The Official Writer's Corner Chit-Chat Thread

Discussion in 'The Writer's Corner' started by Arcane, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. Arcane You can change this now in User CP.

    1. Read, read, read. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times (and I’ve sure you’ve heard that a million times too), but that’s only because it’s the truth. Reading not only enhances your vocabulary, gives you ideas, but is also enjoyable. Why the hell not?

    2. Read aloud. You have no idea how much this helps. Seeing your sentence may be fine, but hearing your sentence flow out of your mouth gives you an idea of how it actually sounds. You catch those little snags that ruins the flow, those words that don’t quite give off the “feel” you want. Always read your product aloud.

    3. Remember that your reader is not you. You must make it so that they can picture exactly what you picture. Feel whatever feeling you are feeling, or wish to convey. Don’t assume. Make it clear.

    4. Remember that nothing, nothing happens without a reason. Know the reason.

    5. Characters are living, breathing (human?) beings. You don’t do something just for the heck of it do you? Good. Then don’t let your characters do it. Real people have motivations, dreams, and reasons behind what they do. Real people have lives outsides of what you might wish to show or get into. Your characters are not cardboard cutouts, they are real people. Regardless of whether or not they are important characters or not, make them real.

    6. When writing in-character, become that character, that person. You no longer matter. You must believe what he/she believes, you must have experienced what he/she has experienced, and you must act as he/she would act taking into consideration everything that has happened to him/her.

    7. Revise, revise, revise. Don’t stop with being satisfied with your work. Make it perfect. Read your paragraphs or sentences over and over and over again, rewrite it over and over again until that little niggling feeling in your head is completely gone. Grease it till it’s smooth; edit it until it expresses what you want exactly right. Did you use the right word there? Does perhaps another word sound better? How does this part read aloud?

    8. Always, always write neatly, with all the appropriate spelling, grammar, and marks (. ? ! ,). When you get into the habit of using them, it'll come to you naturally without effort. As a bonus it also makes you look more mature and professional.

    9. Try using unfamiliar words you’ve seen here and there. Search up the meaning on a dictionary, check out the synonyms. The only way you can improve your writing is to continue to increase your vocabulary. If you’re having trouble with using that word in a sentence, type up a sentence fragment containing the word into Google or any search engine, if something comes up that looks somewhat like what you’ve got – bingo.

    10. Write often. Practice makes perfect.

    11. People have different methods of working, but it’s best to have a clear idea of where you’re heading before you start, and the details, sometimes they just jump out at you in the middle of it.

    12. Forced writing is usually not good, but if you’re simply lazy, sometimes forcing yourself to write can actually spark your interest in writing again.

    13. If you have writer’s block, don’t stress, don’t panic. That doesn’t help. Take a deep breath, and look at the problem from all angles. Can you perhaps approach the problem in a different way? Don’t be frustrated; don’t be stubborn with what you want. Perhaps another route works out much better than what you originally had in mind. Try all the paths, and then decide. If that doesn’t help, take a break. Read a book, watch a movie, and come back with a fresh mind.

    14. Inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of places. A writer always keeps an open, idea-hungry mind.

    15. Have someone else read your writing. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes may spot something you, as the author have not.

    16. Most of the time you don’t want too much repetition. Using the same word over and over again gets dull pretty fast. Try looking up synonyms or just find another way to say it.

    17. Use your own experiences and encounters to help you work out what another person might do/feel in some situation.

    18. History is a writer’s friend. There are tons of ideas lurking in the history of Boring Old Earth. Even if you’re writing fantasy, historical events (or people) could provide you with ideas you never even considered, lend plausibility to schemes you thought quite preposterous, and give you possible causes and impacts of events, small or large.

    19. If you’re having difficulty with a scene’s placements or actions, try visualizing it in your mind, or if that fails, draw, or use some nearby objects, (even a couple of erasers could do?) to display the setup or action physically. You could even try to perform the action yourself.

    20. Research is very important, especially if you’re trying to imitate a specific time period – say, a lot of fantasy stories are set in around Medieval/Renaissance era. Looking into those areas (even just generally) may help you with details and make your story more realistic, lots of interesting things also pop up during the process. What you don’t want to do is cram in every little tidbit of information you find though. For help with research, use a school library, public libraries or even the internet - they're great resources, use them!

    21. Sound and rhythm are key to writing well. Some words are more guttural and harsher, such as those with “k”, “g”, and sharp “s”s, they help lend a jarring perhaps violent/dark note to the passage. Rhythm, when sped up, such as if you suddenly write your sentences in short fragments or jumping back and forth, could help express the intensity and chaos of a situation as well.

    22. When worldbuilding, I find that it helps if I jump from subject to subject, never stopping dead in one place. If you get stuck, bored, frustrated, are more interested in another subject move on to that and come back later. This both prevents you from getting depressed and getting nowhere, but also allows you to continue to move forwards, and the feeling of persistent accomplishment will prevent your determination from flagging. You might also find that in fact the second subject you were working on connects back to the first and solves your original problem. Discoveries like that are not so uncommon.

    23. Here's a major problem I have when plotting stories: don't over-think plots. If you look at some of the great stories you'll find that their plots are actually fairly simple. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter... The plot doesn't have to be a spectacular, complex web, the plot is only the base- the trunk of the tree- it's the details, the characters, the process that are the branches, the flowers, and the fruit. Don't kill yourself trying to come up with the world's most original, breathtaking, suspense-filled plot which will keep your reader on the edge of his seat always, with dozens of unexpected turns- STOP RIGHT THERE- that's what the details are supposed to do, you're going the wrong direction.

    24. Related to #12. LAZINESS & CHRONIC PROCRASTINATION are common symptoms of the true writer. Are you finding that you're starting to dwell on the most minuscule things, either in worldbuilding or in writing? Kick yourself- hard. Are you finding that you're over-researching things, and it's simply becoming an excuse not to write anything? Kick yourself- hard. Are you finding that you're doing anything but writing, and are finding excuses not to write? Kick yourself- hard.

    “Work avoidance is one of the major paradoxes of the writing profession. Generally, writers want to write (or want to have written), but all too often we find ourselves doing anything else but.”
    - Jerry Oltion

    Don't do it.

    “Write now, breathe later.”
    - Jerry Oltion


    Personally I think an excellent writing/fantasy/idea resource: Link

    For more technical research and reference, especially on medieval/renaissance subjects (but not limited to): Link includes entries on weapons, military strategies, armies, worldbuilding, politics...

    Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions to get you thinking: Link
    13 people like this.
  2. ragingspeedhorn Is a Banned Asshole

    Nice with a sort of index of tips and tricks for writers. You should come up with more to add to the collection :)

    +rep.
  3. Husky Local Lurker

    These 2 kinda Contradict themselves. Other than that pretty good :).
    1 people like this.
  4. Arcane You can change this now in User CP.

    Hm... I'll rewrite #11 I think.


    Edit: Edited! Added: 'Unless you don't feel like it, see #12 for the reason.' Thanks Husky. :)

    Edit #2: @ragingspeedh: Well, I might add more when I think of them, but in the meantime, I'll just let others contribute their ideas. *Hint hint* :p
  5. Husky Local Lurker

    Thats better :). Np bud, thanks for putting effort in.
  6. Ninva Retired

    These are good tips. I think I should start using the third and the fourth tip a bit more. :p
  7. R@d14nc3 New Member

    >13. If you have writer's block, go read a book or two, or watch a movie, you might be able to get some ideas from them. Taking a break from writing for a while may also help.

    I never tried this...but I will :)

    Nice work you did.
    And nice Manga avatar btw
  8. Ninva Retired

    You'd get writer's block after awhile. I get mine when I write for so long in a story, then I'm stuck. I try rewriting a few paragraphes but I'm always stuck on that last bit. I usually leave it for awhile and go to writing new stories, sometimes I forget about the story I was stuck on and come back to it once I find it again. Another tip is to never delete any of our stories. It also doesn't hurt to re-read a few of your old stories once and awhile too. :D
  9. Prometheus I Bring The Flame

    Nice tips
    +rep
  10. Krys A Night Writer

    Another little helpful hint that works, is if you are writing something, and you wanna restart it. Let it slide for a little while, and then come back to it. The new direction that you wanted to take it in will work better, instead of you trying to continue something that's going nowhere. (I did it with one of my novels, Rose.)
    1 people like this.
  11. Ninva Retired

    I've used that tip also. :D
  12. Whitesock Graphics Help Zone Moderator

    Here's one! If you want to come up with characters, think far away from the character. Ex...

    Bing! Stong and durable character. That's what I like to call character generation. You can also start with what you want the character to be like.

  13. Ninva Retired

    Hm, interesting. How I create a character is much different. I take a character and think of them in multiple events, soon my character develops into what I really want.
    Usually I just keep writing the story until I understand my characters. Then proof read my work and edit the lines my character would not say, or do. Sometimes I take huge chucks of paragraphs that have nothing to do with the main plot. Yet, everything has to do with the plot, so I usually use trail and error allot.
    My way may be more work, but I have allot more fun getting to understand my character's feelings this way. It's like meeting a person for the first time; you can never judge them until you talk to them.
    1 people like this.
  14. MasterOfABCs Unacceptable!

    I always thought that a main goal of a story was not to lead the reader in a straight line through the plot.

    And as for your description tip, most people don't describe enough. your right, but have you ever read a story written by someone who elaborates far too much? It's just as bad as not enough description if not worse.
  15. Ninva Retired

    It's just as bad when someone describes too much, it feels really choppy through out the whole bit. It stops constantly to describe one thing then it goes on to the plot. Ugh, horrible choppiness. xP
  16. Halahan To die will be an awfully big adventure.

    Those are quite good, but I've found describing too much will make me skip a few sentences cause I want to find out what happens next so bad. That happened sometimes in the Wheel Of Time. Only put on descriptions that are either helpful, needed, or are just good there (though I'm not against describing things in detail).

    Also another tip, though its not so much as a tip as a guidline/what I think:

    Don't write to gloomy or with to many bad things happening, or the reader might want to stop reading or not like those parts. (also happened in Wheel of Time and A single Part in Eragon while going to the varden threw the Boar Mountains)
  17. ReVolver Moderator

    Why not add something like : Give your rough draft to your friends to read, then ask them what should I fix or any suggestions. ;)
  18. Seth Cross You want to see a magic trick?

    YES!


    Corruption has been handed out to MANY people. You wouldn't believe the difference, even in just spelling and grammer. Plus a few people have helped me re-shape the entire storyline and history behind the story. I HIGHLY recommend this.
  19. Ninva Retired

    Recently I've started to do this. Yet, I think I scare the readers by giving them a large stack of papers to them. :rolleyes:
    (Check out Zeikoni and imagin being given that to you.)
    Anyways, I usually do my own rough draft then give the final copy to my friends so they can comment and add to it, as rare as that may be.
    "Oh, good job!"
    "I like, it keep writing!"

    :rolleyes:
  20. Stinman Guest

    I like it, it gives me lots of ideas. I think that i should start doin number 3 a bit more because sometime some sentences don't make sence in books that i read.

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