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

Haramburger

kiwifarms.net
Some advice from an underrepresented angle in this thread:

FINISH. Finish SOMETHING. Even if it's just a shit, 8 page fanfic, finish it. Boil your whole story down and actually finish it, and put it in front of someone. Preferably online where you can get anonymous feedback. Take the criticism and improve your existing work, or take it to heart on your next project. Also you get the extra benefit of having some small semblance of an already installed audience if you can regularly post content or updates to the same platform.

Go brainstorm in a 4chan drawthread, mashup some characters you like and use stick men to plan out 8 pages of horse shit, someone will draw it. All those artfags are literally begging for a writer or idea guy just to sharpen their pencils on. Go post your "Navajo goes to Hogwart's" story on FanFiction.net. Just get it out there, no matter how shit it is.
 
M

MW 002

Guest
kiwifarms.net
Regarding poetry:

Metaphors are your friend, use them if you want your readers to try to figure out what it is you’re trying to say. Especially if you are writing about our personal problems, sometimes having a poem full of metaphor and vagueness will make your readers feel smarter once they piece it all.

A blunt style works for some poems, but not every poet is gifted with that style.
 

Hengeyokai

kiwifarms.net
One thing I hate in writing is redundancy. "He screamed loudly" or , for example.

Terrible Writing Advice is a pretty good channel that goes over a lot of the cliches and mistakes that are specific to certain genres: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3ogrx6d9oohf6D42G44j1A

Artifexian is a great resource if you want to go absolutely nuts with world-building and covers everything from language to plate tectonics. It's probably better to avoid if you just want to write a story and not an entire world.: https://www.youtube.com/user/Artifexian
 
S

SU 390

Guest
kiwifarms.net
im stuck in a rather perpetual state of planning i dont know how to get out of. how do i get out of this?
I would say start writing. If you're done planning the first step is to work on it. See how your WIP goes. Don't be afraid of its shit or not. That's the purpose of a first rough draft. You can write and fuck it up anyway possible and see what you can do to change it.
 

Bunny Tracks

Nothing equals the splendor
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Keep it short and simple. Don't dump in excessive lore, don't make things unnecessarily complicated, and don't try to drag the thing out for as long as possible. I've seen a lot of good work turn to shit because the authors decided to make their works bigger than what they are.
 
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BrunoMattei

No I am not the Cinema Snob
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Keep it short and simple. Don't dump in excessive lore, don't make things unnecessarily complicated, and don't try to drag the thing out for as long as possible. I've seen a lot of good work turn to shit because the authors decided to make their works bigger than what they are.
Stephen King could learn from that.
 

thepianogeniusfromshine

Counting down the days
kiwifarms.net
Apologies if this has been mentioned before here but don't be afraid to use your own life for inspiration.

As much as we love to dunk on self insert Mary Sues your experience in life will be completely unique from any work of fiction.

Basing characters off your friends and family is viable if you don't make it too obvious. Kentaro Miura based the band of the hawk in berserk off of his friends in college
 

Salt Water Taffy

Only bad witches are ugly.
kiwifarms.net
Apologies if this has been mentioned before here but don't be afraid to use your own life for inspiration.

As much as we love to dunk on self insert Mary Sues your experience in life will be completely unique from any work of fiction.

Basing characters off your friends and family is viable if you don't make it too obvious. Kentaro Miura based the band of the hawk in berserk off of his friends in college
Try to avoid basing characters around real life public figures though because it will get dated and probably pretty quickly too. There's the obvious "the villain is a thinly veiled caricature of whatever political leader you like the least" which ceases to be relevant the moment they leave power, but just public figures in general come and go. I was reading something from the late 70's or so that had a celebrity couple who were basically supposed to be Liz Taylor and Richard Burton and I was like "no one under the age of 30 is going to get that" even though at the time probably everyone got the reference, it really hurt the work's long-term readability. It was a sudden jolt of a reminder of exactly when the book was written and it pulled me out of the story a lot.
 

Ma_Hooty

Personality trait that best describes you: Tired
kiwifarms.net
So a good amount of the characters I make usually have either:
A) fucked up shit happen in the past or
B) have real fucked up shit happen over the course of their storyline

Of course, this doesn't apply to all of them (I have a character who, by all intents and purposes, is a happy young boy who lives in a very spiritual society and things start to happen to doubt his already wavering faith, for example), but the real popular ones have that as a common theme.
A lot of the youth who come across my stories and characters beg me to tell them how I come up with such ideas and I can only tell them to read or watch anything you find even remotely interesting and take references from reality.

You want your character to be the Vietnam "thousand yard stare" war veteran? Read up on how soldiers struggle with PTSD and don't be afraid to look up a few science articles, too. Watch documentaries to see how war really played out, what it entailed, what the end result was (and maybe if it was even worth it) - that sort of thing.
Don't make them edgy and brooding, where they snap at the flip of a coin until another character is dead, make them as normal as possible. People with mental illness have the ability to hide it very well until something sets it off - in the case of PTSD, it's usually something that makes them remember what traumatized them (hearing a gun go off or seeing a particularly violent fight, for example). And most don't just go for the violence route - the majority seem to just panic or lose themselves in their thoughts.

Pull things from your own life, too - there's usually something in your life that no one else has experienced (or experienced it in the way you did) and that can really make a character stand out from all the other cookie cutter, copy/paste ideas that seem to float around a lot.

I don't even know if that made sense, but that's how I usually go about creating a character and their backstory/storyline (aside from personality, but adding that would make this even longer, so maybe another time if anyone wants to hear my ramblings about character creation).
 
K

KO 864

Guest
kiwifarms.net
If you are writing in a specific genre is purposeful exaggeration of the genre a bad idea, or is it good in the beginning to establish the feel you are going for? For example I recently wrote in the style of hard-boiled mysteries and I over-under bizarre metaphors and similes to establish the world.

Edit: I'm asking because while the exaggeration could undercut intended seriousness or tone of the work, it could also do like the period piece thing where due to the exaggeration it feels more like the setting then if it was an accurate representation. Does the potential benefit outweigh the potential negative?
 
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BrunoMattei

No I am not the Cinema Snob
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
If you are writing in a specific genre is purposeful exaggeration of the genre a bad idea, or is it good in the beginning to establish the feel you are going for? For example I recently wrote in the style of hard-boiled mysteries and I over-under bizarre metaphors and similes to establish the world.
I think the later is necessary. Reading requires more commitment then just sitting back and absorbing a song or movie/TV show. You need to grab the reader by the first page and give them a reason to read what you've written.
 
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Furina

Centerfold
kiwifarms.net
I have a question that I'd like to open to discussion:

Is a Mary Sue still a Mary Sue if she's just a background or support character? She makes occasional appearances to help the MC and shares (but never steals) the limelight from time to time.
 

God of Nothing

kiwifarms.net
Depending on her effects on the story, she can be seen as a plot device. Is she meant to contrast the main character? That could work as a foil of sorts to a villain protagonist or an anti-hero.
 

kinglordsupreme19

Diurnal Dominance Dispenser
kiwifarms.net
There's no substitute for practice. Write, write, write. Preferably try to keep it in the drawer for a while and then review it and show it to those you trust and try to pick out what you'd like to improve in for the future.

I'm currently writing a hard sci-fi with a focus around a literary character study. For me, the most useful workflow has been doing a plan, researching involved concepts, writing, and then as much redrafting as I feel is necessary.
 

8777BB5

Keep Her Sexy and Straightforward
kiwifarms.net
What's the best way to get out of creative slumps? Lately I'm finding the only way story I can do is with the protagonist getting fired from their job and then discovering a magical realm down the block. Given i can't get these stories past the 39,000 word mark I'd like to try something else, but nothing seems to be working
 
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