Writing Tips - Organisation
Writing Without Confusing Yourself (Or Your Readers)
Writing is a very personal, individual undertaking. Everybody approaches the activity a bit differently from the next guy. Some people can come up with concept, plot, characters, and everything else and just sit down and write. Others need to take time to figure out what's going on; what's going to happen in the story, and how it all fits together. Others still will find themselves getting stuck somewhere along the middle, losing track of everything or changing an idea mid-way through, or never know how to end. These are the people for whom this has been put together. Those of you who can
Writing Tips - DialogueWriting Tips - Dialogue4 years ago in Writing More Like This
If youre writing fiction, the dialogue is arguably one of the most important parts. And its the bit thats the easiest to mess up, if were strictly honest. And why not? Theres so much going on in that single sentence that any number of them can go wrong; voice, character, tone, point of view, punctuation. Well start with punctuation, because Ive already written that bit.
Go here. I was originally going to copy and paste that part of the lesson into this lesson, but then the thing wound up being ten pages long. So, read that, and then come back to this if you feel you might need h
Writing Tips - LanguageWriting Tips - Language4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Accents, Foreign Languages, and Regional Dialects
There are times when your story may have one or more character speaking a different language, or with a different accent than the rest. There are many different ways a writer can go about presenting this to the reader, and before we go any further, I will concede that some of it is a matter of personal taste, and on this particular matter, you wont be able to please everybody. So, consider this bit not so much a lesson, but rather a series of guidelines.
Everyone has one. Even if you think that you dont, theres someone, somewhere in the world who would disagree wit
Writing Tips - DescriptionWriting Tips - Description4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Description: Balancing Too Much and Not Enough
Theres an old adage about writing that says, show, dont tell. But what does that actually mean? Surely, were not expected to illustrate our stories, are we? Christ, I hope not. Some of mine are rather long.
No. What that means is that you should use your words to paint a visual picture for the reader. Talking heads are both boring and confusing, and should generally be avoided. If youre unfamiliar with the term, talking heads refers to the phenomenon where all, or most of story is carried out through the characters dialogue. You
Writing Tips - MechanicsWriting Tips - Mechanics4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Tips and Tricks for Writing Fluidly
No, were not fixing up your brothers car. Mechanics are the little technical bits in your writing; punctuation, spacing, spelling, capitalisation, et cetera. Well start there.
Different languages have different rules for what should be capitalised. If you speak English, youd capitalise I and leave your dog lowercase. You may find it interesting that German is a bit backwards. If youre German, youd capitalise Hund and leave ich lowercase. Why am I telling you this? Because its simple little things like
Writing Tips: CharacterisationWriting Tips: Characterisation4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Characterisation: Avoiding the Dreaded Mary Sue
The characters you write are arguably the biggest part of your story. Theyre the vessel through which the reader is able to identify with the themes and ideas that youre trying to share. But creating brand new lives from thin air can sometimes be rather difficult. You have to find their voice, their needs, their personality; its a rather delicate balance, really.
Rather tempting, and often encouraged by teachers, is to do a Character Profile to help come up with some of the details. These are often pre-made sets of questions ranging from the mundane (eye colour, h
Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 3Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 34 years ago in Writing More Like This
Part three: Cases and Grammar Nazi Nit-Picks
Cases are, in a sort, ways of conjugating a noun that is, defining its role in a sentence. Kind of. Not really. Well, sort of. Its a bit swimmy, because we dont really have them in the English language. Well, thats a lie. We do, but theyre not very prominent. Despite this, were going over them anyway. Why? Because theyre big in some foreign languages and extinct languages. Why do we care? Because there will be a lesson on foreign and extinct languages in the future. But dont worry; we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Those who could
Point of ViewPoint of View3 years ago in Writing More Like This
Point of View AKA Narrative Mode
Quite basically, who's telling the story? Not necessarily which character, since that doesn't always really play much of a factor, but rather who the chronicler is. As a general rule, you want the point of view to remain the same throughout, although, we'll talk a bit more on that later, and why people tend to hate it.
This is Running with Scissors or How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (the books; not the later live-action adaptations). The whole of the story is told in the words of the main character. By definition, first person point of view is limited, meaning that the narrator c
Research: How to do ItResearch: How to do It4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Weve already discussed where to do your research, so now were going to learn how to go about using those tools. Like everything else we do in life, theres a process to it, and once youve learned the steps, finding the information becomes a bit easier (admittedly, some of the harder queries will never get easier).
What do you Need to Know?
Knowing what it is that youre trying to research seems sort of obvious, but there are times when you wont have the first clue about what youre looking for. These are mostly situations when you already have your story plotted out, and now you need fact to work aroun
Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 1Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 14 years ago in Writing More Like This
Part one: Parts of Speech
Now that you know how to use a comma and structure a quote, lets really get our hands dirty! Because all those commas and quotes and hard stops dont mean a thing if you have weak grammar. Grammar is huge. Theres a lot of it, so this will only be a blitz course, covering a lot in a small space. Hopefully, you already know most of it, though.
Parts of Speech
Thats right. Were doing sentence diagramming in this lesson. Youre going to need to know the difference between an adjective and an adverb later on, so this seems the logical place to start.
A sentence needs three things to m
Writing Tips - Getting StartedWriting Tips - Getting Started3 years ago in Writing More Like This
You want to write a story. Great! But the problem is that you're stuck before you've ever even managed to get the first word down on the page. You're just being taunted by the white page (or screen, as the case may be) in front of you.
If you haven't already, you may want to look into getting your thoughts organised. Figure out what you're going to write about, before trying to write anything. This may mean anything from making a few notes on a page to writing down every single thing that pops into your head, whether or not it's immediately relevant (my preferred method). With a more general (or even a very concrete) idea of where your story
Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 2Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 24 years ago in Writing More Like This
Part two: Tense of the Narrative, and Plural and Singular Nouns
Tenses: No, were not talking about a hard day at work, but rather verb tenses. What, basically, is the time-direction of your narrative? Is the chronicler telling about something that has already happening, is happening, or will eventually happen?
In most works of fiction, the narrative is in past tense. Its already happened. Occasionally, youll find a book in present tense its happening now, as youre reading it and these are usually of the pick your own adventure sort. The ones where you dont
Punchlines and Pay-OffsPunchlines and Pay-Offs3 years ago in Writing More Like This
Set-Up and Punchline: Using Narrative to Tell a Joke
"Three blokes go into a pub. Something happens, and the outcome's hilarious!"
-- Bill Bailey
That's the basic recipe for any joke, isn't it? Set the scene, add a verb or two, and everyone laughs. But there's a problem with jokes, and it goes something rather like this:
"Three blokes go into a pub, and the whole scene unfolds into a tedious inevitability." -- Bill Bailey (again)
The formula to telling a joke is a bit more complex than just the basic recipe. The recipe is what you need to tell the joke; milk, eggs, flour, shortening, baking powder, saffron. But if you just look at the r
The Ultimate Writing GuideThe Ultimate Writing Guide4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Have great tutorial that you want to show off to help others? Or need a great tutorial yourself to make your characters shine across the battlefield? Then check out the description for more information.
Modifiers, and other thingsModifiers, and other things3 years ago in Writing More Like This
Modifiers, and Why You Shouldn't Misplace Them
Misplacing a modifier in a sentence is the single easiest way to confuse your audience. Unlike nigh on everything else we've discussed so far, this lesson transcends the written word and causes all sorts of issues in speech as well. Doubly so if the other person's first language is anything other than English.
So, what is a modifier?
Again, we're not talking cars, although that could arguably be a more interesting topic. In language, a modifier is a word or phrase that gives more information about another word or phrase.
Some can be simple.
° The gold watch.
° Your hair is grey.
Writing Style--The Bottom LineWriting Style--The Bottom Line4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Writing Style - The Bottom Line
Words are like sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn. - Robert Southey
Prose is architecture, not interior decorating. - Ernest Hemingway
Writing style is made up of two things: cadence and variation.
Good style is clear, readable, and invisible. Its purpose is not to attract attention to itself but to transport readers into the world of your story. If your readers notice your style without purposefully intending to study it, your style needs to be impro
Tips to Creative WritingTips to Creative Writing5 years ago in Writing More Like This
1. Know what you're writing.
It's easy to get off track while you're writing. Thus it's always a good idea to know what you're writing. As soon as you have a good grasp on what your story is about, you'll find yourself writing quicker. This includes the main plot, a majority of the subplots, and where all the vital plot points are going to be.
2. Know what inspires you and stay around it.
Now this doesn't mean that you should go through an entire personal evaluation. It just means to keep track of where you get inspired and what caused the inspiration. For some, it could be listening to music of some sort, while for others, it could be w
Sentence Structure for FICTIONSentence Structure for FICTION3 years ago in Writing More Like This
On Basic Sentence Structure for Fiction
(Grammar Nazis BEWARE!)
Everything I ever learned about writing Fiction DIDN'T come from school; not even college. In fact, the way one writes fiction is almost the complete opposite of everything I learned in school about writing.
In order to make my stories crystal clear in my readers' imaginations, I write in precise Chronological Order, in the order events actually happen, PLUS in the order that the eye sees it.
Case in point, when describing a character, I describe them from top to bottom, in the order that the eye notices them. Face, hair, upper body, arms, hands, then lower
Character MotivationCharacter Motivation3 years ago in Writing More Like This
Everyone's heard that characters should have goals, something they want and must strive for, overcoming obstacles and antagonists in order to obtain. Because, well, a story is the record of your character's journey toward achieving a goal.
While all of this is true, I think a lot of writers lose sight of an even more important aspect of character. That is, motivation. Sure, you know what your character wants.
That's the gist of motivation. What is the psychology and reasoning behind your character's goal? If your character is driven to make money, is his motivation greed? To pay off a debt? To support his family?
Motivation is your c
Writing DESCRIPTIONWriting DESCRIPTION3 years ago in Writing More Like This
Tricks for Writing DESCRIPTION
------------- Original Message -----------
"I think the biggest problem I have is lack of detail. I can see things in my head, but other than the general surroundings, I'm always too intent on what my characters are thinking, or doing, or about to do to remember to add the details necessary to paint a really clear picture of where they are and their environment." -- Wanna Rite Reel Gud
The way to deal with that is by writing what you can. When you're done, go back and put in all the rest. Also, in situations like this, a beta-reader is your best bet at seeing where you skipped something.
As for What to desc
Story Writing for BEGINNERSStory Writing for BEGINNERS3 years ago in Writing More Like This
Story Writing for BEGINNERS
I want to write a story. I have a couple of ideas, but no idea what to do with them, or even how to begin! Help?!
-- Newbie Writer
So when you wanna write a story, where do you begin? With your PASSION!
Write what you KNOW & LOVE
What do you KNOW, really? What do you love to Do, to Study, to Think About, to Talk About...? Whether it's cave-diving, model trains, skate-boarding, sewing, horses, mythology, ghost legends, or particle physics your passion is where you will find your most unique and powerful work.
Make a list of all the things you
Character Creation - TipsCharacter Creation - Tips6 years ago in Writing More Like This
Note: I wrote this after reading a similar article in The Writer magazine about a year ago. Hope it's helpful!
Not all characters are created equal. Here are some steps to make yours superior.
Figure out what your character wants, needs, desires. A closer relationship with God? A place to belong? Just to survive? Figure it out. You cant move on to number 2 until you have.
Now that you know what your character most desires, you should be able to figure out what he/she most fears. Doing the wrong thing, being alone, death? They are the polar opposites of your characters desires.
Go back i
High Speed STORIESHigh Speed STORIES3 years ago in Writing More Like This
When you absolutely, positively, HAVE to get the story done.
The trick to speed-writing is to Plan the story out first, more commonly known as PLOTTING.
"Diabolic" was written in 30 days -- all 15 chapters at 2500 to 3000 words per chapter, adding up to around 80k (thousand) words. A novel is 90k to 100k. I was able to do this because I already knew my main characters really well, (Vincent and Sephiroth of Final Fantasy VII,) and I knew where my story ENDED. Basically, once I knew where I wanted to go, all I had to do was figure out how to get there.
Note: If you're interested, DIABOLIC can be found at Media Miner. The
Fishing for INSPIRATION?Fishing for INSPIRATION?3 years ago in Writing More Like This
Fishing for INSPIRATION?
Your imagination is a pond that you fish your ideas from. Like any fishing pond, what you catch depends on what you've stocked your pond with and how much you put in there. If you fish for only the occasional idea, your little ideas have time to breed creatively until they overflow the pond, leaping right out into your hand -- and onto your keyboard. If you fish a lot, you will have to restock -- Frequently.
A Dry Pond = Writer's Block
What's in YOUR Imagination?
What do you KNOW?
What do you love to Do, to Study, to Think About, to Talk About...? Make a lis
RESEARCH is your Best FriendRESEARCH is your Best Friend3 years ago in Writing More Like This
RESEARCH is your Best Friend.
"...for bigger fictions (maybe 10-20 chapters, or more) for a big fan fiction or OC fiction, how much do you plan out?" -- Wanna Rite Reel Gud
How much do I plan out for one of my novels...?
-- I detail everything. Seriously. I believe in a Total Immersion style of writing. In other words, I want to know the world so well, I can simply step into the mind and skin of my main character and LIVE the story.
How do I do that...?
I start with a basic plot formula and extrapolate on certain points as needed.
Romance needs extra doses of lover's angst,