Monster GuideMonster Guide
That's right, another guide. I've been meaning to do it, for a while, and dang it all, I'm going to!
The Classic Monster - As you've probably learned by now, there is almost always a classic. This one doesn't have to be good or bad, really, they just have to be hungry - for you. Or violent. Or anything else that will lead them to try to kill your main characters. Like all classics, they tend to be utterly flat, and of little interest - unless you invented the species, in which case they might have an awesome feature or too. You don't need to avoid this one, though! I wouldn't go around giving them major parts, mind you, but not every random monster that attacks your characters has to have a big long story. Sometimes they just want food, or the were artificially created to be excessively aggressive, or you stumbled across its nest and now it's territorial. As important as it is to realize depth is important, it's also necessary to remember that sometimes
Choosing a Companion: A GuideChoosing a CompanionChoosing a Companion: A Guide5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Alright, you've got your hero, your villain, your damsel maybe even a style of transformation and a monster too. Wanna know what comes next? No idea, yet! You should have figured out your companion aaaaaaages ago.
There's very little that's more important than a good companion. Whether it's to lend support or kick them down, no hero can do it alone. Even if they really wish they could.
The Loyal Companion: Most, though not all, companions fall into this overhead. Otherwise, they'd stab them in the back and run the moment they could. (See further down for that.)
This is basically the companion that stands by the hero's side through thick and thin, a Sam for a Frodo. Whether this is because of a deep friendship, a sense of honor, or a secret relationship between the characters is all up to you and your audience's imagination. Frankly, the reason matters less than the character themselves - this is the one you don't wanna mess with. When the Loyal Companion is hurt, t
How to Pick a HeroHow to Pick a HeroHow to Pick a Hero6 years ago in Writing More Like This
Believe it or not, there are actually many types of hero's in the world. If you didn't know this my GOD what have you been doing? Moves you to the front of the class immediately.
Assuming for the moment you do know, however, there's an entirely different challenge ahead - picking the right one for your story, video game, movie, or whatever the hell else you're trying.
The Classic Hero - You know them well. The do gooders that do no wrong, always save the day, and look good doing it. Great for cartoons, nooooooot so good for keeping an audience. Sorry, folks, their time has mostly come, and nobody wants to hear about them. They still have uses, though - you can do a kiddy thing, you can set them up as the well meaning, but eternally annoying, rival, or you can even make fun of them! Repeatedly! With pointy sticks! (Or, you know, you can put them in video games, where they're still alive and well! Just look at Mario.)
The Insane Hero - these can be s
Unstick your Plot - A guideThe Random Encounter The Guide to Moving Your Story ForwardUnstick your Plot - A guide5 years ago in Writing More Like This
The classical random (there's always a classic.): This is the sort you see in just about any old RPG, or RPG comic, and probably most current ones as well that person or thing you randomly meet so you can be sent off in a random direction and never have to meet them again.
Yeah, it works well enough for games I suppose but I don't recommend it in a story get around it wherever possible. One thing I saw in the Wheel of Time books (by Robert Jordan) was having the rumors and such be heard OFFSCREEN, and delivered to the characters by someone they know. You still get your information, but without the useless extra faces.
The only real reason to put in someone random is for some bit of symbolism, as a general rule, so unless you wanna get real deep or are prepared for your readers wondering if the old farmer is actually a reference to an ancient Norse God you might wanna avoid the classics.
Finding the Right White KnightFor better or for worst (whether it's sexist or not) there are basic archetypes for the love interest that are mostly available to males. Mind you, this just makes it all the more fun to apply it to a girl instead but for now, I'll stick to "he" except in a few cases, and leave it to you to mess around with the order of things.Finding the Right White Knight5 years ago in Writing More Like This
The White Knight - AKA the Boring One. Seriously, no one needs the classic pure and chase knights from fairy tales. They suck. They stink. They have absolutely nothing of interest to them, except for repeated mockability.
Now, stick that same knight in a world where everything is dark and impure, and you MIGHT get a good story. Or you might just get everyone mad as the knight tries to make other characters feel guilty for the same things your readers go about doing. So um be careful, 'kay?
Either type sorta sucks as the permanent love interest, but if you want your protagonist to start off liking someone two dimension, this one's fine.
How to Make a VillainHow to Make a Villain.How to Make a Villain6 years ago in Writing More Like This
Okay, keep in mind that everyone has their own way of going through characters, and villains especially are very much your own thing. You're going to have your favorite class, most likely, and you're often going to stick to it. (And sorry folks, this is an ACTUAL tutorial - there are enough joke ones out there already, funny as they may be.)
One thing to generally keep in mind, however, is the tragic past - avoid it. Seriously, people, nobody likes it when the villain gets whiny. Which isn't to say that they can't have a tragic past, but it's very easy to send it into whininess, or cliché. A bad boy villain character who keeps it all locked up inside really isn't any better. There are several options, though, I'll be listing only the ones I'm familiar with around here.
Classic villain - These have a lot of subclasses, and can range from stupid to serious, but they're basically the type you'll see in old movies. The evil scientists, or power
Picking a Love InterestTo those of you who are reading this in hopes of real life advice . Well, you might as well stay anyway. Frankly, if you're at the point where you're reading THIS for help, than any little bit helps - and who knows? Maybe you can profile them!Picking a Love Interest5 years ago in Writing More Like This
The main purpose of this, however, is to figure out how to pick your character's love interest. To be specific, I will be devoting most of this to finding the perfect girl for your (hopefully) not so perfect male protagonist. The girls, in case you're wondering, will be a getting a White Knight guide to look deeper into the male love interest archetypes. (Despite the name, it's not all about men saving the girls, I promise. But if I'm gonna write something about archetypes, than dang it all, how can I ignore a name that's just so bloody CONVENIENT!?) The two do overlap, though, particularly since I'm all for girls taking the roles generally given to boys in stories.
Anyway, onto your actual characters.
The Steady: Sometimes, your
How to Introduce a CharacterThe classical Movie Introduction Sometimes, you get a hero. Not over time, but right at the start this is your hero. He's confident, he's suave, and he always packs his shaving cream. Somehow he always manages to get that beard just right, despite the fact that you've never seen him trim. Everything about him is admirable, and you just wanna follow him like a little puppy dog because that's how AWESOME he is.How to Introduce a Character5 years ago in Writing More Like This
it might work, but you still shouldn't do it. It's one thing for movies, where you can simply follow someone's action across the screens. In books, you want the closeness that only seeing the character fall on their face time times just to get it right once will bring.
The stumbling introduction - sometimes, your character stumbles into the wrong thing at the wrong time. Or the right thing at the right time, perhaps, but if you want a good story you should probably make sure it ends up worse for them than it would have otherwise.
Oh, sure, things
Damsel DirectoryAlright, people, welcome to the Damsel Directory. At this point, if you've been following my guides, you know how to make your villain, pick your hero, and even the various types of TG and TF. Now it's time to Make a Maiden.Damsel Directory5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Frankly, in this day and age, we've grown fairly acceptant of the fact that just because they're Damsels in Distress doesn't mean they're helpless - but that doesn't mean that you can simply split them into two groups, of the classic and the new. So here's just some of the types of Damsels you can use.
The Classic Damsel - we're all familiar with this one, I'm sure. If you're not, go read a fairy tail, or play the old Mario games so you can rescue Princess Peach from her tower of tallness, or whatever. Or you could just watch Fiona at the beginning of the Shrek movie, if you really want a more contemporary view. (The first one - she doesn't stay classic for long, thank god.))
Basically, this type of damsel just sits around and waits for her prince to come sav
Ultimate Story ProfileGeneral Info:Ultimate Story Profile5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Genre (epic, fantasy, historical, romantic, action, adventure, comedy, horror, drama, etc):
Theme (meaning or dominant idea behind the story):
Synopsis (the story summed up into one or two sentences, with or without ending):
General Story Overview:
The Three Acts:
Act 1 (orientation and first problem):
Act 2 (struggling to solve problem):
Act 3 (climax and ending):
The Hero's Journey (skip this if not familiar with hero's journey):
The Ordinary World:
The Call to Adventure:
Refusal of the Call (for the reluctant hero):
Mentor (the wise old man or woman):
Crossing the First Threshold:
Tests, Allies and Enemies:
Approach to the Inmost Cave:
The Road Back:
Writers' Notes - Battles and WarsWriters' Notes - Battles and Wars4 years ago in Writing More Like This
While I have written a tutorial on fight scenes, I felt that it would be prudent to write one regarding wars and battles. After all a war or a battle is not just about how to fight.
When you are writing a war or battle first make sure you plan where it's going to take place. Land can be tricky, and it changes during a battle.
Image two giant armies amassing on a huge field. Infantry and cavalry alike, all decked in battle gear and heavy armour.
The pound of thousands of feet, man and horses alike. How do you think the ground will look? Grass torn and flattened, turned to mud especially if the weather turns and it begins to rain or sleet. Are there hills or mountains? Has one army taken a higher ground, dug a moat or added spikes of wood to protect their area?
Is there forests around them, have the trees been burned by one army to keep the other from using the wooded area as shelter? Has an army begun to p
Synonyms for SaidAccusedSynonyms for Said4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Writer Notes- Plot DevelopmentWriter Notes- Plot Development5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Whether you are writing a novel or a short story it is best to have your MAIN PLOT before you get too much written down. The Main Plot is the singular thread that runs through the novel/story. You may have character ideas or scene ideas but eventually you need to think about a plot. Do this sooner rather than later.
The best way to do this is to list your main characters and then decide what are their individual main plots. Are they all on the same quest with the same ideas / goals or do some of them have their own goals?
To help show this, here's an example:
Eric To become knighted and serve his king
Vivian To destroy her former master before he can poison the kingdom
Luke To find his brother
Taldor The largest city
Maybe from this list you decide Vivian is the MAIN character and her story line is the driving force however each of the other three have story lines that need to be tol
How to make your villianThis is how I come up with my ideas for making my villains vicious. I am not that terrible of a person. I have never gotten into a fight myself and I have never harmed another physically. Yet, I know my villains are messed up. Psychotic. Here's how I do it.How to make your villian6 years ago in Writing More Like This
1. Watch TV and/or movies.
I'm not talking about the news or cartoons. I personally love shows such as CSI, CSI: Miami, Bones, Criminal Minds, Dexter and Sons of Anarchy. These may seem like odd shows to watch but consider this. The first five are about criminals. People in reality who are crazy; who murder, torture and abuse other humans. The last is about a biker gang.
Movies I like to watch for inspiration are horror. Obvious, right? Good.
Every character in the world who has ever been made or will be made have purpose. I know the Joker did not, please excuse him. I cannot make a character so Psychotic that there is no reason. They must have a reason for harming. It can be food, a simple dislike of the
Fishing for INSPIRATION?Fishing for INSPIRATION?5 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 list of all the things you know well and all the things you've done -- seriously! Mythology, history, any retail jobs you might have had -- anything you might have seen, done, or studied.
WHO do you KNOW?
Have you ever met...?
A real Criminal?
A real Hero?
A real Romantic?
Guide to Better DialogueWriting dialogue -- realistic dialogue, anyway -- does not come easily to everyone. Done well, dialogue advances the story and fleshes out the characters while providing a break from straight exposition. However, just as realistic dialogue is one of the most powerful tools at a writer's disposal, nothing pulls the reader out of a story faster than bad dialogue. It takes time to develop a good ear, but noting these simple rules and obvious pitfalls can make a huge difference.Guide to Better Dialogue5 years ago in Writing More Like This
1. Listen to How People Talk.
Having a sense of natural speech patterns is essential to good dialogue. Start to pay attention to the expressions that people use and the music of everyday conversation. This exercise asks you to do this more formally, but generally speaking it's helpful to develop your ear by paying attention to the way people talk.
2. Not Exactly like Real Speech.
But dialogue should read like real speech. How do you accomplish that? Alfred Hitchcock said that a good story was "life, w
5 Steps to Organize Your NovelWhat You'll Need:5 Steps to Organize Your Novel4 years ago in Writing More Like This
A basic story idea
Printer (preferably laser) with plenty of paper
Three Ring Binders (2) with separating tabs
Build Your World and Characters
For most writers, this comes naturally. If you're having some issues, there are plenty of tutorials, guides, aids and groups available for assistance. For the purpose of this guide, you should have your world built and at the very least your main characters devised. Having secondary characters planned will get you bonus points!
Print Character and Plot Sheets
Each character should have their own sheet (keep the backs blank, they're a grand place to keep extra notes and page references). It's not necessary that you fill out every single line of the character sheet. Fill out only what is necessary for the character/plot. Feel free to add to the sheet as your write, too. The
Writing Notes - Killing charactersWriting Notes - Killing characters3 years ago in Writing More Like This
Many writers state that they are very connected to their characters. This is not surprising, for writers we build worlds, we create people and animals and imbue them with a form of life. We let them live in our heads and think on them often.
Often I have day-dreamed into my written world, sat on a log watching my characters around the campfire swapping stories. I've seen them laughing, passing around skins of bad wine and spiced meats. I've seen them sink into sorrow at those they have lost, those they couldn't save. Whether any of this gets written is a different matter because it is all designed for me to learn more about my characters, so see them react.
We begin to know them intimately, their moods and habits and loves and fears. We can read their facial ticks and subtle body poses. So why wouldn't we become connected?
When you write stories especially long ones were you have a larger amount of time to learn about your characters and allow them to develop they do become something i
Guide to SymbolismI have searched the wonder that happens to be the internet to provide you with his guide to symbolism.Guide to Symbolism5 years ago in Writing More Like This
The search for someone or something that will restore rightness to the hero's world that involves hardships, monsters, or riddles (literal or figurative in nature like all of these)
The hero must perform a deed beyond the norm.
The Initiation or Transformation
The hero undergoes a hazing to pass from ignorance and immaturity to social and spiritual adulthood. It usually occurs in three stage: separation, transformation, and return and thusly may include the fall and death/rebirth
In search of information, the hero passes into a real or figurative hell from which he may emerge after he discovers the blackest truths of himself
The hero falls to a lower level from a comparative heaven after a loss of innocence and happiness because of a transgression, a wrong.
Death and Rebirth
Usually a metaphorical death,
Writing Tips - MechanicsWriting Tips - Mechanics6 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 this that have the potential to give your reader the wrong impression of you. If they think that English is not your first language, they may structure a critique differently than if they knew that you were born and raised in New York.
So, when do you capitalise something?
° At the beginnings of sentences.
The dog is in the park.<