Writing What You Don't Know: The Assistants

Discussion in 'Make It So' started by jacktrash, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. sirsparklepants

    sirsparklepants *cries in sports*

    Imo, if you don't like her name, change it, but the rest of it should be fine to keep. In my experience characterw based mostly on yourself tend to take on a life of their own before too terribly long anyway. And if she doesn't? So what? Rock the self insert. Plenty of people have done it professionally.
     
    • Agree x 3
  2. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Heh, I do now have better perspective on how dweeby she actually is and I can lean into that more strongly :)
     
    • Like x 2
  3. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Speaking of those characters, does anyone have any book recs or advice on how to write convincing black and Desi British teenagers? I knew some at school but private schooling sort of culturally assimilates everyone, I think, and that was a long time ago anyway.
     
  4. sirsparklepants

    sirsparklepants *cries in sports*

    I don't have a specific question, really, but would anyone be able to point me towards some good resources for writing wheelchair users? I'd like to include one in my next project, but I don't want to send the chair users I know a ton of ridiculous questions.

    Edit: I'm thinking the character in question will probably have rheumatoid arthritis, so they won't be completely chair bound but will use it most of the time, if that makes a difference.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  5. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    When I was first diagnosed with my disease, I looked up a lot of blogs just by searching variants of "ibd blog", "crohns blog", and the like. A lot of them shared in-depth discussions of symptoms and treatment and for people with ileostomies or pouch surgeries, what they were like and how they lived. So this isn't a specific resource but you may have some luck reading an RA blog.

    A list of blogs from women who've been there

    Best RA blogs from a recent year
     
    • Informative x 1
  6. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    I'm having trouble with some Fantasyland geography and making it work with the start of my plot idea, anyone any good with those? The story's about two kingdoms at war and I was picturing a Twelfth Night scenario where a character from Land A washes ashore on Land B, but that might not work with the political/geographical situation. It's kind of complicated and might be better explained in PMs?
     
    • Useful x 1
  7. jacktrash

    jacktrash absentee sperglord

    my only advice would be to not worry too much. i'm legitimately terrible at that but no one ever seems to notice. :P
     
    • Agree x 1
  8. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    Draw yourself up a really rough map to keep track but i'm pretty sure that most people don't know enough about geology/geography and the like to know if an ocean current is realistic or not.
     
    • Agree x 3
  9. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    And even if it isn't, you can always handwave it with a freak typhoon or Fantasyland Ocean Hazards like sea monsters or magic whirlpools.
     
    • Agree x 5
  10. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Heh, there is that. My main issues I'm having are thus:

    1) I've found myself trying to reconcile the countries in question as both each covering a full half of the planet so I don't have to worry about what's happening in any other nations (especially when the cosmic horror part takes effect) and being tiny city states so I don't have to keep track of huge amounts of area in the story. Maybe go with pocket dimension location since it's magic anyway? I think they can't be the only nations in the world otherwise neither of them could survive if they're both at war because they couldn't trade with anyone, but I'm not sure whether to go with an Earth-geography-plus-a-bit setting or make one from scratch. I know it doesn't have to be detailed because the story doesn't leave these two countries but I'd like to at least vaguely know what I'm doing.

    2) My original thought for the start involved them being separated by an ocean channel and a Twelfth Night scenario with a royal family member from land A washing up on the shore of land B, but my brainstorming partner says that might not work because I'd need a reason for the royal family to be on a ship between the two in the first place and also why there aren't sea battles going on. I'd have to copy-paste the convo to explain all the complications fully, hence why I said PMs might work better.
     
  11. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    @ChelG Solution: island nations, no landmasses outside of these two islands are known/inhabited. Technically if you can be self-reliant enough, you don't have to trade for things (unlikely) or consider: hostile but resource rich Additional Island/landmass that both nations are fighting over in the vague background of your story, which explains how they get resources not native to their respective islands.

    as for point 2) you could tie it in with the 'resource island' idea (royal fam is visiting to boost morale of the poor fuckers who gotta sit in hostile fuck-nowhere and dig up resources) or 'diplomatic inroads to broker peace'... or 'abducted by hostile agents, hit by storm' OR 'dissatisfied royal about to switch teams, hit by storm'

    there's a bunch of options there.
     
    • Agree x 2
  12. hyrax

    hyrax if my heart could beat it would break my chest

    i mean, you may not even need that level of detail, depending on what your story is about. if the geography and geopolitics is integral to the story, then yeah. but most stories just use that kind of thing as backdrop. think about The Princess Bride-- we know very little about Florin or Guilder as countries, except that they're enemies, and we know nothing at all about any of the world beyond that. yet The Princess Bride works because it's not about that! yes, the conflict provides Humperdink with a reason to murder Buttercup, but the story is about Buttercup and Westley, and the political stuff is just set dressing.

    so i guess my question is, what role does the geopolitics play in the story? is it fundamentally about the power struggles between the nations, like Game of Thrones? because ime, 99% of works do not need that much detail to tell a good story.
     
    • Agree x 3
  13. jacktrash

    jacktrash absentee sperglord

    if you do the channel thing, the ship doesn't have to be crossing it, it could've been going along the coast. sea travel is much faster and more comfortable than land travel right up until the invention of railroads.
     
    • Agree x 3
  14. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    I know I don't require that much detail but I want to be able to stay consistent if it does end up coming up. Also, the cosmic horror issue; if there are other lands, I need to know what the hell is going on in them. Regarding the channel, they'd have to be much closer to the enemy kingdom than their own; maybe the ship got blown off course, the enemy took it as a possible attack?

    To be specific, it's a Prospit and Derse AU. I wanted to play about dropping names of real celebs and I don't necessarily know which side they'd be on so it'd probably be wise to have separate countries outside them.
     
  15. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    again I'm bringing forth the island nations approach. if there are other countries there's no reason they can't go 'we let these fuckers fight it out on their own' since islands are by necessity kinda isolated and involving yourself in a war that far away in any material way can be prohibitive depending on how far the distance is and what the tech level is.
     
    • Agree x 4
  16. jacktrash

    jacktrash absentee sperglord

    getting blown off course could be super dramatic! i'm a big fan of seafaring adventures like hornblower and aubrey&maturin, and there are some situations in those where a ship is being blown toward an enemy shore, and they're doing everything they can to claw their way up the wind to avoid it, but the sea is too strong, and they just have to watch their doom getting closer and closer. it's a real nailbiter!
     
    • Agree x 2
  17. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    @jacktrash I've not read those, but you're making me think I ought to!

    The cosmic horror thing I've got going is an issue - like, I should probably nod to the fact that the country-sized magical space monsters are going to be affecting more than just this area, even if we don't see it.
     
    • Winner x 1
  18. jacktrash

    jacktrash absentee sperglord

    that sounds terrifying and awesome.
     
  19. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Homestuck cherubs are terrifying and awesome, I had to use it! But you see my point that they probably would affect more than just two countries, and I'm not sure how to handle that. I've got them shrunk to small enough to not wipe out entire planets by flying past, but still.
     
    • Agree x 1
  20. hyrax

    hyrax if my heart could beat it would break my chest

    will the pov character(s) know what's happening in other countries? do they have any way of communicating with people in the other nations? do they care?
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice