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New story

Postby Forestman Jon » Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:10 am

Can anyone give me some tips on making a story? :?
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Re: New story

Postby Ye Olde Republic » Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:23 am

Hi Jon! While there are some fine writers around here, you probably want to do some searching around the internet for some 'info on how to write stories'. I'm sure that there are many, many creative writing communities that could teach you much, much more than a bunch of LEGO nerds could.
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Re: New story

Postby Quickblade22 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:37 am

Here is a good example of a story with things you might want to incorporate. Self restraint has kept me from directing you to bad examples, but I am sure someone will do it for you anyways. Best advice is to think of what you'd like to read and start writing.
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Re: New story

Postby Sir Zeppelin » Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:05 am

I'm glad to see you're interested in writing; it's always good to have a few more writers around. Here is a forum that several writers of the LEGO community frequent. There are a couple of forums on there, mainly The Writers Guild, that have threads about what makes a good story and what does not.

If you're looking to excersise your writing skills before you start, here is something that can help you out.

I hope that didn't sound too rambley (did I just coin a word? :mrgreen: ). Ottoatm, Maedhros, and, of course, SavatheAggie, are all people who can give you much better advice than I can.
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Re: New story

Postby Forestman Jon » Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:10 am

What about the scenes, like a graphic novel with LEGO?
-Morgan

And so he slipped into the forest, vanishing without a trace, leaving his pursuers lost without ideas, while he went to finish his MOC's.

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Re: New story

Postby Maedhros » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:59 am

I guess this sounds quite old but I'll say it anyway: read, read, read, and write, write, write.

Well, first things first. When it comes to reading I highly urge you to try things that are very different to what you're used to, to get other perspectives. Also, most aspiring authors around here are mainly interested in fantasy, a genre in which unfortunately the stylistically interesting authors are quite few and far between (as much as I love Tolkien and Rowling alike, neither of them strikes me as authors whose style I want to strive for). I assume you are English speaking so I'll throw out a few English names such as Margaret Atwood, Virginia Woolf and Joye Carol Oates (the first of the three have written some really good science fiction, most notably Oryx & Crake and The Year of the Flood, if you feel that'd be more interesting). There are of course loads of others and I'm sure other people can give you other suggestions. Oates is one I'd wish everyone to read though, at least her book Blonde which in my humble opinion is the best piece of literature ever written (and this is coming from someone who's read Homer, Virgil and Dante); and whether you're interested in Marilyn Monroe, Hollywood, the 50s or the US at all, or not, you'd need a heart of stone not to be moved by it, but before all her literary technique is overwhelmingly good. You might also wish to watch movies, which while not improving literary technique much can be really good sources of new takes on storytelling; as strange as it may seem Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill movies has meant a lot to me as a writer, for they way he uses broken chronology (not saying that he's the only one, neither the first) in those. Movies may also be good sources of dialogue, especially older ones, All about Eve probably being the prime example of that (of course worth seeing for Bette Davis at her best as well, but that has less to do with writing...).

As for the second part, writing, I think I differ a bit from many others. I often hear people saying that you should simply write loads and loads of text, and while that might be good for something, I'd rather urge you to stick to smaller amounts but concentrate. Go over the text you've done again and again. Pay attention to words, to commas, to periods. Try using different perspectives (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th person) and different tenses, experiment with thoughts and so on. I also urge you to study some grammar if you haven't, might be boring but trying to write without it is a bit like trying to paint without knowing the properties of your material. Studying some rhetorical devices might also help you a bit, anafors, alliterations, tricolons and the like can be effective if used well. Also, be a bit anarchistic, while it's important to know the rules, you shouldn't be restrained by them (you'll have to know the rules to break them, at least if you want your breaking of them to be meaningful). Teachers will tell you where to put your commas, they will tell you not to start sentences with "and", they will tell you not to use passive forms and well, they'll kill all writing potential within you. Again, experiment! Try writing a whole page without a full stop, try writing two word sentences only, try avoiding punctuation altogether! That will of course not in itself make good stories but it'll teach you techniques and perspectives that'll be very important to you. Also, read your own text again and again, read it out aloud and try to find a rhythm and a flow; strike unnecessary words, put in others, change word order and so on, balance your sentences. Rhythm is something that we pay a lot of attention to even though we often don't realize it ourselves.

So, some food for thought I hope. Good luck, and be sure to show us what you do!
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Re: New story

Postby Bluesecrets » Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:50 pm

As for the second part, writing, I think I differ a bit from many others. I often hear people saying that you should simply write loads and loads of text, and while that might be good for something, I'd rather urge you to stick to smaller amounts but concentrate. Go over the text you've done again and again. Pay attention to words, to commas, to periods. Try using different perspectives (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th person) and different tenses, experiment with thoughts and so on. I also urge you to study some grammar if you haven't, might be boring but trying to write without it is a bit like trying to paint without knowing the properties of your material. Studying some rhetorical devices might also help you a bit, anafors, alliterations, tricolons and the like can be effective if used well. Also, be a bit anarchistic, while it's important to know the rules, you shouldn't be restrained by them (you'll have to know the rules to break them, at least if you want your breaking of them to be meaningful). Teachers will tell you where to put your commas, they will tell you not to start sentences with "and", they will tell you not to use passive forms and well, they'll kill all writing potential within you. Again, experiment! Try writing a whole page without a full stop, try writing two word sentences only, try avoiding punctuation altogether! That will of course not in itself make good stories but it'll teach you techniques and perspectives that'll be very important to you. Also, read your own text again and again, read it out aloud and try to find a rhythm and a flow; strike unnecessary words, put in others, change word order and so on, balance your sentences. Rhythm is something that we pay a lot of attention to even though we often don't realize it ourselves.


I agree most whole heartedly!

My advice would follow that with a few extra words. Writing can be good and it can be bad. Some people like to think themselves very good at writing, when in fact their work is very much dull, boring, difficult to follow, and full of way too many characters. Start small. You do not need to have an epic novel. Short stories are wonderful and a very good place to start if you are going to start writing. Heck, even a nice short descriptive paragraph can be truly amazing, if it is done well. If your goal is to make a story that is for building with LEGO...then I suggest starting with a small comic. Get the feel for it first, see if you like it.

But above all, you have to do what YOU like, do not get dragged into what other people think is a great way to write or into a story that you yourself do not want to be part of. Asking for advice is a good thing when you are just starting out, but you have to also stay true to yourself. Asking for advice while you are writing is also good...if it is for thoughts on how to improve.
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Re: New story

Postby Formendacil » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:44 pm

Forestman Jon wrote:What about the scenes, like a graphic novel with LEGO?


Since Maedhros has already answered on the writing end of things*, I'll address myself to the visual medium, which I've had a *little* bit of experience in, but I am by no means "up there" with the people I'm going to quote at the end.

Obviously, the same basic advice is going to apply here as it would apply to the writing: Practice, Practice, Practice. And, in the same way that writing is not about simply writing tonnes but about refining tonnes, when I say "practice, practice, practice" picture-taking, that means experimenting on the same the shot, on the same story, on making the same picture clearer and sharper and better lit, and better balanced, etc. Not that you should practice a single shot of a story until it is "perfect," because odds are that it never will be, but you should hash out each shot thoroughly, until it's "as good as it's going to get for now." Doing this repeatedly (with both pictures and story) will, over time, cause you to be better and better at it (and, with pictures, better equipment in terms of lighting, tripods, cameras will always help).

Also, as with the written medium, experimenting with photography is going to be influenced and helped by a critical eye when looking at what others are doing. This will be true in any visual medium--comic books, movies, story illustrations, for example, can all give you ideas about how to block and use colour in your shots. However, because photographed Lego is itself a medium, I can imagine that you're looking for specific examples of how people have used it. From my own limited experience, I think a couple of the best Lego webcomics, in terms of photography, are www.reasonablyclever.com and www.tranquilitybasecomic.co.uk . Fry_Slayer's comics, which are buried somewhere in this forum, are also true gems, but I'm afraid I'm too lazy to find them for you. Anthony Sava's Ikros, in my opinion, also has excellent photography, though the text is separated, more like a storybook.



*As to Maedhros's particular literary recommendations, I have not read two of them, and am wary of third, but as taste in literature has a lot to do with the balance of content and form and preferences regarding both variables, I'm not going to get into that. The important thing is, as he said indeed, to practice, practice, practice (which might be restated as refine, refine, refine), and to pay attention to what the "masters" are doing--no matter whom you personally think belongs to that elite category.
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Re: New story

Postby Ye Olde Republic » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:10 pm

Forestman Jon wrote:What about the scenes, like a graphic novel with LEGO?


As someone who reads these instead of writing them, I have to say I much prefer a comic (yes, like a graphic novel) style presentation over just a story. Moc's to go along with a LEGO based story is where it's at, man. Otherwise it's just a story....
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