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Thread: Fan-Fiction Q&A

  1. #41
    Junior Member aisa_etinu's Avatar
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    Default historical ties or not?

    Hi!

    I've got a question for all you wuxia writers out there; I've been checking out the story vault and there're a lot of cool stories. I'm wondering if you guys do any research before planning out your stories, or if you're doing them based on imagination and already published wuda stories. As in, do you bother establishing a dynasty, style of speech, clothing/hairtyles, part of the country, etc, or do you just take a plot and run with it, and kind of make up a China for your plot? Also, did you decide the ending from the very beginning, or make it up as you went along? I'm curious, because I'm trying a story out and I'm hoping for some tips from people who've already finished their wuxia stories!

    Thanks; I appreciate it!

  2. #42
    Member ylee_coyote's Avatar
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    Default Historical Accuracy or Pure Fiction?

    I guess I'll throw in my $0.02 (that's in Canadian currency btw ) worth in regards to your question.

    Doing the research would certainly make it a whole lot easier in creating an immersive setting since all the materials that you need (i.e. geographical features, daily life, language, key historical events, etc.) are a simple internet search away, so there's no need to start from scratch.

    On the other hand, being too historically accurate could create rigid boundaries, limiting the way you want to unfold your story. Some plot devices that you may have wanted to put into your story may very well become implausible.

    Depending what format your story will be in:

    1. plot will affect key historical events, changing their outcomes ("what-if" scenarios) or plot will coincide with key events but not affect outcomes (ex. story that looks at key events through a different perspective) => do the research

    2. story will only take place in China as a general setting => no research is required if you have a minimal knowledge of East Asian culture, just keep everything in context. IMO plot development and character development/interaction are more important than historical accuracy

    *Phew* I seem to be rambling on and on

    Anyways, hoped I helped (even if a little) and good luck on writing your story
    I'm not a robot like you. I don't like having disks crammed into me... unless they're Oreos, and then only in the mouth - Fry

  3. #43
    Senior Member spotneck's Avatar
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    Default creativity:Fanfic

    I think that having actors and actresses in your fanfic is like making your own movie in a far more cheaper way. I mean how would you ever get Louis Koo or Jessica Hsuan or etc to be the characters you made your ownself????? It's just like using them but they are not getting paid for the things they do in your fanfic. Writing fanfic is a lot of fun because you can do whatever you want with your character..There is also the downside like when you get writer's block but that's just sometimes....
    Honestly, I cannot write fanfics set in the old times, particularly if the setting is China because I'm not from there and I've only seen so little series that are sort of ancient.. Although I've studied Chinese History, its stll so difficult, any suggestions on how to resolve that problem????

  4. #44
    Member ylee_coyote's Avatar
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    Default

    The way I see it, putting celebrities in stories is a double-edged sword.

    The most obvious advantage of using celebrities is that it can attract readers from the fanbase of these celebrities. And because of their recognition, physical descriptions of your characters aren't really necessary since most readers can visualize what they look like.

    Yet, this will also cause problems because the readers will find it hard to distinguish, in their mind, their favourite celebrity from the character that you've created.

    An example would be the movie "The Last Samurai" (but I think this is applicable to any big-budget Hollywood movie). The main character's name was supposed to be Nate Algren, but throughout the movie I only saw him as "Tom Cruise". On the other hand, the actor who played the leader of the samurai village (who's character name eludes me right now) was truly believable in his role because I didn't know who the actor was. I only knew him as the character that he played.
    I'm not a robot like you. I don't like having disks crammed into me... unless they're Oreos, and then only in the mouth - Fry

  5. #45
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Default

    I think a good fanfiction is a story with characters that are individually defined by the story and their action - the actress/actor assigned to the role is just a face for easier imagination (i.e I want Richie Ren in a story and still feel for his character and not be bounded by the dislike people have about him).

    It's no use getting your story development limited by the celebrities, because their fans can't picture their idol doing this, won't allow thier idol to be paired with this character because it is played by a certain female celebrity that they dislike, or won't want thier idol to be evil.

    There needs to be an evil role, and someone has to fill it. I'm happy even if Andy Lau is given the evil role but is very developed, opposed to a goody-goody two-shoes whose characterization is as flat as a sheet of paper.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  6. #46
    Senior Member Eliar Swiftfire's Avatar
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    Default

    Hah. But in this forum, no matter how well-written you stuff is, it's almost difficult to get anyone into reading it unless your characters are named after the celebs. (unless you are writing Wuxia anyway)
    Last edited by Eliar Swiftfire; 09-16-04 at 07:10 PM.
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  7. #47
    Senior Member Long's Avatar
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    Default

    I am the type who just picks up the pen (ahem, amend... keyboard) and begin writing, without giving much thought at all to the ending, history ect... But after a couple of chapters I do sit down and do some general research about events, and places (after being carried away with the flow of the moment) ect.... I mean it would be embaressing to say that the story is set in the year say, 1340AD, and then pick the 'wrong' dynasty and the 'wrong emporer' on the throne at the time. So I generally try and get these things right. I also do a bit of research of the festivals and customs that take place in CHina, so say when I do a chapter in Spring I don't forget that there's actually a 'lantern festival' and use it...

    When I began writing the Black Dragon Swordsman, I didn't have a map of CHina, so once it was time to set out the crux of the story, I needed a map.... ect...

    When I wrote the Thief and the Assassin, I hadn't played a whole lot of CHinese Chess. I play a lot of english chess though. But as the story grew, I actually needed to play chinese chess to be able to plot the moves so that the story works ect...

    But I'm not a fan of using actors/actresses in the story. I try to create my own characters and just assing an actor to them. But there physical discriptions sometimes don't match up with the actor I've chosen. That's when I say, if I were directing the movie, I'd use special effects to stretch Chin Siu HO to be 6'5 inches tall, place 5 sword scars on felix's face ect....

    Final word - its good to write from the heart and be carried away by the moment. The master peice comes with the second draft and when you edit it. If you are familiar with "Romance of the THree Kingdoms", you'll notice that the scholar/poet, Cao Zhi, composes a lot of his work on the spot and in the spur of the moment. That is truly great...

    Good luck with writing your story. I have baffled on enough...
    "Seems, madam! Nay it is, I know not seems!" - Hamlet, William Shakespeare

  8. #48
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    If anyone needs anymore advice theres also some in Fan-fiction index, I've included stuff for writers and readers to use.
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

    Self reminder - Update blog more often and continue editing/writing for TOV fanfic.

  9. #49
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    I just sit down and plan a rough plot, then develop the characters, tyen devlop them too.

    My tools are:
    - Brain
    - Chinese Atlas (Asian Atlas if i decide to write about islands)
    - Chinese History section from Encyclopaedia Britannica
    - Interesting facts from wildlife documetries
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  10. #50
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Talking

    Charbydis, still busy with life? I'm intending to get a start on writing the next chpt for our TOV but I haven't had time in between homework, tests and etc. But I'll let you know when I got some of it done, perhaps you'd like to continue where i will leave off. So your writing won't get too rusty from not writing for a long time, eh?

    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

    Self reminder - Update blog more often and continue editing/writing for TOV fanfic.

  11. #51
    Member ylee_coyote's Avatar
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    Default

    Here's a pretty simple question. How do you guys come up with chinese names for your characters?

    I only ask cause the names that I come up with always sound so artificial. (Usually they're just a mix-and-match of names in RTK)
    I'm not a robot like you. I don't like having disks crammed into me... unless they're Oreos, and then only in the mouth - Fry

  12. #52
    Senior Member spotneck's Avatar
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    Default

    I also think that naming your characters after celebrities is not a guarantee that your fanfic will click. I don't know why but before I used to think that writing fanfics was corny but when you want other people to read your story and have them appreciate it, you should find ways. That is why we use celebrities and thus the idea of fanfic came out.

  13. #53
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suet Seung
    Charbydis, still busy with life? I'm intending to get a start on writing the next chpt for our TOV but I haven't had time in between homework, tests and etc. But I'll let you know when I got some of it done, perhaps you'd like to continue where i will leave off. So your writing won't get too rusty from not writing for a long time, eh?

    Yup. Just PM with instructions, but not during the whole of November pls becuaes it is my exam month.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  14. #54
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ylee_coyote
    Here's a pretty simple question. How do you guys come up with chinese names for your characters?

    I only ask cause the names that I come up with always sound so artificial. (Usually they're just a mix-and-match of names in RTK)
    I don't know. Most names chosen are usually mix and match too.

    I sometimes try to put some the character's character into the name as well.

    For ancient/wuxia stories:
    Like if the person is a simple minded average guy, give him simple, easy to remember names. If they are devious and scheming or powerful try to give them a cool name, like Feng/Fung, tin/Tian (which I find that most authors like to use). Two or four character names are also pretty suitable for powerful folks.

    If they are supposed to be for comedy relief, get a really funny or simple name like 'My name is Wong Dan, and I am the 8th (Bat) in the family so people call me Wong Bat Dan (bastard)."

    If the girl is really girly and comes from a well educated family, give her a soft-sounding name that has a beautiful meaning, like flowers, rain, snow, etc. (E.g Suet Seung ) If she is a cool chick who is strong and independent, you try to give her an unisex name, like Nam/Nan, Ming, Chuen/Chuan, Ying, etc, or something with a powerful meaning like Pheonix, or try two character names.

    For modern stories:
    Try to go for simple, yet smooth on the tongue names. Stick to two or three character names and don't go for too storng or two weak names or they can be corny. (Like no one in the modern world wants to be called Lee Fa Fa or Sheung Goon Fei Pang).

    Hope that helps.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  15. #55
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charbydis
    Yup. Just PM with instructions, but not during the whole of November pls becuaes it is my exam month.
    Make sure your PM inbox isn't filled up, . How is October for you?



    As for names...I just have one more thing to add to Charbydis's advice...when you name people in wuxia/ancient fanfics, never go with like Ching Ching/Qing Qing or any type of those double names, it's kinda corny to me at least. I mean maybe one girl can have a double name like that but to have two or three girls having double names like that, it really says something about the author's creativity.
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

    Self reminder - Update blog more often and continue editing/writing for TOV fanfic.

  16. #56
    Senior Member charbydis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suet Seung
    Make sure your PM inbox isn't filled up, . How is October for you?
    I'll try but the chapter won't be long!

    Quote Originally Posted by Suet Seung
    As for names...I just have one more thing to add to Charbydis's advice...when you name people in wuxia/ancient fanfics, never go with like Ching Ching/Qing Qing or any type of those double names, it's kinda corny to me at least. I mean maybe one girl can have a double name like that but to have two or three girls having double names like that, it really says something about the author's creativity.
    Hmmmmmmmmmm. Seems you might not like Wu Lin Wai Shi that much, hey SS? (Bai Fei Fei, Chu Qi Qi...) I was going to use a double name for a new chracter in TOV, but guess I have to change it now! (just joking)

    It's okay if it is like a pet name or something, like if someone starts calling you Seung Seung or something when your real name is Seut Seung, it is OK.

    Double names as real names either gives a very out-of-this world feeling, a childish feeling, or a very promiscious feeling (like: Mei Mei, Fei Fei, etc and those other ones TVB uses for prostitute names) It mostly depends on the whole feel when you say it with the surname.
    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
    Cyril Connolly

  17. #57
    Member ylee_coyote's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice guys, but I'm still having trouble naming my characters. My chinese just isn't that good. The best name I could come up with for my female character is "Xiao Fa" (small flower) which, to me, is very pathetic

    I'm thinking of using RTK names instead and categorizing the story as a "What-if" scenario (alternate timeline). Do you think that anybody will fault me if I did it this way?

    I'm not a robot like you. I don't like having disks crammed into me... unless they're Oreos, and then only in the mouth - Fry

  18. #58
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    In that case...hmm...

    Here's a link for girl names: http://www.magma.ca/~mtooker/names/suggest.htm

    As for guy names, how about you just give some character descriptions and let us all help you with naming. If it makes it any easier for you...
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

    Self reminder - Update blog more often and continue editing/writing for TOV fanfic.

  19. #59
    Member ylee_coyote's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link. Yue Ying sounds like a good name, guess I'll use that.

    Here's a description of the main character (I'm using Cao Rui as a placeholder for now):

    Yue Ying slowly looked up and met Cao Rui's eyes. She felt herself relaxing a little bit. She had only heard rumours, mainly from other servant girls, about how handsome the Prince was, but it was only during this first meeting with him that she discovered how true those rumours were. His eyes conveyed a sense of warmth and kindness, they were the kind of eyes that if a girl looked at them long enough she would lose herself in a sea of green. But there was something else, she thought. He exuded a kind of aura that she could only describe as charismatic. His smile made her feel safe, it was as if he was saying "everything's going to be alright" without actually saying it. If he were to ask someone to do something for him, that person would probably do it willingly and without question.
    I'm not a robot like you. I don't like having disks crammed into me... unless they're Oreos, and then only in the mouth - Fry

  20. #60
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ylee_coyote
    Thanks for the link. Yue Ying sounds like a good name, guess I'll use that.
    [/I]
    I have a friend name Yue Ying but I think her name means something else like moon heroine?
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

    Self reminder - Update blog more often and continue editing/writing for TOV fanfic.

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