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.
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 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 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.Writing 102: The Outline5 years ago in Writing More Like This
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 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 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 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 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
Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 3Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 36 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 couldnt give a pair of fetid dingos kidneys about adding foreign languages into their stories can feel free to scroll down the page to the next bit, which is a good one, and talks about Grammar Nazis.
Nominative: Sometimes known as subjective, because it indicates the subject.
° I am tired.
Setting up Plotting NotebooksIt's early September and the temperature has begun to drop. Venturing out-of-doors in a sweater is no longer the wishful thinking of hot, hot August, but the whimsy of sweater-lovers like myself. And as fall approaches us head-on, so does November, and with it, Nation Novel Writing Month.Setting up Plotting Notebooks4 years ago in Writing More Like This
This is my first year participating. I'm sixteen now (almost seventeen when November finally rolls around) and I've been writing for as long as I can remember. What makes this year different is that I've found the answer to my writing issues. It was not that my characters were bad (I've always prided myself on my characters) or that my writing was in any way "faulty" for my age. My problem was that I could not finish what I began. I lost steam quickly. I ventured into a magical world of make-believe only to find I had no map, no guiding light, to keep me on the straight and narrow.
This change was slow to come. I decided to start finishing things (long things) around last year. I still haven't. NaNoWr
How to never get writers blockHow to never get writers block5 years ago in Writing More Like This
1. Realize what you like, and write it down. Really, its as simple as that. All you have to do is, when you go "hey, I like this movie/show/book" break down as to why you like it and write it down. Even if you just like one scene in a movie, write it down; that way if you are ever stuck, just read the list over for inspiration. Here are a few examples:
My Beta-Readers QuestionnaireMy Beta-Readers Questionnaire6 years ago in Writing More Like This
Anyone who writes with the intent to be read by the public, from the brand-name published authors to the fan-fiction scribbler, will tell you that a good Beta Reader is worth their weight in GOLD.
So, what is a Beta Reader really FOR?
Most Beta Readers look for obvious grammar boo-boos and glaring spelling errors, but the really good ones look at your story as a whole and tell you where your strengths and weaknesses are so you can adjust them.
These are what I ask MY Beta readers to check.
-- Whether you're a Writer looking to check your work or a Beta Reader who wants to point out a few things to your favorite writer, feel free to borrow, spindle, and mutilate this list of questions to your heart's desire.
MY Beta-Reader's Questionnaire
Is it BORING?
- Does any part of the story Drag?
- Are their parts that you skipped to get to 'the good part'?
- Do I over-inform anywhere? (Also known as Info-Dumping.)
Did you G
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.
RESEARCH is your Best FriendRESEARCH is your Best Friend6 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 - 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
Writing Tips - DialogueWriting Tips - Dialogue6 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 help with the mechanical bits.
When to use Dialogue
Right. So, youve got a story all set up in your head (or on a piece of paper if youre inclined to pre-write), and its great. Your hero is blasting through space with a whole heap of misfits, and you
Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 1Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 16 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 make it a sentence. It needs a subject, a verb, and it needs to be a complete thought.
The subject is usually, but not always, a noun, a proper noun, or a pronoun.
Nouns: Nouns are something physical. Look to your left. What do you see? Thats a noun.
° Please pass me that book.
Proper Nouns: Proper nouns are exactly what
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
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
Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 2Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 26 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 read about the knight in shining armour, but rather, you are the knight in shining armour and the choices you make determine whether you rescue the princess or if the evil wizard turns you into a newt. Ive never seen a book written in future tense it will happen, but it just hasnt happened yet but if you
Point of ViewPoint of View6 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 can only tell us what s/he has personally witnessed. And for obvious reasons.
° "It was one of those jobs that just got way too big way too fast. Before we knew it, the feds got called in for something completely unrelated. Course, we didn't know that, so we panicked."
The narrator tells us what they know, what they remember,
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 - 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.<
Sentence Structure for FICTIONSentence Structure for FICTION6 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.