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Author Topic: Be Needing Writing Tips  (Read 1290 times)

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Offline Gossamer

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Be Needing Writing Tips
« on: October 27, 2015, 10:58:28 AM »
How would you go about introducing a large group of diverse and hopefully distinct and interesting people all in the same paragraph/chapter of text?

I get that A) Keep it simple, and B) Don't use too many adjectives/adverbs and/or big words.

But how does one portray people in a way that just hits home without using a lot of words to flesh them out?

Worse yet, I chose to introduce them in a passive enviroment so it's not a whole lot of SHOW, only tell. Choice of sitting positions or standing up, leaning against walls etc. But even if it was say a fight scene, how does one make an introduction snappy and telling without droning on?

For instance, I think it would be a mistake to gloss over descriptions when there are things that really stand out about a lot of them. Like how would you go about introducing the avengers or the x-men in writing only? You can only maintain disbelief for so long after all, but when everyone sitting there except yourself visibly seem like a freak?
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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Be Needing Writing Tips
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2015, 11:15:33 AM »
Do they all need to be introduced immediately? One of the better ways I've seen things like that handled was to have everyone around a conference table, and while you mention that there are lots of people there when the POV character moves into the room, you don't go into detail at all until they draw the attention of the POV character for some reason (either as an introduction, or through the flow of conversation).

Most of the time, unless you're writing third-person omniscient, what the POV character notices is also when and what the audience notices and/or is introduced to. That's somewhat the point of having a POV character in the first place.
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Offline Gossamer

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Re: Be Needing Writing Tips
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2015, 06:18:01 AM »
Well it's a flashback scene, third person past tense, e.g. "Bob picked up the glass of milk and drank it." The observing narrative enters into the scene when everyone is gathered. It's a train car, so I suppose I could have at least one or two person(s) entering from another carriage, but it wouldn't make sense if everyone was spread out throughout the train.

And like I said, there's quite a few characters with very strange features that would warrant immediate attention, since it's also close to the first time the protagonist is introduced to them (right before they got onto the train) as well as when the narrative first includes them.

I plan to show a bit about their personalities through how they interact with eachother, since they are already acquainted between themselves, but as for the visual cues... I don't want it to drone on, but I have a lot of information I want/need/feel inclined to dish out about each individual case.
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Be Needing Writing Tips
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2015, 06:50:08 PM »
You can try an Agatha Christie style approach. Your last line reminded me of it. And of course the train-car being the perfect setting for just such an approach. Every character gets a quick description, focusing on what stands out about them physically/first look. Then come back with more detail on each, as they begin their conversations around the table.
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Offline Gossamer

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Re: Be Needing Writing Tips
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2015, 04:49:45 AM »
Haven't read Agatha Christie, though I have watched Poirot the tv series. And Miss Marple. I think at least one of those was written by her if not both. So I'm assuming there was a lot of characters? So far I've got 7.

Me personnally, I get bored really quickly by longwinded descriptions, I would rather something happen. But since it's a transition scene and there's a lot to be said...

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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Be Needing Writing Tips
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2015, 11:19:34 AM »
When your scene is slow, kill someone. Or have ninjas attack.
P(A|B) = P(B|A)*P(A)/P(B)

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Offline fantomx11

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Re: Be Needing Writing Tips
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2015, 12:36:44 PM »

Offline Gossamer

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Re: Be Needing Writing Tips
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2015, 08:40:23 AM »
Okay, third and final attempt. I've already tried to respond to this twice, but there was something about corrupted cookies or something.

In short, thanks for being soundingboards and Theodore Rex is the worst movie ever. Aaaand post...
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