What's been going on around here?

What's going on in your writing world? Connect with the writing community here and talk about whatever's on your mind.
rob-lost
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Re: What's been going on around here?

Postby rob-lost » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:58 am

@mike m.
I agree that we don't have to sacrifice the mechanics to return to the craft. I hope to provide the avenue to let writers set the tone. Not me.
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mike m.
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Re: What's been going on around here?

Postby mike m. » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:54 am

[quote="rob-lost"]@mike m.
I agree that we don't have to sacrifice the mechanics to return to the craft. I hope to provide the avenue to let writers set the tone. Not me.[/quote]
==========

I would suggest that you look at several other boards to see how they organise the content and which topics have their own section.
There are many places for writers of all major types both novels and scripts, even poetry and other minor interests to get ideas from.
Non fiction seems to be a small subsection on the boards but maybe there is one out there where it is the main theme.

Then it would be easier for writers to vote with their keyboard by posting where they have interests.

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wdarcy
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Re: What's been going on around here?

Postby wdarcy » Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:50 pm

Of course we can have both. We absolutely should. My point is that in my 9 years on this forum the vast preponderance of posts have been about the mechanics of writing, and very few about the art of storytelling. I would hope that the new forum rectifies this imbalance. After all, you can be the greatest writer in the world, but if you don't know how to tell a story, no one is going to bother reading your stuff.

--Warren
"Wagner's 'Das Rheingold'" (Oxford 1993). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 1995.

"Elements of Sonata Theory" co-authored with James Hepokoski(Oxford 2006). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 2008.

mike m.
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Re: What's been going on around here?

Postby mike m. » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:11 pm

[quote="wdarcy"]Of course we can have both. We absolutely should. My point is that in my 9 years on this forum the vast preponderance of posts have been about the mechanics of writing, and very few about the art of storytelling. I would hope that the new forum rectifies this imbalance. After all, you can be the greatest writer in the world, but if you don't know how to tell a story, no one is going to bother reading your stuff.

--Warren[/quote]
=====

Seems like posts reflect the interests of the members.
Unfortunately too many confuse low level editing with all of writing.

If people cared about the art of story telling they would ask questions, post tips, or otherwise start discussions on that aspect of writing.

If ostrella is correct then there is nothing to discuss.
Just write, write, write, and then write some more and the story happens appears to summarize her posts accurately.

Does anybody else have another way to create a story ?
Let's see what it is and discuss it here.

Many books start with brainstorming with various tweaking in order to create a good story.
How do you create a story ?

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Noizchild
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Re: What's been going on around here?

Postby Noizchild » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:12 pm

I just dive right in.
You ask me what I thought about
Before we were lovers.
The answer is easy.
Before I met you
I didn't have anything to think about.

-- From "The Love Poems of Marichiko"

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Brien Sz
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Re: What's been going on around here?

Postby Brien Sz » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:57 pm

The art of story telling, good story telling, is highly abstract. Of course you can cite the standard three act play routine as the basic outline for story telling. But talking about story telling often becomes very clinical. I took several writing classes about this and it was like listening to grass grow. How do we write an engaging story? Well, I really don't think anyone knows. Success comes in the connection the reader makes with the writer - something just works. Seemingly dull story ideas can be made to come alive while tremendous ideas can die of boredom. The average reader can't tell you in a clinical way what worked - it just did. Why does, The Road, work for some people, like me, and for others, they can't get beyond the style the story is told in. Why do millions find Stephen King engrossing yet I find it tedious? Some people love first person and others do not.

Discussing the art of writing, the act of writing and how we come up with ideas is very abstract. I've been asked - 'how do you come up with your ideas?' My first book grew out of a short story and for whatever reason, I knew that it had to be my first book. And, it was. My second book grew out of a challenge by my kids. I had also sketched a few scenes in my mind as random ideas. But how did those ideas come... by sitting and writing. After the first draft was done, I looked at it a little more in an outline form to see how it flushed out, but really, it was about the discipline of sitting in a chair with a document and moving my fingers on the keyboard.

I have another book that is nearly finished - 98%, just waiting for some notes. That story evolved after Super Storm Sandy knocked out power in our area for 10 days and I took it to a pandemic level centering on a neighborhood of survivors.

I wrote a terrible first draft thriller based on the idea of genetically manipulating humans into the perfect species - it came about after reading a James Rollins novel and seeing a documentary on Nazi eugenics. But to tell you how I crafted any of these is very tough. I don't journal about my writing and record any magic moments as to how something evolved - sometimes I wish I did.

So, with all this written down, I have no good answer how to discuss the abstract form of how one goes about story telling. Maybe this was a start. I would certainly like to try out that conversation, as it seems interesting.

mike m.
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Re: What's been going on around here?

Postby mike m. » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:30 pm

[quote="wdarcy"]Of course we can have both. We absolutely should. My point is that in my 9 years on this forum the vast preponderance of posts have been about the mechanics of writing, and very few about the art of storytelling. I would hope that the new forum rectifies this imbalance. After all, you can be the greatest writer in the world, but if you don't know how to tell a story, no one is going to bother reading your stuff.

--Warren[/quote]


http://www.writersdigest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=267812
discuss how to do a story

mike m.
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Re: What's been going on around here?

Postby mike m. » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:31 pm

[quote="mike m."][quote="wdarcy"]Of course we can have both. We absolutely should. My point is that in my 9 years on this forum the vast preponderance of posts have been about the mechanics of writing, and very few about the art of storytelling. I would hope that the new forum rectifies this imbalance. After all, you can be the greatest writer in the world, but if you don't know how to tell a story, no one is going to bother reading your stuff.

--Warren[/quote]
=====

Seems like posts reflect the interests of the members.
Unfortunately too many confuse low level editing with all of writing.

If people cared about the art of story telling they would ask questions, post tips, or otherwise start discussions on that aspect of writing.

If ostrella is correct then there is nothing to discuss.
Just write, write, write, and then write some more and the story happens appears to summarize her posts accurately.

Does anybody else have another way to create a story ?
Let's see what it is and discuss it here.

Many books start with brainstorming with various tweaking in order to create a good story.
How do you create a story ?[/quote]

i started a discussion to talk about this
http://www.writersdigest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=267812

mike m.
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Re: What's been going on around here?

Postby mike m. » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:32 pm

[quote="Noizchild"]I just dive right in.[/quote]

so you just write write and write some more until it happens ?

do you do any planning ?

or do you fix it in the mix
or fix it in post
as the audio and video types often say

so do you fix it in editing ?

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ostarella
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Re: What's been going on around here?

Postby ostarella » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:56 pm

I think discussing the art of story telling versus the mechanics of writing is very similar to discussing the art of painting versus the mechanics of painting. An art teacher can teach you how to mix colors, how to prepare your canvas, how to use perspective - but then you have to start looking at the artists - Picasso versus Michelangelo, Rembrandt versus Dali. If you were to give these artists the same subject matter, say a daisy, imagine how differently each would paint it. That's where the art comes in. That's what you need to look at, not just how they used the brush strokes to create the art, but how they created it in their own unique ways.

For writers, this is where reading is essential, because by reading - and reading a wide variety of writers - you get exposed to the different styles and voices, just as you would looking at different painters in a gallery. At some point, you start noticing the phrasing used that piques curiosity, builds tension, creates a setting. You start seeing how the characters develop into real people through the story, and how the plot moves forward, turning here, flowing there, but always moving forward. And you start writing with all those different examples and ideas in your head.

For me, the art of storytelling is getting from Point A to Point B in the most interesting yet logical way possible. Is this character someone readers will recognize? Does changing this word to that make the sentence, scene, dialog more meaningful? Or - am I getting bogged down with words and losing the story?

Again, for me, it's completely an organic thing. I don't know where Point B is when I start but I know that I'm going to make it interesting getting there. I have to let my brain do its thing, the thing that let me turn sticks into guns and blankets into forts. I have to quit being this serious adult with all these things I have to do and just play. And if I'm bored with my new toy, I need to adjust it so I'm not. Again - I had dollhouses when I was a kid. The dollhouse furniture ended up on a bunch of books laid out as rooms, set up the way I wanted my house to be like, not confined to some toy company's idea of what a dollhouse should be. The bought dollhouse was boring - my "book house" was fun.

Well, all of this is very philosophical, but that's always the case with creativity. And that's what story telling is - going beyond the bricks and mortar, the spelling and grammar and three acts and story length, and creating something really cool out of nothing.

So yeah, discussions on storytelling can deal with so many things - characterization, plot and/or character development, how to create mood - but they're all striving to do one thing - draw the reader into the story and keep them there.

JMO 8-)
Formerly shadowwalker
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