Have any questions about The Story Corner or blogs? Need writing advice or a sounding board for ideas? Bring your problems here and we'll help you when we can!

Tags: TT, assistance

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That's a great idea, and to avoid spamming allow me to ask a question.
Is there any restriction on how far can I go in date to look for blogs and then comment them?
I mean like your own story, posted in January this year, is it okay to leave a comment there, or is it read only now?

Also, I'm new here, and I didn't seen much of commynity here, maybe I'm wrong, but how about trying add some activities or stuff related? Maybe a new member topic to introduce yourself for your fellow writers?
We have a welcome thread for the site. As for activites, we're open to ideas.
I think it would be great to do something special for The Story Corner. I had my fair share of of forums I've been in and I have to say that this is the one with the best writers I've seen so far, and I'd really like to see some more activity besides writing here. I'm sure that every writer is a great person too and would like to get to know people better.

As for activities, how about some writing challange, like that challenges in Character Building group, where they give a theme and people build a character based on the requirment.
Let's say a short stoey challange with a special theme or something?
We tried something like this once before, but we only got 1 submission. I'm wary to try it again. We would have to think of some improvements.
I am more than ready to help in anyway I can. Just say the word (:
Newbies have to prove themselves, aren't they ;)

Nice! 

OK, the question I have is this - how to approach writing about large number of characters? I'm thinking of writing about a squad of around 20 people of which in the end only 4 are left. I can't really introduce them all at once, and even by introducing them via dialogue, like

"What's this?" Private Carter's eyes widened at the horrible sight.

will create a whole bunch of names for the reader to remember and will make the story a pain to read through.

Any tips on how to approach that situation?

That is difficult to do. I feel that a third person perspective will help with this, obviously.

Beyond that, just introduce characters as you go or as they become relevant. Place greater emphasis on some over others. You can't go into depth with everyone equally when you have that many people to cover. It's just not practical. 

You say that only four will be left? Make sure they are among the ones you focus on the most. Or, if you want to be really fancy, put little emphasis on some and increase that emphasis as others are lost. Just an idea.

That fancy one is a good idea, haven't thought of that! 

How to describe the squad's actions on the battlefield? I thought of breaking the squad into 4 parts with each part having that 'essential' character and portray those parts as 'one person', but I don't know how to approach it. Such depersonalization lowers the impact of their death and I don't want that. 

Ultimately, some deaths will be less impactful than others. The characters become more personal to the reader as the story unfolds. It's a matter of investment. The more invested a reader is in a character, the more the death of that character will shake them.

You can't always predict, though, who the reader will invest in. Don't try too hard to make every death dramatic and heart-wrenching. Just tell a good story. Tragedy can come as a bi-product.

I see, great advice! I'll try to figure something out, already got a few ideas!

Thanks! 

You just need to think very far ahead. Plan out each death. Create each character individually so people get emotionally attached. You need to plan very far in advance so you don't end up tripping over characters, running out of space for death events etc.

Well a lot of characters in one scene is surely a pain in the ass. Well I can point a few great novels with lots of major characters, you can read them or look through them to get a basic idea of how they did it.
There is The Stand by Steven King, Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin, Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein, all do it in different ways.

My own way involve a lot of planning ahead. I give the their own personalities, their own unique looks, in case of battle each had his own approach and etc.
You should refrain from introducing them all at once. If it's a group of 20, there ought to be a few more important ones (the 4 that left as you say, they'll make a good choise for example.)
Those main characters need to have more exposition than the others. Also I imagine that not all the 16 would die/vanish in the same time. If they will die in some order you can focus less on those who die first (or focus on them more for the sake of drama)
You can also give easy and catchy nicknames for each one, thus making it easier to remember each one.

As of your question in how describe a battle scene I suggest you first develop some tactic they'll follow. Having this in mind you will have easier type to describe it. If you write in first person you can avoid the problem because your character will not be able to observe how his friends fight during battle. If it's third person and you have 4 squads it is just a matter of describe from one persons view each time. Center your writing around one character each scene and follow from there.

If I'll think of something else I'll add those ideas as well.

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