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Thread: Helpful advice to a failed AAR author?

  1. #1
    Massive_attack's Avatar Campidoctor

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    Default Helpful advice to a failed AAR author?

    Hey everyone!

    Long time TWC vet here. Love this series and these forums, but this is my first time in this sub-forum, so forgive my transgressions. I might as well be a newbie in these particular parts.

    Anyway, I've recently felt inspired to try my hand at a new medieval 2 total war AAR. Stainless Steel 6.0, with a bit of my own homebrew tweaks, but that's more or less irrelevant. I'm typing this up because I don't want a repeat of what happened last time.

    What happened, you ask? A few things. I had no audience, for one, but that was likely because I was posting in a dying forum and I suppose my initial post advertising the work didn't catch anyone's attention. So there was clearly issues to be had with my narrative 'hook.'

    Additionally, when I -eventually- got a small audience- something like 30 or so souls who occasionally glanced at the work; not really a devout fan-base at all, my content started to sputter out. I couldn't keep a good rhythm going. I had plot threads all wound up together that lead nowhere. I was building a cast out of thin air that, while potentially interesting, couldn't keep the story flowing nicely. People ultimately got dropped off and were 'killed off-screen' while two, maybe three main characters held the entire thing together. Sort of.

    I think you probably see the problems just with that description alone. The end result was a work that flagged for months behind any schedules I wanted, that was mediocre even if individual scenes could be well written. The human moments were lost in a never ending tirade of "And then this battle or war happened!" and whatever narrative messages I was gunning for were turned into poor jests.

    So I think before I go about stabbing at this whole 'writing' thing again I should ask for help from the pros- you fellows!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Helpful advice to a failed AAR author?


    I would not consider myself a pro, but I have an AAR going for a while and - hey - looks like I just won the MAARC with it. Maybe you should just play the game and have the story follow it more or less closely. In my experience, that makes for easy writing, as the game suggests storylines itself. Just stick to the main characters - King, heir, cardinal etc.

    Post your AAR in the MedII AAR subforum, that is where potential readers will look for it. If you put a link in your signature, more people will find and read your AAR.

    And never mind schedules. Write when you have time and feel like it. Real life goes always first.

    [EDIT: I wrote some redundant stuff before. Deleted it.]
    Last edited by Strengelicher; April 22, 2014 at 08:21 AM.

  3. #3
    Hitai de Bodemloze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Helpful advice to a failed AAR author?

    Although my own AAR has been suffering for many months, I don't mind chipping in my two cents. First off, invest yourself in your story before you start posting. Write a few chapters beforehand, get a feel for the characters and the story, make sure it's a project you want to commit to. Then when you start posting, you have a little bit of a buffer so that you don't fall behind schedule. Length and longevity usually dictate readership, so the more invested you are in the story and the longer your AAR runs, the more fans you'll acquire.

    Your other key problem seems to be pacing. This is just a skill you have to practice. Set yourself long word limits to describe short scenes, so you learn how to really get the most out of your own writing. This will help you stop falling into the 'then this happened...' trap.

    In regards to plot and keeping the drive to your story going, that's something a bit more difficult to advise for. We've discussed it previously. I'm someone who likes to write on the fly and make up the plot largely as I go along, whereas others here love to plan everything out in depth. Try finding what approach works best for you I guess.

    Now is a great time to get an AAR up and running though. The Study is pretty quiet these days and it's always nice to see new activity. Best of luck to you
    Last edited by Hitai de Bodemloze; April 22, 2014 at 10:20 AM.

  4. #4
    Shankbot de Bodemloze's Avatar From the Writers Study!

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    Default Re: Helpful advice to a failed AAR author?

    Read, read, read. Reading other (good) AARs will allow you to get a feel of what people do, how they structure narratives etc. which always comes in handy as something to pick up on.


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