For the stories I write, I use MediaWiki to track everything about people, places, things, and events. This allows me to put in every character, no matter how minor, to track information on. Following is the categories I currently use to help sort these characters out. Continue reading
I have impressed myself. I ran a regular expression search “said [a-z]+ly[s.,]” (sans quotes) recursively through my “Dragon Blood” story folder, and found only five matches. Considering this is the story I’ve worked on the longest (in bits and pieces), and at the same time is my oldest worked-on story, this is a good sign!
What does this search match on? Anything with the word “said” followed by an adverb. This is important because an adverb after said is often (although not always negatively) telling rather than showing.
“I’ll never forget you,” the princess said, holding his hand.
“It’s not like I plan on going out there and dying,” the knight said back. He smiled. “Wait for me. I will return.”
The princess let his hand slip from her grip. She turned away from the knight. “My brother proclaimed the same. What of him?”
“Prince Eric is out there.” The knight placed his hands on her shoulders. “And I’m going to find him, and bring him home.”
The playwright walked out onto the stage. “Is everyone following along?” he asked the large theater audience. He gestured toward the princess. “She wants her love, the knight, to return safely, but she believes she has already lost her brother to the war.” He motioned to the knight. “The knight is a proud warrior who will not admit defeat before he has even left the castle. He tries to console the princess, for he loves her so, by assuring her that the prince is still alive.”
A man from the audience—third row back from the stage—stood. He cupped his hands around his mouth, and shouted out, “We get it! You don’t need to explain it to us! We’re not morons!”
As a matter of improving my writing, I have taken to rewrite a scene to follow only one point of view. The idea here is to use a third-person perspective, with the point of view following multiple characters. While at it, I’ve also moved the scene from present tense (the tense I tend to write ideas in) to past tense (the tense I tend to write solid ideas in).