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Old 04-16-2013, 07:34 AM   #16
Katsunami
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Thanks for your tips. I've also found this website:

http://www.danielarenson.com/FantasyWritingTips.aspx

He has quite some useful stuff to say. (And I like those book covers of his ) Another fantasy author to add to my TBR list... someday... To be honest, I don't expect this to be more than "standard fantasy", but I don't think my story will be any more epic or literary than that. No matter. I'll just have to try this.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:54 AM   #17
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My advice is: sit down make an outline and start writing. Do not worry about the length. Nowadays you are not bound by what publishers consider "the right" number of pages.

You can publish it as a Kindle Short, or make a huge volume series like this guy did.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:12 AM   #18
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Heh. If I see the novels George R. R. Martin writes, having to split one book up into 2 pieces and still having them turn out at 800 pages (with him saying: "And I needed to cut the story short, as I saw no end in sight"), it seems everything goes nowadays.

And of course, it's always bigger than expected... I need some horses, because I've got some serious distance to cover. Damn. I don't know anything about horses, let alone medieval ones. I must watch out that I don't write any unrealistic stuff. Fantasy is fantasy, but a normal horse apparently can't travel at 25 mph for 8 hours on a stretch, despite what the movies say.

Ah well, I've learned some stuff about horses yesterday anyway, without even going to the library, thanks to the internet

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Old 04-16-2013, 09:13 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Heh. If I see the novels George R. R. Martin writes, having to split one book up into 2 pieces and still having them turn out at 800 pages (with him saying: "And I needed to cut the story short, as I saw no end in sight"), it seems everything goes nowadays.

And of course, it's always bigger than expected... I need some horses, because I've got some serious distance to cover. Damn. I don't know anything about horses, let alone medieval ones. I must watch out that I don't write any unrealistic stuff. Fantasy is fantasy, but a normal horse apparently can't travel at 25 mph for 8 hours on a stretch, despite what the movies say.

Ah well, I've learned some stuff about horses yesterday anyway, without even going to the library, thanks to the internet
Wikipedia is your friend there.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:39 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
[...]And of course, it's always bigger than expected... I need some horses, because I've got some serious distance to cover. Damn. I don't know anything about horses, let alone medieval ones. I must watch out that I don't write any unrealistic stuff. Fantasy is fantasy, but a normal horse apparently can't travel at 25 mph for 8 hours on a stretch, despite what the movies say.[...]
Maybe a normal horse can't, but a fantasy horse may well be able to. I'm thinking here of the wonderful Ranyhyn of The Chronicles of Thomas Convenant. Here's a curious quote from Stephen Donaldson's website (the gradual interview):
Quote:
I do have some extended experience with horses. (Experience which taught me to dislike them vehemently. Which in turn makes me singularly proud of my "success" with the Ranyhyn--such as it is.)
I find that fascinating given the portrayal of the horses in the novels. But the point is (as made on another thread) that you can do it, just as long as you do it deliberately and not by mistake.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:06 AM   #21
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As I'm basing my characters off ^(some) Dungeons&Dragons classes, they might actually get to use some (A)D&D-like potions and stuff. Maybe I should have SpeedFreak Oaths for my horses, or a "Temporarily Become a Purple Pegasus" potion to mix into the water Pity if that potion runs out when you're 500 feet up in th air...

Nah; if all else fails, I could always use a Deus Ex Machina and suddenly have a horse sprout a Turbo Boost function if it's too slow to be on time for a needed invent

No, mustn't do that. I hate Deus Ex Machina. It's a cheap bail-out. But I like this one:

Quote:
In the Lord of the Rings parody, Bored of the Rings, the characters Frito and Spam are rescued by an aircraft from "Deus Ex Machina Airlines."
I LOL-ed

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Old 04-16-2013, 01:16 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Harper Kingsley View Post
I use Scrivener, but I guess I'm not very scientific because I just use it so I can have all my projects available on one screen when I want them

For a fantasy story like you're talking about, you might want to start with an outline. Beginning, middle, end. Then fill in the details, easy peasy Don't worry about length or even if you're going to have it as a series yet. Right now just focus on what you're going to want to have happen. What are the overriding points you want to express in your story: love, friendship, revenge, etc. What is the base message of your story? Why would this group of people want to hang together?

Sometimes my outlines are very sparse--just a few scenes strung together that I happen to want in a story--and then I let the characters carry the day. I give them a goal to reach and I have a few set events that take place in their world, but otherwise their personalities decide what they're going to do and how they're going to react to any given situation. Other times I sketch out every single scene, keeping in mind the rules of "And and But."

"Tony Stark is enjoying his life as a billionaire playboy weapons manufacturer and enjoys showing off and is very proud of his new weapons system and is in Afghanistan showing it off, but his convoy is attacked and he is wounded with his own weapons and taken captive which leads to him planning his escape. He builds the first armor to save himself and Yinsen and they stage their escape, but Yinsen is killed and Tony is filled with regret and remorse for what's been done with the weapons he's built. He returns to civilization and builds new armor and becomes Iron Man to make up for his past, but his old armor is found and reverse engineered to be used against him."

Every event that happens in your world should make something else happen. It keeps your characters motivated and the story will flow forward naturally.

Also, with dialogue, I was told that "said" is always the best (I'm saying that as someone that edited a story where the author thought '"Don't do that," he ejaculated loudly' was not terrible at all. It was terrible.) "He said," "She said," "Bob said," "Mary said." The dialogue should flow naturally and you don't need to add a bunch of fidgety stuff in-between; your dialogue should be able to work by itself and the reader will infer the emotions.

Write the story you want to read. If you get bogged down somewhere, put some placeholder text describing what you think should be there, and just keep on going. You can go back later and fill in what you missed.

tl;dr Hope that helps
I think that's a very good post with good advice. This is my needlessly verbose way of saying "+1" or ""

Speaking of dialog attributions, In John Scalzi's "Redshirts" he uses "he said" and "she said" WAY too much, I think.



When two people are talking to each other alone at a table, after the first attribution or two, the "close quotes-new paragraph" is MORE than enough cue as to who is speaking, thank you very much!
(That being said "Redshirts" is a great read, thank you Mr. Scalzi! )
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:41 PM   #23
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Agree with above post. I don't like it when authors use "he said" / "she said" or variants thereof in a longer discussion. It's more than enough to indicate who is the first and second speaker. After that, the dialog can just switch back and forth:

(Text translated from Dutch to English, from a book I recently finished.)
Quote:
"Are you sure about this?", Richard said.
"Yes, it seems that the virus is spreading", Paula replied.
"Were you able to devise a way to stop it?"
"Not yet... the lab is working on it around the clock."
"I hope so. Many people are getting very ill; who knows what happens after that. This virus may be deadly."
"We are trying all we can."
Richard picked up his jacket and walked toward the door. "Keep me posted about anything you discover." He walked out into the rain, pulling the door closed behind him.
What I've always wondered about: where do the comma's go?

Quote:
"This is very bad," Richard said.
"This is very bad.", Richard said.
Which is the correct way, or is it a matter of taste? I've seen both... if it is deemed correct, my preference would be the second variant, as it seems more logical to me. If it is deemed to be "officially" incorrect, I'll do it as in the first example.

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Old 04-16-2013, 01:57 PM   #24
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"This is very bad," Richard said.
"This is very bad.", Richard said.
The first is correct.
The second is just plain wrong.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:17 PM   #25
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The first is correct.
The second is just plain wrong.
Yep. If you have already identified the speaker you don't need the comma because you don't need to add the i.d. tag of the character's name, and if you need the comma then the period shouldn't be there.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:28 PM   #26
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Hm, OK. I've looked into a few books, and I've also seen this:

Quote:
"This is very bad", Richard said.
So, I've basically got books in all three variants. Assuming that using a point within the quotes is wrong because the sentence is not ended (even though the sentence within the quotes is), where does the comma *officially* go: inside the quotes or outside, and why?
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:31 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
where does the comma *officially* go: inside the quotes or outside, and why?
Inside the quotes.

Why? Good question. It does seem rather non-intuitive to me. But I've been reading and writing American English for about 40 years now, and that's always been the correct way, so anything else looks immediately wrong.

Do I recall correctly that it's different in British English*?

ApK

* As claimed here:
http://www.scribophile.com/academy/c...ion-mark-usage

p.s. Just flipped through some "search inside" pages on amazon.co.uk.
I checked Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling and whomever was on the current bestseller list, and while some use single quotes around dialog and others used double, they all put the comma INSIDE the quotes.

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Old 04-16-2013, 03:53 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by ApK View Post
Inside the quotes.

Why? Good question. It does seem rather non-intuitive to me.
It does look non-intuitive to me too.

Quote:
But I've been reading and writing American English for about 40 years now, and that's always been the correct way, so anything else looks immediately wrong.

Do I recall correctly that it's different in British English*?

ApK

* As claimed here:
http://www.scribophile.com/academy/c...ion-mark-usage
Hm, OK. I've been reading American English (so, double quotes, comma inside), British English (single quotes, comma's outside), but also Dutch and German, where there seem to be no rules: some books use single quotes, others use double, some put the comma within the quote, others outside, and all four combinations are used.

I think I'll just stick to the American style then, as I'm used to that the most with regard to reading.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:57 PM   #29
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I think I'll just stick to the American style then, as I'm used to that the most with regard to reading.
Probably a good idea. Some of what you saw with the comma outside may have simply been wrong.
But even if it's acceptable, if some places tolerate it either way, and some places see outside as wrong, you might as well put it inside and be safe everywhere.

Also, see my added postscript above.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:02 PM   #30
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"So, I get this," said a new poster in the thread.
"But what about a question?" asked someone else.
"Yeah, does the question mark go in the quotes, or do you use a comma and toss it out at the end," asked the first poster?

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