MOST COMMON CLICHES IN STORIES
Crazy, psychopathic, murderer ladies
Sexy, butt-kicking girls
Depressed emo/goth/always-dresses-in-black types
The brown-haired girl with no personality
The mean, popular, snobby girl
Unreasonably cruel bullies out to make life harder for the main character
The best friend (if they were a good character who *happened* to be a best friend they wouldn't have to be described as this)
Fun fact: Making victim OCs is cliche
Another fun fact: how someone dresses is NOT their personality
Yet another fun fact: People who claim to be random really are not and they know it.
Super bonus fun fact: A character's breast size need NEVER be stated. The end.
Super de duper bonus fun fact: Please, spare us the paragraphs on what the character looks like. It is a story, not a fashion show. A few sentences with mentions of hair color or other select features you find necessary to point out(KEYWORD: NECESSARY) are perfect. After all, how
Is she Mary Sue? Clarifying Mary SueIs she Mary Sue?4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
So, I realize that everyone has heard of Mary Sue characters, but the thing that bothers me is that Mary has never really been as clarified as she could be. Girls go around crying Mary Sue at every character with long pink hair, then go and create even worse Mary Sue characters in the false illusion that they're making nonMary Sue characters (or even anti-Sues) when in fact they're doing the opposite. Allow me to explain how this seems to happen.
First of all the term "Mary Sue" desperately needs to be clarified to these people, so this brings us to the very important question: What IS a Mary Sue?
At least everyone can agree on one thing. Mary Sues are characters that are so perfect it's annoying.
But. What do they mean by perfect? Everyone has different ideas of that, naturally. Unfortunately, this is how many fanfiction (and other) writers make their biggest mistakes.
When you hear the name Mary Sue what pops up in your mind? A be
How Not to Tell a StoryAfter being on DeviantArt for a few years now, I've noticed patterns in people's stories. Patterns, that I can't say I've ever seen until I started using the internet. I believe that's because these kind of patterns are thoroughly unprofessional. The pattern in short is this:How Not to Tell a Story3 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Character = victim
Plot = bad things happening to said victim
Maybe this sounds harsh. It's not if you understand that is ALL there is to these stories. They take any character, hurl them into a tragedy and that's it.
Let's get this straight: We do not know your character well enough to care about them yet. No matter how bloody and gutty their injuries are, no matter how many of their family members are deceased, no matter what their boyfriend did to them, no matter what kind of disease they have, WE. DO. NOT. CARE!!!!!
These kind of things are sad in themselves, but WHO is this person we're supposed to feel so horrible for? Establish THAT. It should be your absolute FIRST priority: no exceptions.
No more pasting
The Problem with Self InsertsThe Problem with Self InsertsThe Problem with Self Inserts3 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
There is nothing wrong with inserting yourself into a story. Like anything, it can be well done or... not so well done. The fact is, the majority of people who tend to write about self inserts happen to be beginners. Naturally, that causes there to be a pattern of certain, specific mistakes that are frequently found whilst reading anything on the internet. The purpose of this deviation isn't to say that self inserts are bad. I'm simply going to point out the most common mistakes that we usually encounter.
1. Making ourselves better than we really are.
Don't be fooled by the word "better." This can be replaced with mysterious, deep, dark, tragic, romantic, lovable... anything we want. Maybe a mix of a few of those things. The point is, the version of ourselves will be biased.
2. Not making anything bad happen to yourself
Let's talk about the word "bad." Does this mean something, perhaps, like... getting a disease? No. It means anything that interferes with
The Problems With Stories Written by TeenagersDon't be offended at the title. "Teenagers" is just my way of saying "people who write unprofessional/shallow stories." Not all teenagers write shallow stories, it just sounds catchier.... Anyway.The Problems With Stories Written by Teenagers2 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
The first thing I want to make clear is: I'm not talking about anything mechanical in this deviation. Grammar/spelling is important (obviously), but that point has been beaten to death by people on the internet already. My purpose, as always, is to talk about the stories themselves, regardless of the way they are communicated. Whether it be through written word or on-the-spot narration, I believe there are certain tricks to telling good stories. Not rules, mind you. Tricks.
I don't believe that telling good stories is about what you "should" do, rather than what you shouldn't. Example: people generally hate Mary Sues, right? Well, sometimes I notice things that are "like" Mary Sues, in the sense that they're equally as shallow/unprofessional ways of telling stories. The purpose of this deviat
Rants: Mary-sues and how to make a decent OCRants: Mary-sues and how to make a decent OC4 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Well, I figured that since Spongebob- Proof Of Spandy was so popular that I would do something that's different but also the same. I've written a little mini rant/opinions on an issue that isn't nearly as annoying as it used to be but it's still suck around for a quite a while everywhere I've been (Ex. DevArt, Fanfiction Net, LiveJournal). So, hope you can all enjoy and leave whatever comments you feel necessary. I would love to hear your opinions.
First I shall address Mary-Sues. Here's the five bad points of a Mary-Sue:
The name is only a slight problem. As in, it's not really one to be too concerned about but it is something that could give a good character a bad image. A name such as 'Melony Butterfly Lily DeeDee Silver Jay Hannah Rose, Melony Rose for short' is not going to give anyone a pretty image of your character and people will get tired just by trying to sa
An extension of How not to Write Love Interests“Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.” - C.S LewisAn extension of How not to Write Love Interests2 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
This quote is about faith not love, but you can see how the same logic applies. If faith is not merely to "feel" as if you believe something, why should love be merely to "feel" that you like something?
In the end, faith is remembering you have reason to believe, and love is a choice about how you treat someone. Feelings are irrelevant. They are passing. They are constantly changing, and that's natural. They can indeed play a role in our decisions about relationships, but are a fickle factor to base an entire decision off of. It's like building a house on the sand. We're human beings with intelligence, and there is no such thing as a feeling so powerful we HAVE to act on it-that is fantasy.
What about circumstances? What about age? Can it ever be simply a waste of time?
On my last deviation, people arg
How Not to Write Love InterestsUPDATE: READ THE NEW EXTENSION TO THIS POST. LINK IN DESCRIPTION!How Not to Write Love Interests2 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Despite the few who haven't caught on yet and still believe that "kids hate reading," we all know that these days, reading is popular.
"I'm just like Belle from Beauty in the Beast, because I love books," teenage girls are saying, while teens of both genders are sitting down to enjoy things like Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Eragon, Lord of the Rings and other more obscure titles.
This is just what we've been hoping for, isn't it? Kids and teens finally taking an interest in literature. It has finally become cool. They're thinking of themselves as rebels or nerds or hipsters, all of which are just new versions of the word cool.
Ah, finally people are spending their time having actual constructive hobbies.
...Or are they?
Here I am going to explore just how this isn't necessarily true; how sometimes your time can be better spent playing a good, mind-building video game or watching a wholesome, creative
How to Judge a Book by its CoverWhen it comes to the "literature" from the Young Adult section at the library, I think it's gotten to the point that you can indeed judge a book by its cover.How to Judge a Book by its Cover2 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Just because something is a book, does not mean that it doesn't make you stupid. Sometimes books can be brain-rotting, even more so than a good old, wholesome cartoon, if I may be so bold.
Today I will show you a guide about how to judge a book by its cover; that way you can conveniently know what books to avoid and which you decide are tolerable.
WARNING!!!!!!!! DO NOT CONFUSE THESE FOR GOOD BOOKS THAT HAVE SOME OF THE SAME TRAITS.
Okay, carry on:
Charlie Jackson is a teenage boy who is off to save the world from an evil foe. He and his best friend: Conveniently-Loyal-Steve, the girl he secretly admires for some unknown reason even though she's a huge jerk: Girls-Have-To-Be-Perfect-And-Tough-Or-Else-It's-Sexist-Jane, set off as an "unlikely" trio on a cliche adventure peppered with mostly sarca
How to Be a Likeable Female Character1. Have a sense of humor.How to Be a Likeable Female Character3 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
2. Learn to do some things for yourself; don't just sit around and expect someone else to handle all the work.
3. Have a listening ear and a sympathetic heart.
4. Dream about true love, but at the same time know how to care for yourself.
5. If you do find love, love him for who he is, not for what you want him to be.
6. Never be controlling or manipulative.
7. Never let anyone push you around.
8. Cry when necessary, but don't get carried away.
9. Always stand by those whom you truly care about.
10. Don't be so serious that you forget to have fun, but don't have so much fun that you forget to be serious.
Why I Don't Believe in HatersHate is a strong word.Why I Don't Believe in Haters2 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Did you ever hear someone say, "We need to stop bullying!" and wonder to yourself, when you have ever seen a stereotypical bully with big muscles and a black, ripped-up leather jacket pushing around smaller kids and stealing their lunch money?
Realizing this is obviously corny and unrealistic, you throw this idea away in the sewer where it belongs.
But then who are these bullies that everyone is talking about? It seems very interesting that bullying has (as they say) become such a very big problem nowadays... Hence the inspirational phrases, "haters gonna hate," and "don't judge," coming into popularity.
But again, which bullies are everyone referring to?
I'm not writing this to say that bullies don't exist. I'm not writing this to offend victims. I know bullying exists. You could say I'm merely writing this to make fun of "fake" bullies and "fake" victims. Nothing I say in this will absolutely hold true in every (if indeed, most) situations of bullying. I'm only
Why Strong Females are Bad Role ModelsToday I want to talk about how not to write girl characters.Why Strong Females are Bad Role Models8 months ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
"Oh, I know what you're going to say. You're going to say that girls shouldn't always rely on men. They should be strong and able to fight for themselves. They should be equally as smart and quick-witted as the boys. They should-"
They should not be CONTRIVED.
It's not a choice between Bella Swan or Astrid from How to Train Your Dragon. You can actually invent NEW personalities for girls. Instead there are a handful that get recycled over and over.
I know, I know. "Authors can have boy characters with these problems too!" blah blah blah. This is a list of what I notice about a lot of girl characters specifically, whether there are boy characters like this sometimes or not. Here is a list of the most over-used/corny types of girl characters I see in literature:
Jane Plain is a bossy jerk (never portrayed as such. She's supposed to be thought of as "cool") who punches boys in the face wh
OC Mary-Sue Test 2.1OC Mary-Sue/Gary-Stu TestOC Mary-Sue Test 2.15 years ago in Writing More Like This
This test is designed for Original Characters. Questions for Role Play Characters and Fan Characters will be added soon.
Now, this tests for both the traditional Mary Sue/Gary Stu, and for 'gloomdog' style characters, which I suppose is a sub-category of the Mary Sue, but is often over-looked in this kind of test.
Further down this test, there is a list of traits and characteristics, each one stating how many points that particular trait is worth. Simply read through the list, and give your character the appropriate number of points for each of the listed traits/characteristics displayed by your character.
When you reach the end of the list, add up all of your character's points and refer to the results at the very bottom of the test to see (approximately) where your character is on the Sue Scale.
Now, while you're taking this test please also take into account
Guide to (stereotypical) Personality ArchetypesMale:Guide to (stereotypical) Personality Archetypes2 years ago in Writing More Like This
1) The bad boy – He’s really tough, usually aloof and pushes people away. Few people actually get the “honor” of getting to know him. He usually has a secret past.
2) The adorkable dude – He’s upbeat and smiley, even though he’s just regarded as average or even a loser by the world. He has a heart of gold and is often the main hero of stories
3) The nerdy dude – Whether getting good grades is in or out, he never fails to get the GPA, do all the research, and ask questions in class. He’s usually into science or math.
4) The jock dude – He can play every sport known to man and be good at it too. He also watches sports, drinks Gatorade, and is a chick magnet for no apparent reason.
5) The weird dude – He’s usually into a lot of random nonconformist music, and believes in aliens and possibly karma. He could be completely superstitious, usually quiet.
6) The insane dude – He has this untamable force of energ
Mary-Sues: Part 1Mary-Sues: Things You Need to Know and What to do if you see ThemMary-Sues: Part 15 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Mary-sues, Martha-sues, Marty-stus, Larry-Stus and Gary-Stus, we will all come across them at one point. Most of us have heard of them, some have been violently accused of making them via flaming, and others are still naïve to the terms. While people who have been on writing sites for years absolutely loathe them, most are inconsistent with an all-around definition. A majority claim that Mary-Sues are characters that are absolutely perfect in every shape, form and personality, while others just say that they are characters that are just too powerful, unique, or are so clichéd from past characters, and a few say they are self-inserts no matter how well-developed they are. Some on fan fiction sites even say that all Original Characters or Fan Characters (OCs) who are paired with a canon character or just take the spotlight are Mary-Sues. On the other side of the cr
Wicked's Guide to Character CreationIn my time moderating RPG forums - which I have done since I was 14 - I've seen a lot of characters. Good and bad. I've also created very many character, either for RPG sites or for my own short stories.Wicked's Guide to Character Creation3 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
So how do I do this?
First, pick a name. I generally use baby-names online if I need names in a specific language [Japanese for anime RPGs or various other languages if I can't think of anything] I come up with a story or setting, and then I think about how that would mold a character's life and thus their views, beliefs, and so on. I think, "Is the character pessimistic, or optimistic?" and I go from there.
Example: Susan grew up in a poor family in the 1800's. Her father grew ill and died and her mother was doing what she could to get everyone by [and all that that implies]. Because the situation forced her older siblings to grow up quickly, she had little room for play and felt very isolated.
So the most noticeable traits I would gather for Susan as she grew older are:
1. Very serio
How To Write A First Chapter We all know the importance of the first chapter. Of the first line. This is what draws your readers in, and even if they're going to fall off a 900 meter cliff you need to make sure they do not drop the book! Or in this case, computer, or even phone. What I do is I read the first paragraph of the piece, and skim along the pages. If it's boring? I put it down and move on. I bet literary agents are doing the same thing. If the first pages are good, (or in this case, first "part" or even chapter) then your reader will assume the rest of the story is good. But if they aren't, who's to say the rest of the story won't be the same way?How To Write A First Chapter2 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
In the first paragraph, do not have an "info dump"!!!! Just pilling all these back-stories and info straight from the beginning will bore your reader. Even if your character is living in some magical enchanting place where they can only do this and that and so on, do not tell them straight from the beginni
Mary-Sues: Part 2Mary-Sues Part 2: How Not to Write Like Your Character is a SueMary-Sues: Part 25 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
After reading Part 1 many, many times, I decided that another part would be helpful in that extra step. In Part 1, I described what a Mary-Sue/Marty-Sue etc. are, what they are not, and how to develop a proper character, in addition some of the reasons why some Suethors would create them (more or less on accident). This second part will go into more detail and give you tips on what not to write in your story that will tip your readers off that your characters might be underdeveloped, even if the character will be developed.
MS don’t have specific physical, behavior, cliché traits, but in combination to impossible physics laws in the universe, along with underdeveloped personality especially with other characters, they come out to be boring and annoying to readers. Unlike Part 1, I failed to mention that it also depends on how the writer writes the story itself that their beloved characters can
What Makes a Good Story?1. The prose flows naturally.What Makes a Good Story?4 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.
How to Avoid Creating a Mary Sue TutorialHiya!How to Avoid Creating a Mary Sue Tutorial5 years ago in Writing More Like This
While reading manymanymany fan fictions and original stories with varying levels, it popped into my mind a few tricks to decrease the Mary Sue aspects from characters. I've sorted the tricks to different categories, hope they are useful! The categories are,
- What is a Mary Sue anyway? And why people create them?
- Before creating him/her, aka General attitude
- When creating him/her
- When writing about him/her
- Notes about fan characters
- Notes about original characters
- Links to other Anti Mary Sue tutorials
Most the tricks I've mentioned in this guide are good to remember all the time. However, the tricks I've marked with a star symbol (*) are optional, kind of extra tricks. I use quite harsh examples in the guide to make stuff clear, but remember that the flaws that are smaller than the ones that I mentioned can be bad, too!
On the other hand: Generally, NONE of mentioned flaws are ABSOLUTELY bad, so you don't necessarily have to throw your character into recycling bin or
It needs to stopLet's talk about the stories we make up.It needs to stop7 months ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
You've only written the dramatic bits, haven't you?
Admit it, you wrote the part about the girl sobbing in the corner and being comforted by her boyfriend, and that's it. You were on an emotional high from listening to your mp3 player and wrote it, but didn't give a thought to anything else yet. And probably never will.
People think that the dramatic parts are the deepest, but the truth is, they're not. They're the most shallow and the most obvious. They're the first, and most of the time only, parts that people write.
Anyone can get on an emotional high. NOT everyone can make interesting inbetween scenes, which have the important task of making us actually CARE about the characters that the dramatic things are happening to.
We think we're being "deep" and "dark" and it's just our "style" to write dramatically. THIS IS FALSE. THIS IS A LACK OF IMAGINATION. PERIOD.
A rich story is not made up of ONE thing. That's SHALLOW. The opposite of what you
How to evade making a Mary SueThe Mary Sue GuideHow to evade making a Mary Sue8 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
This guide is meant to introduce and/or inform you of this threat that is currently attacking storywritting, drawing, Original Character creation (OCs) and fandom/fanfiction in general, not to say Originality itself!
During the course of this guide, you will learn what a Mary Sue is, youll identify one when sighted and, most importantly, you will not create one and hopefully you will help others in the subject, so they dont create Mary Sues too.
I) Mary Sue 101:
-What is a Mary Sue?
Mary Sue is a title given to characters in fanfiction (and sometimes original, professional work) who are simply perfect: They are beautiful, smart, friendly, always willing to help for nothing in exchange even if they can die, powerful, important in one way or other...you get the point (I will explain on emphasis later). These characters are often created in Roleplaying forums/chatrooms or simply as OCs with a storyline
The Art of VILLAINYThe Art of VILLAINY6 years ago in Writing More Like This
The Art of VILLAINY ~ Making Realistic Villains for your Fiction ~
"People will do far more to Avoid Pain than they will to Seek Pleasure."
-- CIA Profiler Gavin DeBecker on Human Nature
When I craft a villain, I go out of my way to make darned sure that my fictional villains are as realistic as the villains we face in real life. I begin by giving them ordinary human Issues.
Within every villain (fictional and non-fictional) there's a human issue at core that drives them to BE villains in the first place. Even mass murderers have reasons (however twisted) for doing what they do.
NO villainous action is RANDOM.
The victim may be randomly chosen, but the action -- no matter how twisted -- always has a reason behind it. That reason is ALWAYS driven by a very human issue triggered by an unfulfilled and essential human need.
Key Human Issues:
* Desire for Connection
Character Cliches to AvoidCharacter Cliches to Avoid (Like the Plague)Character Cliches to Avoid5 years ago in Writing More Like This
This tutorial-suggestion love child will be split into two parts :: 1 for cliches that should NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVUR be done by anyone, and the second part being ones that shouldn't be done by beginning writers.
Section One: The Black Plague
These are character cliches that are so overdone that they should NEVER be done anymore. EVER.
Not a lot to say on this one. There's nothing worse than reading a piece of writing though with a main character or side character that never got the character development that they deserved.
This is my name for characters that never change through the series/work. Your character should always grow with each obstacle they're faced with.
Characters with Atrociously-Spelled Names
Let's just say that if I have to get out the pronounciation guide to get through the first half of your character's name, it shouldn't be done.
The Necessity of Flaws in CharacterizationOkay. Close your eyes (well, maybe just one) and imagine your favorite fictional character. Are they strong? Compassionate and giving? Witty and clever? Wise and intelligent? No matter the make-up of their awesomeness, they probably bring a smile to your face and that warm, fuzzy feeling to your insides. You probably remember vividly their adventures and hijinks, their clever retorts, or how amazing they were at figuring out some wild and crazy puzzle. They probably inspired your own writing. You probably wanted to recreate that smile and fuzzy feeling with your own readers, so you made your version of the character (or took some of their traits) and integrated them into your prose.The Necessity of Flaws in Characterization3 years ago in Writing More Like This
This is all fine and dandy, especially considering there's nothing new under the sun, but there's a good chance you missed out on something really important. Let me explain.
It's great to have a badass character who kicks ass and takes name. But what makes them so badass? Is it that they can lift a Hummer w