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CL Short Story Project 4: Discussion Thread

  1. #742272014-04-25 19:18:17Kirn said:

    That's a hard one though. Crime genre, and I believe you mean like detective genre, is the one that requires a lot of... logic!
    We are low on logic most days here.

  2. #742392014-04-25 21:52:39hellstorm901 said:

    I left it as Crime so that it could cater to both people wanting to write a Detective story or even people who want to write a story from a criminals point of view like a heist or something along those lines.

    I'm certain someone like Johan could give some good pointers on Crime/Detective stories.

  3. #743032014-04-27 06:03:44DarkChaplain said:

    A bunch of interesting ideas, but a lot of them are, again, better suited for Writing Prompts. The ideas that could work well don't seem to have all that much traction as of yet, though.

    So keep the ideas coming, folks!

  4. #743052014-04-27 07:13:03Rinneko said:

    I don't know many genres that would be particularly refreshing to write, or that have not been so overused that I would be a bit reluctant to join. There is romance or slice of life, which I think is common and easier for users to write due to personal experience. The latter may be more suited for a writing prompt depending, or could be too complex to fit into short story. As mentioned above, there is crime/detective which would be good if one could think up an intriguing plot and follow through with logical deductions.

  5. #743602014-04-28 09:29:43 *hellstorm901 said:

    I'll put out some ideas to expand on the genre I suggested.


    • A Detective story, the standard type of story you would expect on mention of this genre.

    • A criminal story, the perfect heist, a serial killers POV and so on.

    • Gang war/organised crime war, a story where Gangs, Mafias or whatever are locked in conflict with one another like you see in good old mobster movies.

    • A Riot, this would generally be a Crime/Action story writing about violent disorder, what caused it and the people trying to resolve it. An interesting idea as there's a shit load of (real life) source material to make something of that.

    • A Trial, another interesting one as rather than writing about a crime from a Detective or Criminal point of view you could write about it was though they had already been captured with the POV being the defense or persecution, to make it slightly more interesting you could add elements of Science - Fiction into it for example crimes brought to a court we would expect in the future or just new technology being used such as hologram re-enactments.

    I also like Jacks idea of continuations of previous stories as I know there's one or two people here with stories that I would love to see expansions on. We could resolve the issue of such a story blocking out new users wanting to write by just letting the new users request permission from the author to use the story as a base.

  6. #743652014-04-28 10:32:31Dark-B said:

    I think we should be making a romance/Slice of Life theme, simply because I think after having horror/thriller, fantasy/adevnture, and Sci-Fi we should start looking into something more down to earth and relaxing, heart-warming and well, can be simply written from experiences in life don't you think?

    Sure, some people won't like reading/writing that, but I simply believe we should be reading something more close to our reality, and consider just how varied it can get story for story, love, hate, revenge, joy, sadness, and a lot of emotions can be talked about for the characters without really doing much, and just consider how one can make the entire story just about the feelings of the main characters in a single moment or day, and his progression in life and a lot more as well.

    I think it is worth a shot, and is going to be quite enjoyable. but to be honest, I'd rather we not have a romance theme, and more a slice of life theme, since romance is a hard genre to appeal for nowadays and even more harder to do without being cliche, a lot of it has already been done, as for slice of life, the options are endless, and I doubt we'll be seeing a lot of the same stuff with each story as we might see with romance.

  7. #743662014-04-28 11:07:12 *johan_5179 said:

    Considering that hellstorm has outlined the various aspects of the genre 'Crime', one can see that there is a lot of room for experimentation here, which means that we can accommodate a lot of different ideas. And I like writing things of that nature :3

    I wouldn't like to go for Action/Adventure because it feels as if one would need to put emphasis on the setting and the grandeur of the story to really fit the mold, and because we just had Sword & Sorcery which is kinda action/adventure anyway. (I would add that if someone was to make a rough outline like hell made for Crime, it could change things.)

    Jack's idea of continuing stories is great, but I'd rather go for a new genre/sub-genre right now and get some new stuff out. Though I will table this idea as a future recommendation. We get more stories to choose from, and it will be more fun since we'll have anthologies from a few more genres by the time we bring this idea up again (I'm sure. Hopefully).

    Ucui's idea about the artists is the one that has the most potential. It would be exciting to team up with the artists and write on what they draw, but then again, exciting does not mean doable, writing a short story on a picture will be hard. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but I think last time our lower limit was 2000. Should be filed for a fun writing prompt.

    Romance/Slice of life. There is a lot of potential here as well, but the chance of ending up writing something sloppy while going for feels is very large. I would advise against it. Feels is not something you can just fart out, you have to build it up. The closer your subject is to reality, the more difficult it becomes to treat it plausibly while keeping things interesting. You can't just make believe a great setting and hope it will carry your story for you. Romance/Slice of Life depends more on characters than anything else. And as I've seen, we here at CL don't really write good characters. Scratch that. Most people don't write good characters, definitely not in a short story.

    I'd go for Crime, at this stage.

  8. #743692014-04-28 12:25:37DarkChaplain said:

    Okay, let me voice my thoughts on the ideas so far. I'll make two lists, for obvious reasons.

    Writing Prompt material

    • Senses
      As said previously, the idea has its merit, but only as part of a writing prompt. Too experimental for proper plotting.
    • Different Perspectives
      Difficult to pull off in a big project where a lot of people don't know what they're gonna hand in til the last few days. Easier to handle in a prompt.
    • Short Concept Stories
      Writing Prompt material, as should be obvious.

    Project Themes

    • Thriller
      Been there before.
    • Fantasy
      Still too close to Sword & Sorcery for me to want to go straight back to Fantasy.
    • Children's Story
      Interesting, but I feel that it will be a bit difficult to write for a lot of people. We don't really have any children to read them to either, and they'd have to be strictly "safe" and simple to understand, without complex themes.
    • Saga
      Again a bit close to Fantasy, but specific enough for me to say having it would be alright. But it would be difficult, and without proper preparation and a suitable vocabulary or grasp on mythology and history, this could fall flat on its face. As much as I'd enjoy reading Hrafnkel and Bjorn throwing punches over spilled ale, this one requires quite a bit of commitment from the writer to be done right.
    • Comedy
      This is difficult as balls. Writing good comedy ain't easy, and more than any other genre, I feel this can be completely unappealing to some people, depending on taste and type of humor. I also feel a lot of crude content would appear. Risky, especially when you have to follow the theme for a whole short story.
    • Action/Adventure
      Interesting, and I'd certainly like to read this, but I'm not sure how well Action/Adventure as a theme will hold up. It is best framed by another theme or setting, and especially with Superhero stuff, power levels are going to be a bitch. Also keep in mind that writing good action scenes is tough even for established authors, and can get rather repetitive.
    • Slice of Life
      Am kinda against this one. Too loose, and having to adhere to realism may take the excitement out of it. Constructing good characters and an interesting environment for them is important for Slice of Life, and I'm not sure we're there just yet.
    • Urban Fiction
      Really interesting, especially since it features a lot of social and cultural aspects. Considering we have people from a lot of different regions and cultures, this could be a good haul. The question is if they can package the themes well enough into a reasonable narrative.
    • Mystery
      I'd be all in for a good mystery story. However, it requires a lot of thought and cool ideas to work.
    • Survival/Discoveries
      Won't fit into the project.
    • Historical Fiction
      This could even be something like Assassin's Creed, medieval stuff, stone ages etc. Has its appeal for sure, especially if combined with alternate outcomes to historical occurances and the likes, but again requires a LOT of research and describing the old, historical environments and cultures is one of the key elements of that genre.
    • Crime
      As hellstorm pointed out, there are a lot of different angles and themes one can follow with Crime, whether it be detective stories, court trials or police work. Mystery, horror and the likes can all be mixed in, and the setting can even be a fantasy town or outer space. This is something I feel has a LOT of potential, but whether or not it will live up to it depends on the ideas and concepts the writers can come up with. A trial needs to follow certain rules, evidence needs to be provided for the detective to figure out the villain, and gangsters and thieves need to lie and cheat on a believable level. Tricky, but I like the idea.
    • Romance
      I don't think this would end well. Bound to be full of cliches, a lot of our potential participants are teens, and pulling off good romance is difficult at the best of times. It may also get rather samey if the protagonist gets the gal in every story.

    Other Aspects

    • Team-Work / Grouping
      This I had been throwing around in my head for months, but never felt the time was right for people to write in tandem. Participation is too low for me to want to risk it, and people aren't reliable enough to pull it off properly. The idea is shelved for the time being.

    • Incorporating Art
      Again, an idea I have been toying with, but it comes with its downsides. Writing about an artwork is better suited for a Writing Prompt, and having an artist create a picture for the story after the fact, or while it is taking shape, may not work across the board due to how the submission process works.
      I would be interested in having art part of the finished anthology, but it'd require motivated artists, and quite a bit of time and effort from them. Additionally, the art should work reasonably enough even on non-color displays, as a lot of popular eReaders don't support color. Overly complex and colorful art will also increase the filesize of the ebooks.
      On top of that, all artworks should be of reasonable quality, and share the same format/resolution if in any way possible, to work with the page format.

    • Sequelitis and Spin-Offs
      A bit too early for this, I think. It would also leave newcomers out in the rain.

  9. #743882014-04-28 15:57:29Rinneko said:

    Action/Adventure, in terms of commonly found ideas.

    • Government conspiracy. In which there is commonly corruption in the government or affiliated organisations that concocts a master plan bringing detrimental consequences to the world. Possible plots would include coup d'état/rebellion.

    • Crime-related plots.  Assassination of a loved one led to the main character chasing after the perpetrator in the name of revenge, to name one. A bounty/assassination job targeted at a character, as well. Conflicts within or among gangs are one of the possible scenarios, too. 

    • Escape. This could overlap with any of the other mentioned plots. Basically one where someone is wanted, and needs to run away. The action in these are usually when the chaser almost finds the escapee, and they have a near-death brush.

    • Societal oppression.  The society has some disagreeable system, and the unsatisfied people rebel or fight back. Dystopian books often fall under this plot: Hunger Games, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Legend by Marie Lu. 

    • Exploration.  People roaming through unchartered territory, and discovering new and potentially dangerous creatures/objects. I would say Indiana Jones-style, perhaps. 

    • Superhero plot.  I think this is more commonly found in movies, like the Marvel or D.C. ones. A person/creature with supernatural powers or exceptional skills that save the world from supernatural or criminal danger. 

    This is all that I can yank out of my prior experience with the genre right now, but feel free to add on. @johan_5179, who mentioned having a rough outline for action/adventure.

  10. #744212014-04-29 02:52:07Momimochi said:

    So, that partnering up thing. Well. Uh. It may or may not have been attempted and it may or may not just ended up as a big NOPE and became a more of a bouncing ideas around thing.

    Because honestly, working with someone on a story literally requires double the amount of planning and dedication for both parties individually, purely because two heads come up with diverse ideas that'll have to be explored and then rejected, in some cases, so the story doesn't suffer from facts or event overload, especially if you're fitting it into a word limit.

    So yeah, in terms of partnering, it's gotta be run in the style of a pretty hugeass project because things just aren't going to get done as easily. Technically, everything is doubled. Even the difficulty.

  11. #744262014-04-29 07:11:57Kirn said:

    Momi, I think you are thinking about the wrong thing here. You are thinking about co-authors. Which can be, yes, quite challenging to amateur writer. Then again, I did a huge project in 2003 with two other co-authors, and it was great and we worked pretty fast sharing the workload... But anyways, it's not something I would recommend here.
    However, what we are talking about here is just having an editor to check up on your typos and possibly plot-holes. Which is really something that would help any aspiring writer out there. And the only problem I can see there is having to write your story fast enough so that editor would have time to check it and you would then have time to change the text around. Which is pretty much impossible for people of CL, yes, because 50% of you are sending your stuff in last few days and another 45% are whining about extending the deadline.
    But really, it's actually a beneficial thing making the process easier. Really. Like, believe me, I know of what I speak.

    Also, I think it's just not a good time for big writing thingy. I think people who are in college have a lot of tests these days, so they can't really think about writing anything else or even picking the theme. That's why we aren't seeing many people here, in my opinion.

    And about the theme... as I already said, I liked the saga idea... But hey, I am willing to go for other genres like crime, mystery or whatever. Well, I don't think I would be able to do romance, because obvious reasons. But most of the rest I can at least think about.

  12. #744272014-04-29 07:16:37--Jack-- said:

    I also enjoy the idea of Mystery/Thriller/Noir as a theme. It seems like a nice stark contrast to Fantasy and an open-ended Sci-Fi theme for the last two. Also has a nostalgic feel to it.


  13. #744282014-04-29 07:55:17DarkChaplain said:

    I don't think exams or anything will be in the way. The people I'd expect to participate based on previous runs have already shown up here and given their opinions, alongside a few newer faces.

    Also consider that when this starts early May, it'll stay open for the rest of the month at least, so even if exams are still happening right now, there'll be weeks beyond that. The timing shouldn't be any worse than with whichever holiday comes up, and even when people are on vacation, like the recent spring break, they are gonna spend time on other things like looking at cat pictures on tumblr.