Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

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Re: Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

Postby Kureejii Lea » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:41 pm

In addition, that first link in the main post should cover that kind of thing as well. It's a verrrry nice reference.
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Re: Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

Postby Ultimate » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:23 am

On Contractions:
Contractions (It's, how's, etc.) shouldn't be used as sentences on their own. If someone asks you a question, you don't say "It's.", you say "It is". This apply's to "How's it?" vs "How is it?" aswell.

On formality:
In stories, hand written letters, older characters or the prose itself (depending on your writing style) needs some elements of formality. Speech and writing in a formal way excludes slang, can make use of words before names such as Mr, Mr's, Dr, Sir, etc, and should be very polite.

On speech:
After you have written a sentence of speech, read it aloud. Does it sound natural? On the other hand, does speech that is not meant to sound natural (for example, a computer) sound natural? In natural sounding speech, pause words such as Uh, er, well, like or just pauses denoted by "..." or "-" work well.
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Re: Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

Postby Kureejii Lea » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:48 pm

Thanks, but no offense, you might want to proofread a bit given that we're supposed to be working on improving writing skills here. Bad habits like the misuse of apostrophes are the sort of thing we're trying to avoid, and when those kinds of mistakes go unchecked, many people fail to realize that they're mistakes to begin with, you know?

I've got some updates in the works and hope to have them posted soon. I feel like I've barely stopped traveling these past two weeks. @_@
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Re: Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

Postby Ultimate » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:14 am

Kureejii Lea wrote:Thanks, but no offense, you might want to proofread a bit given that we're supposed to be working on improving writing skills here. Bad habits like the misuse of apostrophes are the sort of thing we're trying to avoid, and when those kinds of mistakes go unchecked, many people fail to realize that they're mistakes to begin with, you know?


Oh, sorry. Mistakes happen to all of us. :)

Also, a minor point, but bullet point sentences don't end with a "."
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Re: Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

Postby Chris000 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:03 pm

Ultimate wrote:
On formality:
In stories, hand written letters, older characters or the prose itself (depending on your writing style) needs some elements of formality. Speech and writing in a formal way excludes slang, can make use of words before names such as Mr, Mr's, Dr, Sir, etc, and should be very polite.


I think the narrator should be formal in their description of the story. The way I've been using it, the narrator should be clear and concise when telling the reader just what is going on. I think it gives the story a sense of professionalism and shows that the author is not only able to show formality, number one, but also shows they are able to differentiate the observer from the characters. I like to think of it as an essay of sorts. Present it as if you were presenting an essay to be graded.

There may be exceptions though. What if the narrator is a character from the book? Maybe it's a first person recounting. Should we still have some semblance of formalism and refrain from using slang as much as possible?
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Re: Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

Postby Speedlion » Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:29 pm

Chris000 wrote:
Ultimate wrote:
On formality:
In stories, hand written letters, older characters or the prose itself (depending on your writing style) needs some elements of formality. Speech and writing in a formal way excludes slang, can make use of words before names such as Mr, Mr's, Dr, Sir, etc, and should be very polite.


I think the narrator should be formal in their description of the story. The way I've been using it, the narrator should be clear and concise when telling the reader just what is going on. I think it gives the story a sense of professionalism and shows that the author is not only able to show formality, number one, but also shows they are able to differentiate the observer from the characters. I like to think of it as an essay of sorts. Present it as if you were presenting an essay to be graded.

There may be exceptions though. What if the narrator is a character from the book? Maybe it's a first person recounting. Should we still have some semblance of formalism and refrain from using slang as much as possible?


This! especially the first part of Chris' post... I think the narrator should sound calm and considerate... it's also why I almost never use exclamation marks when the narrator is talking... I, however, sometimes make the narrator doubtful...
He knew he was right... there was no way his solution was wrong now... or was there? Did he mess up again? Did he overlook a tiny little detail?


Like that...
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Re: Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

Postby Chris000 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:05 am

Hmm. This suggests that your narrator is... semi-omniscient? The narrator may have insight on what's going on, but (and of course I'm basing this off your quote) this suggests that the narrator doesn't have all the efforts and can't see into the thoughts of the narrator.

I don't know. I've never seen a doubtful narrator before
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Re: Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

Postby TutiFrutti112 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:50 pm

That sometimes happens in third-person-limited POV because the narrator knows only what is in one character's mind but tells it as if it were someone else speaking. If the character is doubtful, the narrative voice can be too.
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Re: Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

Postby Speedlion » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:56 am

TutiFrutti112 wrote:That sometimes happens in third-person-limited POV because the narrator knows only what is in one character's mind but tells it as if it were someone else speaking. If the character is doubtful, the narrative voice can be too.


Exactly... I didn't know how to explain it, but this is how it is...
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Re: Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

Postby Kureejii Lea » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:42 pm

Thanks for stepping in, Tuti. That was pretty much what I was thinking, only you got around to it before I, in my infinite laziness, could (sorry, guys, I've been pretty busy lately). A limited third-person narrative can be similar to a first-person narrative in that way. Really, it all comes down to how you want to present your narrative and what's effective for the feel and mood you want to attain. You can get creative with it, but you have to maintain some sense of consistency. That's not to say you can't necessarily change the point of view or anything, just that it has to feel like it's working within a set of rules. Otherwise, it's jarring and takes the reader out of the story.

As for formality, again, I think it depends on the mood you're trying to convey. In a very general sense, you probably will in most cases want to stick to a more formal form of writing for the narrative, but keep in mind that you're telling a story, not presenting an impersonal formal essay. If you're writing a story as though the lead character is retelling it directly to the reader, then it's more like an actual conversation than a direct narration and thus should read as such. Again, there's leeway, but you still want to present a general sense of consistency.
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Re: Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

Postby ClareSilver47 » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:35 pm

Excellent, a thread like this will help me with my attempts at script writing. Which if you ask me, makes me want to burn my notebook and wing it like I normally do. I guess that's why my webcomics never get past 5 comics
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Re: Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

Postby Nutty Acorn » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:24 am

Miss Kureejii Lea, um, when I opened this thread, I wasn't expecting grammar lessons. (No offense. I'm so sorry!) What I meant was that I thought I'd find tips on how to write well. You know, how to make your characters sympathetic, or how to introduce conflict. I'd like this information because I'm writing a fan fiction story on Bumbleking. (I post once a week.) Do you have advice on writing good stories? Even the smallest bit of help would be appreciated. Thank you.
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Re: Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

Postby Kureejii Lea » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:21 pm

Nutty Acorn wrote:Miss Kureejii Lea, um, when I opened this thread, I wasn't expecting grammar lessons. (No offense. I'm so sorry!) What I meant was that I thought I'd find tips on how to write well. You know, how to make your characters sympathetic, or how to introduce conflict. I'd like this information because I'm writing a fan fiction story on Bumbleking. (I post once a week.) Do you have advice on writing good stories? Even the smallest bit of help would be appreciated. Thank you.


The thing is, grammar is part of writing well, and, unfortunately, a lot of people attempt to start writing before having a basic grasp of it -- especially online. Ultimately, it hurts their chances of success and, on a lesser level, spreads misconceptions when it comes to writing in general. You've got to know the basics; even if you came up with the most interesting plot concept ever, or a really intriguing, interesting character, no one's going to care if the writing itself is sloppy and incomprehensible. It'd be like giving someone a delicious piece of cake and telling them they have to eat it with a straw with their eyes closed and while balancing on a skateboard during an earthquake; no matter how good the cake is, if the matter of conveyance is an utter hassle, who will want to bother with it? They'd likely just move on to something else.

We'll cover the more creative side of writing eventually (I only have my free time for this, and that's a bit lacking lately), but I think it's best to build from the ground up here.
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Re: Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

Postby Hermoso » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:05 am

Thanks for the help! Now when I'm writing, it'll be a lot easier now that I have a few tips. :D
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Re: Workshop: Writing (tips, techniques and references)

Postby BigIslandYU2 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:19 am

Kureejii Lea wrote:
Nutty Acorn wrote:Miss Kureejii Lea, um, when I opened this thread, I wasn't expecting grammar lessons. (No offense. I'm so sorry!) What I meant was that I thought I'd find tips on how to write well. You know, how to make your characters sympathetic, or how to introduce conflict. I'd like this information because I'm writing a fan fiction story on Bumbleking. (I post once a week.) Do you have advice on writing good stories? Even the smallest bit of help would be appreciated. Thank you.


The thing is, grammar is part of writing well, and, unfortunately, a lot of people attempt to start writing before having a basic grasp of it -- especially online. Ultimately, it hurts their chances of success and, on a lesser level, spreads misconceptions when it comes to writing in general. You've got to know the basics; even if you came up with the most interesting plot concept ever, or a really intriguing, interesting character, no one's going to care if the writing itself is sloppy and incomprehensible. It'd be like giving someone a delicious piece of cake and telling them they have to eat it with a straw with their eyes closed and while balancing on a skateboard during an earthquake; no matter how good the cake is, if the matter of conveyance is an utter hassle, who will want to bother with it? They'd likely just move on to something else.

We'll cover the more creative side of writing eventually (I only have my free time for this, and that's a bit lacking lately), but I think it's best to build from the ground up here.


Thank you, Miss Lea, for so accurate an analogy; I do not think I have ever heard one better dealing with this subject.

Now, of course grammar is a foundation, but creativity is also a must.
In my best moments of writing, I feel that they may be grammatically accurate,
but subject to stilted or unnatural dialogue, shallow stories, predictable plots, etc.
I often feel that though I may have grasped English, I cannot be taught
creativity, leastways not much that holds widespread appeal.
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