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 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
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
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
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
Why Strong Females are Bad Role ModelsToday I want to talk about how not to write girl characters.Why Strong Females are Bad Role Models11 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
MOST COMMON CLICHES IN STORIESMOST COMMON CLICHES IN STORIES3 years ago in Other More Like This
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
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
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
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
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
Character vs. Narcissism in StorytellingThere is something unique about stories today, and in ways they are stronger and weaker than ever.Character vs. Narcissism in Storytelling3 months ago in Academic Essays More Like This
In Poetics, Aristotle emphasized the importance of plot above anything, and character was considered secondary.
"For the plot ought to be so constructed that even without the aid of the eye he who hears the tale told will thrill with horror and melt to pity with what takes place. But to produce this effect by the mere spectacle is the less artistic method and dependent on extraneous aids."
More often today, people are concerned about the reverse. Characters are what come above everything. We draw pictures of our characters, fill out questions about our characters, interview them, role play with them, but when asked, "So, are you going to make a story?" the response is more often than not, "Well, I didn't make it yet."
In a way, this attitude is refreshing. How many people can't get through a well respected book because they can't relate to it? Many books are worthy of respect for what the
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
25 Ways to Keep Writing Talk about your projects - share your ideas, progress and problems with the people in your life25 Ways to Keep Writing2 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Write lists - to-do lists, shopping lists, wishlists, your character's to-do lists/shopping lists/wishlists
Keep a notebook in your pocket or bag and write down every idea, quote, observation that you find interesting
Listen to music that has inspired you in the past
Make connections with like minded people - join a club, find a writing buddy
Enrol in an art class - photography, needlecraft, writing, painting, cake decorating. Whatever you like. You might not be good at it but you'll be keeping your creativity alive. Stay creative.
Get a library card and use it - "Having fun is never hard when you've got a library card!"
Write in a different setting - go to a historical site, an open garden, a field, sit by a lake, find a nice spot in
Mary Sue Guide - Part 1The BasicsMary Sue Guide - Part 14 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Before you start reading this, two things to keep in mind:
Do not simply assume your OC is or isn't a Mary Sue before you start reading. Keep an open mind.
This guide is NOT a rulebook. No matter how Sue I think something is, that doesn't mean you absolutely should not do it under any circumstance. Also, some things are more minor than others. Just because your character has some Sue traits doesn't make her a Sue. A little flare doesn't hurt.
This is by no means meant to be offensive or aimed at any specific author or character. It is also not 100% accurate. There are always circumstances outside a Mary Sue Guide. The purpose of this is not to be a statement of fact but merely something to help.
Definition of a Mary Sue: A clichéd being that is often too perfect and unrealistic. Because of this, they may cause other characters to go out of character.
Possible Traits of a Mary Sue and How to Fix Them:
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
Why I Judge People"Judge not, lest you be judged."Why I Judge People2 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Christian or otherwise, these days it's everyone's favorite Bible verse.
Or is it?
Perhaps we should say, it's everyone's favorite Bible verse when taken out of context.
First of all, let's get this straight: it's telling us that we can't condemn people as in, "you're going to Hell!"
Respectfully telling someone, in their best interest, that what they're doing is wrong? Not so much.
If we only looked a little further, we would also notice verses such as:
"Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."
"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother."
Now that you don't have the Bible to back you up, there are a few things I would like to say about this obnoxious "NO JUDGING!!!!111" phase we're unfortunately going through at the moment.
If someone has sincerely (*non-immaturely) told you that they want you to go to Hell, you are excused. Mos
How to Be a Likeable Female Character1. Have a sense of humor.How to Be a Likeable Female Character4 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.
How Not to write a Mary SueHow Not to write a Mary Sue4 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
A Comprehensive Guide to OCsSo you say you want to write an OC, but don't know where to begin? Well, here are a few tips to help you get started, and maybe help you avoid the terrible Mary Sue Trap that so many writers fall into.A Comprehensive Guide to OCs6 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
1. Create a profile for your OC, with their name, age, gender, height, weight, and other such defining characteristics, to help you flesh out how they will look. Once you do this, go back and take out any Mary Sue/Gary Stu adjectives, such as "Sapphire Blue Hair with Icy Pink Streaks" or "Emerald Green Eyes with Amber Sparkles". Everyone wants their character to be special, or easily recognizable, but this tends to backfire horribly when introduced into your story. Unless the universe you are working with has canon characters with strange hair/eye colors, stay away from the unique color approach. The same also applies to skin color, unless your character has some sort of disease, like albinism, that affects a person
How to Introduce a CharacterThe classical Movie Introduction Sometimes, you get a hero. Not over time, but right at the start this is your hero. He's confident, he's suave, and he always packs his shaving cream. Somehow he always manages to get that beard just right, despite the fact that you've never seen him trim. Everything about him is admirable, and you just wanna follow him like a little puppy dog because that's how AWESOME he is.How to Introduce a Character5 years ago in Writing More Like This
it might work, but you still shouldn't do it. It's one thing for movies, where you can simply follow someone's action across the screens. In books, you want the closeness that only seeing the character fall on their face time times just to get it right once will bring.
The stumbling introduction - sometimes, your character stumbles into the wrong thing at the wrong time. Or the right thing at the right time, perhaps, but if you want a good story you should probably make sure it ends up worse for them than it would have otherwise.
Oh, sure, things
20 Writing Tips1. Write like crazy. Whether it's by hand or on a computer, just write, write, write, write, WRITE. The more you work at it, the better you'll get at it.20 Writing Tips3 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
2. Be flexible. Don't just stick to what you already know. Dare to write something outside your comfort zone.
3. Never throw an idea away. Ideas are like fish: you never know when you'll catch a good one, and if you let it go, you most likely won't get it back. Keep a journal for your ideas and write down anything that comes to mind, no matter how silly or stupid it may sound.
4. Take your time. Don't expect to write a bestseller in a few months, or even a few years. (I learned this the hard way.)
5. Be prepared for a LOT of rejections and a LOT of criticism. Don't assume you'll hit it off with the first publisher you find, and don't expect everyone to like your book, or to bother reading it at all.
6. Be open to other people's suggestions, but write the story that YOU want.
7. Go easy on yourself. Don't expect your book
Priorities in a StoryI have noticed certain priorities that beginners have when they tell stories, vs. priorities that professional authors seem to have when they tell theirs.Priorities in a Story1 year ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
It's interesting that beginners tend to focus on certain things that more experienced authors seem to grow out of, and it makes me wonder why.
I've decided to make a list about some of these things. Not for the sake of putting them down, so much as because it is interesting to me, and probably worth considering.
I think we need to think about WHY we write certain things, and our attitude behind it. This is what makes certain topics either immature or mature.
However the line is often blurred.
"Mature" means anything sexual, violent or crass (or even just extremely emotional). There is no attention to how these things are handled, leaving us with a great amount of "mature" content that is the exact opposite of mature. Likewise, some very clever and ingenious books are marketed for "children," because they have none of these things, wh
Admiring Harry Potter (opposite of making fun of)Harry Potter is not exactly irreplaceable.Admiring Harry Potter (opposite of making fun of)1 year ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Harry Potter is hardly a classic.
Harry Potter doesn't hold a candle to greater works of fiction.
Harry Potter was just a lucky score.
My name is Makingfunofstuff, and I have read all the Young Adult Fantasy books in my library. You will not find another book like Harry Potter. You will not.
Let's talk about opinions.
Whether or not we enjoy something is an opinion. The intrinsic quality of an object is not.
And there are a lot of things about Harry Potter that deserve great respect.
I don't want to say the series is taken for granted, as it is obviously appreciated by many people. But I do believe that for the most part, we don't actually realize what the crucial elements are that set this story apart and raise it above the average work of YA fiction.
I don't know if J.K Rowling is a genius, or just had very good instincts about how to tell a story, but she comes across as a master at avoiding many mistakes that other autho
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
A Guide to Writing DialogueWhat is dialogue, exactly? The definition from Merriam-Webster’s dictionary was several lines long, so I shall summarize it in a short sentence for the sake of the readers; it’s the writing that illustrates conversations between two or more characters in a story. We read and hear it all around us, but creating it in your own work can be a challenge. However, if you find dialogue an obstacle in your writing, then don’t push the panic button. In this tutorial, you’ll find by analyzing what dialogue can do and how to use it, you can turn your greatest fear into your greatest ally in your story.A Guide to Writing Dialogue1 year ago in Writing More Like This
What dialogue is
Like I’ve asserted before, dialogue is basically what the characters are saying to each other. It can be found in multiple mediums such as books, movies, comics, video games, etc. We even engage in dialogue daily without even thinking. When you talk to your best friend, a co-worker, or even your dog, you create dialogue. It’s exchang