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 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?4 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 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?4 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 Panels4 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 1014 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
Writing ANGSTWriting ANGST4 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.)
Unstick your Plot - A guideThe Random Encounter The Guide to Moving Your Story ForwardUnstick your Plot - A guide4 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.
HOW do you make THE END?HOW do you make THE END?4 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
Plot Devices-Deus Ex Machina?Plot Devices-Deus Ex Machina?4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Deus Ex Machina or Chekhov's Gun?
"What are your thoughts on Good Deus Ex Machinas? I find them hard to pull off realistically in a plot." -- Puzzled Writer
A Deus Ex Machina is when the Hero doesn't find the solution to the story's problem. The solution is handed to them, or taken care of, by someone or something far more powerful.
From TV Tropes:
A Deus Ex Machina is an outside force that solves a seemingly unsolvable problem in an extremely unlikely (and, usually, anticlimactic) way. If the secret documents are in Russian, one of the spies suddenly reveals that they learned the language. If the writers have just lost funding, a millionaire suddenly arrives, announces an interest in their movie, and offers all the finances they need to make it. If The Hero is dangling at the edge of a cliff with a villain stepping on his
RESEARCH is your Best FriendRESEARCH is your Best Friend4 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, Gothics need psychological breakdowns, Horrors need room for monster attacks, Sci-Fi's and Fantasies need moments of wonder... This gives me a rough plot outline to work from.
Next, I break down each of the Three Main Characters: Hero/Ally/Villain.
This is to make sure that they a
Writing Tips - DescriptionWriting Tips - Description5 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
Writing DESCRIPTIONWriting DESCRIPTION4 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
Writing a NovelWriting a Novel6 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
10 Writing Prompts"The purpose of life is to fight maturity." -Dick Werthimer10 Writing Prompts5 years ago in Writing More Like This
"Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep."-Fran Lebowitz
"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed."-Carl Jung
"Sometimes when you look back on a situation, you realize it wasn't all you thought it was. A beautiful girl walked into your life. You fell in love. Or did you? Maybe it was only a childish infatuation, or maybe just a brief moment of vanity. "-Henry Bromel
"Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love." -Jane Austin
"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."-Nelson Mandela
"When someone allows you to bear his burdens, you have found deep friendship."
"I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends." - Walt Whitman
"It hurts to find out that what you wanted doesn't match what you
The Ultimate Writing GuideThe Ultimate Writing Guide5 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 for PROFITWriting for PROFIT3 years ago in Writing More Like This
Writing for Profit
It's Not just an Adventure - It's a JOB.
Whoever told you that writing fiction for publication - for money - is supposed to be Artistic, Fun, or Easy -- LIED.
Writing may look artistic, and creative writing certainly is artistic (that's why they call it Creative Writing,) but writing for a living; writing for publication with the intent to get paid on a regular basis is NOT artistic, it's NOT always fun, and it certainly is NOT easy.
Writing for publication is WORK. Sure, some of it is fun, but the bulk of it is mind-bending, eye-straining work. Don't get me wrong, creativity is part of the job of writing for a living, but if you think us professional writers turn on "the Creative Muse" at 8 AM and shut her back off again at 5:30 PM then you are missing the point entirely.
The Road to publication is paved with glamorous Half-Truths.
Half-Truth: "If you write it
Creating Plot OutlinesCreating Plot Outlines5 years ago in Writing More Like This
The Plot Outline
Ok! So you just had a super intense brainwave and believe it would make a great story. You have the inspiration, the energy and the excitement and cant wait to go ahead and write it! Great!
Now STOP and back off from the pen paper or keyboard. Diving into your writing headfirst works for the very very few, what you need is a plot outline. Without a plot outline, writing a story is like building a house with no blueprints to follow. A plot outline is your blueprint, the skeleton to provide the basic support for everything going on in your novel.
Now making a plot outline is very easy, you just need to put the time in. The amount of detail you put into your outline does not matter, it can be detailed with full scene descriptions or just a couple of lines stating the basic route. As I said, it is the skeleton; the flesh can come later, most likely in your second draft. It is always best to make a minimum of two drafts of all your
Pesky Point of ViewPesky Point of View4 years ago in Writing More Like This
DISCLAIMER: Before anyone starts screaming about this article not emphasizing the Creative aspect of writing, please understand that this information was hammered into my head by my editors. This is what I had to learn to see my work published.
That doesn't mean you have to follow it! As with all advice, feel free to take what you can use and throw out the rest.
Pesky Point of View
What is Point of View (POV)?
-- It's the view of the person telling the story.
First Person: I am telling the story.
Second Person. I am telling the story to YOU. (Diaries and letters are commonly written this way.)
Third Person: He is telling the story.
Close Third Person: He had no clue how he got roped into telling this story, but he was telling it, and by god, they better listen up!
Omniscient Distant POV: The camera's eye view. (No internal narration what so ever. You only know what the camera sees. This is the POV u
Writing Emotions VISUALLYWriting Emotions VISUALLY4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Writing Emotions VISUALLY
"What is ...VISUAL writing?"
-- Visual writing is when the reader can SEE your story unfolding in their imaginations just like a movie.
* Non-visual: It was a dreary day.
* Visual: Icy rain slithered down the window glass from an iron gray sky.
This is more commonly known as SHOWING vs. TELLING.
* Telling: It was a dreary day.
* Showing: Icy rain slithered down the window glass from an iron gray sky.
"What's wrong with just...Telling them?"
-- The problem lays with Reader interpretation. Abstract (poetic) words and ideas rely on the readers' interpretation of what those words mean to them personally.
She was woefully depressed.
* How does Big Bird act when he's woefully depressed?
* How do Y
Writing Chapters Tutorial v.2DaGrblz's Process to Writing ChaptersWriting Chapters Tutorial v.25 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
Advanced CHARACTER CreationAdvanced CHARACTER Creation4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Advanced CHARACTER Creation ~ for Fiction
Hero ~ Villain ~ Ally
There are three essential characters in every story. There may be any number of side characters, but in traditional Adventures, and Romances of every stripe (erotic or not,) the main conflict is usually, if not always, a TRIANGLE of complimentary opposites.
Translation: You could tell the whole story with ONLY these Three Characters; perhaps not with any real detail, but you could still do the entire basic plotline.
I'm sure you're familiar with the names Hero & Villain or Antagonist & Protagonist already. Those are pretty darn standard. However, always there, though seldom named is a Third character, the Ally -- the Companion to the Hero or Villain.
The Invisible Character: the Ally
The Ally's function is to be the Middle-Man, the nay-sayer that presents an opposing view t
How to Start and Stay WritingHow to Start and Stay Writing4 years ago in Writing More Like This
I recently solicited my watchers to ask me writing questions that I would then attempt to answer in a writing guide such as this. This article is my first response, and there will be many more to come.
I've been asked to give advice on ways a writer can begin to put words on a page. The bottom line is as simple as this: sit your butt down and write.
Duh, right? It's the only way I know to actually write.
Sure, sitting your butt in a chair is easy, but getting your fingers to move and stay moving is a challenge. Here are three things that have helped me.
1) Have a goal.
Your goal can be as simple as "describe the person in this picture" or as ambitious as "write 1,000 words of my novel." Having a goal will drive you forward and motivate you to keep writing. Whatever you do, don't move your butt from your chair until you accomplish your goal.
Other practical goals include setting a timer, writing to the end of a chapter or scene, and completing a particular section of an outline or numbe
The Wasteland AKA the MIDDLEThe Wasteland AKA the MIDDLE4 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
STUCK on a Short Story?STUCK on a Short Story?4 years ago in Writing More Like This
10 Second Tip:
Stuck on a SHORT Story?
Stuck on what to put in your story?
-- This is the list of things I check off when I create a story:
Do you have a Setting in mind?
- Modern day
Do you have ONE big main event for the story to focus on?
- A battle
- An escape
- A love scene
- An act of revenge
- A sacrifice
- A treasure to claim
- A magic spell
- A transformation
Do you know what you want to SAY with your story?
- Love sucks.
- Friendship is forever.
- No good deed goes unpunished.
- A snake can only ever be a snake.
- Sometimes you have to take chances.
- Magic makes things worse, not better.
Do you know where you want to END your story?
- A wedding?
- A funeral?
- A bloody battlefield?
- An empty street?
- The bottom of an ocean?
Do you have your three central characters ready?
-- Just to make things interesting, any one of t