I've decided I can't wait for three months to start on Conversations, so I'll start that today - the planning at least. I'm not going to post chapters unless anyone wants me to. However I would love feedback from the first draft, so I'll be looking for volunteers when the time comes |
I'll still be doing the nano of course, but I'll need a new idea.
NaNoWriMo 2011 • Page 103
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I have decided that my Nano 2012 is going to be a choose your own adventure / fighting fantasy sort of gamebook.
Fighting Fantasy is 30 years old, as an aside. Makes me feel old.
I loved those books. Do it!
It's a great idea, I'm tempted to steal it off you
Be warned - they get incredibly convoluted very quickly. Have a go at it, but it's more like a boardgame than a book - only by repeated testing do you discover whether what you're doing actually works or not, especially if you have combat and whatnot in there. The easiest thing to do is to write out the "correct" route from beginning to end, then put in all the side-quests, dead ends, traps and combat in afterwards. If you try to do them all at the same time, you usually end up with too many dead-ends and red herrings.
I used to use a generator that did all the formatting for you, for book form, at least - you'd put in all the text and setup the links from one thing to the other by drag-and-drop and it would randomise the page numbers for you. I'll see if I can remember the name of it and find it.
@meme Thanks. I've started the research for the mechanics of it and there is a lot of good stuff out there. I'm going to try and avoid the whole "role a dice, add it to your SKILL" etc as I never really enjoyed it that much when reading them as a kid and would normally cheat. I want to write something where the outcome is based on your decisions/problem solving rather than how much LUCK you have against Goblin Chief etc!
The good thing about doing it for Nano is that I have a lot of planning time. I have a map of where it's going to be set forming in my head, so I'll try to get that down on paper. I can also work out some of the branches/key decisions etc.
It is going to be hard, and it means I won't be able to post chapters as I go, but hopefully by the end of November I'll have something to respectfully invite you lot to have a go with!
TechnoHippy wrote:How dare you steal my ORIGINAL idea that NO-ONE has ever done before
It's a great idea, I'm tempted to steal it off you
One pretty good example I have seen is of using cards for combat etc, either a Magic: The Gathering-esque thing of straight up on-the-card numbers, or using them as boosts to existing stats. Sort of combining the luck of a dice roll with something more tactical. Dunno, really! Looking forward to what you decide on.
The (seed of an) idea I have at the moment wouldn't need too many stats - not along the traditional lines anyway.
I'm probably being a little too ambitious here!
In other book related news, my early research reveals that Ian Livingstone has written a new Fighting Fantasy book to celebrate the 30 year anniversary. Might have to purchase it, for research purposes if the missus opens the post.....
I've had an idea bubbling for the last couple of days, which is a tad annoying as I'm trying to write about something else. Anyway, I think it has legs so I'll probably use it for the Nano.
An Internet chatbot starts granting wishes. What is the cost for these digital miracles and what is its ultimate goal?
The wife and kids have gone away for a fortnight to visit the in-laws, leaving me home alone with my decorating and my.... book edit! Sat down for an hour last night and planned a full Drowner's Mill edit pass based on my own gripes and the feedback from this very thread.
Now I just need to see if I can keep the momentum up and do a full pass. I read the second-to-last chapter through and immediately wanted to change about twenty things. This could get messy.
I like the idea of Faust 2.0. The Faust legend is one I really enjoy, and has provided inspiration for my own writing.
I'm a big fan of Faust, in its many incarnations, although Marlowe's is still my favourite.
Three days into editing now and I have to say I've been fairly surprised and a little disappointed with the chapters I've looked at until now. They're not nearly as good as I thought they were and I've ended up changing a lot more than I'd anticipated. I guess it's all good in the end, but I'm hoping that the later chapters are better (and hence require less work).
I did come up with a great idea for rejigging the 'slightly wonky' sex scene in the car on the way to work this morning, though. Had to write it down as soon as I got in before I forgot about it.
About half of anything that's first draft is clunky or a bit shit I'm finding. Often I'll think something is pretty cool and then when I (or someone else) read it later it has completely the wrong effect or is confusing or just plain Dan Brownish.
Edited by Metalfish at 09:54:03 15-08-2012
Metalfish wrote:Nooooooo! Anything but that! /o\
My word it's quiet in here these days.
For all one of you (give or take a few) still following, this is the first half of the big battle this has all been leading up to. It's raw first draft material but you're probably used to that by now.
The action is far faster than I'd intended, but I guess that's the way I write: I could drag a cup of tea out for a hundred pages, but pant-crappingly violent ultra-biffs seem to be over in the blink of an eye.
Ho hum, blardy blah, unhappy with some bits, blah blah etc.
I think action, especially battle scenes, need good pace. I enjoyed your description. The only two parts that jarred for me was the bit with Renna and the wolves and the calvary charge.
Otherwise it was good reading and I'm glad you're continuing on with it.
Thanks Techno, I agree, mostly 'cause the bit with Renna kinda only makes a bit of sense, even if you know how batshit the character can be at times and the charge itself lacks, well, impact.
I'm still sticking to my "don't you dare go back and edit it or you'll never get around to that big reveal where *snip*" policy though. We apologise for the jankiness, but it means we might see an ending sometime this year.
Speaking of which, you joining us this September?
So, apologies if already covered, but does anyone else ban themselves from reading fiction when writing themselves?
No, although I have to be careful what I'm reading doesn't seep into what I'm writing, especially if they are similar genres.
CosmicFuzz 30,720 posts
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I've never tried that mowgli, but might this year.
I'm also thinking that since I only got 10,000 words in last time, I might use this as a chance to just finish off my first attempt...
I'm scared, like really scared, of being influenced by the last book I read. Whether in theme, tone, layout or style. So am going to stick solely to non fiction books and see how I get on. Means it will be more likely to end up being my 'own voice', but also means I'm going to have to struggle out of ditches myself and not turn to examples. Will see how I get on... probably not very well!
I think if you've planned your book out in advance (I know not everyone likes to do that ) then it's unlikely that you'll be influenced from what you're reading.
Good god no. Not reading anything would be murder. Fear that you'll ape someone else is unfounded if you actually have a voice of your own. I know you think you'll avoid clichés and plagiarism by not reading anything similar to your own work, but what'll actually happen is you'll come up with a lot of the same ideas "independently" by virtue of how the human brain works.
One example I can think of is within the fantasy genre, and I'm guilty of this myself, is trying to come up with an integration of 'greek fire' and then noticing later that ever low-magic fantasy book has it in there somewhere. If I were reading more widely whilst I decided to make it a plot point, I might have come up with something less played with.
Another thing is, by reading the published works of published authors, you're getting an idea of stuff that is, you know, publishable. This is something the vast majority of writing isn't, so if you're aping that you're at least doing something right.
In short: Keep reading. Read!
Yeah. Writers must read a lot. Read everything. It's one of the only "rules of writing" that is pretty much a rule and not general advice. If you're worried you'll be influenced by a book, you'd also better not watch any TV or films or play any games either.
Reading while writing, I tend not to - not because I'm afraid of aping, just never feel like it while writing. Spend my commutes window-gazing and plotting instead.
Reading generally though is vital for writing.
Two months to go before we start a new thread and scream off into the wild blue yonder again.
I know more or less what I'm doing this time around, how about you guys?
sunjumper 3,341 posts
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If I have the time and inclination to read. I read.
During the NaNoWriMo madness I usually am lucky if I have enough time to read the entries of the other participants while trying to get to my word count.
For the regulars here especially TechnoHippy and Metalfish sorry for suddenly disappearing without a trace but it seems I got into a strange burn-out like state where I was ][ this close to coming back, but was pretty much overwhelmed with everything life was throwing at me lately.
Things are now mostly resolved, in a positive way I might add and I hope to be return to become a regular of this thread soon.
Afterall I want to know how Renna and Elias are doing and how that first contact story ends.
Hah, welcome back. Don't feel too compelled to read my crap just 'cause I'm posting it here -I don't know about anyone else but it's good way to remind oneself to be a bit more disciplined. It's unravelling a little bit anyway, as stories tend to do when they get to that bit a before the end arc.
Glad to hear you're okay.
@MD, Not taking part this year. I still haven't finished either of the last two. I'll probably round off IvoryPeak as a snack between the courses of Chains during Nov so that it feels like I'm taking part.
You got a plan?
I wasn't counting reading other Nanoers for some reason... I know I find it a major struggle to keep up with that, but I think I managed to read four or five completes last year and a whole lot of partials, so I guess I do read while writing after all.
@Metalfish - not as much of a plan as I had last year, which I think is for the best given how horribly wrong that went last year. This year, I have a 'gist' =)
Edited by MetalDog at 12:22:55 03-09-2012
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