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Thread: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

  1. #1

    Default Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    Hello people. I responded to a post from Juvenal in Severus the God today, about suggestions from readers to writers.
    Now I've been thinking a bit about this, since it involves a couple of aspects that are rather important to the relation between a writer and his audience.
    Juvenal said that suggestions are welcome and I responded that for me suggestions are difficult to implement.
    This because each and every writer has his own way of writing and doing things, and this will probably differ a lot from that of his readers, which differs from reader to reader. Of course suggestions are not enforced by readers, but if a writer keeps ignoring them, it might drive away some readers.
    And I as a writer, wouldn't like that.
    So my question to every writer and reader out there: How do you think about this? Are suggestions something that a writer should keep in mind? Should a reader keep to his own? What about aar's that promote themselves with being open to suggestions, or being based upon them?

    Any and all thoughts are welcome, the discussion is opened!
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  2. #2
    bomberboy's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    Suggestions could work but then again some won't work well with the AAR or the AARtist's writing style but if it helps to make an AAR better I'm all for it.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    I think suggestions are an important part of the creative process. Of course, not all suggestions are implementable, but some are, especially for writers who are new to the scene.

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    bomberboy's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    But really it depends on the writer if he/she wants them or not.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    it's an unwritten rule that states the first version of every sentence you write has opportunity to be much greater than what it is. sure, some exceptions can be applied, but not always: such as if you've already contemplated the text in your mind, or .. if you're godlike. : P

    keeping that in mind, the audience can help correct what the author has missed or contribute to the brainstorming.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    True, but the problem I've seen is that some people will think that their suggestions will immediately be accepted and implemented, even when they aren't that good.
    Also, what I would like to do (but haven't really got the motivation for...) is a picture-less aar, that focuses on story-telling, character interaction and the events within the story.
    But almost every aar I've seen that has tried this on TWC got the message from readers that it was silly, difficult to read, even boring. Seems to me that people are a bit lazy in that. I fully admit that pictures can and will expand the experience of reading an aar, but isn't it great if the writer can do the same simply with words?
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    it can't be said for all readers of course but sometimes you just need graphics to capture attention. it's also in an AAR's nature to have pictures seeing as how it can be written in conjunction with the game instead of completely depending on someone's mind such as that of a regular book that would need an illustrator if they wanted to include graphics.

  8. #8
    Hector Barbossa's Avatar Avast Ye Lubbers
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    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    @Salifator, i agree wholeheartedly with you on this, an AAR should not have to depend on pictures to carry a story indeed a well written story should have no need for pictures as the imagination can be a powerful thing to place the picture in ones minds eye.

  9. #9
    Musthavename's Avatar Bunneh Ressurection
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    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    But almost every aar I've seen that has tried this on TWC got the message from readers that it was silly, difficult to read, even boring. Seems to me that people are a bit lazy in that. I fully admit that pictures can and will expand the experience of reading an aar, but isn't it great if the writer can do the same simply with words?
    It's a different audience. The bulk of the AAR-audience likes pictures. Equally, there's a few people that enjoy a pure narrative. I really wouldn't let that opinion stop you doing one if you really wanted to.

    I personally prefer even just a few pictures so it relates to a TW campaign, otherwise it seems to be more of a story than an AAR, if you know what I mean.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    But almost every aar I've seen that has tried this on TWC got the message from readers that it was silly, difficult to read, even boring. Seems to me that people are a bit lazy in that. I fully admit that pictures can and will expand the experience of reading an aar, but isn't it great if the writer can do the same simply with words?

  11. #11
    Junius's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    It's something I tried in my AARs, more so in 'A Sicilian Life' than in 'History of the Getae', cutting down on the number of pictures. I got the response that it was too hard to read a block of text, something I can agree with, since it is very hard to concentrate on a LCD screen for a long period of time. I do include some pictures, but I am primarily focused on the narrative, and trying to bring the story alive from one perspective. Right now I am on a hiatus from writing AARs, instead focusing on reviewing some, and study of course. I have learned a lot about how to write well in the format, from cautionary tales of bad AARs and of inspiration from good 'uns. It is something I want to continue exploring, and will do so in my, at least, next two AARs, for which I have already got an idea.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    Juvenal's tales are very good examples of a written narrative that relies on words and is still good to read. I think that as long as you use a normal or slightly bigger font and paragraphs it shouldn't be too hard to read.
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  13. #13
    ReD_OcToBeR's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    I beleive a good AAR has the correct balance of pictures and writing, since after all this is an AAR of the game RTW,MTW, ETW, etc. Being able to take things you see and do on the campaign map big or very small(ie. someone gaining a retinue etc.) in importance then wrapping that into a story people will read is the form of a good AAR from what I've seen. There are of course contradictions(EB AAR - The Eastern Eagle) to this as everything in life does.

    Now getting back to what this was about, depending of what is being suggested I usually try and see what I can do, but I am at the limit of my own skill or what my game has to offer. When people suggest more action from a different "war front" say, sometimes I can't do this due to the screenshots I have or what has happened. I say screenshots because I like them and it's the style of my AAR, some people don't like them and that's fine. But I take alot of care into which shots I include to capture the moment. I would not write in a chapther as it just would not fit with the rest of my AAR. I write my AAR 40-some years behind my current campaign to avoid sudden events that could ruin the story I am going for, and by the fact I just want to play! lol. If it has to do with writing, spotting errors, or that certain metaphors don't appear good, I'll take it into consideration. In the end though, I am just doing this for fun and get a kick out of it if people like my story because in the beginning I thought I'd never stand a chance of someone reading my AAR.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    Among the tasks and jobs that I have had over the years, I have worked as an editor. I find that suggestions and comments work best with some examples by also modifying the author's own work to illustrate the points. That does not mean an editor or in this case a member posting should rewrite the AAR, but if you think shorter sentences might be a help, take a paragraph and offer a rewrite to illustrate what you mean. The author can then take it or leave it, but the example makes it all a bit more concrete.

    As for the pics -- I am a bit old fashioned. The story should be good enough without illustration. With the adding of illustration, the experience should be better or the pics are a waste of space. When writing -- try a version without the pics and see what you think of what you have written. Then add the pics and read it again. Both versions need to be good or it is rewrite time, but the final with pics should be clearly better or edit the pics.
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  15. #15
    Juvenal's Avatar love your noggin
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    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    Looking back at my original exchange with Selifator, it arose because he had said some nice things about my story during its early stages. It occurred to me that some readers might think that only "praise" posts were allowed, whereas from my point of view any discussion about the story is welcome, especially if it draws attention to aspects and possibilities I had missed. Anyway, there are only so many times someone can write "Great Update" before they get bored and leave the thread.

    I think Selifator suggested a specific scenario involving agents. Although I couldn't fit that in, I did start adding the activites of my spies and assassins into the plot, and I think this has enriched the story.

    I can see that reader suggestions could possibly become irksome if they were insistent (and too specific). I find with my own story that the plot seems to gradually coalesce out of the mist of campaign events, the characters of the protagonists and my vague ideas about where I think it is all heading. So reader suggestions may just not fit.

    So Selifator is correct, the story is the personal creation of the writer, but I think any story-in-progress benefits from discussion because it can show the author new directions that might be explored.

    Regarding pictures, it is sad but true that readers avoid large swathes of text, no matter how good. It may be something to do with the TWC being more like a magazine than a novel, so our AARs have to be accessible to the casual reader.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    Hmm, if I influenced that decision in any sort of way, I'm very happy! Writing about the agents gave space for other characters who stood in areas of the society that your aar's take place in, that you would normally not touch. In that, writing about agent actions, and certainly expanding upon their actions and connecting them to your generals, makes both rise above the whole.
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  17. #17
    Jingles's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: Public discussion: Writer's views and public suggestions

    I frequent the Paradox forums quite alot, and text-only narrative AARs seem to be quite common there, and the quality is astounding. That said, the games themselves aren't exactly graphically appealing, so that's probably why. Still, the quality of AARs around here is improving vastly (despite appearances) and at the moment I'm considering doing an all text AAR for two simple reasons: 1. It's rarely been done before, 2. I actually can't stand faffing with picture uploads half the time when I'm updating an AAR. It just wastes time, and the pictures rarely convey anything genuinely useful.

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