Backstory... Do you do, or do you don't?

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Backstory... Do you do, or do you don't?

Post by Guest on Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:07 pm

When is a gimmick a gimmick, and when does it really help you to write?

I found a program the other day meant to create maps for RPG games. Great program as far as creating realistic looking fantasy world maps. One of the maps it generated for me created some interesting topography that gave me some plot ideas. That part is all good.

Now, I was playing with this program over the weekend, and as usual, I was totally focused on the creation of these maps.

I was all up in it, so to speak.

When I finally broke away (many hours later,) Willam asked me what I was up to. I explained that I was writing a little fantasy story and that one of the protags has cause to be on a maritime vessel. I wanted to use his sailor-ness as a plot device, as a way of directing the story in a particular direction and that I wanted an actual visual aid to help the story move along. I wanted real places for them to go.

So, as my boyfriend is want to do, he says the following:

"You were making that map for the whole day. Many, many hours. How many words of your story did it help you write so far?"

At the moment of the question, the answer was none. I explained that I needed to have the map done first. He asked me, "And a paper and pen would not have done the trick, just as well?"

And that is the crux of the matter. He was right. A piece of paper and pen would have done the trick. The end product would not have been as snazzy, not as whiz bang, but it would have worked.

Do you consider the creation of these kinds of 'writing tools' a help or a hinderance to your writing??

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Re: Backstory... Do you do, or do you don't?

Post by Garmar on Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:30 pm

Do you consider the creation of these kinds of 'writing tools' a help or a hinderance to your writing??

I can certainly see his point. I've done this exact same thing and ended up not getting what I really wanted to do finished... or even started.

But, it depends on how you operate I guess. In the short term you might not get much done, but long term it could add a lot of depth to your writing by being able to visualize your setting.

Good topic.

gar.

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Re: Backstory... Do you do, or do you don't?

Post by Guest on Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:40 pm

Just in case anyone was interested, here is an example of one of the kinds of maps this particular program can provide:


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Re: Backstory... Do you do, or do you don't?

Post by Garmar on Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:29 pm

That is very cool. cool

Do you have a link?

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Re: Backstory... Do you do, or do you don't?

Post by Guest on Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:09 pm

Garmar wrote:That is very cool. cool

Do you have a link?

Why, yes I do. thumbs up

http://www.profantasy.com/

Go to the downloads and there is a demo version of Fractal Terrains Pro that you can d/l. That's what I used. The demo is fully functional, but only works for 14 days after d/l. It has a TON of options, most of which I haven't the foggiest clue about, because it is really intended for RPG gamers.

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Re: Backstory... Do you do, or do you don't?

Post by Sam W on Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:24 am

This is why I don't write fantasy, Wrey!

I use the world that already exists (by the way, Google Maps is awesome for anything you need in that regard) and I make up certain locations to suit the course of my fiction.

To answer your question: No, if it helps you visualise the world better, then it can only be of benefit to you. Three-quarters of writing is research. Consider this yours.

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Re: Backstory... Do you do, or do you don't?

Post by MC on Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:57 pm

I think it's an awesome idea. And very inspiring!
Inspiration=Priceless.

It sounds like William was feeling a little neglected, to me. Understandably, but surely he also understands how important your writing is to you. It's a dream, an aspiration and an escape from the real world. Everyone needs an escape once in a while.
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