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Penguinball

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Penguinball last won the day on March 22

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About Penguinball

  • Birthday 03/20/1988

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  1. Penguinball

    Hello All

    Canada Represent! There are so few of us 🙂 I'm living in Alberta right now, glad to see a lot of the snow has melted, but I hear we might be getting more. Your world sounds very interesting! I get kind of fairy tale myth vibes from it.
  2. Penguinball

    Quitting a book

    I used to finish reading, even if I hated it, but I just don't have time for that anymore. I stopped reading ASOIAF for example, just not my style of writing. And as soon as a character does something really stupid, or a problem arises that could be solved with 5 seconds of communication... you've lost 90% of my reader goodwill. One more mistake and I'm OUT.
  3. Penguinball

    QOTD #50: Beginnings, Middles and Ends

    I'm torn between the end, and the part just past the beginning. The end often has excitement, character arcs being fulfilled, questions answered, action, excitement. And also when its done, its done, and you get that sense of accomplishment. But the beginning is also nice. Not the immediate beginning, I'm always so awkward the first couple pages. But once I get past that, I'm in a new story. I'm learning things, adventures are starting, promises are being made, its filled with novelty. I can say for sure that the middle is my least favourite. I've often rambled myself into a corner somewhere, or I'm rushing to get to the exciting end bits, or muddling through some character conflict. It's not nearly as much fun to write.
  4. I wrote words! words to add: 3303 words
  5. Here's the second part of the Writers Game challenge that @Sheepy-Pie and I are taking part of. Others are welcome to participate in the craziness too. We've got 72 hours (actually just 70 by the time of this post) to write and edit a short story. Prompt: Now if you are on the Discord server you've already seen the drama this challenge creates. The people who run it are VERY particular, and have extra stipulations that aren't in the prompt, which they only reveal when people ask clarifying questions on their Facebook page. This isn't by design, they are just bad at this. So below is a doc where I am compiling the questions the participants ask, so we can make sure we nail every aspect of the prompt. Doc - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cDVVH7ZFNrkcq37cE6wqjevcXXwEbTgP9h9DQ-3FPmc/edit
  6. Penguinball

    "Said is Dead" and Dialogue Tags

    So I tried to find out where 'said is dead' came from, and it looks like there's no singular source. I've found two blogs that claim is comes from elementary schools, (here and here). They claim the advice 'said is dead' comes from teachers of beginning writers who are looking to expand their students vocabulary primarily by providing big lists of things to say instead of said. The advice has been parroted without knowing this context, until its bled into other new writers. I didn't do a thorough search, but based on all the fancy graphics and things, it looks like it re-surged on the internet as writing advice in the late 2000's/early 2010's. I think using a lot of words like yelled, grimaced, shrugged... it reads a lot younger, more grade school than aimed at audiences. Do you agree? I am firmly on the 'said is invisible' side of this debate. It doesn't pull attention to itself. Using alternate dialogue tags does pull attention. If you are using them every time it clutters up a page, people are yelling, whispering, grumbling, all within a few breaths? It sounds exhausting. It can also border on 'telling' as opposed to 'showing' a character's internal state. Now I don't believe they should never ever be used, they can definitely help get into a characters head or to visualize a scene. They should just be used sparingly, a spice, not the main flavour. Basically, I think this is just poor writing advice that keeps circulating because its short and pithy and sounds on the surface like it could be helpful, but it really isn't.
  7. Penguinball

    Fixing a Character Megapost

    I've got another Writing Excuses inspired post! I know, you are all shocked. I just listened to Season 13, Episode 47 (link) on fixing characters that aren't working. It's a Q&A on how to fix certain problems, and I thought I'd bring it here to see what your answers are! Here's the list: How do you fix character voices when you find out that two of them are too similar? How can you tell if a character is, in fact, the problem? How do you maintain interest in a character who is largely inactive? How do you write interesting bad guys when your only POV characters are the good guys? How do you give meaningful challenges to a powerful character? How can you make a normal, everyday character interesting? How do you edit an existing manuscript to give characters interests which mesh with the plot? Here's a link to the transcript of the episode if you want to see how they answered, but aren't able to listen to the podcast.
  8. Penguinball

    Moodboarding

    I like moodboards when I see them, but I've never made one myself. The closest I get is pinterest boards for a particular story. What program do you use to put the pictures together? Also, I like that moodboard. Feels very mermaidy. That could be a fun idea for a prompt or a brainstorming exercise, post a moodboard and reverse engineer what the story is about.
  9. Penguinball

    The Midpoint Mirror

    Today's homework, remind Penguin to do this when she gets home...
  10. Penguinball

    The Midpoint Mirror

    Today's homework - Go to your bookshelf and pick out a couple favourite books. Take a look at the chapter exactly, numerically, in the centre of the novel. What happens in that chapter? Are the character's experiencing an epiphany of some kind? (positive, negative, realizations, changes of motivation, that kind of thing). Report back with your findings!
  11. Penguinball

    The Midpoint Mirror

    That's what I was thinking about in my response 🙂 I've posted that video series like a million times so I didn't want to bombard the forum yet again (I already do that with Writing Excuses haha). I'm glad to find another fan, those videos really helped with my outlining.
  12. Penguinball

    The Midpoint Mirror

    I've heard this described as the point of no return, where the main character (or which ever character it is having this crisis) has to make the conscious decision to take action of some kind. It's the point at which they go from reacting to acting. I like the mirror description, I do think self reflection is an important aspect of it. I'm not sure about starting in the MIDDLE of a story. To know what the middle is, don't you have to know what it's in the middle of? But I agree that its an excellent tool for making sure your story pacing is working, and that the character arcs are going somewhere. If you look at your outline (planner) or first draft (panster) and find that there is no mirror point transition like this, you may want to consider adding one. I think this turning point really helps the 'flabby middle' syndrome so many stories have. Another point too, it doesn't have to be physical dead center in the story. It works for the examples given, but other stories might have the moment of realization closer to the inciting incident, or closer to the end, near the 'dark night of the soul' where they are falling to despair and have to rethink their approach.
  13. Penguinball

    Deductive vs Inductive Story Telling

    Yeah that sounds inductive to me, you have the big picture of the premise and have to drill down to figure out how it happens. As for genres...I started typing out that I thought it may be the same for certain genres, but talked myself into thinking it could be different. For example a mystery. You might think it is deductive, you start with the mystery, then have to plan out small details of how it happens. But not all writers approach a mystery novel that way. They may have a specific character or scenario, and may need to build up to create a story around it. Romance too. Sounds inductive, you've got a couple characters and already know they fall in love, so you've got to build the premise of how that happens, figure out how they meet and work backwards to a bigger story. But some people start not knowing how the relationship develops, the have to use deductive storytelling to plan the details. So I think it varies from author to author and from story to story.
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