Writing Tips -1Writing Tips
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
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
Beating the BlockBeating the Block2 years ago in Writing More Like This
brought to you by Super Editor
Please read this list slowly and carefully, considering not only the individual prompt but ways to bend it. You'll get much more out of it. (Thinking about specific characters and/or listening to your book's theme music while you read may help.)
This list is designed mainly to give ideas for characterization-related scenes. If your issue is more along the lines of "I don't know where I'm going," then this may not be as helpful. While you can read this anyway, meditation and logic are usually the things that work best.
If this gives you an idea, write it down! It's a long list, so you don't want to risk forgetting anything.
Not all of these thoughts and ideas will apply to your story, but perhaps one can give you an idea! I encourage you to modify the ideas below to better fit your characters' unique situation. This is just meant to get the ideas flowing. Let's get started!
~ Two characters are stuck under a bridge bec
The Basics of Comma UsageThis guide is meant to give you, as a writer, a thorough foundation in comma usage. I won't cover every use, but I will go over a majority of them, all of which are worth knowing.The Basics of Comma Usage2 years ago in Personal More Like This
As far as this tutorial's subject matter is concerned, I feel comfortable explaining about ninety percent of what follows. However, I want this to be as accurate as possible, so I've gone to other sources online to back me up (primarily to fill in the gaps of my knowledge in terminology). I've included the links to these sources immediately below as well as in the author's description. I will refer to them throughout the tutorial by their source number (Source 1, Source 2, etc). If you wish to better your grammar even further, I particularly recommend grammarbook.com (Sources 2 and 3). Note that all the examples I give in this tutorial were not taken from the sources; they are my own.
1) grammar.ccc.comnet.edu ("Conjunctions")
5 Ways to Get Fantasy WrongYes, you're writing a fantasy story. Yes, that means many of the normal "rules" of reality are suspended. It doesn't mean you can just write whatever you like and expect your readers to swallow it. The existence of dragons they'll probably accept. Moscow being the capital of France they probably won't.5 Ways to Get Fantasy Wrong2 years ago in Writing More Like This
The key to "selling" weird, fantasy stuff to your reader (like dragons and half-elves) is making the world at large believable. This means getting the simple things right. So on that note:
1. Factual Errors
There are things in the wide-world of fiction that are fantasy elements; things like dragons, unicorns, and women who find beards sexy. There are other things in the wide-world of fiction that are factual elements; things like the speed of an average horse, the boiling point of water, and the observation that iron rusts.
Clearly, these are not two distinct categories that can have a line neatly drawn between them. You may have creat
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 Tips for DummiesWriting Tips for DummiesWriting Tips for Dummies4 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
Writers Notes - DialogueWriters Notes - Dialogue3 years ago in Writing More Like This
Dialogue is the speech between characters. It is when the narrator (you) stops telling the story and the characters speak instead.
Here's some pointers regarding dialogue writing:
Never write dialogue like real-life speech. Why? Because if you listen to real-life speech it is littered with umms and ahhs and errs. Anyone who has ever sat through a meeting or an assembly listening to someone droning on umming and ahhing will know just how frustrating it is. The last thing you want is to inflict that on your reader.
Real life also has moments where you completely forget what you're saying or get side tracked and run off on a tangent or get interrupted. Now all these things can be added to dialogue but in small amounts. We all know someone in life who constantly interrupts us when we talk, they can't wait for your part of the conversation to end so they talk over you. Fine, have a char
I Dub Thee...I Dub Thee...2 years ago in Writing More Like This
On the psychology and choosing of names
Brought to you by Super Editor
Many authors struggle with names. After coming up with a character who perfectly fits his or her intended role, planning personality traits, clothing, hobbies, and physical descriptions, now you have to sum all of that character's being up in a name!
There is an incredible number of ways to choose a name. Often authors are baffled by the vast array of first names and surnames that could be given to a character, and it's almost impossible to start. Whether you're hoping for a name that could belong to any girl on a street or a fantasy warrior from planet Xyla, there are infinite ways of choosing a name.
The best way to find ordinary names is a list. Sometimes one might choose a name that actually means something, while other times one might hope for an ordinary name with little more meaning than "her mom liked it."
Knock Yourself OutKnock Yourself Out2 years ago in Writing More Like This
How to Write a [Near]-Fainting Experience
Brought to you by Super Editor
You've probably all read books or seen movies in which a character passes out. The heroine might swoon gracefully and collapse onto the floor or into the hero's arms. People rush to bring water, a doctor, or something to revive her. She then wakes up, rosy-cheeked and a bit distressed, and she fans herself for a while while insisting that she is fine.
Fainting in real life is not nearly so beautiful. Authors, especially ones with no experience, can sometimes fall for such idealized descriptions. I am (un)fortunate enough to have experience in this area, so I will share it here.
Quick Losses of Consciousness
Usually this involves an impact or a sudden pain. The character may have no idea what happened to him or her afterwards, and later results vary depending on the severity of any injuries sustained.
Real-life example: My mom used to work as a waitress during her teenage years, and Aunt Jennifer, her
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
Planning the Evil PlotPlanning the Evil Plot2 years ago in Writing More Like This
A half-guide, half-narrative on writing a story
brought to you by Super Editor
Before I start writing, I like to have some idea of where I'm starting, where I'm going, and how I'm going to end up there. Let's say that I want to write a comedy about an author who suddenly changes places with her Mary Sue. I usually jot down some basic ideas:
Sarah, the author: ~13 years old, average-looking, glasses, rather tall and gangly
Ellemere, the Mary Sue: ~16 years old, long flowing hair, violet eyes, etc.
Forrest (Ellemere's love interest) : ~18, stereotypical pretty boy who is too dark and broody to make a good love interest
Leon: ~17, Ellemere's somewhat dorky friend who falls in love with her but is cast off to side in favor of Forrest
Tangent: For those of you who are confused, the ~ symbol means "about." I think it comes from math.
I like to draw, so I'd probably make doodles of these characters too. Drawing characters is a great way to develop th
I Miss You: Should You Orphan Your Character?I Miss You: Should You Orphan Your Character?2 years ago in Writing More Like This
First of all, I freely admit that what I say isn't gospel. I am a total amateur at art and writing. I've learned everything that I know via the internet and a few drawing books. It's just that I appreciate all of the tutorials here on dA that have helped me out, and I want to put a little bit of my own methods back in.
Be warned: this is a really sensitive issue. I really hope that this isn't something that is just taken lightly by an author. This discussion may also be a bit too gruesome for some, so viewer discretion is advised.
Some of the best and worst characters ever put to paper have been orphans. But are you writing Batman or just another Mary Sue?
Parents are key figures in shaping who we are, so you should have a very good reason to off characters with such impact. They can be well-thought out and if done right can provide a compelling insight into the psyche of their child. Maybe a neat-freak had parents who were absolute
Plots and Plot Twists.Plots and Plot Twists.2 years ago in Writing More Like This
What is a plot? A plot is a series of sequential events that make up your story. Sure, anyone could have told you that. But, how to write one? How can you make something this simple extraordinary?
Plot is comprised of 3 different parts; beginning, middle and end. Think of it this way this is how the problem started, this is how we fix it, and this is how we fixed it. Make sense? As long as you stick to this simple outline, it will be much easier for you to create your plot. Plots are also comprised of other parts; the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
The Exposition: This is the very beginning of your story in which your characters and some important themes are laid out. Describe the setting; time era, place and who the characters are. Describe to the audience just WH
Tips For Writing Flash FictionTips For Writing Flash Fiction4 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.
Character Creation - TipsCharacter Creation - Tips6 years ago in Writing More Like This
Note: I wrote this after reading a similar article in The Writer magazine about a year ago. Hope it's helpful!
Not all characters are created equal. Here are some steps to make yours superior.
Figure out what your character wants, needs, desires. A closer relationship with God? A place to belong? Just to survive? Figure it out. You cant move on to number 2 until you have.
Now that you know what your character most desires, you should be able to figure out what he/she most fears. Doing the wrong thing, being alone, death? They are the polar opposites of your characters desires.
Go back in time to before your story begins and create a detailed backstory for your character. What happened in to past to create in him the desires and fears that he has now? Be specific. Write out individual scenes, or at leas
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
Writing Tips: CharacterisationWriting Tips: Characterisation4 years ago in Writing More Like This
Characterisation: Avoiding the Dreaded Mary Sue
The characters you write are arguably the biggest part of your story. Theyre the vessel through which the reader is able to identify with the themes and ideas that youre trying to share. But creating brand new lives from thin air can sometimes be rather difficult. You have to find their voice, their needs, their personality; its a rather delicate balance, really.
Rather tempting, and often encouraged by teachers, is to do a Character Profile to help come up with some of the details. These are often pre-made sets of questions ranging from the mundane (eye colour, height, weight) to the fanciful (if your character caught someone looking at his girlfriend, what would he do?).
I dont like these. And heres why.
The questions are all a little too cookie-cutter. They promote stereotype characters, and you dont want that. The actual physical details about the character dont need to be mentione
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
Essay Writing for StudentsEssay Writing for StudentsEssay Writing for Students2 years ago in Writing More Like This
First off, this is informal, meaning this is how I do my essay plans, not what some academic that lives under a rock has handed out for use. It’s a rough skeleton or framework that you can use to plan for the contents of your academic essay without having to write a proper, full draft. Drafting a complete essay isn’t always an option for in-class essays where the question is given to you on the day or you simply lack the time. If you know your material well then this will be all you need to pump out a nice A grade for your in-class essay. For assignment type essays, it can be used for the initial planning stages of your essay, but in that case a full draft will still be required for editing and handing in purposes (naturally). Think of it a shorthand prompt guide for your essay which you only have to expand on come exam day. If your memory is terrible like mine, then this method will be your best friend. I’ll attempt
Tips for Writing Writers 1Tips for Writing Writers 15 years ago in Writing More Like This
1. How to Make Great Characters
How do you create great characters? Well you have to make us sympathize with them; give us a reason to care when they are in danger. There are many ways of doing this, but here is just a few:
Help them stand out:
No they do not need to be a super hero or have the weirdest clothes, but it is good to have something that makes them...well...them! For an example you could have a cheerleader who practises kickboxing, a guy bad tough cop with poor people skills who has a kitten, or maybe the girl who is forced to be perfect by her parents has a secret comic book collection under her floorboards.
Habits are another way of making someone stand out. Someone could have a habit of blowing bubble gum bubbles, while another could touch a necklace or bite a lip when they are worried.
No one likes to read about a perfect character. That would just be boring. Instead make your character seem more human with flaws. You could make them scared
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
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