Ten Commandments of Writing1. Have an original plot.
If every book was the same, we'd get bored with them pretty quick. Variety is what gives that special spice. Try to come up with a story that's entirely your own. If your work is based off another work, however loosely, make sure you use your own style. Don't just repeat what someone else has already written. Nobody likes a copycat, and you could face an unpleasant lawsuit that way.
2. Have a good title.
If you want people to read your book, you'll need a title that will catch their eye. Make it exciting, but keep it brief, too. Don't make your title so long that it wears the reader down. Try to stay within the limit of ten words. If you have trouble inventing a title, go through your story and decide what the main theme is, what it is in that story that really stands out.
3. Make your characters as believable as possible.
The characters are what make the story a story. You learn about them, sympathize with them, and hate them.
Story Writing - Tips and TricksStory Writing Tips and TricksStory Writing - Tips and Tricks2 years ago in Other More Like This
So, you're either writing or want to write a story. Here is a list of tips and tricks that will help you on your way to achieving your goal.
1. Write Compelling Characters
Whether your character is human or not, your audience will want to read about a hero/heroine who acts like a real person. This means giving them a well rounded personality with a fairly equal amount of strengths and flaws. Having these flaws means that they have room to grow, or they could have a tragic flaw that becomes their downfall.
Example Tragic Flaw: John Proctor from The Crucible by Arthur Miller. He is a compelling character with a tragic flaw, he has too much pride. In the end it leads to his death.
Make sure your character fits the setting too. If you are writing a story in a historical realistic setting, let's say 15th century Japan, your character should look Japanese. Research the fashion, the politics, the names and the mann
Story Writing TipsTip #1: Write about what you know. If you're writing a love story in which the main female character is dumped by her boyfriend, think about what you have been through in your own personal experience, and think about how she might react. Does your character have a strong personality? Are they normally quite likeable? Do they have a weak personality, and they let people push them around? Or do they have a personality that is mysterious, and unpredictable? Once you have established a main character, only you, the author, can predict how they will react to a certain problem.Story Writing Tips6 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
Tip #2: When beginning a story, and a chapter, it often helps to start the story/chapter in the middle of an action, because then you immediately grasp the reader's attention.
Tip #3: When writing a summary, you might want to include a very short excerpt from your story. That way, you get the reader intrigued. In a real, published book, the first thing that a person sees is the cover, second the title, and third, the
Tips For Writing Flash FictionTips For Writing Flash Fiction5 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
by Stephen R. Smith with excerpts by Kathy Kachelries
In order to improve as a writer, you need feedback. It's difficult to write something the size of a novel, and equally difficult to carve out the time required to read one and provide any sort of meaningful critique on it. This severely handicaps the feedback loop so important for the aspiring writer.
Flash Fiction on the other hand allows you to exercise all of your story writing and editing skills while creating works that can be read in a few minutes. This makes it ideal for examining ideas, developing writing skills and getting the feedback needed to help elevate you in your craft. Note that while Flash Fiction stories can be read in a few minutes, you shouldn't expect to write them that quickly.
Kathy Kachelries, founder of 365tomorrows, had this to say about Flash Fiction:
"The most concise and widely-cited example of flash fiction is the story Ernest Hemingway penned, allegedly to settle a bar bet: For sale: baby shoes.
Writing Tips for DummiesWriting Tips for DummiesWriting Tips for Dummies5 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
Listen, I know I'm a half-rated author in training. I'm sixteen, what can you expect? But I've read critiques like this, and I decided to make my own, because many tutorials instructed me to give my own advice in order to take it.
This is probably going to be a fairly short tutorial anyways.
Think about how your character speaks. A problem I've actually seen in some young authors' is that they try to sound smart ALL the time--including in their character dialogue. True, some characters such as professors and generally serious people will speak with a certain intelligent ring, but not everyone speaks that way. For example, do you think MOST four year olds use the word concurred? I don't think so. Think about your character, their intellect level, and even how much of it they show through speech, which is a part of characterization. For example, I know people who are very smart who try not to show it through speech because it makes them sound supe
What Makes a Good Story?1. The prose flows naturally.What Makes a Good Story?2 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
2. There is an equal balance of humor and seriousness.
3. You actually learn something from it.
4. The characters are believable.
5. The characters go through a significant change of some sort, whether physical or mental.
6. There is some sort of conflict going on; not all goes well.
7. Good descriptions, vivid but appropriate; the best stories are where the audience has a good idea of what's going on and yet they're still free to use their own imagination.
9. Proper spelling and grammar.
10. Appropriate for intended audience.
Seven Big Writing TipsOftentimes I'm told I write quite well, and some people have come to me asking me to look over snippets of their work. In addition, I've always wanted to tell people these tips to writing good fiction. These tips are things that I make good use of, and you should too!Seven Big Writing Tips4 years ago in Writing More Like This
1. Describe as you go. Many people have problems with trying to describe something, and end up writing out a wall of text before they get into any action. No one's going to want to sit around and stare at your scenery or character description when they want to just get into the story, so instead go right into the story and describe the characters, their surroundings, and everything else as you go. Is there a breeze that blows through their hair? If so, is that breeze warm or cool, and what color is their hair? Where is the breeze coming from? Implement that into a single sentence, or even part of a sentence, and you'll get the idea across without overwhelming your readers with too many adjectives. Things lik
Character Tips 3 - ClothingCharacter Creation ClothingCharacter Tips 3 - Clothing3 years ago in Other More Like This
So, your character has a body, a life and a personality. The thing is, they're still naked! Well, this should solve their problem.
Before we decide on their clothes, we need to figure out what they actually do for a living. This is important because, apart from their personality, this will decide the type of clothing your character will wear. For example, a princess will wear a lot of fine dresses and have a lot of jewellery whereas a peasant will have patched up clothes and little to no jewellery. A business man will wear a suit to work whereas a person working on a construction site will wear jeans, steel toed boots, a shirt, a high vis. vest and a hard hat.
Basically, position in society and career will determine what your character usually wears.
How Personality Fits In
Appearance is influenced by your personality, not the other way around. For example, an outgoing person will more likely reveal more skin than a shy per
Writing Tutorial - DialogueWhile some authors may talk about how their writing is all talent and a gift from The Powers That Be, the truth is anyone can do a great deal to improve their writing. One effective way is through working on your dialogue.Writing Tutorial - Dialogue5 years ago in Editorial More Like This
Fan fiction can be particularly bad about this, but God-awful dialogue can be found just about anywhere, from popular books to comics to television. Bad dialogue often happens when people lose sight of reality and get hung up in the information or message theyre trying to get their character to communicate. Good dialogue is a natural reflection of the characters and the world, is easy on the ears/eyes and moves the plot forward in one way or another.
Tips for Improving Your Dialogue:
Yep, just listen. Next time youre on a bus or waiting at a restaurant, take a moment and listen to the conversations around you. Listen to the rhythm, the accents, the grammar people use in daily life. Good dialogue sounds natural. Bad dialog do
Writing Tips - DescriptionWriting Tips - Description4 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 -1Writing TipsWriting Tips -13 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Okay, so writing. Something you are interested in? Well,
lets get to grips with just some of the basics of great writing. These tips
will transform your attitude from "How can I fill this page?" into "How can
I fill this page with good quality writing?"
Part One: Initial Idea
Why is it that finding an idea can be so hard?
Why does everyone else have the power to come up with amazing ideas, and what
are you left with? Nothing... Well, to you, that may be what it seems
like, but I'm sure if you dig deep enough, you don't really lack in
ideas, you just have a hard time bringing them to the surface. Here
are some ways to bring out that buried inspiration:
Base some ideas on real life events
Its probably the easiest way to write, you may have experienced what you are
writing about, this helps the mind describe the situation, it also makes it
sound much more realistic.
Use inspiration from other pieces of writing
Writers' Notes - Battles and WarsWriters' Notes - Battles and Wars3 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
How Not to write a Mary SueHow Not to write a Mary Sue3 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
Tips to Creative WritingTips to Creative Writing5 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
Character Tips 2 - PersonalityCharacter Creation History and PersonalityCharacter Tips 2 - Personality3 years ago in Other More Like This
So, you have the body of your character, but it's only the body. It has no life or personality yet. This will hopefully help to give it one.
Creating a history is not often fun or easy, but what has happened in your character's past will affect their personality. Of course, like with everything else, there are traps that you can fall into. Some things are horribly overused, it's not illegal to use them, but just keep in mind that they are really common. Whatever you do, don't have an overly sad past, and I don't mean that they can't be orphans, or be abused by a parent or partner, because it does happen in real life (sadly). Just don't have every single thing happen to them.
Example: "Growing up, Amy was never happy. She had been orphaned at the age of 5 in a car crash. She was soon adopted by a family who seemed nice at first but then they started to abuse her. She would cry herself to sleep every night bec
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.)
Style vs. Voice - A GuideStyle vs. Voice - A Guide4 years ago in Writing More Like This
A Writer's Guide to Style vs. Voice
Here on dA, there seems to be a lot of confusion and general mass hysteria when it comes to the subjects of writing style and voice. What are they? What's the difference? Can you write one without the other? How important are they, anyhow? Do you really need either of them? Wait, what are they again?
Style is the form and structure with which you write.
Voice is the attitude and perspective with which you write.
In other words, voice is the emotion and feeling of a piece of literature, and style is the technical way of communicating that emotion.
Clearly, there is a tangible difference between the two. Style is a delivery system for voice. While voice can and should affect the form with which you write, you can most certainly write one without the other. However, the best writing is a masterful fusion of both.
I'm here to illustrate for you the difference between style and voice and to define exactly what they are and how you can us
An Unkindness of COMMASAn Unkindness of COMMAS4 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
Interior MonologuesInterior Monologues4 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
Tips for Improving and Enriching Your WritingTips for Improving and Enriching Your Writing2 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Tips for Improving and Enriching Your Writing
Know the fundamentals of writing. If you don't know these or need help with them look copy and paste this link into your adress bar http://magicuser5656.deviantart.com/art/Things-Everyone-Should-Know-About-Writing-286645736
Know your audience. You need to be aware of the audience your writing is targeted towards. You'd never catch a zoologist using a children's picture book to learn about zebras!
Have an engaging opening sentence. This is your big chance at getting the reader interested after the title, and possibly a description! Use it well.
Shorter can be better. Shorter paragraphs, shorter sentences. A sentence doesn't have to be a run-on sentence to be considered too long. If your writing becomes too long you may loose the interest of some of your readers. Think short and sweet, but keep in mind short sentences make time fly by. Having longer sentences will slow tim
Essentials of a Short StoryEssentials of a Short Story4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Essentials of a Short Story
Quotes raped from a critique of Nathanial Hawthorn's Twice Told Tales by
Edgar Allen Poe - 1837
Edgar Allen Poe, celebrated as one of the finest short fiction writers of all time, was also a literary critic. These are bits of his wisdom on writing short stories, gleaned from one of his critiques.
"The true critic will but demand that that the (story's) design intended be accomplished, to the fullest extent, by the means most advantageously applicable " -- Poe
Poe's Prerequisites -- in a Nutshell:
To deliver fullest satisfaction, a short story should be structured:
1) To be read in one sitting.
2) Using a deliberate number of characters and incidents.
3) With words restrained in style and tone.
4) All done that should be done, with nothing done which should not be.
Poe's Prerequisites -- in DETAIL
A short story should be structured:
1) To be rea
Writing Tips 101Over the 10 years of writing, from online role-playing to full out story writing, I've come to learn a few things that I find helps me when I write my stories. They're little tips that I wish I had known when I had first begun this crazy trip. Some of them are rather obvious, yet unless someone points it out you might not realize it until late into writing. As such, I'd like to share some of those things for you now. If you find this even remotely helpful, please consider faving it.Writing Tips 1012 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
1. First Drafts ALWAYS Suck
It's a simple fact. You won't be a pro from the beginning, no matter how much natural talent you may have. Just accept this. So how do you deal with this? Just write. Write the first draft of whatever you're working on. Write a lot of it, if not all of it. From when you start and when you stop, you will see a HUGE progression in your writing. You'll see just how much your writing evolved and improved over time, especially if you got feedback along the way.
With that experi
Writing Tips - DialogueWriting Tips - Dialogue5 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
10 Easy Tips to Improve Your Writing.These are some very basic things for new writers. If you see somebody that could benefit from this, send them a link!10 Easy Tips to Improve Your Writing.1 year ago in Writing More Like This
1. Use correct punctuation, spelling, and grammar everywhere, not just in your writing.
I see a lot of writers that text-talk in conversations, leave out punctuation, don't capitalize words, etc. Even if you're just shooting a message to a friend on Facebook remember those rules! Not only does this create good habits, but I find that it leads to better and more intelligent conversations
2. Learn those tricky rules like "laid/lay" and "effect/affect".
A lot of people slack off on these. Personally, I have to look up things like this all the time because I just don't remember. They're annoying, but learning the differences can help you out in your writing and in real life. Also, the difference between "good" and "well" is a must-know! I hear this used incorrectly every single day.
3. Paragraphs and when to use them.
Obviously your wr