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sunandshadow

Holiday Reading Challenge take2

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For the first holiday reading challenge explanation and recommendation, see THIS THREAD. Basically the idea is that everyone should take the time over the upcoming holiday break to read one nonfiction theory book relevant to game writing and then post telling the rest of the forum members what the book had to say. If you have a topic area you want to read about, ask here for recommendations. I can recommend books about literary or linguistic theory, and other forum members can probably recommend books about other related areas. Have fun expanding your minds!

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lol.. i must be a real idiot. I allways wanted to get some writing skills and did not even think about reading a book on it.

actually i think your idea is very good and i'll try to find my time and a book on the topic(three weeks -chrismas -one week snowboarding).

[btw]did the last years challange bring any results (gimme links )

[edit1]
lol... i finally found out why there where that few topics shown.
did not expect the time settings to be in the upper right corner

[edited by - BB-Pest on December 3, 2002 1:56:52 PM]

[edit2]

i found a book i could talk about... its actually not really related to wrinting a plot but it could be helpfull designing cities for rpgs etc and make them really fascinating and involving for the player:

Italo Calvino - Invisible Cities

the information i want to get out of this book is what a city actually is (the whole thing is more then the sum of each part) and what makes a game-city making the player feeling home, stunned by the visual impressions and remembering it for the whole life wishing to return there someday.
here's a short example out of the book:




Cities & Desire 2

At the end of three days, moving southward, you come upon Anastasia, a city with concentric canals watering it and kites flying over it. I should now list the wares that can profitably be bought here: agate, onyx, chrysoprase, and other varieties of chalcedony; I should praise the flesh of the golden pheasant cooked here over fires of seasoned chery wood and sprinkled with much sweet marjoram; and tell of the women I have seen bathing in the pool of a garden and who sometimes - it is said - invite the stranger to disrobe with them and chase them in the water. But with all this, I would not be telling you the city's true essence; for while the description of Anastasia awakens desires one at a time only to force you to stifle them, when you are in the heart of Anastasia one morning your desires waken all at once and surround you. The city appears to you as a whole where no desire is lost and of which you are a part, and since it enjoys everything you do not enjoy, you can do nothing but inhabit this desire and be content. Such is the power, sometimes called malignant, sometimes benign, that Anastasia, the treacherous city, possesses; if for eight hours a day you work as a cutter of agate, onyx, chrysoprase, your labor which gives form to desire takes from desire its form, and you believe you are enjoying Anastasia wholly when you are only its slave.


[edited by - BB-Pest on December 4, 2002 7:03:36 AM]

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will do, sunandshadow. im only in high school, but in a college course - i checked out a book for the lit&comp course. its writings for writers. its really just a collection of stories, speeches, etc, that are about writing, or exemplify rhetoric and specific literary skills.

im not going to read the whole thing this week of course, but ill certainly post here about the stories and suggestions i get.

unfortunately, this topic doesnt seem like it will be getting a lot of replies... my rhetoric topic failed miserably. thats really why i got the book, anyways. not a whole lot of people here seem to have much interest or skill in writing or actual design. mainly a lot of good ideas and even plots, but without character depth and dialogue to back it up...

to bb-pest
love the selection. can get some ideas from that for sure.

some good fiction books that are examples of the kind of writing and plot that i look for are ones by alan dean foster. the dig, the last starfighter, dark star, etc, etc. you might read the first chapters of them for their specific techniques. codgerspace and greenthieves specifically have interesting openings worth taking a look at.

be back soon!


-geo
r e d e y e g a m e s

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quote:
Original post by redeyegames
will do, sunandshadow. im only in high school, but in a college course - i checked out a book for the lit&comp course. its writings for writers. its really just a collection of stories, speeches, etc, that are about writing, or exemplify rhetoric and specific literary skills.

im not going to read the whole thing this week of course, but ill certainly post here about the stories and suggestions i get.



Good for you.

quote:

unfortunately, this topic doesnt seem like it will be getting a lot of replies... my rhetoric topic failed miserably. thats really why i got the book, anyways. not a whole lot of people here seem to have much interest or skill in writing or actual design. mainly a lot of good ideas and even plots, but without character depth and dialogue to back it up...



Hmm. Well, I have seen members of this forum post beautiful writing samples and have good discussions of writing technique in the past. Have you tried reading through the forum archive? It''s not too large, and I delete the crap posts and flame threads, so what''s left is generally good reading. Go easy on the college students who are suffering through finals and don''t have time to post these couple of weeks. You certainly shouldn''t assume that people don''t have skill just because they don''t post much. Writers who post here have a large range or fictional ideals - I like psychological drama, romance, and more literary science fiction like C. J. Cherryh, while some others adore Forgotten Realms, Stephen King, Douglas Adams... We often can''t find a lot of common ground about what or how we want to write, so people don''t discuss that much.

I myself will certainly read something for this challenge, but I haven''t decided what yet. I have to finish my stack of library books on the meaning and importance of liberty first.

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quote:
Original post by redeyegames
some good fiction books that are examples of the kind of writing and plot that i look for are ones by alan dean foster. the dig, the last starfighter, dark star, etc, etc. you might read the first chapters of them for their specific techniques. codgerspace and greenthieves specifically have interesting openings worth taking a look at.



yeah... i know allan dean foster. his books have allways a very detailled location design. i might give them another try just to see how he does this
(isnt he the guy who wrote the story for ''alien'' btw?)

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bb - yeah, he wrote alien.

lol, s&s, i didnt mean people here dont have the skill, but that very few have read this topic!

i didnt even think about the archive. there really is a bunch of good stuff. and thanks for deleting the rest!


-geo
r e d e y e g a m e s

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quote:
Original post by redeyegames
lol, s&s, i didnt mean people here dont have the skill, but that very few have read this topic!



Oh, oops. (blush) Nevermind then... lol


Hmm, since you guys are going to talk about Foster I suppose I should give my opinion of him. He''s not one of my favorite authors, but he''s fairly good. I like his series The Damned in particular.

Have you guys ever read any C. J. Cherryh? Now _she_''s a writer worth imitating, especially her masterwork Cyteen. IMO that book''s only technical flaw is that the ending was incomplete and improperly done. If you wanted to look at pure beauty of writing style I would recommend J. G. Ballard and Paul Park. For comic excellence I would recommend _Good Omens_ by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.


Hmm, now I think I''ll permit myself to riff on the topic of fanfiction for a while. Sometimes I think I''m the only literary theorist who takes fanfic seriously, but it''s a wonderful tool for studying how to write fiction. In no other arena can you take the same characters, the same worldbuilding, and a handful of plot variants and see what thousands of different authors did with them! Where else can you find out what the same story looks like when one author has twisted it into a romance, another into a comedy, and a third into a tragedy? Not to mention that all your research material is freely available on the web, you don''t have to hunt it down at a used book store or even borrow it from the library. AND you can email the author and ask them questions about their writing, something it''s darn hard to do with professional writers.

Anyway, my point was that if anyone reads fanfiction in a fandom I''m familiar with (e.g. Fushigi Yuugi, Ranma 1/2, Harry Potter, Petshop of Horrors, Utena, Sorceror Hunters, etc., I''d be happy to recommend or discuss how different pieces of fanfiction demonstrate different elements of great writing.

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quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
For comic excellence I would recommend _Good Omens_ by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.


Brilliant book. Pratchett on his own can get a little... tacky (especially in a book that length), but Gaiman balances him out very well. IMHO, at least.

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Hmm, I think I''ve decided what I''m going to read for the challenge - Dark Horse Comics _The Art OF Comic Book Writing_, just published this month.

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s&s : I''d love to recommend "L''Art de la Bande Dessinee", by Pierre Duc (IIRC), but as you can see, it''s in French. It''s a massive two volumes writing on comic books. It tackles everything from the actual writing to plots, camera angles, colours, styles of comics (not manga though, it was before manga became popular in France), etc. Anyway

Apart from that, I dont remember noticing this thread before, I''ll to see if I can find a book. I love reading books for no reason and end up finding a jewel Would "The hero with a thousand faces" qualify ? ''coz I wanted to read that one for bloody ages.

Oh, and s&s, I''d love it if you explained somewhere what you mean by fanfiction. There is something I just dont seem to grasp about it. I mean, what is the point of writing about a character that everybody already has an idea about ? I think the word I associate for it would be something between "impolite", "innapropriate" and possibly "groupie" (well, fanatic...)
But you seem to be so much into it, I''d love to see how you can present it under a different light...



Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !

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