Of Cabbages and Kings
Looking for intelligent life at Fanfiction Net? We feature something for everyone: casual chat, serious discussion, debate, fun and games, and that delicious wank. Are you ready to play with the big dogs? Come inside, come inside!
New Follow Forum Follow Topic
« Prev Page 1 .. 22 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 42 .. Last Next »
Ragnelle

I don't know if that holds true. I am so visual that I really have a hard time getting verbal instructions to go someplace. I have to see a map, or use those verbal instructions to draw a map in my head. I see things in my head when I read, and once formed, it's hard to get rid of the image.

That said, I don't think my prose is all that vivid. Perhaps because I can already see it?

That is why I began wondering. I am not visual, but have gotten comments that my descriptions are vivid. I have not read your stories, but I have seen others who tells that they, like you, see images like a movie. Crystal clear. Still I have not found their descriptions particularly vivid.

I think you are on to something when you say: "Perhaps because I can already see it?" I have to use words because that is the only way I can see. So I do wonder if it could be possible to see from the style whether an author was able to visualize clearly or not?

6/13/2010 #931
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

On a former writers group, I was told that I wasted too much time explaining how a character got from one place to another and what she saw and experienced on the way. So I really don't know. I try to be very judicious with the purple bits, but I do like my readers to have a good sense of where they are, why, and what it looks like.

Mostly, if you say that people are on a mountainside or in a forest the readers will fill in their own details.

6/13/2010 #932
Ragnelle

True, but a vivid description does not have to be long or very detailed, does it?

6/13/2010 #933
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

It shouldn't have to be. Just enough to set the stage so the reader's imagination can take over. One of my pet peeves is the excessive focus on clothing. Unless you're trying to imply that a man is an absolute fop, who the hell cares what the shape of his cufflinks are? Same with dresses. When a woman describes the precise cut of her gussets and the exact species of flower in the embroidery on her bodice, I tend to think of her as empty-headed.

6/13/2010 #934
Ragnelle

I tend to be very general about clothing. Too vague at times, I fear, but I think there are more important things to focus on. The feel of the fabric against the skin, or whether the clothes fit or not, that can be of notice though.

Sometimes vivid imagery will be the starting-point of a story for me. One of the first I ever wrote, was inspired by the image of the wind in the grass that Tolkien use in the Sil, in Húrin's story.

For Húrin stood in despair before the silent cliffs of the Echoriath, and the westering sun, piercing the clouds, stained his white hair with red. Then he cried aloud in the wilderness, heedless of any ears, and he cursed the pitiless land; and standing at last upon a high rock he looked towards Gondolin and called in a great voice: 'Turgon, Turgon, remember the Fen of Serech! O Turgon, will you not hear in your hidden halls?' But there was no sound save the wind in the dry grasses. 'Even so they hissed in Serech at the sunset,' he said; and as he spoke the sun went behind the Mountains of Shadow, and a darkness fell about him, and the wind ceased, and there was silence in the waste. (Sil, Of the Ruin of Doriath)

Just enough to give me a brief image, but that wind has become something of a symbol to me.

6/13/2010 #935
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

See, that one little detail of the wind through the grass is sometimes all it will take to set the scene. I read that passage, and I'm there, standing on that plain. I can see it plain as a day nearing sunset.

6/13/2010 #936
Hamfast Gamgee

One thing that I have noticed recently. Well, when I say recently, I do mean a few years ago, is that many tales don't start off properly for me. What I mean is, I like tales to start of the traditional manner, which means it starts slowly. Not in the middle of a battle or a chase or a search or a fight etc. In fact, I like my tales to start of really slowly, almost dull. The duller the better as far as the first few pages are concerned. But so many tales I read seem to start of in the middle of the story. That's not really the way I like it!

10/3/2010 #937
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

What I mean is, I like tales to start of the traditional manner, which means it starts slowly. Not in the middle of a battle or a chase or a search or a fight etc. In fact, I like my tales to start of really slowly, almost dull. The duller the better as far as the first few pages are concerned.

Well, they sure don't write modern fiction for your tastes anymore, Ham. Here is a link I got off my lj F-list about reasons why publishers will reject manuscripts:

http://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2010/09/sept-2-top-25-reasons-your-submissions.html

There are some really dumb ones.

10/3/2010 #938
Just a Wili

Well, when I say recently, I do mean a few years ago, is that many tales don't start off properly for me. What I mean is, I like tales to start of the traditional manner, which means it starts slowly. Not in the middle of a battle or a search or a fight etc.But... It's a literary convention to start an epic tale in medias res. You'll find that in Aristotle's Poetics, for instance.

10/3/2010 #939
Virtuella

Here is a link I got off my lj F-list about reasons why publishers will reject manuscripts:

Having read that, I wonder how many classics would be rejected by today's publishers?

10/3/2010 #940
Gogol

Weren't lots of classics rejected by *their* day's publishers?

10/3/2010 #941
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Having read that, I wonder how many classics would be rejected by today's publishers?

Quite a few, I think. That's why I roll my eyes at advice like this and call the results 'gum rack' fiction.

10/3/2010 #942
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

That should be the subject of the second C&K challenge: Start a classic piece of literature in today's fiction style. Imagine LOTR? No hobbits. Maybe Aragorn cutting a throat or in bed with Arwen.

10/3/2010 #943
Morthoron

That should be the subject of the second C&K challenge: Start a classic piece of literature in today's fiction style. Imagine LOTR? No hobbits. Maybe Aragorn cutting a throat or in bed with Arwen.

In a hole in a hill lived a Halfling. Not a slimy, phosphorescent hole full of fertilizer run-off from a local golf course or corporate farm, nor a dank, musty catacomb with decaying corpses strewn about in Byzantine stratification. This was a Hobbit hole, and…well…ummm…my, that's not nearly as endearing as the original, is it? I mean, really, how does one improve on a classic? One can't, can one?

The narrator nervously drummed his fingers on the top of a worn oaken desk, an intriguing art-deco affair with shelf space and a shallow cupboard around the front for books and papers and whatever could not be crammed into the overstuffed drawers on the business end of the substantive piece of decrepit office furniture. The word-wraith, a literary grave ghoul rummaging about in the subcreative vault of someone else's imagination, absentmindedly took a drag off his cigarette, stared blankly at the jumble of words he had just typed, and shrugged with the casual air of a man who had given up before he even started. But having utterly failed in an endeavor he had barely begun, the narrator kept typing anyway; after all, he typed beautifully, and had a great grasp of grammar and polysyllabification.

10/3/2010 #944
hixto

Start a classic piece of literature in today's fiction style.

Or how about starting a classic in the style of another classic?

"You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Hobbit; but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. Tolkien, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things that he stretched, like the whole business with Sauron and the Ring, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another without it was Elrond, or the widow Gilraen, or maybe Manwe."

10/3/2010 #945
Morthoron

Or how about starting a classic in the style of another classic?

Every Halfling in Hobbiton liked Bilbo a lot,

But the Sackvilles-Bagginses, who lived just north of Bag End did not.

The Sackvilles hated Bilbo,

And all his Tookish relations.

Now please don't ask the reason

For these Hobbitish peregrinations.

It could be, perhaps, that their weskits were too tight.

Or that the silverware shone just a bit too bright.

But I think the most likely reason of all

Was that they coveted Bilbo's ancestral hall.

But whatever the reason, the vests or the spoons,

They stood there at Yuletide like yokel buffoons,

Staring down at Bag End with sour Sackville frowns --

Why, Lobelia was so prideful, she nearly burst her gown,

For they knew that Bilbo was busy in Bag End beneath

Writing his will, with the intention to bequeath...

"It all to Frodo," Lobelia snarled with a sneer,

"And the Sackvilles get nothing -- it's awfully queer!"

Then Lotho growled with his Hobbit hands wringing,

"We must stop Bilbo, this legal tort from bringing!"

10/3/2010 . Edited 10/4/2010 #946
Virtuella

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single hobbit in possession of fabulous treasure and a comfortable smial must be in want of an heir.

10/3/2010 #947
Hamfast Gamgee

I think I know how a modern version of Lotr would start. Certainly not with a birthday party. The Hobbits role, if noticed at all would be severely relagated. The tale would probably start in the middle of Helm's deep. They'd be no way that Sauron would not appear, he'd have his manaic bad guy laughs and Aragorn would use the Ring with a one to one duel with Sauron.

10/4/2010 #948
hixto

Every Halfling in Hobbiton liked Bilbo a lot,

But the Sackvilles-Bagginses, who lived just north of Bag End did not.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single hobbit in possession of fabulous treasure and a comfortable smial must be in want of an heir.

These are hilarious. It seems LOTR works well with lots of classic stories.

I think I know how a modern version of Lotr would start. Certainly not with a birthday party.

It might also start with Orcs attacking Bilbo's birthday party and Bilbo puts on the ring and grabs a sword and then Aragorn shows up and helps the hobbits fight them off. During the battle Bilbo shouts Aragorn's name and one of the escaping Orcs takes the news back to Saruman that Isildur's heir is in the Shire. The rest of the book is Aragorn on the run, hunted by Saurman and Sauron as he and Arwen gather a group of loyal followers, each with a particular talent. They fight and defeat Saurman with the help of the soldiers from the paths of the dead, then Aragorn sneaks into Sauron's stronghold while the others create a diversion. Aragorn ends up battling Sauron one on one and defeating him with One Ring, thus becoming ruler of the seven kingdoms.

10/4/2010 #949
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Or how about starting a classic in the style of another classic?

Last night I dreamed I went to Lothlorien again . . .

10/4/2010 #950
Morthoron

Or how about starting a classic in the style of another classic?

Chapter One: Call Me Isildur

10/4/2010 #951
Virtuella

He - for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashions of the elves did something to disguise it - was in the act of slicing at the head of an orc which swung from the rafters.

And while we're on the topic of Orlando (both Wolf and Bloom), I just gleefully discovered this passage:

But 'S' was nothing, in her opinion, compared with the terminating 'ing'. The present participle is the Devil himself, she thought"...

Virginia, I do love you.

10/4/2010 . Edited 10/4/2010 #952
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Chapter One: Call Me Isildur

Final line: It was the devious-cruising Nimloth, that in her retracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan.

10/4/2010 #953
Morthoron

"It weren't the bes-s-st of timesies, but it was-s-s the worstest of timesies, my precious-s-s; it was-s-s the age of lost presents, it was the age of foolish Hobbitses; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity -- what's epoch, precious? what's incredulity? G-o-l-l-u-m! it was the season of Lights that burns us, it was the season of Darkness in nice snug cavesies; it was the Ring of hope, it was the winter of our discontent made glorious-s-s summer by that cursed Baggins! Bagginses, how we hates them! We had our birthday present, then we los-s-st our birthday present; we were all going directly to Mordor, but poor Smeagol wanted to go the other way."

10/4/2010 . Edited 10/4/2010 #954
Just a Wili

Chapter One: Call Me Isildur

Call me Isildur and I won't answer. My name is Arthur Gordon Pym.

10/5/2010 #955
Virtuella

Something I've been thinking about for the last few days is the role of siblings in fiction. In real life, siblings often play a very important role in our lives. In fiction, I have a suspicion, many authors avoid giving their main character sibling or banish the siblings from the plot, though I haven't any statistics to back me up here. Just a few that spring to mind: Werther (The Sorrows of Young Werther), Hans Castorp (The Magic Mountain), Faust, Tonio Kröger, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Orlando, Effie Briest. In other novels, the siblings are sidelined, e.g. Bridget Jones mentions a brother, but he never appears in the book. I thought it was very strange in Tess of the d'Urbervilles how Tess had so many siblings but the plaid virtually no role for her until the sisters was suddenly whipped out of the author's sleeve at the end.

On the other hand, I can think of a few with siblings: Dorothea and Cecilia in Middlemarch, the Buddenbrook siblings and all Jane Austen heroines. The former two are novels that do not focus on one character as much as the abovementioned do. In Austen, the heroine is always understood within the family setting.

I've written three main characters for novel settings, two without siblings.

Is it harder to have siblings than siblingless heroes? Do authors feel (consciously or unconsciously) that siblings would distract from the central character?

10/24/2010 #956
Gogol

Hum. I dunno, most authors try to minimize the number of characters to whatever is necessary to fulfill all the needs of the plot-- hence all the heroes who're orphans, or estranged from their parents, etc. And unlike parents, siblings are not implied by a character's very existence, so probably most writers figure they'll save themselves time and exposition there.

10/24/2010 #957
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

I've written three main characters for novel settings, two without siblings.

I tend to write only children too. I'm not sure why.

Is it harder to have siblings than siblingless heroes? Do authors feel (consciously or unconsciously) that siblings would distract from the central character?

A character who gets anything other than a brief mention in a story needs to perform a function in the plot, and that can be a problem in a story that is not, primarily, about the family drama. Would we really be interested in pausing the action while James Bond gives his sister a phone call? On the other hand, in a series about family like Mazo De La Roche's Jalna novels, it's all about the siblings. A brother sleeps with his younger brother's wife, and the eldest brother ends up marrying the adulterer's divorced wife. Good times!

The other reason for siblingless protagonists is that adult human relationships are difficult to portray. That's why you see a lot of widows and widowers on TV too.

10/24/2010 #958
Virtuella

I dunno, most authors try to minimize the number of characters to whatever is necessary to fulfill all the needs of the plot

That's not exactly true for Dickens or Thomas Mann.

10/24/2010 #959
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

That's not exactly true for Dickens or Thomas Mann.

I haven't read Mann, but Dickens's books were all about people and their idiosyncrasies, so you expect to see lots of memorable characters like Mr. McCawber. Stephen King is another with the multi-character novels. Some of his have siblings who are at least quoted for their amusing sayings.

10/24/2010 #960
« Prev Page 1 .. 22 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 42 .. Last Next »
Forum Moderators: Thranduil Oropherion Redux militaryhistory
Rules:
  • Forums are not to be used to post stories.
  • All forum posts must be suitable for teens.
  • The owner and moderators of this forum are solely responsible for the content posted within this area.
  • All forum abuse must be reported to the moderators.
Membership Length: 2+ years 1 year 6+ months 1 month 2+ weeks new member