Kuzzter

A Thread for Writers to talk about Writing

Recommended Posts

8 hours ago, steuben said:

I have finally figured out what I can do with poor forgotten Mort for my greenfields series. Now, I need a detail check. In the morning does the wind blow off the sea? It's been a while since I've been near the ocean at the crack of dawn... dang I miss that.

I'd guess yes, because the land should heat up faster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, could anyone give a constructive criticism about this mission report that I am writing? Where can I improve, and what changes in the language should I make, if any?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Sorabh said:

Hello, could anyone give a constructive criticism about this mission report that I am writing? Where can I improve, and what changes in the language should I make, if any?

A quick read on the first few paragraphs. There's work to be done, sure... certainly it feels like some tighten up of the text can be done.

for example:

Quote

It was the summer of Year 203, thirty years ago, the attempt to land a crewed vehicle on Duna by a private company failed catastrophically because of a damaged retro rocket. 

could tighten up to

Quote

In the summer of 203 a private company failed, with the loss of the crew, to land a vehicle on Duna. The investigation traced the cause back to a damaged retro rocket.

Though that tightening could shift the voice of the piece away from Rover's voice.

Much more comment will have to wait till I can read it through on something easier. This lappy doesn't lend itself well to reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, steuben said:

Much more comment will have to wait till I can read it through on something easier. This lappy doesn't lend itself well to reading.

Thanks for taking the time to look it up!

5 hours ago, steuben said:

Though that tightening could shift the voice of the piece away from Rover's voice.

Am I missing something? Who's rover?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Sorabh said:

Am I missing something? Who's rover?

Rover is the presenter at the front of the story, vs the voice of the story Nanba. The shift from current to 30 years ago with a different view point tossed me for a loop.

A suggestion for secondary reading. "Fallen Angels" by Niven, Pournelle, and Flynn. It might provide some more reference points for the Jet-age stasis culture that they are in.

"kob" and "kirl", it took a while to firm up what you meant there, even in the context. especially when placed next to "dog".

This one's trickier. You've got cultural details in there, but you've skipped on describing them. You may need to go back and drop in some of the exposition that you've cut out. You want to aim for dilating door, and away from infodump, and avoid as you know. The hearing scene for example.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi.

There're any non-native English speakers writing in English around here? I need some advices about how to translate my "works" (I think I overstate my writings here. :P ).

Technical Jargons are not a problem, gramatical errors are unavoidable but more or less workarounded using automated tools.

But I have a lot of problems on false cognates and day-to-day expressions. I wonder if a sort of "how-to" or "faq" are available somewhere?

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was wondering, how would Kerbal physiology react when they are nervous or angry? Like humans have increased heartbeat, adrenaline rush... what would be its Kerbal equivalent?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent question!

I can’t speak for the other writers on the forum but I have to admit that when it comes to emotional responses I treat Kerbal physiology much like human physiology, simply to provide a convenient reference point for my readers. 

I guess my one concession is that I tend to place quite a bit of emphasis on gestures connected to heads and eyes when describing  Kerbal body language.

Would love to hear your ideas here because it’s a bit of worldbuilding that I haven’t given much thought to myself!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to skirt the rabbit hole with this one. The general reaction to flight or fight stress in a kerbal will be the same as human. This excludes colour changes, as these will be dependant on blood colour and base skin colour. Nervousness can be  considered similar to flight or fight differing only in degree. Bare in mind as well there is great variation in us humans in similar situations depending on culture, upbringing, general and pathologic psychology, etc.

Reasoning as follows:
1. it is doubtful that kerbals were an apex predator, in their original evolutionary environment. Though with technology they are an absolute apex predator. As us jumped up plains monkeys can attest.
2. the general body plan of kerbals is similar to ours
3. natural selection will strongly favour similar physiological responses to ours; shunt blood from the limbs to the core and large muscle groups, shut down digestion, amplify longer range senses (sight and hearing), mute pain responses, etc.

Once you get of the classic human body plan then you have more variation possible. Consider the Pierson's Puppeteer. Their threat response to turn away from the threat, spread their "hand-heads", and if close enough strike using the hind leg (example graphic description result in spoiler)

Spoiler

with enough force to push a man's heart out through his spine. 

However, culture has corrupted that particular behaviour into a complete flight response, with fight being the domain of the absolute nutters.

 

In general though I have been lazy and not thought about it, and defaulted using the basic human responses.

 

Edited by steuben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about this: When they are irritated, kerbal's skin gets wrinkled? Like when you dip your fingers in water for a long time?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi! Its me again. My question this time :Does this community like emotional content? Or does missions take precedence?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Nivee~ said:

Hi! Its me again. My question this time :Does this community like emotional content? Or does missions take precedence?

I’ll chime in, I think this is a thing you, the writer, needs to decide. :) What do you want to write? Either way, there’s likely an audience, the Mission Reports subforum has plenty of the latter, and here in Fan Works you’ll find plenty of emotion. Perhaps more important, where does the Story lead you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

where does the Story lead you?

I am sorry, I should have asked if people like emotional content in a Mission report. :embarassed:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Nivee~ said:

I am sorry, I should have asked if people like emotional content in a Mission report. :embarassed:

I like emotional content. I tried to write some into my mission report.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/22/2018 at 11:05 AM, Nivee~ said:

Hi! Its me again. My question this time :Does this community like emotional content? Or does missions take precedence?

1) No, I'm not back.

2) It's unclear from the question to what community the OP refers. The community of KSP players on the forum? Well, there isn't one--by which I mean, there isn't ONLY one. There are builders and grinders and every other sort of gamer. Many of these couldn't care less about what the Kerbals in their game think or feel, they're only interested in playing the game and maybe acquiring some mods and designs to make their game more fun. There are also people who can't help but anthropomorphize their Kerbals and create little narratives in their heads as they play. And then there are people who take that to the next step and create stories about Kerbals that are only loosely linked to missions and gameplay, or not at all. THAT community is, well, the writers and readers who hang out in this corner of the Forum, and that community does appreciate well-told tales that consider the emotions of Kerbals.

3) But... if what the OP proposes is to really put the EMO in EMOtional... well then I'm with @steuben, its really hard to explore space and have an effusively public existential crisis at the same time :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

OK, as far as just myself, and how I write... Yes, I like adding emotions into a mission, especially when the crap hits the fan, so to speak.... then you see what a Kerbal is really made of.

In my story, it really depends on the character. Some show more emotions than others... and some only certain emotions. My character Piper, for example, is a bit of a hot-head, can easily lose her temper, and has on several occasions... But I doubt you will ever see her in a love scene... ever. It's just not her nature.

Kerenna Kerman is the exact opposite.... calm, cool, never loses her temper, even when she faced down Thompberry. But she's madly in love with Gene.

And some, like Gem and Kuzzter Kerman (Yes, named after my friend and fellow writer @Kuzzter ) will do the complete opposite. When things start to go sideways, they will shut down all emotions, and turn stone-cold and super-professional.

It all depends on the character(s), and the situation. In my view, no 2 kerbals are quite the same, so they won't act it, either. The trick is to try and be consistent with each. Take notes, build each main character's personality... Once you imagine how they will react in a situation, make sure they stick to it.

Edited by Just Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To expand on what @Just Jim has said, it adds an element to the story. I always include some emotion in my story. Why? Because we understand emotions and we also understand the awkwardness they bring to any situation. 

Emotions can also add a springboard to develop other avenues which are associated with space travel. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the other hand, if character writing is done badly, you end up with a cringy mess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, roboslacker said:

On the other hand, if character writing is done badly, you end up with a cringy mess.

Could not agree more!

You have to be really, really careful, and take your time to make them feel "real". As far as writing (gathering screenshots doesn't count) I probably spend more time thinking about conversations between characters than any other single thing. 

I spend hours rolling conversations around in my head... often when I'm half-watching some old sci-fi or horror classic. And a lot of times i don't even see or hear the movie, and have to rewind it... lol. It's not like "Hearing voices"... but in a way it is. Once you know your characters, and how they're supposed to act, you can sort of let them do the talking... it's hard to describe. But I put them into a situation, and just sort of let them do the rest in my head.

And I'll do this over and over... and over... until it feels "Right".

I don't how to put it other than that... I have no rules, or guide. I go by my instincts, and I refuse to write something until it feels like it should, even if it takes days, or weeks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, roboslacker said:

On the other hand, if character writing is done badly, you end up with a cringy mess.

Quite so, tho in the same breath I’d say to a new writer, don’t let fear of this scare you off. We learn by doing, and if one is going to write fiction, one is going to start out with some cringy, poorly-worded, overly adverby crud. Some of the crap I remember writing in high school... [shudders]. But that’s just the learning process, and it’s surprising just how often one can, in fact, polish a literary turd. :D

NOT to be confused with a literal turd. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Some of the crap I remember writing in high school... [shudders]. But that’s just the learning process, and it’s surprising just how often one can, in fact, polish a literary turd. 

I've thought that about a couple of my earliest Emiko chapters... lol.... :sticktongue:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well... another thought and then I'm going to go hide for another 6 months. It's not the emotions of the characters that's important... it's the emotions of the READERS. 

What did you feel, for example, the first time you saw this:

Spoiler

 

Z7n2hPB.png

HooxjrU.png

 

...or this:

Spoiler

LBR6L9Y.png

...or yes, [*SOB!*] this:

Spoiler

KAKROWA.jpg

In none of these instances did the characters "act" over the top--but as I recall the emotional response of readers on the Forum was pretty strong for each of these panels: relief, joy, sorrow. When characters are real and sympathetic, readers will feel FOR them...and a good author serves as a sort of emotional tour guide, using all the skills in the toolbox to cue readers up for max feels in moments big and small.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I think they both tie together don’t they?

Character emotions are a big part of making them real and believable, which in turn makes the reader feel for (or against) them in those big or small moments.

And as a quick addendum to that thought, the most satisfying moments for me as a writer have been when my readers post a comment and it’s plain that they really got the mood or moment I was trying to convey.

The last First Flight chapter for example, is all about two prototype spacecraft modules finally on-orbit and docking after many many trials and tribulations along the way. To which somebody over on Spacebattles replied with a picture of a real life Mission Control center after a particularly momentous event.

There’s cheering, there are hugs, there are probably tears if you look closely enough and, in general, the whole scene is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind for the final scene of my chapter.

Somebody really got it...

 

Edited by KSK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.