How to: writing

Discussion in 'The Scribe's House' started by Soetimus, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. Soetimus

    Soetimus New Member

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    Hello fellow writers and interested

    I've been looking around for a thread about how to write a good story but I just can't seem to find any so I thought it would be about time there was one. Anyway here it is to writers from a writer:

    I was thinking of a sort of list of "to do"'s and "don't"s and general ideas. I know we probably have different opinions on what would work and what you should stay away from. FX some like to find inspiration from other novelles(so-called "rip-off") and som don't. Stuff like that, so please fill this thread with fantastic advices for all us young writers! :)

    *edit*

    Oh by the way ofcourse this might also be the place where you can write if you got some sort of problem ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
  2. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

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    I'd say a no-go is taking names from other books. Like from Tokiens stories, because his names are pretty unique.
    Also taking over the plot/ or story-line (with the things that make it unique), that's absolutely: nope.

    When you begin to write, you should have an idea of the kind of story (e.g. Fanatsy, novelle, science fic etc) of the time (middle age, future) and of the type (love story, historical, war stories etc)

    That's it from me
     
  3. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    and yet there are several top fantasy tales the do base around Tolkein - or rather some base around him and others base around the old tales that Tolkein used as his own basings for the story (which he admited to freely)

    You can base a story on anothers works but not make a word for work rip.
    Also I would say the best advice for writing is to write write and write some more as well as read read and read some more (and not just fantasy read everything you can).
    After that I would look to (either online or in your local area) joining a writers group where you can get comments on your writing - typically only about 1000 words is needed from you as an example and from there your talents and any weaknesses can be seen

    ps - Running - spend more time on TFF!
     
  4. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

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    right, I didn't mean that you can't base your works on well, northern tales f.e., but I mean taking over whole plotlines is just weak. Doesn't work.
    For the ones who like to endulge in given universes such as Harry Potter or Tolkien or other big sagas, they can also write Fanfictions and publish them at Fanfiction.net. Many of the comments there are qualified and helpful.

    p.s.: Give me more time and I'll have more time^^
     
  5. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Fan fiction is an interesting way of improving your writing skills. I don't think it's a bad way at all to start. Basically, especially in fantasy (in which, I normally include SF work), it means you don't have to go through the trouble of inventing and setting a stage - and can go straigt on to the process of writing.

    The best way to start, though, is to start small. Many a writer sets out to write his opus magnum in the first go. 99.989% of these opi magnae (or whatever multiple it might have) never come anywhere close to completion - most will be abandonded within 10.000 words. I think setting the goal of writing short stories (2-10 pages) will be a good start.

    I am of the personal opinion that fan fiction stands or falls with writing style (not so much with the story). Study the writing style and use of words the original writer uses. You don't have to copy him, but the sort of stress and tention he manages to put into his wording is a good clue as to what makes the stories so great. It is also good to be aware of someone else's writing style, at the benefit of your own.

    Story concepts are your own to figure out. If you're short on ideas, I'd advice you to either go out into the world and start observing people (people are very interesting creatures) - or read more, and different, stories. Try to be original and stay away from clichés, that's all I can say.
     
  6. volksmenner

    volksmenner practitioner of æsthetics

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    good advice tur. i especially loved how you mentioned 99.989%. i just find that sort of thing amusing in a monty python sort of way. lol. and i believe opera is the plural of opus.
     
  7. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    :)

    That actually never occured to me. Interesting...
     
  8. Soetimus

    Soetimus New Member

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    Okay okay so we've pointed out that it Can be okay to cpy a little, at least from base ideas as long as the work doesn't resemble the original work too much and writing like hell(and then write some more is good)
    How about this: I have a problem that whenever I write something it is sort of just little fractions of stories with neither beginning nor ending. And everytime I try to I can't find the inspiration. Any advices on such a problem?
     
  9. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Common problem :)

    Sadly, I am unaware of a singular solution. Different writers deal differently with the issue.

    I suppose the best way around it is to figure out what you're going to write, before you start writing. Intrinsically, there's nothing wrong with starting out in the middle, but I suppose you do need to know where you're going. Again, try writing something simple, childish even, if only for getting the feeling of how to start and end a story.

    But if you find yourself in that situation, try avoind strarting a different story. Stick to the one you began, matter of disciplin. It'll pay off. Initially, I'd say it's more important to finish a story, then to finish it in great style. That'll come eventually, it's something you need to learn.

    If you can't find the inspiration, do step back. Forced writing doesn't work. Sleep a night over how you want to continue, take a walk, listen to some music - or even read other books you like. Whatever gets you going. Actively think about where you want your story to go (or come from), away from the paper. Eventually, you'll think of something :)

    And, don't be affraid of your story being too cheesy at first. You don't have to go Shakespear on your first story. and you would indeed be one of very very few to get your first story into the book stores. Writing is an art, a skill you need to learn, like, for instance painting. And, like painting, it would be very acceptable to practice, by rewriting the story or plotline of a book you like and have read several times. For some reason, though, it is unusual to publish this work (unlike painting).
     
  10. Hazelnut

    Hazelnut New Member

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    Character development is also essential when writing a story. You have to make your characters as lifelike as possible, in order for them to be believable. You should know everything about your characters, including things that happened to them before they are introduced in the story; such as if they had a happy childhood, or if anything traumatic has happened to them. Even little details like their favorite color makes the character more real to the readers.
     
  11. Soetimus

    Soetimus New Member

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    Good advice Hazelnut. I for one actually never thought of that but ofcourse youre right; more lifelike characters do make a story for exciting to read