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Nobilis

Writing Styles

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I think that with every character I make, I try to vary the writing styles a little bit. Some times I find that this works well, other times it helps me to identify things that 'sounded good in principle, but wound up lacklustre in practice'. 

Recently I've been testing a few things: Water narratives, music narratives, horror, *mild* fourth wall breaking, and ways to expand on ideas through back stories.

So yeah, let's hear it, what are you guys testing and working with? What do you like to read? What do you like to write?

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I do put in some monologue-esque comments in my post here, and there. This helps me establish a voice. In the past, sometimes I worked with an accent, or even a perspective change, to differentiate between characters.

One thing that helps me get into the mindset of a specific character is music. I will listen to some music, and try to find one that fits the character. It could be a song that describes them. Other times it can be a song I can see being played in a television show/movie with the character. The more I use the song, the easier it is to get into their headspace.

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23 minutes ago, DreamSeeker said:

I do put in some monologue-esque comments in my post here, and there. This helps me establish a voice. In the past, sometimes I worked with an accent, or even a perspective change, to differentiate between characters.

I definitely agree with the first part here. Especially with newer characters you sort of need to take them out for a spin to 'break them in' and that includes the general 'voice' of the character. I definitely actively avoid the second one because I'm utterly lousy at 'tracking' accents. Because we all speak our own dialects, I find that any attempt I make to do accents just results in a jumbled mess. Maybe I don't have the brain for it.

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16 minutes ago, notmuch_23 said:

I don't try to change styles outside of quotation marks, and I write quite succinctly, especially since i hate walls of text.

I think when I was younger I was sort of in 'awe' (probably not the ideal word) of people who just went on and on and used obscure vocabulary. Now it just sort of annoys me, I think. I try to write simply, clearly, and no more than necessary. I'm sure that I violate the 'no more than necessary' clause here and there though. Part of it is because I want to give the other person something to read (as opposed to just really brief text), but also because I enjoy the act of writing itself.

I have a lot of trouble with figuring out how best to use quotation marks, I hate them. So much.

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5 hours ago, Nobilis said:

Part of it is because I want to give the other person something to read (as opposed to just really brief text), but also because I enjoy the act of writing itself.

Same thing with me both times. Though it's a bit annoying when you run out of ideas when reacting to someone's post. At such times I go fishing (not fish fishing). Did you know is a lot easier to get ideas on a hook than to get actual fish?

Ultimately, I never concern myself much with my writing style. The only thing I vary is in dialogues, since different characters have different ways of speaking

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4 hours ago, Dabi said:

At such times I go fishing (not fish fishing). Did you know is a lot easier to get ideas on a hook than to get actual fish?

I really agree with this. With Annan I've tried connecting things that happen in her present day with sort of 'moments from her past'. Partly to fill in the text, but also partly to try and flesh out the character a little bit. I think it's working in this case, but I could see it being annoying in a 'what's with all the flashbacks' kind of way.

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4 hours ago, supernal said:

I like how Heinlein and Le Guin handle indirect exposition and it's something I'd like to get better at

Atwood as well.

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I try to avoid walls of text because of a bad RP experience. A former RP partner wrote these beautiful walls of text. And they were probably more like MS Word pages of text.

At first, they were cool. After a while they were still fun yet less so. A little longer and they were just a slog to get through. Especially since the action could be described as, "look at how awesome I am."

I began to see why she drove off a lot of other RPers from that alone.

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6 hours ago, DreamSeeker said:

I try to avoid walls of text because of a bad RP experience. A former RP partner wrote these beautiful walls of text. And they were probably more like MS Word pages of text.

At first, they were cool. After a while they were still fun yet less so. A little longer and they were just a slog to get through. Especially since the action could be described as, "look at how awesome I am."

I began to see why she drove off a lot of other RPers from that alone.

In an art that predicates itself on reading and writing, I’ve never had an ill-disposition for “walls” or mountains of text and I’ve never understood the position of those who do solely for that volume alone. 

What I feel matters is whether or not these mountainous walls are worth climbing, and whether or not what’s being written mandates the magnitude. To deduce this, we need to start asking ourselves a few questions: is the information pertinent; can these ideas be abridged without losing their significance; and does this content, in any way, assist in reinforcing what the author is trying to convey?
 

We have the bad habit of conflating volume with the extraneous, and the extraneous with peacocking or “showing-off” — some masked endeavor made to glorify ourselves, at the expense of the reader. This bodes negatively, because the surmise breeds certain implications that hurt the purpose of our art. Expression. 

Not all expanses are meaningless, and not everyone who writes at length is writing to gorge their famished egos, either. Conversely, sometimes this proclivity is born from the greatest consideration one can have for their audience — a desire to express. 

And we have to face in this art, that there are some things worth their immensity. As writers, we should never feel put-off by the “beautiful” density of a read, alone. We should be tugged, magnetized, eager to explore what’s in wait for us. 
 

We miss out on hidden oceans when we dismiss them as shallow.

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8 hours ago, DreamSeeker said:

I try to avoid walls of text because of a bad RP experience. A former RP partner wrote these beautiful walls of text. And they were probably more like MS Word pages of text.

At first, they were cool. After a while they were still fun yet less so. A little longer and they were just a slog to get through. Especially since the action could be described as, "look at how awesome I am."

I began to see why she drove off a lot of other RPers from that alone.

Like having a funny friend try and do an hour long stand up special. I mean they are funny, sure, but after the first few minutes their jokes turns to rambling. A realization that it takes more than just being funny (just writing well) starts to settle in alongside its twin, that it isn't your job to find the special amusing but their job to make it so. I can't imagine going to more than a few of those, especially if they tend to run the same way

Length of post is an interesting mechanical element to look at in roleplay. I've written about this before somewhere around here, but four people writing thousand word posts means you as a player have to read a short story to respond. If four players writes four thousand words each, you're taking in a novellete every round. The time investment for reading so you can write changes pretty steeply

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13 hours ago, DreamSeeker said:

I try to avoid walls of text because of a bad RP experience. A former RP partner wrote these beautiful walls of text. And they were probably more like MS Word pages of text.

At first, they were cool. After a while they were still fun yet less so.

I had a very similar experience; I love the person to pieces, but after a while reading their work was just exhausting.

6 hours ago, Mudra said:

In an art that predicates itself on reading and writing, I’ve never had an ill-disposition for “walls” or mountains of text and I’ve never understood the position of those who do solely for that volume alone. 

I mean, these are two different things; reading and writing are both skills, the latter being not 'a single thing'. Deep reading, superficial reading, queer reading, etc., are all lenses through which writing is understood. Both are needed components, yes, they are not equal and necessary components (you don't need to fully read a thing to get the gist of it, nor does something necessarily have to be well written or wordy to be 'good').

6 hours ago, Mudra said:

What I feel matters is whether or not these mountainous walls are worth climbing, and whether or not what’s being written mandates the magnitude. To deduce this, we need to start asking ourselves a few questions: is the information pertinent; can these ideas be abridged without losing their significance; and does this content, in any way, assist in reinforcing what the author is trying to convey?

We have the bad habit of conflating volume with the extraneous, and the extraneous with peacocking or “showing-off” — some masked endeavor made to glorify ourselves, at the expense of the reader. This bodes negatively, because the surmise breeds certain implications that hurt the purpose of our art. Expression. 

I'm glad you feel like that, one should examine reading/writing for their own purposes. The answer to the question of 'can these ideas be abridged without losing their significance' is almost always yes. The more verbose the text, the more fat there is that can be trimmed and this is almost universally true.

6 hours ago, Mudra said:

And we have to face in this art, that there are some things worth their immensity. As writers, we should never feel put-off by the “beautiful” density of a read, alone. We should be tugged, magnetized, eager to explore what’s in wait for us. 
 

We miss out on hidden oceans when we dismiss them as shallow.

 As writers, maybe. As readers we absolutely do and will *always* do this. There is no requirement of a reader to read anything that they feel is daunting or unappealing, the perceived worth of that text by the authors is meaningless in that equation. I tend to find excess in writing more of the latter than the former, though it is also daunting to read something that is a bit of a slog isn't it? There's a reason why the masses haven't read Dostoevsky but Twilight sold millions of copies and was widely consumed. People will like what they like, and that's fine. Writers will write in the way that they will write, and that's fine too.

 

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5 hours ago, supernal said:

Like having a funny friend try and do an hour long stand up special. I mean they are funny, sure, but after the first few minutes their jokes turns to rambling.

A really good analogy, in my opinion.

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 I use the same narrative for every character overall, but I find my dialogue and action is more organic and dynamic when I play off some of their little quirks and eccentricities. For example, my character Max is something of a religious zealot and his counterpart, a more secular character named Gale frequently snarks and derides him for his beliefs. In action, their fighting styles very well compliment each other.

Underlying this is the fact that they are written to have a close, brotherly bond with each other, which I frequently mention. 

Overtime, I've found it helpful to play off my partner's characters to add the spice, if you will, to what I create. Every RPer and writer here has a unique perspective, a flavor, if you will, to add. This in turn helps make it feel more realistic, more enjoyable for all parties involved.

In short, my style is cooperation. 

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