The Problem with Self Inserts The Problem with Self Inserts
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 Teenagers 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
MOST COMMON CLICHES IN STORIESMOST COMMON CLICHES IN STORIES 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
Is she Mary Sue? Clarifying Mary SueIs she Mary Sue? 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 Story 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 Not to Write Love InterestsUPDATE: READ THE NEW EXTENSION TO THIS POST. LINK IN DESCRIPTION!How Not to Write Love Interests 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 I Don't Believe in HatersHate is a strong word.Why I Don't Believe in Haters 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
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 Interests 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 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 Cover 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
Why I Judge People"Judge not, lest you be judged."Why I Judge People 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
Making Fun of The Mortal InstrumentsI thought it would be interesting to write an example of a terrible story and explain which parts were badly written and why.Making Fun of The Mortal Instruments in Reviews & Guides More Like This
So I wrote a funny Snape and Lily fanfiction, but then I realized there was an even better example called The Mortal Instruments.
It's a series that was originally a Harry Potter fanfiction, and still has lots of the same problems as a regular fanfiction even though it's been published.
"But those aren't problems, maybe I like stories that have those things."
Okay, you like them. *That's* an opinion.
The FACT is that they're not very well-written (meaning they're not something any kid you find walking down the street/off google can't accomplish writing). Consider this: the majority of fanfictions are written by beginners. Is it a coincidence that it's the beginners who all write this way?
WHY do people grow out of it? COULD any of it possibly just be immature?
Here I have inserted some comments into the story to highlight what I found to be the most fanfi
Rants: Mary-sues and how to make a decent OCRants: Mary-sues and how to make a decent OC 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
Writers' Notes - Battles and WarsWriters' Notes - Battles and Wars in Writing More Like This
While I have written a tutorial on fight scenes, I felt that it would be prudent to write one regarding wars and battles. After all a war or a battle is not just about how to fight.
When you are writing a war or battle first make sure you plan where it's going to take place. Land can be tricky, and it changes during a battle.
Image two giant armies amassing on a huge field. Infantry and cavalry alike, all decked in battle gear and heavy armour.
The pound of thousands of feet, man and horses alike. How do you think the ground will look? Grass torn and flattened, turned to mud especially if the weather turns and it begins to rain or sleet. Are there hills or mountains? Has one army taken a higher ground, dug a moat or added spikes of wood to protect their area?
Is there forests around them, have the trees been burned by one army to keep the other from using the wooded area as shelter? Has an army begun to p
Writers Notes - DialogueWriters Notes - Dialogue in Writing More Like This
Dialogue is the speech between characters. It is when the narrator (you) stops telling the story and the characters speak instead.
Here's some pointers regarding dialogue writing:
Never write dialogue like real-life speech. Why? Because if you listen to real-life speech it is littered with umms and ahhs and errs. Anyone who has ever sat through a meeting or an assembly listening to someone droning on umming and ahhing will know just how frustrating it is. The last thing you want is to inflict that on your reader.
Real life also has moments where you completely forget what you're saying or get side tracked and run off on a tangent or get interrupted. Now all these things can be added to dialogue but in small amounts. We all know someone in life who constantly interrupts us when we talk, they can't wait for your part of the conversation to end so they talk over you. Fine, have a char
Writing Notes - Killing charactersWriting Notes - Killing characters in Writing More Like This
Many writers state that they are very connected to their characters. This is not surprising, for writers we build worlds, we create people and animals and imbue them with a form of life. We let them live in our heads and think on them often.
Often I have day-dreamed into my written world, sat on a log watching my characters around the campfire swapping stories. I've seen them laughing, passing around skins of bad wine and spiced meats. I've seen them sink into sorrow at those they have lost, those they couldn't save. Whether any of this gets written is a different matter because it is all designed for me to learn more about my characters, so see them react.
We begin to know them intimately, their moods and habits and loves and fears. We can read their facial ticks and subtle body poses. So why wouldn't we become connected?
When you write stories especially long ones were you have a larger amount of time to learn about your characters and allow them to develop they do become something i
Writers Notes - ResearchWriters Notes - Research in Writing More Like This
Firstly, my rule any writer worth their salt who WANTS to be published someday has a LARGE collection of reference books in their home or knows intricately the layout of the reference section in their local library.
If you want to be a professional writer, a published writer then you can't skimp on the research. So, unless you were born with a mass of knowledge on hundreds of subjects then you will need to read up on them. Not to mention things change especially in some subjects where improvements and developments replace original knowledge: for example Medicine, police procedures etc.
Do not think your readers are stupid. They are your second biggest critic (after yourself) and even loyal fans will be ready to point out flaws. Try and get passed any anger or frustration you feel if people point out your flaws. Take it as a positive step that they are trying to move your work forward (sometimes).
I read a novel once that described
Writers' Notes - Fight ScenesWriters' Notes - Fight Scenes in Writing More Like This
I have read enough books to find that fighting scenes can be difficult to write. Some of the novels I have read have had painful fighting scenes so this tutorial is an amalgamation of my thoughts on the best ways to do it.
First, let's break this down into aspects to think about:
Before writing fight scenes think about the characters involved. What are their skills, what are their ideas of fighting? Why are they doing so? Is it a sense of survival? Is it to show honour like a duel?
For example -
Does a peaceful man watch his brothers murdered in a slaughter by the king's men. Does he, in a rage, grab a fallen sword and defend the last of them. He holds no skill but the sheer fury at watching his peaceful world be shattered. Afterwards does he vow revenge and ride for the king's castle or retreat to the mountains to get over what he di
How Not to write a Mary SueHow Not to write a Mary Sue 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
WRITING TUTORIALSWRITING TUTORIALSWRITING TUTORIALS in Personal More Like This
Here is the list of my current writing tutorials. At the bottom is a list of pending writing tutorials that I am working on.
NOTICE TO ALL WRITERS
I am starting a writers blog (date set for it to begin is 1 July 2013) I know some of you will have heard about it from me before. Now I am scheduling time to get it started. The blog will have all my tutorials, including a load of others, drop in features for people who want some help with particular scenes they have written, notes on preparing manuscripts, competitions and much more.
If you are interested in this, please can you drop me a note with your email that way I can send a blanket email to everyone with the link when it's up and running. I've had so much interest shown, it's hard to keep track of who wants to know about it!
* Required Tools
The Mary-Sue Complaints Checklist IndexWelcome to The Mary-Sue Complaints Checklist! Got a complaint about a character trait, or a plot device? Maybe it's more of a writing style pet peeve. Come on in and read why these specific "traits" aren't necessarily "Mary-Sueish" or "bad writing".The Mary-Sue Complaints Checklist Index in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Before you read any farther, it would probably be best to read my "Mary-Sue: Who is She?" series first before reading any of these because my definition of Mary-Sues are quite different from anything I've read by anyone else. I'm quite open-minded, so if you have a gorgeous, powerful character with a tragic past, I would accept it without automatically declaring it a Mary-Sue.
These are the chapters I have written or am planning to write. If I have submitted the subject, I have put links in this index itself, so just hover over the subject you want to read, and click on it. If you feel I have missed something, by all means, let me know and I'll either add on here, or I'll make a guide for the "Mary
Mary-Sue: Part 10How to Write Dream and Flashback SequencesMary-Sue: Part 10 in Reviews & Guides More Like This
For once, I couldn’t find any how-to guides that I liked so I could reference off of, so I’m on my own for this, otherwise this would probably be longer and probably be more organized. This should actually tell you something: there are practically no definite rules on how to write dream or flashback sequences. There are rules telling you not to write either of sequences, but screw that! If the only reason that having dreams and flashbacks being barred in fiction because they aren’t well-written, then keep writing them and get better at it until you get the hang of it. Telling someone not to do it at all because they suck at it is just telling them to give up before they try. In some stories, dreams and flashbacks are important for different reasons.
There’s no possible way I can tell you the right or wrong way of writing dreams. Some com
Mary-Sues: Part 1Mary-Sues: Things You Need to Know and What to do if you see ThemMary-Sues: Part 1 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
Mary-Sues: Part 5Writing Realistically . . . According to the UniverseMary-Sues: Part 5 in Reviews & Guides More Like This
I’m sure I’ve told you that you have to be as realistic as possible in order for your character to seem, well, real. Believable. Three dimensional. Someone who can practically pop out of your writing or comic and interact with you. The truth is that was half of an exaggeration. Yes, be real, but only as real as the universe it takes place in is. If the universe is more manga-esque or cartoony where the average female can punch a burly person sky-high, and you create a character who doesn‘t do anything of that sort, or if you as the creator think you can‘t do that, then your character can become quite plain because you‘ll restrict yourself. Basically, be as real, or as loose, as the universe is.
If you’re a person who constantly makes the, “This is totally unrealistic” comment when reading a story, especially in fan ficti
Cliches and Self-InsertsClichés and Self-InsertsCliches and Self-Inserts in Reviews & Guides More Like This
While not the most desirable things to read, Mary-Sueism isn't based on whether the story or characters are cliché. Writers don't stop writing about that one hero whom was prophesized to be the only one to be able to stop the villain just because a few hundred writers have done it before. They take the base of the idea and make it their own by telling their story. Every writer has something different to contribute. If I wrote about a girl who fell in love with a vampire, it doesn't mean I'm copying from Stephenie Meyers (there are other books with that same basic concept), it means that I think I have something different that I can portray, and no matter how many times it's been done before, I want to write it.
So go on with the controlling all the elements, changing eye-color, and having the prince save the princess. If you feel that you have something different you can co
Suddenly or Accidentally Gaining PowerSuddenly or Accidentally Gaining PowerSuddenly or Accidentally Gaining Power in Reviews & Guides More Like This
If you've read my guide "How Much Power is Too Much Power," then you know that I've also got some complaints about this, but I'm not saying that this needs to be absolutely abolished. There are a few reasons I'll accept, depending on the universe and it's rules, but there are just some things that can't happen over and over just in time to save a character.
For example, an adrenaline rush. Yes, it happensa woman lifted the bumper end of a thousand pound car off of her childbut it probably wouldn't happen again, not immediately anyway. Did she strain her back? Probably. Did her muscles painfully stretch? Maybe? Was that in any of the articles? No. While the excuse of an adrenaline rush or on instinct is good for the first time, it probably wouldn't be good if you kept using it. I also suggest to only using it if
Controlling the ElementsControlling the ElementsControlling the Elements in Reviews & Guides More Like This
If this isn't the biggest cliché known to fiction, I don't know what is, but do you know what? Who cares! If you want to write about a character that can control the elements, go ahead and write it. Controlling elements, or at least the idea of a set of elements, have been around for over two thousand years, so if you're worried about being a plagiarist, don't, because it's definitely available for all writers. Even if there was a copyright policy back then, there is no company or legal document or anything that can last over two thousand years.
First, before I get to explaining why this shouldn't be complained about (or at least not as much), let's get to the history lesson, much of which will be copied and pasted from my essay "The Elements: A Basic Overview."
The elements didn't start with Wicca, witches, alchemists or even shamanists. Yes, each culture had its own set,
Telling your Friends They Have a Mary-SueYour best friend comes up to you, fidgeting with a journal or a stack of paper, paper-clipped and stapled together, and asks you to read their story and give them some feedback. You’re probably thinking, “Sure, anything for my best friend. This should be no big deal.” Immediately, when you start reading, you notice a problem. A huge problem. Your best friend’s characters might be Mary-Sue, and you don’t know how to tell them without putting your friendship at risk. And yes, some friendships have been ruined over criticism, no matter how much sugar-coating was sprinkled over it. You want to help them improve, but you don’t want to hurt their feelings in the process, so where is the middle ground? How do you give constructive criticism to your friend?Telling your Friends They Have a Mary-Sue in Articles & Interviews More Like This
1. Do NOT mention Mary-Sue, Martha-Sue, Gary-Stu, Larry-Stu, Marty-Stu, Marty-Sam, Wesley-Stu, Anti-Sue or any of the other variations in your crit
'Hot' Only CharactersFor this complaint I only have two questions.'Hot' Only Characters in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Is the narrator describing the characters subjectively?
It’s one thing if the story is written in first person, and the character obviously would have an opinion of the attractiveness of another character, along with several other characters, but if it’s in third person then, yes, the descriptions should be objective. He had short shaggy brown hair. She had thick thighs. He was scrawny. She had a round face that tend to make others see her more as cute than beautiful.
Is there enough description of the character’s physical looks to classify whether the characters are “hot” or not?
I ask this because most people only describe height, hair, eye, and skin color. If there are more descriptions it would be whether the character has a strong jaw, a shapely nose or any other unique features such as freckles, scars, cleft chins, etc. And even if the story mentions every single detail about a person’
How to Be a Likeable Female Character1. Have a sense of humor.How to Be a Likeable Female Character 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.
What Makes a Good Story?1. The prose flows naturally.What Makes a Good Story? 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 Be a Likeable Male Character1. Treat women as equals, not as inferiors.How to Be a Likeable Male Character in Philosophical More Like This
2. Know how to smile and laugh.
3. Do not be ashamed to cry.
4. When you have a woman, treat her as a person, not as a piece of property.
5. Be tender.
6. Be forgiving.
7. Make the most of what you have.
8. Take as much thought for others as you would for yourself, if not more.
9. Do what you personally feel is right, in spite of other people's objections or downright mockery.
10. Do not be ashamed to admit fear, but do not let your fear stop you from acting.
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 Tips 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
Goodbye, World of TwilightWhen is it going to cool down?Goodbye, World of Twilight in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
When is it going to end?
Just when you think it's over,
The whole crazy hype fires up again
You know this can't go on forever
How did things get so insane?
Just when you think you've had more than enough
Miss Meyer decides to dish out more pain
So goodbye, world of Twilight
With your silly and superfluous strife
You've lost your chance to impress me
I'm going back to my life
Back to those proper and practical things
Where everything is all right
Well, what do you know?
Turns out there is a world beyond the world of Twilight
What will you zealots do then,
As soon as you reach the end?
It'll take you a couple of liquors with licorice
To get you on your feet again
Maybe you'll find a replacement
Maybe you'll develop true taste
Such books are a dozen a penny
So much potential has gone, gone to waste
So goodbye, world of Twilight
With your silly and superfluous strife
You've lost your chance to impress me
I'm going back to my life
Back to those proper and prac
Ten Commandments of Writing1. Have an original plot.Ten Commandments of Writing in Reviews & Guides More Like This
If every book was the same, we'd get bored with them pretty quick. Variety is what gives that special spice. Try to come up with a story that's entirely your own. If your work is based off another work, however loosely, make sure you use your own style. Don't just repeat what someone else has already written. Nobody likes a copycat, and you could face an unpleasant lawsuit that way.
2. Have a good title.
If you want people to read your book, you'll need a title that will catch their eye. Make it exciting, but keep it brief, too. Don't make your title so long that it wears the reader down. Try to stay within the limit of ten words. If you have trouble inventing a title, go through your story and decide what the main theme is, what it is in that story that really stands out.
3. Make your characters as believable as possible.
The characters are what make the story a story. You learn about them, sympathize with them, and hate them.
Twilight RiotIn honor of the release of "Eclipse" (okay, so that's an ironic statement), I present to you my latest anti-Twilight song. Goes to "Zoot Suit Riot" by Cherry Poppin' Daddies, as well as "Grapefruit Diet" by Weird Al. Have fun singing along to this!Twilight Riot in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
~ * ~
I see it in every bookstore
Even on Burger King's front door
Posters, stickers, video games
Man, it's completely insane!
No matter where I go,
Twilight's staring right back at me
Don't know what I can do
I'm going downright crazy
Vampires all over the place
Oh, get this malarkey out of my face
More than a little bit weird
Oh, I just wish it would all disappear
Well, Miss Bella is a total fake
She makes Britney Spears look like a saint
And as for this Edward Cullen dude,
He makes Dracula seem cheap and crude
Oh, all you girls, tell me
Why you're into this stuff?
What is it you see?
It's a bunch of foolish fluff
How to Avoid Creating a Mary Sue TutorialHiya!How to Avoid Creating a Mary Sue Tutorial 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
Character Design TutorialGENERAL ISSUES ABOUT CHARACTER DESIGNCharacter Design Tutorial in Reviews & Guides More Like This
[New section!] Over-mirroring aka sticking too much in patterns of the original series!
INTRODUCTION: DESIGN OF CHARACTER'S LOOKS: WHAT IS ITS ROLE IN THE WHOLE CHARACTER DESIGN?
At first: No costume can save a badly made character. Your Average Joe/Jane character won't become any more interesting even if you make him/her to wear turquoise hair and odd-colored neon-color eyes. What makes character interesting is his/her INNER SIDE: his/her personality, history, skills, behavior pattern, odd traits, running gags, simply WHAT (S)HE IS. A rye bread doesn't become into a cream cake even if you put on it whipped cream and strawberries.
However, a good design may help the reader/viewer to notice, tell apart and remember the character more easily. That's why all Naruto characters are not sporting black hair and wearing those green tactical vests: if all character seemed almost similar, it would be pain for the reader to tell who of th
How to Invent a Good UsernameTime for a quickie tutorial!How to Invent a Good Username in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Your username (also known as nick) gives one of first impressions of you when introducing yourself online. At the best, your username tells people you're an original person with good taste, and at the worst, it blends you to the mass of people lacking imagination.
GENERAL ISSUES TO THINK ABOUT
Here is a list about issues that are healthy to think about in general. After this section, I'll give you "not to do" and "to do" lists about creating usernames. So...
The most important thing is that YOU like your name. If you don't feel cozy with your username, it will irritate you sooner or later. However, especially if you are still young or new with Internet, be prepared for that your naming taste may change later and you may dislike that name you picked first! (That's something I have seen in the comments of this tutorial.)
For example, my first online username was, if I remember correctly, my given name + my birth year (like, Lisa90,
100 Fantasy Prompts and Places100 Fantasy Prompts and Places in Writing More Like This
1. A magic item
2. A prince
3. A dog
5. A dragon
6. A snowstorm
7. A princess
8. A ghost
9. A fire
10. A lord
11. A sword
12. A secret
14. A letter
15. A lady
16. A thunderstorm
17. A sunny day
18. A knife
19. A pixie
24. A mystery
25. A kidnapping
26. A singer
27. A sickness
28. A murder
29. An artist
30. A thief
31. A feeling
34. A war
35. A massacre
37. The stars
38. A healer
39. A witch
40. A wizard
41. A close call
42. A loss
43. A monster
44. A treasured item
45. A job
46. A tradition
47. A family treasure
48. A sacrifice
49. A fire eater
50. A king
51. A queen
52. A friend
53. A fear
54. A peaceful moment
55. A potion
56. A surprise
59. A tense moment
60. A moral choice
61. An obstacle
62. A wound
63. A shoe maker
64. A blacksmith
65. A guild
66. Unclear motives
68. A Hunt
69. A disaster
70. A weakness
71. A strength
72. A d
How To Write a Novel a MonthHow To Write a Novel a Month in Writing More Like This
So you want to write a novel in a month? Well its not impossible. Many great authors have done it, and you can too. Its hard at some points and might make you want to give up, but don't. It will be worth it to be able to tell your friends and family "I wrote a novel."
You are all probably familiar with Nanowrimo, right? If not, its a month where thousands of people try write a book within that time limit, but national writers month is not the only month where this can happen. However, if you are using November a a date to start, here is a quick guide to get ready:
Research, Research, Research!
So you know what time period you want to write in? Then research like crazy! Research clothes, vehicles, horses, weapons, anything and everything that could or might end up in your story. This way you can write confidently/help yourself fall better into the story. Trying to research is a quick way to end up surfing the web, so get all your research done
My Notes 1- FoodMy Notes 1- Food in Writing More Like This
My Notes #1-Food:
-Trencher bread was used as plates(four-day old brown bread, given to the poor latter on).
-Children could not have red meat or fruit(bad for health) but they could have milk.
-Nobility hunted year long(deer, boar, game birds)
-Richer houses enjoyed grated cheese mixed with herbs and eggs to make "herbolace"(a cross between scrambled eggs and an omelet).
-For a bed time or morning drink, they would sometimes have "Cauldles" (Egg yolks, honey, wine, and bread crumbs mixed and heated together).
-Swans and Peacocks were popular for banquet food.
-Most common people of Europe ate bread and pottage(a soupy stew sometimes with scraps of dried meat, bacon, or dried fish.).
-Country people baked bread, towns people bought it or paid the bread maker to cook their loaves in his oven.
-Meals of roast meat or fresh fish considered a novelty among peasants.
-Most houses possessed a herb garden for medicines or flavoring.
-Honey was used to sweeten
Tips for Writing Writers 1Tips for Writing Writers 1 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
Tips for Writing Writers 2Tips for Writing Writers 2 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
The Ultimate Writing GuideThe Ultimate Writing Guide 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.
What if Your Character-What if Your Character- in Writing More Like This
Answer these to better get to know your character. You can answer these in story format, or just say something like "he would do this _____." Story format would be better practice though.
1. Your character sees someone close to them be murdered. Do they chase after the murderer? Stay with the victim? Or maybe run for help?
1.5. A murderer is going to kill someone close to your character and your character knows they are next, what does your character do? Try to stop the killer? Cry? Feel hopeless? Run?
2. Your character is faced with a situation where they have to kill someone who is unarmed. Maybe the unarmed is a killer. Do they do it?
3. Someone tells your character that someone close to your character has died, what happens?
4. Your character is faced with a situation where they are at one point, and they have to get to another. The only way to get there is to jump platform to platform across a valley. If they fall they will die,
Notes 2- HorsesNotes 2- Horses in Writing More Like This
My Notes #2: Horses and How They Act
-Horses generally run when scared
-Horses stay in the security of the herd
-Ears point in direction of attention. Horses should have one ear back at rider, one ear forward.
-Ears moving back and forth=Uncertainty.
-Ears pinned back=Anger or Fear
-Kinked Tail=Submissive Fear.
-Face: Long nose and tight mouth=anxiety and fear
-A wrinkled nose=Annoyance and Disgust
-Horses mouth flexes when learning something new, relaxes when it understands.
-A horse threatening to bite has an open mouth and maybe bared teeth.
-Pasture, hay and concentrates.
-A horses hooves grow continuously. Hooves need to be trimmed every month to keep them in proper shape.
-Hooves should be cleaned after riding
-Stalled horses need their hooves picked daily.
-Horses who work allot need to be shoes.
-Shoes need to be changed once a month.
More Info(By De
Character Creation Form-BlankCharacter Creation Form-Blank in Writing More Like This
Character Creation Form
This is to create a character from how they would be at the very start of your first chapter, or just to flesh out information on a character you already have. The parts in italics is just there to help you out, so feel free to take the italic text out when you are filling this out.
Reason for Nickname:
How old are they? Early teens/late 30's will work if you do not know exactly
Are they a student? A farm worker? A candle maker?
Are they rich? Poor? Normal(middle) class?
Are they thin? Fit? Built like a dancer? A body builder?
Are they pale? Dark? Do they have scars? A big nose? Large feet? Pointed ears? What color is their hair? How long is it? What style is it cut?
How to never get writers blockHow to never get writers block in Writing More Like This
1. Realize what you like, and write it down. Really, its as simple as that. All you have to do is, when you go "hey, I like this movie/show/book" break down as to why you like it and write it down. Even if you just like one scene in a movie, write it down; that way if you are ever stuck, just read the list over for inspiration. Here are a few examples:
RESEARCH is your Best FriendRESEARCH is your Best Friend in Writing More Like This
RESEARCH is your Best Friend.
"...for bigger fictions (maybe 10-20 chapters, or more) for a big fan fiction or OC fiction, how much do you plan out?" -- Wanna Rite Reel Gud
How much do I plan out for one of my novels...?
-- I detail everything. Seriously. I believe in a Total Immersion style of writing. In other words, I want to know the world so well, I can simply step into the mind and skin of my main character and LIVE the story.
How do I do that...?
I start with a basic plot formula and extrapolate on certain points as needed.
Romance needs extra doses of lover's angst, Gothics need psychological breakdowns, Horrors need room for monster attacks, Sci-Fi's and Fantasies need moments of wonder... This gives me a rough plot outline to work from.
Next, I break down each of the Three Main Characters: Hero/Ally/Villain.
This is to make sure that they a
The Wasteland AKA the MIDDLEThe Wasteland AKA the MIDDLE in Writing More Like This
The Trackless Wasteland known as: The MIDDLE
The middle (of a story) KILLS me. I freeze when I have to decide which way things are going to go, and how, and that happens during the middle for me.
Middle, middle, middle... It's the Slough of Despond!
The Middle is where I usually fizzle out.
The middle is DANGEROUS territory.
Why? Because the Middle of a story is where you have a million-and-one options, a million-and-one directions to choose from, and a million-and-one ways to really show off your writing skills.
The Middle is also, where you have a million-and-one opportunities to really screw up your story for good. Opportunities that will send you spiraling into ever tightening circles that eventually jam you into a corner you can't get out of. In short: get you Lost in your own story.
You KNOW yo
Writing BEGINNINGS for Short StoriesWriting BEGINNINGS for Short Stories in Writing More Like This
I was wondering if you had any tips on starting a short story? Like for instance, I have the scene all laid out in my head, I know exactly what's going on and stuff, I just don't know how to begin without giving away too much info and then boring the reader. If that make any sense.
Tips on how to make a beginning...?
-- Why, yes I do!
The fastest way to start a story -- is NOT at the beginning.
Open the story within one page of Hero Meets Villain, (or Lover Meets Beloved) with the story already in progress. Action scenes and snappy dialogue are the best hooks for snaring your reader, but hints of Mysterious things yet to happen works well too. I also set the stage for the story about to begin with a few lines of Description so that the reader can SEE everything as it happens.
Here are some examples from my fan-fiction:
Opening to HERO (Naruto)
It was supposed to be a
Your Character TOO Special?Your Character TOO Special? in Writing More Like This
Is your Special Character
Are you indulging in a few too many "special traits"? Is your story really an excuse to show off your Super Special Character? Are you committing a MARY-SUE/GARY STUE?
--> Dead give-away: Your favorite character is YOU only BETTER!
Who is Mary Sue/Gary Stue?
According to SubReality.com:
"Mary Sue / Gary Stue is any original or deeply altered character who represents a slice of their creator's own ego; they are treasured by their creator but only rarely by anyone else. A Mary Sue/Gary Stue is a primadonna (usually, but not always badly-written,) who saps life and realism out of every other character around, taking over the plot and bending canon to serve their selfish purposes."
-- For more details:
The Mary Sue/Gary Stue "Self-Insertion" in Manga Fan-fiction:
According to A
HOW do you make THE END?HOW do you make THE END? in Writing More Like This
"When will you make an end?"
- The Pope on the painting of the Sistine Chapel
"When I'm finished."
Okay, so you got this GREAT Idea for a story!
- This Great Idea...that births chapter after chaper...
- This Great Idea... that you can't seem to finish. (WTF?)
So what do you do now?
HOW do you make an End?
Fairytales and Myths were my foundational reading, so they became my base model for how a story should finish -- by ending where you began with a solution.
This doesn't mean ending a story in the location it started, or that full irrevocable transformations don't happen, but that the story ties the knot to the Emotional or Karmic place they began. -- The lost find their way, the wicked are punished, the weak become strong, monsters are faced, emotional hang-ups are dealt with, and problems are solved. What is begun - finishes.
-- Stories aren't just about characters Doing stuff, it's about cha
The Secret to Proper ParagraphingThe Secret to Proper Paragraphing in Writing More Like This
Once you know what your characters and doing and saying, how do you get all that down on Paper without ending up with a huge confusing mess?
Putting the Story on Paper.
Everybody knows that when a new speaker speaks they get a new paragraph, right? In other words, you DON'T put two different people talking in the same paragraph. Okay, yeah, so anyone who has written any kind of fiction learns this pretty darned quick, (usually from their readers.)
What nobody seems to get is that the same goes for a new character's ACTIONS. Seriously, when a new character ACTS they're supposed to get their own paragraph -- even if they don't speak!
In short, you paragraph by change in CHARACTER -- not because they speak, but because they ACT. Ahem... Dialogue is an ACTION. In other words, the reason you don't put two different characters' Dialogue in the same paragraph is BECAUSE you don't mix two characters' Actions. Okay?
"Wait a minute,
Pesky Point of ViewPesky Point of View in Writing More Like This
DISCLAIMER: Before anyone starts screaming about this article not emphasizing the Creative aspect of writing, please understand that this information was hammered into my head by my editors. This is what I had to learn to see my work published.
That doesn't mean you have to follow it! As with all advice, feel free to take what you can use and throw out the rest.
Pesky Point of View
What is Point of View (POV)?
-- It's the view of the person telling the story.
First Person: I am telling the story.
Second Person. I am telling the story to YOU. (Diaries and letters are commonly written this way.)
Third Person: He is telling the story.
Close Third Person: He had no clue how he got roped into telling this story, but he was telling it, and by god, they better listen up!
Omniscient Distant POV: The camera's eye view. (No internal narration what so ever. You only know what the camera sees. This is the POV u
ACTION Sequences - Plug+PlayACTION Sequences - Plug+Play in Writing More Like This
Writing ACTION Sequences
The Plug & Play Method
Lets begin with a Review...
The flash of pain exploded in my cheek from the slap her hand lashed out at me.
Why is this wrong?
If you were watching this scene as a movie, that sentence is NOT how you would have seen it happen.
Actual Sequence of events:
1) Her hand lashed out at me in a slap.
2) A flash of pain exploded in my cheek
ACTION Sequences = Chronological Order
REALITY = something happens to you and then you react.
Action > Reaction > Action > Reaction = Chronological order
FICTION = the Plot happens to the characters and then they react.
Action > Reaction > Action > Reaction = Chronological order
If you want the reader to SEE the actions that you are trying to portray, Chronological Order is the ONLY way to write that scene. In other words, if you visualize the characters doing something in a specific
An Unkindness of COMMASAn Unkindness of COMMAS in Writing More Like This
I SUCK at commas big-time. I tend to pull a "Mark Twain"; I sprinkle them in wherever to break up the monotony of the sentence. This article is my attempt to hammer the rules into my brain.
An Unkindness of COMMAS
What the heck are Commas for, anyway?
Besides abusing the sanity of the writer, the comma exists to help readers organize information in a sentence. It makes all the stuff the author is trying to say easier to swallow. Without them, sentence bits and pieces collide into one another causing confusion; rather like a train-wreck, though not nearly as exciting.
Just in case you'd like to know who made up all these comma rules, I got most of them from Strunk & White's "Elements of Style" the grammar handbook used by every publishing house in America, and a few overseas. The rest came from my editors.
To get a good idea of how commas work, let's take a look at what they are supposed to do -- and some major
Sentence Structure for FICTIONSentence Structure for FICTION 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.
Greek gods: Children of the OlympiansChildren of ZeusGreek gods: Children of the Olympians in Settings More Like This
Heracles The god of strength, son of Alcmene
Astraea The goddess of justice and innocence, daughter of Themis
The Three Fates The goddesses of destiny, daughter of Zeus and Themis
Clotho Spinner of the thread of life
Lachesis Measurer of the thread of life
Atropos Cutter of the thread of life
The Three H
Roman NamesAce OneRoman Names in Settings More Like This
Adeodatus Given to GOD
Adrian Of the Adriatic
Adriano Of Adria
Agrippa Wild Horse, Born Feet-First
Female Roman NamesAFemale Roman Names in Settings More Like This
Agrippina Wild horse, Born feet first
Amaranta Flower that never fades
Amelia Industrious, Admiring
America Land o
Greek NamesAchilles PainGreek Names in Historical More Like This
Adrastos Does not run away
Aeolus Quick, Nimble
Female Greek NamesAcantha ThornFemale Greek Names in Settings More Like This
Acte Corn, Meal
Adrasteia Undaunted, Does not run away
Aegea Wavy sea
Aegle Dazzling light, Brilliant
Aella Storm swift, Whirlwind
Greek CreaturesThe ancient Greeks believed in two types of semi-divine beings:Greek Creatures in Settings More Like This
Types of Daimones
Nymphs Female nature spirits, usually associated with a certain location
Panes Goat-legged highland spirits, sons of the gods Pan and Hermes
Silens Elderly satyrs, sons of Seilenus, fathers of the Satyrs and Oreiades
Japanese NamesAkio Bright man, Manly heroJapanese Names in Settings More Like This
Akira Bright, Clear, Intelligent
Akiyama Autumn, Mountain
Anko Red bean paste
Aoi Hollyhock, Althea blue
Arata Fresh, New
Ayumu Walk, Dream, Vision
Battujutsu Art of drawing a sword
Female Zulu NamesAmahle Beautiful onesFemale Zulu Names in Historical More Like This
Andile Have grown, Increased
Ayanda Growing, Increasing
Ayize Let it happen
Bheka Look, Take care of
Bhekithemba Look for hope
Bhekimuzi Look after the household.
Xhosa NamesMelisizwe Leader of a NationXhosa Names in Historical More Like This
Thandiwe Loved one
Uka Rise up
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 Chapter 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