Writing Tutorial: Dialogue"An Amateur-Editor's Note on How to Paragraph Dialogue, and Other Dialogue-Related Crime Avoidance Techniques" by Dailenna
On my daily walk about the internet I often come across some horrible piece of writing at which I'm forced to stop reading and take a few deep breaths to calm myself before either sending a note to the writer, or fleeing in terror. These pieces of writing are usually just an accumulation of terrible spelling, grammar, syntax, and too much or too little plot, description, dialogue or action. Yes, there are stories that may have a lean towards dialogue or action and still look absolutely wonderful – in fact, these are the stories usually best written, because the author has learnt how to use their skills and mediums to produce the best result from a usually disastrous content – but the bundles of words I'm referring to have not had the same care and talent poured into them.
It could be the case that small children and people who don't have English as a
The Ultimate Writing GuideThe Ultimate Writing Guide6 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.
A Writing TutorialSo, you want to try to write something?A Writing Tutorial6 years ago in Editorial More Like This
Writing is an art that takes a lot of time and patience if one wishes to become successful in the literary arts. With this tutorial, I hope to help you understand the basics of writing so that you too will be able to write stories that capture the attention of your audience. Let us begin.
Know what you want to write
Let's start with the basics of coming up with an idea to write for a story. Now, if one does not know where to start, that is not a big deal. Even for the newest writer, one can get a random thought that could transform into a brilliant idea in the blink of an eye. All it takes is inspiration; that spark that makes you, the writer, get up and take a pen and paper or a keyboard and start to write down your ideas. Where would one look for inspiration though? That is quite easy actually. Almost ANYTHING could provide some sort of inspiration, b
Storm Rao's guide to writingStep one: Who are your characters?Storm Rao's guide to writing7 years ago in Writing More Like This
No seriously, who are the people you are writing about. Start small. Do they have a name? A nickname? What gender are they? Does it matter?
Things like this are the basis you need to shape a character in your mind. It doesnt have to be an intensive processes, heck, you can stop after question one if you like, but what you need to do, is know who your character is.
Tips for helping you identify your character may include doing a sketch, but I prefer a basic process sometimes known as hot-seating. Hot-seating is sometimes used by actors to get themselves comfortable in a role. It is, quite simply, asking questions such as the ones above.
Some of the questions I like to answer are:
1) How do they interact with people
2) What do they fear/love
3) What kind of history do they have, and do they ever tell others about it
4) What kind of personality do they have (i.e., quick tempered, easy going, silly, adorable, dependant
Tips for Writing Writers 2Tips for Writing Writers 26 years ago in Writing More Like This
Step One: Coming Up With a Plot line
Ever wanted to write a story but have not known where to start? Or have you had to write one for class and been completely lost of words? Well than here is a few tips that might help you.
1. Think of one thing.
Just one simple thing. That thing could be a large final battle, it could be a dragon, or a clue to a murder, or even just a lamp glowing in an abandoned house. Whatever it is, once you have that one thing, you have to think of reasons why that one thing is so important. Maybe that lamp keeps the monsters of the house locked up for so long as it is on, maybe that dragon is stealing treasure from all the nearby kingdoms for the purpose of buying back her child, or maybe that clue is the murdered mans DNA that proves he never really died.
What ever that thing is, expand on it. Even if you just look around your house you might find it. Remove that "Oh, that's a stupid idea" mental block; in fact, blow up that bloc
Advanced Writing TutorialWord choiceAdvanced Writing Tutorial8 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
Word choice is imperative and potentially complicated. You want your language to sound in-character (it doesn't matter whether it's limited first-person or omniscient third-person; it still needs character) and intriguing without being confusing or nonsensical. It is good to have a thesaurus and dictionary nearby when deciding on word choice; neither one is more important than the other. It is very important to remember that even though words can be generally synonymous, that doesnt mean they have the same definition. This is where roots usually come into play.
Let's use the word "great" as an example; thats a pretty easy one. Imagine that you're writing a story, just typing along, and you want to substitute the word "great" with something having more intensity. Well, let's just think of a few of the synonyms you could use: magnificent, marvelous, fantastic, fabulous, amazing, awe-inspiring, breath-taking, excellent, wonderful.... The list goes on.
Tips to Creative WritingTips to Creative Writing6 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
Writing Emotions VISUALLYWriting Emotions VISUALLY5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Writing Emotions VISUALLY
"What is ...VISUAL writing?"
-- Visual writing is when the reader can SEE your story unfolding in their imaginations just like a movie.
* Non-visual: It was a dreary day.
* Visual: Icy rain slithered down the window glass from an iron gray sky.
This is more commonly known as SHOWING vs. TELLING.
* Telling: It was a dreary day.
* Showing: Icy rain slithered down the window glass from an iron gray sky.
"What's wrong with just...Telling them?"
-- The problem lays with Reader interpretation. Abstract (poetic) words and ideas rely on the readers' interpretation of what those words mean to them personally.
She was woefully depressed.
* How does Big Bird act when he's woefully depressed?
* How do Y
Writing Style vs. VoiceWriting Style vs. Voice5 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
Writing tutorialSo you wanna write huh? You got your pen/ keyboard ready? well slow down there because the first rule of writing is to think.Writing tutorial9 years ago in Editorial More Like This
Well screw that the first rule is to have inspiration, you need inspiration? Sit down at your tv watch your favourite tv show/movie or go read your favourite book, try and figure out why you like such and such genre and what parts you like about it. Yes it's copying but that's what writing is about, it's about taking things you like and putting them into your own plot. Ever heard of the book "A hero with a thousand faces?" there are only so many plots out there what's important is to mould it into your own creation. However this doesn't mean you write a book called Mayor of the Bracelets and set it in Higherearth -_- you need to use your imagination! and take this hint, often made up names of places and cities sound stupid, look at an atlas or handy dandy ancient name list and mould it into your own. Always always mould! You can find inspiration in even the smal
Writing Tutorial: Characters"An Amateur-Editor's Note on How to Create and Present a Character That Isn't You" by DailennaWriting Tutorial: Characters4 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Since my last tutorial I've been asked several times to make another about something anything and although I wanted to, I've found it hard to hit on a subject that inspires me the way that faulty dialogue did, so many years ago. My last tutorial was written out of pure irritation at stories that misused the one part of a story my eyes flick to when I can't wade through the mire of the rest of it. Yes, I admit, I have a tendency to skim-read, because although descriptions can be beautiful, a lot of the time on the internet, they're not, and you can get a basic idea of the story from what is being said. So I skim. I think that's why dialogue was such a big irritation to me it's the part I paid the most attention to. Since then I've had irritations with grammar that I didn't know exactly how to put into words, with punctuation that I didn't know how to make int
Writing Tips - DescriptionWriting Tips - Description5 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 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 - Dialogue6 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
Why Writers Should Watch TVWhy Writers Should Watch TV6 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
Ive heard the argument that writers shouldnt watch TV and movies because that will inundate them with all the cliché plots and characters out there and somehow brainwash them into not being able to create an original story.
Me: *blank stare*
First of all, there is absolutely nothing new under the sun. Therefore, it is impossible to create something totally unique and original no matter how many bad movies you see. Furthermore, the more story lines that enter your brain, the more you realize just how unique or not your own story is.
Most importantly, an original story is not a new story. It is simply taking a common idea and combining it with other common ideas to create a new and fresh sequence of otherwise common ideas.
Think of stories like cookies. All the different types of cookies represent different types of genres and plots. Ingredients like chocolate chips and nuts represent c
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 Tips7 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 Writers 1Tips for Writing Writers 16 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 practices 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
Worldbuilding Part1: MapmakingWorld Building Part 1: Map MakingWorldbuilding Part1: Mapmaking6 years ago in Writing More Like This
Welcome all to World Building, the talk show that helps with all aspects of writing and creating. Please welcome your host Seleane Gray!
Hello, everyone. Today well be working on maps. There are a few types of maps:
1. The World Map this is where you will see an overview of your world.
2. The City Map this is where you will see each city your character is in with intricate detail.
3. The Building Map this is where you will see each building your character is in with elaborate detail.
4. The Ship Map also known as the Transportation Map, is for the vehiclesi.e. ships, air balloons, and anything your imagination can make upit will show each one in the range you wish (this map isnt necessary but Ill show you anyway).
So lets get started!
First, youll need to find/buy/gather the following:
1. A large, clean surface, preferable size to be 4 by 2.5
2. Graph paper an
Punchlines and Pay-OffsPunchlines and Pay-Offs5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Set-Up and Punchline: Using Narrative to Tell a Joke
"Three blokes go into a pub. Something happens, and the outcome's hilarious!"
-- Bill Bailey
That's the basic recipe for any joke, isn't it? Set the scene, add a verb or two, and everyone laughs. But there's a problem with jokes, and it goes something rather like this:
"Three blokes go into a pub, and the whole scene unfolds into a tedious inevitability." -- Bill Bailey (again)
The formula to telling a joke is a bit more complex than just the basic recipe. The recipe is what you need to tell the joke; milk, eggs, flour, shortening, baking powder, saffron. But if you just look at the recipe, you don't really know what's going to happen. Are we baking a cake? Biscuits? Some sort of rock-hard bread that'll keep in the pantry for two million years? We don't know!
Telling a joke is the same thing. Just having the set up, verbs, and payoff without knowing how much of each, or if you should use the verbal equivalent to
How to Write a StoryHow to Write a StoryHow to Write a Story9 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
For all you aspiring young authors, and even old pros, who are looking for a way to improve your skills, this is for you. In this manual I'm relying on my own experience as an author and as an avid reader. First I'll start with the five major problems faced by most authors.
1. Writing a Beginning. The most remembered part of a story is the beginning and the end. The beginning sets the mood for the rest of the story. If you start off on the wrong foot, readers might just put your story down and look for a different one.
2. Writing an Ending. For a reader, the ending of a good book is an action-packed tragedy. When was the last time you read a good novel and wanted it to end? A good long story can be an enjoyable thing, but as a writer, you want to be able to end it.
3. Descriptions. Long boring paragraphs filled with the descriptions of characters and places don't make for good reading. In small doses, a wel
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
Interior MonologuesInterior Monologues5 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
The LAYERS of FictionThe LAYERS of Fiction5 years ago in Writing More Like This
"If you have Action and Dialogue, do you really NEED Description too?
What is the difference?"
The Layers of Fiction
"Himawari-chan, I have your lunch!"
"Here you go Himawari-chan!"
"Thank you, Watanuki-kun!"
"You are very welcome, Himawari-chan."
"I see. Of course. Thank you, Yuuko-san. Do I need to tell you what she said?"
"No! No, you don't, and I don't want to hear it! I don't need a freaking baby-sitter!"
"Yuuko thinks you do."
"That's her! Not me!"
"Are you a fortune-teller?"
"No! Of course not!"
"I'll come get you after class. I'll get the instructor to let you wait while I practice."
"What? No! I said I don't want to wait !"
"You gonna eat that?"
"Yes I am!"
"I do not, not, NOT take orders from you!"
This is "Talking Head Syndrome." There are no dialogue tags, because I don't use them.
Sentence Structure for FICTIONSentence Structure for FICTION5 years ago in Writing More Like This
On Basic Sentence Structure for Fiction
(Grammar Nazis BEWARE!)
Everything I ever learned about writing Fiction DIDN'T come from school; not even college. In fact, the way one writes fiction is almost the complete opposite of everything I learned in school about writing.
In order to make my stories crystal clear in my readers' imaginations, I write in precise Chronological Order, in the order events actually happen, PLUS in the order that the eye sees it.
Case in point, when describing a character, I describe them from top to bottom, in the order that the eye notices them. Face, hair, upper body, arms, hands, then lower body, legs, feet, then over all impression.
Writing Tips - LanguageWriting Tips - Language5 years ago in Writing More Like This
Accents, Foreign Languages, and Regional Dialects
There are times when your story may have one or more character speaking a different language, or with a different accent than the rest. There are many different ways a writer can go about presenting this to the reader, and before we go any further, I will concede that some of it is a matter of personal taste, and on this particular matter, you wont be able to please everybody. So, consider this bit not so much a lesson, but rather a series of guidelines.
Everyone has one. Even if you think that you dont, theres someone, somewhere in the world who would disagree with you. Some people may have a very faint trace of an accent, whereas with others, you can hardly make out what theyre trying to tell you. But how should you translate these simple speech patterns to text? Well, that depends, really.
Since Ive been listening to the audio books lately, and its the best example I can come up with, let