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Thread: Issue with story direction

  1. #11
    Member KHK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Here is what I do in these situations: Google Earth.
    Seriously, open GoogleEarth on the place where your camp is supposed to be, and begin examining what is around the area, within fleeing range. You might be surprised what you find.
    I have found some great story-altering details with this technique. Nothing like finding a dynamite factory in the middle of your intended combat zone.
    The similar approach saved my chapter from a deadlock just last night!
    I use Google Maps with the satellite overlap, rather than Google Earth, but the idea is pretty much the same.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Here is what I do in these situations: Google Earth.
    Seriously, open GoogleEarth on the place where your camp is supposed to be, and begin examining what is around the area, within fleeing range. You might be surprised what you find.
    I have found some great story-altering details with this technique. Nothing like finding a dynamite factory in the middle of your intended combat zone.
    Not using real world reference. Seriously there's creating a thorough world built from the ground up with a foundation woven within reality, and wanting to write a story willing the break some rules because it thinks believability of narrative is more important that dramatic realism. If I were basing my world entirely off real world attributes I'd get people saying "why didn't you pay for the rights to get the rights to use McDonalds mentioned for a single area in your story that is never brought up again? My immersion is ruined by this tiny detail and your book is awful." I swear that was someone in these forums who said that morning trumpets were at the wrong time of day and they stopped reading then and there.

  3. #13
    Member KHK's Avatar
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    danielvaldez90323, I am not necessarily suggesting to rewrite anything. All I'm saying is that if you're not sure how to develop the scale of your world (zooming-out sounds like an applicable metaphor), concentrate on that first, then paste the details back in - even those you already have, but with a more solid surrounding plot. All that is based on my understanding of your problem statement - which, of course, may be completely off.

    And just as a side note... Something that caught my eye: you mention "people being forced to work in the hot sun planting fruits and vegetables"...
    With my very limited understanding of backyard gardening, I don't believe planting vegetables normally happens in the hot sun, but rather much earlier in the season (read, as early in the spring as the last frost is over). On the same token, fruits mainly grow on trees, so I am not sure if this fits the picture you intend to paint. Are they actually planting orchards? Where did they get the seedling trees from?

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by KHK View Post
    danielvaldez90323, I am not necessarily suggesting to rewrite anything. All I'm saying is that if you're not sure how to develop the scale of your world (zooming-out sounds like an applicable metaphor), concentrate on that first, then paste the details back in - even those you already have, but with a more solid surrounding plot. All that is based on my understanding of your problem statement - which, of course, may be completely off.

    And just as a side note... Something that caught my eye: you mention "people being forced to work in the hot sun planting fruits and vegetables"...
    With my very limited understanding of backyard gardening, I don't believe planting vegetables normally happens in the hot sun, but rather much earlier in the season (read, as early in the spring as the last frost is over). On the same token, fruits mainly grow on trees, so I am not sure if this fits the picture you intend to paint. Are they actually planting orchards? Where did they get the seedling trees from?
    Alright actually the observation is something I'm willing to accept. I just didn't want to delve to close to using genetic modification as an excuse. Ironically, the counter argument to that being "if they genetically modified failed experiments then your think they're doing a bad job if one of them isn't bound to work eventually. That of which I would consider could be orchards would higher providing strength. As for seedlings, well botanists, which I will take into explaining in the story as there being botanists who would make it through using a shelter of sorts as with others who would try the same method. I'd work this along with a bog that exists in the story previously not being there, but following a failed modified creature experiment being dumped into an area originally intended as a sort of "regrowth project" that was eventually abandoned, the plants would adapt to this awful environment and create an impromptu swamp where the characters' camp is located.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by danielvaldez90323 View Post
    Not using real world reference. Seriously there's creating a thorough world built from the ground up with a foundation woven within reality, and wanting to write a story willing the break some rules because it thinks believability of narrative is more important that dramatic realism. If I were basing my world entirely off real world attributes I'd get people saying "why didn't you pay for the rights to get the rights to use McDonalds mentioned for a single area in your story that is never brought up again? My immersion is ruined by this tiny detail and your book is awful." I swear that was someone in these forums who said that morning trumpets were at the wrong time of day and they stopped reading then and there.

    Do what?
    Look, I understand that you are dick-hurt by something someone once said about your writing, but closing yourself off to advice from writers with a successful track record in your genre is ill-advised. Get over it, move on...because I can guarantee that it is not the last time you will hear ugly feedback about your writing. Even Stephen King gets bad reviews.

    You asked for advice, and I gave you a solid technique that has worked for me many times. As the author, it is YOU who determines how many of those buildings are still standing. For me, google earth has shown me lots of potential ideas that I would not have otherwise considered. It has also clarified many misconceptions I held about places I was using in my story.

    PS: The quickest path to bad reviews in the post-apocalyptic genre is inaccuracy. People who read those books are often preppers, survivalists, former military... If you fudge the facts, they will call you out for it. A successful EOW story needs to not only be highly accurate, but teach them something they didn't already know.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Do what?
    Look, I understand that you are dick-hurt by something someone once said about your writing, but closing yourself off to advice from writers with a successful track record in your genre is ill-advised. Get over it, move on...because I can guarantee that it is not the last time you will hear ugly feedback about your writing. Even Stephen King gets bad reviews.

    You asked for advice, and I gave you a solid technique that has worked for me many times. As the author, it is YOU who determines how many of those buildings are still standing. For me, google earth has shown me lots of potential ideas that I would not have otherwise considered. It has also clarified many misconceptions I held about places I was using in my story.

    PS: The quickest path to bad reviews in the post-apocalyptic genre is inaccuracy. People who read those books are often preppers, survivalists, former military... If you fudge the facts, they will call you out for it. A successful EOW story needs to not only be highly accurate, but teach them something they didn't already know.
    I'm not ignoring you advice out of laziness or being dick hurt. There are instances in depth of realism I find are of a kind to ignore for reasons within a sensible degree of logic. If I ask on the topic of mutants use philosophically and someone ignores the question by suggesting doing research on radiology, I'm not gonna do that because it doesn't take 2 and 2 to put together the fact radiation just kills people, so that aspect may as well be ignored entirely if we're talking realism. I've heard frequently to only elaborate if it's good for the story, which is why I cut off advice past the point of being useful when there are certain things I find could that ignored within the context of author's vision so long as author's vision doesn't dismiss the mainly important things. Besides if I'm going to get called out for inaccuracies of facts then the first one is going to be writing a story about post apocalypse where there hasn't been one, not yet anyways. Suspension of disbelief is the phrase.

  7. #17

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    That's some truly circular logic there.
    Alright look I'll stop rationalizing being wrong and get to the point. I didn't build my setting foundation off of real world reference, just setting it within most locations that are real. Granted the story's map was laid out as an early 2nd draft idea that I later scrapped when I realized I'd be taking liberties for plot sake as oppose to realism sake. More and more plot ideas started to pile on and soon the realism of locations sort of became a hybrid of real and unreal. What I'm saying is I'm in a bit of a rut. I can choose to go pro realism from here on out in my current point of writing when the foundation is built off of manipulated reality of location, (I.e.: hills disrupting common stability but also serving as a high view for far our distance the character uses to get an understanding if his relative location amid everything else) and continue on with important plot locations being in real world such. Take the opposite direction with such making the story not be set in Texas and instead a vague understanding of America. Or write a 3rd draft. The last option is probably the best one but also the one I'm most hesitant on since I've spent so much time working on and revising the 2nd draft even if it isn't finished, and I'm not sure whether or not to do so since I've invested around a month or 2 in the second draft along with writing/plot revisions. In other words I'm doing this because I'm not sure if I'm ready to sacrifice alot of work for a sturdier foundation to build my story around.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by danielvaldez90323 View Post
    In other words I'm doing this because I'm not sure if I'm ready to sacrifice alot of work for a sturdier foundation to build my story around.
    In my experience, if there's a question in your mind regarding whether or not your story needs a sturdier foundation, then the answer is probably yes.

  10. #20
    Bad writing is like body odor: If it's enough that you're just now noticing it, the entire room's probably been halfway to vomiting in their slippers for some time.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

    "Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow."

    “Remember this: Dumbo didn’t need the feather; the magic was in him. ”

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