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Poets

This is totally about poetry

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  • #145524
    Noah Cochran
    @noah-cochran

    @rose-colored-fancy

    I can’t have a conversation in that chaos. xD

    the lighting makes it look lighter than it is, it’s actually pretty close to brown. You were close

    Ha, good for me.

    Hmmm, that’s an interesting thought. You do have to take their enviornment into consideration. I’m assuming they were raised Jewish, and at that time Jewish customs were enforced as law, since they essentially were law. Besides that, because of the persecution, they would probably grow up seeing the Jewish community as a safer place than the outside world.

    There are a lot of nuances there. They might also see the Jewish community as a place of conflict, and if certain things were to happen, be sick of both Catholic and Jewish customs and conflicts and just give up on them, and life. But yeah, I do plan on trying to take all of that into mind. I do want them to have some sort of ex-Jewish feel, like them having memories of the good times in their community, the customs, and things like that. And I definitely want them referencing medieval ethic Jewish lifestyle, seeing that one is technically still a Jew even if they aren’t one by religion (there is some debate over that though). However, one thing you might notice in my historical fiction is that I don’t mess with religion much. I’ll do it more in this series, but I don’t particularly want to turn these books into a conflict of religions (though there is a place for that).

    You mentioned that Robert was her father’s favorite and that he never got over his death. In what way? Did he kind of neglect Delphine and leave her to her own devices? Did he get overprotective of her?

    That’s excellent advice, will do.

    guess who mixed up the Torah and the Tanakh? XD The Torah is the first five books, the Tanakh is the old testament. You can tell I don’t use this terminology every day.

    It happens to the best of us. Thanks for informing me on the Tanakh, I don’t think I’ve heard that word before.

    Do you deal much with different accents in your books? I am clueless on how to go about this (though it isn’t necessary). For instance, I want my Arab character to have something of an accent, but I have no idea how I would describe it.

    #145573
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @noah-cochran

    I can’t have a conversation in that chaos. xD

    *Glances around secretively* Oh, we’re whispering? XD Good idea though, but I think you got the wrong forum XD

    However, one thing you might notice in my historical fiction is that I don’t mess with religion much. I’ll do it more in this series, but I don’t particularly want to turn these books into a conflict of religions (though there is a place for that).

    I can see that. It’s a good idea and I like how you’re including several ethnicities/religions since it’ll add some interesting perspectives.

    Same, I’ve kept it fairly limited so far since I just haven’t felt confident covering it.

    Do you deal much with different accents in your books? I am clueless on how to go about this (though it isn’t necessary). For instance, I want my Arab character to have something of an accent, but I have no idea how I would describe it.

    Ohhh, I do! I needed a common language but instead of making all seven tribes just speak one language I opted for having each speak a different one but there’s a mixed language that can be used to communicate with the others.

    (I previously stated they were isolated up to a certain point and that means there was time for them to develop different languages so that would have meant that languages were destroyed or one took over and forced its language on all the others creating a big power imbalance, which wouldn’t fit either)

    Essentially this language would have developed much as Afrikaans did, from a lot of different languages that need to communicate, creating a mixture of the biggest ones.

    Anyway, that means all my characters have accents to all of the others XD There’s no such thing as no accent, there’s just an accent that’s not yours.

    What I’m trying to get to there is that you have to be careful of giving one character an ‘exotic’ accent and all the others are imagined as speaking standard American English. (This goes double for anyone who isn’t from Europe.)

    That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them an accent, since they probably do have one, but if they get a POV, they can mention how all the others have accents to them. And people from different regions of the same place can always have regional accents.

    Now I’ve gone on that obligatory tangent, I’ll answer your question XD

    I usually just describe accents like “They had a (region) accent.” That’s it. Just mention it once and it’s fine. I’m not a fan of writing it phonetically, I find it distracting and hard to read.

    If you want to, you can add adjectives like strong, harsh, soft, flowing, etc. Once again, be careful with this so you don’t show one accent as the superior one and all the others as ugly/harsh/uncivilized. (I royally messed that up in my first and second drafts, I still have to go back and fix it, that’s why I mentioned it. XD)

    On that note, I watched a great video on this a while ago. I’ll link it below. I remember it being fine, but there might be mild language.

    It’s a subject I don’t see covered a lot in writing advice but it’s really cool! I love messing around with it since it can show a lot about the world, especially in fantasy.

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

    #145574
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    Trope talk: Accents

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Rose.

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

    #145581
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @noah-cochran

    I was in a hurry and I forgot to mention that “Gilded blood” will be ready to beta-read in late march/early april. The manuscript is 91k and the deadline is preferably end of april, though there’s some slack there.

    It’s the second draft, I mainly need story and scene level critique. (Basically what I’ve been doing for TTD)

    Will that work for you? The manuscript is technically already done, but my other beta-reader won’t be able to do it until then.

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

    #145586
    Noah Cochran
    @noah-cochran

    @rose-colored-fancy

    That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them an accent, since they probably do have one, but if they get a POV, they can mention how all the others have accents to them. And people from different regions of the same place can always have regional accents.

    I usually just describe accents like “They had a (region) accent.” That’s it. Just mention it once and it’s fine. I’m not a fan of writing it phonetically, I find it distracting and hard to read.

    All very true, and sound points. However, I have found that if a book points out too many characteristics of a person, it gets old and redundant (and accents are one of those possible characteristics). I’ve also found that if every character has an accent that is described in the book then the quality of having an accent becomes less useful to develop character voice. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I use accents to help develop character voice, and thus I really only want some of the characters to be defined by a cultural accent. For instance, most characters in my series will be French or Norman in origin, but I don’t plan on describing their accents at all. However, the character with the Arabian/Muslim Egyptian accent I do want to describe since it sets her apart from the majority of the other characters. Did that make any sense? Really what I’m trying to get is that offhandedly mentioning that a character has an accent but not at all describing it bugs me in books. This is really a personal thing I guess, because you are right, everyone has an accent, I guess I just want to focus on the accents that are most unique to the majority of the characters and ignore the lesser accents.

    And yes, I agree, I don’t like describing it phonetically either, in fact, I would only ever even consider doing it phonetically if the character had an especially noticeable accent full of either polished sophisticated language, or crass slang. What I was more referring to was describing their accent with adjectives describing the dialogue tag, not in the dialogue itself. That is what I have had a great deal of trouble with thinking of how I would do it. However, just saying a accent is regional instead of describing it is the epitome of telling instead of showing (which isn’t necessarily bad), because the reader doesn’t know what that accent sounds like. To restate this mess I just wrote up, I guess I’m just staying that I am not a fan of a book saying that a character has an accent, but that accent is never described in anyway. I prefer either no mentioned accent, or a least somewhat described accent. But again, this is just my personal taste. Extending my voice sounds adjective lexicon would probably help my dilemma.

    OSP has some great vids, thanks for sharing that one.

    Will that work for you? The manuscript is technically already done, but my other beta-reader won’t be able to do it until then.

    Yep, works great for me. I’m really looking forward to reading it, you are very well studied in the art of story and writing, and I can’t wait to see that knowledge in action. 🙂

    #145667
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @noah-cochran

     I guess what I’m trying to say is that I use accents to help develop character voice, and thus I really only want some of the characters to be defined by a cultural accent.

    I get what you’re trying to say, but I don’t know how much it would actually help you with character voice because your reader isn’t really hearing it. The only other option would be frequently mentioning it in the dialogue tags as you said:

    What I was more referring to was describing their accent with adjectives describing the dialogue tag, not in the dialogue itself.

    And yeah, that could work, but if you want to use it to define character voice you’d have to use it really often, and I personally find that more annoying than useful.

    That is what I have had a great deal of trouble with thinking of how I would do it. However, just saying a accent is regional instead of describing it is the epitome of telling instead of showing (which isn’t necessarily bad), because the reader doesn’t know what that accent sounds like.

    That’s a good point. I think an approach that combines the two might work best. At least, it’s what I do 😉

    I mention it when the characters meet for the first time, and after that only when relevant, like when they’re trying to identify a voice without seeing someone, but then I do describe the accent if it’s unfamiliar. I don’t really do this otherwise, I describe it once and count on the reader to remember. If they don’t, it’s not really an issue.

    I’ll see if I can pull up some examples.

    This is a situation where the POV character doesn’t know who’s speaking and she doesn’t know the characters at all.

    Also worth mentioning that she’s lived in a fairly isolated area and isn’t as familiar with the other tribes as Liorah is, so she can’t identify it right away and occasionally mistakes one for another.

    The voices spoke in the common language. I wasn’t fluent, but I knew enough of it to understand them. They were deep voices, men’s voices, heavily accented, but the accents weren’t the same. One voice was gravely, the other deeper, a rocky shore of hard and soft sounds. Both were unfamiliar.

    That gives the reader enough information to deduce that they’re not from the same tribe, which is the only thing I needed to cover in that paragraph. She doesn’t recognize where they’re from, so she focuses on what it sounds like instead of what it means.

    (I’m not sure about that “rocky shore” phrase XD It was a while ago and I wasn’t used to this character voice yet, I might end up clarifying it. What do you think?)

    This one is from the same character’s POV, describing Liorah’s accent.

    The words were in the common language, and thankfully, I understood them, despite the strong, clipped accent.

    Again, it’s the first time she hears her voice so that’s why she’s spending more time on it.

    And here’s an example from Liorah’s POV, so she can actually identify the accent.

    he said, his formal accent betraying he was of the Gitakan tribe.

    She briefly describes it but mostly focuses on where he’s from because it’s already familiar.

    I hope that clarified it some!

    Yep, works great for me. I’m really looking forward to reading it, you are very well studied in the art of story and writing, and I can’t wait to see that knowledge in action.

    Thanks! Knowing how something is supposed to work and actually getting it to work that way are two very different things though XD

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

    #145713
    Noah Cochran
    @noah-cochran

    @rose-colored-fancy

    The words were in the common language, and thankfully, I understood them, despite the strong, clipped accent.

    That’s exactly what I was talking about, so great example. 🙂 That’s how I like to describe accents. I guess what I’m needing now is more words to describe accents rather than the normal: rough, thick, gravely, twangy, and the such. All those descriptions are polarizing and almost trite because when I read fantasy books it seems that the kind’ve out-of-the-way cultures or non-main character cultures have those less than pleasant accents. I like the “strong, clipped” description though, that gives me a sense of her accent, without any strange roughness or ambiguousness.

    I’m not sure about that “rocky shore” phrase XD It was a while ago and I wasn’t used to this character voice yet, I might end up clarifying it. What do you think?)

    At first I wasn’t so sure about it, but the more I read it the more the imagery makes sense and I actually quite like it. xD It does go down that “rough and thick” alley I’m not a fan of though.

    Okay, so my brain is about to explode trying to figure out how I should utilize character arcs and story structure. I am already quite lax with the three act story structure, and I focus more on the basic principle characters overcoming internal and then external obstacles, and showing their journey of the underdog, or hero, or whatever it might be. However, I do like to keep a close tie to the three act format for characters, and I’m running into problems with that. In my first book of the series, there is a central character who has a complete arc in the book that loosely fits the three act structure (though I tend to focus on the Inciting Incident, First Plot Point, Midpoint, and Climax of the internal journey). However, in my first book there are two other main characters in particular that have plenty of internal conflict or at least a major flaw or weakness. They struggle with this in the book, but my question is, can I just have them struggle with it in book 1? Can I just show their conflict/weakness/lie they deal with, and not have a midpoint for it? My plan was to have their midpoints for their arcs (aka, the point they start to change and beat their lies) in book 2 (and maybe even in book three for one of them). Thoughts?

    Oh, and can I just say that having such a variety of betas is hilarious. Your least favorite part of the book (the mid section with a lot of fighting–which you gave great tips for improving it btw) is one of my other betas’ favorite section of the book. xD

    I do plan on discussing some of those beta answers you left btw, I’ll get to them sometime soon.

    #145714
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @noah-cochran

    All those descriptions are polarizing and almost trite because when I read fantasy books it seems that the kind’ve out-of-the-way cultures or non-main character cultures have those less than pleasant accents

    See, that’s exactly what I was talking about.

    Language is inherently neutral, or at least, should be. Having an accent is just as neutral a trait as hair color. The problem is exactly as you said, it’s often used to denote other qualities, like stupidity or primitivity.

    I’ve sometimes seen characters having an accent written as though it was supposed to prove that this character was either dumb, primitive, or a villain.

    Accents are often used for comedic effect, which, admittedly, happens in real life all the time. I make fun of my own accent all the time, but as usual with banter and characters teasing each other, there’s a line between it being funny and it being rude.

    I think it’s the tonal difference between “We sound so different, that’s funny!” and “You sound different and therefor stupid, haha.” (Has also happened to me. It ain’t fun.)

    Villians being the only characters with an accent is instantly iffy. (Except if it’s a British accent. The Brits have earned it XD)

    As you said, how you describe it makes a definite difference, as does who you assign the accents to. For example, that accent:

    a rocky shore of hard and soft sounds.

    That particular character was a villain, but that exact same accent was also given to the love interest and several others who were on the ‘good side’.

    On that note, there’s the connotation of strong (foreign) accents being “lower-class” which is why I conciously chose to give the royal, highly educated characters strong, noticable accents. I thought it would be cool.

    Admittedly, I’ve also brilliantly bungled this by describing the villain’s accents a little too harshly and I have to go back and fix that because it sounds very off. Messing up is a part of the process XD

    I don’t think I had a definite point with this XD Just some thoughts on that subject.

    I guess what I’m needing now is more words to describe accents rather than the normal: rough, thick, gravely, twangy, and the such.

    I’m pretty sure you can find lists of these on the internet, I usually just wing it and fix it later XD

    At first I wasn’t so sure about it, but the more I read it the more the imagery makes sense and I actually quite like it. xD It does go down that “rough and thick” alley I’m not a fan of though.

    Thanks, I was messing around with that character voice (Very fun to write, she uses a ton of metaphors and weird language. It was brilliant fun to write since half of it makes you go “That’s… wrong but it works.”)

    I do see what you mean, and I’ll think about that. I don’t think describing an accent (or especially a voice, since I was more describing his voice) as rough is an inherently bad thing, but I will look at it.

    Okay, so my brain is about to explode trying to figure out how I should utilize character arcs and story structure.

    First of all, that’s a mood XD

    They struggle with this in the book, but my question is, can I just have them struggle with it in book 1? Can I just show their conflict/weakness/lie they deal with, and not have a midpoint for it?

    Short answer, yes, absolutely.

    Longer answer, it’s fine to have characters without immideate character arcs, or character arcs that don’t get started until later. It might actually be better since it will make the story more focused.

    I have at least one character who carries around his lie for two and a half books before he does something about it. Admittedly, he’s not a POV character until the third book, but I’d say it counts.

    Besides that, I think it depends on how you execute it. You definitely could make it work. I’ve never tried this so I don’t have any specific advice, but I see no reason why it couldn’t work.

    Oh, and can I just say that having such a variety of betas is hilarious. Your least favorite part of the book (the mid section with a lot of fighting–which you gave great tips for improving it btw) is one of my other betas’ favorite section of the book. xD

    Goodness, that’s hilarious XD I’m rereading and annotating my second book and I’m wavering between “This is the next work of literary genius” and “All of this is trash and I don’t know whyyy” XD It’s a rollercoaster. I think contradictions is a part of the process, as is trying to understand why something is/isn’t working.

    I do plan on discussing some of those beta answers you left btw, I’ll get to them sometime soon.

    Please do, you know how much I love elaborating XD

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

    #145750
    Noah Cochran
    @noah-cochran

    @rose-colored-fancy

    I don’t think describing an accent (or especially a voice, since I was more describing his voice) as rough is an inherently bad thing, but I will look at it

    So, I agree with everything you said, but I wasn’t exactly saying that describing accents in those ways were necessary “bad” or “offensive” things to do, I was more saying that they’re overused, and mostly just used to put emphasis on how the main character’s sound different. In other words, the author couldn’t think of any more unique way to describe an accent, so they just said “thick” or “rough” or something like that. That’s what I’m trying not to do, but I do agree with everything you said, and yes, it’s not like those descriptions are mean or derogatory.

    I have at least one character who carries around his lie for two and a half books before he does something about it. Admittedly, he’s not a POV character until the third book, but I’d say it counts.

    That makes me feel a lot better. So you’re series has multiple first person points of view? How many?

    I’m wavering between “This is the next work of literary genius” and “All of this is trash and I don’t know whyyy”

    That is so me. xD I couldn’t have said it any better.

    Please do, you know how much I love elaborating

    Oh I know. 🙃 Here’s a few I want to discuss:

    You could spend more time on the character’s introspection in the first part, especially backstory.

    I’m torn here. I quite dislike books that have a lot of telling backstory (and by backstory, I’m mainly referring to their ghost) through introspection at the beginning of the book unless there is a very  good reason for them to think about it. My thought of it is “this character has had these memories for years, why would they start going through them thoroughly in their mind again all the sudden?” It doesn’t feel natural to me unless that good reason to spark the thoughts is there, and even if there is  a reason, it often still feels unnatural to me when one considers that people often push away and don’t think on unpleasant memories, and when it comes to characters’ lies and flaw, unpleasant memories are almost always part of there backstory. This is personal taste, I know, but it borders on info dumping in how telling instead of showing it feels to me. I will try to find a way to incorporate more backstory and ghosts earlier though.

    On that note, you tend to tell the backstory instead of showing it in narration.

    I think this is your one tip that I didn’t understand, so feel free to elucidate.

    Chapter 33 definitely had that problem though (if we’re talking about the same thing that is).

    You need to set it up better through the first part, then it won’t feel rushed. Remind me to expand on this on SE.

    Feel free to expand on it. Here’s the deal with setting it up early though. I was specifically designing a haters-to-lovers relationship between Joelle and Hugon, and thus I need them to actually hate each other or at least dislike each other for the majority of the book. Thus, I’m not really sure how to change their relationship at all, tips?

    As for Delphine and Tristan, I’ll wait until I get more feedback from some other people before adding anything big, but I do plan on adding more conversations and introspection on Tristan’s part regarding Delphine and his reasons for being brusque with her.

    Danon’s death was treated as an afterthought. That’s a lot to process for Tristan, who was apparently close to his father.

    Close until he found out that Danon was a murderer, but I get what you mean. Any tips for making it better?

    Structurally the story was pretty solid, but you seemed to be missing a low point.

    Yeah, I went through the low point rather quickly. We’ll see about expanding it, but sometimes low points that drag out feel unrealistic to me. They were at a pinch for time, and had gone through worse, but yeah, we’ll see.

    Hugon acts like a jerk throughout the first half of the book, but that’s very much his character arc. However, I would consider giving him some more sympathetic moments throughout the first half.

    That’s another thing I want more feedback on (i.e, are most betas thinking he feels like a shallow jerk), but I get what you mean. I just find it unrealistic for him to be very sympathetic at all, not with his massive lie and flaw.

    Thanks for all the great answers by the way! All the other ones I’m not mentioning here just means I’m taking them with vigor and will be using them a lot in my next revision.

    What are your thoughts on using medieval jargon in your books? There are so many terms (whether French, English, Greek, or Latin in origin) that are used for armor, weapons, castles, villages, seneschal type positions, clothing, and on and on. Do you dumb things down or stick with the historically flavorful words? One example of this for me is the word “courtyard.” I use it to describe the grassy or outbuilding area around the keep but inside the walls of a castle. However, the correct term is “bailey.” I used courtyard so as not to confuse people. Thoughts?

    #145823
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @noah-cochran

    I was more saying that they’re overused, and mostly just used to put emphasis on how the main character’s sound different. In other words, the author couldn’t think of any more unique way to describe an accent, so they just said “thick” or “rough” or something like that.

    Admittedly, describing accents is hard XD I think the only other thing I can add is to just mess it up and fix it later XD

    That makes me feel a lot better. So your series has multiple first person points of view? How many?

    The first book only has one first person POV, (Liorah’s) but it has a few other chapters in third person limited for other characters.

    The second book has two first-person narrators, (Liorah and Faye) and so will the third. (Liorah and Aydin) Both the latter books also have a few chapters in third person limited for other characters, just because you can’t cover everything.

    I initially considered doing one POV in first person and one in third person, but I tried it and it didn’t work, somehow. I’m not sure if this works, but I’ll see later.

    I’m torn here. I quite dislike books that have a lot of telling backstory (and by backstory, I’m mainly referring to their ghost) through introspection at the beginning of the book unless there is a very  good reason for them to think about it.

    That’s my first point. Backstory that isn’t a ghost exists too and it’s important to lend emotional value to the ghost.

    If you don’t have any context for the ghost, it lacks any emotions. It’s telling because the narrator is essentially just telling you it hurt them.

    I’ll get back to that later.

    My thought of it is “this character has had these memories for years, why would they start going through them thoroughly in their mind again all the sudden?” It doesn’t feel natural to me unless that good reason to spark the thoughts is there, and even if there is  a reason, it often still feels unnatural to me when one considers that people often push away and don’t think on unpleasant memories, and when it comes to characters’ lies and flaw, unpleasant memories are almost always part of their backstory.

    The thing is, there is reason to spark the memories, you just aren’t using it. For example, first chapter. Tristan is doing his usual thieving things. He’s done that before, it very probably reminds him of something. It may remind him of how he got there, or how he first started stealing and what that was like.

    Also, backstory doesn’t have to be paragraphs at a time. Just a line or two goes a long way.

    This is personal taste, I know, but it borders on info dumping in how telling instead of showing it feels to me. I will try to find a way to incorporate more backstory and ghosts earlier though.

    What I meant is to add more backstory that isn’t necessarily the ghost. If you don’t have any of that it feels like the character didn’t exist before the story started.

    And you don’t always have to do the ghost reveal all at once, especially if you’re doing it in dialogue. Split it up into sections, each one getting deeper and more painful.

    For Hugon, that might be that he first mentions that his mother died and his father left. Then he might later mention that he ended up on the streets with some others. Then he can mention that he ended up alone, while leaving vague why. And then you can get into the gritty details.

    If you split it up like this it both builds audience anticipation and it feels more natural when you slip out small parts in dialogue.

    I hope that made sense, it’s hard to articulate 🙂

    I think this is your one tip that I didn’t understand, so feel free to elucidate.

    Okay, I can actually explain this one. So, an example I think of was that Joelle mentioned she wore her hair long because her parents liked it. That’s all you say.

    You could show it by being more specific, by making the memory a ‘mini-scene’. So, instead of saying that they liked it, you can tell something like:

    “She remembered how Mother twisted it up in complicated braids she could never sit still for. She’d frown and smile at the same time, scolding her as she sat on her lap. Father used to gently tug her black pigtails when he was teasing her.”

    So, that’s just an example for Joelle, but you can do the same thing with Hugon. Show what it was like working with Bertram. Instead of just saying he trusted him, you can say:

    “Those first nights were terrible. The streets were filled with other boys who wanted whatever they’d managed to steal and would do anything to get it. The first times he’d been too scared to sleep, but somehow, when he knew Bertram was nearby, he felt invincible, like they could go up against the entire city population of thieves and win.”

    See, that’s what I mean. You can just add a paragraph of it here and there, and that’s what I mean by making their backstory clearer and adding more of it. You essentially need to write the context for the ghost. Even the good memories will hurt even more because of the context.

    Feel free to expand on it. Here’s the deal with setting it up early though. I was specifically designing a haters-to-lovers relationship between Joelle and Hugon, and thus I need them to actually hate each other or at least dislike each other for the majority of the book. Thus, I’m not really sure how to change their relationship at all, tips?

    Okay, I have a video that explains romance beats really well, I’ll link it down below.

    Enemies to lovers is an entire trope by itself and honestly one of my favorites. You can add setup for a romantic relationship even while they hate each other though. I think the video will explain it better.

    Close until he found out that Danon was a murderer, but I get what you mean. Any tips for making it better?

    Add Tristan considering that Danon might die, and worrying about what to do. Add context about how he’s afraid to become castle lord, and how he’s disgusted at himself for how he might even be relieved if his father died. Just some ideas, basically, set it up as a possiblity before actually making it happen.

    You’re essentially doing some of the grieving before he even dies, because Tristan is grieving the loss of who he thought his father was. You did write that aspect well though!

    Yeah, I went through the low point rather quickly. We’ll see about expanding it, but sometimes low points that drag out feel unrealistic to me. They were at a pinch for time, and had gone through worse, but yeah, we’ll see.

    Okay, something that I was missing were the characters clashing. A low point usually includes at least one argument or clash. Maybe Joelle lashed out at Hugon because she blamed him.

    As for time, it might be cool if you have the characters become enemies again or at least be mad at each other, but they still have the same goal so they have to keep working together, or they briefly split up, then realize what they’re doing and get back together.

    Considering their backstories, Joelle may blame Hugon for the death, and then she’ll leave/pull away. That in turn will make Hugon feel abandoned and ‘reaffirm’ his lie. Then he has the opportunity to choose how to react. Will he react like he did with Bertram or will he fix it?

    They need to make some bad decisions first, then fix it.

    Personally, I love writing the low point. It just gives me the opportunity to pull out all the stops and really crush my characters and then make them go through an emotional crisis afterward to boot. Besides that, a good low point has big consequences, which can kick them into the next book in a series, or at least into the climax.

    I just find it unrealistic for him to be very sympathetic at all, not with his massive lie and flaw.

    Yes and no. This is a “save the cat” instance. Even a character with such massive flaws has some redeeming quality, or maybe their flaw even comes in useful. Maybe they have one character they’re protective of, or something like that.

    I’ll give an example. Liorah’s flaw in the first book is hyper-independance, in a really unhealthy way. Basically “I can’t rely on people because they’ll let me down and if I don’t let them close they can’t hurt me.”

    The loophole is that she doesn’t expect that from anyone else. She just thinks she’s the only one who shouldn’t need anyone. So if someone needs her, she’s there for them and she’s a genuinely supportive friend (as long as she doesn’t need to be vulnerable.)

    So, maybe Hugon starts forming an attatchment to Adrienne (he kind of does already). He might hate himself for it and have conflict about it but maybe he sees her as “different” from the others and he just starts to build something with her.

    Or, you can even rely on something more simple. I have a character who is very distrustful of people and is very much a loner. However, he gets extremely attached to animals, even animals who other people don’t like. It’s a way of demonstrating that he does have it in him to love and it’s the only outlet he has for it.

    It could be something like that, just some loophole to their lie, an exception that shows that they can improve.

    Thanks for all the great answers by the way! All the other ones I’m not mentioning here just means I’m taking them with vigor and will be using them a lot in my next revision.

    Awesome, I’m so glad I could help! I’m still working on how to critique well, so I’m glad it was helpful!

    Have you planned how you’re going to go about your next revision?

    Do you dumb things down or stick with the historically flavorful words?

    I’m in the middle ground. I use historical and fantasy words occasionally, but if I think it’s obscure enough, I’ll write it like:

    (to borrow your example)

    –The bailey, the courtyard inside the walls,–

    Just mention that once and then use the historical word.

    For example, the actual correct name of the sword Liorah uses is a “shamshir”, but the more common English word woudl be scimitar. I thought about this a while, then decided that the first was more authentic so I just describe it once and then go with it.

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

    #145833
    Noah Cochran
    @noah-cochran

    @rose-colored-fancy

    The first book only has one first person POV, (Liorah’s) but it has a few other chapters in third person limited for other characters.

    Interesting. Are the third person limited views quite sparse? Like Skyward’s interludes?

    That’s my first point. Backstory that isn’t a ghost exists too and it’s important to lend emotional value to the ghost.

    Okay, that’s what I figured you were going for–and those examples were great, I will definitely try to incorporate some of that into TTD next revision.

    If you split it up like this it both builds audience anticipation and it feels more natural when you slip out small parts in dialogue.

    Alright, I was just worried that would be telling something twice, and thus loose any effect it might have had on the reader.

    Okay, I have a video that explains romance beats really well, I’ll link it down below.

    Enemies to lovers is an entire trope by itself and honestly one of my favorites. You can add setup for a romantic relationship even while they hate each other though. I think the video will explain it better.

    I don’t think the video came through. I’m looking forward to seeing the video, because I can’t think of a single way to set up a romance without giving away that there will be romance (which I don’t like in haters-to-lovers).

    Okay, something that I was missing were the characters clashing. A low point usually includes at least one argument or clash. Maybe Joelle lashed out at Hugon because she blamed him.

    Very interesting ideas. I’ll try to incorporate something like that, but it seems that that would drag it out, and make their following relationship development seem quite unrealistic in such a danger filled time.

    It could be something like that, just some loophole to their lie, an exception that shows that they can improve.

    I think I get what you’re saying. Basically, if I have a character whose lie is massive or very negatively affects the character, add some quality or behavior that makes them more likable and shows a good or sentimental side?

    Have you planned how you’re going to go about your next revision?

    Yep, pretty much go through it with y’all’s tips fixing characters, fight scenes, adding introspection, improving prose where I can, things like that.

    –The bailey, the courtyard inside the walls,–

    Just mention that once and then use the historical word.

    Great, that’s what I was thinking too.

    For example, the actual correct name of the sword Liorah uses is a “shamshir”, but the more common English word woudl be scimitar. I thought about this a while, then decided that the first was more authentic so I just describe it once and then go with it.

    Huh, I’ve definitely never heard of a shamshir, is that African in origin? The curved scimitar blade is Persian/Arabian in origin isn’t it?

    For example, first chapter. Tristan is doing his usual thieving things.

    Also, quit slandering Tristan.

    #145920
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @noah-cochran

    Interesting. Are the third person limited views quite sparse? Like Skyward’s interludes?

    Exactly. I have… three chapters total, I think. For one, Liorah is absent but there’s important information, for the other she’s there but I needed it told through another character’s perspective.

    Okay, that’s what I figured you were going for–and those examples were great, I will definitely try to incorporate some of that into TTD next revision.

    I’m glad it helped 🙂

    Alright, I was just worried that would be telling something twice, and thus lose any effect it might have had on the reader.

    Actually, it’s the opposite. Telling them small pieces is actually more natural and more interesting, telling it in one block can often feel like infodumping.

    I don’t think the video came through. I’m looking forward to seeing the video, because I can’t think of a single way to set up a romance without giving away that there will be romance (which I don’t like in haters-to-lovers).

    … I forgot to send it…

    Don’t you just love those little reminders that one is in fact not handling life nearly as well as one thought? XD

    Writing Romance Arcs – Alexa Donne 

    Very interesting ideas. I’ll try to incorporate something like that, but it seems that that would drag it out, and make their following relationship development seem quite unrealistic in such a danger filled time.

    That’s what makes it challenging to write.

    The midpoint doesn’t fix the character’s lie. It just adds a coat of paint over it, metaphorically speaking. They’re trying to fix it, but the lie is still there. It will show up again, sooner or later.

    And the sooner is the low point. It shows up again and they act according to it, since it’s still their default. They’re back in their comfort zone, they get what they were chasing– and it falls horribly flat. They have what they wanted and they’re miserable because they have changed. Then comes the time that they rip out the lie, throw away what they wanted, and fix things once and for all. They don’t do that during the finale. The finale is just there to prove that they’ve changed.

    If you only have a midpoint and no low point, their transformation seems like flipping a switch. It’s too linear, they go from lie to no lie without any major setbacks.

    The fact that they could go back and get what they want but choose to throw it away is what makes it powerful.

    As for not making it unrealistic, they wouldn’t just go on without acknowledging it. There’s going to be apologies and a good deal of humble pie on both sides. Their feelings for each other didn’t go away, something just got in the way.

    I think I get what you’re saying. Basically, if I have a character whose lie is massive or very negatively affects the character, add some quality or behavior that makes them more likable and shows a good or sentimental side?

    Exactly. All people have some soft side. It’s what shows their potential to change in future. And even if the lie is negatively affecting them, that doesn’t mean they’re aware of how. They probably think they’re doing great before they discover what they’re missing.

    Yep, pretty much go through it with y’all’s tips fixing characters, fight scenes, adding introspection, improving prose where I can, things like that.

    Speaking from past experience, it helps a lot to organize your notes and essentially make a revision outline, with exactly what you want to change about each chapter and how you want to change it, otherwise you might either get overwhelmed or risk only adressing the smallest issues instead of the overarching ones.

    Huh, I’ve definitely never heard of a shamshir, is that African in origin? The curved scimitar blade is Persian/Arabian in origin isn’t it?

    The shamshir and scimitar are the same weapon, but scimitar is also a collective name for sabres with curved blades from the entire African/Asian area.

    There were variations of the shamshir in Turkey, Asia, and the Arabic countries. (So throughout the Islamic area as well during the late middle ages)

    Remember I told you it was an absolute nightmare to research that area and time period? (North Africa, 15th- early 16th century) All the weapons I find from that region are the wrong time period. Like 18th-19th century.

    All I’m fairly sure of is that some variation of curved swords existed in the loose proximity of that area and then I gave up. It’s fantasy, it’s historically plausible, it’s the best I can do XD I messed with time period and area so much that it’s basically impossible to get anything more than internally cohesive, much less accurate to time and area. (There is no time and area.)

    And the only thing harder than finding out what weapons they used was how they used them XD I’m winging it, I’ll probably have to fix/change it later.

    Also, quit slandering Tristan.

    *Deep sigh* I knew that was going to happen. I give up XD

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

    #145969
    Noah Cochran
    @noah-cochran

    @rose-colored-fancy

    Exactly. I have… three chapters total, I think. For one, Liorah is absent but there’s important information, for the other she’s there but I needed it told through another character’s perspective.

    I like it. (for a minute there I was worried, thinking you had split your book into third and first person or something xD)

    Don’t you just love those little reminders that one is in fact not handling life nearly as well as one thought?

    Oh, they’re just glorious.

    That’s what makes it challenging to write.

    I get what you’re saying, I’ll try to think of some way to make it darker/more conflicting.

    Speaking from past experience, it helps a lot to organize your notes and essentially make a revision outline, with exactly what you want to change about each chapter and how you want to change it, otherwise you might either get overwhelmed or risk only adressing the smallest issues instead of the overarching ones.

    So you actually know exactly what you want to change about every individual chapter before you start revision? I was just going to go through and add and change things as I go, as well as pick a few specific chapters or scenes to fix or help present character’s better.

    And the only thing harder than finding out what weapons they used was how they used them XD I’m winging it, I’ll probably have to fix/change it later.

    Don’t worry about it. As long as your swords aren’t blocking arrow shots (I recently read a fantasy book that did that), use em’ how you want to. xD

    *Deep sigh* I knew that was going to happen. I give up

    😄 Tristan forgives you.

    #145988
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @noah-cochran

    I like it. (for a minute there I was worried, thinking you had split your book into third and first person or something xD)

    Yikes XD

    Oh, they’re just glorious.

    Right? I’ve been having a few too many XD

    So you actually know exactly what you want to change about every individual chapter before you start revision? I was just going to go through and add and change things as I go, as well as pick a few specific chapters or scenes to fix or help present character’s better.

    I usually know at least loosely. I try to have figured out which parts I should expand, which parts I should rewrite/recast, (and how)  and what I need to change about any given scene.

    I usually wing the smaller stuff, like I don’t plan exactly which paragraph to add introspection to, I just know which chapter or section to add it in.

    It’s something that gets easier with practice, because you always risk only fixing the surface issues if you just go through and fix when you see mistakes. It’s easy to get lost in the minutae instead of fixing the deeper issues.

    For bigger, structural changes, it’s essentially outlining it again, but you already know the story so it’s easier the second time around.

    For my first book I ended up cutting and adding several chapters and switching POV to a different character several times. And I added in the second half of the second act because I… didn’t have one? Somehow? I went directly from the midpoint to the low point XD

    Don’t worry about it. As long as your swords aren’t blocking arrow shots (I recently read a fantasy book that did that), use em’ how you want to. xD

    I’ve… read that too. Multiple times. Once with hitting an arrow out of the air with a knife and once cutting the arrows in half in midair with an axe. Those were two different books. *Deep sigh*

     Tristan forgives you.

    Hugon wouldn’t have forgiven me. Like, ever XD

    I was thinking about how writing changes one’s perception of how good or bad books are because you understand what’s going on behind the scenes.

    Are there any books/media that aged particularly well or poorly for you?

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

    #145997
    Noah Cochran
    @noah-cochran

    @rose-colored-fancy

    For bigger, structural changes, it’s essentially outlining it again, but you already know the story so it’s easier the second time around.

    I suppose I should do something like that as well.

    *Deep sigh*

    My sentiments exactly.

    Are there any books/media that aged particularly well or poorly for you?

    For one thing, I’m better at finding flaws in movies (and by better, I mean I’m probably rather fastidious about it xD). As for books, I tend analyze prose more, but usually to learn from them, not nip-picking them like I do plot points in movies. I was already really hard on characters and relationships in books, and that has only increased. However, even after writing a novel, I’m still rather lenient with plot, even if events are sometimes unrealistic, I usually don’t mind too much.

    Behold the Dawn by K. M. Weiland is still my favorite stand alone novel hands down, and having studied characters and structure myself now, I  love it all the more. The Blackthorn Key series’s prose don’t hold up great, but they are structured well and I love the characters.

    The Hunger Games is structured well and has a great character arc, but after studying side characters and internal conflict, I learned two things: One (in my opinion obviously), Gail is a perfect example of a side character who is not developed much and is rather boring (I really wouldn’t care much at all if he just keeled over dead). And two, book three (which I have not finished yet, so I suppose this could be a hasty judgement), is a good example of how great internal conflict and character arc can not make a story good by itself.

    I read a lot of mystery books that aren’t really structured around a three act story structure much, and they’re still great (Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Willike Collins, Will Thomas).

    How about you?

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