Date: Feb 23, 2015 07:28 pm Title: UPDATED: The Keyword that All Authors Need to Remember, Consistency
That's very true. And I know exactly what you're talking about. I've wondered myself how these OG's juggle school,a a job and the amazing social life that some of these OG's have if all of life's responsibilities are on them. And then they always have enough money to keep the fridge full and the lights and water running. I doubt how I'd even be able to do any of this at 18. I know some people who can't even do this at 25! These OG's must be Super Girl in disguise.
Oh yes, I definitely forgot to mention those. Lol!! Jermaine and his hair. I want to know what he puts in it before he dies.
Don't get me wrong - I've seen a person do that IRL, but the reality was nothing like in the case of these OGs.
If you find out what he puts in it, please don't share. I'd rather not know....
Date: Feb 23, 2015 04:33 pm Title: UPDATED: The Keyword that All Authors Need to Remember, Consistency
How do I refrain from mixing up the OG's personalities?
I really do not know, LOL. Uh... I guess... well sometimes I do find myself writing Semaj when I should write Stacey or writing Semaj when I should be writing Aaliyah. It actually helps that three out of the six stories I'm writing all are based upon the same female OG so her personality and looks don't change. Just her age. And oh! I take back what I said in my previous review of never giving up a story, there is one i will probably end up giving up on and that's "End of Time" one of my Stacey & Michael stories. Why? That story is so damn effed up that its ridiculous and I can't seem to even think of what to turn to next. So I probably when abandon that one but that's about it.
Anyway back to how I don't mix up their personalities, it's really because I try to make them completely different people and in no way similar. I'm able to do that by their ages and their attitudes. If I'm writing in Gangsta Lovin' then I know that I'm writing the quiet and level-headed one which is Semaj. She isn't loudmouthed or overly out-going so I know when I'm writing not to make her do anything that would make her fit those categories because it isn't who she is.... LOL, I hope that made sense. I tried to explain it the best way I can.
But yes, six stories is ridiculous and too many and I will never in my life do that again. But when I started them I wasn't thinking. All I knew was this idea popped into my head and I wanted to write. That's how it always is... an idea will pop into my head and then I'm ready to write! Right away! But I'm actually growing out of that. I'm understanding that everything that I think of doesn't need to be put in a story. Which is true. So I've been monitering myself from that, hahaha. I think I might just start giving my story ideas away to other others rather than keeping them from myself because sometimes they drive me insane.
I think that's why it's easier to write one at a time. The best way (IMO) is to map each character and make sure that each new chapter is consistent with the personality you've mapped out.
Semaj is definitely very different from your other girls. Semaj is my favorite <3
You can always write those outlines in a journal or a word doc to possibly build at a later date, but only stick to the ones you are really in love with.
Date: Feb 23, 2015 03:21 pm Title: UPDATED: The Keyword that All Authors Need to Remember, Consistency
UGH. I'm just laughing my head off at this chapter/all of you guys's comments lololol.
Personality/Characteristics: When the OG and Michael are virtually the same person, just with different pronouns. When you can't tell the difference between their dialogue/thinking styles (my biggest fear). Also, for 90% of b it seems like there's only 2 options in most people's minds: bitchy, bossy, and sexy or mousy, shy, and virginal. There is literally NOTHING in between.
I know you're not really supposed to write about yourself/insert your friends, but I think I do to an extent. Not for the purpose of being like, "oh my god, this is so our lives! this is my and ___" but rather I look at how people react in real life, I draw on other people's personalities, and I try to create balanced characters that a) don't all mimic each other b) are very flat. I think the same can be said for how I write Michael. I clearly try to write as canon as I can, but sometimes it's helpful to ask yourself, "what would I do if this was happening to me?" and then try to take thpse emotions and use those either to form or contrast how Michael would behave. I don't know if that makes any sense, sorry, lolol.
Storyline: sometimes I'm afraid I take too much time moving between plot points, almost to the extent of doing the opposite of what you mention (the whole ch. 1, 2, 3, etc all being wildly different and unconnected.)
Kinda random, but I often find myself wanting to shout "SHOW, DO NOT TELL!" to a lot of writers around here. I think this goes along with writing to the smartest reader, not the dumbest. People need to have more faith in their audiences and understand that they really, really do not have to spell out every single thing that's happening/has happened in the past/the exact emotions of the character (especially if it's 3rd person narration style rather than 1st person POV.) I wish I could explain what I'm trying to say more clearly, but I can't think of a specific example...
Updating/balancing stories: I guess I feel like it'd just be unfair to write even more than one story at a time, for me at least. If you have the time to update at least once a week, go for it, people! I think I just get so wrapped up in stories on my end that it'd be impossible. I can hardly even read more than one ff in my mind...I start mixing up OGs and versions of Michael, etc...
Maybe you could do a section that focuses on examples of just straight up bad writing and ways to fix them? Something I just came across today for instance...
Now I wouldn’t call myself such a lady that I could be comparable to The Virgin Mary [...]
I wouldn't call myself the Virgin Mary. That's all you had to say, dear. More words =/= Better writing.
I'll probably review again later on when I think of more to say, lol. I love these posts and the discussions they generate!
I LOVE when the OG and Michael are thought and speech twins (not).And the two types of girls? Stereotyping FTW.
I think every author inserts his/herself into a character to some extent. Ditto for friends/family. The problem is when it is 100% the author and blatantly so. What you wrote made perfect sense and is an approach that I appreciate as a reader.
LOL. I think I've actually left that exact comment in several authors' stories. Telling the reader what is happening feels...dry. Shallow. Rushed. As a reader, I love to use my imagination to create a visual, and being told what is happening (or the use of pictures), means I don't get to exercise that skill. When I think of being "told", I think of a line mentioning the OG's thoughts and a second later, Michael's thoughts. Rather than leaving us wondering about what is motivating one of them, we immediately know for both. There goes half the mystery/natural drama that is real life.
LOL. I like your idea. I've been thinking about something similar, but was trying to figure out a way to do it that wouldn't be horribly offensive.
Thank you for chiming in :)
Date: Feb 23, 2015 02:01 pm Title: UPDATED: The Keyword that All Authors Need to Remember, Consistency
Lol! I just can't work with a ton of main characters. One of my stories literally had four main characters. The rest that appeared were very minor. And if the OG is going to have friends, she really only has one best friend and that's it. Maybe adding another friend wouldn't hurt though. I'm a loner and have a very small social circle so I guess its easier for me to capture a realistic cast than others.
Parents working 2-3 jobs and never being home is extremely realistic. Most of the stories I've read though, the parents only have one job but are too "busy" with work to come home or pay attention to their kids. I think it's more realistic for the parents not to make an appearance if the OG is an adult being as many adults leave home at a certain point and may not reside in the same city or state as parents. If the OG is a teenager, it's completely unrealistic for the parents not to appear just once unless the OG lives by herself or is an orphan. Even if the do works several jobs they could at least make a cameo.
And yes, it is very realistic to have a poor or distant relationship with one or both parents. Michael and I are in the same boat. I've got a solid relationship with my mom and a distant one with my dad.
Comas are always the worst! The OG just going to the pantry to get some cereal and then they pass out and end up in a coma. And while they're in that coma, the family finds out the OG is pregnant. Then, the OG wakes up the next day. *Rolls eyes* Lol! And yes, poor Jermaine.
I think it really depends on the parents. That being said, I don't read many FFs with underage OGs. I do think that parents should appear at least on the weekends....I've read a story or two where the OG is 16 and living completely alone, as in parents are dead. I found that rather odd. To be able to do that, a 16 year old would have to be able to cover all their expenses with a job (which is especially hard in some area) while still attending school regularly, and abide by their state's work restrictions on underage employees. Add in a sport or two, and my eyebrow goes up and stays there. Then again, it could happen.
LOL. Don't forget amnesia and an ex who wants to convince the OG or Michael that they are still together....
I blame Jermaine's hair. Even without their history, it's asking for typecasting.
Date: Feb 23, 2015 01:24 am Title: UPDATED: The Keyword that All Authors Need to Remember, Consistency
When I say charactet features I mean like when Michael first sees the OG he describes her as "a curvy, shoulder length black hair, hazel eyed goddess" or whatever lol and then the next time he's talking about how he fell in love with those dark brown eyes, or dark blue or whatever color! Hahaha, I just me physical features/appearances.
Me balancing stories: there are many days where i want to slap myself for starting stories, but IDC how badly they may be written I am going to finish them.... regardless. But from now on I'm going to start planning my stories a little more thoroughly. Right now I'm juggling 6. Honestly at the rate I'm going Mars Vs. Venus, Sweet Lady, I Want You, and Gangsta Lovin will all be done by May or June because I write some HUGE chapters for those stories and I have a plan. I NEED to stick to the plan and not steer off, that's how i jump all over the place. But yeah, it's not easy, at all.
Truth be told, I want three stories down before I even put up the one centered around the accusations.
I see that as being part of the author's understanding of each character. That's just....laziness, poor planning, and lack of investment in their story and characters.
6 is too many. How often do you find that the OG's personalities become similar? Or there is similar drama eminating from the supporting characters? LOL. I'd want at least 3 stories down.
Date: Feb 22, 2015 04:40 pm Title: UPDATED: The Keyword that All Authors Need to Remember, Consistency
@ Honey To The Bee " If an OG is hesistant and shy one minute then why all of sudden is she ok with making out and having sex with him the next?
Answer to that questions: It's becaues Michael has that effect on people well women to be more specific. There is anything a girl wouldn't do for Michael ( Wink) Shy or not It's the power of Michael and the magical he casts over his subjects. There are/were women who would not have had a problem giving up their virginity to Michael, and only Michael in a heart beat. Why, becaue it's Michael Jackson. I hope you understand where I am coming from. So I am supposing that's why you will read that in some fan fiction. I have also heard that in real life too. He couldn't gotten anything sexually from his female fans no questions asked . Why simply becaue it's Michael Jackson. He had that type of power and charisma. Okay I am done..
IDK. I still tend to agree with Michaela. What you are saying may be true, but it is also an easy out for an author. It takes no skill to have a character do that; no character development, no plot development, etc. I don't think the question is so much, could he get her to give it up by just raising an eyebrow. I think the questions are: Would he still be interested in her afterward? Would he respect her on any level? Or, would he view that girl as a Dirty Diana?
Date: Feb 22, 2015 04:39 pm Title: UPDATED: The Keyword that All Authors Need to Remember, Consistency
Yes, yes did laugh. Research is key for me now and that's since I met you. And omg HoneyToTheBee yessss. There were many instances where I was reading a story and the girl started off shy and quiet and then became an obnoxious loudmouth within two or three chapters. I can't remember what story that was but lord it was a HUGE jump and it was gradual either. Its ok for characters to develope and change but make things lead up to that, don't just automatically switch it. But aanyway consistency in both updating and writing is very important. I would never abandon my story the way some people have. I've seen stories made in 2011 and they're updating them this year and it only has a good 8 chapters. I know that can be disappointing to loyal readers and reviewers. Another is the consistency between your character and their features. If your OG starts off with hazel eyes don't change it to Dark Brown or a Tiffany blue in the middle of the story. Or one minute their brown skin and next they're pale, yes I've seen that happen before BIG mistake and so noticeable. Its good to jot down your characters appearance in the notes on your phone or in a notebook itself but the features NEED to stay consistency and not change unless the character cuts/dyes their hair or its a medical problem... other than that it should stay ome thing.
And about the random characters popping up I've seen that done before. I can't really remember if I did that, I'm not sure. Its possible though, but anyway like you said its a no-no. I don't know if you do this or have ever done this but I pay attention to minor details in some stories, like if the character is holding something and then they magically begin to do something that requires two hands... i be like what happened to what they was holding? Its really confusing when i pay attention to minor stuff but thats just me!
About the very first thing you touched on. Some authors (I think) get mixed on what they think Michael would've done in a particular situation verses what THEY would actually do. They often write the way the would go about verses how they think Michael would and thats what can complicate the OOC moments.
I know we touched on reviewers but one thing I forgot to say and this isn't to any of my reviewers in my stories but to some reviewers in other peoples stories BE EFFIN GRATEFUL. I hate when a reviewer will constantly beg for something particular to happen in the story and then when its done they aren't satisfied, thats irritating on more levels than one. IDK why but it just is.
And another thing this is about sex there are times when i read Michael taking an OGs virginity and while the sex scene is going on its like she wasnt a virgin to begin with, like she was experienced and knew exactly what to do. Not even a mere explanation as to if it hurt even a little bit or if it was uncomfortable. Its just oop he slips it in and it automatically feels like the best thing ever. Im inexperienced but damn it i know sex can't be that good at the first shot!
LOL, again another great chapter for advice.
I swear, I just write the chapters for your guys' comments. They make me crack up, nod my head, and fist pump the air.
TBH when I saw you start writing (and several stories at once, nonetheless), my thought was that you'd stop or drop one completely. Your ability to balance so many stories without disappearing a la AtMJsHouse is impressive.
In which story did you see the character's features?
Re: random characters. My rule is that if the author needs to outline each person's role/how they know the leads, then the author needs to reflect on if there are too many. At a certain point, it starts to look like a family tree in the first pages of an Anne Rice novel. I feel ya on their actions. If someone is using the bathroom, have them wash their hands. If someone is frying eggs, have them turn off the stove when they are done.....and don't forget that they are eggs, not pancakes.
I agree about authors confusing their reactions with Michael's. It also shows that the author hasn't developed a thorough sense of Michael's character.
re: gratitude. I definitely see your point. I'd like to think that readers at least show gratitude through giving stars. I don't always explicitly write "thank you", but I do purposefully star updates in order to convey that on some level.
LOL. Adding that to this segment....
It looks like popular demand has won out. I'll probably update the chapter and bump it to let everyone know.
Date: Feb 22, 2015 04:37 pm Title: UPDATED: The Keyword that All Authors Need to Remember, Consistency
I guess what I'm trying to get across is...
If you're good at rationalizing the character's thought process then it might be possible for scenarios like you described: Michael's lonely, then in love, then for some reason becomes a player, and then is back in love with the original OG (because that sick routine actually happens in real life). But there's got to be a thought process behind it/ events that lead to it. What's causing him to make these choices, etc...
If you're writing in the OG's POV then I want to know everything that's going on inside her head what's making her tick. Same with Michael in his POV.
I've come across this alot here and other places, like Wattpad where there's so many transparent actions that could possibly make sense if as readers we knew the thought process that drove the characters to do a certain thing.
I agree, but not in the timeline that I mentioned. Maybe over 100,000+ words, but that's assuming that there isn't much other drama, unnecessary extra characters, and the timespan isn't very brief. 20 chapters, let alone seven chapters, aren't enough.
I've come to realize that most people are not great at conveying a character's thoughts without making both characters appear to have the same thinking style. I do agree with you, though. That is one of the key factors I look at in deciding to continue reading a story. I do find it weird when the author is writing from the narrator's POV yet includes thoughts.
Date: Feb 22, 2015 04:37 pm Title: UPDATED: The Keyword that All Authors Need to Remember, Consistency
I'm always going to agree with your post!! The two things that hit home with me were the characters and story-line. I've seen so many writers add a new character like every two chapters and once these characters make their entrance, you never see them again. Or they introduce a crapton of characters at the beginning of the story and they're never even used. I usually have a hard outline of how many characters I want in a story and how I will use them. All my characters have a purpose. I've never been one to add the long-lost crazy ex-girlfriend coming back for one chapter or that long lost sibling. So annoying and so irrelevant.
Another thing I notice in fanfics is that the parents are always MIA. They only appear when the OG is getting married, is in a coma or get's in a fight with Michael and goes over to stay over at their house. And if she's a teenager, the parents are always at work and never home or they're at home, they just ignore the OG until she ask to do something she shouldn't be doing and they always say yes. I've hardly read a story where the OG has solid relationship with either one or both parents.
I immediately stop reading a story when the story line gets out of wack. It confuses and frustrates me. Especially when action in the story has hit an all time low and the author decides to make this off the wall event happen like making the OG get in a bad accident and end up in a coma, or getting rapped and kidnapped by a stranger or even- wait for it.......
. I adore the process by which you settle on characters. It's focused, shows forethought, and makes for a more realistic cast. Frankly, after high school and/or college, most people don't hang out with 10+ people regularly. I'd argue that many don't by the later high school years. As we mature, we narrow our circles to the people who we can trust and share our true selves with.
Parents. Hmm. I haven't noticed that in the stories I read, but you could be right. I suppose it's because I see that as realistic? I know a lot of parents who work 2-3 jobs, one job with long hours, and/or are simply overwhelmed. I also know a lot of teens and adults with poor or distant relationships with one or both of their parents. Take MJ for example - he had a solid relationship with his mother but not his father.
Rap, kidnapping, and comas....the soap opera means of adding vigor to a storyline. SMH. Jermaine is always the fall guy lol.
Date: Feb 22, 2015 03:52 pm Title: UPDATED: The Keyword that All Authors Need to Remember, Consistency
I'm not sure if this had to do with consistency or if this is a concept of its own, but! (And this is something I struggle with) The body language/ character thoughts should be more descriptive and consistent. If an OG is hesistant and shy one minute then why all of sudden is she ok with making out and having sex with him the next?
As authors we know what our characters are thinking and feeling, but the readers don't so its important to always bring that across (consistently).
It definitely falls under what I was saying in points 1 and 2. Perhaps I should have gone into more depth. I also touched on it in point 3 on segment "Going back to Square 1". Hmm. Looking back, I definitely could have made that more explicit. I suppose I likened it too much (in my head) to a character going OOC? You raise a great point. It's the equivalent to my point about Michael one second being lonely, then in love, then a player, then in love again.
Random, semi-relevant side note: I hate it when the girl sleeps with Michael on the first night and the author makes sure to emphasize that this is the first time she's done that. It reminds me of these lyrics: Anyone, ever, yeah that ain't what they all say/ I'll say it, you can suck a softball through a straw
Date: Feb 22, 2015 12:55 pm Title: UPDATED: The Keyword that All Authors Need to Remember, Consistency
Awe YES!! You said it!! I chuckled.
If I find myself talking to myself during a story it's either one of two reasons. Either the story is completely awesome or it's completely baffling. I've read some stories where I'm constantly asking myself 'How' through each chapter.
I can't stress enough how important it is to a reader...well let me speak for myself here... For the storyline to remain consistent. I find myself put of from a story when it starts skipping all over the place. If the character lost their keys and that's how they end up with MJ don't have them leaving to go home in order to create space between them. She doesn't have her keys how is she all of a sudden going home?
I know sometimes and I might be guilty in a situation where I might have a subtle discrepancy here or there. I think if it doesn't affect the course of the plot or story line it should be fine. This might happen for me in some filler chapters. I'm still learning though.
You touched on everything I was thinking about!
More soon! <333
LOL. I tried to contain some of it. I didn't want it to entirely read like , because I don't mean it to. At this point, I'm just hoping that being more direct/comical about it will mean that more of the current writers consider some of the points that I'm making.
I lol'd at the 'keys' example. I love it when a house becomes an apartment, a person's kid magically disappears from being mentioned for chapters, or they teleport from one location to anther.
I think we are all still learning. Hell, I've researched for each segment I've written here apart from this one, so I'm waiting for another shoe to drop and to find out that I missed an essay's worth of material.
Date: Feb 22, 2015 12:24 pm Title: UPDATED: The Keyword that All Authors Need to Remember, Consistency
1. AMEN..you could not have stressed that enough...one thing to keep in mind that some fans forget is how patient and forgiving was, in the sense that all someone had to do is deliver a heart felt apology for whatever it is they did and mean it and he just melted..of course I have my list of things I thought he should have done but I know for a fact that he was too nice to too many people..so in my fics I tend to make him a little more assertive like for example in dealing with the Arvisos he did distance himself from them when he started to sense they were bad news(as he did in real life) but when that didn't work he tells them to leave..in a calm manner rather than throw a total hissy fit like some authors would have had him do but I know he was more patient than I, although I would not have been able to say I blamed him if he did have a hissy fit.
Also consistency prevents potential loopholes and huge ones at that.
LOL. I was prepared to get shit for that one. I'm glad at least someone agrees.
He was very patient with fans and took time for the ones who were respectful of him and his space. I think that while he did accept apologies, he remained wary afterward.
True, it does. I'd put that more under planning than anything.