Writing 102: The OutlineTime to take the next step. By now you should have three big chunks of plot, a beginning, the middle and hopefully an end.
Now we are going to break these chunks in smaller pieces in what is known as the "Three Arc Structure". Any form of entertainment follows this classic structure in some way, even the smallest joke, which has the set-up, the middle and finally the punch line.
There are very creative pieces of work that throw that Three Arc Structure out the window but I guarantee that the author behind such work knew this theory backwards and upside down and thus was comfortable enough not to follow it. Know you craft before innovating.
The Three Act Structure looks like this:
Writing 101: Find your EndingWriting may seem easy but if you intend to write entertainment in any form there are ancient rules to follow, the Greeks knew it thousands of years ago, about time you learn them too.Writing 101: Find your Ending5 years ago in Writing More Like This
A linear story must have a beginning, a middle and an end. Pretty obvious, heh? Not really, smart ass... you see, in reality most people start writing without having an end, not even an idea where to take the story, no prior planning. You can't build a house without a blueprint, same goes for story telling.
Writers tend to get so carried away having so much fun, they lose themselves in the story in a way that what began as a twenty four page One-Shot becomes a Lord of the Rings masterpiece with a thousand pages. Writing twenty four pages is hard enough, writing a mythology is a herculean task. Most likely you will grow tired of your masterpiece and it will eventually be dropped ne'er to be seen again, or worse, you'll be writing it forever and ever, and heaven becomes your personal hell.
If you, the write
Writing 203: Nice to Meet YouToday's article is extremely important as it is key for successful character development.Writing 203: Nice to Meet You5 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
KNOW YOUR CHARACTERS INSIDE AND OUT
That's today's lesson. You have to develop all your characters well enough they become real people. Except those with one line only, like Officer #1 or Hot-Dog Dude. Those are walking puppets to populate your world.
But your primary and secondary characters must be well developed, there's no way around it. Their actions must be driven by their personality and back story. Even though most of this information will never see the light of day, it is imperative they exist through your characters' actions.
If you need a character to behave a specific way to drive the plot forward, it must be planted beforehand and be in line with the previously established personality, it can't be out of character.
My process starts with ten questions I fished here and there and a couple of reminders that form my own Character Bio Sheet. I like to answer them in excruciating detail
Writing 201: Crowd or Cast?You should know your overall plot by now and I'm sure you have your cast of characters in mind, now it's time to cut your cast in half, yep, seriously, cut it in half as you have too many characters. Yep, that's right, we'll focus today's article on something most people tend to ignore: how big should your cast be?Writing 201: Crowd or Cast?5 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
Here's the thing, the more characters you have, the more pages you will need to develop them in a satisfying manner. So, unless you're writing the next 1000+ novel I suggest you keep your cast with the minimum number of characters as possible your plot requires.
Why have two bad guys when one suffices? What's the point in having 50 mutants in a film where only one takes center stage *wink wink looking at you 20th Century Fox*?
I'm sure that when you cooked up a cool story you had about twenty characters in mind, that's perfectly natural, it's just too much fun creating people to populate your world. But there's an inherent danger in keeping such a bloated cast: the character
Writing 204: Lego BlocksRemember back in the day when you got that kick-ass Lego pirate ship with thousands of little pieces in a snowy X-Mas? And how much fun it was to build it just like the picture on the cover? Building the whole thing up from scratch always comparing your work with the one on box.Writing 204: Lego Blocks5 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
Awesome, so based on the current poll I'll discuss index cards, character development and why not a little bit more about structure.
Your outline, which hopefully you broke into smaller chunks, say fifteen or sixteen of them, is the picture on the Lego box. And your index cards are the actual Legos.
So now it's time to build your story just like you planned... before you start remodeling with a few touch ups here and there, let's face, who can resist? But rewriting deserves its own topic
As much planning you have beforehand, there's no better feeling than letting your creativity guide you where the story is asking to go, but knowing your path always help when exploring uncharted territory.
Okay, I've got my
Writing 202: What's your Job?Couple of days ago I covered how big should your cast be and today I'll cover their functions within the story. This should be extremely helpful to see which characters should be gone and those that are key to your plot.Writing 202: What's your Job?5 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
One of the best books I read on Character Development was "The Writer's Journey - Mythic Structure for Writers" by Christopher Vogler. He covers classic structuring as well but for me, the highlight in his book is how he maps his plot through his characters.
Basically he divides every single character in seven (7) Archetypes, the most common ones. Sometimes a character can "be" more than one thing but this helps figure out which characters are performing the same function within the story and how they can be combined to form a more complex and enjoyable one.
Vogler says: "The concept of archetypes is an indispensable tool for understanding the purpose or function of characters in a story. If you grasp the function of the archetype
Writing 302: Action in PanelsYou may think this is solely up to the illustrator of the book but in fact it's actually a shared responsibility between writers and pencillers.Writing 302: Action in Panels5 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
Camera Angles and Storytelling through Panels
As a writer it's your job to define the pacing and flow of the page and how your story will reach the readers. The artist's job is to take those directions, execute them as best as he can and apply his vision on top of the writer's. It is a collaborative effort and that's why writers and artists have to keep a constant communication.
Drawing a pin-up is one thing, telling a story through pictures is something else entirely. All your choices have weight and they should mean something, you should be very conscious of every single decision you take as an artist/writer when working on a comic book.
A close up has a very different desired effect than a wide shot for instance, and they each communicate something specific to your readers. So always keep in mind, "What do I want to communicate wi
Team Effort 101So you've just completed your masterpiece, the script is just out of the oven and you can't wait to start working on the art.Team Effort 1015 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
Did you carefully lay out the path ahead? As much fun as working in comics is, there's still a lot of logistics to handle, especially if you got a team working on the same title.
First off the bat, my advice is to always team up, even if you're like a Swiss army knife with ten thousands utilities and talents, crafting a comic book from beginning to end is just too much work, and that is the main reason I believe people quit halfway through.
If only you had access to an amazing community of talented artists you could bounce ideas off, collaborate and help achieve more, oh wait, you do have access, in fact, if you're reading this text you're lucky to be connected right now to thousands of deviants eager to work in comics just like you and me.
Writing is a solo endeavor, even when other people are kind enough to read and give notes, a writer still sits in
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.
Writing Serial FictionWriting Serial Fiction6 years ago in Writing More Like This
Writing Serial & Series Fiction
Not just another Novel idea
Please note, this is how the Professionals do it. Those of you who are Not professional are free to write (and post) as you please.
To view the Main Plot vs Subplot graphic at Full Size, GO HERE --> http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp347/OokamiKasumi/MainplotSubplot.jpg
A Serial Story is Not a chopped-up Novel!
I hear it time and time again: "If the story is too big, why don't you just cut it up into a Series or Serial?"
You can't just cut a novel-type Story in half to make a series, or use the chapters to serialize it. A true serial "episode" is its own Complete Story within a larger story. A Serial tale is NOT a chapter with book cover and neither are Series books.
The first thing any writer learns is: "A story must have a Beginning, a Middle and an End". EACH Serial and Series chapters, or episodes, must have a Beginnin
The Ultimate Writing GuideThe Ultimate Writing Guide6 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.
Writing ANGSTWriting ANGST5 years ago in Writing More Like This
One way to add excitement to your story is by adding lots of bad-guys, also known as EXTERNAL Conflict. Another way is by adding INTERNAL Conflict, more commonly known as Angst.
I'm sure most of you have noticed by now that most movie characters, and far too many book characters, are One-Dimensional. They do stuff, but they don't face any personality issues: a hang-up, a fear, paranoia, a moral code, a love interest, a strong dislike Or worse, they do have all these things, but they never really affect the story.
There's a Plot Arc, things happen, but no Character Arc. The things that happen don't affect the characters emotionally.
Where's the ANGST?
Answer these two questions:
1. What is your character's biggest character flaw?
(Think: 7 Deadly Sins.)
Writing Tips - Getting StartedWriting Tips - Getting Started6 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 is going to go, the words should hopefully come a little more easily.
If that fails to work, try putting on some music. I tend to find that just putting on any old music will actually be counter-productive. Instead, tr
Tips to Creative WritingTips to Creative Writing7 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 watching families at the park. Whatever it is, try to be around it whenever you can.
3. Map out your story.
Now this is something that a lot of people take out of hand. When mapping out your story, you don't want to have everything in a certain slot. Things can't be one hundred percent organized. The story could change in a way that
Writing DESCRIPTIONWriting DESCRIPTION6 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 describe and How Much to describe
Getting the IMAGE on Paper
Avoid Simple Nouns:
- Use a Specific Noun rather than a simple and vague noun to automatically pop in description.
Instead of: the door, the car, the tree, the house, the sword, the robe, the hat...
Write: the French doors, the
A Guide to Writing StyleA Guide to Writing Style6 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 improved and refined. Good style, however, is transparent so that your readers simply see the characters and world of your story rather than the words you use to portray them.
To write with cadence simply means that your writing should sound natural. If it sounds right to you, it probably is--but if it doesnt sound right,
Writing Chapters Tutorial v.2DaGrblz's Process to Writing ChaptersWriting Chapters Tutorial v.26 years ago in Writing More Like This
Step 1: Plot Planning
Make a sort of timeline for your whole story.
-Draw a line across a paper
-Start the first entry at the very beginning, but write tiny and sideways, so there is room for every event on your timeline.
-This timeline gives general ideas of what will happen in the story.
-Now go back and mark the events of bigger importance and/or indicates a time skip/flashback in the story.
-This organizes my thoughts of where to begin and end a chapter.
Step 2: Chapter Planning
Write out the specific events of the chapter you are about to write.
-Get a piece of notebook paper and write bullet point after bullet point of happenings in this chapter.
-Try not to put it in complete sentences, unless you have a quick idea or dialogue you don't want to forget.
-You don't have to skip lines every time you start a new bullet point. This wastes space on the notebook paper, and I myself just squish al
Writing a NovelWriting a Novel7 years ago in Writing More Like This
Writing a novel is different for everyone. However, here are some things to think about during the journey of writing your novel.
STEP ONE - Prewriting
What message do you want to send the world?
It may sound like an obvious question, but the message of any literature can be very abstract or become lost in the literature. Keep the "message" or theme specific. Every event that occurs, every character added to the story, ask yourself whether or not it helps delivering the message you want to your readers.
Characters are vital to the book. You cannot have too many, nor too few. Choose characters that people can easily relate to. All people are different, so make sure there are a few good guys for people to have favorites of. Create your characters to be different from one another, but with a common theme.
In my opinion, the most important piece of a character is its name. Novels almost always have a hero and a villain. The hero has admirable qualities, the villain
HOW do you make THE END?HOW do you make THE END?6 years ago in Writing More Like This
"When will you make an end?"
- The Pope on the painting of the Sistine Chapel
"When I'm finished."
Okay, so you got this GREAT Idea for a story!
- This Great Idea...that births chapter after chaper...
- This Great Idea... that you can't seem to finish. (WTF?)
So what do you do now?
HOW do you make an End?
Fairytales and Myths were my foundational reading, so they became my base model for how a story should finish -- by ending where you began with a solution.
This doesn't mean ending a story in the location it started, or that full irrevocable transformations don't happen, but that the story ties the knot to the Emotional or Karmic place they began. -- The lost find their way, the wicked are punished, the weak become strong, monsters are faced, emotional hang-ups are dealt with, and problems are solved. What is begun - finishes.
-- Stories aren't just about characters Doing stuff, it's about cha
Writing Tips - DescriptionWriting Tips - Description6 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 see it like mad in web and news paper comics, but it happens in prose as well.
The first, and arguably the most fun way to banish the talking heads is to make your characters act. This doesnt mean action, necessarily. The character can do any amount of going from place to place or thing to thing, but so what? Hes still not rea
High Speed STORIESHigh Speed STORIES6 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
How To Write a Novel a MonthHow To Write a Novel a Month6 years ago in Writing More Like This
So you want to write a novel in a month? Well its not impossible. Many great authors have done it, and you can too. Its hard at some points and might make you want to give up, but don't. It will be worth it to be able to tell your friends and family "I wrote a novel."
You are all probably familiar with Nanowrimo, right? If not, its a month where thousands of people try write a book within that time limit, but national writers month is not the only month where this can happen. However, if you are using November a a date to start, here is a quick guide to get ready:
Research, Research, Research!
So you know what time period you want to write in? Then research like crazy! Research clothes, vehicles, horses, weapons, anything and everything that could or might end up in your story. This way you can write confidently/help yourself fall better into the story. Trying to research is a quick way to end up surfing the web, so get all your research done
Writing BEGINNINGS for Short StoriesWriting BEGINNINGS for Short Stories2 years ago in Writing More Like This
I was wondering if you had any tips on starting a short story? Like for instance, I have the scene all laid out in my head, I know exactly what's going on and stuff, I just don't know how to begin without giving away too much info and then boring the reader. If that make any sense.
Tips on how to make a beginning...?
-- Why, yes I do!
The fastest way to start a story -- is NOT at the beginning.
Open the story within one page of Hero Meets Villain, (or Lover Meets Beloved) with the story already in progress. Action scenes and snappy dialogue are the best hooks for snaring your reader, but hints of Mysterious things yet to happen works well too. I also set the stage for the story about to begin with a few lines of Description so that the reader can SEE everything as it happens.
Here are some examples from my fan-fiction:
Opening to HERO (Naruto)
It was supposed to be a