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Author Topic: Does this seem too un-flowy to you?  (Read 3692 times)
inocain
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« on: June 13, 2011, 11:56:24 PM »

I'm working on finishing part 1 of a potentially extremely long story in preparation for a possible run with part 2 for NaNoWriMo. Each part would be the equivalent of a book. In chapter 1-5, (I haven't been the most dedicated, and need to find better times to write than just before going to bed. I've been writing this for about 2 months now. Embarrassed) I am writing in that MC1 is discussing the failures of a mission and how they went wrong with SC1. I have it written in the form

Dialogue (3 lines)
***
First Problem (1-2 sentences)
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Dialogue (1 line)
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Second Problem (1-2 Sentences)
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Dialogue (still ongoing)

Is this a problem? Should I expand this opening? As I do get into the chapter, the "flashbacks" of the mission will grow longer, as the action gets more intense. Any issues that arise will be flashed out accordingly, and noted by the characters. Should I write the mission part first, then the followup in the next part? Or is this a good format? I intend to have one character (MC1) speaking through most of this chapter, as he is the student.

I will post the actual part here when I have the time.
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2011, 01:38:21 AM »

Please post the actual parts, the thing with dialogue, like people, brevity can suffice or a blowhard adds character.
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2011, 03:31:56 AM »

An excerpt would be easier to critique.  Knowing size does not really help as there is no firm rule saying what is better.  It's all about how it is written.
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2011, 09:12:17 AM »

One can't really say if an idea is good before one executes it. I'm also gonna go a step further than these guys and say that having a formula like this doesn't help you in any way. If a technique works, it works; if it doesn't, change it. There's a certain balance between dialogue and narrative, and that's something you have to find through trial-and-error - later on, through intimate familiarity with the craft. The best anyone can do is tell you if your passage sounds awkward or "wrong". They can't fix it up for you; neither can a formula.

There are two things I suggest you do:

1) Write the hell out of your novel.  Don't worry yet about how dialogue and narrative interlock. As you write, you will (hopefully) get a sense of what works and what sounds contrived. Mark your problem areas down mentally and come back to them later.

2) Read the hell out of your library.  This should go without saying, but for some reason most furries think believe can dispense with this step entirely. You cannot. For one thing, reading exposes you to different techniques, both good and bad. It gives you a sense of what you should do and what you should not. For the most part, you process these nuances subconsciously (unless you take a pencil and figure out what makes the story tick, which is v. good also) - you are picking up good taste via osmosis, as it were. So if you don't read, how will you get that good taste? (Hint: it's not through a formula.)
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2011, 11:35:45 PM »

Reiter, 1) It is hard with all I have going on to find the time to do so. 2) I already do. I bought a 386 page book during a class trip to Barnes & Noble today. I'd finished it before 5pm. The class ended at 10:25am. Foxeris' "A Fox in the Works" I could probably read in a day. That one is over 1200 pages. Needless to say, I read the living hell out of things.

I'll have the excerpt up by the end of the week. F****** finals.
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2011, 01:48:41 AM »

Those are some really late finals.  Looking forward to the excerpt and novel.
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2011, 05:30:27 AM »

That's why I got a Nook, actually. I haven't the time to run to the library every two days to take out a new book -- and I really do read several novels every week.
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2011, 06:29:32 AM »

I am lucky to have the library right near my house and I stock up on books. I slip it into my backpack so I can read between classes.
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2011, 08:24:16 AM »

That's why I got a Nook, actually. I haven't the time to run to the library every two days to take out a new book -- and I really do read several novels every week.

Not to drag this off topic but: Fffffffffffffff! I have no idea how everyone reads so fast. It takes me *weeks* to finish a single novel...
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Quinn Yellowfox
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2011, 01:51:45 PM »

I'm with you Jacky. It usually takes me weeks to get through a novel too.

@inocain: Everyone has different processes for writing. It sounds like you may be a plotter--someone who works out an outline then fills it in. I use a different system. Still, starting with dialogue is a good way to begin. It introduces characters quickly. The hard part will be getting the dialogue to grab readers and hook them in.

You can introduce your first conflict in the first line of dialogue. They don't need to be outlined out. I.e.

"Do you want to go to the store with me Stan?" (Boring. Who cares what Stan says?)

"He's dead Stan! Why did you do that?" (Creates questions in the readers mind. Who is dead? What did Stan do? Was it an accident? I want to know what Stan says.)

Flashbacks can be a real story killer. They take the reader out of one story, into another and back again. It disrupts the flow. For me, flashbacks are the characters telling me (the writer) about themselves. If past events are important, they can be brought up in dialogue.

One of my characters is a murderer. He's trying to hide from his past and redeem himself. It's his primary motivation. The reader does't know it though. It makes him more real to me.



 
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2011, 05:02:23 PM »

I'm a plotter as well. For most of my projects, I have an outline and several paragraphs describing my characters. It helps keep me on track, but I treat it more as a guideline than stone-set rules, you know? But I agree with Quinn, characterization, to me, is best done through dialogue first, actions second.

Quinn, as soon as you mentioned a murderer trying to run from his past and redeem himself, I had a premise for new story within moments. I love you! XD

Oh yeah, and I agree with Quinn and Jacky. It takes me a while to get through a book. I haven't read one in a long time, though. Most of my reading happens when I review stuff on Furrag. Does that count? >_>
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« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2011, 01:56:57 AM »

@Jacky, I have always been a fast reader, read through jurrasic park in 2-3 days.

I am a stream of plot writer. I get a part and beginning I like/my muse is nagging me with, and simply start writing, letting my muse vent it all out. The trick is, getting the right amount of plot lined up to start writing, like right now, I got the opening but no clue as to the transition and the characters are not flesh out enough to have them guide the plot.
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« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2011, 02:31:17 PM »

@k9k

I have you beat. I'll read IN classes. And still get As and Bs.
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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2011, 01:50:06 AM »

@k9k

I have you beat. I'll read IN classes. And still get As and Bs.

I have you both beat.  I'd read the blurb, BS the tests, and still get As.


Sorry, I thought I should add that.
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« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2011, 02:20:50 AM »

@k9k

I have you beat. I'll read IN classes. And still get As and Bs.

I have you both beat.  I'd read the blurb, BS the tests, and still get As.


Sorry, I thought I should add that.

I have all of you beat. I didn't read any of the assigned books up to AP English (Jr and Sr years of high school) -- that's when they were actually enjoyable and I WANTED to read them. I just guessed the plot judging by the name of the book and the theme we were currently studying. I only got one 'C' -- all the others were 'A's. Instead of reading that Newberry Award garbage, I spent my time reading books that mattered, like The Three Musketeers.
BAM!
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