Machine Nation

Irish Politics Forum - Politics Technology Economics in Ireland - A Look Under The Nation's Bonnet


Devilish machinations come to naught --Milton
 
PortalPortal  HomeHome  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log in  GalleryGallery  MACHINENATION.org  

Share | 
 

 A Political Thriller...

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2
AuthorMessage
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: A Political Thriller...   Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:11 am

Johnny Keogh wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
I would say the closer you keep to reality, the more the story will seem like fantasy. Btw - love your writing style. I hope we get to read more.

Thanks for the compliment CF. I have this crazy notion that I'll write the way Dickens used to write; in instalments for a newspaper.
Maybe I can add my instalments to this website every few weeks over the coming year.
I'll have to update this story as Papal Knight suggests. When I first wrote this outline four years ago, I had no idea that Europol already existed.
The idea that I had for EUPOL is reflected in Europol anyway so the stitch should not be difficult too cover.

Believe that the Dail approved the proposal for Europol just a couple of weeks ago - but I could be wrong. Papal Knights suggestions were very useful - I like books with a list of the dramatis personae in the back - great for people with short attention spans Embarassed
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: A Political Thriller...   Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:15 am

Quote :
Before you write, draw up the characters' personal details in intimate detail, and not just the detail you think relevant to the story. Define his date of birth, names of parents, jobs of parents, career path, if he ever ran for election before and lost list out the dates and the number of votes received. It may seem like a silly thing to do but authors say it is the most important thing to do. You need to get into his head to write the story, and so you need to define him in your own eyes first. If he had an unhappy childhood that could explain his gruffness with some people in the story. If you have defined his childhood you can use the background information then to throw in information, just as the fact that he is a loner in parliament, or not in a relationship, etc, is because of his childhood experiences. Even if you don't spell out the details, by being aware of them it will enable you to see the world through his eyes and understand why he is bitter/angry/funny/a conspiracy theorist or whatever. It also is an almighty pain in the butt if you describe him as tall in the first paragraph and medium in a later chapter, with blue eyes in the start and with brown eyes at the end. You need to have a sheet in front of you so that when you are describing something about him you have already worked out every little detail. Working out the details in advance helps ensure consistency in terms of characterisation and physique.

Johnny,

Noah Lukeman has written a number of books you might find helpful.

I had one at one time called, I think, The Plot Thickens here. And it is brilliant at providing the kinds of exercises that get you to do what Papal Knight is suggesting above. His other book, The First Five Pages is a great one to read AFTER you've written your magnum opus, not before. Get it all out on paper first, then worry about fine-tuning it.

There are a couple of good books about plotting.

The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker is a marvellous tome - a history and exposition, if you'll pardon the pun, of the bones of all stories - the rags to riches, the quest, voyage and return, etc.

On a practical level, a book called The Weekend Novelist by Robert J Hay and Brett NOrris may help you to get the outline clear in your head. It suggests ways of structuring your work (which helps with getting it done) but still leaves the freedom to follow your characters where they take you, as Papal Knight suggests.

If you get stuck, nanowrimo.org is a great source of ideas and they have a book which you can get online called No Plot? No Problem, which will give you an added boost when you hit the wall.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: A Political Thriller...   Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:27 am

Also, you might be interested in this. . It's a software package which a friend of mine is using to write her third book. She finds it useful but it's rather prescriptive. She likes the discipline it fosters in her.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: A Political Thriller...   Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:33 am

Johnny Keogh wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
I would say the closer you keep to reality, the more the story will seem like fantasy. Btw - love your writing style. I hope we get to read more.

Thanks for the compliment CF. I have this crazy notion that I'll write the way Dickens used to write; in instalments for a newspaper.
Maybe I can add my instalments to this website every few weeks over the coming year.
I'll have to update this story as Papal Knight suggests. When I first wrote this outline four years ago, I had no idea that Europol already existed.
The idea that I had for EUPOL is reflected in Europol anyway so the stitch should not be difficult too cover.

One thing as well. Write as much as you can from personal experience. If you are writing about a place, if possible visit it. Being there will give you a personal angle - for example, you may see something which you can use to give a realistic feel to the story. For example, if an MEP features in the story, find out how small or large their offices are, how do they feel, what is the view like? (For example, everything in an office is barcoded to ensure nothing is stolen. Turn up a chair and you'll see a barcode - but not every chair can be turned up. Some are screwed down!!!) But don't be too specific about something like colour-codes. I wrote in my book about the brown leather couches lining the corridors of Leinster House, then went in there again one day to find they had been replaced by blue leather couches. Cue a muttered expletive and a mad dash home to change all the references in all the chapters.

But feel free as I mentioned earlier to doctor facts once you explain why. A key scene I wrote involved a papal coronation in St Peters Basilica. Popes however are not crowned any more and the inauguration occurs outside in the square. But for dramatic effect a coronation inside would work best, so I had the character (his job meant that he would have to attend the ceremony) attend a coronation by having him receive a briefing from his officials saying that the new pope was a traditionalist who had reinstated the coronation, and that allowed me to have fun with having an exhausted Protestant Irish cabinet minister trying desperately to stay awake during the 5 hour ceremony, and having to get a friendly elbow in the ribs from the British foreign secretary every time he nodded off and started to snore. I then interplayed that with something happened in Dublin which the minister knew about at the same time and was desperately wanting to find out how it went, and had fun with he wondering how much of a faux pas would it be for the Irish minister to take out his mobile phone and ring from inside St Peters during the coronation. (In the end he texted but was spotted by one of the clergy who stared angrily at him, reducing the British Foreign Secretary to hysterics and leading a lot of bored people around to have to struggle not to laugh when they saw the Foreign Secretary get the giggles! In reality politicians at functions often have their in-jokes and giggling moments. Queen Elizabeth and President McAleese are notorious gigglers and both struggle when they meet not to laugh at something in case it sets the two of them into hysterics. That's why BTW the queen often looks so sour-faced and cross. When you see her doing that you know she is furiously biting her lip to stop herself breaking down in a fit of giggles. The public don't know that, but when researching the book, as one of the royals has a walk-on part in the papal coronation, I spoke to someone who knows the royals well and who talks about her giggling, and how whenever Bertie Ahern met Prince William the two would slag each other unmercifully about how their respective teams were doing in the premiership!)

So location and context can be used for humour or anger or whatever.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: A Political Thriller...   Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:58 am

So, over on the flu thread earlier, I made the UniFlu-induced slip of calling this thread "A Papal Thriller" - apologies.

Johnny, you certainly have more than the beginnings of a good story. There is also plenty of good advice on this thread and I look forward to reading your next installment! I believe Julian Gough has done the same, hasn't he? Posting in installments on his website.

When my head screws on again and stops streaming with flu, I'll finish the last few chapters of Robert Harris' Fatherland - Ard-T got me on to him before Xmas. My first fiction reading in a few years and with some similar themes - a murder(s), a policeman, high politics and history.


Last edited by Atticus on Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:00 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling* sniff *)
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: A Political Thriller...   Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:38 am

Atticus wrote:
So, over on the flu thread earlier, I made the UniFlu-induced slip of calling this thread "A Papal Thriller" - apologies.

Johnny, you certainly have more than the beginnings of a good story. There is also plenty of good advice on this thread and I look forward to reading your next installment! I believe Julian Gough has done the same, hasn't he? Posting in installments on his website.

When my head screws on again and stops streaming with flu, I'll finish the last few chapters of Robert Harris' Fatherland - Ard-T got me on to him before Xmas. My first fiction reading in a few years and with some similar themes - a murder(s), a policeman, high politics and history.

Thanks Atticus.
I must say I really enjoyed Fatherland.
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: A Political Thriller...   

Back to top Go down
 
A Political Thriller...
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 2 of 2Go to page : Previous  1, 2
 Similar topics
-
» Iraqi political crisis as US completes pullout
» Allawi threatens to offer the Iraqi political crisis to the Arab summit
» "White": create a climate of political opportunities are few and trust between the parties is missing THURSDAY, APRIL 5 / APRIL 2012 13:25

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Machine Nation  :: Vibes and Scribes :: Dog Ears Book Club-
Jump to: