Posts tagged "writing"

Re: gaining more perspective than, “it’s good.”

fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment:

For your anon who asked

How do you attempt to be a better writer, when everyone around you offers nothing but “It’s good.” -_- Is there any techniques you can use to try to gain a perspective on your own work?

I would like to suggest another alternative for gaining perspective. We writers tend to ask for what we want instead of what we need when we ask for critique. Let’s face it, the ultimate answer we’re all craving is the sincere and educated response, “It’s great and let me tell you precisely all the reasons why.” We’re self-effacingly asking for this when we ask, “Do you like it,” or, “What do you think,” because we expect the answer to be, “Hell no, who could like that drivel,” just for the very reasons that we can’t give the response we really want to ourselves.

What we actually need is the statement, “Well you’ve got something here but you’ve got a few problems, and they are….” Unfortunately most people, including other writers, even some published authors, have real difficulty giving the useful needed answer.

Part of the problem is just the question. Don’t ask some version of, “What did you think,” because the amorphous question is going to get you that amorphous answer. Instead try asking them to read a copy with a pen and mark in it the following three statements:

“I don’t understand what’s happening here.”

“I don’t believe that this would happen.”

“I don’t care that this is happening.”

I learned these as a short hand, “Huh,” “Oh, yeah,” and, “So what,” from one of Orson Scott Card’s books on writing. If you’re looking to subtly influence someone to be a bit harsher you can have them write the short hand instead, though do explain what they’re short for. While there are plenty of other problems that occur in fiction these three are the basic problems that a reader is going to run into and so anyone who reads can point them out. It also has the advantage of having nothing to do with whether the piece overall is good or bad, it only identifies specific problem areas.

And if you encourage your reader to elaborate why they are labeling something with one of these, you can easily get fairly detailed insight such as, “I don’t believe that Stacy would be friendly to James right now because James hasn’t done anything but cause Stacy problems up to now.”

Hope that may help someone with another technique to use and didn’t step on anybody’s toes.

-Empty Manuscript


A care package for NanoWriMo:

theenumeration:

All you brave souls who are embarking on a 30 day Hellenistic labor, to the deepest depths of Hades in the Name of National Novel Writing Month, will surely not survive the torturous trek.

You will encounter monsters, heroes, and ghosts as you make your way through, and wrestle with plot-bunnies and writer’s block. Many of your comrades will fail, and be left to haunt the tragic underground for all eternity. For those of you that buckle down and are as wonderfully ridiculous and determined as Hercules, I wish you well on this Hellish task. Those who succeed are the true warriors; overpowering the 50,000 word beast with nothing more than your own brute strength as that bastard bites and kicks and runs screaming into the hills.

But choose wisely, for once you begin on this month of writerly-zombification; you will not be allowed to leave and rejoin the living;

Read More


A care package for NanoWriMo:

theenumeration:

All you brave souls who are embarking on a 30 day Hellenistic labor, to the deepest depths of Hades in the Name of National Novel Writing Month, will surely not survive the torturous trek.

You will encounter monsters, heroes, and ghosts as you make your way through, and wrestle with plot-bunnies and writer’s block. Many of your comrades will fail, and be left to haunt the tragic underground for all eternity. For those of you that buckle down and are as wonderfully ridiculous and determined as Hercules, I wish you well on this Hellish task. Those who succeed are the true warriors; overpowering the 30,000 word beast with nothing more than your own brute strength as that bastard bites and kicks and runs screaming into the hills.

But choose wisely, for once you begin on this month of writerly-zombification; you will not be allowed to leave and rejoin the living;

Read More

Read it, learn it and get back to writing.


destielocked:

writing seems so easy until you start writing


Anyone from Adelaide going down to the NaNoWriMo kickoff in Rundle Park this weekend?


Gee, I don’t know how to research writing Characters of Color tastefully:

missturdle:

1.) It’s not hard to figure out what to do, there are plenty of resources.

People say you have to get it right, do your research, but … what else are you supposed to research? It’s not like people with more pigment in their skin have completely different personalities than those with less, any more than any individual. It’s frustrating when I can’t even figure out what the heck people are talking about.

Bam. Research step one done for you.


2.) Writing characters of color/minorities is a good thing.

I don’t like the notion that fantasy authors are under some kind of obligation to present ethnically diverse worlds. I’m English, and a fair sized part of English history consists of unwashed beardy white people in mead halls. If I’m inspired by my own history and cultural heritage, then that’s what I’m damn well going to write about. I’m not writing about some other culture just to appease the people who think there aren’t enough black characters in fantasy, or whatever. You want it, you write it. Nothing to do with me.

You’re wrong.


3.) Your all White Fantasy Land Didn’t Exist in Real Life:

…the rather medieval one has more diversity than real medieval Germany probably had […] In a world with medieval means of transport, it just doesn’t seem natural to me to mix dark-skinned people with blue-eyed blondes in one setting. I just try to give the people a colour that fits the place where they live.

You mean like the people from Africa and the Middle east who began to take over Southern Spain, as well as the Jews who were pretty well spread out throughout Europe, the Middle Easterners they would have met on the Crusades, and the incoming Mongol Hordes who spread to the very edges of Eastern Europe before the empire finally collapsed? Don’t forget that Turkey is right there, and the silk road would have gone from Song Dynasty China, through India, and ended in Turkey before moving further westwards into places like Germany. Also the attempts at the Franco-Mongol alliance would have been pretty interesting. (That’s about the 13th century - arguably smack dab in Middle Ages Europe and definite contact between France/Christian Europe and the Mongolian Empire.)

I call bullshit on people who have societies that are only all white ever, because it’s just inaccurate. Consider the relative closeness of Northern Africa to Spain, or Turkey to the rest of Europe, the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Crusades, Slavery existing in Europe, including England, the slave trade, imperialism, Pax Mongolica, The Silk Road, Jewish Diaspora, the Islamic Empire vs The Holy Roman Empire, Egypt, Algeria, China’s sailing across the world, The Maruyan/Gupta Empires of India, tea trades, Columbus sailing in hopes of finding China, etc, etc, etc.


4.) I mean I just don’t believe you anymore. It’s unrealistic. Seriously guys.

You’d think I’d just denied the holocaust or something. Get a grip. All I said was that I’m going to write about my own cultural experience and anyone who thinks I should do otherwise for the sake of political correctness can bugger off.

This isn’t even about being PC this is just not being wrong about everything.

good lord.


Let’s talk about Favourite Stories.

theenumeration:

I don’t mean your favourite novel, book, novella or the like, but a favourite folk story, or fable. Something short that grabs your attention and is entirely memorable.

Here’s one of mine;

Stone Soup

A traveller  came upon a village, and as he entered, the villagers moved towards their homes  and locked their doors and windows.

The traveller smiled and asked, “Why are you all so frightened. I am a simple traveler, looking for a soft place to stay for the night and a warm place for a meal.”

“There’s nothing to eat,” he was told. “We are weak and our children are starving. Better keep moving on.”

“Oh, I have everything I need,” he said. “In fact, I was thinking of making some stone soup to share with all of you.” He pulled an iron cauldron from his cloak, filled it with water, and began to build a fire under it.

Then, with a flourish, he drew an ordinary-looking stone from a silken bag and dropped it into the water.

Hearing the rumor of food, most of the villagers had come out of their homes or watched from their windows. As the stranger sniffed the “broth” and licked his lips in anticipation, hunger began to overcome their fear.

“Ahh,” the stranger said to himself rather loudly, “I do like a tasty stone soup. Of course, stone soup with cabbage — that’s hard to beat.”

Soon a villager approached hesitantly, holding a small cabbage he’d retrieved from its hiding place, and added it to the pot.

“Wonderful!!” cried the stranger. “You know, I once had stone soup with cabbage and a bit of salt beef as well, and it was fit for a king.”

The village butcher managed to find some salt beef … and so it went, through potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and so on, until there was indeed a delicious meal for everyone in the village to share.

The villager elder offered the stranger a great deal of money for the magic stone, but he refused to sell it and traveled on the next day.

As he left, the stranger came upon a group of village children standing near the road. He gave the silken bag containing the stone to the youngest child, whispering to a group, “It was not the stone, but the villagers that had performed the magic.” 

Reblog and add your favourite story!


Discussion Point: Where is the line between plagiarism, and “inspiration” when it comes to fiction?

theenumeration:

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.”

― Jim Jarmusch


wethinkwedream:

What if clouds and lakes switched spots and every time you looked up you’d see waves being pulled by the moon and we’d wade through the clouds on a hot day. What if birds grew grass and the ground grew feathers. What if flowers were as tall as trees and trees as small as flowers. 


onlyaworkingtitle:

  1. Turn up for work. Discipline allows creative freedom. No discipline equals no freedom.
  2. Never stop when you are stuck. You may not be able to solve the problem, but turn aside and write something else. Do not stop altogether.
  3. Love what you do.
  4. Be honest with yourself. If you are no good, accept it. If the work you are ­doing is no good, accept it.
  5. Don’t hold on to poor work. If it was bad when it went in the drawer it will be just as bad when it comes out.
  6. Take no notice of anyone you don’t respect.
  7. Take no notice of anyone with a ­gender agenda. A lot of men still think that women lack imagination of the fiery kind.
  8. Be ambitious for the work and not for the reward.
  9. Trust your creativity.
  10. Enjoy this work!

Does anyone know any Advanced Character creators online?

I’m looking for something I can use when I’m in a writing funk, and I need to solidify a character image in my head.

Suggestions?


“You can’t think yourself out of a writing block, you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.”
—John Rogers, Kung Fu Monkey, 06-25-11 (via thewritershelpers)
Would you mind reviewing some of my writing? I’d love some feedback. ^_^

thewritershelpers:

The Shadows

I’ve never been afraid of the shadows.

The shadows were all loving, all accepting. While the light shunned, so many from its brilliance, the dark seductively called you into its folds and caressed your cheeks with sickly sweet promises.

“All will be well, my love, all will be well.”

And it always was. 

The shadows and the dark kept me safe from the rest of the world, who were never as loving as the shadows.

Others could never understand why I clothed myself in shadows. Why I spun stories from the imperfect black, and bathed in darkness.

“Aren’t you afraid?” Their voices whispered; their voices born of light, “Aren’t you afraid of the evils and demons and faceless beings that lurk beneath the murky gloom?”

“Why would I be afraid?” I always called, fondly watching my shadows dance,” Those who lurk in darkness are my own, and I will dance beside them.”

The darkness grew around me as I grew with it. Those who grow with darkness are imparted with the gift of dreaming, and I treated my birthright well.

“Why do they fear the darkness?” I ask, even on this day”. Why do they fear the Smoky Shadows”?

But my life amongst the witching hour could never last forever. Not in the world outside my window, where the children of light waged their never-sleeping war.

“Hush now, child.” The Darkness swirled around my shoulders; bringing her dreams to my patient mind, “Hush now, The Sandman beckons you closer.”

And the Sandman always came; his darkly thoughts and gloomy tears would fill my slumbering mind with my soft blanket of stars and dark matter. He would always come with new tales and new stories and new ideas that I would regale to my Night Mother under the soft hum and glow of my computer screen.

“Tell me a story, Oh Handsome Sandman,” became my nightly prayer, “Tell me a story made from the things from which life itself is cast. Tell me a story that will make my Mother dance in joy, and cry in sorrow.”

“Hush now, child.” The Sandman would soothe, returning me back into the arms of my Night Mother, “Mother Night calls you back.”

Like a child caught in an ocean rift, I was always pulled between my Sandman and my Night mother; sometimes with nothing but a gasp of air between the tugs. This way, that way, and back once more; Sometimes they were patient and kind, yet even they had their fights and hidden rage.

“Hush now, child.” The moon would call when Night Mother and my Sandman dare set themselves into another fight, “The moon and the stars are calling to you tonight. For tonight you shall be ours.”

The glow of the moon and the stars never left my sight, when I needed them the most. They hung in the sky, just waiting for the time when my cries would draw their words closer and when their loving embrace would calm my fears.

“Why do you care so?” I asked the Shadows, and The Sandman and the Moon and the Stars, “Why do you sing me to sleep, and sew me my dreams? Why do the Shadows dance for me? Why does The Sandman play games in my dreams to fill me with warmth? And why do you love me so?”

Never once an answer came, and yet I knew the truth.

For when the sun arose, and those nearby breathed a sigh of relief, I understood.

Those who are born of light have no room for darkness, for the light consumes the dark. Yet the dark is much more calming, for it always leaves room for light.

It is true that many scorn the shadows, for the children of light are filled with suspicion of their own kind. They are afraid, and shall forever remain so. For if you are afraid, in even the most illuminated room, then you shall never learn to trust in the darkest of rooms.

When the night falls and the choking smog of the city blacks out the stars- my Moon still tries to force through- sending waves of comfort to those under his embrace.

The night falls, and the lights outside my window glow, I open my window and pull the curtains close.

Though the others wage a silent war on those who are my family, I send a message to the dark. For the first time, I send a message that will be received.

“Here you shall be safe. Send me all your monsters, all your fears- for tonight I offer Sanctuary.” My call is echoed by The Sandman, and Mother Night, and the Moon and the Stars, “Send me your troubles and wishes. Tonight, you shall be safe with me.”

I’ve never been afraid of the Shadows.

Wow, I love this! It’s so interesting and I wish I could have more of it!

It’s an amazing start and ticks all the right boxes, for a start it’s interesting and draws the reader in. I don’t know the plot or the main characters name but I want to read more- that’s what you want to create for your reader, so well done for that. I can’t really pick many faults with this, its brilliantly written and well edited. There are parts that flow better than others so just read it through once more and see where you can make changes. But seriously, well done for this. -S

Oh, I love how they think I’ve “edited” this.

Still, my writerly ego is sobbing in joy. ^_^


“If writers stopped writing about what happened to them, then there would be a lot of empty pages.”
—Elaine Liner, We Got Naked, Now What, SXSW 2006 (via thewritershelpers)
Only write if you enjoy it.

thewritershelpers:

If you aren’t enjoying it, it will come across. Then your readers won’t enjoy it.

-S

Quitting is for losers. XD

THAT’S HOW WRITER’S BLOCK WINS!


Breakaway Theme
Design by Athenability
Powered by Tumblr