We decided to start posting them publicly so anyone that's interested can read them. It was kind of silly to just PM them, and maybe it'll get some more people interested.
Last week has been rather slow. I was holding off posting this one in the hope that someone would post more of their work, but it looks like nothing else new has been posted. Let's try for a few more this week!
Getting the Words Out
Sometimes we know what we want to convey but not how to say it. Here's some nifty stuff to aid in the never-ending battle against the blank screen!
Working Backwards: Sometimes it's better to start with what we know. We know that we want Phyllis to convey her undying hatred of her boss' sleazy attitude toward his employees, but we don't know the setting. Or the adjectives to use. Or the pace of the dialogue. Let's get started.
1. We know that Phyllis is angry at her boss. Therefor, let's set our characters where we would expect to find this guy: in his office. Cha-ching.
2. Anger would likely result in bad tempers, inflamed egos, and backsass, so our adjectives could be used to reflect that. Instead of a plain old waxpaper cup filled with purified water, we could stress that the cup is red, a color associated with energy and fire. Instead of long, multisyllabic adjectives, we could use much shorter ones to get the reading done quicker. Instead of talking about how the boss has a nasty mole on his face, we could describe his bulging eyes, his throbbing vein above his left eyebrow, his sweating bald spot.
3. Phyllis and her boss sound like they wouldn't much enjoy communicating with each other. Their dialogue should be short and to the point: statement, response, question, response. Also, avoiding all that "he said, she said" stuff should be avoided unless it's critical to understanding who's talking (that is, if it isn't obvious by what's being said).
Starting with what we know and working backwards is like using a map. We start with where we need to go and plot our route accordingly.
Grab a Dictonary and look up a random word, preferably a noun. Try to find one you don't use often or that you don't know off the top of your head. Take it and brainstorm what this noun could be. Perhaps you found the word doppelganger, or "a ghostly double." What kind of character could this doppelganger be? An antagonist or a protagonist? Perhaps it's a catalyst that our protagonist encounters, imparting some valuable lesson. Who is this doppelganger doppelgang-ing? Why is this significant?
Driven By the Winds is focused on addressing several points I believe could have been expounded upon but were not, including, but not limited to, the Druids' communication with nature, the creation of the Great Oak, and how the Druids responded to the Dark Exile.
Note: If any of you have any upcoming work that you would like to announce before it's actually posted (say, a work in progress or something of that nature), please tell me or post the information somewhere so I can highlight it here! (Or any advice you may have, ideas, etc.)
Perhaps it's a catalyst that our protagonist encounters, imparting some valuable lesson.
I believe you're supposed to die if you ever encounter your doppleganger. Like, instantly. So maybe only have your protagonist encounter him/her/it if you're looking for a quick end to your story. :tongue:
Hmm, well...apparantly I was mistaken about the instantaneous nature of doppleganger-related fatalities:
"Doppelgängers are often perceived as a sinister form of bilocation and generally regarded as harbingers of bad luck. In some traditions, a doppelgänger seen by a person's friends or relatives portends illness or danger, while seeing one's own doppelgänger is an omen of death."
So your protagonist running into his own doppleganger might actually be an interesting way to express foreshadowing (assuming you intend for him to die within your story). From the Wikipedia article.
Or perhaps not just the protagonist's death. A loved one, a good friend. It could be used to, say, make the protagonist develop a sense of self-loathing since a doppelganger would be a reflection of the self. Death, itself, could be viewed in other ways. What does the prot. value most in life? Is he/she a workaholic? If that's his or her life, maybe taking that away could be a form of death. But maybe a good kind of death.
It's an interesting topic. It's also very hypothetical, but I guess that's just stating the obvious.