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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2005 :  03:31:57  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

If I could write my own ticket and work on whatever I wanted, I'd be happy to split my years writing FR fiction, my own contemporary fantasies, some superhero work (either my own or something with old standards at Marvel/DC), and perhaps some TV or movie work here and there.
Oooh! I liked reading this especially Steven... It's definitely something I'd love to see. I can only imagine the types of contemporary fantasies your mind could envision .

As for television work, would you like to contribute on existing material/programs or create something new for yourself?




Well, thanks for the vote of confidence, man.

Very little existing stuff I'd be interested in working on, unless it were bringing back or paying homage to stuff I loved and respected, like FIREFLY, early X-FILES or MILENNIUM, etc. I'm tinkering with an idea a friend has suggested I massage into a screenplay/teleplay for a TV pitch; weird, as I originally just came up with it off the top of my head to prove to someone that a lame comic book character can still keep its core "hook" and still be approached in totally new ways, even after 40+ years. We'll see where that goes.....

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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James P. Davis
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
244 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2005 :  06:51:28  Show Profile  Visit James P. Davis's Homepage Send James P. Davis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Steven Schend posted:
quote:
Very little existing stuff I'd be interested in working on, unless it were bringing back or paying homage to stuff I loved and respected, like FIREFLY, early X-FILES or MILENNIUM, etc.

Hmmm, Millenium, that'd be fun...(i.e. Laura Means wakes up, heh-heh...). Sorry, the thought got the hamster in my head to running.

"Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red."--Clive Barker

FR: RotD2:"Possessions"
Wizards:Bloodwalk
Citadels: The Shield of Weeping Ghosts
Wilds: The Restless Shore
Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep: Circle of Skulls (May 2010)
Book trailers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC-ska7ohVk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfvFdQ8bLp0
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2005 :  19:51:58  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Something that I would love to bring back (as if I could even do it) is Twin Peaks -- now that would be awesome.

But really, I just want David Lynch to bring it back.

[sniff]

But I digress. ;)

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Lord Rad
Great Reader

United Kingdom
2080 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2005 :  18:04:41  Show Profile  Visit Lord Rad's Homepage  Click to see Lord Rad's MSN Messenger address Send Lord Rad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I thought this might be the best place to ask this question....

Does anyone know what became of FR author Dave Gross? I suddenly wondered what happened to Dave after reading a thread here about Black Wolf (excellent book!!). He also wrote Lord of Stormweather of the Sembia series and co-wrote Mistress of the Night with Don Bassingthwaite (although I think Don wrote the majority of the story). Since then, nothing. I guess he isn't writing for WotC anymore but just wondered

Lord Rad

"What? No, I wasn't reading your module. I was just looking at the pictures"
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rweston
Acolyte

Canada
13 Posts

Posted - 19 Nov 2005 :  16:20:05  Show Profile  Visit rweston's Homepage Send rweston a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mr. Gross of novel & dragon magazine editing fame is currently (I believe) working for Bioware in the lovely (when the north winds are not howling down across the plains) city of Edmonton here in Canada.
:)
Rory Weston

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Lord Rad
Great Reader

United Kingdom
2080 Posts

Posted - 20 Nov 2005 :  09:39:19  Show Profile  Visit Lord Rad's Homepage  Click to see Lord Rad's MSN Messenger address Send Lord Rad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by rweston

Mr. Gross of novel & dragon magazine editing fame is currently (I believe) working for Bioware in the lovely (when the north winds are not howling down across the plains) city of Edmonton here in Canada.
:)
Rory Weston



Ahhh. So is Dave no longer in the employ of WotC? Will he return to write for the Realms? I sure hope so!

Lord Rad

"What? No, I wasn't reading your module. I was just looking at the pictures"
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Paj
Seeker

United Kingdom
56 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  14:59:21  Show Profile  Visit Paj's Homepage  Click to see Paj's MSN Messenger address Send Paj a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Having recently just re-read the Hunters Blades Trilogy, certain events in the series made me pause and think.

With the abundance of both Divine and Arcane magic present in the realms. And the general knowledge of such things that nearly all people in the realms are aware of. How do you portay the use of such magic without it ruining the suspension and drama of a scene?

For example, the availability of spells that - from a mechanics point of view - allow a person to be fully healed in the space of a few seconds, raised from the dead, or allow the protagonist or his allies to determine the nature of people they meet through Detect Alignment spells.

Likewise for the area of effect spells that Mages/Sorcerers have. The charging tribe of orcs seems less life-threatening/suspenseful when you know the mage can cast fireball, Acid Fog or Wail of the Banshee/Meteor Swarm and butcher the tribe before it gets close to the protagonists.

Do you, as authors, deliberately avoid using such powerful offensive spells and healing/resurrection spells? or do you simply apply them in such a way that the effects do not follow the mechanics of said spell?

I guess im really asking what you do with the high level abilities/spells available to characters in the Realms - ignore them, or limit their effectiveness from a prose perspective?
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Skeptic
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1273 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  15:36:31  Show Profile Send Skeptic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Don't forget that no author don't follow the "D&D aspect" of FR more than RAS. He can even still use the old cosmology (see PotWK)

At the complete opposite, you have Richard B. with his Final Gate trilogy and Richard L. with his Rogues Dragon trilogy.

I would say Ed is somewhere in the middle.

Edited by - Skeptic on 15 May 2006 15:38:35
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  21:19:48  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Paj

With the abundance of both Divine and Arcane magic present in the realms. And the general knowledge of such things that nearly all people in the realms are aware of. How do you portay the use of such magic without it ruining the suspension and drama of a scene?


Simple: by orchestrating events such that when you want life-or-death drama, you don't allow the wizard to have lots of world-shattering magic at the ready, or you don't present him with challenges he can just get out of.

A charging tribe just isn't a credible threat to someone with epic spells of doom. Elminster doesn't take on orc hordes, but powerful red wizards of Thay, lichlords, and cosmic threats. If he were the star of The Hunter's Blades, it would be a different series entirely.

It helps when mighty spells don't sway the tide because their function doesn't mean as much. For instance, the wizard has all kinds of fire magic, but here comes the fire elementals. The beautiful sorceress is laying waste to her foes, but there's the adamantine golem, calmly plodding toward her, untouched by her powers.

Drama doesn't come out of moments where heroes could wipe a threat out easily. Or sometimes they DO wipe out a threat easily, but it turns out to be the diversion.

As for the smaller scale spells, Know Alignment can be fooled (e.g. Masquerades, Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb), healing magic can run out or prove insufficient, and sometimes characters don't REALIZE they should be casting spells. Who's to guess what the main character's husband unknowingly is the ravening werewolf the party has to track down? If I had Remove Curse and Remove Disease, I might go around casting it on everyone I came across, but that's no reason to suspect the heroes might do so.

quote:
Do you, as authors, deliberately avoid using such powerful offensive spells and healing/resurrection spells? or do you simply apply them in such a way that the effects do not follow the mechanics of said spell?

I guess im really asking what you do with the high level abilities/spells available to characters in the Realms - ignore them, or limit their effectiveness from a prose perspective?



Speaking for myself (and for what I perceive to be the standard guidelines when it comes to WotC writing), I don't monkey with mechanics. Spells do what they do, as written up. As to whether I avoid powerful spells. . . heck no! I love 'em. I simply engineer situations where they don't necessarily automatically save the party, wholesale. And that's not a hard thing to do.

I love powerful offensive and healing spells, but I always make them *necessary*, or sometimes I make them *useless*. Other wizards show up with spellshields. Golems are immune to most spells, as I noted above. No character can (or should) be able to do it all, and there will always be some threats (the nondramatic ones) that get wiped out easily, and some (the source of drama) that don't. It's all just a matter of situation.

A note on resurrection vs. death: I don't feel hindered on this account. It should be noted that raising / resurrection is not a sure fire thing, and not a handy reversal of a situation gone bad. Unless a hero can cast the raising herself, there's got to be a lot of coin coming from somewhere, and she's got to find a priest who can even do it (e.g. Prophet of Moonshae, Douglas Niles). Even then, the soul/spirit has to want to come back (e.g. Forsaken House, Rich Baker). And even then, it's possible for spells to go awry and *different* souls to come back. . .

There's enough ambiguity that death is still a very scary thing.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)

Edited by - Erik Scott de Bie on 15 May 2006 21:21:06
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  21:36:44  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To expand on Erik's reply, also remember that divine spells come from a deity and maybe they don't want thier clerics to use resurrection or healing or removing disease/poison/curse, etc, on so and so. There's many reasons why this might be the case. 1) that person doesn't worship that deity. 2) That persons deity might have it's reasons why that person won't be allowed to have that magic cast on them. 3) In the case of Azoun, bringing him back is agaisnt the laws and it might also bring back those that he slew.

So, basically, there is more to divine magic then, "Is that char high enough to cast these spells."

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
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LoneHeroDragon
Acolyte

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 21 Jun 2006 :  18:29:44  Show Profile  Visit LoneHeroDragon's Homepage  Send LoneHeroDragon an AOL message  Send LoneHeroDragon a Yahoo! Message Send LoneHeroDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's the almighty question. well, two questions, really.

One; how do you become a writer for D&D/Forgotten Realms?
Two; if it's impossible for someone without experience to do so, is it at least possible to submit a plot idea for a Forgotten Realms book? I'm obsessed with Forgotten Realms and the idea I've come up with for it gets better every day. I don't want this dream to die.
Any help or answers would be greatly appreciated.

Rich Horrocks

Edited by - LoneHeroDragon on 21 Jun 2006 20:15:12
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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2104 Posts

Posted - 21 Jun 2006 :  18:44:04  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm no author, (definately an (unpublished) writer, though)* but:
One - Reading this webpage is a start at least.

*A paranthesis within the paranthesis. Guess we now know why I had to add the "unpublished" bit.

There is a rumour going around that I have found god. I think is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.
Terry Pratchett

Edited by - Kajehase on 21 Jun 2006 18:45:30
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LoneHeroDragon
Acolyte

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 21 Jun 2006 :  20:12:24  Show Profile  Visit LoneHeroDragon's Homepage  Send LoneHeroDragon an AOL message  Send LoneHeroDragon a Yahoo! Message Send LoneHeroDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wow. Thanks! I've been looking for something like that for a while. I may not to be able to submit an idea for Forgotten Realms, but maybe I can come up with a new idea and maybe get discovered that way. It's my ultimate dream to be a writer and I'm still young so I've got a long time to hone my skills if it doesn't get accepted. All I can do is try my best and hope for the same. Thanks for your help.

Rich Horrocks
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 21 Jun 2006 :  20:39:16  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Stick in there, LHD. I now exactly (EXACTLY) what it's like to be in that position.

quote:
Two; if it's impossible for someone without experience to do so


Nope. Look at me. I had virtually NO experience. Never been published, never been employed by Wizards. I'd gamed for a long time and been writing unpublished stuff for a long while, but other than that. . .

The writing is what will do the talking -- proposal, interview, and actual labor. Practice, practice, practice. You seem rather articulate already, and that's a good sign.

There are good books on writing (I can recommend, without hesitation, John Gardner's The Art of Fiction, and I know Stephen King and Orson Scott Card have both written memoirs/instruction texts. Also, there are good composition classes out there, if you find professors you connect with.

My greatest recommendation, though, is practice. Write practice books -- don't intend them for publication, just try things out, do whatever you want. I might elicit shocked gasps or growls with this, but do fan fiction. Whatever you've got, do it.

Youth is also a strength. If you're under 18, you might not be able to get anyone to publish (I know WotC hesitates on that point), but that's fine! Use that time to practice. I myself wrote three books before I was out of high school (most of which are far too embarassing ever to be seen). And if you aren't that young, don't worry about it! People publish at every stage of life -- the only requirements are talent and readiness.

You've got my support!

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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LoneHeroDragon
Acolyte

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 21 Jun 2006 :  20:51:37  Show Profile  Visit LoneHeroDragon's Homepage  Send LoneHeroDragon an AOL message  Send LoneHeroDragon a Yahoo! Message Send LoneHeroDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you very much. You've lifted my spirits and made me feel like it's not impossible. You've done exactly what I hope to do and it abviously worked for you.
At the moment, I'm 19 and in the middle of training for a career in computers. Writing will always be my passion, though. I've got no college under my belt. In fact, I dropped out of high school. I do have my GED, though and I read more and more books everyday and write constantly. I wouldn't say I'm as good as any big authors out there, but there are some published works I've read that I've actually re-written in my head as I read them, believing my version the better.
This is starting to sound like a resume, but what the hell.
I just wish I could get the idea I've been working on for the past few months out there. I think it's well thought out and I haven't seen anything like it anywhere. For those that love dragons in general, it's a dream come true.

Rich Horrocks
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 21 Jun 2006 :  21:33:48  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm glad you're feeling encouraged.

Also, one other thing: Even when you've got stuff published, it's good to be able to support yourself with some other job, and computers seems to have worked out for a number of published friends of mine. So stick with that, too.

And even if you have no desire to pursue a writing career (or you find it doesn't work out for you, whether because success isn't coming or you find it just doesn't mesh with your situation), writing makes a great (if somewhat solitary) hobby.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 22 Jun 2006 :  02:26:10  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'll second all the good advice given above and add:
1. I found the how-to-write books by Lawrence Block (especially Telling Lies for Fun and Profit and Writing the Novel from Plot to Print) exceptionally helpful when I was starting out.
2. Much as you may love WotC's universes, it's short-sighted to aspire to be a WotC author and a WotC author only. At the very least, aspire to be a fantasy writer. Submit to a diversity of markets. You're likely to break into print sooner and may well have a far more prolific and profitable career. And the credits you pile up elsewhere can do wonders in terms of eventually getting you that first assignment from WotC. That's the way it happened for me.
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Mkhaiwati
Learned Scribe

USA
252 Posts

Posted - 22 Jun 2006 :  04:01:35  Show Profile  Visit Mkhaiwati's Homepage Send Mkhaiwati a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If I may also comment, (okay, not an author, but I play one in my mind), if you pursue your dream of writing, be ready for what may seem as unwarranted criticism. Most of these authors here have fairly thick skins (thankfully), but I am sure that at least a few times when a reader makes a comment and the author is thinking "But, but, it had to happen that way..."

Be ready for conflicting criticism, also. I have had creative writing classes, and one big item they tend to push (in my experience) is that you need descriptions of people and things. Contrast this with a reader in one of the forums here who made several comments regarding a writers style for info-dumping information describing what a person was wearing or looked like. It was a complete opposite of what I had learned in a class several years ago.

Another person to read (and someone who Ed Greenwood also treasures) is Roger Zelazny. His short story collections, Frost & Fire, The Last Unicorn, Last Defender of Camelot, and a few others, are very handy books to pick up. He puts in small tidbits of writing gems, and in some cases whole articles on his own writing process. He describes various methods of writing also. With the example in the previous paragraph, if I remember correctly he suggested three small descriptions of a person (hair, size, clothing) and if something was else needed, like eye color, he would blend it into a later sentence. "Of course," she answered, her blue eyes flashing. His writing isn't for everyone, but his writing parts might give you food for thought.

Oh, and parantheses in parantheses are called brackets ([]).

Mkhaiwati

"Behold the work of the old... let your heritage not be lost but bequeath it as a memory, treasure and blessing... Gather the lost and the hidden and preserve it for thy children."

"not nale. not-nale. thog help nail not-nale, not nale. and thog knot not-nale while nale nail not-nale. nale, not not-nale, now nail not-nale by leaving not-nale, not nale, in jail." OotS #367
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James P. Davis
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
244 Posts

Posted - 22 Jun 2006 :  06:16:14  Show Profile  Visit James P. Davis's Homepage Send James P. Davis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good advice all, just wanted to add Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg as another helpful tome. Good Luck!

"Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red."--Clive Barker

FR: RotD2:"Possessions"
Wizards:Bloodwalk
Citadels: The Shield of Weeping Ghosts
Wilds: The Restless Shore
Ed Greenwood Presents Waterdeep: Circle of Skulls (May 2010)
Book trailers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC-ska7ohVk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfvFdQ8bLp0
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 22 Jun 2006 :  06:30:43  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have to acknowledge my inner nitpicker and say that Peter S. Beagle wrote The Last Unicorn.
Roger Zelazy wrote Unicorn Variations.
Zelazny and Beagle are two of the finest writers the genre of the fantastic has to offer. Zelazny is remarkable for, among other virtues, the way he employs a very spare style (which is to say, not much description) yet paints an exceptionally vivid picture in your head. I'd love to be able to do that.
For what it's worth, I think Beagle's best novel is The Last Unicorn, and Zelazny's is Lord of Light (technically sf, but with a fantasy feel.) If you haven't read them, check them out.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29638 Posts

Posted - 22 Jun 2006 :  06:42:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mkhaiwati

Be ready for conflicting criticism, also. I have had creative writing classes, and one big item they tend to push (in my experience) is that you need descriptions of people and things. Contrast this with a reader in one of the forums here who made several comments regarding a writers style for info-dumping information describing what a person was wearing or looked like. It was a complete opposite of what I had learned in a class several years ago.

Another person to read (and someone who Ed Greenwood also treasures) is Roger Zelazny. His short story collections, Frost & Fire, The Last Unicorn, Last Defender of Camelot, and a few others, are very handy books to pick up. He puts in small tidbits of writing gems, and in some cases whole articles on his own writing process. He describes various methods of writing also. With the example in the previous paragraph, if I remember correctly he suggested three small descriptions of a person (hair, size, clothing) and if something was else needed, like eye color, he would blend it into a later sentence. "Of course," she answered, her blue eyes flashing. His writing isn't for everyone, but his writing parts might give you food for thought.


The tendency to info-dump is, I believe, a failing of many aspiring writers. I know I had a problem with it for many years, before I learned that it worked better to spread the details out...

Another failing, I think, is to fall into specific patterns with characters. One major popular writer (not in the Realms) has a tendency to use the same first name a lot, to have artistically-inclined main characters, and to have those characters in some sort of relationship with an overweight woman. Another well-known and popular author tends to use the same "templates" for the characters in his novels (there's always a military/law enforcement guy who's haunted by his past, etc). Another author -- my fave writer, in fact -- has an odd tendency to make his teenage male characters be able to pass as brothers. They might be cousins, or they might not be related at all -- but they could pass for brothers.

While it is natural to re-use some concepts, I think that repetitions like these are a failing. And it's something else I can't claim immunity to -- for some reason, my RPG characters tend to have dead parents. Not all of them, but a surprisingly large percentage. Considering that I get along fine with my parents and that they remain among the living, it's an odd tendency on my part.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!

Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 22 Jun 2006 06:51:22
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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2104 Posts

Posted - 22 Jun 2006 :  08:40:42  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mkhaiwati

Oh, and parantheses in parantheses are called brackets ([]).

Mkhaiwati



Actually, in Swedish writing-rules (which, I know, shouldn't necessarily apply when writing in a different language - but most of the time they still make sense), a parantheses within a parantheses is a called a: "big no-no."

There is a rumour going around that I have found god. I think is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.
Terry Pratchett

Edited by - Kajehase on 22 Jun 2006 08:41:02
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29638 Posts

Posted - 22 Jun 2006 :  11:28:08  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kajehase

quote:
Originally posted by Mkhaiwati

Oh, and parantheses in parantheses are called brackets ([]).

Mkhaiwati



Actually, in Swedish writing-rules (which, I know, shouldn't necessarily apply when writing in a different language - but most of the time they still make sense), a parantheses within a parantheses is a called a: "big no-no."



What an odd language! Did you know that in English, a "big no-no" is something you should really try to avoid?

And what's a Quarter Pounder called in Sweden?

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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LaughingWizard
Seeker

USA
29 Posts

Posted - 22 Jun 2006 :  12:06:03  Show Profile  Visit LaughingWizard's Homepage Send LaughingWizard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello and Well Met, LDH, and others! I haven't posted in a while, but I think something worth saying on info-dumping is this: If any of you have ever read Edgar Rice Burroughs' "John Carter of Mars" series, notice that he uses very little description in describing scenes or creatures, yet they seem to jump off the page. Ask any two readers exactly what a thoat looks like and you're likely to get two different replies. I agree: sometimes minimal description works best. Leave the small stuff to the reader's imagination! Any thoughts on that guys?

A woman, or a man, may come to hold many treasures in life. Gold, gems, a good name, lovers, good friends, influence, high rank--all of these are of value. All of these most covet. But of them all the most valuable, I tell ye, are friends good and true. Have these, and ye will scarce notice the lack if ye never win aught else."

The adventuress Sharanralee, Ballads and Lore of One Dusty Road, Year of the Wandering Maiden
From Spellfire by Ed Greenwood
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 22 Jun 2006 :  13:13:22  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
My notions about description:
The first thing to know about description is that it's impossible to dish up every sensory detail present in a scene. Look around any room and try to write a description of every single thing you perceive. It will run on for thousands and thousands of words.
The trick, then, is to include the RIGHT details, whatever you're describing. The right details accomplish two things. They give the reader information he absolutely has to have just to understand what's going on, and they engage his imagination and inspire him to imagine the scene for himself, filling in all the details you didn't actually give him.
With these basic principles in mind, it's worth remembering that important charactes and things often merit more description than those that are not as important.
Exotic characters and things often merit more description than mundane ones. We've all seen a traffic light. We haven't all seen the breeding pit of the Scorpion Queen of Deimos.
Unusual details are more likely to engage the reader's imagination than cliched ones. (Obviously, you can overdo this. Don't make every character freakishly deformed.)
Details that contribute to mood are often better than details that don't. The spider webs in the creepy old house may be more worth mentioning than the color of the paint on the walls.
Concrete description is more effective than that which is abstract. You paint a much more vivid picture by telling us the heroine has clear fair skin, vivid blue eyes, and a heart-shaped faced than if you just say she's pretty.
You paint a much more vivid picture by appealing to as many senses as possible, not just sight. When practical, tell the reader how things sound, feel, smell, and taste.
Often, you will be writing from a particular character's point of view. That means the things you describe will be things he perceives at the particular moments he perceives them. The nice thing about this is that when you have a bunch of description you need to provide, it provides an organizing principle that determines how best to present the information.
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