Sharing writing strategies and tips

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S.J. Faerlind

S.J. Faerlind

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I hear crickets again so.......

How about including "layers" in your writing? The background layer might include the cultures and geography of the world for example, while the superficial layer is the day-to-day happenings of the plot. This is where you include all the entertainment value: humour and action being good examples. The depth layers are what make your characters come to life. Examples: What's their history? What kind of temperament do they have and how are their experiences changing them through the story? Depth layers might also reveal some history of the conflict the story is based around. Some of the best stories I've ever read had what I call an "underlying message" layer. Those stories caused me to think about my own existence, beliefs or perceptions, challenging me perhaps to change them. Alternatively, some of them caused me to wonder "what if.....?". I think every good story deserves an underlying message layer!
 

Dreamscaper

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I can't really contribute much... but I do appreciate the tips that have been posted here!
 

Dreamscaper

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Um.. hmm..

Maybe start stories with an outline instead of rambling along at random so that the story stays focused instead of going too far off track. I did my first fanfic completely at the spur of the moment and ended up with a big question mark on what to write next because the characters put themselves waaaay out of where they needed to be. I suppose that would work for different people though.
 
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S.J. Faerlind

S.J. Faerlind

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Actually, there are two basic types of writers: "Outliners" who plot everything out ahead of time and "Discovery Writers" who discover their story as they go along, only having the most basic idea of where they want to go with it. There are supposed to be strengths and weaknesses to both techniques. Outliners tend to be too rigid. If something goes awry in their story, they have to reconstruct the whole thing from the ground up just to include a new idea. Discovery writers are prone to rambling plots and wishy-washy endings but they are more flexible, easily incorporating inspiration when it strikes.
I tend to discovery writing for example, and I have to chop stuff out mercilessly in endless edits because of it. Since I'm figuring the story out as I go along I tend to include a lot of extra stuff in it simply because I needed to figure it out. Sorting out what the reader needs to know and what they don't in editing is the tough part. There's some really good creative writing lectures by a well-known fantasy author (Brandon Sanderson) at writeaboutdragons.com that talks about different writing techniques. One of his students got permission to tape his creative writing class at Brigham Young University and post it on the net. Some great stuff can be found there if you want to check it out....
 

Dreamscaper

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See, I told you I had no advice lol. Very interesting to learn about though, I'll check him out. Thank you.
 
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S.J. Faerlind

S.J. Faerlind

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I thought your post was good advice. I only meant to expand on it, not contradict it... sorry
 
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S.J. Faerlind

S.J. Faerlind

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Good to know and "facetious" is a good word ;)
 

Dreamscaper

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:) thanks, my mom used it once and it sorta stuck, though I still had to go to google to figure out how to spell it.
 
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S.J. Faerlind

S.J. Faerlind

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Can I ask specific questions about my current story? I'm running into some plot issues.
Maybe you want to start a new thread for that? "Need help with plot issues" or something similar...
 
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S.J. Faerlind

S.J. Faerlind

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Nobody's posted in this thread for awhile....

Make dialogue between characters do double duty. You can use it to show stuff that's going on in the plot (as characters discuss what's going on around them) but you can also use it to reveal something about the characters themselves. They might have a sense of humour as they discuss things for example.
 

Anrisa Ryn

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Sorry, xD
I am actually putting off my short story in prep for Nanowrimo, but it's pretty much done. I have about 3000 words.

Also yes to the dialogue :D
 

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