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Reply To: Showing Internal Conflict

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#144748
Rose
@rose-colored-fancy

@noah-cochran

Oh, please do. You’re vastly above my level when it comes to combat, and swords in particular it seems.

Thanks, I was surprised how easy and fun it was to see how it would and wouldn’t work. (I probably enjoyed analyzing those scenes the most) I didn’t think I’d be able to yet, but apparently basic knowledge goes pretty far.

Can’t one handed-swords be used with both hands (that’s what Tristan did)? Excuse my ignorance.

Excuse mine, I have no idea XD I can possibly ask around, but your research may be faster. Is he using an arming sword, a sidesword, or something else?

I use that style once in a while because I like the feel of a more in their head type of writing once in a while. But I will definitely consider removing it if you think it noticeably breaks up the flow. One of my other betas is somewhat of a hater of italicized words or introspection, so I already know some thinks the same as you. xD

Personally, I’m not a fan. I’d say consistency is more important than the slightly closer phsycic distance. Once again, completely up to you, but my vote is against it.

Do you ever used italicized words in writing for any purpose?

Sometimes! Usually for emphasis in dialogue or sometimes to indicate sarcasm. (The same way I often do in these posts, the way you’d emphasise a word while speaking.) One other exception, I also use them for dreams or when a character is remembering a direct quote from someone else, to distinguish it from being said at that moment.

I really appreciate that, Rose.

*proceeds to check off “make a reader burn something on the oven” off my bucket list*

LOL, every writer should have that on their bucket list XD

Do you have any thoughts on the clothing and apparel descriptions so far? Do they seem accurate? Is there something you would do differently?

I’m glad you asked, I was going to leave you a comment about it at the end of the book. (I didn’t want to constantly comment on it.)

It seems accurate, your use of the word ‘gown’ works well, but on a more technical note, your descriptions are rather too detailed.

I’m going to do my best to articulate what I mean and drag in examples.

So, let’s compare these two descriptions:

Tristan removed his belt and Claude helped him slip the chainmail over his tunic, and then handed him his surcoat. His surcoat was divided into four sections, blue in two of the opposite corners, and black in the other two. Not bad for a family of their status. Slipping it on, he put on his belt, and made his way to the battlements.

 

He was dressed in a bright blue tunic with intricate yellow lacing crawling across the waist and fringes. The only reason Tristan even registered the outfit was the sharp contrast it created with his pale, weary face.

(That’s just the first example I could grab, but it serves fine)

The first one is noticably better than the last. The actual description is short and to the point. I get an instant clear image but you don’t keep detailing it.

The latter has an issue you tend to repeat a lot. Too much detail. I completely skimmed the description because I couldn’t immidiately see what you meant. The only thing I registered was “yellow and blue tunic, he looks pale” Generally, less is more when it comes to describing clothing.

I’m trying to think of a way to explain it other than “just write the vibes and ignore the details”. If you get the feeling across, the details are irrelevant.

So, I’d rewrite the latter as:

His bright blue and yellow tunic contrasted his pale weary face.

That’s it. You get the same feeling across, the rest is irrelevant. And, you don’t need to describe every time someone changes clothes. Just give a first description to tell us if they generally dress richly or simply, or how much care they take, and then only describe if it’s unusual.

I’m going to pull up an example from my WIP because it’s the only way I can explain this.

I felt prim and gawky in the formal clothes, like the yearling foals that seemed in constant danger of tripping over their own too-long legs. Even the wide sash and full skirt of my white outer dress couldn’t create the illusion of a figure. The blue embroidery on the white outer dress made my shoulders look ungracefully broad. Not that it mattered.

I could have gone on about what the embroidery looked like, exactly where it was, what color it was, what color her underdress was, what shoes she wore, so on and so forth.

This is a formal outfit and a formal occasion, so she’s paying more attention to her clothes than usual, so this is the most detailed description of clothing in the book, but even this I kept down to two sentences. And notice how instead of describing the clothing neutrally, she’s giving lots and lots of opinions. (It’s Liorah, she always gives opinions.)

My main point of this scene was showing that she dreaded the occasion because she felt awkward and out of place, and the way she talks about her dress reflects that.

I’m actually struggling to find examples, I don’t think I describe clothes more than a handful of times.

If you do want to add details to show how rich something is, again, keep it short.

He raked his hand through his hair, then straightened the loose sleeves of his coat again, for what might have been the hundredth time. The pattern of beaded pomegranates and golden vines twined across the deep red wool.

That’s the full description, actually. You get the image without going into detail.

Less is more, focus on the feeling you’re trying to show with it, and this is one time where you can get away with telling. Sometimes telling is better than showing. Just your point across as briefly and economically as possible.

*Notices how long this is* LOL, every time you ask me a simple question you get an essay. I get excited and carried away XD I hope you got what I mean!

Last note on accuracy, it seems fairly good to me, but check your colors. It seems okay to me, but it’s easy to get wrong. Natural dyes in the medieval period is a whole new rabbit hole though XD Not necessarily wrong, just something to pay attention to.

Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?

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