Posted by : September 14, 2007
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There is a group of movies for me that excel so well in their suspension of disbelief that they deserve their own category. It starts with 1987’s Angel Heart, from the novel by William Hjortsberg and screenplay by Alan Parker.
Harry Angel is a private investigator hired by a creepy business man named Louis Cyphre to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite, who owes Cyphre a debt. Without giving the story away, there are plenty of twists and turns, and none of the characters are what they seem.
What I love about this brand of storytelling is the way in which it plays with your mind. If the writer were sitting on the couch next to you, they might cackle with glee as you squirm in your seat at every plot twist and realization.
What would we call this oh-so-special category?
Posted by : June 5, 2007
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When I began writing I swore that I would not infodump in an excessive manner. So how do you impart background world information? You inclue it;
“Incluing is a technique of world building, in which the reader is gradually exposed to background information about the world in which a story is set.”
“The process of scattering information seamlessly through the text, as opposed to stopping the story to impart the information.”
As a gamer, I’ve always had a natural appreciation for incluing. There are a multitude of examples in my favorite games, such as Half-Life, Fallout, and Oblivion. Because games are an interactive medium, they naturally inclue information to the player by distributing it throughout the world.
Fiction writers don’t have it so easy. The world is not revealed in an interactive manner, and so it is harder to inclue items about the world in a subtle fashion.
I have an odd solution to this, given I’m creating a metaseries media franchise.
Posted by : May 4, 2007
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Jane In Progress has a great post in her archives that resonated with me. In TV, a writer doesn’t just go off in a corner and churn out random pages of text for a few months. Yet when it comes to novel writing, that’s what novelists do? Granted they are different mediums, but one of the hardest parts I found in writing a novel is that most of the advice you will find in regards to writing boils down to you sitting at your desk and just hashing out prose.
Over the last couple years struggling to put stories together, believe it or not I’ve actually found sitting down and hammering out a novel and a half and two half-treatments isn’t the best way to develop a story.
Sitting down and throwing scene ideas out, and talking about my characters and plot with fellow creative people is usually what pushes me forward the most. Maybe this is just a personal preference, as I enjoy developing stories more than I enjoy writing them. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy writing them too, but my biggest frustration is to waste prose trying to get across the story I’m trying to tell and failing because it just wasn’t developed enough to sustain across the pages.
Have problems with developing your story because you’re letting it develop within the writing itself too much? Maybe you need some TV or Hollywood style story development?
Maybe some of us should form a story development group?