The Writing (and Artistic) Ranting Thread

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I got some really useful, advanced feedback on some parts of my novel manuscript. The reader had read like 10 % of the whole thing, and there was a comment that really made me wonder.

The comment was this: "A family that is about to break apart is a great theme, and I think that there are lots of people who can relate to this."
The problem is this: This is not my main theme. Only the 10 % part I sent to him were about family issues.

So I am currently going back and forth and wondering if I should make it the main theme, and if so, how should it be done. I am also kind of frustrated because I really like the novel but I can't see that much of publishing potential on it. On the other hand I have spent hundreds of hours working on it.

I don't know what to do.
Did you finish the novel?
 

Shadow

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@therogis Maybe wait and see what they say after they're done with the entire story? In the end, whether or not you choose to use someone's beta advice is always up to you; if you disagree, you definitely don't have to use it. But you could always test it on multiple beta readers and check the majority if you're worried about it?
 

therogis

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Did you finish the novel?
Not yet. It's nearly complete, but it needs some huge edits and rewrites even if I didn't change the theme. The plot has holes, tiny holes, but enough to bother me. I know how to fix them, but it requires a lot of editing, and I see no point in writing the last 30 pages (even though I know how the story is going to end) until I've fixed the story so far. That way I can avoid creating any more need for rewrites.

Right now it's about 70k words, so it is kinda long and I definitely need to lower the word count. (The manuscript is in Finnish, and as the Finnish language consists of long words with no prepositions or articles, 70k is actually a very high word count even for a fantasy novel. Someone, somewhere, told me that to compare Finnish word count to word count in English it would need to be multiplied with 1,5, so in English it would be around 105k.)

Maybe wait and see what they say after they're done with the entire story? In the end, whether or not you choose to use someone's beta advice is always up to you; if you disagree, you definitely don't have to use it. But you could always test it on multiple beta readers and check the majority if you're worried about it?
I don't actually disagree with him. The family theme is great. I just started to think about this: as I sent him (in my opinion) the best the story can offer right now, and it was all about a family breaking apart, should it really be the main theme because even I, the writer herself, thought that it's the best part of the story?
But yeah, maybe I should give him a look at the entire novel (when I'm finished). It could be that he likes the real main theme even more. Well ofc it's not actually about only him liking the main theme, I have to be fond of it too, but here lies another problem: I'm not really sure what the main theme is, only that it's definitely not family issues right now.

So I have to figure out what is the main theme atm, do I like it, and is the family-issue-theme actually better. Lots of problems.

(And yeah, I did have an outline for the themes and plot and such, but then things happened and the story got out of control and the characters started to live their own lives and lost all respect on their creator, so all my beloved plans and outlines became useless :D)
 

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(And yeah, I did have an outline for the themes and plot and such, but then things happened and the story got out of control and the characters started to live their own lives and lost all respect on their creator, so all my beloved plans and outlines became useless :D)
Isn't that always the way? :laugh: I can definitely empathize--both with this, and your initial concerns. I think focusing on your plot-hole edits and writing the rest of the novel is a good idea until you've decided on whether you want to change the main story or not. I definitely feel your frustration in this regard. Hard as it might be, maybe allow yourself to take some time off from the novel once the first draft is complete. Distance--be it two weeks or six months--can do wonders for your perspective on what does or doesn't work for your story. Whatever you decide to do, I hope it works out for you. ^^
 

therogis

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Thanks for the support guys! I've actually had a long break with this one, and now I decided to fix the plot holes first before going all the way to the end.
I actually rewrote the entire chapter one today and it's turning out to be very good. Only thing I am wondering is that am I starting it "too late"... I know the most interesting starting point is NOT the point where it is starting in version 1. I skipped first 5 pages and started the story a lot later, but now it makes me think if the main character's motivation is not emphasized enough.
I gave the first, rewritten chapter for my husband to get some comments, but I think he knows too much about the characters and their goals, so he probably won't be able to give an objective comment about that.

How do I words?
Lol this made me very confused because of the grammar (EDIT: Just to make this clear, there was nothing wrong with this message but English isn't my native language so that's why I got confused)
It's all good and flowing as long as you're slamming down an epic final battle, but describing a character walking across the room is the real pain.

Talking about description and words... Duh, once I spent like a week wondering what word should I use for the sound of a wooden stick being swinged in the air like a sword. Ended up in the forest to have a nice swordfight with no one, equipped with a stick.
Also, I had my summer flats on just because they were the closest match for a 17th century male shoes and I wanted to hear their sound when fencing with the stick. It would not have been anything unusual unless it wasn't February in Finland, -10 °C (14 °F), and unless the road wasn't icy and I didn't slip on that ice every two seconds.

I've also tasted grass. Because I wanted to know what would it taste like if a human was trapped in a horse's body. (Later I realized that if he had a body of a horse, he would also have different kind of taste... well I was a teenager back then)
 
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therogis

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(I wasn't sure about the double-posting rules here, I've kind of used to the unwritten rule on another forum that if you have something to say and it's not related to your previous post and there has been at least some days between the posts, you can still do it. Please correct me if this is not acceptable here, so I will learn something :D)

I sent my rewritten chapters 1-2 to our writing club to be reviewed. I'm ill and couldn't concentrate properly, that's my excuse, but the stuff I sent for the club bothers me big time.
For instance, there's this character who has been awake for 24 hours, it's early morning, and she decides to go to a tavern to have some barley wine. And she doesn't return back home until late evening. Like... when does she sleep?
And then there's my main character. It seems like he doesn't have any other clothes than a ceremonial robe, that he later burns down on his yard. Thus he must be naked all the time from now...

And I messed up with the page numbers too. Thought they would help the readers to get some clue about the length but it goes like "Page 1/2, Page 12/2, Page 15/2" (don't ask me how did I do that, it's just they way it goes). So it's more confusing than helping anyone.

I'm already embarrassed and afraid of the review meeting. I'm really not that bad usually.
 

Aisen66

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thats funny thero the story about the two characters maybe the girl fell sleep at the park before going home and the guy needs to go to goodwill for some new clothes using invisibility that he can learn by adjusting his eyes to be able to see people in black and white and see the entire world behind the people in color so both black and white and in color at the same time once he does that he is homefree grass doesnt taste as bad as ants do, i ate some ants when i was a kid and they tasted like gasoline or kerosene i still remenber their smell too :mad:
 
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therogis

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thats funny thero the story about the two characters maybe the girl fell sleep at the park before going home and the guy needs to go to goodwill for some new clothes using invisibility that he can learn by adjusting his eyes to be able to see people in black and white and see the entire world behind the people in color so both black and white and in color at the same time once he does that he is homefree
I absolutely love your imagination. Reminds me of a close friend of mine. She draws plots out of nowhere and twists the world as she speaks. I'm kind of jealous of her skills because she is able to write about anything, and by "anything" I mean she is able to turn her own, personal world into all kinds of stories. She takes chunks of real world and colors them with words. There's literally nothing she wouldn't be able to write a story about. As for me, one of the biggest problems is that I tend to think "nah, this won't be a story" too easily and thus abandon most of my ideas. For me, an everyday event is not good enough to write about. I admire my friend because she just grabs those everyday situations and makes them a story, as if she was a chef who was given just some random basic ingredients and out of them she makes a 10-tier chocolate champagne cake for the president's wedding in 30 minutes. (Forgive me about that crappy metaphor, I've just woken up.)
I might be very good at writing technique and I've got a huge pile of writer's guide books, but she's a damn goddess when it comes to ideas and the execution of them, and that is something that can't be learned from those guides.

About my story which you commented on: well, it's actually not about just two people, there are three characters whose point of views have been used, but still the story is focusing on just one main character. And umm that "she" is not actually a "girl", she's around 40 years old and she's Ante's caretaker. I can't come up with the English word but she's not Ante's mother (as his mother is dead), not living with Ante either, but she helped him to kick off his adult life. Ante didn't need much guidance with getting food and stuff, but he needed a lot of mental coaching, and he also needed someone to tell him what should he do by profession after his parents died and he was on his own. (He ended up as a tailor.)

Well, to get back to the topic: I came up with an idea but then I figured out it reminds me too much about the game called Horizon Zero Dawn. Meh.

/ edit reason: damn those grammar mistakes, as you probably know I'm not a native English speaker
 
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therogis

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I have a serious problem with naming people and places. I should come up with good names that don't refer to any known culture, but every name I've created either sounds ludicrous or is already in use.

There was this one name I fell in love with. Then I heard it's an important name in Greek mythology, so it isn't possible to use it in my alternative universe anymore. Trying to change it is a real struggle. I can't think about any other name. That character's personality has so strong linkage to that name in my mind.

I should also keep up writing down my universe politics and government and such things but I just wanna write the actual story :(
 

Picard

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@therogis Give up on making up original names? Even Tolkien didn't make up all names from the scratch, despite creating several languages. Just find something obscure enough for your audience, almost nobody will realize it is not original.
 

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Or you can smush two together and make a new one. Like, take the bit from mythology you like and give it a different ending or middle. I have some characters whose race comes from Gaelic and Norse mythology mixed together with some different spelling.

If it's really problematic, name generators are a handy nudge in the right direction - it could be you get inspired from using one and are able to come up with a completely new name.
 

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Approximately 15k of this draft of Arcane Guardian left to do. Half of me is eager to see the back of it, and the other half has already started to panic, wondering which project I should prioritize next.

The answer should probably be FotS, but I have a funny feeling I'll turn my attention to either the cyberpunk (Static) or the middle-grade (The 13th Magic). When I'll make time for Shattered Time, I don't have the foggiest clue. x_x
 

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I've just been graced with the honour of receiving a PM on FFN in response to a review I've posted to a x-over fanfic.
So after trudging the slushpile I find the fic in question, check the comments, and I'm basically giving flames to some troll-reviewer (whom had their comment deleted) and encouraging the author.
Here's the first wtf part: this random person has replied to my flaming review which I wrote back in 2010. And with replied I mean they were basically stabbing me with their pitchfork and warning to drop me in the fire IF I was perchance referring to them in the review. Because apparently they found offense to my jest that the troll had no fics uploaded onto the site anyway.
Coincidence that this person didn't have any fics of their own uploaded? Yeah, but that's not uncommon on FFN.
And here's the second wtf part.
They only joined FFN in 2014.
:meh:
 

Picard

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I have a bit of a problem: do I really have to create an overview of several thousands years of history of my setting?

I hope I'm not turning into a Tolkien-esque perfectionist.
 

Shadow

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I have a bit of a problem: do I really have to create an overview of several thousands years of history of my setting?

I hope I'm not turning into a Tolkien-esque perfectionist.
It's entirely up to you how much world building you want to do; don't let yourself fall into the hole of "I can only write if I know every single aspect of my world"--in my experience, that's usually a sign that there's a problem with the plot the writer's trying to work through but hasn't actually acknowledged. If you genuinely enjoy world building and know you're going to use all of it and love the world you're creating that much, then why not keep worldbuilding? But if you don't think you'll use it and it's starting to feel like procrastination, then maybe try writing in general for a bit? Idk.

--

I love these characters but they're incapable of producing anything more than PWPs and angst atm and it's driving me a bit mad. I really, really just wanna write some long, in-depth, makes-you-think-a-lot plot but idk. Gdi, boys, get it together.
 
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