RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 141,588
Posts: 5,515,373
Members: 25,158
Currently online: 499
Newest member: Giarc1982

TrekToday headlines

Two New Starships Collection Ships
By: T'Bonz on Dec 26

Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions
By: T'Bonz on Dec 25

Trek Paper Clips
By: T'Bonz on Dec 24

Sargent Passes
By: T'Bonz on Dec 23

QMx Trek Insignia Badges
By: T'Bonz on Dec 23

And The New Director Of Star Trek 3 Is…
By: T'Bonz on Dec 23

TV Alert: Pine On Tonight Show
By: T'Bonz on Dec 22

Retro Review: The Emperor’s New Cloak
By: Michelle on Dec 20

Star Trek Opera
By: T'Bonz on Dec 19

New Abrams Project
By: T'Bonz on Dec 18


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 8 2014, 09:20 PM   #136
Deranged Nasat
Vice Admiral
 
Deranged Nasat's Avatar
 
Location: Ch'Rihan.
Re: Writing questions

I've just left a period of some difficulty with my attempted novel. This last chapter has been a slug to get through, and it's been largely responsible for the slip in my writing schedule and discipline. Prior to this, I was pleased enough with the pacing, but this, I worry, slows what was deliberately a slow-but-steady unfolding into something that drags. I would just cut the chapter, or rework some of the important parts into other scenes, but I don't think I can lose this without having to rewrite a few earlier scenes that I think work very well at moving characters along as they currently stand. Perhaps I should just continue and then tackle this bit again later, smooth it out and find a way to conclude what's so far unfolded reasonably well (I think...) without it prompting that unpleasant feeling that I've crossed a line I should have avoided.

I'm moving the story forward now - new location, quicker pace, established characters on the move and reacting to new things, and I think I'm getting back into the flow of it. I still feel uneasy about it, though. (I should note that the basic frame of the book is complete, it's just being fleshed out, filled in and occasionally rearranged based on what happens as I go). I think I've found a good balance between giving certain supporting characters enough "screentime" that they feel as significant as I'm intending, but without getting too bogged down in them - I just hope I didn't land in "okay, this is getting boring now".
__________________
We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile and nothing can grow there; too much, the best of us is washed away.

Last edited by Deranged Nasat; May 8 2014 at 10:18 PM.
Deranged Nasat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8 2014, 09:29 PM   #137
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Writing questions

The usual advice -- though I don't always follow it myself -- is that it's okay for first drafts to be bad, because it's the revisions that solve the problems. So if you're not happy with a given chapter, it's okay to just keep going forward and fix it later. Maybe you'll happen upon a better way of conveying the necessary stuff from that chapter.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8 2014, 09:33 PM   #138
Deranged Nasat
Vice Admiral
 
Deranged Nasat's Avatar
 
Location: Ch'Rihan.
Re: Writing questions

Well, that's rather a relief. Very well then, on I go. I'll be back for you later, chapter-that-drags.
__________________
We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile and nothing can grow there; too much, the best of us is washed away.
Deranged Nasat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8 2014, 10:13 PM   #139
JarodRussell
Vice Admiral
 
JarodRussell's Avatar
 
Re: Writing questions

Blocking is a good thing as well, like a painting. Start rough and quick, get all your ideas on paper as fluidly as possible, and then refine.
JarodRussell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9 2014, 03:06 PM   #140
Greg Cox
Vice Admiral
 
Location: Oxford, PA
Re: Writing questions

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Blocking is a good thing as well, like a painting. Start rough and quick, get all your ideas on paper as fluidly as possible, and then refine.
Exactly. The first time through is just to figure out how to get from Point A to B. You can spruce things up later.
__________________
www.gregcox-author.com
Greg Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9 2014, 03:53 PM   #141
DonIago
Rear Admiral
 
Location: Burlington, VT, USA
View DonIago's Twitter Profile Send a message via ICQ to DonIago Send a message via AIM to DonIago Send a message via Yahoo to DonIago
Re: Writing questions

I'm remembering when I tried writing a story without an outline...just a small under 3000 word thing...and wrote myself right into a logistical brick wall.

I was able to salvage the story, if gutting 2/3 of it and doing some significant restructuring counts as salvaging. Ended up keeping the original draft for posterity.
__________________
--DonIago
It was the best of Trek, it was the worst of Trek...
"If I lean over, I leave myself open to wedgies, wet willies, or even the dreaded Rear Admiral!"
DonIago is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9 2014, 09:32 PM   #142
Tiberius
Commodore
 
Re: Writing questions

Christopher wrote: View Post
The usual advice -- though I don't always follow it myself -- is that it's okay for first drafts to be bad, because it's the revisions that solve the problems. So if you're not happy with a given chapter, it's okay to just keep going forward and fix it later. Maybe you'll happen upon a better way of conveying the necessary stuff from that chapter.
A good book is not written, it's REwritten.
Tiberius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10 2014, 04:29 AM   #143
JD
Admiral
 
JD's Avatar
 
Location: Arizona, USA
Re: Writing questions

LOL, I've never heard that before.
__________________
They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance. - Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites
JD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21 2014, 11:13 PM   #144
BrentMc
Lieutenant Commander
 
BrentMc's Avatar
 
Location: California U.S.A.
Re: Writing questions

I wrote a Star Trek story, just for fun, and decided I liked doing it, but I obviously needed to learn a lot about writing. I bought a bunch of books on writing at used stores and read them with a highlighter in hand. I learned a lot and while I read those books I took notes on how it could improve my story. Now I'm pretty much ready to do a major rewrite of that story, but I have a few questions.

1. My story is set during the final season of DS9 in 2375. I have my own ship and crew, not the DS9 cast. Is there any reason I couldn't have another Founder on a Dominion ship in my story? Was it ever established that the female founder was the only one (besides Odo)?

2. Does anyone have any advice, or know of resources to help me give the characters, which are of many species, their own voice, way of talking, etc.?
BrentMc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22 2014, 10:39 AM   #145
Tiberius
Commodore
 
Re: Writing questions

BrentMc wrote: View Post
I wrote a Star Trek story, just for fun, and decided I liked doing it, but I obviously needed to learn a lot about writing. I bought a bunch of books on writing at used stores and read them with a highlighter in hand. I learned a lot and while I read those books I took notes on how it could improve my story. Now I'm pretty much ready to do a major rewrite of that story, but I have a few questions.

1. My story is set during the final season of DS9 in 2375. I have my own ship and crew, not the DS9 cast. Is there any reason I couldn't have another Founder on a Dominion ship in my story? Was it ever established that the female founder was the only one (besides Odo)?
There were lots of other changelings.

2. Does anyone have any advice, or know of resources to help me give the characters, which are of many species, their own voice, way of talking, etc.?
Cast them, that is, choose who you would get to play them if it was a movie. That way you can imagine how the actor would play them, and it will give you cues to work with when you are writing. I'm working on a story, and one of the characters was looking to be rather cliched. But since I decided that Ron Perlman would play him, he's become a much more real character.
Tiberius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22 2014, 02:42 PM   #146
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Writing questions

If you want to give each species a distinct way of talking, it helps to figure out what's distinct about their way of thinking -- how their evolution and history has shaped their worldview and their mindset. Worldbuilding is important. You don't have to put it on the page, not unless it's specifically relevant to the story, but it helps to have it in your mind so you have a foundation to build on. Same with individual characters -- working out their backstories and personal histories can help you figure out what's distinct about how they think and act, even if you don't explain those backstories directly on the page. It's like how actors tend to work up backstories for their characters to help them get a handle on how to play them. Writing is kind of like method acting -- you need to get into your characters' heads, learn to think like them and see the world the way they do.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22 2014, 06:36 PM   #147
BrentMc
Lieutenant Commander
 
BrentMc's Avatar
 
Location: California U.S.A.
Re: Writing questions

Thank you for the replies. They are very helpful!
BrentMc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 19 2014, 12:20 AM   #148
Overgeeked
Commander
 
Overgeeked's Avatar
 
Location: Has Anyone Seen This Dick-Head?
Re: Writing questions

BrentMc wrote: View Post
I think it's funny how many sites there are that have Star Trek fan fiction, but when I look for tips on writing Star Trek I just don't find much. I have read the advice written by Dean Wesley Smith for people who wanted to enter Strange New Worlds back in the day, but I just can't find much else. Do you think I should start a thread under fan-fiction and make a place to post anything I find? Would any of the authors here like to contribute advice? Does anyone remember a Star Trek book or magazine that had advice for writing Star Trek?
You've mentioned this bit by DWS before. Any chance of a link to it?

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
This applies to expository material in general. Even if the primary purpose of a scene is to move the plot from Point A to B, or introduce a bit of information that will turn out to be Very Important further down the road, you want the scene to be interesting in its own right.
My favorite example of this is Peter F. Hamilton, who will often take 100 pages to get around to the first major plot event, but those first 100 pages are always totally fascinating in the mean time. Pandora's Star starts by introducing a couple important characters more than 100 years before the rest of the novel, the kind of prologue you could in theory cut, but that first chapter is a hilarious and completely unexpected little story on its own.
And I'm basically the opposite. Despite being an utter SF nerd, I haven't been able to get past that first section in a single one of Hamilton's books. It's kind of disappointing to know that the editor could/should have cut that bit out entirely and the rest of the story would have lost exactly nothing important. I'd much rather read a novel that actually starts in the first dozen or so pages rather than dawdle for 100 some pages, to say nothing of all that being essentially irrelevant to the rest of the book.
__________________
"Certainly it constitutes bad news if the people who agree with you are buggier than batshit." —Philip K. Dick
Overgeeked is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 19 2014, 01:28 AM   #149
Thrawn
Rear Admiral
 
Thrawn's Avatar
 
Location: Washington, DC
Re: Writing questions

It doesn't lose "nothing important", though, that was my point. There's a lot there. If you don't dig his style, fair enough, but if you ever do manage to get to the end of (say) Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained, you will absolutely agree with me that every detail of the beginning came back into play eventually. In particular, there's a loooooong (like 40 pages) and apparently irrelevant sequence in like chapter 4 of the first book that seems totally out of place, but that entire sequence ends up quite unexpectedly recurring and forming a major part of the climax of the novel. He plays a long game, but he doesn't waste words. You may not have that much patience, but you're not reading unnecessary fluff.
__________________
The Almighty Star Trek Lit-Verse Reading Order Flowchart - be confused no longer about what to read next, or what to read first.
Thrawn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 19 2014, 09:58 PM   #150
Overgeeked
Commander
 
Overgeeked's Avatar
 
Location: Has Anyone Seen This Dick-Head?
Re: Writing questions

Here's a few questions for the writers, if they're still around and willing to answer a few technical questions.

Having read through the thread and seen some bits and pieces related to outlining and structure mentioned, I was hoping some of the writers would be willing to go into more depth or respond to some specific question about those topics.

I've seen a lot about scene and sequel writing, outlining with 60 scenes in mind for novels, and using the teaser-four acts-tag structure common in TV writing for writing novels.

Are these techniques common to professional writers, either yourselves or other writers you've talked to, or is this stuff coming out of the "make stuff up and sell to wannabe writers" industry?

If you do use any of these techniques, could you maybe talk about the how's and why's of them working for you?
__________________
"Certainly it constitutes bad news if the people who agree with you are buggier than batshit." —Philip K. Dick
Overgeeked is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:33 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.