Story flow

Page 3 of 4<1234>
December 23rd, 2014 at 6:25:01 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10530
Quote: Pacomartin
Nareed makes a lot of references to the framework of story telling.


I'm told the people in Peoria appreciate the insider knowledge ;)

Quote:
The standard action group in storytelling consists of a group of 5.
[..]
The Token Woman, minority, or alien.


Sometimes. But the token is big in science fiction. Star Trek tends to carry this to an extreme by making "uniques" as well. Spock was the only Vulcan-Human hybrid. Geordi the only blind man with a visor. Worf the only Klingon raised by humans. Data the only working android. Odo the only shapeshifter (and later the only shapeshifter on the side of the Feds).

Stargate SG-1 went a little softer on this. Teal'c was at first the only Jaffa allied to the humans. Later there were others, but Teal'c remained the only one living with the humans. For Atlantis they had two locals join the merry crew.

In my case I can have a token alien and make him a compelling and interesting character. But if I add a second one of his kind on the ship, then I have to explore a more complex dynamic. So the token alien it is!

Oh, and let's not forget Hymie, the token robot in "Get Smart."
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
December 23rd, 2014 at 7:14:21 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10530
Quote: Pacomartin
Nareed makes a lot of references to the framework of story telling.


BTW the hardest thing to do, at least for me, is to deliver exposition without it seeming to be exposition. The Simpsons do inside jokes about this. there's one ep, I forget which, where Homer says where the family is going and what they'll be doing, which of course the family already knows. Bart then replies "That's a very odd thing to say."

The first Austin Powers movie was even more blatant, naming a character "Basil Exposition." Though I must say Michael York carried the role rather well.

In SF lots of things need to be explained and laid out. For instance, in "Golden" the action takes place within an interstellar ark. This has to be explained, even though 90% of all SF readers should already know what one is.

About the worse thing to do is "as you know." This is when a character delivers the exposition to another character by saying, for example, "As you know, interstellar arks recycle everything indefinitely." Imagine someone at work telling you "As you know, our work consists in making widgets." Why would anyone tell you what your work consists of, when you both know it?
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
December 23rd, 2014 at 7:39:57 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 677
Posts: 7758
Quote: Nareed
The Simpsons do inside jokes about this.


It seems they used to use the term "ship in a bottle" for television episodes of shows like Star Trek if there was no planet, and everything took place onboard the Enterprise. The implication is that the show would be inexpensive to produce as it involved only standard scenario and limited special effects. It was such a well known inside joke that there is an episode of TNG named "Ship in a Bottle" (6x12 - 25 Jan 1993).

Like the phrase "jumping the shark" the moniker "bottle episode" became more generic. One episode of "Community", ( Cooperative Calligraphy Nov 11, 2010) the characters vocally announce they are doing a "bottle episode".



Breaking the fourth wall has always been more popular in theater where a live person is directly addressing the audience. I found Salieri's dialogue in Amadeus to be chilling in the theater, because it was addressed to the audience. When they made it into a movie, they felt that breaking the fourth wall wouldn't work. The same scenes were far less effective in the movie (although the music and special effects were understandably amazing in the movie).
December 23rd, 2014 at 7:49:17 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10530
Quote: Pacomartin
It was such a well known inside joke that there is an episode of TNG named "Ship in a Bottle" (6x12 - 25 Jan 1993).


Actually a very good episode.

Voyager did a ship in a bottle ep with tons and tons of special effects. Quite funny, too, half-parodying Trek through a 1950s Flash Gordon type B&W movie serial. And there was Seven's invaluable line: "Think of it as Starfleet's First Contact with Planet X."
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
December 24th, 2014 at 10:29:56 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10530
Quote: Pacomartin
Breaking the fourth wall has always been more popular in theater where a live person is directly addressing the audience.


From the balcony it may not be obvious...

For massively breaking the wall, though, no one outdoes Mel Brooks' "Spaceballs." They skip ahead in the movie to see where the good guys are hiding, they capture the good guys' stunt doubles, Yogurt is making merchandise for "Spaceballs The Movie," and I think there were more.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
January 15th, 2015 at 1:23:15 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10530
Argh! My brain decided to turn against me!

One of the biggest difficulties I face when writing is an explosion in creativity. This means I'll start thinking up other stories, which is a massive distraction from what I'm working on. So this whole week while trying to think of nothing but "Ours" so I'll be able to work on it in the weekend, my brain's been busily making up the story line for "A Girl Named Laurie."

I'm years away from that! I may not even want to write it. I'm years away because the idea is too juvenile as is, very much a comic book. I need to give it time to mature and, as it were, grow up. I've done that with other stories, such as "Ours," which I really want to get done.

Why do I get obsessed over current events that a story with a faint similarity becomes irresistible?

Damn!
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
January 16th, 2015 at 6:55:08 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10530
I tricked my brain back into line ;)

Really, I said to my brain, "Come on. Laurie being saved by an alien historian posing as a lawyer and her native born police detective sidekick just doesn't make sense! Why would Irina pose as a lawyer? What would she be doing with Pat at the roadside restaurant where Laurie has her breakthrough? It's insane!

"Besides, dear brain, why do we need a woman at all? We're up to our eyeballs with strong female characters. That's good. But where are the sympathetic men? What if Laurie gets help from a male lawyer? Wouldn't that be more interesting? Especially if said man is clueless about Laurie's problem and has to listen and think about it?"

And my brain said, "So, for "Ours" we really don't want a dual Big Effing Dramatic Moment in sickbay, right? We want a single item to impact the reader, if cis readers can be reached that way at all (we know what trans readers will feel). Therefore we need the Big Spoiler in page one. Have a way for Chuckles the token alien to bring it up. "

Much better ;)
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
January 30th, 2015 at 8:35:35 PM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3089
All these stories and all this writing; what do you do with it all?

I mean, is it just a release, something to get out of your system? Do you post them to a board where others can read and discuss? Have you been published or otherwise gotten it out there for pay?
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
January 30th, 2015 at 9:13:12 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10530
Quote: Face
All these stories and all this writing; what do you do with it all?


I have more ideas than time to do something with them. So they're in various stages of plotting, planning and, in a few lucky cases, writing.

Quote:
Have you been published or otherwise gotten it out there for pay?


Yes, but not fiction.

Back in high school I won 4-weeks stay in language school in my choice of countries (the flight was not included, just the stay) for an essay contest. I spent a month in Cambridge, England.

The essay was about artificial hearts and cross-species transplants. it's amazing how little (ie nothing) of what I dared predict has come even close to reality.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
January 30th, 2015 at 9:43:03 PM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3089
Gotcha. Thanks for replying.

I'll admit I had selfish motives for asking. In case it's not obvious, I enjoy writing, too. I haven't made much of it, really. Haven't really done anything with it at all. I tried writing an actual short story, was hoping for 10,000 words+. But, like much of my writing here, I can only manage maybe a few sentences or half a paragraph of what I'd consider "good work". Much of the rest is just a guy talking. I think my only claim to fame is I once wrote a hoot for an 8th grade creative writing project. This in a class I mostly goofed off in, where both I and the teacher held sort of a mutual contempt for each other. Despite that, she gave me a grade of 98, highest in the class, and requested to read it to all other periods as an example. Big whoop, right? lol

But something has been gnawing at me lately.

See, I read to my kid every day. Unless we go skating or to the races where we get home late, I never miss story time. And it's becoming increasingly difficult for me. Most of them are simple enough; there's not really an issue reading Thomas the Train or Aesop's Fables or other sort of "impersonal" books. But the ones that have familial characters really get me steaming. Of these books, 95% of them have the mother as the protagonist or narrator. Of the other 5%, it grandparents. That's it. And some days, like today, it Pisses. Me. Off.

I can see it on my boy's face. He sort of glazes over and gets a bit teary. He rarely says anything, but I see it on his face. "Where's my mom?" So it got me to thinking...

Where are the dad story time books? Where are the dads, period? I know I'm not the only single father out there. It seems like an untapped market, and at only a few hundred words per book, if that, it seemed a reachable goal. But once written, where do you go with it?

That's sort of why I asked. Just wondering where you went after you did all the work.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
Page 3 of 4<1234>