Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Bard, Mar 10, 2014.

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  1. So, you all are writers right?

    What extremes have you gone to write a scene, either in a personal novel or in a RP post?

    Me, personally, was once writing about a spear-fighter. Now, I don't have much experience with spears, so I was at a loss at how to write a specific fight scene. What did I do?

    Well, I went outside with a broom in my front yard and fought invisible foes! (I'm 27, mind you) My neighbors thought I was retarded! (They're not far off)

    So what have you done? Hiked 50 miles in the woods to find a spot to describe in a fantasy? Kill a man just to watch him die?

  2. as a writer and an avid roleplayer, I go through extremes to make it look good.

    My writing is vastly better than my roleplaying simply because I am not trying to impress anyone, rather than send out an important message.

    I'm currently working on a nine year project (as in this is the ninth year I've worked on it) that symbolizes the destruction of a people, multiple cultures and a world due to one thing; greed. So what do I do? For every family and culture, I have a whole plastic drawer for. And those stand to at least six bins. All of it is research on:

    -Governmental Structures (capitalism, communism, dictatorial, monarchies, etc)
    -World Politics
    -Various types of sciences
    -Current Events
    -Family genetics
    -Family Trees
    -Cultural traditions
    As well as many, many other things.

    I do all of this for every country in that world that I create. And that is just the start of my writing; I made at least twenty characters for this, and I can tell you everything about them. I'd debate whether I know myself as much as I know my characters.

    And when I want to really capture my work, I go to places like the Finch Arboretum, other various natural sites to get what I am describing. And most of my countries counter one another; like how one country will be in forestland, the other will be deep into desert land. What my goal is to go to one of the sites where the Jungle is being destroyed, get some pictures, write down how that makes me feel and put it in my book. Since I love my Mother (Mother Earth), it hurts me personally to see a tree get cut down.

    If I want a fighting style, like you I'll enact it (but I never use weapons, cause if you cannot defend yourself without a weapon, you have no business fighting), so my characters will have this zen to them where they defend themselves but ultimately try to make peace.

    That's why I try to get experience with peace making by walking around and problem solving in my community, so I can make my characters seem realistic and so the reader could either sympathize or feel closer to the character because that feeling is very much there.

    Hope that made sense.
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  3. Made perfect sense! Lemme know when you're done with your book! I'm interested in reading it!!
  4. Heh...that might be another year yet until I start writing it. I've gotten a few bits and pieces but building a world is much harder than people think that it is.
  5. Honestly, I have a hard time calling most research "extreme". You might as well say that athletes are being "extreme" by doing a scrimmage before the actual game, or economists for looking at previous patterns before predicting new ones. I kinda think that if you take writing seriously, you should take your research just as seriously!

    I will admit that I've gone back eight generations in a family tree to map out eye color so that when I'm describing my character's ancestors, it's all plausible. O.O Took me almost an hour because I had three genes controlling pigment, then determined I couldn't get the right phenotypes unless I made two of the three relationships between the genes incompletely dominant and the third one codominant. Then I decided it would be really cool if there was some gene linkage which could explain a family history of another odd trait...
    I might have nerded out and abused my bio textbook. XD
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  6. By my definition, honing my craft at whatever extent is not extreme, but I can say I have enacted a scene. I stood in my bedroom alone with a blanket draped around my shoulders and a book in my hand, I pretended to cast a magic spell and do something to someone.

    I do a lot of research in all I do. I would like to be a jack of all trades kind of guy. I try to help when fixing cars, when someone in our local community has a construction project, and I like to participate in sporting events (of the social variety, not the competitive one). I go out to study people, how they interact, and watch as I see people who don't get along say what they say.

    I also have a TON of books on random subjects. I have plenty of "Learn ____ Language in 20 days!" books, books about photography, books about sports, books about nursing from my father, my own and my mother's books about laboratory technology, human physiology, and genetics, and plenty of books on morals, mythology, history, and ethnic cooking.

    I also try to take time to talk to people with distinctly different beliefs, cultures, and/or opinions from my own to understand why they believe what they do. I have a handful of friends who are witches, a handful of friends who are shamans, a friend who is the daughter and only remaining heir of her American Indian tribe situated in Oklahoma.

    To me, it's really not extreme and certainly not research. But sating a curious mind.
    #6 Levusti, Mar 10, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
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  7. Just for one character, I've learned:

    How a bloomery is built and subsequently how iron is cast and wrought
    General sailing ship construction, including correct terminology and how ships actually functioned in the age of sail
    Silver and goldsmithing techniques
    How filigree is done, from ingots to final product
    Some basics on Catholic/Protestant hierarchy
    Naval rank and procedures
    First aid, of course

    And that's not including all the time drudging through world-specific history and lore.

    Jack of all trades, for sure, that girl was.
  8. For me there are some ideas that I will continue to revisit and rework frequently if they're left unused for too long. I created an antagonist for my Pathfinder group that they haven't encountered yet because we haven't played in months. He was originally just a bard who found out something he shouldn't have and was forced to flee by the city ruler. He wound up in the Plane of Shadow and turned into a Fetchling over time. As he was left without use longer and longer, he developed into someone who snuck around and used his bardic talents to beguile the ruler's contacts and allies into ingesting a deadly poison. He would play haunting and morose music on a violin and use magical suggestion to get them to drink poisoned drinks or eat poisoned food. I even found a piece to play when the PCs finally caught up with him in their investigation to witness him taking down one of his victims and escaping, the sound of his violin fading off into the distance. I'm still working on a full "soundtrack" for him. Eventually he evolved to the point where I started writing dialogue for him that was crafted for his role as a bard. He would speak in two different patterns depending on what the theme of his speech was at that time. When he was railing against external forces, life and the wicked noble who'd ruined his, his dialogue was in trochaic octameter. When he became introspective and started cursing himself his lines would be in iambic pentameter.

    This is an antagonist who isn't even the bad guy of the arc he's part of, and neither of the two are major characters in the overarching plot of the story. I gave a detailed backstory, in-depth personality, soundtrack, and distinctive speech pattern... to a supporting character. He'll probably wind up being significantly more memorable than either of the actual big bads of the entire campaign.
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