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World or Character first ?


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#1 kibou

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 03:38 AM

Hi, i am kibou.

These couple weeks i have been wandering around this forum and see a lot of users interact each other. :D

I am new to writing and i am always bad at literature (words and stuff), but since i read a lot of manga *cough*, i have idea to write my own light novel. If you are wondering what is Light Novel, you can check in here

 

https://en.wikipedia...iki/Light_novel

 

i don't know how community react to Japanese stuff in here, but i hope you guys are welcoming.

I try to read a couple tips and trick to create your own novel, but i think, right now with my literature skill, it will failed so hard.

so i think, instead of creating big novel, as starter, i will create a couple chapter of the novel.

Type of chapter i want to create is something like this (you can read the rest of novel in there)

 

I have idea to create this comedy novel about 3 troopers that doing crazy stuff to fight aliens, and i have build like 30% of the world.

what i want to ask is :

 

1. Do you build the world first, then characters ? or vice-versa ?

2. i read some quote about comedy story

    "Don't make incapable villain (except you making comedy story)"

    Can you explain what is incapable villain looks like ?

3. What should i do to improve my literature skill/knowledge ?

 

 

I hope you guys will reply to this newbie thread :D



#2 Michael Steven

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 12:43 PM

There is no one, best way to develop your characters or world.  You can do one or the other first, or you can do both at the same time.  The key is for you to maintain consistency.

 

The best way for you to improve your literary skill and knowledge is to use your literary skills.  That means keep reading and keep writing.  Critique partners will help with your writing mechanics.  Just keep in mind that other writers will continually try to get you to write the way they write.  It's inevitable albeit tedious.

 

I never heard of a "incapable villain", even after I looked it up.  I think what they're saying is to avoid the villain who does bad by being good.  There are extremes of that and I did find a few references about them.  They either try to do good but smother/hurt people in their attempts, or they simply don't realize that what they are doing is actually bad.  Religious zealot villains tend to fall in this category.  Some people are tired of the "gray area" villain as well.  They're the villains that have a good side, or who have moral obligations they're trying to fulfill but are doing bad in their attempts.

 

In the end it is up to you what characteristics you want for your characters, and the antagonist is no less of a character than your protagonist.


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And let one of them be me - Jefferson Starship - Champion (unused lyrics)

#3 Niambi

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 12:10 PM

I agree. There's no set way or pattern. Just dive in and you'll start to develop both in a way that is unique to you.

Often, character and world will play off of each other and you'll see them grow as your story evolves.

The best way to improve, as was already mentioned, is to keep reading and keep writing.

#4 kibou

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 11:40 PM

There is no one, best way to develop your characters or world.  You can do one or the other first, or you can do both at the same time.  The key is for you to maintain consistency.

 

The best way for you to improve your literary skill and knowledge is to use your literary skills.  That means keep reading and keep writing.  Critique partners will help with your writing mechanics.  Just keep in mind that other writers will continually try to get you to write the way they write.  It's inevitable albeit tedious.

 

I never heard of a "incapable villain", even after I looked it up.  I think what they're saying is to avoid the villain who does bad by being good.  There are extremes of that and I did find a few references about them.  They either try to do good but smother/hurt people in their attempts, or they simply don't realize that what they are doing is actually bad.  Religious zealot villains tend to fall in this category.  Some people are tired of the "gray area" villain as well.  They're the villains that have a good side, or who have moral obligations they're trying to fulfill but are doing bad in their attempts.

 

In the end it is up to you what characteristics you want for your characters, and the antagonist is no less of a character than your protagonist.

 

 

I agree. There's no set way or pattern. Just dive in and you'll start to develop both in a way that is unique to you.

Often, character and world will play off of each other and you'll see them grow as your story evolves.

The best way to improve, as was already mentioned, is to keep reading and keep writing.

 

Thank you very much, guys. I appreciated it

I think i will write 1 or 2 chapter and post it in here.
Which sub-forum should i post my chapter ?



#5 Michael Steven

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 01:35 PM

Where to post chapters is a tough one. Once upon a time there were some general groups here that did that, but the site owners cleaned them out.  They said "this is a site geared for finding agents, and not for writers to learn their craft."  With that said, some of the moderated groups might fit your needs.  Be warned, they've been there quite a while and have formed some rather exclusive cliques.  You might get in but might also get nothing but red tape thrown at you.  There are other sites geared specifically for new writers, sort of like on-line writer's groups that may fit your needs better.  Off hand I can't remember any, but Google brings up quite a few options.


Let there be light on this planet ... And let it shine through me
Let there be travellers who venture ... Far from the beaten path
And let one of them be me - Jefferson Starship - Champion (unused lyrics)

#6 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 05:28 PM

It really does depend on what your going for. If you want a sweeping, epic scope I'd say build the world first. If it's a personal piece then build the world around the character. There's no real right or wrong way to go about it, but needs must when the devil writes.

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#7 kibou

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 12:54 AM

Where to post chapters is a tough one. Once upon a time there were some general groups here that did that, but the site owners cleaned them out.  They said "this is a site geared for finding agents, and not for writers to learn their craft."  With that said, some of the moderated groups might fit your needs.  Be warned, they've been there quite a while and have formed some rather exclusive cliques.  You might get in but might also get nothing but red tape thrown at you.  There are other sites geared specifically for new writers, sort of like on-line writer's groups that may fit your needs better.  Off hand I can't remember any, but Google brings up quite a few options.

Thank you very much for your advice. :D



#8 RSMellette

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 05:25 PM

I disagree with the answers I've just quickly glanced at.

 

100% character first. Without character, who cares about the world?


From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

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#9 Michael Steven

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 08:47 PM

I disagree with the answers I've just quickly glanced at.

 

100% character first. Without character, who cares about the world?

 

Interesting concept.  Here is another:  The world is actually one of the characters that touches every single character.  Without the world, the characters wouldn't be who they are.  This is especially true for fantasy and science fiction.


Let there be light on this planet ... And let it shine through me
Let there be travellers who venture ... Far from the beaten path
And let one of them be me - Jefferson Starship - Champion (unused lyrics)

#10 RSMellette

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 03:20 PM

Interesting concept.  Here is another:  The world is actually one of the characters that touches every single character.  Without the world, the characters wouldn't be who they are.  This is especially true for fantasy and science fiction.

 

Of course that's true in reality - but an author isn't dealing with reality. We are creating stories. So the world should be revealed to the audience by how the character interacts with it. That's an active method. If you reveal the world, then show how it effects the character, you're in a more passive mode.


From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#11 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 03:35 PM

If it's a fantasy novel, I think it'd behoove one to establish the world first, BEFORE even writing the story. Its rules will affect how the character reacts.

However, I see RS's argument, so I would agree that priority development should be given to the MC...as much as s/he is a product of the world, the world is ultimately affected by the MC's experience IN it.

I can attest to both sides of the coin in my own writing, and what I can say for certain is that the second (character-first) story is by FAR the more interesting. However, I couldn't have established the world he inhabits without the first story.

I think we have a chicken/egg situation here, people....

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#12 mwsinclair

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 09:17 AM

I think I agree most with RS here. I've long looked at writing as taking characters and putting them into a setting, like plopping people (or other characters) into a terrarium and writing about how they interact -- a bit too scientific, perhaps, but I'm the son of a scientist. Yes, the setting/world matters and affects every character. But the dynamism of a story comes from the characters and how they interact with each other -- including their world.

 

To me the question isn't about which comes first. I think Niambi touched on it nicely when she said that character and world often play off each other and you'll see them grow as your story evolves.

 

In my opinion, whether one comes first or not is immaterial. Both need to be there and the relationship between the two is important, but that evolves also through your editing of your story as well as in the initial writing of the story.

 

With regard to your other questions: Write more and read more. Even if you're reading often now, keep reading. Writers must also be readers.






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