Writers Notes - DialogueWriters Notes - Dialogue4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Dialogue is the speech between characters. It is when the narrator (you) stops telling the story and the characters speak instead.
Here's some pointers regarding dialogue writing:
Never write dialogue like real-life speech. Why? Because if you listen to real-life speech it is littered with umms and ahhs and errs. Anyone who has ever sat through a meeting or an assembly listening to someone droning on umming and ahhing will know just how frustrating it is. The last thing you want is to inflict that on your reader.
Real life also has moments where you completely forget what you're saying or get side tracked and run off on a tangent or get interrupted. Now all these things can be added to dialogue but in small amounts. We all know someone in life who constantly interrupts us when we talk, they can't wait for your part of the conversation to end so they talk over you. Fine, have a char
Writers Notes - ResearchWriters Notes - Research4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Firstly, my rule any writer worth their salt who WANTS to be published someday has a LARGE collection of reference books in their home or knows intricately the layout of the reference section in their local library.
If you want to be a professional writer, a published writer then you can't skimp on the research. So, unless you were born with a mass of knowledge on hundreds of subjects then you will need to read up on them. Not to mention things change especially in some subjects where improvements and developments replace original knowledge: for example Medicine, police procedures etc.
Do not think your readers are stupid. They are your second biggest critic (after yourself) and even loyal fans will be ready to point out flaws. Try and get passed any anger or frustration you feel if people point out your flaws. Take it as a positive step that they are trying to move your work forward (sometimes).
I read a novel once that described
How Not to write a Mary SueHow Not to write a Mary Sue4 years ago in Writing More Like This
How Not To Write A Mary Sue
So, what is a Mary Sue? It is used as a form of criticism in literature and refers to an idealised and somewhat "perfect" character that appears to have no flaws or if they do they are so limited that all the "perfect" characteristics overwhelm them making the character "flat." Mary sue often refers to a young female protagonist and male "Mary Sues" are often called "Larry Stu".
From my experience most Mary Sues are written in non-published works usually by young writers especially in fan-fiction. However there are a few Mary Sue writers who are actually published (sadly). It shows a deep lacking to create perfect characters unless it's done for satirical purposes.
So why should you avoid writing Mary Sues? Simple, perfect is boring!
We don't like perfect, we don't want perfect! Ask anyone in a relationship to list the positives traits, charms and idiosyncrasies of their partner and I guarantee at least one will be something that is weird, annoying, bizarre
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
Writers' Notes - Fight ScenesWriters' Notes - Fight Scenes4 years ago in Writing More Like This
I have read enough books to find that fighting scenes can be difficult to write. Some of the novels I have read have had painful fighting scenes so this tutorial is an amalgamation of my thoughts on the best ways to do it.
First, let's break this down into aspects to think about:
Before writing fight scenes think about the characters involved. What are their skills, what are their ideas of fighting? Why are they doing so? Is it a sense of survival? Is it to show honour like a duel?
For example -
Does a peaceful man watch his brothers murdered in a slaughter by the king's men. Does he, in a rage, grab a fallen sword and defend the last of them. He holds no skill but the sheer fury at watching his peaceful world be shattered. Afterwards does he vow revenge and ride for the king's castle or retreat to the mountains to get over what he di
Writer Notes- Plot DevelopmentWriter Notes- Plot Development4 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
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
Writers Notes - Writers BlockWriters Notes - Writers Block4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Writers Block is one of the worst feelings a writer can experience. Even the best writers will suffer it at some point or another. Point in fact that I myself am suffering writers block in my novel at this moment.
Some writers use it as an excuse to give up and stop writing completely. This happens more when the writers block lasts for a considerable period. It does not just have to be over days, I have known it to be over weeks and even over two months before now.
Writers block can be for many reasons. Often it can be when you are struggling with a key part of your writing / plot and are not making any headway. If this continues and affects the flow of your writing you can find yourself feeling "stunted."
Other writers blocks can be because you have overstretched yourself. Maybe you have been taking too much on or pushing yourself too hard. This is often when the hobby and joy of writing
Writers' Notes - Some BasicsWriters' Notes - Some Basics4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Here are just some basic thoughts for those who wish to be writers.
Novelists can and do break the rules in grammar, however this should not be done in a blasé manner. There is a difference between breaking rules for artistic value and being ignorant of those rules in the first place.
It's a common misconception that if you send in a badly written story that's really good plot/character wise that a publisher will accept it and have the Editor sort out the grammar / spelling. What is more likely, is it will be sent back to you, possibly not even fully read.
The reason for this is that publishers don't want to be doing all the work. You have to show you have a grasp of English and spelling/grammar is important (even if boring). We might all be a little less careful when writing our emails, letters, texts or even tutorials (I blame that on using ubuntu OS and its word processing software has predict
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?
An Unkindness of COMMASAn Unkindness of COMMAS5 years ago in Writing More Like This
I SUCK at commas big-time. I tend to pull a "Mark Twain"; I sprinkle them in wherever to break up the monotony of the sentence. This article is my attempt to hammer the rules into my brain.
An Unkindness of COMMAS
What the heck are Commas for, anyway?
Besides abusing the sanity of the writer, the comma exists to help readers organize information in a sentence. It makes all the stuff the author is trying to say easier to swallow. Without them, sentence bits and pieces collide into one another causing confusion; rather like a train-wreck, though not nearly as exciting.
Just in case you'd like to know who made up all these comma rules, I got most of them from Strunk & White's "Elements of Style" the grammar handbook used by every publishing house in America, and a few overseas. The rest came from my editors.
To get a good idea of how commas work, let's take a look at what they are supposed to do -- and some major
The Wasteland AKA the MIDDLEThe Wasteland AKA the MIDDLE5 years ago in Writing More Like This
The Trackless Wasteland known as: The MIDDLE
The middle (of a story) KILLS me. I freeze when I have to decide which way things are going to go, and how, and that happens during the middle for me.
Middle, middle, middle... It's the Slough of Despond!
The Middle is where I usually fizzle out.
The middle is DANGEROUS territory.
Why? Because the Middle of a story is where you have a million-and-one options, a million-and-one directions to choose from, and a million-and-one ways to really show off your writing skills.
The Middle is also, where you have a million-and-one opportunities to really screw up your story for good. Opportunities that will send you spiraling into ever tightening circles that eventually jam you into a corner you can't get out of. In short: get you Lost in your own story.
You KNOW yo
High Speed STORIESHigh Speed STORIES5 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 'Search' feature is your friend!
The plot outline I used only had 5 points:
1. Beginning - The Main Character gets involved with the Villain or Lover.
2. Complications - The situation worsens.
3. Emotional Turning Point - Panic Attack! Fear and/or Guilt vs. Desperation
4. Reversal - The wor
The LAYERS of FictionThe LAYERS of Fiction5 years ago in Writing More Like This
"If you have Action and Dialogue, do you really NEED Description too?
What is the difference?"
The Layers of Fiction
"Himawari-chan, I have your lunch!"
"Here you go Himawari-chan!"
"Thank you, Watanuki-kun!"
"You are very welcome, Himawari-chan."
"I see. Of course. Thank you, Yuuko-san. Do I need to tell you what she said?"
"No! No, you don't, and I don't want to hear it! I don't need a freaking baby-sitter!"
"Yuuko thinks you do."
"That's her! Not me!"
"Are you a fortune-teller?"
"No! Of course not!"
"I'll come get you after class. I'll get the instructor to let you wait while I practice."
"What? No! I said I don't want to wait !"
"You gonna eat that?"
"Yes I am!"
"I do not, not, NOT take orders from you!"
This is "Talking Head Syndrome." There are no dialogue tags, because I don't use them.
Sentence Structure for FICTIONSentence Structure for FICTION5 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 body, legs, feet, then over all impression.
Interior MonologuesInterior Monologues5 years ago in Writing More Like This
"I was just wondering what you think about interior monologues, long passages of reflection?" -- Curious Kitty
A note on:
-- Interior Monologues
Whether you are considering adding a lengthy monologue to a story, or intend the monologue to be the story itself where the focus of the entire story is on one character's thoughts and feelings with very little action -- from my observations and experimentation, the readers either love them or hate them. There's no in-between.
However, it is notable that the internal monologue stories that are sought out most frequently tend to focus on a profound emotion of some kind: grief, loneliness, heartache... Usually by either those seeking to deal with such an emotion, as a kind of therapy, or by those that have never felt such emotions. (Strong emotional stories are extremely popular among young adults.)
In both cases, not only does the reader seek to submerge the
The Subtle STATIC TRAITThe Subtle STATIC TRAIT4 years ago in Writing More Like This
The Subtle STATIC TRAIT
Secret Weapon of the Clever Writer
The Static Trait is the small personal HABIT an individual character displays which reveals their personal Neurosis, their driving NEED, especially in stressful situations. This habitual or even ritual behavior acts as both their greatest source of trouble and the linchpin to their success. It's the individual character's "Accident Waiting to Happen".
The most obvious place to find visible Static Traits is in both Comedies and Tragedies. These stories (and movies) RELY on their characters' Static Traits to linchpin the plot.
What made Laurel and Hardy so funny, were the little neurotic habits -- the static traits -- that would appear under stressful situations. Abbot and Costello built whole routines on Bud Abbot's little twitchy responses. The climactic scene in every one of their movies involved Abbot in a panic attack. You spent half the movie going "Oh no! Don't! Don't! Don't!...AH! He did
Advanced Plotting-The PREMISEAdvanced Plotting-The PREMISE5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Advanced Plotting ~ the PREMISE
Could you tell me more on plotting story points? I can get the big story idea well enough, but I run into a snag deciding the whole causality thing -- A leads to B, leads to C, etc."
-- Mad about Plotting
Ah, so you wanna know how to put all the theories together to make a story, do you? (Gee, you couldn't pick the easy stuff could you?) Okay...
A story's Causes & Effects, the triggers that lead from one event to the next, comes from your Premise.
Just for the record...
A Premise is NOT a Concept!
The Premise is the theoretical / emotional problem that your story is trying to illustrate and answer. It's the glue that holds the whole thing together. It's the Purpose of your story.
A Concept is HOW you intend to illustrate that Premise, it's the story you wrap around it.
Example: The 'Matrix':
Premise: Knowledge vs. Ig
10Q Writers' Tutorial: SettingTen Easy Questions to Fix Your Fantasy Setting10Q Writers' Tutorial: Setting5 years ago in Writing More Like This
(may also work for sci-fi)
A fantasy story has to take place somewhere. And what better surroundings for your epic/tragic/blood-thirsty tale of war/love/orc-beauty-pageants than your mystical land of Neverheardofit?
Imagine it! The ragged mountains clad in purple fog. The bubbling streams sparkling with fairy magic. The sleepy-eyed dragons emerging from their noble lairs, their flickering tongues tasting the sweetness of battle in the air.
(Or just some spaceships and laser guns. This is a sci-fi tutorial too.)
You can certainly feel the magic (or techno-awesome) but, for some reason, your readers just aren't getting it. They keep asking awkward questions or, worse than that, not reading further than the first chapter.
You could give up in despair: A tragic artist, never to be understood.
Or you could try this simple little Ten Question Tutorial. It can't hurt,