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  • #127002
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @this-is-not-an-alien

     

     That would be a great story to work! I know I’ve been told before if I want a good job/college credit in the future I shouldn’t mention I’m Catholic and I know plenty of family members who’ve had trouble because they’re openly Catholic/Christian/homeschooled, so I mean it’s definitely a theme very relevant to today.

    Yeah, I have to agree. In general, I think people will always try to revert back to us/them.  I know I’ve faced it, and I think most people, especially Christians, have, at some point or another.

    The MC would probably have to be a fairly well-rounded character to avoid becoming an underdog stereotype, and probably want to be wary of it being applied to current immigration and black lives matter politics or just confront that one head on cos that political atmosphere is just riveted stereotypes on either side.

    Yeah, I totally see what you mean. I decided to make my MC white, just because I don’t want it to be connected to Black Lives Matter. That isn’t my story to tell, so I’ll leave that to others. And yeah, I’m kinda scared of writing about something so politically loaded. But then again, I’m not planning to publish it. XD

    Yeah most people seem to just like the crazier characters or characters with attitudes like most people like weird conversations as opposed to ‘polite conversations’. I guess interesting is more interesting than important is important especially in entertainment.

    I noticed that too! Like, you can’t make your villain funny in any way, because people will always like him. I’m not kidding, it happens all the time. He can be however evil he likes, but people will like him.

     Format; it is not in comic format yet still in scripting process, on which subject, do you wanna critique in script format or in the rough sketch which’ll give more of the accompanying visual with the dialogue (both of each are a new medium for me)?

    Hmmm… I have zero experience with either. I don’t read many comics either, so I can’t give you too much input on that part. I’ll do my best with either!

    And genre, it’s…*thought this was a very straightforward question until trying to answer it lol*, it’s…probably somewhere in science-fantasy; it has modernized fantasy creatures like vampires and werewolves and all that is normal but the story relies on technology more than magic but it’s reminiscent of Prohibition ascetic and historical politics (which is rusted-knight’s area of expertise so I know the tech is historically and tactically efficient). Soo historic cyber-punk with action/adventure/espionage?

    That sounds really cool! I just wanted to mention I actually don’t read books with magic. I do like Sci-fi, though! And the era sounds really cool!

    My book is kind of high-fantasy-ish but without magic. It does have a lot of politics though, XD

    I’ve never actually pinned down a clear definition for it what’s contemporary in the writing genre?

    Basically, anything that isn’t historical or doesn’t fit in any of the other categories XD

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

    #127125
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    or just confront that one head on cos that political atmosphere is just riveted stereotypes on either side.

    Oh, I actually remembered that I have an opinion on this too XD

    A big issue I’ve found in books where they tackled subjects like that is that they’re written from the wrong POV, and they’re treating the character as though a part of their identity is a flaw.

    Let me explain! (I haven’t actually read that many books on this, they annoy the heck out of me when they’re done wrong. I’ve mostly read middle-grade books about this, so that might actually be part of the problem)

    I’ve found it pretty rare that the main character (or POV character) is the “out-of-norm” character. Usually, the main character is pretty “relatable” and ordinary. (More often than not, boring.) And it’s treated as a huge show of ‘good character’ when the MC treats the “out-of-norm” character as they should.

    I get that this completely comes down to ‘write what you know’ and that’s totally fine, but that doesn’t mean an “out-of-norm” character can be used as a plot point to demonstrate how good the MC is. It’s usually that the MC is the only person who sides with them, and it might be written in a kind of patronizing way, as though the MC is simply tolerating the character from the goodness of their heart.

    Hmm, I’m actually noticing this applies to other areas. I’ve noticed similar things in neurodivergent (Autistic/ADHD/anything like that) and disabled characters.

    Now, I’m going to drag an example in. John Flanagan’s “Brotherband, the Outsiders” is actually a really good example. Now, don’t get me wrong, I adore this book! I love it deeply, and I actually love how he added disabled characters (Ingvar was extremely shortsighted, basically legally blind) and for once, the main character was also out of the ordinary. Hal, the MC,’s mother was from a different country, and he was kind of regarded with distrust as ‘not one of us.’ He actually did a very decent job of making the characters kind of diverse in that aspect at least. (There was one single, solitary “sTrONg FeMAle ChaRActeR”, but that’s a rant for another day.)

    What really annoyed me was how the characters treated Ingvar. Ingvar was one of my favorite characters, but I constantly felt sorry for him because it felt as though the other characters (and even the author) were talking down on him. Every time he said something it was all like “Yes Ingvar. That’s very clever of you, Ingvar.” And the author observed at least twice that Ingvar was blind, not stupid. Like… obviously!!

    Thank goodness, this actually entirely went away during the second book. Ingvar was my favorite character in that book, and it felt as though the other characters were finally accepting, not just tolerating him. He was an active, irreplaceable member of the team.

    The other part that bugs me is when authors try to ‘fix’ the characters so they become ‘normal’ (Aka. they take away all defining traits.) Even worse, when becoming normal and rejecting parts of themselves doubles as a cheap character arc. (Looking at you, Hal.)

    Hal spent his entire first book trying to prove that he was in fact, a ‘true Skandian.’ Now, I would have enjoyed seeing Hal just accept that he was different and that there’s nothing wrong with that. Instead, he ‘proved himself’ and comfortably threw away everything that made him different. It was kind of disappointing.

    For example, once or twice, other characters observed stuff like “Yes, he’s really a Skandian after all,” whenever he did something right. What bugged me is that he took it as a compliment, instead of telling them that “No, I’m not a full Skandian, and I can do this too.” If people only accept you while you’re living up to their imagined standards, then they aren’t accepting you at all.

    Now there were some good parts in Hal’s character arc too! There was this one scene where another character shoves him into a stereotype and he gets really annoyed and he’s thinking how much he hates it when someone stereotypes him. That was actually a really good scene. I could totally relate XD

    Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now. If you read that entire thing, I’m impressed XD

    To summarize: Differences aren’t flaws.

     

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

    #128024
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Yeah, I have to agree. In general, I think people will always try to revert back to us/them.  I know I’ve faced it, and I think most people, especially Christians, have, at some point or another.

    Ikr! And that us/them syndrome just hits everything nowadays! Like teens vs adults, boys vs girls every aspect of personality vs every opposing aspect etc etc etc.

    Yeah, I totally see what you mean. I decided to make my MC white, just because I don’t want it to be connected to Black Lives Matter. That isn’t my story to tell, so I’ll leave that to others. And yeah, I’m kinda scared of writing about something so politically loaded. But then again, I’m not planning to publish it. XD

    So lol I can’t avoid controversy to save my soul like I be like ‘I’m just gonna write this thing’ and ‘oh look, I’m writing about a plague that’s rumored to be a terror-weapon, when did that get there (answer; 2020)’ or ‘wow these internal politics here look a lot like…’ So I just don’t care whether that happens or not cos I argue politics all the time and research *niche whatever* as soon as I start arguing about/noticing it.
    You’re not gonna publish it?

    I noticed that too! Like, you can’t make your villain funny in any way, because people will always like him. I’m not kidding, it happens all the time. He can be however evil he likes, but people will like him.

    YES!! Exactly!!! Like I’m like thru a movie ‘yyyyyy u like this guy?’ ‘He’s really interesting (=funny)’ ‘but he did all these *horrible things* and man that’s funny all is forgiven.’
    So now I’m gonna use that to make this villain likable but also have him irreparably hurt a character everyone has to love which is the big rule of hate-able so that they gotta hate him except he’s so charming. So I’m trying to write a love/hate villain aaaand I may have been a little ambitious there…results still pending XD.

    That sounds really cool! I just wanted to mention I actually don’t read books with magic. I do like Sci-fi, though! And the era sounds really cool! My book is kind of high-fantasy-ish but without magic. It does have a lot of politics though, XD

    You don’t read books with magic? Is it because real magic is bad or just most magic is a turn off for you?
    Ooh I love political intrigue! I know I’ve heard what high-fantasy was but I can’t remember exactly what…XD

    Basically, anything that isn’t historical or doesn’t fit in any of the other categories XD

    Oh! Thanks!

    I’ve found it pretty rare that the main character (or POV character) is the “out-of-norm” character. Usually, the main character is pretty “relatable” and ordinary. (More often than not, boring.) And it’s treated as a huge show of ‘good character’ when the MC treats the “out-of-norm” character as they should.

    Grrr yes that drives me crazy!!! (Especially since I probably would not quality as a ‘ordinary’ and ‘relatable’ character). It’s just so fake and obnoxious!

    What really annoyed me was how the characters treated Ingvar. Ingvar was one of my favorite characters, but I constantly felt sorry for him because it felt as though the other characters (and even the author) were talking down on him. Every time he said something it was all like “Yes Ingvar. That’s very clever of you, Ingvar.” And the author observed at least twice that Ingvar was blind, not stupid. Like… obviously!! Thank goodness, this actually entirely went away during the second book. Ingvar was my favorite character in that book, and it felt as though the other characters were finally accepting, not just tolerating him. He was an active, irreplaceable member of the team.

    I have no idea what that book is but yes more disabled/neurodivergent characters that are just treated like unique people. See, I’ve seen that before where the author is kinda awkward and overdoing it in the first book but then he hits stride later on and just let’s his story stand on its own. Or it’ll be like you had all these books great and then you tackled something new to add diversity and it’s like ‘ok now it feels construed; go slower and actually develop these interesting points otherwise this is insulting’

    For example, once or twice, other characters observed stuff like “Yes, he’s really a Skandian after all,” whenever he did something right. What bugged me is that he took it as a compliment, instead of telling them that “No, I’m not a full Skandian, and I can do this too.” If people only accept you while you’re living up to their imagined standards, then they aren’t accepting you at all.

    AAAAGGGHHHH!!!! YES!!!!!! COMPLETE CAPS IF YOU HAVE TO ‘PROVE YOURSELF’ TO THIS IMAGINED STANDARD THAT IS NOT ACCEPTANCE!!!!!!!
    That’s one of the things I loved so much about Cars 2, like Mater was just one of the most off-ball, weird, funny characters you could ever meet I loved him!!! And the whole Cars 2 movie like everyone thinks he’s a spy and he’s pretending to be stupid and he doesn’t change he’s completely himself and in the end like my favorite thing was Lightning saying ‘yes, this is Radiator Springs; you’re yourself at Radiator Springs be yourself here and if people don’t take you seriously then they need to change, not you.’ And that was just so so good cos it was handled realistically cos yea plenty of the character were patronizing or worried he was gonna embarrass them but in the end they accepted how different he was and that was so nice.

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #128029
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    So I just don’t care whether that happens or not cos I argue politics all the time and research *niche whatever* as soon as I start arguing about/noticing it.

    Oh, I totally get that! Whenever something catches my attention I’ll often plunge into a rabbit hole of research.

    You’re not gonna publish it?

    No, I’m not aiming to publish anything right now. I’m just writing because it’s fun and I want to improve. XD I don’t have time or ambition to publish anytime soon, though that can always change.

    So now I’m gonna use that to make this villain likable but also have him irreparably hurt a character everyone has to love which is the big rule of hate-able so that they gotta hate him except he’s so charming. So I’m trying to write a love/hate villain aaaand I may have been a little ambitious there…results still pending XD

    Oooh, that’s a cool idea! What I’ve so far figured out about making your villain hatable is that they can and should have good characteristics. And charming will totally work.

    One of the best villains I have ever read was Prince Viridian from “Secrets of the Wild Wood”. He was charming, handsome, an excellent leader, and so, so convincing. He had a perfect, waterproof argument of why he was doing what he was doing. He was the only villain that actually convinced me and the MC that he was doing the right thing. (Only for a few minutes, but still!)

    But, he was still very much a villain. He was evil, and he did awful things. He would burn down kingdoms to get what he wanted, to reach his perfect goal. Oh, I’m rambling, aren’t I? I can’t help waxing slightly poetical over that book, it was so good!

    I think the point of view you tell it from makes a big difference. You need at least one character with a strong moral compass, that sees everything in black and white, even to extremes. Characters like that can really uproot the excuses and justification with a simple “But you did X, and your goal doesn’t excuse that!” It’s almost impossible to counter that. You can even just have a character think this, and that’ll make your villain sufficiently hateable. Keep harping on that one thing they did. That usually works for me. 😉

    For my villains, I actually have way too many XD I have… *Mentally counts* Over two books, I have five main ones. And that’s not counting the antagonists.

    For villains, one thing that’s really stuck with me is ‘Hanlon’s razor’ (Weird name, I know XD) It states: “Never assume malice when sufficiently advanced ignorance will do as an explanation.” The first time I read that it kind of knocked the wind out of me since that’s really how it works. Ignorance causes more harm than malice, in general, and it’s far more common. Using that principle makes for really scary villains because you can see how that can happen. They seem human and sensible, and real. And they still do these horrible things and it’s terrifying.

    You don’t read books with magic? Is it because real magic is bad or just most magic is a turn off for you?

    Both, to some degree, but mostly the first 😉

    Ooh I love political intrigue! I know I’ve heard what high-fantasy was but I can’t remember exactly what…XD

    High fantasy is any fantasy that is set in a world different from our own. Low fantasy is when fantasy elements are integrated into an alternate earth. And yes, I love political intrigue too, but only when I can follow along and see what everyone is doing. When it becomes a bunch of people discussing stuff for chapters on end, it feels a lot like checking off plot holes.

    “Nope, they can’t do Y because X, so that leaves us only one option, which the author clearly intended anyway and I was just bringing all this up so the fans can’t accuse the author of not taking an easier way.”

    Grrr yes that drives me crazy!!! (Especially since I probably would not quality as a ‘ordinary’ and ‘relatable’ character). It’s just so fake and obnoxious!

    I totally agree! I don’t think I’ve ever related to a boring, ‘relatable’ character XD I don’t think anyone does since people are individuals.

    I have no idea what that book is but yes more disabled/neurodivergent characters that are just treated like unique people. See, I’ve seen that before where the author is kinda awkward and overdoing it in the first book but then he hits stride later on and just let’s his story stand on its own. Or it’ll be like you had all these books great and then you tackled something new to add diversity and it’s like ‘ok now it feels construed; go slower and actually develop these interesting points otherwise this is insulting’

    You nailed it! Couldn’t agree more!

    And that was just so so good cos it was handled realistically cos yea plenty of the character were patronizing or worried he was gonna embarrass them but in the end they accepted how different he was and that was so nice.

    Yes! I loved that movie, and they did that so well! Imagine what would have happened if the entire movie had been about Mater losing all his characteristic traits in the name of ‘character development’. *Shudders* That would have been beyond terrible!

    He was awesome just the way he was and if you think about it, nobody except Mater could have handled those situations. I love it when characters end up having to embrace the parts of themselves that they don’t like, or that are frowned upon by others. And when they use those traits to solve problems in ways nobody else could! *Happy sigh*

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

    #129816
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Oooh, that’s a cool idea! What I’ve so far figured out about making your villain hatable is that they can and should have good characteristics. And charming will totally work. One of the best villains I have ever read was Prince Viridian from “Secrets of the Wild Wood”. He was charming, handsome, an excellent leader, and so, so convincing. He had a perfect, waterproof argument of why he was doing what he was doing. He was the only villain that actually convinced me and the MC that he was doing the right thing. (Only for a few minutes, but still!) But, he was still very much a villain. He was evil, and he did awful things. He would burn down kingdoms to get what he wanted, to reach his perfect goal. Oh, I’m rambling, aren’t I? I can’t help waxing slightly poetical over that book, it was so good! I think the point of view you tell it from makes a big difference. You need at least one character with a strong moral compass, that sees everything in black and white, even to extremes. Characters like that can really uproot the excuses and justification with a simple “But you did X, and your goal doesn’t excuse that!” It’s almost impossible to counter that. You can even just have a character think this, and that’ll make your villain sufficiently hateable. Keep harping on that one thing they did. That usually works for me.

    Wow, that’s pretty awesome! I’ll have to look into that book, what was it about? And yes, POV is vital, I use a character with a very solid moral compass but he’s also really really empathetic so for the entire first half I’m hoping everyone’ll feel like it’s a redemption arc except the villain doesn’t change, instead he uses that character’s pity against him and–I am knocking very close to spoilers now XD. But yea, solid moral compass is a must even especially when looking at the ‘gray’ areas.

    For my villains, I actually have way too many XD I have… *Mentally counts* Over two books, I have five main ones. And that’s not counting the antagonists. For villains, one thing that’s really stuck with me is ‘Hanlon’s razor’ (Weird name, I know XD) It states: “Never assume malice when sufficiently advanced ignorance will do as an explanation.” The first time I read that it kind of knocked the wind out of me since that’s really how it works. Ignorance causes more harm than malice, in general, and it’s far more common. Using that principle makes for really scary villains because you can see how that can happen. They seem human and sensible, and real. And they still do these horrible things and it’s terrifying.

    Oh yeah! I’ve got *long pause…erhm* four…ish, right so most of the characters scale on the villain to antihero thing except the three main ones and even they it really questions circumstance vs actions vs duress. And definitely “sufficiently advanced ignorance” is really scary!!

    You don’t read books with magic? Is it because real magic is bad or just most magic is a turn off for you? Both, to some degree, but mostly the first

    Yea most books don’t handle magic well, it often leads to manipulation and power-plays making it seem ‘acceptable’ to curse people or talk to dead spirits and stuff yikes! But there’s some really good ones to that use ‘magic’ more like miracles for the good guys and makes a clear distinction between ‘magic’ magic and evil magic. And sometimes ‘magic’ is just ya’know not really magic so much as an element of high fantasy, just something that’s completely normal there like planes and cars are normal here, I don’t think that should be called magic usually but the name is bantered for convenience I guess.

    High fantasy is any fantasy that is set in a world different from our own. Low fantasy is when fantasy elements are integrated into an alternate earth. And yes, I love political intrigue too, but only when I can follow along and see what everyone is doing. When it becomes a bunch of people discussing stuff for chapters on end, it feels a lot like checking off plot holes. “Nope, they can’t do Y because X, so that leaves us only one option, which the author clearly intended anyway and I was just bringing all this up so the fans can’t accuse the author of not taking an easier way.”

    Bah! Phooey on those! There’s an art to turning information dumps into active scenes…a very…very…fine…art. *Is working on that XD*. But there’s so many like subplots that can be there just to demonstrate each character and the information applicably so nobody forgets it or in a way that everybody forgets it until you bring it up again to the audience’s/MC’s absolute horror. But yea, for a complex novel-series I’m beginning to learn that the first books or at least the first half must establish world-building in more-or-less relevant subplots. There absolutely must be a ‘normal’ established before the ‘real’ adventure begins.

    Yes! I loved that movie, and they did that so well! Imagine what would have happened if the entire movie had been about Mater losing all his characteristic traits in the name of ‘character development’. *Shudders* That would have been beyond terrible! He was awesome just the way he was and if you think about it, nobody except Mater could have handled those situations. I love it when characters end up having to embrace the parts of themselves that they don’t like, or that are frowned upon by others. And when they use those traits to solve problems in ways nobody else could! *Happy sigh*

    Exactly!!! Ya’know, most Catholics see saints as ‘extraordinary’ and ‘somber’ and like marble statues of goodness but if ya actually read their lives like I’ve never met a dull saint, every saint I’ve ever read about is sooo witty and quirky and just like crazy. I think one of the most deceptive tactics the devil uses is trying to make us think that loving God destroys individuality but in fact the people who love God the most are the most individual, authentic, wildly impractically creative people ever! So, I mean, people try and get us to conform but God likes Maters and Ehuds and Liorahs!

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #130283
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Wow, that’s pretty awesome! I’ll have to look into that book, what was it about?

    It’s the sequel to “The Letter for the King” by Tonke Dragt. (Not to be confused with the Netflix series. Netflix completely bungled it, as usual. I’m still not over that XD)

    It’s awesome and so underrated! It was extremely popular in the Netherlands (It was originally a Dutch book) but it’s kind of fading. It was written in the sixties, and it’s basically the Narnia of the Netherlands. (Yes, I just coined that. I’m a genius XD)

    It’s about a squire who gets asked to deliver a mysterious letter of great importance on the night before he is knighted. He finds the knight who had to deliver it, but the knight is dying and asks him to take the letter to the king of a neighboring country.

    The characters are awesome, and so is the villain, as I mentioned before, though he doesn’t feature much until the second book. The first book is very cool, but the second is even better! The characters and the worldbuilding gets a lot more depth in the second book.

    But yea, solid moral compass is a must even especially when looking at the ‘gray’ areas.

    Totally! I have a character, Sahar, who I use for that a lot. To her, there is no gray. It’s either right or wrong, no in-between. She has a strong moral compass, but this also makes her very judgmental at times, so it’s a flaw and a strength. That’s a really cool aspect of her personality.

    Bah! Phooey on those! There’s an art to turning information dumps into active scenes…a very…very…fine…art. *Is working on that XD*.

    Oooh, I have a trick for this! It’s from the Save the Cat method, it’s called the ‘pope in the pool’ technique. (I find the names of (screen)writing techniques hilarious XD Save the cat, the gorilla in a phone booth, a shard of glass, lampshading, honestly, it’s so weird, and I sound like an idiot when I use them to anyone who isn’t a writer XD)
    Anyway, it’s a trick for conveying important information without it getting boring. Instead of an infodump in an ordinary situation, use an extraordinary situation.

    Here’s an excerpt from the article that explains it pretty well:
    “In the example Blake shared, the writers solved this problem by providing the exposition in a unique way: by having the Pope’s advisers share the information with him while he is swimming. We’re used to seeing the Pope stand in his balcony, dressed in his traditional white robes. We’re not used to seeing him swimming laps, which is what makes the scene so intriguing. We’re focused on the image while being presented with the facts.”

    I think you mentioned you’ve seen Zootopia? That uses the technique in an excellent way! Remember the opening scene, where Judy and her classmates are in a play about how Zootopia is now united? That scene gave you a ton of background information and worldbuilding, but the scene itself was interesting, so you barely noticed.

    Here’s the article: https://savethecat.com/tips-and-tactics/swimming-with-the-pope-in-the-pool

    I’m using this technique in my rewrite. In the first version of the scene, Liorah was just talking to someone over tea. It wasn’t a bad scene, there was character building, but there was also a lot of exposition and they were essentially just sitting still. Now, I’ve changed it just by adding a chessboard to the equation. Having them play chess while they talk adds a bit of conflict (You know how competitive Liorah is XD) and it adds some movement to the scene.
    Hope that helped!

    But there are so many like subplots that can be there just to demonstrate each character and the information applicably so nobody forgets it or in a way that everybody forgets it until you bring it up again to the audience’s/MC’s absolute horror.

    Ooh, yes! I love doing that! *Evil chuckle*

    But yea, for a complex novel-series I’m beginning to learn that the first books or at least the first half must establish world-building in more-or-less relevant subplots. There absolutely must be a ‘normal’ established before the ‘real’ adventure begins.

    Definitely! But even just a chapter or two can establish a very good ‘normal.’

    I actually thought ‘The Hunger Games’ did this really well. The first chapter was Katniss’ normal world, and it wasn’t that long. You only saw about half her day, and it wasn’t an entirely ordinary day at that. But! In her narration, she described a lot of her everyday world, by comparing it to the slightly different reaping day. And, in the chapters following, she dropped in a lot of backstory and everyday life as flashbacks.

    It isn’t entirely traditional, but I sorta liked it! It really kept the story moving. I’m trying to use that technique, but I don’t know how well it’s working XD

    I think one of the most deceptive tactics the devil uses is trying to make us think that loving God destroys individuality but in fact the people who love God the most are the most individual, authentic, wildly impractically creative people ever! So, I mean, people try and get us to conform but God likes Maters and Ehuds and Liorahs!

    *Applause* Exactly! Precisely! Like, there’s so much stuff in the Bible that people overlook, mostly because it gets skimmed over. Like that one guy in Judges (Shamgar) who killed 600 philistines with an ox goad. Like?? What happened there?? He gets two sentences but I really want to know how he got in that position. XD Did you purposefully name Ehud after the judge, btw?

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

    #130599
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    It’s the sequel to “The Letter for the King” by Tonke Dragt. (Not to be confused with the Netflix series. Netflix completely bungled it, as usual. I’m still not over that XD) It’s awesome and so underrated! It was extremely popular in the Netherlands (It was originally a Dutch book) but it’s kind of fading. It was written in the sixties, and it’s basically the Narnia of the Netherlands. (Yes, I just coined that. I’m a genius XD) It’s about a squire who gets asked to deliver a mysterious letter of great importance on the night before he is knighted. He finds the knight who had to deliver it, but the knight is dying and asks him to take the letter to the king of a neighboring country. The characters are awesome, and so is the villain, as I mentioned before, though he doesn’t feature much until the second book. The first book is very cool, but the second is even better! The characters and the worldbuilding gets a lot more depth in the second book.

    (ahhh Netflix ruins every book it catches! 🙁 )
    It sounds really cool I’ll have to keep an eye out for it!
    I love it when the second book gets better! Yay!!!

    Totally! I have a character, Sahar, who I use for that a lot. To her, there is no gray. It’s either right or wrong, no in-between. She has a strong moral compass, but this also makes her very judgmental at times, so it’s a flaw and a strength. That’s a really cool aspect of her personality.

    See I love when a character’s greatest attribute is also their greatest weakness it seems so true to life ya’know. Sahar…she’s in Liorah’s series, right?

    Oooh, I have a trick for this! It’s from the Save the Cat method, it’s called the ‘pope in the pool’ technique. (I find the names of (screen)writing techniques hilarious XD Save the cat, the gorilla in a phone booth, a shard of glass, lampshading, honestly, it’s so weird, and I sound like an idiot when I use them to anyone who isn’t a writer XD) Anyway, it’s a trick for conveying important information without it getting boring. Instead of an infodump in an ordinary situation, use an extraordinary situation. Here’s an excerpt from the article that explains it pretty well: “In the example Blake shared, the writers solved this problem by providing the exposition in a unique way: by having the Pope’s advisers share the information with him while he is swimming. We’re used to seeing the Pope stand in his balcony, dressed in his traditional white robes. We’re not used to seeing him swimming laps, which is what makes the scene so intriguing. We’re focused on the image while being presented with the facts.” I think you mentioned you’ve seen Zootopia? That uses the technique in an excellent way! Remember the opening scene, where Judy and her classmates are in a play about how Zootopia is now united? That scene gave you a ton of background information and worldbuilding, but the scene itself was interesting, so you barely noticed.

    Ok so I needed that moderately irreverent never-to-be-forgotten mental image LOL. I’ll definitely never forget the technique though!
    Wow you remembered that? Thanks! Yeah, I remember that scene was really good stylistically especially with the climax that flawlessly reenacted that, lovely foreshadowing, no wait we were talking about info-dumping. It was good with that too! An excellent setting-up establishing her goals and the conflict and the history!

    I’m using this technique in my rewrite. In the first version of the scene, Liorah was just talking to someone over tea. It wasn’t a bad scene, there was character building, but there was also a lot of exposition and they were essentially just sitting still. Now, I’ve changed it just by adding a chessboard to the equation. Having them play chess while they talk adds a bit of conflict (You know how competitive Liorah is XD) and it adds some movement to the scene. Hope that helped!

    Lol yes, that would be perfect for reasonable conflict while establishing exposition with Liorah!

    Definitely! But even just a chapter or two can establish a very good ‘normal.’ I actually thought ‘The Hunger Games’ did this really well. The first chapter was Katniss’ normal world, and it wasn’t that long. You only saw about half her day, and it wasn’t an entirely ordinary day at that. But! In her narration, she described a lot of her everyday world, by comparing it to the slightly different reaping day. And, in the chapters following, she dropped in a lot of backstory and everyday life as flashbacks. It isn’t entirely traditional, but I sorta liked it! It really kept the story moving. I’m trying to use that technique, but I don’t know how well it’s working XD

    Ooh yeah, that sounds good! I’ve never actually read it but my sister and my best friend/cousin have. A lotta writing advice I’ve read has been fairly wary of flashbacks but I keep going back and forth on it in my WIP, especially where and how much. Right now I’m rolling with the ‘if I can show it without a flashback and maintain the ‘punch’ I go without a flashback’.

    *Applause* Exactly! Precisely! Like, there’s so much stuff in the Bible that people overlook, mostly because it gets skimmed over. Like that one guy in Judges (Shamgar) who killed 600 philistines with an ox goad. Like?? What happened there?? He gets two sentences but I really want to know how he got in that position. XD Did you purposefully name Ehud after the judge, btw?

    Ehud’s name, yes, it’s after the judge. My brother named all the characters except Rosario and her dad (whose name I haven’t decided on) because she wasn’t in the original cast and all. So everybody in the original cast @rusted-knight named Biblically (all the heroes, that is XD).
    Oh, the Biblical people can be hilarious sometimes! Like, two of my favorites, at the Transfiguration of Jesus Peter be like; Lord it…it’s good that we’re here…if you wish we’ll make three booths here, er, one for you one for Moses and one of Elijah “not knowing what he said” like it’s not written there but I can just hear him stammering through that and then, like, in John 21; 18-24 Peter’s just been told how he’s gonna die in the future and he immediately be like; what about John? Like what?! And Jesus be like; what’s it matter to you whether he stays with me or not. And then “the saying spread abroad that this disciple was not to die” LOL the craziest things happen in the Bible not just the miracles but like these people are just as sarcastic and crazy as we are!

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #130689
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    (ahhh Netflix ruins every book it catches! )
    It sounds really cool I’ll have to keep an eye out for it!
    I love it when the second book gets better! Yay!!!

    It’s on the Kindle store, but I have no idea if you can get it in bookstores. Maybe with the Netflix series coming out?

    Yes, they did an absolutely horrible job on it. I didn’t watch it, but one of my friends did. They introduced magic as plot-hole tape, added a bunch of relationships that weren’t there in the beginning, and introduced sooo many characters that weren’t necessary.

    Also, they tried to ‘modernize’ it by making Tiuri, the MC, a classic underdog. In the books, he’s a well-respected knight’s son, with a bright future and a guaranteed place as a knight, since he already passed all the tests. In the series, he’s an adopted immigrant, with nothing going for him and his adopted father had to rig the competition so he could get a chance as a knight.

    Considering that most of the internal conflict was about how much Tiuri was going to lose if he took up the quest, this was an exceptionally poor choice. And you do not want to know how much they messed up the casting! Series-Tiuri doesn’t have a single feature in common with book-Tiuri. Okay, I’ll shut up now, but I am still mad about it XD

    See I love when a character’s greatest attribute is also their greatest weakness it seems so true to life ya’know. Sahar…she’s in Liorah’s series, right?

    Yep! She’s one of Liorah’s friends. She’s one of my favorite characters! She had some very interesting developments as I kept writing her. In the beginning, she was just all cute and bubbly, but I discovered she can actually be far more ruthless than Liorah, just because she is so convinced of what is right and wrong.

    I’m going to drop her into the Character Castle right after I’m done with Liorah and Ferran. I’m going to drop her in with Acyn, who is her literal opposite. Like, every characteristic that Sahar has, he’s the opposite. They’re sooo much fun to write together! XD

    Ok so I needed that moderately irreverent never-to-be-forgotten mental image LOL. I’ll definitely never forget the technique though!

    LOL, it’s certainly very memorable XD

    Wow you remembered that? Thanks! Yeah, I remember that scene was really good stylistically especially with the climax that flawlessly reenacted that, lovely foreshadowing, no wait we were talking about info-dumping. It was good with that too! An excellent setting-up establishing her goals and the conflict and the history!

    IKR! That movie was awesome!

    Lol yes, that would be perfect for reasonable conflict while establishing exposition with Liorah!

    LOL, totally! It works pretty well since Liorah can’t stand losing. I’ve never before seen someone try to cheat with chess XD

    Ooh yeah, that sounds good! I’ve never actually read it but my sister and my best friend/cousin have. A lotta writing advice I’ve read has been fairly wary of flashbacks but I keep going back and forth on it in my WIP, especially where and how much. Right now I’m rolling with the ‘if I can show it without a flashback and maintain the ‘punch’ I go without a flashback’.

    That’s a good compromise! I try to use flashbacks as little as possible, only when it’s a really important scene, then I’ll actually write it as a flashback. I don’t know if it’s working though, I’ll see!

    Ehud’s name, yes, it’s after the judge. My brother named all the characters except Rosario and her dad (whose name I haven’t decided on) because she wasn’t in the original cast and all. So everybody in the original cast rusted-knight named Biblically (all the heroes, that is XD)

    That’s cool! I love the name, it’s memorable and really suits him! How do you usually go about choosing names? Do you use the meanings for symbolism, or just pick what sounds nice?

    LOL the craziest things happen in the Bible not just the miracles but like these people are just as sarcastic and crazy as we are!

    LOL, IKR! That one part after the golden calf has become a running joke in our house. “Those people of yours” “The people you led out of Egypt” XD Whenever someone starts blame-shifting, one of us is sure to say “The people you led out of Egypt!”

    Also, interesting point! The whole part about “If someone tells you to carry the burden for a mile, carry it for two” might be referring to the Romans. They had a law that a Roman soldier could tell one of the natives to carry his horse’s stuff for a mile but only a mile. If they carried it any more, the soldier could be punished for breaking the law. I thought that was kinda interesting!

     

     

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

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