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Author Topic: Writing a story... Any tips?  (Read 2273 times)

Arokos

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Writing a story... Any tips?
« on: June 22, 2010, 03:10:03 AM »

We have Lewis, A Stormcaller wants freedom from the old ways of life. He eventually get a ship and try to live his life out. Well, Life is hard and few people are hunting him down.


When every I try to advances, I just throw it away becasue I think it's nothing and has been done millions of times. For some reason I'm fix on this stormcaller idea and it just driving me nuts.
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Mecha

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Re: Writing a story... Any tips?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2010, 05:25:13 AM »

We have Lewis, A Stormcaller wants freedom from the old ways of life. He eventually get a ship and try to live his life out. Well, Life is hard and few people are hunting him down.


When every I try to advances, I just throw it away becasue I think it's nothing and has been done millions of times. For some reason I'm fix on this stormcaller idea and it just driving me nuts.

As somebody who is more logical and less creative but still enjoys writing, one common theme is that most authors get their ideas from real life events and random things they see. Wait for what you want to appear, don't look for it, it may hit you one day. Draft ideas of course, but expect of alot of whats going to be included in the book and its characteristics just play by ear.
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Valrick

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Re: Writing a story... Any tips?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2010, 01:08:38 PM »

When every I try to advances, I just throw it away becasue I think it's nothing and has been done millions of times.

This is a big problem a lot of people face when it comes to writing. There's no real solid way to overcome it other than just keep writing. You can expect any first draft to be shit, so surely it's better to be writing something than nothing?

Something I've learnt from taking part in NaNoWriMo is that it's important to just keep going and as they say, "Ignore your internal editor". Try writing without reading back anything you've written. Never go back and change a paragraph or sentence.  Each time you sit down to write, just keep going from where you left off. When you get to the end, that first draft will probably make no sense and be shit and unusable. But there will be good things in there that you can work and build upon, to create something better in your second draft.

So, in summary, just keep going. Never think that what you're writing is final; it's not carved in stone. It doesn't matter if you feel it's a played out story or theme; you can change and switch things up when you're done. It's always better to be writing something than nothing.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 01:10:18 PM by Valrick »
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Thistledown

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Re: Writing a story... Any tips?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2010, 06:03:59 PM »

Ignoring your internal editor is by far the hardest and greatest accomplishment any aspiring writer can do. To learn to not read what you write is quite an impressive skill. The point of writing is (at least for me) not to entertain others but almost completely for yourself. So, write for you. It takes a long time to learn (and something I still haven't mastered, even after writing short stories for many years) and I think is impossible to master.

Also, participate in any writing exercises you find. One of my favorites come from a thread which I've blatantly stolen from at Something Awful, which they have blatantly stolen from The Art of Fiction by John Gardner (which is a great book, by the way).

Quote
4a. Describe a landscape as seen by an old woman whose disgusting and detestable old husband has just died. Do not mention the husband or death.

4b. Describe a lake as seen by a young man who has just committed murder. Do not mention the murder.

4c. Describe a landscape as seen by a bird. Do not mention the bird.

4d. Describe a building as seen by a man whose son has just been killed in a war. Do not mention the son, war, death, or the old man doing th seeing; then describe the same building, in the same weather and at the same time of day, as seen by a happy lover. Do not mention love or the loved one.
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Acido

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Re: Writing a story... Any tips?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2010, 01:47:47 PM »

my tip is planning, a few years back i gave it a go for part of gcse (this is a very long time ago) but i made myself a huge plan, and i mean huge, the story board covered around 15 a3 sheets, then i read the note on the bottom of my assignment saying there was a word limit, and i was gutted, so if youve got a free choice, plan, plan and more planning.
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Valrick

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Re: Writing a story... Any tips?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2010, 03:28:00 PM »

my tip is planning, a few years back i gave it a go for part of gcse (this is a very long time ago) but i made myself a huge plan, and i mean huge, the story board covered around 15 a3 sheets, then i read the note on the bottom of my assignment saying there was a word limit, and i was gutted, so if youve got a free choice, plan, plan and more planning.

I have to disagree with this. In my experience, if you have a really detailed plan you'll feel like you must completely stick to it. Some of the best ideas come out of the unknown. If you've got a reasonable grasp of where you want to end up, let your characters decide how they get there. I find it gives your writing a more spontaneous feel and overall helps build personality to your characters.

Just something to consider.
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Acido

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Re: Writing a story... Any tips?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2010, 04:07:31 PM »

hmm i agree with you there val, however, ahving some idea is great, my plan though detailed was full of crossing out and edits as i went though, most of them changed after id written the stuff
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Valrick

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Re: Writing a story... Any tips?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2010, 05:44:24 PM »

hmm i agree with you there val, however, ahving some idea is great, my plan though detailed was full of crossing out and edits as i went though, most of them changed after id written the stuff

Essentially it comes down to that - for me - writing is about letting characters guide the story. I've never been one for planning.

I can't remember the exact quote but someone smarter than me once said a story wont be written until it wants to be.
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Alazurian

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Re: Writing a story... Any tips?
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2010, 02:44:12 AM »

The best tip I can give you from my own personal experience is this "write what you know". Great authors don't just sit down and create fantasy worlds out of the blue, they base it on something else. It could be real life expereince, it could be a mixture of different series they've read, or it could be something else.

Another tip, look at the story from each characters point of view. Put yourself in their shoes and decide how they would act based on a situation. If you can do that for each of your characters and then put it together you have a good beginning.

Don't try to add comedy and wit into the story the first time through, it NEVER works. Instead do as others have suggested. Write until you can't write anymore and don't edit yourself as you are writing. When you are finished with your first draft read through it and keep what works. Once you have the core story written that way you can then add in humor and wit, expand on scenes, add in additional descriptions, all sorts of things.

Most of all, remember that writing is a process. It will take time to write down your story, especially if it is the first time you are doing it. I know the first short story I wrote took almost three months to write. Don't get discouraged. If you find that the process is overwhelming you then set aside your writing utensils and do something else for a while. Make sure you give yourself a break.


*btw, I am writing this late at night. Ignore the spelling and grammar, I don't care right now.  ;D*
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Ebion

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Re: Writing a story... Any tips?
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2010, 09:28:02 AM »

While we're at it, let us talk about procrastination shall we?

One of my biggest problems as a short story/parody writer is that I suffer from both "internal editor/social moron" syndromes, which both make me care about what the potential reader is going to think, and because of that I manifest it into writing gold, but just abandoning it out of partial laziness and partial fear of being told it sucks. I've gotta say, I've been a short story writer since I was 9 years old, I've even got a few poems published in elementary school, and even out of all that I still fall into the caring pithole and have trouble writing my works.

However, one tool I use to force myself to keep thinking is: http://writeordie.drwicked.com/

Write or Die is a tool where you have a certain amount of time(ranging from seconds to minutes) to keep writing, if you do not write anything within that time frame, it starts deleting letters, words, or even entire lines if you've paid for the full version and are using the 'hardcore' mode. This forces you to both memorize what you've written and be comfortable with it since you have little time to go back, as well as giving you a "gentle nudge" to keep moving forward.

This tool is not for the short of memory or the easily frustrated, but it is for people who want to be goal orientated with a word count or just generally want a non-biased source to kick you in the ass when you're slacking.
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