The Problems With Stories Written by TeenagersDon't be offended at the title. "Teenagers" is just my way of saying "people who write unprofessional/shallow stories." Not all teenagers write shallow stories, it just sounds catchier.... Anyway.
The first thing I want to make clear is: I'm not talking about anything mechanical in this deviation. Grammar/spelling is important (obviously), but that point has been beaten to death by people on the internet already. My purpose, as always, is to talk about the stories themselves, regardless of the way they are communicated. Whether it be through written word or on-the-spot narration, I believe there are certain tricks to telling good stories. Not rules, mind you. Tricks.
I don't believe that telling good stories is about what you "should" do, rather than what you shouldn't. Example: people generally hate Mary Sues, right? Well, sometimes I notice things that are "like" Mary Sues, in the sense that they're equally as shallow/unprofessional ways of telling stories. The purpose of this deviat
The Problem with Self InsertsThe Problem with Self InsertsThe Problem with Self Inserts in Reviews & Guides More Like This
There is nothing wrong with inserting yourself into a story. Like anything, it can be well done or... not so well done. The fact is, the majority of people who tend to write about self inserts happen to be beginners. Naturally, that causes there to be a pattern of certain, specific mistakes that are frequently found whilst reading anything on the internet. The purpose of this deviation isn't to say that self inserts are bad. I'm simply going to point out the most common mistakes that we usually encounter.
1. Making ourselves better than we really are.
Don't be fooled by the word "better." This can be replaced with mysterious, deep, dark, tragic, romantic, lovable... anything we want. Maybe a mix of a few of those things. The point is, the version of ourselves will be biased.
2. Not making anything bad happen to yourself
Let's talk about the word "bad." Does this mean something, perhaps, like... getting a disease? No. It means anything that interferes with
How Not to Write Love InterestsUPDATE: READ THE NEW EXTENSION TO THIS POST. LINK IN DESCRIPTION!How Not to Write Love 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
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
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
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
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
Why Strong Females are Bad Role ModelsToday I want to talk about how not to write girl characters.Why Strong Females are Bad Role Models in Reviews & Guides More Like This
"Oh, I know what you're going to say. You're going to say that girls shouldn't always rely on men. They should be strong and able to fight for themselves. They should be equally as smart and quick-witted as the boys. They should-"
They should not be CONTRIVED.
It's not a choice between Bella Swan or Astrid from How to Train Your Dragon. You can actually invent NEW personalities for girls. Instead there are a handful that get recycled over and over.
I know, I know. "Authors can have boy characters with these problems too!" blah blah blah. This is a list of what I notice about a lot of girl characters specifically, whether there are boy characters like this sometimes or not. Here is a list of the most over-used/corny types of girl characters I see in literature:
Jane Plain is a bossy jerk (never portrayed as such. She's supposed to be thought of as "cool") who punches boys in the face wh
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 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
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
25 Ways to Keep Writing Talk about your projects - share your ideas, progress and problems with the people in your life25 Ways to Keep Writing in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Write lists - to-do lists, shopping lists, wishlists, your character's to-do lists/shopping lists/wishlists
Keep a notebook in your pocket or bag and write down every idea, quote, observation that you find interesting
Listen to music that has inspired you in the past
Make connections with like minded people - join a club, find a writing buddy
Enrol in an art class - photography, needlecraft, writing, painting, cake decorating. Whatever you like. You might not be good at it but you'll be keeping your creativity alive. Stay creative.
Get a library card and use it - "Having fun is never hard when you've got a library card!"
Write in a different setting - go to a historical site, an open garden, a field, sit by a lake, find a nice spot in
Mary Sue Guide - Part 1The BasicsMary Sue Guide - Part 1 in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Before you start reading this, two things to keep in mind:
Do not simply assume your OC is or isn't a Mary Sue before you start reading. Keep an open mind.
This guide is NOT a rulebook. No matter how Sue I think something is, that doesn't mean you absolutely should not do it under any circumstance. Also, some things are more minor than others. Just because your character has some Sue traits doesn't make her a Sue. A little flare doesn't hurt.
This is by no means meant to be offensive or aimed at any specific author or character. It is also not 100% accurate. There are always circumstances outside a Mary Sue Guide. The purpose of this is not to be a statement of fact but merely something to help.
Definition of a Mary Sue: A clichéd being that is often too perfect and unrealistic. Because of this, they may cause other characters to go out of character.
Possible Traits of a Mary Sue and How to Fix Them:
Character SheetName:Character Sheet in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Don't get too extravagant with this. Description of appearance is one of the most commonly overdone things with OCs. Keep it simple no one will remember a word you say if you describe everything from the shape of his/her nose to the color of his/her toenails. Also, keep this within the realm of the fandom. In a fandom where characters all have naturally colored hair, it would be strange if your character had naturally pink hair.
Do note the weapon depends on the fandom, the age, the time, the place, etc. Your character may also not have weapons, it all depends. If your character does have a weapon, what type of weapon it is depends largely on the fandom. For example, it would be quite bizarre if your Rurouni Kenshin OC used a light saber as a weapon. And it would be a plot-hole
Similar to weapon, the ability of your character depends on the fandom. If the canon characters of the fando
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
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
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
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
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
Writer Notes- Plot DevelopmentWriter Notes- Plot Development in Writing More Like This
Whether you are writing a novel or a short story it is best to have your MAIN PLOT before you get too much written down. The Main Plot is the singular thread that runs through the novel/story. You may have character ideas or scene ideas but eventually you need to think about a plot. Do this sooner rather than later.
The best way to do this is to list your main characters and then decide what are their individual main plots. Are they all on the same quest with the same ideas / goals or do some of them have their own goals?
To help show this, here's an example:
Eric To become knighted and serve his king
Vivian To destroy her former master before he can poison the kingdom
Luke To find his brother
Taldor The largest city
Maybe from this list you decide Vivian is the MAIN character and her story line is the driving force however each of the other three have story lines that need to be tol
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 - Writers BlockWriters Notes - Writers Block in Writing More Like This
Writers Block is one of the worst feelings a writer can experience. Even the best writers will suffer it at some point or another. Point in fact that I myself am suffering writers block in my novel at this moment.
Some writers use it as an excuse to give up and stop writing completely. This happens more when the writers block lasts for a considerable period. It does not just have to be over days, I have known it to be over weeks and even over two months before now.
Writers block can be for many reasons. Often it can be when you are struggling with a key part of your writing / plot and are not making any headway. If this continues and affects the flow of your writing you can find yourself feeling "stunted."
Other writers blocks can be because you have overstretched yourself. Maybe you have been taking too much on or pushing yourself too hard. This is often when the hobby and joy of writing
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
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:
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
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.
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
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 InsidersCharacter Insiders in Writing More Like This
A tracker is something very common in stories, and can make up for an interesting character. A tracker could be a mysterious swordsman trained to hunt people down, a bandit who uses the skill to know where her next prey will be, or even just a farmer wanting to hunt his families next meal. Either way, if you are planning to write any of these, it is important that you write it right...otherwise modern day trackers might point out your flaws.
The tracking of both animals and humans are very similar, so here are the basics for tracking both:
1. Prints. This is the most obvious of tracking, but it is not always the most useful. If it is windy in the snow, raining really hard, or the person being tracked is walking on hard ground, than the prints might not always be there to track. If I remember correctly, then the softer the print(the more easy the dirt is to move around) than the fresher the print. For example, if a deer walked down a path early morning when the dew moistened
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
Guide to (stereotypical) Personality ArchetypesMale:Guide to (stereotypical) Personality Archetypes in Writing More Like This
1) The bad boy – He’s really tough, usually aloof and pushes people away. Few people actually get the “honor” of getting to know him. He usually has a secret past.
2) The adorkable dude – He’s upbeat and smiley, even though he’s just regarded as average or even a loser by the world. He has a heart of gold and is often the main hero of stories
3) The nerdy dude – Whether getting good grades is in or out, he never fails to get the GPA, do all the research, and ask questions in class. He’s usually into science or math.
4) The jock dude – He can play every sport known to man and be good at it too. He also watches sports, drinks Gatorade, and is a chick magnet for no apparent reason.
5) The weird dude – He’s usually into a lot of random nonconformist music, and believes in aliens and possibly karma. He could be completely superstitious, usually quiet.
6) The insane dude – He has this untamable force of energ
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
Interior MonologuesInterior Monologues 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
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
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
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
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.
Plot Devices-Deus Ex Machina?Plot Devices-Deus Ex Machina? in Writing More Like This
Deus Ex Machina or Chekhov's Gun?
"What are your thoughts on Good Deus Ex Machinas? I find them hard to pull off realistically in a plot." -- Puzzled Writer
A Deus Ex Machina is when the Hero doesn't find the solution to the story's problem. The solution is handed to them, or taken care of, by someone or something far more powerful.
From TV Tropes:
A Deus Ex Machina is an outside force that solves a seemingly unsolvable problem in an extremely unlikely (and, usually, anticlimactic) way. If the secret documents are in Russian, one of the spies suddenly reveals that they learned the language. If the writers have just lost funding, a millionaire suddenly arrives, announces an interest in their movie, and offers all the finances they need to make it. If The Hero is dangling at the edge of a cliff with a villain stepping on his
Writing HORRORWriting HORROR in Writing More Like This
When writing a Horror story, one must begin with a Monster. The most terrifying of course, are the ones you don't notice, or refuse to notice. The ones right next to you.
"The most dangerous werewolves are the ones that are hairy on the inside."
-- A Company of Wolves
Making a MONSTER
Think, who are the people that walk right up to you every day and you let them?
Now imagine if one of them was a man-slaughtering or even man-eating Monster?
In reality, it happens all the time. They're known as Psychopaths.
Psychopaths cannot be understood in terms of antisocial rearing or development. They are simply morally depraved individuals who represent the "monsters" in our society. They are unstoppable and untreatable predators whose violence is planned, purposeful and emotionless.
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
6 Tips for Writing and Storytelling from Stan Lee6 Tips for Writing and Storytelling from Stan Lee6 Tips for Writing and Storytelling from Stan Lee in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Recently, Stan Lee made a Youtube video in order to help along writers and storytellers of all types. And there is something wonderfully simple about how Stan Lee perceives writing. The following are the 6 tips that I picked up from listening to his lecture.
Tip 1: Accept commissions as boundaries meant to challenge your creativity.
Chances are that your writing dream will not take off with your book or comic becoming an instant hit. You will have to work for companies, accept commissions, and bide your time until you publish your masterpiece. When you do accept commissions and have to work in the box, view those limitations as creative blocks. Obstacle that exist so that you have to stretch your abilities in order to make your commission as wonderful as what you would make your private works. This is a common technique, in fact, for poetry and other forms of writing—as the brain will be stretched in this action and come up with i
7 Types of Character to Use in Your Novel7 Types of Character to Use in Your Novel7 Types of Character to Use in Your Novel in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Anybody Can Write a Novel
Chapter 3 “Characters” – Section 1 “Character Types”
With Links to Supplementary Material
If we're thinking of a story as a theatrical play, you now have a great many things ready for your production to begin. You have your setting (comprised of the Story-type, Timeline, and Maps
9 Traits that Readers Want in Your Story's Hero9 Traits that Readers Want in Your Story's Hero9 Traits that Readers Want in Your Story's Hero in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Today, I will conclude the trio of character types that I started with Villains and Antiheroes, by discussing what readers want from your story's Hero. Please note that I am speaking specifically about a heroic protagonist, not just any protagonist for any sort of story. Also remember that it could be the case that a story is about the protagonist BECOMING the hero. In this case, the story should be about learning or gaining these traits as they make mistakes, try to grow, and move towards their goal.
Trait 1: Ideals that set them apart from the world. (Dumbledore)
The first thing that should set your hero apart from the world, is not any sort of power or ability, it is an ideal. Any realistic world contains many good people within it. This means that anyone who surpasses that level of good, must have a worldview that challenges the level of goodness already present.
Trait 2: A drive to push them to change the world. (Kick-ass)
5 Steps for Effectively Critiquing a Story5 Steps for Effectively Critiquing a Story5 Steps for Effectively Critiquing a Story in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Anybody Can Write a Novel
Chapter 8 “Editing Your Novel” – Section 1 “Effective Criticism”
With Links to Supplementary Material
I've discussed some tips for editing—both your own work and the work of others. Today, I'm going to start an ongoing series in partnership with 1deathgod to demonstrate effective strategies for editing a manuscript, which we will continue through the course of many drafts. Please keep in mind that I have requested that all of her excerpts start in their roughest form and that she only make the edits that I recommend, for the sole purpose of this demonstration. Left to her own devices, she would have doubtlessly pursued many more improvements but has chosen to leave her excerpt in a raw form for the sake of this tutorial.
Step 1: Read some of the
9 Qualities Readers Want in Your Story's Antihero9 Qualities Readers Want in Your Story's Antihero9 Qualities Readers Want in Your Story's Antihero in Reviews & Guides More Like This
One of the most trending archetypes in modern literature and movies is the antihero. As such, it is also one of the most abused, used often to gain an automatic audience following, or to add sex appeal to a product. Alternatively, I see many beginning writers use the term “antihero” do describe a gritty, dark, or moody hero. All that being said—when created correctly, the antihero story is one of the best types available; which leaves only the matter of knowing the qualities which make a character into an antihero.
Quality 1: The Antihero has deep-rooted instincts to bring about both good and evil.
This is the primary difference that sets the antihero apart from heroes and villains. The antihero should never be just a moody hero that likes to dress in black clothing. Antiheroes are dynamic because they actually have the deep urge inside of them to do evil things, as well as good things. And a very good antihero should
6 Steps to Crafting Each Chapter of Your Novel6 Steps to Making Every Chapter of your Novel Most Excellent6 Steps to Crafting Each Chapter of Your Novel in Reviews & Guides More Like This
The number one reason for people refusing to read a book is boredom. And no matter how much good content can be found if one just “sticks it out,” it will never be found if your readers have to drudge through even a single boring chapter. So, for both writing and post-draft editing, here are 6 steps to making EVERY chapter most excellent.
Step 1: Create a three-act plot structure for each chapter.
Every chapter of a novel should be a short story in and of itself—almost like a comic book or television drama. Now, it is not essential that the three-act plot structure be done perfectly, but every chapter should have the hero encountering a problem, growing from that experience, and a climax where the hero overcomes or is overcome by the problem. Doing this will make sure that every chapter is vital to the story and that something is always happening.
Step 2: Make every chapter opening a hook.
The hook might be
5 Tips for Cultural Diversity in Writing5 Tips for Cultural Diversity in Writing5 Tips for Cultural Diversity in Writing in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Anybody Can Write a Novel
Chapter 7 “From Story to Art” – Section 4 “Diversity”
With Links to Supplementary Material
Diversity—it almost seems a trap word meant for snaring unwitting people into a political debate. But why is it important to writing? Many will argue that it is a means of political correctness, popularity, and seeming hip to all your liberal friends at the coffee shop. While coffee shop creds are pretty important, the real reason for creating a diversity of religion, nationality, culture, ethnicity, philosophy, sexual orientation, gender, economic background, and any other sort, is that it gives a new layer of depth and realism to anything you write. By understanding the specific ways in which to apply diversity so that it adds this depth, we can also learn h
7 Tips for Reading Like a WriterPLEASE NOTE THAT WHILE THIS PAGE WILL REMAIN ACTIVE FOR PURPOSES OF EDUCATION AND RECORDS, IT IS OUTDATED. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE NEWEST VERSION.7 Tips for Reading Like a Writer in Reviews & Guides More Like This
7 Tips for Reading Like a Writer
So I've repeated a few times that one of the most important steps to being a writer, is to be a reader. And so, before I continue with my step-by-step process so that anyone can write a publishable novel, I want to give you some tips to make you an active reader. And yes, I'm also stalling with my articles a couple days until I get back to my giant, wonderful computer and stable internet—so sue me haha. But seriously, some important info here.
Tip 1: Get some pencils, colored pens, and some paperbacks that you don't mind marking.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of pencils and colored pens to being an active writer. First, humans are tactile learners. We learn by touching a
8 Tips for Writing Horror Stories8 Tips for Writing Horror Stories8 Tips for Writing Horror Stories in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Anybody Can Write a Novel
Chapter 2 “Genres” – Section 6 “Horror"
With Links to Supplementary Material
The next on our list of genres to talk about is the Horror genre. I talked a bit about this on my chapter on creating a Monster; but horror does not necessarily require a monster, just like monsters do not necessarily need to be strictly within the horror genre. So I highly recommend checking out that chapter as the second half of this one—as I will attempt to avoid repeats in information.
Tip 1: Maintain
10 YouTube Channels that Will Improve Your Writing10 YouTube Channels that Will Improve Your Writing – With Links10 YouTube Channels that Will Improve Your Writing in Reviews & Guides More Like This
There are a plethora of resources for the beginning writer: from books on writing, to amazing stories, to published writers who regularly blog. Today, I want to share my compilation of important YouTube channels for developing your writing skills, and share why each is important—organized by what purpose they serve. Watch them when bored, listen to them as you clean or when you feel uninspired, and be sure to subscribe to their channels.
Writing Tips and Tricks:
Ellen Brock is a freelance editor who professionally edits novels and does writing seminars. Her videos are very concise, brief; and they show, from an editor's perspective, what makes a good book.
Big Think is actually a compilation of brief seminars on a variety of topics. And they have many videos on the subject of writ