Writing Tips - Let's help each other not be crap.

Salt Water Taffy

Only bad witches are ugly.
kiwifarms.net
One more, I'm sorry, I had another thought and no one else posted.

Pay attention to the names your characters have. It's a simple beginner's mistake to give too many characters too similar of names. Unless it's a plot point, like everyone from a family has a name that starts with the same initial, don't. A Lewis, Laura, Liza, Lois, and Leon team is going to get confusing. Same goes for rhyming names, like Larry, Gary, Barry, Terry, Mary, Sherri, and Carrie. Take note that all of these are spelt slightly differently, so it might not set you off at first, but if you're writing something that's going to be spoken aloud at some point like a screenplay, it's going to sound sing-songy. A Carole and a Sheryl in a written work? Won't trip me up. A Carole and a Sheryl in a movie? Definitely.

Another big complaint I hear a lot is that if there's too many characters with unisex names, it gets confusing. I recall as a kid all of my adventure books would always give the token girl a unisex name, Samantha universally called Sam was pretty popular. If there happened to be a boy in her group with a fairly unisex name like Jordan or Riley, however, I'd get confused.

Another thing that trips me up is accidentally giving characters that complete a "set", names we already group together for whatever reason. I think we'd all notice if three unrelated characters were named April, May, and June, for instance. I recently had to stop myself from naming two characters often grouped together in a larger group Spencer and Tracie. Again if it's a "set" of characters it's not a problem, for instance Jessie and James from Pokémon don't bug me because they're a set. But if your leading lady's brother is James and her boyfriend is Dean, I'm going to get them more confused than if her brother was James and her boyfriend was Austin or something like that that I don't automatically "pair" with James, if you get what I'm trying to say.
 

Syaoran Li

Goth Mom Resurrection
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
So, I want to get into actually writing fiction and I have a decent idea for a story but I'm really unsure of what to do.

I've only ever written shitty fanfiction stuff before, the vast majority of which I never posted and what few things I did post online were generally deliberately bad troll fics that I later ended up deleting because I was not satisfied with them. But I want to write an actual "serious" story and one that is not a fanfic but instead uses original characters and settings but I am worried it will turn out bad.

The concept of my story is a lighthearted "Slice of Life" story involving a historical reenactment group comprised mainly of teenagers and twenty-something college kids. I want to keep it somewhat humorous and easy-going in tone, but don't want it to be an over-the-top "lol random" screwball comedy either. How best to go about this?

I'm writing some vague "bullet point" outlines for my story on notebook paper and once I write it, is it okay if I link it here for some peer review and constructive criticism?
 

Popcorn Apoptosis

Whoops.
kiwifarms.net
The concept of my story is a lighthearted "Slice of Life" story involving a historical reenactment group comprised mainly of teenagers and twenty-something college kids. I want to keep it somewhat humorous and easy-going in tone, but don't want it to be an over-the-top "lol random" screwball comedy either. How best to go about this?
I’m sorry if this goes too much into comedy writing as a whole compared to what you’re saying specifically, but...

While I’m no expert I’d say to focus on developing the characters before you go all-out with jokes. Making the comedy character-driven is usually a good way to go about it even though it would take a bit more work establishing their personalities and what they’d do, how to subvert it, etc. If Jimbob McGeneric over here interrupts someone else, that’s not inherently funny (one can assume he’s usually a bit hyperactive). It does get a chuckle when you instead establish that he usually values being refined and polite in conversations, making his reaction unexpected and, by proxy, funny. I feel like if you get down these rules first you can decide exactly how much you want to subvert their personalities for the sake of humour.
 

vertexwindi

That's for employing me for eight years!
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
The concept of my story is a lighthearted "Slice of Life" story involving a historical reenactment group comprised mainly of teenagers and twenty-something college kids. I want to keep it somewhat humorous and easy-going in tone, but don't want it to be an over-the-top "lol random" screwball comedy either. How best to go about this?
Well then don't turn the characters into unbelievably cartoonish caricatures. You can stick them in wacky and oddball situations while still keeping them grounded and have it feel believable as a result.

Like when The Simpsons did an episode where they got a fucking elephant? That's incredibly out there, and while there were plenty of jokes the plot still came down to a low-medium class family not being able to afford taking care of an elephant and having to give it up against the wishes of the son who bonds with it.
 
M

MW 002

Guest
kiwifarms.net
This will be getting into campy territory but...

Don’t beat yourself up if you think your writing sucks. As long as you’re willing to take constructive feedback, you will be able to strengthen your skills. I’ve known a lot of truly talented poets drop from the craft because they convinced themselves that they were bad writers, even though their poems were really beautiful.

Also, don’t focus too much on your writing style if you’re just starting out; it’ll come to you naturally as you work on the craft.
 
Q

QB 290

Guest
kiwifarms.net
One I've noticed is that a lot of people write dialogue for characters how they, as a person would talk. A big culprit of this is the comic author Garth Ennis (who i love). He's Irish and a swearaholic, so whenever a character who swears will swear, the page is filled with a million "cunts" and "cocksuckers". This would be fine, but hearing an American mafia boss or an afghan terrorist scream those words really breaks the immersion of your average punisher issue when, you know, not every crook or murderer is an angry Irish football fan.
At the same time, don't force the dialogue to sound unique or weird to you, or you'll end up with an issue of sonichu on your hands.
 
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Jewed Hunter

kiwifarms.net
One I've noticed is that a lot of people write dialogue for characters how they, as a person would talk. A big culprit of this is the comic author Garth Ennis (who i love). He's Irish and a swearaholic, so whenever a character who swears will swear, the page is filled with a million "cunts" and "cocksuckers". This would be fine, but hearing an American mafia boss or an afghan terrorist scream those words really breaks the immersion of your average punisher issue whem, you know, not every crook or murderer is an angry Irish football fan.
At the same time, don't force the dialogue to sound unique or weird to you, or you'll end up with an issue of sonichu on your hands.
A good written terrorist (in my opinion) only curses when there's enough stress. Every man has a different breaking point until they do or say something nasty. If you were a terrorist, you would want to stay as cool and collected as much as possible, but you have your limits. By finding differing breaking points for characters, you find out more about them.

The villain of Die Hard is a good example. He was a calm and collected person, however McClane was a trickster and cocky motherfucker. It created an interesting dynamic, where the patient man would be constantly tested until he made a mistep.
 

Lez

KF's Token Heterosexual
kiwifarms.net
Keep writing. On tumblr, I follow someone who rarely writes new content and just continuously reblogs their old stuff. I'm not talking once or twice, but approaching 50 or 100 times on each thing. Sometimes, it's best to move on. This isn't even original novel stuff, which yes you might want to reblog a few times, but fanfic one shots that don't start a new paragraph for different speakers.
 

Truthboi

The True and Honest Man
kiwifarms.net
Can I get advice on how to write a murder mystery for the audience to solve, and what not to do?
 

vertexwindi

That's for employing me for eight years!
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Can I get advice on how to write a murder mystery for the audience to solve, and what not to do?
Sometimes in mysteries you get a moment where everything is turned upside down and it's really shocking but then they don't even bother explaining it because they just came up with that moment on the fly a lá Lost. Definitely do not do that. There's nothing more frustrating in mysteries than that.
 
M

MW 002

Guest
kiwifarms.net
Can I get advice on how to write a murder mystery for the audience to solve, and what not to do?
For what to do:

Before writing out the story, come up with at least four main suspects you want to focus on and write out their relation to the victim and what would make the reader think they are suspicious.

The more you flesh them out, the deeper the mystery can go.

Don’t:

Have random unexplained plot twists like the poster above just explained.

Not to shill too much but if you want to see an example of a game that does the whole murder mystery genre some justice, then go play the English patch of Famicom Detective Club part 2: Girl in Back. It’s about a young detective investigating the murder of a school girl that is connected to an old ghost story, which in turn is connected to a cold case. The twists and turns that story puts you through the first time playing it is amazing, so definitely check that out if you want to get a feel for how plot twists should feel.

I also would suggest maybe researching real life murder cases, both solved and unsolved.

Bonus: Doing some research on police protocol will really help with adding a dose of realism.
 

rated arr

hahaha what
kiwifarms.net
i've been writing this webcomic and have scrapped so many panels already, so i'm starting to take more time thinking about the story and developing the character's backstories and shit like that. thanks for the tips guys! they really help, i've always had the sentence "show don't tell" in my mind while writing this.

does anyone happen to have any good advice for a webcomic that centers around a group of characters that want to take on an demon lord, but it takes place in modern times/has humor sprinkled into it (considering the MC is a emo fucker) and it involves lotsa character development? thanks for the advice again!!
 

Syaoran Li

Goth Mom Resurrection
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Been recently getting back into writing again, and I forgot how much I like it. But I do have something I want to get off of my chest.

Is it weird that I want to write a story about anthropomorphic toy army men despite my age?

I mean, there is stuff like Toy Story, Small Soldiers, and those old 3DO Army Men games for the original Playstation, but still I am worried I will screw this story up.

I've recently become interested in collecting army men and similar cheap toy soldiers, and I loved playing with them when I was a kid.

And I really want to write a story about that type of stuff. Might even build my own world for this concept, but for now I want to start off small and not overwhelm myself with too many ideas.

I want to try and make it an original work, and not base it off of a preexisting franchise (such as the Army Men video games), although I admit I am tempted to include stuff from my childhood like Sailor Moon, Digimon, Jurassic Park, and the like. However, I am worried that if I do include the fan stuff, it'll become way too convoluted and even more autistic of a concept than it already is.

I think it will be more rewarding to keep it original, and if it is okay with you guys, is it alright if I share my work with you guys in this thread for constructive criticism?
 

Thelostcup

fnord
kiwifarms.net
Start thinking about actually writing instead of "having written". The best artists don't have some grandiose final plan in mind for their best works, they just start from scratch and keep chiseling away until they have something they are proud of. You might not be good starting out, which is why I recommended being willing to write stuff you know as crap just for the sake of practice.
 

Un Platano

big blatano xDDDD
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I love a smidgen of respect for a writer every time I notice they don't use the Oxford comma. It's not hard. There's sometimes a good reason to use them and there's never a good reason to not use them, so it's better to just get in the habit of always using them.
 

vertexwindi

That's for employing me for eight years!
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I love a smidgen of respect for a writer every time I notice they don't use the Oxford comma. It's not hard. There's sometimes a good reason to use them and there's never a good reason to not use them, so it's better to just get in the habit of always using them.
Oxford commas are unnecessary though.
 

Syaoran Li

Goth Mom Resurrection
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Ever feel dissatisfied with something you wrote so badly that you delete it?
 
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