Forum Replies Created
December 8, 2020 at 6:17 am #122459
@shadowwriter161 Hey there! Story Embers just released an article about confidence that I found super helpful: https://storyembers.org/5-ways-insecure-writers-can-build-the-confidence-to-be-creative/
A point that the article mentioned is that every first draft is messy – and that’s okay. I think that’s really important here that you flesh out your idea on paper, step away for a few days, and then come back and see what you think. Revision + editing will always have your back, but it starts with you being brave enough to actually put down your idea and see where it takes you.
Something you could also do is share your writing with a supportive friend who you trust. Right now my close friend reads my draft regularly, and knowing that she will look at it is really helpful for me. I can envision the kinds of questions she will ask and the points that she might have a problem with, and that is helping me refine my writing as I go. If there’s someone like that in your life, you might want to reach out to them and try that.
Best of luck 🙂
INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)November 6, 2020 at 10:14 am #121462
This is exactly my predicament 😂 because during Nano just yesterday I came to my romantic scene, and, not having the time to revise, wrote most of it pretty terribly and just went on. But I think I learned a few things, which I can share here:
1) Romance looks different in every book, so it can be a minor part of the overall story. I’ve read a lot of middle-grade books where the guy kind of likes the girl, goes on a major adventure, and then she says something sweet to him at the end that kind of sweetens the victory. Or in A Wrinkle in Time, a romance (of sorts) is established by two lines of text: Calvin telling Meg her eyes are beautiful, and Meg blushing in response. Middle grade romance in my experience is very sweet and innocent and you don’t need to experience it to make it work.
2) Do write what you know and what makes sense to you. When I tried to write an almost-kiss scene yesterday, I put a lot of fluff that was probably borrowed from the YA stuff I read in middle school. But then today, I put a line (“She wanted him close to her again, and his arms around her”) that seems kind of cliche compared to most YA, but I think it worked because it resonates with me and what I’ve felt in the past. (And I’ve never had a boyfriend.)
So that’s a little bit of advice from my Nano experience yesterday and today. A lot of it might seem kind of obvious, but I hope you find it helpful!
INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)October 26, 2020 at 6:28 am #121044
@sarahfi *looks up cultural appropriation*
I don’t think you need to worry. It’s like doing a retelling of a fairytale, legend, or Greek myth, which tons of people have done in Western culture (and which I am doing at the moment in my WIP). I think people would only be offended, like Archer said, if it looks like plagiarism, or just failing to be original and thoughtful in general in how you use another culture’s ideas. Since you’re already asking this question and wanting to be careful with it, I’d say you’re good to go.
Putting what I said above in a more practical way, I would suggest that you get to the heart of the original story — why it was written and the message that is being communicated through the journey and overall quest. Then build on it or twist it or do whatever writerly, amazing stuff you plan to do.
Also, as a Chinese-American, I’m super excited that you’re being inspired by that piece of literature 😀 I had to read it… in Chinese class… in Chinese… so I’m not sure I remember a lot of it haha. I’m sure you read it in English, right?
Best of luck with your story!
INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)October 20, 2020 at 8:05 am #120816
@arindown Haha I’m a long way from that point… but when the time comes sure! xD
I think I came up with the concept of my Beast and was kind of fascinated by it… and then I realized that it was basically the story of Beauty and the Beast, which I also really like, and so I began to base my plot on it.
I think that’s a super cool explanation though! I feel like I already get the vibe of your story 🙂 How long have you been working on it?
INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)October 19, 2020 at 1:16 am #120772October 15, 2020 at 10:06 pm #120671
@kayla-skywriter No problem! I forgot to mention that the section on her website is called “How to Structure Your Story”.
I think a pantser is someone who likes to write spontaneously and do little to no planning beforehand. The ‘plotter” on the other hand, usually likes to start with some sort of outline before writing their story. I don’t think these categories are exactly either/or, but more of a spectrum, because “a lot of planning” or “only a little planning” mean different things to different writers.
@arindown Hey Grace! No, I don’t think we’ve met yet. But it’s neat to know that we have the same name 😁
INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)October 14, 2020 at 5:14 am #120634
Like Chelsea said, I think it’s super cool that you’re self-evaluating and wanting to take the right steps forward!
This actually happened to me these past couple of years, where I had a historical-fantasy that was too large-scale for me to handle. I started it, revised the premise, and then started again way too many times. Right now I’ve moved on to writing a contemporary fantasy with lower expectations for myself, and I’m nearly halfway through and enjoying myself a lot 🙂
I think that if you’re sure you want to keep this idea around, you can do worldbuilding, character development, plot and even write short stories on it, to kind of get a feel for the background work you’re doing. If your goal towards improvement involves writing consistently, and you find inspiration in an easier project (as I did) then go for it! You’re not betraying your first, grand story idea. You’re just improving yourself so you can get there.
If part of your concern is that you’ve never written such a large work before and you want resources on planning the plot, I recommend what KM Weiland has on her site: https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/. It’s helped me know what to aim for in a novel (or just a story!) in general and the plot points that always make a good story.
INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)December 12, 2019 at 7:50 am #102576
Whoaa… this is so exciting. 😉
Personally, I feel like the first sentence could include a little bit of setting, like referencing the land that the story takes place in. Perhaps this could stand in place of “the world” which would help tie the reader’s mind down to a specific place. Also, it would keep the second “the world” from being repetitive.
I would also format part of the bottom half like this (revisions are italicized):
Disaster strikes when whispers circulate of a new god, friends divide, assassins rise, and an innocent people topple on the edge of ruin. Exton is playing a game with no mercy for failure. The world requires a perfect hero–and where others see impossibility, he dares to try.
To me, that reads clearer and is a little less choppy.
I actually haven’t been on this forum in foreverrrrr (hehe) — so take my suggestions with a grain of salt. Maybe it matches up with something someone’s already said to you.
INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)September 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #97116
@w-o-holmes Yep! Same… it feels like following the way that God has laid before us, whatever that might be.
Hobbiton feels very homey, and so I guess the picture + the quote also gives that kind of vibe.
INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)September 8, 2019 at 1:45 am #96670
@w-h-holmes I heard that Bombadil was featured in one panning shot of the landscape, but I have yet to find him. It sounds like the kind of thing the director would put in, though.
Yeah, we have similar food, as well as Northern Chinese food (mainly steamed dumplings) and a lot of Japanese influence (ramen, sushi, and bento boxes).
And the beaches in California are awesome 🙂 In California specifically, I also like to go to Yosemite National Park.
INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)September 7, 2019 at 5:24 am #96601
@w-h-holmes Yeah, like any hobby that you pursue, you just keep getting better and better as you go along. I’m sure that your story worlds are enriched by the languages, too!
Apparently Tom Bombadil makes a few-second cameo in the films? But yeah, the books are huge so it’s really impossible to get every detail in, like the Scouring of the Shire.
Taiwan… is normal. xD I’ve lived here ten years, and it’s humid, hot, and crowded. Lots of air pollution too (although our smog is mild compared to China). But the food is really good and I love the mountains and the ocean around. So yeah 🙂
*wanders off to look at your languages*
INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)September 5, 2019 at 4:57 am #96400
I’m not sure there’s much for me to say, since I personally am pretty uninformed. But I think that in Christian fiction, mental disorders can come alongside spiritual issues, and perhaps a character struggles with both. I say this out of a struggle a few years ago when a period of irrational fears turned into a real soul-searching time that revealed a lot of the doubts that I had towards God. Did I, in the end, have to put my faith in God? Yes, and that struggle for me is a great testimony of how God protected me and led me towards Him. But was there a definite psychological aspect? Yes! Even when I knew the truth about Jesus, it still took several emotionally warped months for me to finally feel better, and the same thoughts kept happening occasionally for the next two years. I think that psychologically, things that influence our thoughts and emotions aren’t always easy to understand, but when they do surface, they can exacerbate our spiritual struggles.
Echoing what everybody else has said, we do need to understand that medically there is a lot going on in people’s lives besides their sin, be it emotionally or mentally. Displaying that in all its complexity is an important direction for Christian fiction to take.
INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)September 5, 2019 at 4:43 am #96398
*jaw drops* That’s a lot of languages. What fascinates you about making them? Because a lot of people admire Tolkien, but not everyone has the skills or… disposition, I guess, to imitate him in what he did.
A little introduction of myself: I’m seventeen, a Christian, and I live in Taiwan. I’m probably not going to pursue writing as a career, but I still love it a lot, and make time for it when I can. I really enjoyed Lord of the Rings when I read them, and I like the films too. (That leads me to a side question: have you watched the films + what do you think?)
I don’t know who Tashah Claymore is, but if she’s not already in a guild I think she can sign up/apply for this guild.
Finally, we have a group chat on Google Hangouts, so I’ll find the link and get back to you so you can join if you want.
INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)August 24, 2019 at 7:40 am #95563
(Taiwan is another island region that regards itself as independent but is also officially part of China… but that is a story for another day).
As someone who hails from Taiwan, I’d say that we are independent, but not internationally recognized (because of pressure from China, a big world/economic power). So to kind of add to what you’ve been saying, political tensions in Hong Kong might have ramifications for Taiwan and Tibet, two other places that have their own controversies regarding the Chinese government. So this event hits a lot closer to home.
I think I talked with you on Kingdom Pen… are you from Hong Kong? I think I get this inkling that you live in Singapore, but I can’t be sure 😛
To be honest, I never really made the connection between mass protests and revolutionaries in fiction. I think that in general the rebel movements I’ve seen in stories have been largely undercover… until they’re not, and then the plot plays itself out at a remarkably fast rate. Of course, Hong Kong is different as it’s like a real-life siege, and remarkably peaceful for the amount of protestors showing up. Maybe it’s a good example to enhance the trope and let the plot unfold in what seems to be a stalemate.
You’ve probably also seen the signs and pictures honoring the woman who was shot in the eye… it’s crazy how much impact one person can have on a crowd who’s angry. If somebody actually dies, it will be an even bigger deal. Martyrs do influence movements hugely, both in real life and in fiction.
INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)August 13, 2019 at 8:11 pm #95074
Yes, that scene with Bilbo…so scary. Arguably, though, it actually magnifies the power of Sauron (or maybe the ring) by showing how much of a hold the ring can have on people’s hearts.
One example of a villain that scared me was the Joker in The Dark Knight — the way he was always on top of things and one step ahead of the good guys. That made for quite a scare: a villain who has his own agenda and who the hero can never quite catch up with.
INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)