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I want advice to start writing well before it's too late!

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Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:40 am
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Lava says...

I just read all of these posts and it made me think a lot about my writing and how to improve it.

You have heard of bathroom-singers but I'm this bathroom-story creator person. :lol: I play the scenes with the characters speaking in my head.
Basically find a nice solitary place to work with, I guess. It should be a place you're comfortable in and should stimulate your creativity.

Also, try not write everything at a time. You writing depends a lot on your mood. I have noticed that if I'm upset or unhappy I tend to write sad scenes. SO work around your emotions before playing with you characters'
Pretending in words was too tentative, too vulnerable, too embarrassing to let anyone know.
- Ian McEwan in Atonement

kimi: influencing others since GOD KNOWS WHEN.


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Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:25 pm
Pretty Crazy says...

Hey L!
It's okay to be nervous about posting your work here! (I know I was) But don't worry about anyone saying something mean. Everyone is really nice, no one will say that your story is stupid or something. If it really isn't that great of a story (which I doubt) than someone might be able to suggest a way to improve it. It doesn't have to be perfect, just write! Doesn't matter what it's about, just anything! Writing not-so-good is better than not writing at all, right?
Best wishes. :smt001
Looking for someone who won't disappoint you?
Look to Jesus.:)

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Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:10 pm
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Moriah Leila says...

Here are just a few of the best tips I've been given. I think they will help.

1. Read. Read a lot and read all kinds of genre's. Many of the great writers today, started by copying writers from the past. (Now I'm not suggesting plagarism here, that is illegal.)

2. Practice, practice, practice. I have three notebooks that I keep with me, almost religiously. The first one, I do all sorts of writing exercises. You can probably find some pretty awesome books at the library that are full of writing exercises. My favorite is Everyday Creative Writing: Panning for Gold in the Kitchen Sink by Michael C. Smith. The second notebook, I never leave home without. In this notebook, I write down anything and everything. If I have an idea for a character or a plot, I'll write it down and try to develop it immediately. I love to go to the mall and just watch people. I'll write down the way people walk, the way they eat, the way they interact with salespeople. I'll even try to eavesdrop and write down dialouge. I'm always writing down other people's conversations and it drives my husband bonkers. The last notebook I keep is my personal journal. Here I write down almost every emotion I experience and what situation caused me to feel this way. This really helps with my character development, since most of my protagonists have a bit of myself in them.

3. My last suggestion would be to keep writing. No matter how horrible you may think it is, you will not getting any better unless you write, write, and write some more. Keep writing!!

P.S. Don't be so embarassed about sharing your works with YWS. We are all amatuers and have no right to judge you on the quality of your work. Besides, you may think you are a bad writer, when in fact, you may be a fantastic writer.
I am not addicted to reading, I can quit as soon as I finish one more chapter.

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Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:40 pm
Kelcia says...

Shafter wrote: Also, love your characters. Love them so much that you can't possibly NOT write about them.

I don't quite agree with that statement by Shafter. You should love your characters, yes, but you've got to be heartless. Do you want to read a book about some kid skipping through the daffodils, having a grand old time from beginning to end? I don't. You are in charge of the character's whole world, and that means you must make the circumstances difficult for your MC. Make the reader want to find out if the character is alright. Make them worry. We want to see cruelty in books, otherwise, why would we care about them?

Also, see the thing I wrote on "Junkwriting". It may give you ideas.

As for story, I see myself kind of like you. No idea where I'm coming from, only where I'm going to. Don't worry; You don't have to write your story in chronological order. You can write the parts inside your head, and then, once you have a decent bit down, connect the dots, as it were. And write. All the time, write, if you want your writing style to improve.

Hope I've helped some. :wink:

Mutant Plot Bunnies

Is it just me, or are the plot bunnies taking advantage of my ADD?



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Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:15 am
nehaltawfik says...

I disagree with the only 7% for actual words thing.. Its never too late to write meaningful and unique things..

You just need to have a subject and put your head into it..

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Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:04 am
somberelf says...

Okay, these may seem like generic tips, but they've always worked for me:

1) Vocabulary is crucial. Vocabulary is more than just having a wide range of words at your disposal. You also need to know which words to use, when, and in what context. The connotation of a word should also match the general tone of your text. For example, when writing about the size of something, you could theoretically use the word large to describe somebody's stature. But if this person were actually abnormally "large," you may want to use a more sophisticated synonym that expresses to the reader what you have in mind, such as massive, colossal, or immense.

2) Avoid cliches and common expressions. Nobody wants to read boring, overused phrases that they're sick of. Even in dialogue where this is common in reality, it can become easily uninteresting in text. Common examples include "black as night," "it is an honor to introduce...," etcetera.

3) Mechanics are everything. Master your grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills. Nobody wants to read a story filled with errors.

4) Plan before you write. It's always best to have a thorough idea of what you're writing about. This can be easy or difficult, depending on the topic or subject. If you're writing about a fantasy setting, this could take a very long time because you will need to think of a history for the region (it doesn't have to be perfect, just enough to avoid inconsistencies that would otherwise occur in writing), and possibly draw a generic map for it, even if you're not using all of the features of it. If you're writing about a historical time period, thoroughly research every aspect of that time period. If your setting is similar to (or even based in) your neighborhood, you will not have to do much work, although some information gathering would be recommended.

There are countless other suggestions I could give, but these are some very important ones. Good luck!

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Sat May 22, 2010 7:01 am
Rakun says...

Ok, it is my advice that is a spiritual one but works for any field, including writing:

Mistakes are lessons, pain can be the greatest master.
Do not mind a lot, just let it go be here and now.

Taking from "The Monk who sold his Ferrari" spiritual story.

Fear is a web of worries, that tricks ourselves by the mind itself.

Just, let it go and do not worry so much. Perfectionism is for amateurs writers, and you are going be a professional one; don't you?

Be simple.

Write more, think less.

However, it's okay researching on vocabulary, mechanics, and outlines but try to do not over do it; thus, you just will get a long writer's block.

I prefer flow rather that plan because outlines are just for non-fiction creative writers (a.k.a journalists and freelance magazine writers).

Just, let it go; thus, you will have improved faster that you've expected.
Don't matter what, just WRITE!

Do you YWS?

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Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:40 pm
TheEvilWithin says...

When I first became interested in writing (15 or so), I searched everywhere for some good advice. I learned a lot of tips on the internet, but there is one piece of advice I came across which I feel is right on the money. I emailed my favorite author at the time, expressing my desire to become a talented writer, and my need for advice.

He replied: Write what you know. That way your writing will seem real and readers will respond to it.

At first, that made sense, but then the more I thought about it, the more I realized how bad this advice actually is. If writers only wrote stories about what they know, how would they advance? How could they push themselves and write about characters who lead very different lives to them? I don't think writers should write what they know, they should know what they are going to write. That means experiencing things from your story. If your MC rides a horse, you do it too! I personally believe that the best way for writing to seem real is to have it coming from someone who has actually experienced whatever is happening in your story.

Another little tip I can remember reading is this: if you think you have written a truly clever line, then you should probably remove it. That might sound odd, but many times I have thought "oh that line was very clever" but then had it trashed by my readers. xD

Um, anyone want to elaborate on that? I'm worried I have just confused you all. xD


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Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:03 pm
Rosendorn says...

There is a rare talent to being able to actually write a clever line. It usually comes from a lot of practice and a character who actually suits wit. (My rule of thumb is, if the other characters/the MC stand in awe of the line, it needs to be axed.)

As for write what you know— I find that gets misinterpreted often. You might not necessarily know what it's like to ride a horse, fight ten guys at once, or whatever your MC does. But you do know what it's like to work hard, go through fighting moves (admit it. Who here hasn't at least pretended to fight a group of people? :P), and feel the pain after working hard. Chances are you can piece together how an event will feel based off life experiences.

There is also research. Research is a godsend. Use it.

Actually. That is my advice. Research. Spend time absorbing nonfic like your life depended on it, and research your style by reading fiction. Research your characters by finding out what makes them tick, their backstory, and how they react to situations because of their backstory. Research your world by figuring out its history. Just research.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

Ink is blood. Paper is bandages. The wounded press books to their heart to know they're not alone.

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:15 pm
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TheEnigma says...

Read. Read, read, read. Read anything you can get your hands on. Not only will it introduce you to different techniques and writing styles, it will improve your vocabulary and grammar and all that important stuff. Also, your favorite authors can serve as a source of inspiration to you. That is probably the best advice I can give you.

The second best advice is to write in a journal. Journals are excellent. You can just write down anything, from random thoughts to short stories and poetry--and best of all, you don't have to share it with anyone until you feel ready. Having a journal will let you become comfortable with writing. I would encourage you to go back and read through the journal, too. Then you can watch your writing grow. It helps you feel more at ease with what you've written and shows the strengths and weaknesses in your writing. When you realize how good you've gotten, you may want to show it off!

And hey, you may fill ten journals and never feel ready to show anyone your writing. But that's okay, because you know you've written it, and that's what makes it so awesome :wink: .

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Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:14 pm
OhSoSqueamish says...

Keep in mind that what you write isn't going to be perfect on the first try. It just can't be. So, write that imperfect story or poem - and then find ways to make it better. It's not possible to become a best-selling author from one minute to the next, it's something you have to work towards.
I have issues with this every time I write something, so I constantly remind myself that my stories don't have to be amazing right off the bat.
you're not the first, or the last, but you're possibly the prettiest.

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Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:52 am
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Blackjack says...

Well, I would say all you need to do is practice. You can't really get professional without any criticism, showing you where you went wrong in your writing. It's better to post your work and let someone critque it, because then they can take an example of what you did wrong and say how to fix it. ^^
No one is good from the start; it all starts with practice. Practice doesn't make perfect, but practice can make okay, good, and great. XD.
You might be uncomfortable at posting work you think is utterly horrid, but I was, too. I didn't think anything of my writing. I kind of still don't. But after trying ita few times and just posting my work and getting feedback, I got used to it. And even if its a negative review, it's better than nothing, isn't it? Hearing them say it's bad will drive you to keep working and make them change their minds.

You can get a little from this, I guess, but I do suggest you just to post your work.
The basics, though, is to first focus on characters and plot. You don't want any overused plot; and if you do, make sure to have unexpected events. That's all you can really do with stories, since just about every storyline has already been used. Make the events something in order to make the story something :]

Your characters are just about the story itself. They should help move the story along but not too much. Some, or most, authors with base their characters off of real people. A lot tend to blend themself into the main character, but unintentionally, most of the time.
Give the characters flaws, professions, talents, hobbies; what they do and don't like, and a whole personality. How I usually form this out, is I make a sheet for them; an RP (Roleplaying) sheet. Do you know what roleplaying is? It's basically just writing a story, but instead of it being yourself, you're writing it with another. Only, neither of you know what will happen and you each have a character or more. In roleplaying, they have sheets; information sheets. Make out tabs:


^ like that. That's just a basic, one, though, very basic and quick. And no one-liners - actually fill it out in detail. Flesh it all out.

You also might want to briefly plan out your story, and keep it in a document. Rush through what happens, how it happens, etc. If you want to have the story a surprise for yourself, though, you probably shouldn't. I do this, but some others don't because they want to make it up as they go along.

It's never to late to get better at writing. Everyone is always learning how to get better in it; published writer or not; J.K Rowling (I haven't read her books, xD. But I hear how much people think she's some writing goddess and so on) or not. The best way you can get advice is through critiques, and you have to be willing to show your work, first.
People will say to build some freaking turtle shell to do this, but I don't suggest it. People will be harsh, you might get hurt, but that's good, in a way. As said, if it seems you've failed, try to turn it around to success - take the failure as a challenge and don't give up. Writers and artists are normally, sensitive people. And we all have a little bit of weird in us, it's what makes a good story :]
Consider all criticism.

You'll come across writer's block at some point. But that's for another kind of topic XD

Key to a better story is to edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, and then edit again. And for the heck of it, edit more and more until you hate your story.... XDDDD.

This is just my opinon, though :P
Don't Say The Sky Is The Limit. My Dreams Can Reach So Much Farther.
Emotions Are The Life Of People, But Also The Death.

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Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:27 pm
purplegirl14 says...

Hi! I'm still kind of new to writing, but I can tell you what I do to get better. For starters, just think of different ideas. If you can't imagine much that your characters from that idea could do, then try a different one. Just don't force it.

I know posting your work can be hard, but think about it this way: no one here knows who you are or will judge you. One of the best ways to get better is to write it out and see what people think of it. Most people will be very helpful and help you along the way.

If you are having trouble thinking of how a character would react to something, try imagining a friend who is like your character being in that situation. Just picture it in your mind, and try to make it seem real and believable(unless it's something like vampire or something =D)

If you feel like you need someone to help you with writing techniques and stuff, you could take a writing class. And there are always websites that have exercises to help with different aspects of writing.

Just remember that the way you write may not be like your favorite author. Everyone has theif own style. It makes your writing unique.

Good luck. Try posting something; it can't hurt!

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Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:54 am
psudiname says...

if you want to write a good story you should start by identifying what your plot is. most plots follow a three act structure, where the first act shows your charecter before conflict, the second act introduces the conflict, and the third act resolves it. basically every good plot has a conflict. decide what that is, and base your story around it. don't get hung up on details, start with a skeleton, like a plot, and a conflict, then flesh it out with charecter development and details.
good luck,
if anyone wants a review, post on my profile and I'll get to it in a couple days.

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Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:26 am
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Paracosm says...

READ READ READ. Oh, and WRITE WRITE WRITE!!! Everyday! Write about things you don't think you can write about, even if it is crap, it will improve the stuff you can write about! The most important thing is good characters in my opinion. If you base them on people you know, then they are easier to write about! Stay motivated and just do it, never stop!
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