Friday, November 23, 2012

Random NaNo Tips

Here are some random tips I have given on various topics to other young writers.  :)  They are from the forum, so they are answering specific questions from people.  To avoid any, I dunno, privacy infringement or whatever, I will write the gist of what they were asking, then put my actual answer.

How so I write a battle sequence?

Battle scenes do take a bit of practice, just like any form of writing. But I've found a few tips that really help me...
(This is for like, battle scenes. Like, with armies and stuff. Think Lord of the Rings, if you need help with more one-on-one type conflict I can help there too! :) ) Depending on what point of view you are writing in, it will work in different ways. Think of how your favorite movie with action battle scenes does it. I, for one, will be using Lord of the Rings as my example. In, say, the battle of Helms Deep, the camera switches between "point of views." For a little, we might watch Aragorn fight off two or three orcs, then the camera will switch and we see the whole mass of the armies charging and firing at each other. Then it will change again, and we'll see Legolas shooting at a few orcs, then it will switch yet again to show the inside of the caves with all the frightened people listening to the battle. Then it's back outside in the rain where we see ladders being placed on the wall.
It's interesting how the movie creators did these battle scenes. They switched with how they viewed it. They made it personal, and frightening, at the same time. They made it personal by showing the characters we know and love fighting for their lives. They made it dangerous by panning out and showing us what exactly they are up again. And then they threw in extra conflict and dread by showing how frightened everyone else is, and they can't even see the battle. This implies that we, the viewer, ought to be frightened too.
Books work in the same way. If you are writing in third person, this will be easiest. But you can still do this technique if you are writing in first person. Have your character involved in the conflict for a little. Describe his actions through his point of view. (personal) Then take him out of the fight for a moment. Say he slays his enemy then looks over the rest of the battlefield. This is when you describe the rest of the armies. (frightening)
How do I introduce another protagonist to the novel?
I introduce all of my character through definitive action. You said he was "one of your protagonist," implying that there are more than one. I'm assuming you have already introduce one of your protagonists. You could show him first through your other MC's point of view. Have him doing some action that instantly defines him, like fighting, or arguing with someone, or protecting a friend.
What is your favorite thing in a guy MC? (main character)
(My profound answer)
Me likey bad boys.  >:)
Anyway, next question...

How do I write a journey through a forest without it being boring?
You could summarize the trip with a few short sentences if nothing important happens on the trip. You could add some details to make the summary interesting, like, "After wondering through the emerald trees and briers for three days, they eventually managed to reach the other side without getting killed, eaten, or lost." Something like that.
Or, if you don't want it to be that short, you could use this time for character development. Maybe have two characters who are tense with each other have a chance to duke it out, or maybe they could have a deep heart-to-heart conversation around a campfire. If you choose not to summarize, remember the most important thing in any novel. Conflict. Conflict makes stories, without conflict, there is no story. And that is boring. So just add conflict!

How do I write a prophecy about my MC into my novel?
Turn an old cliche on it's head! Instead of your hero finding a scroll in an ancient library, have the hero find the scroll (or better yet, iPad on note app :P) in a completely unexpected place, like the grocery store, the museum, his chemistry textbook. Whatever you do, try not to be cliche. Take the first thing that comes to your mind and switch it around!
So yeah, that's just some of my insightful (lol) advice to other brave NaNoers.  I didn't have time for a normal post...
Happy Belated Thanksgiving everyone! 

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