IE6 is not supported at this time. Please consider upgrading to Internet Explorer 9, FireFox, Apple Safari, or Google Chrome.

Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven



You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Bardic Circle - War Stories & AAR forum
Moderated by Terikel Grayhair

Hop to:    
Welcome! You are not logged in. Please Login or Register.14 replies
Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven » Forums » Bardic Circle - War Stories & AAR forum » Critique my writing
Bottom
Topic Subject:Critique my writing
Aftermath
HG Alumnus
posted 07-20-13 07:15 AM EDT (US)         
I've been working on something for some time now (November infact) but I'm at a point where I need some criticism of a few parts.

I'd like to know what works, what doesn't? What is my literary weakness? What makes sense, what doesn't? (Obviously in the context I'm showing) What do you like, what don't you? Perhaps most importantly; What can I do better?

I'll post up the synopsis for a bit of context and the (still unfinished) prologue for you guys to take a look at. I'll likely add a handful of the first few chapters later too, but don't want to just post a huge wall of text right off the bat. Where I'm missing parts I've marked with a red arrow to show there'll be more text between two parts.

Looking forward to your responses

The war is over. Yet still danger lurks at every shadow.

In a remote corner of the Kingdom strange attacks are taking place, the population is being massacred and harvested by unknown assailants. At the annual joust in the city of Crescentholm ragtag Knights and Mercenaries, Highborn Lords and former soldiers all compete to make a name for themselves. It is here a disparate group of Knights form and resolve to investigate, but they only find the stuff of nightmares.

Meanwhile the heir of a once great noble house leads what few loyal men he has, and a hired mercenary company, seeking to reclaim his birth right and rule over the forgotten region known as the Cold Ridge.
~ PROLOGUE ~


"Hurry. No telling how close they are now." The last of the snows had usually been a fortnight ago, but the Gods had seen it appropriate to scatter a fierce fit of additional cold weather across the region. Hallen's rouncey was up to it's knee joint in snow and snorted with uneasy displeasure at every step.

He squinted back in the direction they had come, fruitlessly. The thick snowflakes, some the size of large nuts, tumbled from the grey sky in a gentle torrent. The sharp wind stirred and flicked it as the snow settled creating a swirling white fog. It must have been six hours ago they first heard the distant bleating of the horn. Hallen had left three men back at a shallow crossing on the river, to watch for any persuers. There had only been silence since.

His number was limited enough as it was. When he originally left Hawkers' Grip in the deep hours of the night there were eighteen with him, all were men he could trust. Some he hand-picked, others volunteered for the reckless and unsanctioned expedition. Out of the eighteen that followed, now only eleven remained; Henry succumbed to wounds sustained in a previous fight at Hawkers Grip; John, Arthur and Tomas died in an attack whilst traversing the frozen ravine; the two Bens and Gavin were the trio left at the crossing. May the chained God take them to rest. Hallen prayed silently.

"Captain!" A voice drowned in the snow. "Captain!" Closer now. Hallen turned to face the direction they headed in, a mounted figure emerged from the snowfall, wrapped in thick woolen cloth all over except for a slit from which peered walnut-brown eyes.

"The child can not ride any longer Captain." The words were still muffled, even this close, thanks to both the weather and the wool through which he spoke.

"We cannot stop, Reynald." Hallen responded, shaking his head dejectedly.

"Then the boy is like to die from exhaustion, then this was all for naught " Reynald stopped abruptly as he interrupted himself, "Gods... Arthur, Tomas... Tall John..." Hallen did not have a response, those brave men had died under his command. Their faces materialised every time he shut his eyes, wearing pained expressions, but still in their own skin. Unlikely to be the case for their actual corpses, Hallen knew.

A second man manifested from out of the white fog. The younger man's light-brown tightly cropped goattee was coated in frost, his eyebrows no different, so the stubble adorning his cheeks looked out of place not flecked with white. "Why do we stop? Are they here?" He said as he reached for the bow slung over his back.

"The boy. He is practically unconcious in his saddle. He can ride no further." Spoke Reynald, his eyes locked on Hallen. One of the horses snorted as if in agreement.

"We cannot stop. I will have him ride with me, that way he can get some rest." Captain Hallen answered. The other two men exchanged a doubtful glance, but it was the younger who spoke up.

"Captain, your mount hasn't rested in a full day, nor eaten properly in nearly two. She will not survive long with the two of you atop her. Saddle the boy with me, my steed is the strongest of the group."

Rob was right, Hallen knew. He had won that destrier in an archery competition back in Hawkers' Grip two summers past. Hallen had competed also, but his skill with a bow left much to be desired. Rob Foster had cored the apple atop the scarecrow's head, and then emasculated the poor straw fellow with a second boastful shot to the carrot he had no doubt put there himself, much to the amusement of the other guardsmen and the delight of the fawning girls.

"Very well. Reynald, help the boy onto Rob's lap. Make certain he is secure, tie him there if you must." The two guardsmen nodded in acknowledgement and ploughed their horses back to the front of the group where the child rode. The captain pulled the grey wool scarf back up over his bald head. He couldn't recall the last time he was warm, they were barely a days ride outside of Hawkers' Grip when the severe weather kicked in. And he had not allowed his men to light fires lest those demons find them quicker, and fall upon them out of the darkness. He shuddered at the thought, pressing his lids shut to shake the thought from his head, which was instead filled with their faces again; John, Arthur, Tomas. And now Ben, Ben and Gavin. May the chained god take them to rest.

As his horse struggled onward through the swelling snow drifts Hallen's thoughts returned to Hawkers' Grip. Arthur would be at home with his newborn, Ben with his sickly father, Tomas with his wife. Had I not led them on this doomed folly. His subconcious tortured him, but he knew this was not the truth of it. Had they not stolen away with the boy that night all of them would still be manning the makeshift barricades of Hawkers' Grip, defending their homes and Lord in the small town as the ravenous demons fell upon them tirelessly time and time again. He had plotted the evacuation of the child, the heir of House Dayce, waiting for an opportunity to arise. It had that night, five days ago, the largest attack yet. He and his men repelled it successfully, and knowing they had won a respite from the monsters he launched his plan. Thirteen of his guardsmen, namely the ones he did not have the total loyalty of or trust completely, remained at Hawkers Grip, along with the household guard of the province's castellan, Lord Dacery. He was unsure what punishment awaited him upon his return to Hawkers' Grip, or even if there would be one to go back to. But Hallen had sworn on oath to Lord Dayce before he marched south ten years ago, to protect his unborn child should any harm come to him. Even if Hawkers' Grip should fall, young Dayce will survive. I am no oathbreaker.

Hours passed as they pressed on, how many Hallen could not be sure for time had no bearing in the icy blizzard. The same bleak white and greys everywhere he looked, on occasion he would catch a glimpse of one of his men. Sometimes the silhouette of his second in command, Reynald, wrapped in all his wool. Sometimes it was the shadow of young Rob Foster's black destrier; with his valuable extra passenger the large steed's pace had slowed noticably, but even still it had more strength and endurance than the other guardsmen's mounts. Sometimes even, when the fog subsided or thinned, Hallen could see the imposing outline of the sundered peak; their destination. The gateway out of the Cold Ridge. Due to the mountain's size, it appeared closer infact than it was. 'Still a long way to go.' Hallen reminded himself. There was the rest of the valley to go, then the ponderous ascent of the crumbled stoneroad. It wasn't until the abandoned old tower, Copperwatch, that the climb steepened, only flattening out as the path leads between the two halfs of the shattered peak, it's rocky spires blackened and reaching up into the sky with splintered fingers. Another day of riding and the party should be at the tower, there they could rest, feed and water the horses before continuing at next light to the peak and safety on the other side. 'And help.' It was not enough to just get young Lord Dayce out of the province.

"As perilous as our escape has been, you still intend to retread this path and return?" It was as if Reynald had read Hallen's mind, leading closer his white and spotted-black horse the one that young Foster had dubbed 'Cow', much to the chuckles of the other men, and the aggravation of Hallen's second-in-command.

"I have spent all my life in the Stonewynds. I can't abandon my home, nor can I abandon the people left in Hawker's Grip."

"I don't know how well that will sit with the rest of the men, Hallen." Reynald said in a hushed tone, as if someone else was close enough to hear.

"I won't command it. It will be their choice of course. If they decide to leave for elsewhere once we are on the other side of the Sundered Peak I would not think less of them."

"What about of me?"

"The same goes, of course. You've served your Lord and I well Reynald, I couldn't have done this without you. I would be sorry we had to part ways if you choose as such."

"I am with you, Hallen. I have a wife and child in Hawker's Grip I will not leave behind. To remain there after feels like suicide though, I'll do all I can to get them out of danger."

"I'm sorry I could not permit you to bring them with us now -"

"No need. I see now, they would have slowed us down. The boy is sickly, too... this journey would have been too hard on them."

'And it would've made it harder to keep our escape from Hawker's Grip quiet.' Hallen kept the thought to himself.

"I don't like our chances though, just the two of us. Our party of nineteen has not been enough to be safe in this wilderness, were it just the two of us we'd have died three times over already by now."

"Two can move quieter and quicker than nineteen. We will have a better time of avoiding them."

"You think we brought too many?"

"No. I could not risk the boy with too few if we become cornered."

There was no right answer to the question, a handful were likely doomed if they ran into any trouble, but on the other hand a larger group was easy to track.

"You don't think any of the others will want to return to their homes once this deed is done?"

"Perhaps. Mostly the ones who have left their families at Hawker's Grip. What does that make? Six?"

"Aye" Hallen knew his men.

"Glenn might too. He loves a fight, always volunteered to hold the barricades, once he did three straight watches."

"Foster would return." Hallen said

"Pah! As soon as Foster gets a taste of the whores on the other side of that mountain he'll forget all about it. Handy with a bow, sure, when his face isn't buried in some wench's bosom. Brash, arrogant and unreliable, he might be the worst town guard we have, Hallen."

"Well, half a dozen then, at a guess."

"That's if we get up the mountain unmolested. Still a ways to go yet."

"There'll be more."

"Oh?"

"It's Autumn. The tournament at Crescentholm, always attracts countless numbers of landless knights, blades-for-hire and rogues eager for a payday, greedy lords and nobles eager for glory and influence. I mean to gather all I can to the banner of our Lord, the boy."

If Reynald doubted the chances of raising an army with no means of paying the soldiers, or bestirring the nobles of the other nearby provinces to care about what they deemed the backwater Stonewynds, he did not show it. Hallen himself had grown increasingly doubtful that any help was ever coming, he and the head steward of Hawker's Grip had sent countless messages to the nearest city Crescentholm, urging the lords there for aid, both by courier and bird. No response had ever come, spurring Hallen to take the action he was in the midst of.

"If we don't bring more we're only returning to die on the barricades." Reynald finally offered, lingering a few moments more before spurring his horse to the head of the column, out of sight again thanks to the return of the mist. Hallen merely nodded in solemn agreement, white puffs of cold air flushing from his nostrils as he breathed.




"Who goes there!" The shout cut through the snowstorm.

"Identify yourselves!" Hallen spurred his rounsey, urging it to muster all it's strength, drawing his sword and subconciously holding his breath as his horse clambered to the commotion. Foster had already drawn his bow, four of the other guardsmen had fallen in around him to protect the child who shared his saddle, their weapons in hand as they stared silently ahead in anticipation. As Hallen approached he could make out the raucous was not due to the foe he feared. Reynald and five other guardsmen; Pete, Glenn, Rickard, Alister and Dennis, pointed their blades at a dozen red-faced men atop two empty wains.

"Stand aside!" One of the men said. "We act on behalf of Lord Glover." His hand was on his sword hilt.

Hallen could hear the whispers of the guardsmen at his back, "By the gods, reinforcements!", "Glover finally acted on the letters the Cap'n sent," "These boys' ain't no proper soldiers." Reynald sheathed his weapon, the other men followed suit.




The wind had hushed. Everything stilled.

Hallen's horse whimpered.

Out of the milky fog, silently sauntered a pink ghostly figure, hunched in the shoulders and loose in the flesh.

A f t y

A A R S

:: The Sun always rises in the East :: Flawless Crowns :: Dancing Days ::

"We kissed the Sun, and it smiled down upon us."
AuthorReplies:
Legion Of Hell
Centurion
posted 07-20-13 09:55 AM EDT (US)     1 / 14       
The only gripe I would have is the paragraphs are long: maybe cut them into shorter paragraphs.

Apart from that, it looks good!

General Rawlinson- This is most unsatisfactory. Where are the Sherwood Foresters? Where are the East Lancashires on the right?

Brigadier-General Oxley- They are lying out in No Man's Land, sir. And most of them will never stand again.

Two high ranking British generals discussing the fortunes of two regiments after the disastrous attack at Aubers Ridge on the 9th May 1915.
DominicusUltimus
Legate
posted 07-20-13 12:16 PM EDT (US)     2 / 14       
Looking good Afty. Your writing style reminds me of my own: thorough and detailed but not to the absurdity of purple prose. As LoH said, the size of your paragraphs near the middle are quite large with eleven good-sized sentences (not including snippets of inner thoughts). I usually start a new paragraph when I've typed five or seven sentences at the most so that there won't be a huge block of text for my readers, so all you really have to do is find a point in your paragraphs where you can divide it without disrupting your characters' dialogue or line of thought and you're good.

The last part with Hallen and Reynald conversing with one another could be confusing to some readers as there are some parts where there are no indicators as to which one of them is talking. Whenever I'm writing a conversation like that, I try to write what I call a "throwaway lines" every sentence or two to highlight who's specifically talking.


For example, instead of writing an verbal exchange like this:
"I didn't think we'd make it out of that scrap alive."

"Well I probably could've had an easier time of it if I didn't have to watch your fat arse."

"Aye, I won't deny it and don't think I'm not thankful for it. When we get back to the village, I'll stop by the Bleating Lamb and by you a flagon of Gerald's best as thanks."

"That's good enough thanks for me."
I'd personally write it like so:
"I didn't think we'd make it out of that scrap alive." Lorik huffed as he finally started catching his breath.

"Well I probably could've had an easier time of it if I didn't have to watch your fat arse." Roran snapped back.

"Aye, I won't deny it and don't think I'm not thankful for it." Lorik laughed as he stumbled over and wrapped a bruised over Roran's shoulder. "When we get back to the village, I'll stop by the Bleating Lamb and by you a flagon of Gerald's best as thanks."

Roran looked at his friend and smiled mischievously. "That's good enough thanks for me."
Written in this way, the reader knows which character is saying what and the additional details (moods, facial expressions, etc.) can enhance the flow and tone of the dialogue. This is actually more of an explanation of my own writing style rather than a critique of yours, so don't think you have to change yours or your story just because I said this


Edit - Forgot to mention that when I read this:
Meanwhile the heir of a once great noble house leads what few loyal men he has, and a hired mercenary company, seeking to reclaim his birth right and rule over the forgotten region known as the Cold Ridge.
I totally thought of Young Griff, Griff and the Golden Company

"Life is more fun when you are insane. Just let go occasionally".- yakcamkir 12:14
"It is not numbers, but vision that wins wars." - Antiochus VII Sidetes
"My magic screen is constantly bombarded with nubile young things eager to please these old eyes. This truly is a wonderful period in which to exist! - Terikel Grayhair
Angel of Total War: Rome II Heaven and the Total War: Attila Forums

[This message has been edited by DominicusUltimus (edited 07-20-2013 @ 01:19 PM).]

Awesome Eagle
Spear of Mars
(id: awesomated88)
posted 07-20-13 06:14 PM EDT (US)     3 / 14       
OMG OMG OMG. Afty is writing something?

Looks great to my poor eyes..
So is it a story or based on a game?

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it- George Santayana
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are- David C. McCullough
Wars not make one great- Yoda

[This message has been edited by Awesome Eagle (edited 07-20-2013 @ 06:15 PM).]

Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 07-21-13 04:56 AM EDT (US)     4 / 14       
Nice stuff.

I don't have a beef with the length of the paragraphs that the others do- to me, a paragraph is a concept or thought. It can be as long or as short as needed to convey that concept or thought. When another thought or concept begins, so should a new paragraph, not after x many sentences or the like.

You do need to proofread a bit better. Persuer is not a word, though pursuer is. Also, I've noticed a few places where the punctuation was not up to the Aftermath Standard. Example:

You've served your Lord and I well Reynald, I couldn't have done this without you.

I'd have done it like this:

You've served your Lord and I well, Reynald. I couldn't have done this without you.

But overall the technical side was very good.

I will not comment on the plot, as I do not have enough samples to see- but I can say from what I could see that it looks interesting.

Continuity may be a problem. You mention in the beginning that the last of the snows fell a fortnight ago, except for one last flurry filtering down now. Later, in that same section, you mention that it is Autumn and time for the games at Crescentholm. Now, call me crazy, but I always thought snows began in late autumn and were not to peter off and die until Spring.

There is also a research bit I noticed. Captain Hallen and his troops are escaping a demon horde that has surrounded and continually attacks that village. He breaks out to ensure the newborn son of the current lord survives. Very noble. I say newborn because ten days before, he had promised Lord Dacery that his unborn son would survive:

But Hallen had sworn on oath to Lord Dayce before he marched south ten years ago, to protect his unborn child should any harm come to him. Even if Hawkers' Grip should fall, young Dayce will survive. I am no oathbreaker.

Thus the boy who is so exhausted he cannot ride is about nine days old, at max. He cannot ride. Nor is there a wetnurse to feed him. The group has been on the road for a few days, I assume, and will be longer until it gets to its destination. That baby will need food and a change of nappies or it will die enroute.

You could fix this by mitting 'newborn' and making it 'young', but I don't know how that will impact on the rest of the story- if an infant, he will be yearning to know who his father was and what sort of man, as a pre-teen he will have vague memories (or strong ones, depending on what kind of memory you give him) and will wonder if he measures up to that ideal. Things like that.

There is also the bit about Tomas. He left with Hallen, leaving a wife behind in a city that is attacked relentlessly by a horde of demons? Not bloody likely (normal man syndrome) but it could work if he leaves his wife there with a promise to return with help, and sees the greater duty as preserving the life of the newborn heir. This is not mentioned, though, which could leave readers wondering about motives. Is this Tomas a frikking robot? Mentally deficient, etc?

Overall I liked what I read very much.

EDIT: If you'd like a chance at some private vengeance, I too am working on something, but cannot post it here (it will be for sale). Would you like to critique a bit of that and point out my faults? You know my email address- feel free to use it.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII

[This message has been edited by Terikel Grayhair (edited 07-21-2013 @ 05:00 AM).]

Edorix
High King of Britain
posted 07-21-13 05:52 AM EDT (US)     5 / 14       
Critique your writing? For what my condescension is worth, your writing is excellent - just at this stage unfinished. I always heard that the most important thing is to get your full story together before you go to polish up the writing... as far as a prologue goes, it's a great hook.
His subconcious tortured him, but he knew this was not the truth of it
Guilt is in the subconscious? Surely should be "conscience".

EDORIX
~ ancient briton ~

/\
/|||| ||||\

(dis ma house)
Aftermath
HG Alumnus
posted 07-21-13 07:27 AM EDT (US)     6 / 14       
Thanks for replies guys.

The paragraphs do look unwieldy in the format of this forum, but in the word document they're not such an eyesore.
Written in this way, the reader knows which character is saying what and the additional details (moods, facial expressions, etc.) can enhance the flow and tone of the dialogue.
No that makes sense, what I had a tendency to do in my early days was overdo 'George said/Said George' after every line. Then I swung the opposite and added too much detail between lines. (No one needs to know precisely where George is looking every time he opens his mouth etc) Vocab and conversation has always been a weak point for me. I'll take on board what you said, it certainly flowed better, but at the same time I'd be cautious of overdoing that.
So is it a story or based on a game?
Story. I've had the plot in my head for some years, finally decided to do something about it. Not for a game, although some of the feudal laws were inspired by Crusader Kings series. My actual writing inspiration is from two novels from the late Iain M Banks, my favourite sci fi writer, as strange as that might seem for the type of story I'm writing.

Terikel, I'm not going to address all of your points except that they're noted and very helpful. I agree with everything you said. The age of the child comes from the story changing as it was written from what I originally penned in notes (Originally intended to be a war going on at the time, but for narrative purposes it seemed much more fun to set the story ten years after and have the characters and their situations effected by it's outcome; politically, economically etc). Thus the child is infact supposed to be around ten years old, not days:
But Hallen had sworn on oath to Lord Dayce before he marched south ten years ago, to protect his unborn child should any harm come to him. Even if Hawkers' Grip should fall, young Dayce will survive. I am no oathbreaker.
This sentence is a snippet of background. The child's father (Lord Dayce) marched south ten years ago to participate in a war (not detailed here, too much of an info-dump), leaving his unborn son whom Hallen promised to protect.
If you'd like a chance at some private vengeance, I too am working on something, but cannot post it here (it will be for sale). Would you like to critique a bit of that and point out my faults? You know my email address- feel free to use it.
Of course, it'd be an honour. I'm away as of early tomorrow for two weeks, so I'll drop you a line upon my return to sunny old England if that suits.
Guilt is in the subconscious? Surely should be "conscience".
Right you are.
I always heard that the most important thing is to get your full story together before you go to polish up the writing...
Yep. Up to around 72 pages in my word Doc, not all are prose, there are plot outlines and character arcs detailed in there too but progress is coming along nicely. I just feel like my foundations might be a little shaky so should clear them up a little before I continue building on them.

I think I will post the bones of the first chapter some time tonight. The next two contain a lot more information, and more characters, so might come across a bit messier than this Prologue. My intention is to split the next two into three or four chapters total though, so not so much is crammed into so little space.

A f t y

A A R S

:: The Sun always rises in the East :: Flawless Crowns :: Dancing Days ::

"We kissed the Sun, and it smiled down upon us."

[This message has been edited by Aftermath (edited 07-21-2013 @ 07:41 AM).]

Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 07-21-13 10:32 AM EDT (US)     7 / 14       
My bust- I misread the years as days.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
Edorix
High King of Britain
posted 07-21-13 11:38 AM EDT (US)     8 / 14       
... can't stop wondering how Terikel developed a bust.
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 07-21-13 01:40 PM EDT (US)     9 / 14       
Years and years of rowing across the Atlantic.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
Khalidbinwalid
Ashigaru
posted 07-21-13 10:17 PM EDT (US)     10 / 14       
I thoroughly enjoyed this tale Aftty!-and I can't wait to read the continuation of it! Lol I reread this twice because I was enjoying the story to notice any mishaps and it was halfway I realized exactly what I'm supposed to be doing but even rereading it I quite enjoyed your tale. Here's a couple things I noticed and by the way I thought the paragraphs were fine in my opinion, not too long neither too short.
only flattening out as the path leads between the two halfs of the
Led? Half's?
"What about of me?"
No need for of

"When I am in the battlefield, I love it more then when I am in my house"-Khalid Bin Walid
Questions, Questions, you always ask questions-Teacher
Why sir, questions are the basis of human intelligence-me
General Sajaru
Daimyo
posted 07-22-13 03:32 PM EDT (US)     11 / 14       
Nice writing Afty. Still a bit unpolished, but that's to be expected. The plot-line sounds pretty good and I have some idea of what the characters are like. And you have quite good descriptive writing.

As someone who's written a few books, I can tell you that continuity is something that can be difficult. When I write, I frequently go back and reread older passages to make sure I'm keeping things consistent.

I'd second DU's comment about adding in people's names, expressions, etc. when you have dialogue. It reduces confusion and helps readers to form an idea of how a particular character speaks- they associate a name with certain words and phrases.

Also, now that you've put this up, I may have to post some of what I've been working on

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." - Ronald Reagan
"Judge them not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper
"I like my enemies like James Bond likes his martinis- shaken, not stirred."
My first book, The King's Own
DominicusUltimus
Legate
posted 07-23-13 09:20 PM EDT (US)     12 / 14       
Afty's on his two week vacation now so he won't be replying for awhile, but I'm sure he won't mind us posting a few more pointers.
As someone who's written a few books, I can tell you that continuity is something that can be difficult. When I write, I frequently go back and reread older passages to make sure I'm keeping things consistent.
Absolutely. One way to counter this is to make a character sheet listing all of your characters' basic traits like physical appearance, personality, goals, etc. that you update as you go. I also make a list of future chapters with a brief summary of what part of the story I (originally) plan to cover in it. If for some reason I write too much or too little in one chapter, I can take a quick look at my chapter list and alter it accordingly so I don't lose my way or make the story needlessly confusing or contradictory.

As for editing, I do it on a chapter by chapter basis and I usually don't start my work on the next chapter until I'm completely satisfied with the one preceding it. It definitely helps if you have someone else to read it over and double-check to make sure you didn't miss anything.

"Life is more fun when you are insane. Just let go occasionally".- yakcamkir 12:14
"It is not numbers, but vision that wins wars." - Antiochus VII Sidetes
"My magic screen is constantly bombarded with nubile young things eager to please these old eyes. This truly is a wonderful period in which to exist! - Terikel Grayhair
Angel of Total War: Rome II Heaven and the Total War: Attila Forums
General Sajaru
Daimyo
posted 07-24-13 03:07 PM EDT (US)     13 / 14       
As for editing, I do it on a chapter by chapter basis and I usually don't start my work on the next chapter until I'm completely satisfied with the one preceding it. It definitely helps if you have someone else to read it over and double-check to make sure you didn't miss anything.
Right now I have two full books that I really should go back and edit, but I'm too busy writing new stuff to do that. For me, I'm all about getting a first draft (that's still quite consistent throughout) down and then going back to edit it.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." - Ronald Reagan
"Judge them not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper
"I like my enemies like James Bond likes his martinis- shaken, not stirred."
My first book, The King's Own
Aftermath
HG Alumnus
posted 08-10-13 05:09 AM EDT (US)     14 / 14       
A bit of a delay in my response here, but I've absorbed everything that's been said.

Thanks for the kind words Khalid
As someone who's written a few books, I can tell you that continuity is something that can be difficult. When I write, I frequently go back and reread older passages to make sure I'm keeping things consistent.
Thanks for the feedback, what have you written? Like Dom recommended I have a sort of log in Word which has brief description of my characters and a sentence on how they progress throughout the tale. In my early stories I never used to develop my characters whatsoever, they'd be mostly unaffected by the events they went through.
As for editing, I do it on a chapter by chapter basis and I usually don't start my work on the next chapter until I'm completely satisfied with the one preceding it. It definitely helps if you have someone else to read it over and double-check to make sure you didn't miss anything.
I couldn't do that, when I get a head of steam I'd rather soldier on and churn out another chapter than go back and re-read and edit immediately. What I also try to do is when I want a break, stop before I want to so I can pick the story up immediately and begin a writing 'flow' again. I've found that much easier than tying a chapter up in a neat little bow and having to start fresh when I come to work on it again.
For me, I'm all about getting a first draft (that's still quite consistent throughout) down and then going back to edit it.
I think this is how I prefer to do it too, but like I said before I had this nagging sensation my foundations were a bit wobbly so didn't want to continue to build the story on top of them until I'd worked them out. Also, General, please do post some of what you've got.

A f t y

A A R S

:: The Sun always rises in the East :: Flawless Crowns :: Dancing Days ::

"We kissed the Sun, and it smiled down upon us."
You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Hop to:    

Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven | HeavenGames