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Writers! Come and Talk About Writing!

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Technology' started by 101DeadRoses, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. WolfyFluff

    WolfyFluff Guest

    Awhile ago I took a writing course at college but it didn't go so well, and that took a hit to my confidence about writing. Now there is a short story I want to write and I put it off because of my lack of confidence about my writing. I think about the moment the teacher told me she felt sorry about me never learning how to write in high school, and how they never bothered to teach me anything else about it. She recommended I'd take a developmental writing course instead of going straight to the college writing course. I want to go into that class and write that short story, but it's my doubt holding me back because I failed that college writing course.
     
  2. RainDreamer

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    Writing is not something you learn. It is something you do. Don't worry about failure, just stuff that away somewhere and learn from it.

    Stephan King, as you know him from a bunch of horror novels, got 30 rejections for his first published story, Carrie, before it was accepted and became hugely successful.

    Dr. Seuss first book "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street" also met with rejections from dozens of publishers, considering it being unpublishable. He went on to be our beloved children's book author.

    Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita (my fav author and book) has been rejected 26 times with reviews saying things like: “It is overwhelmingly nauseating, even to an enlightened Freudian. To the public, it will be revolting. It will not sell, and will do immeasurable harm to a growing reputation…. I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years."

    The problem is never with writing skill - that can be practiced and learned. It is about your motivation and will. As long as you have them, you can write masterpieces, with each failure not a pitfall, but a steps that take you higher.
     
  3. Michael

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    I'm afraid I'm about to get back to writing again.

    As Bollo would say... 'I've got a bad feeling about this'.
     
  4. 101DeadRoses

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    Awesome! Congratulations! It's always a great thing when you can complete even a short story, and two books? You should be partying!
    I'm only about halfway on my own book, and I have to admitsome trouble at the moment, but a glance at the plot, a brief idea "farming" exercise, and maybe a flip through my idea notebook should clear all the trouble up.
    I can't wait to be done. ^-^

    And you're killing me with the "under wraps" thing.

    I'M SO CURIOUS! :confused:
     
  5. 101DeadRoses

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    Nooooo, don't give up! Never give up on your book! That's one of the seven deadly sins!

    As for your feeling that you're not good... don't let it in.
    I get that feeling too. I think that I'm horrible every time my fingers touch the keys on my tablet to start a new chapter or page or even word. I think that my character development is shoddy, my plot is boring, everything's repetitive and that nothing's good at all.
    I think that my book needs improving, and that even I as an author need to be improved.
    None of that is really true except for the very last sentence, which is always true for every writer in every country the world over.
    No book, no story, no author anywhere ever will EVER be perfect. There will always be a flaw, there will always be room for improvement, and that is a fact of life.

    You think that you can't write halfway decent? Fine.
    You can learn how to write. Hell, I'll teach you. I like talking about writing and everyone who's ever read the half of the rough draft of my book says I'm great, and my grandma even forgot it was by me, it was so good (to her at least). Just message me.
    You can also learn to shut up that little voice inside your head. That negative chatter won't do you any good.

    Please, for your sake, the sake of a fellow writer, and the sake of your poor, neglected book (lol) MESSAGE ME. I want you to be able to use that spark inside your head. I have resources, links, websites, books, techniques, etc that I can and want to share with you.
    And remember to tell that voice to shut the f*** up or I'll punch it in the throat myself!
     
  6. WolfyFluff

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    Good writers become efficient through practicing their skill and learning how to take a creative approach on it?
     
  7. 101DeadRoses

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    YES! You got it.
    Essentially, it's practice, adopting techniques that work for you and discarding those that don't, practicing, practicing, and a bit more practicing.
    Oh, and remember: Write the story you'd like to read.
     
  8. biisme

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    I'm good at writing essays and introspective pieces, but terrible with action and dialogue. I can physically see the story in my head, similar to a movie, but figuring out the wording to describe it is something that I find difficult. Maybe I need to plan a book where all the characters are mute....yea...that's it.... :dry:
     
  9. WolfyFluff

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    There could be a book about warriors, spies, or soldiers who took a vow of silence for their service.
     
  10. WolfyFluff

    WolfyFluff Guest

    I started reading a textbook about writig at my library. Does every sort of writing have to involve Topic, Angle, and Purpose? The book mentions it being three things that could narrow down a type of genre that could guide your writing. Another thing it mentions is Rhetorical Situation, it involves further expanding upon on what you're writing about, by identifying and profiling your readers through and analyzing the context. Genres and Rhetorical Situations really help form the type of writing you would want?
     
  11. Argentwing

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    Dialogue is deceptively simple. It all comes down to knowing the character that's speaking. You as the author know what the story needs. All you need to do is translate that need into something the person says. Suppose you have a scenario where a character is crossing the street and doesn't notice a car coming, which slams on the brakes and honks at them. How they respond advances the plot and characterizes them.

    "Goodness, I beg your pardon,"

    or "Hey! I'm walkin' here!"

    Naturally the second is more likely to lead to a problem with the driver, but either can be used if you need a confrontation. The better you know your character, the easier it will be to imagine their voice, thoughts, and inclinations.
     
    #171 Argentwing, Jun 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
  12. Armin

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    I as well used to write a lot in a writing website, have published 2 stories, I reckon, that I've relinquished continuing. However, one big problem of mine is having the notion that my works aren't that impressive at all which leads to me stepping back, whether it's a novel or a paperwork. I also often get intimidated by other writers, making me look down at my own ability.
     
  13. Still Me

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    I am a Journalism major in college. My professors tell me that my style is a lot like Hunter S. Thompson. I don't know if I agree. I usually make an outline in my head and then write. I proofread for GSP but I don't really read what I wrote until I get a grade back.
    I use people that I meet/interview for classes to help me with character development. I look for people's mannerisms and compile characters out of 5-6 real people. My favorite genera to write is Satire, but I have had some success with fan fiction (halo and mass effect) and short stories.
    I have a 3-ring binder filled with pages of random characters that pop into my head. I want to write a fantasy book series one day, but I don't think I am quite there yet.
     
  14. Jellal

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    Writers, do you spend a lot of time listening to music to get you in the zone for your writing? There's a lot of stuff I know I wouldn't have come up with if I hadn't been listening to certain music beforehand. It conjures up images in my head, general moods that I'd like to capture, and I think about how I could convey that in a scene.

    For example, with the antagonists I'm writing, I've listened to music with a more 'latin' flair, don't know how else to put it. Something that might go well with flamenco, with castanets and guitar. When I hear stuff like that, I get a feel for their lithe but powerful physiques, their skill, their confidence, and readiness to draw blood if the situation demands it. Basically music helps me get an understanding of what it would be like as a spectator to be in the presence of those characters, a sense of the attitude/persona they might give off.

    As a result, even if I'm just relaxing and listening to music I tend to feel fairly productive. Not always a good thing, since there's no substitute for actual writing.
     
  15. WolfyFluff

    WolfyFluff Guest

    I usually listen to music to get me in the mood for working with sketching and doing assignments, but Not for writing though. It's bothersome because I started to write not long ago and I can't seem shake that habit off. So I just end up sketching fictional maps of places, and play some soft nature ambience running in the background, to help with the writing process. Somehow that helps but writing can still be hard for me because it's a whole new thing to me. Sketching out fictional maps is a lot of fun though.
     
  16. 101DeadRoses

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    Half of the books I have on my project list would not be there right now if I hadn't listened to a certain song when in a certain mood. In fact, the second book on my list would not exist were it not for a band called Pendulum and CoD 4. CoD 4 got me interested in the military, which made me create an ex-soldier character, and Pendulum's "Blood Sugar" got me in the mood to set it in a sci-fi world, giving birth to my first sci-fi novel. It also spawned many others as well, including one that involves an an INCREDIBLY complex timeline, time soldiers from the future, and romance (as most of my books do).
    And my current novel would certainly not be shaped the way it is without Creature Feature and Marilyn Manson!
     
  17. Posthuman666

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    I have only recently started writing, and my story is a horror one. It is based off of hallucinations Ive had..... anyways, there is a Massive Dungeon/City underground where an evil lord captures people and keeps them there as slaves. There is a group of runaways however, that communicate by going to a wall and thinking their thoughts.

    ---------- Post added 13th Jun 2015 at 10:26 PM ----------
     
    #177 Posthuman666, Jun 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
  18. 101DeadRoses

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    Alright. Here is my interpretation of your first question. I don't know if this is what your textbook meant by "Topic, Angle and Purpose", but I don't have many textbooks on writing, and definitely not that one (in case you are wondering, I learned most of my writing skills from other authors on forums an,d blogs, and the rest I figured out myself. I rarely use textbooks for learning any art of any kind. I prefer to get it straight from the author themselves).

    Topic refers to the general theme/direction/plot of the story. It means the general focus, such as a character's story or closely connected events. It's what the book talks about.

    Angle means the way you approach telling the story, for example, your narrating mannerisms and the way you like to set up the story. It's techniques and subtle similarities (or big similarities) between your different works.

    Purpose is the goal of the story. It's usually telling a certain group of characters' story or a statement made by the story. It is what you work toward, what drives you to write the book.

    Alright, with my interpretation out of the way, thus begins the advice.

    Topic: This is actually usually included in every single story known to man. What matters is how well it is structured, carried and woven through the story, and the Topic itself.
    Your topic should be a little something like this. It's generic, but it's a topic:
    Mary has met the perfect man - but she's already married to a very jealous man.
    There you have the main focus - Mary and the man she is infatuated with - the theme - Mary is probably debating whether or not she should leave her husband to follow her dreams, or if she should stay and keep her life together - and the main conflict - Mary's husband is jealous and vain. She is probably afraid of angering him.
    It doesn't have to be like that exactly, but it should have those three things: The thing the story usually follows with little deviation, the theme, or the recurring elements that keep the story together, and the conflict, or what provides action and drama in your story.

    Now Angle: This, like Topic, is present in almost every story, poem, and song. Basically, the trick to angle is refining your approach and ensuring that phrases and terms aren't getting repetitive. For example: Cassandra Clare in Mortal Instruments uses the term "lit up his hair like a halo around his head" a lot when describing male characters, usually with fair hair, who were backlit by sunlight and who were attractive to the character describing them.
    This is fine a couple of times, scatteted throughout the stories, especially focusing around Clary describing Jace. But for God's sake! It's everywhere! And thus, a beautiful characteristic of her stories is overused and easily becomes annoying.

    I'm sorry, but the rest of this message will have to wait until tomorrow. Too tired! :/
     
  19. RainDreamer

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    Can I have the name of that book? The only real text book I have for writing was The Element of Style by William Strunk. I would like to read more.
     
  20. WolfyFluff

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    yeah, it's really close to what the textbooks is talking about. Your explanation helps make it easier to understand better. Though, understanding the audience looks much easier to understand. I have no idea about Context.

    Yes. It's called Writing Today 2nd Edition by Richard Johnson-Sheehan and Charles Paine. It's a college textbook but it's still good to read for learning something.