Kuzzter

A Thread for Writers to talk about Writing

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On 1/3/2019 at 12:44 PM, 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. :D

NOT to be confused with a literal turd.

1

 

On 1/3/2019 at 1:42 PM, Just Jim said:

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

I get that feeling just from reading chapters from earlier this year! It's amazing what some time and practice will do for you

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On 1/3/2019 at 10:37 AM, Just Jim said:

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.

Yes, I find this to be the case with me. Ugh, and when I do type it out, I normally edit it three or four more times before I actually post.

 

On 1/3/2019 at 10:08 AM, roboslacker said:

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

Yes, it is easy to do this. There have been a couple of times I have committed the "forum no-no" and actually edited dialogue or even rewrite something which turned out too awkward for me to be comfortable with. Yes, I do keep the gist of the scene (or chapter) in place... But for the most part, you learn by doing. And I am fairly new in this writing process, too. I'd rather try and make a slight mess than to simply not have the gonads to try...

On 1/3/2019 at 10:37 AM, Just Jim said:

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".

This and...

5 hours ago, Kuzzter said:

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. 

Exactly! Within Kerny's Journal, I have killed off two characters - one was a one-time character who died in a crash caused by Jebediah. But what was great about that chapter isn't the death of Jala Kerman, but how the story evolved and expanded. It allowed me to add elements and depth to some of the characters, for good or bad. Most of the readers were ready to see Jebediah fall for his actions. Then there was Dr. Edmund - his death not only caught the readers off guard, but it had a strong emotional pull on the readers. For many, the entire emotional episode caught them off guard.

In this sense, @Kuzzter is absolutely right. The trick is getting inside each of the characters in a way where they relate to the reader. Kerny, for example, doesn't see himself as anyone special. He is awkward, doesn't quite know how to relate to others, but is willing to try. He can get serious or he can be a prankster - and that's the key is allowing your characters' personality traits help write the story.

5 hours ago, KSK said:

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.

Yup, it's rewarding and terrifying at the same time.

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In today's Sunday comics...

This MUST be shared on here. hehehe

C5bihTS.png

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Came across this just now, found it rather insightful. 

Spoiler warning if you haven’t finished Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. 

 

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57 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Came across this just now, found it rather insightful. 

This is really good! ;)

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14 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

So, are we getting a cameo in Emiko then? :sticktongue:

hehehe. No. I don't think... I debated this way back when I started the "Emiko on Earth" section, and decided against it.

But I hadn't considered how King brought himself into Dark Tower... and the fact I work for Squad now could add an interesting twist to an already very bizarre paradox... :confused:

What I'm really happy to learn is I've been writing very much the same as King as far as our stories being more situational verses just plot driven. Yes, I have several plots and/or sub-plots going at any given moment. But I love to just throw my poor Kerbals into a one nasty situation after another, and watch them figure their ways out... I picked this up from studying Stan Lee, but I didn't really realize King was also doing this... very cool!  :cool: 

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8 hours ago, Just Jim said:

But I hadn't considered how King brought himself into Dark Tower... and the fact I work for Squad now could add an interesting twist to an already very bizarre paradox... :confused:

C’mon, now you’ve got to do it. :D For the meta-lulz.

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Posted (edited)

Wow... I last posted in this thread over a year ago. A burnout from KSP and a lack of confidence in my writing (I think it's terrible, and nobody says otherwise) probably mean that the next story will be the last one I write for the KSP community (unless someone likes it) 

Thank you guys so much for the wisdom you have imparted on me, and the incredible things you have written. I can't thank you enough for being so welcoming back in my budding days as a writer.  Good luck! 

Edited by SiriusRocketry

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Go where the stories take you. I still wander back to the previous 'verse that i used to write in. Sometimes you need to take a break, that's why if you look at the big authors, after they have sit their stride,  you will see some stuff that isn't like the others. Different characters, different tone, standalone verse.

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Hey guys, just wanted to ask for a little feedback on my story.

Nothing super in-depth, just what you liked, what you didn't, characters, setting, where you think the plot will go next etc.

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@SiriusRocketry

It's well written. I enjoy the dialogue and the premise. The name is also creative. I can never think of good story titles. :P

Chapter XI is out! Finally. 

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Posted (edited)
Quote

I've plunged down from orbit on wings of fire. So don't even think you can scare me!

I don't know how, I don't know where, but I have to futzing [language please... but yeah I agree - ed.] steal that line.

https://project-apollo.net/mos/

Motivator-Insane_Improv-WingsofFire-A_Mi

Edited by steuben

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20 hours ago, SiriusRocketry said:

Hey guys, just wanted to ask for a little feedback on my story.

Nothing super in-depth, just what you liked, what you didn't, characters, setting, where you think the plot will go next etc.

Happy to be surprised by the plot but I liked the setup and the contrast between your protagonists. They're classic (grizzled old vet, caring leader and eager greenhorns (should that be bluehorns for kerbals? :) ) but they're nicely drawn. Looking forward to the next chapter!

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On 4/14/2019 at 6:47 PM, SiriusRocketry said:

Hey guys, just wanted to ask for a little feedback on my story.

Nothing super in-depth, just what you liked, what you didn't, characters, setting, where you think the plot will go next etc.

*shakes the magic feedback eight ball* Analysis Uncertain *frowns and shrugs* Well make of that what you will.

Not sure if it will take another chapter and/or a few more read throughes. But...
- I agree with KSK, not using the O-4 is a good move. 
- Zigbald's reaction to the kraken needs to be foreshadowed bit. The report from control should have twigged something for him. Especially considering his reaction to Rayby's standing face to face with it.
- Zigbald the grumpy old vet, sounds like Kup from the only Transformers movie. Ahh the era of the 22 minute toy commercial. Anyways, Kup isn't so much a character to copy as one to analyze as a prototype.
- for the Kraken, back to the only Transformers movie. Unicron and listen to Orson Welles delivery of his lines, though the mixologist certainly helped. You' have either some eldritch creature,or a simple space-squid with delusions of grandeur, talking to an ant.
- technical detail, comms delay.  depending on orbital position there will be between three to five minutes delay one way between Jool and Kerbin. you seem to have it writen as near real time.

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50 minutes ago, steuben said:

the only Transformers movie. 

 

51 minutes ago, steuben said:

to the only Transformers movie.

:D

51 minutes ago, steuben said:

listen to Orson Welles delivery of his lines, though the mixologist certainly helped. 

So did the fact that he was basically on his deathbed and had a horrible respiratory infection. :(

 

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Posted (edited)

Hey guys! On the off chance a few of y'all like to read my very first true novel, the link to it is in my signature. Any and all feedback will be appreciated.

Edited by Kerballing (Got Dunked On)
Changed wording slightly

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Hey everyone,

Just a head's up here. I'm looking into writing a Kerbal book series. I've got a thread going on the forum HERE that discusses the concept and issues I'm facing. I'd appreciate any support and discussion about it before I officially launch the project!

The book series will be loosely based off of my (steam featured) Jeb's Life: A Kerbal Novel missions from Making History (you can find them here). The idea is that I will release a 20-40k word novella every 3-4 months complete with illustrations (think Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but with a few illustrations per chapter, not every page).

Cheers

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Found this site digging around the arcane parts of the intertubes. 

https://thetrove.net/ basically a huge archive of rpg books. It leans towards the fantasy side of things. But, there are a few sci-fi ones in there as well... even the TTA books \o/.

If you're like me and need a bit more frame work to help, this is one of wonder resources.

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Finally getting back into the game here, and I was wondering... what means do you guys employ for suspension of disbelief? That is, pushing reality aside for dramatic or comic effect - 'cuz I wanna do as much hard sci fi as I can, but it's made a bit difficult by A: I don't know too much science, and B: That kinda looks like it'd hurt the writing.

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You don't so much suspend belief as try not to break the suspension. It's kind of like making mayonnaise. You do it right you get something goes great with bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes. But, it is futzy. Do it wrong, and it's easy to do it wrong, and you have to start over again. But, the limit of the Willing Suspension of Disbelief for a given element is directly proportional to its awesomeness. Wack an engine a couple of times with a hammer and it starts to work... funny, not awesome, might break the suspension if not set up right. Make low Minmus orbit with a running start and all your EVA fuel... do able, not very believable, but chrome steel and coconuts level of awesome, the suspension survives for another day.

As for the hardness. This is a pretty good read, Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness for learning about hardness.  Then there is also KSP hardness, similar but more about how close to "stock", including DLC, you write. For example, my "Tales of the Groundbound" I try for hard to very hard on the KSP-Mohs scale. Which, does make things harder on the SF-Mohs scale. If I can't pull it off in game, it ain't going to happen in story. It doesn't hurt the writing. But then i'm not writing about the rockets, I'm writing about everyone else. 

One of the key things is this: internal consistency. When you write at the hard end of the scale that is pretty easy. But, as you move to softer end of things having done the additional world-building of providing the structure of things that aren't based in physics will help. They don't need to be in-depth, but defined enough to prevent inconsistency, or expose the potential for such.

As for not know much science, don't worry too much. But, do learn how to research. You don't need to know a topic at the expert level. Just appear to know more than most people. As much as people say don't use wiki as a reference, use it as a reference and jumping off point. Another good reference is Atomic Rockets, at projectrho.com. 

 

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4 hours ago, VelocityPolaris said:

Finally getting back into the game here, and I was wondering... what means do you guys employ for suspension of disbelief? That is, pushing reality aside for dramatic or comic effect - 'cuz I wanna do as much hard sci fi as I can, but it's made a bit difficult by A: I don't know too much science, and B: That kinda looks like it'd hurt the writing.

I write about little green men, eldritch abominations from beyond reality, and unexplained bludgeoning rolling pins turning up whenever. At some point, I asked my readers to just smile and nod and oddly enough, it still works. ^_^ And yet, I’ve also been called “hard scifi,” which amuses me to no end.  

Welcome to ‘Who’s Kraken is it anyway?’ Where everything but the rocket science is made up and the jokes don’t matter!

I’ll give a nod to Wikipedia for quick research, too. Taken, of course, like everything else on the interwebz, with a boulder-sized grain of salt. But it’s enough to make you at least sound like you know what you’re talking about, it’s taught me nuclear physics, Russian history, basic genetics, mathematical derivations for obnoxiously catchy pop songs, and FOOF. 

But bide your time... it’s all to easy to get sucked into Wikiland and discover your designated writing block has up and vanished like flatulence in a rocket exhaust. 

Or is flatulence actually rocket exhaust? BRB, need to check the wiki...

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6 hours ago, steuben said:

You don't so much suspend belief as try not to break the suspension. It's kind of like making mayonnaise. You do it right you get something goes great with bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes. But, it is futzy. Do it wrong, and it's easy to do it wrong, and you have to start over again. But, the limit of the Willing Suspension of Disbelief for a given element is directly proportional to its awesomeness. Wack an engine a couple of times with a hammer and it starts to work... funny, not awesome, might break the suspension if not set up right. Make low Minmus orbit with a running start and all your EVA fuel... do able, not very believable, but chrome steel and coconuts level of awesome, the suspension survives for another day.

As for the hardness. This is a pretty good read, Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness for learning about hardness.  Then there is also KSP hardness, similar but more about how close to "stock", including DLC, you write. For example, my "Tales of the Groundbound" I try for hard to very hard on the KSP-Mohs scale. Which, does make things harder on the SF-Mohs scale. If I can't pull it off in game, it ain't going to happen in story. It doesn't hurt the writing. But then i'm not writing about the rockets, I'm writing about everyone else. 

One of the key things is this: internal consistency. When you write at the hard end of the scale that is pretty easy. But, as you move to softer end of things having done the additional world-building of providing the structure of things that aren't based in physics will help. They don't need to be in-depth, but defined enough to prevent inconsistency, or expose the potential for such.

As for not know much science, don't worry too much. But, do learn how to research. You don't need to know a topic at the expert level. Just appear to know more than most people. As much as people say don't use wiki as a reference, use it as a reference and jumping off point. Another good reference is Atomic Rockets, at projectrho.com. 

 

Uhhhh... Is this English?

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4 hours ago, Kerballing (Got Dunked On) said:

Uhhhh... Is this English?

Most days. It doesn't help that sometimes I write like an author translated out of Russian. And that I usually have to translate into English from... a highly symbolic language constructed of metaphor, trope, the taste of the colour yellow, and something squishy.

 

8 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Or is flatulence actually rocket exhaust? BRB, need to check the wiki...

More like rocket fuel. Mythbusters Jr. analyzed that one.

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