of the annexation bit. The annexing part, up until very late, is mostly just background culture and the political climate is very distant for a while. Also I'm trying to avoid the oppression narrative Geass used where Japanese were treated as subhuman and were regularly genocided at the leisure of the prince.
>The main character sounds promising so far; if I got it right, she's going to murder somebody, how's her personality beyond that?
She will murder someone, yeah. Her personality is the mindset of someone who feels like she's been cheated by the whole world. She got her scar from trying to help defend her mother, and from trying to do the right thing, she's had to pay for it in the form of ostracism and general apathy towards her situation. Furthermore, her attacker was never caught. As a child, she was really introverted and emotionally unstable after the incident, but she's mostly just hardened up into someone who avoids the contact of others because she distrusts them. She's somewhat like a reverse-Shinji in that she distances herself from others because she's afraid of being betrayed by them, rather than because she's afraid of hurting them. There are some exceptions; she has a friend, Kanako, who is basically all-loving and kind, though she's afraid that if she spends too much time with Kanako, Kanako will be a target as well. She has generally crap self-esteem, but more in the form of believing that her efforts are futile, or that things can't change, rather than nitpicking herself over and over again. I tried to give her a modicum of cleverness and observational skills, since I'm tired of Faustian bargain victims that are retards who deserve getting the wool pulled over their eyes; however these skills might bite her in the ass, as she might be paranoid of innocuous actions. She's mostly pretty independent in her actions since she's basically had to fend for herself after her mother died; her father has been severely depressed ever since and so he's not exactly 100% there. She has a soft spot for him nonetheless.
>Electricity power is cool too, are you going for the shock & awe route or something more subtle? The line between too awesome and mundane shit is rather narrow, although I guess one could counter that with hight energy use.
I think the longer she stays bonded to the entity providing her powers the stronger they get, or perhaps the more she uses them. But for the most part, anything besides painful electric shocks or static barriers that prevent her from getting touched would probably require a lot of effort on her part. Towards the end I'll probably have her do some cool shit like EMPs and stuff, but only at the cost of it taking all the fight out of her. Her electricity powers are more just an attribute she uses for leverage than like, powerleveling bullshit.
>the other girls, who might take too much attention/time away
That's a worry I have as well, and some girls might ultimately get collapsed into others if need be. Still, there at no point will be a moment where all nine characters are part of the story's active plot; a couple of them will likely be introduced for a course of the story and then discarded when their character arc reaches its natural end and/or they are no longer needed to advance the plot.
>also is there a reason, that they are all female?
I've always found it much easier to write girls. I have no idea why. Also I can experiment more with names and things of that nature. The entities they interact with are all male, so there are male characters and perspectives, as well as important cast members like certain characters' fathers, so they exist in a fashion. It's not like SOL moeshit where presumably the male race has died off at some point before the events of the story.
>How does the annexation of Japan affect the plot?
I was thinking of building up minor background signs of malcontent with not being a sovreign state, as well as a group of radicals (based very loosely on Aum Shinrikyo) two of the girls are associated with (one grew up under them, the other is more or less the heiress to the leadership) stirring shit up, which could then escalate into conflict towards the end of the story, which would make things difficult for the main character.
>And the most important one, what the fuck will your main character actually do?Given the powers there are bound to be fights but "trying to get immortality" is rather lofty. What are the conflicts on her way?
I had a few ideas on how the main character reaches this route. One would be to collect certain objects (they would actually be in the form of fruit, apple, strawberry and peach representing omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence/immortality, respectively), but I'm worried that it's too vidya game-y. The other thing would be to seek out information on a ritualistic approach. The last would be to defeat some other supernatural being. I haven't decided which would be the most viable.
As for individual conflicts, a couple of the girls share her goals, which obviously can be a source of conflict as they would be competing over limited resources. Others might be people that she's befriended or at least enlisted for help that have their own issues that can hinder progress; for example, one of the girls that helps her out is terminally ill and seeking something to extend her life, which the main character has promised to help her get in exchange for her loyalty, but as time passes the ill girl becomes increasingly more impatient before simply turning against her due to perceived neglect. One girl is trying to stop her from self-destructing, since the path she ends up taking becomes violent in places, and so that's another obstacle. Another girl hates the world due to almost a decade of ritual abuse and is dismayed when the main character refuses to succumb to her general attempts to take revenge on society.
And so on and so forth. My biggest concern at the moment is what the main character does immediately after getting her powers before the ball actually starts rolling.
Thank you for reading this, by the way, and your interest. I'm so happy.
Nice start and I like the format, especially with the moth being written with no capitals. Makes it feel very out of place and otherworldy. The Japanese details make her home feel very real and like a tangiable place as well (something I wish I could do). The weather combined with the increase of background as the story goes on is very good as well and serves the plot very nicely. You get just enough details about both the father and the daughter just by their interactions that tells the reader a lot about their relationship. The moth's talk with the MC highlights this. Just a couple things. You should be careful with Maki's character and her angst because it seems as if her character might be going down the too edgy route, which I could somewhat sense. The dialogue is fine as well but could be improved since it's somewhat clinched as is (but that's not that big of a deal considering the lack of dialogue in favor of description right now). Regardless, I'm a bit worried about the way the story is heading. If she takes up the moth's offer (which is highly likely) and turns her life around using supernatural powers, then what? This may just be me only reading the first part of it but I feel like the story would work much better as a short story rather than an entire novel but that's just me. If you have an idea of where to go with it, just go for it.
Anyways for those intrested, here's the book I'm working on in it's incomplete rough draft state: http://pastebin.com/RpSkFbWn
Gave it a quick readover, here are some suggestions. I'm not an accomplished writer by any means, so take it all with a grain of salt.
>As rainwater drenched the outside of her school uniform, sweat drenched its inside, though from the fear or from the humidity, Maki could not tell.
Something about this sentence feels off. Maybe try this:
>As rainwater drenched the outside of her school uniform, sweat drenched its inside; whether from the fear or from the humidity, Maki could not tell.
>She winced slightly as her knuckles tingled, dark bruises on them matching the color of the sky.
>knuckles tingled, dark bruises
Feels like there should be a "the" here, like
>She winced slightly as her knuckles tingled, the dark bruises on them matching the color of the sky.
>Her knuckles tingled - the dark bruises on them matched the color of the sky, causing her to wince.
>buried prize; a silver house-key
Should be a dash instead
>buried prize - a silver house-key
>quickly, as if pursued
Nothing inherently wrong here, just feels a bit abrupt. Try
>quickly, as if she was being pursued
>He was a gentle but absent-minded man, his mechanical routine taking precedence over any irregularity.
He was a gentle but absent-minded man; his mechanical routine took precedence over any irregularity.
Don't really have time to read the rest, but as a general critique, your writing and descriptions are actually very good. The only suggestion I have is to vary your sentence structure a bit more. Otherwise, keep it up!
The idea I had would be mostly that she tries to use her powers to help fix certain things that are broken in society, by getting some kind of attention and maybe a bit of money to use (her electrical powers are more just a representation of power itself than superhero stuff) but over time her personal angst and the ticking clock the moth presents to her starts to get in the way, and her honest goal of fixing a broken society that spurned her so others would not share the same fate begins to morph into subconscious revenge and close-minded idealism. Her intentions are supposed to be good, rather than her just fucking murdering everything in her path until she's got the good life. She's got some pretty strong mixed feelings about how she's been treated.
I'll take a look at this shortly. If you want further discussion, my skype is young.literati. Please specify you're from this thread though
since one of my weird ex-girlfriends occasionally gets her friends to spam friend requests at me under fake accounts.
Oh wow, these are actually pretty good. Thanks, man.
Ah I see. That sounds very good. I'm a sucker for a good person vs society story so I like it. I also like how the electricity is a representation of her powers rather than her powers itself? Is it a form she chose subconsciously or something?
I mean, she does really have electrical powers, but it's more of a metaphor for any kind of power, not just the power of force. It can be used to gain influence or money as well, and weirdly lots of superhuman stories seem to just focus on the fighting and hand-to-hand aspect of it, which will of course, appear at some point in the novel because it could be very cool to write and create a tense conflict, but I also wanted to focus on not just her ability to overpower, but to intimidate, to captivate, to raise her own value beyond just punching things.
Maki's a little more clever than the average pleb with superpowers, since I'm tired of seeing the talent-over-brains approach given to those with talent in many books.
I think I somewhat understand now. Like she generates electricity unconsciously when she uses her power? I like the fact that she's cleaver though, presents the opprotunity to make some intresting scenarios.
Sort of. Like, she does struggle to control it for a while and uses it unconsciously a lot. It's just the power itself is thought of by Maki as more of a boon in a variety of contexts rather than just electro-shocking her enemies.
I find a lot of stories where the main character has a unique talent (looking at you, YA fiction), the main character tends to rely solely on it to coast through the first two-thirds of the book, then they lose their power or cannot rely on it and have to use their own intellect or physical strength to get through a single situation presented shallowly and usually holding a number of conveniences that makes it plausible to make it through the situation. I've heard this kind of scenario called the "Kryptonite arc" in writing workshops and it's boring as fuck and ultimately shallow since the main character usually gets their powers/talent back at the eleventh hour in time to kick ass. I wanted to take an approach that explores the more practical applications of the talent and its ramifications it might have in society beyond just overpowering obstacles.
The moth alludes to this in his speech where he offers her stuff like admiration, money, companionship, or a legacy for the human race. In the end, no matter what she wanted, she would still just get the electric powers, but by using them in a variety of ways, she can achieve all that. She could perform with them and win the admiration of fans; she could offer to be a military weapon and get shitloads of dosh and recognition; she could allow scientific research to be conducted on her powers and get money and an important place in human history and progress; or she could just use her powers in secret to impress someone she likes (that is, if she liked someone). All of these things are things I rarely see special talents every get used for. They're often just used to power though obstacles through sheer force or at least, force of will and determination. That's what I mean by her lightning powers being more than just lightning powers. They are a valuable commodity, and that kind of value equals power beyond that of brute force and intimidation against a single enemy.
Well, let's be blunt then, after your posts, the writing was as expected. Good. I like the tone, the way you make the reader empathise with Maki without going in the melodramatic, the subtle characterisation, it's clever. It's witty. It's good. Though the downside of good writing is that the weaker parts stand out even more. Going to focus on them, since it'd be boring to spam your with praise.
For example the heavy handed "her ugly face". Then I felt that the pacing at start was generally too slow until she hit the shower. Too much mundane shit going on with good bits in between. At some point it got too hasty on the other hand. I didn't like how fast she decided to meet with Heru. The way she questioned her sanity was great, so I don't see why she changed her mind so fast. Then it generally feels weird how she's cool with following and talking to a moth but not eating the strawberry.
As an other anon noted, the stylistic choice with the moth's voice is well done. There are some repetitions, I mostly remember bruises, hair at start. Didn't like that you mentioned the date twice too. Though that's more of a style thing, since you use the date at chapter starts. Bit variation with sentence structure would be nice indeed.
Most of the metaphors are pretty much like the rest of the text, very on point and paint the picture without going into cliche or flowery territory. "echoing needles of rain" was very cool, almost distractingly so. "Her throat began to constrict as the wellspring of lies bubbled up." was great too.
>She was standing naked in a hallway attempting to communicate with an insect. Perhaps today was the day Maki cracked up.
Fucking glorious and the way she took it later was even better.
>an alternative truth
Doesn't sound nice nor goes too well with the previous sentence.
The inhale/exhale thing could be done more elegant.
>Giddy nausea expanded in her body like a radioactive cloud
Meh, don't like that one. Cloud would do. Or smoke or some shit.
The dialogue was mostly good but some bits with Heru felt not polished enough. Parts were bloated. Also he sounds bit too casual at times, given his nature, being a fucking moth and a supernatural being … it doesn't fit IMO.
Then there is the ending, it's cool that she didn't accept right away, even after he pleaded but the suspension dies with stuff like "sleep on it". Together with the pacing, suspension was generally the biggest issue, though I am generally overcritical with it, so take it with a huge grain of salt.
Damn, would love to address your answers but I need to get some writing done today.
When people say you should write everyday, do they mean that you should try to write fiction every day or just write fucking anything? If I feel like writing down just how fucked everything is and how sad I am all the time is that constructive towards my storytelling ability?
Is there a guideline to determine what parts of your writing are actually essential to the story and what parts of it are only for mood setting or tone or variation or readability or whatever? Are there widely used outlining methods that clarify this?
How do you write in such a way that it "reads well"?
When do I actually begin enjoying this torturous process we call writing?
>do they mean that you should try to write fiction every day or just write fucking anything?
Write whatever you want to practice. If you want to be a fiction writer, write fiction every day. If you want to be a shitpost writer, write shitposts every day.
The rest of your questions are sort of a challenge to answer. Like, there are tips to write in a way that "reads well," but at the same time, it's hard to quantify. The simplest tip, for example, is to vary the length of your sentences. Don't just use short sentences or it sounds choppy, don't just use long ones or it sounds wordy.
I'm sure you could read books on any one of the subjects you bring up, but I feel like most people pick it up naturally when they start writing a lot and reading a lot.
I've begun to read your work, and it's rather lengthy, so unfortunately I can't really do line-edits like I would normally like to, but I'm around a chapter in and I'm noticing some issues regarding pacing and structure, mostly. I find that a lot of the story tends to over-rely on summary actions, rather than scene-writing. The pacing itself as a result seems kind of rushed and hasty. Our hero, Irvin (which you've spelled Ervin a couple of times, make sure to correct that), has been more or less drafted, and it seems like the process of getting into battle is a lengthy one, as it usually is, but the process seems very accelerated and it's somewhat erratically paced, where the story will skip forward several days, show the reader a four-minute conversation of marginal consequence, then continue skipping. I don't really feel any compelling conflict within your main character, either. He's been drafted, yes, and while you did hit on the rather inconvenient nature of the risk of imminent death, there's not as much attachment to what the main character is leaving at home. Everyone (except mad people and people in a suicide spiral) has a natural aversion to death, but what is unique about this character that makes him want to resist being drafted? Does he have a wife, children? Maybe he's attached to his hometown? Maybe he's got shit to do, or he's married to his work and he's being pulled away from it. Maybe he resents authority. Something to add an extra layer of depth to the character other than not wanting to die. The character seems to be more inconvenienced by the thing than troubled, and that is troubling.
There's some hiccups here and there with the prose and diction, but I don't presently have the time to do line-edits for it. If you've added me on skype then I can probably comb it with more detail.
Here's an example though:
>After immeasurable time, they finally arrived at the castle of Lord Orek, Castle Torm
Seems a little exaggerated. Like, when I think immeasurable I think of something so vast or so detailed that it escapes human comprehension. The vastness of the universe is immeasurable. An aeon is immeasurable, to an extent. The number of grains of sand on a beach. The number of shitposts on this godforsaken website. All immeasurable. A couple of weeks of travel, eh, not so much.
The other thing is that you hit the reader with a lot of information regarding character names and place names, and it's very easy to overload your reader with information. This is the reason I decided to not introduce my nine characters at once and the geopolitics of my story in one dump, since the reader gets confused or begins to skim. I noticed especially that you named a lot of characters in the town the character starts off in. I'm only maybe 20% of the way in, but if they aren't relevant or won't show up again I really would not bother naming them or even mentioning them in much detail. Same with places.
I also notice a couple of weird one line flashbacks to Irvin's dad and to a lesser extent his brother, so that probably should be reworked a little in order to expand on it, because it feels kind of odd and forced, especially when it's direct quotes from his father. It's perfectly fine to give exposition about family members and such, but if you want any kind of detail, you need a mini-scene. If you want one fact, just keep it brief and it sure as fuck better be relevant to the scene. You can't really go in the middle and give a weirdly specific verbatim quote or action without context.
I think the geopolitics are both too specific, yet also too vague. The story thus far is written as if I should already know about the political climate to an extent, but there's not quite enough detail to make sense of what's going on. Like, it seems like there's definitely important politics being mentioned, as evidenced by frequent infodumps, but like, I'm unclear on the details; eg, why is the king waging war, how is he able to keep his peasants under his thumb while being kind of a blatant douchebag, is there long-standing conflict with this country, etc. If the main character doesn't know and the audience isn't supposed to know, then make sure you show the main character's confusion or apathy towards the whole thing, like some poor fuck who is stuck in Korea or Vietnam without really knowing the purpose or reason behind the war. But I feel like I'm supposed to know what's going on, and the character seems savvy. Big geopolitical intrigue tends to also overlap with plot, whereas small details like cultural minutiae the reader can absorb through observation.
One last thing: Lo’kor. How is this word pronounced? Is the apostrophe strictly necessary? Sorry, it's just kind of a pet peeve of mine when punctuation in names is used confusingly. And to a lesser priority, is the myth of Lo'kor relevant? I'm sorry if any of these questions are premature and I'll try to further digest the story in more detail over the next few days.
In brief, heavy on exposition and light on dynamic characterization. Prose leaves a little to be desired regarding word choice.
I really hope this has helped. I'll keep reading and get back to you, since you read my stuff.
As a preface, I will add you on skype right now so I can jott down all the grammatical edits and line-edits.
I wanted to write Irvin as being a character that is particuarlly attached to the land his father had, but not really the town itself. This really ties into him going off to war as well as his father telling him growing up that he would die when he gets recruited to go off to war. I will do what you said with names and places, especially in relation to Irvin's hometown. Most if not the rest of the places come into play later (such as Kostein, Virl, the band of mercenaries, Fort Bervon, ect...). I do see your point about the exposition (it's a big problem of mine) though and if it helps any I am planning to write a second book from the brother's perspective to develop the politics of the world and stuff. As for the legends and stuff, my idea with naming was using to use apostrophe on older names (Lo'kor is pronounced "lo-kor" at least in my head) as a kind of naming convention. Again, thank you for your criticism. I will probablly keep it all in a little note doc for edits once I finish writing it since I like to edit things all at once. If you have any more questions I can answer them (and hopefully try to implement them)
I've not done anything besides one paragraph where I tried to outline the 2015 General Election as a battle between factions. Name isn't final.
My writing is garbage but I'm trying, at least. I technically started around 2 days before Nov 1., but I spent the last 3 days doing nothing so I guess that evens out? At 9213 right now. It's an edgy fanfic, kill me