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 Guide7 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.
Storm Rao's guide to writingStep one: Who are your characters?Storm Rao's guide to writing8 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
A Writing TutorialSo, you want to try to write something?A Writing Tutorial7 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
Tips for Writing Writers 2Tips for Writing Writers 27 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 Writing7 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 VISUALLY6 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 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
Punchlines and Pay-OffsPunchlines and Pay-Offs6 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
World Building Formula pt. 3World Building FormulaWorld Building Formula pt. 36 years ago in Writing More Like This
Section 3: People
Culture at a Glance
What sort of real life culture, or cultures, is your world copying or a blend of?
Is your world more globalization, with cultures mingling and perhaps homogenizing Or are the cultures of your world more separate and distinct?
What does the language sound like? How difficult is translation?
Are there state religions, common sayings, and cultural beliefs present? Even if a particular culture is individualistic, common beliefs will be present.
How does the geography of you world interact with its inhabitants culture?
What sort of real life or historical government are like the one your people in your imaginary cultures live under?
Heres a list of real-life governments that have been used in our history and literature:
Writing Tips - DialogueWriting Tips - Dialogue6 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
Tips for Writing Writers 1Tips for Writing Writers 17 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
Writing Style vs. VoiceWriting Style vs. Voice6 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 Tips - LanguageWriting Tips - Language6 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
Writing Tips - DescriptionWriting Tips - Description6 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
Interior MonologuesInterior Monologues6 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
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 Tips8 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
Worldbuilding Part1: MapmakingWorld Building Part 1: Map MakingWorldbuilding Part1: Mapmaking7 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
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 tutorial10 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
5 Steps to Organize Your NovelWhat You'll Need:5 Steps to Organize Your Novel4 years ago in Writing More Like This
A basic story idea
Printer (preferably laser) with plenty of paper
Three Ring Binders (2) with separating tabs
Build Your World and Characters
For most writers, this comes naturally. If you're having some issues, there are plenty of tutorials, guides, aids and groups available for assistance. For the purpose of this guide, you should have your world built and at the very least your main characters devised. Having secondary characters planned will get you bonus points!
Print Character and Plot Sheets
Each character should have their own sheet (keep the backs blank, they're a grand place to keep extra notes and page references). It's not necessary that you fill out every single line of the character sheet. Fill out only what is necessary for the character/plot. Feel free to add to the sheet as your write, too. The
World Building Formula pt. 1-2World Building FormulaWorld Building Formula pt. 1-27 years ago in Writing More Like This
Section 1: Real Life Influences
Before we delve into creating an imaginary world, we must understand the importance of using real life influences as a base. No one can imagine anything not based on real life.
The best way to start creating or to fine-tune an imaginary world is to find influences from our world to be inspired from.
If a fantastical world has cargo full of imaginary species and magic or alternate laws of physics, the reader needs something, at least a few principles, that are the same as Earths so that they have grounding in your story. Theres a fine balance, as many wise writer types will say between patronizing and keeping your audience in the dark enough that they want to know more. The correct balance allows them to understand without confusion while being drawn on through the book by suspense.
Section 2: Nature
Reality, or at least what we perceive as reality, is probably the most key factor in what w
Research: How to do ItResearch: How to do It6 years ago in Writing More Like This
Weve already discussed where to do your research, so now were going to learn how to go about using those tools. Like everything else we do in life, theres a process to it, and once youve learned the steps, finding the information becomes a bit easier (admittedly, some of the harder queries will never get easier).
What do you Need to Know?
Knowing what it is that youre trying to research seems sort of obvious, but there are times when you wont have the first clue about what youre looking for. These are mostly situations when you already have your story plotted out, and now you need fact to work around your outline.
The situation: A group of police characters is out in the sprawling farmlands of the West Country in the middle of the night. After a brief struggle, one of them is shot. The character that has done the shooting and his accomplice flee. The remaining uninjured character dials