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TOPIC: Writing tips!

Writing tips! 1 year 7 months ago #57497

  • dogluvergirl101
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Hey guys!

Some of you know that I write a story on the Talent Showcase. A lot of you have asked me how I write so well, do I have any tips, where do I get my inspiration, etc. To help you all, I decided to start a post here for writing tips. Ask any questions you have and I will answer them the best I can, and if anyone else has answers you're welcome to throw then in. You can also share tips of your own. So, you guys start. What would you like to know?
"Art is when the mind shuts off and the heart takes its turn to speak. Whether it's music, paint, theatre, writing, or what have you; each heart has its own voice.

"What is your heart trying to say?"

- Aunt Katherine from énoument (a quote from a book I'm writing)
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Writing tips! 1 year 7 months ago #57570

  • miss amazing
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Hey! I enjoy writing too! My problem is that I can't think of an interesting storyline to write on. I love to describe things etc. and I will do it any chance I get. Do you have any ideas on how I can think of topics for stories I can write?? Thanks!
Hannah...always a kiwi at heart.
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Writing tips! 1 year 7 months ago #57649

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miss amazing wrote:
Hey! I enjoy writing too! My problem is that I can't think of an interesting storyline to write on. I love to describe things etc. and I will do it any chance I get. Do you have any ideas on how I can think of topics for stories I can write?? Thanks!

This is one of those tricky ones. All sorts of things can inspire a good storyline, but sometimes it's just hard to find a good one. Here's some things I do.

1. Think up of a character. This should be either the protagonist (main character) or the antagonist (being or force against main character). But think up a character. Give them a personality. An appearance. Quirks. Life. Then, give them a problem. This can be any sort of conflict, but the four main types are person vs. person, person vs. self, person vs. destiny, and person vs. nature. After you think of a well rounded character and a conflict, give them a beginning, a middle, and an end. Make sure that before you begin writing you know all the steps in the story, from beginning to end. Also remember, the beginning has a beginning, middle, and end, the middle has a beginning, middle, and end, and the end has a beginning, middle, and end. (Look up a picture of Freytag's Pyramid, it will help) Add additional characters, problems, and decide whether you want the character to fail or succeed in the end.

2. Think up of a problem rather than a character. Give the problem a reason for being a problem, and why it needs to be solved so badly. (Aka why it would be harmful if it was never taken care of.) Give the problem a bit of history and an origin. (Where did it come from, why is it still here, etc.) Don't forget to add rules, too - not just anyone can take care of this problem. There are certain requirements needed in order for someone to solve the problem. You then need to come up with a character with all these requirements who will eventually solve the problem, and then another character / force who is keeping the other character from solving the problem and also meets these requirements. Don't forget all those other tips listed above ^^^

3. Think of a place / setting. Maybe something similar to a hobbit town, or a lively midieval village, or a tree house in a forest, or an abandoned mansion in the side of a hill. Give this place a character that lives / lived there, and another character who will eventually discover it. Make a problem arise that could cause this place and / or it's inhabitants harm, and you decide whether or not they experience the harm in the end.

4. Listen to music. Any music. Your favorite music. Soundtracks. Celtic. Anything. Listen to music, close your eyes, and let that song create a 'preview' for your book in your mind. (As if your book would be mad into a movie and this is how it would be advertised) then use some tips above to further develop your 'preview' to make a well rounded storyline.

I hope this helps! I would love to see your stories appear on the talent showcase eventually :)
"Art is when the mind shuts off and the heart takes its turn to speak. Whether it's music, paint, theatre, writing, or what have you; each heart has its own voice.

"What is your heart trying to say?"

- Aunt Katherine from énoument (a quote from a book I'm writing)
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Writing tips! 1 year 6 months ago #58535

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Hi! I love writing too! My main problem is, though, is that I get these awesome story plots all figured out, start writing, but never finish the story. Cuz I get stuck in the middle and can't think of how the story should end. So I never end up finishing any of them. :( Do you have any advice on how to think of good ways to end a story? The ending is the hardest part for me....
It's not who we are that holds us back, it's who we think we're not.
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Writing tips! 1 year 6 months ago #58622

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Hey I'm like you #1 fan, I LOVE your stories! "Are you there?" can take me to another world, can we have a least one more chapter plz! :woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo: Anyway I''m not here to give YOU tips but to get tips. Ok so I just discovered that I really like writing things that aren't school project. But I have trouble like doing he said she said thing. I'll give you preview of what I mean. And if you find anything else just point it out.

Here it goes:

The earth shaked violently as the rocks crush down making a thunder noise that startles the explorers. They are enclosed tightly in the cave, Emma panics as she jumps up and gasp. Everyone is deadly frightened and mute in shock, until Matthew breaks the silence. “We have to try to move this pile of rocks thats blocking the exit, we have to get out of here before dark.” Matthew walks slowly to the entry and tries to move some of the palm size rocks. He moves some seeing a small crack with a little bit of sunlight. Suddenly a distant but gradual crumble then boom hit hard that makes the whole mountain tremble. Everyone hug each other as they are all overwhelmed in silence.

END OF PREVIEW ;)
Pyrrhic - means won a victory!
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Writing tips! 1 year 6 months ago #58644

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SnowAngel wrote:
Hi! I love writing too! My main problem is, though, is that I get these awesome story plots all figured out, start writing, but never finish the story. Cuz I get stuck in the middle and can't think of how the story should end. So I never end up finishing any of them. :( Do you have any advice on how to think of good ways to end a story? The ending is the hardest part for me....

I've really struggle with that too. And funny enough, I only recently came up with the answer, and it's extremely simple.

Come up with an ending...before you even start writing.

Too often I have thought of a fun character, a fun setting, an epic conflict, and I've started a story only to find that I had no idea which way the story should go. What I should've done to those hundreds of stories is this:

1. Look up a picture of Freytag's Pyramid. It will help. A lot.

2. Think up of a basic idea for a beginning, middle and end. You don't have to our in details just yet, only focus on answering these questions for now:

A. Does the protagonist succeed?
B. How do things look for the antagonist?(for instance, is s/he dead, alive, experienced a change of heart, defeated, in exile? Maybe the antagonist isn't a person. The point is, what's going on with the antagonist's side of the story when the book ends?)
C. What about your other characters? How do things look for them? (Once again, no need for details. Did someone die? Did a couple get married? Maybe someone completed someone else's dying wish? Start a band?)
D. What happened to your main conflict? Is it still there? Has it been resolved? How many side conflicts did you have and how did those turn out? How did they have affect on your characters, especially the protagonist and antagonist?
E. Where is the main setting at the end of the book?
F. How do you want the reader to feel at the end of the book? Sad? Satisfied? Joyful? In suspense? Use that to add key ingredients in order to make the reader feel something. For example, if you wanted to leave the reader in suspense, I suggest having the main conflict forgotten/not resolved and/or the antagonist still alive (or maybe they thought they were dead but they actually weren't and now they're back at it) and as you're leading towards the end, give the story a relaxed feeling with everything slowly sliding towards normal and becoming resolved, and then in the last half of the last chapter suddenly throw the conflict and/or antagonist back into the plot and end the story on an incredible cliffhanger. If you want it to be sad, someone significant should die around the beginning/middle of the end, and you decide whether or not the other characters learn how to cope with the loss.
G. Coming back to the Freytag's Pyramid I mentioned earlier, make sure you fill in each and every one of those slots. Some pictures will have more detail than others, so choose the more detailed ones. Don't forget that in a story, the beginning, middle, and end each have a beginning, middle and end, and every beginning, middle and end is made up of shorter stories within themselves. After you figure out the skeleton of your story (including the ending, dont forget that!) you can begin the detail work like that, and then the reeeaaalllly detailed work starts when you begin writing. Perhaps you want a special notebook for all these notes?

Using those tips, I'm sure you can come up with something. And if you're still stuck, I'm only a message away! Happy writing!
"Art is when the mind shuts off and the heart takes its turn to speak. Whether it's music, paint, theatre, writing, or what have you; each heart has its own voice.

"What is your heart trying to say?"

- Aunt Katherine from énoument (a quote from a book I'm writing)
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Writing tips! 1 year 6 months ago #58679

  • Skite
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I would like to get into writing too. I have some ideas, but I don't seem to have the time and creativity to put stuff on paper.
So let me sing for the love
Let me love for the lost
Let me lose all I have
For what I found on the cross
Let me trust you with my life
Let me live to give you praise
Lord, let me praise you
For the grace by which I'm saved
Lord, let me sing

- Chorus of "Let me sing" by Andrew Peterson
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Writing tips! 1 year 6 months ago #58737

  • it is me
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I can write only short easays, like articles and stuff...
But they actually turn out quite good... :unsure:
God and sciences are like a bicycle wheel. Like the spokes, all sciences lead to God's amazing power and love, which, like the circular rim, has no beginning and no end.
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Writing tips! 1 year 6 months ago #58809

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Pyrrhic wrote:
Hey I'm like you #1 fan, I LOVE your stories! "Are you there?" can take me to another world, can we have a least one more chapter plz! :woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo: Anyway I''m not here to give YOU tips but to get tips. Ok so I just discovered that I really like writing things that aren't school project. But I have trouble like doing he said she said thing. I'll give you preview of what I mean. And if you find anything else just point it out.

Here it goes:

The earth shaked violently as the rocks crush down making a thunder noise that startles the explorers. They are enclosed tightly in the cave, Emma panics as she jumps up and gasp. Everyone is deadly frightened and mute in shock, until Matthew breaks the silence. “We have to try to move this pile of rocks thats blocking the exit, we have to get out of here before dark.” Matthew walks slowly to the entry and tries to move some of the palm size rocks. He moves some seeing a small crack with a little bit of sunlight. Suddenly a distant but gradual crumble then boom hit hard that makes the whole mountain tremble. Everyone hug each other as they are all overwhelmed in silence.

END OF PREVIEW ;)

This one is fairly easy to answer, but just a tad more difficult to get used to carrying out.
Technically, when someone talks, you should press ENTER twice. (I don't do that for Are You There, which by the way I'm working on, haha, but this is how it SHOULD be done)
Example:

The earth shakes violently as the rocks crush down making a thunder noise that startles the explorers. They are enclosed tightly in the cave, Emma panics as she jumps up and gasps. Everyone is deadly frightened and mute in shock.

Matthew breaks the silence. "We should move the rocks that are blocking the exit, we have to get out of here before dark."

*if Emma said something, it would go here.* *detail information and stuff*

*someone starts talking again and it would go here*

END OF EXAMPLE

So that's how you would write it. Here's a couple grammar rules, just for the sake of making your writing flow and become 'crisp', lol. (and I could be wrong, but this is how it's done according to my knowledge)

So notice how up above it says, "Matthew breaks the silence. "We should move the rocks..."" There's a period after 'silence'. That's because "Matthew breaks the silence" is a sentence all it's own. The sentence ends. It's finished. There's a period.

Sometimes you'll have a comma instead. For example, if you wrote "Breaking the silence, Matthew said, "We should move the rocks..."" That would need a comma. A comma would also be used in "Matthew shouted, "I'm in here!" And you can reverse it, too. Unless the sentence the character is saying (the "We should move the rocks" and "I'm in here!" part) ends in a ? or a ! it should have a comma WHEN FOLLOWED BY HOW IT'S BEING SAID. For example:

"I'm in here!" Matthew shouted. (that had a !, so there wasn't a comma)

"I want a glass of juice," Emma thought aloud. She headed towards the kitchen. (it would have normally ended in a period, but it was followed by how it was being said, so it ended in a comma.)

"I want a glass of juice." Emma headed towards the kitchen. (it wasn't followed by how it was being said, so it ended in a period. We didn't need to put "Emma said" or "Emma whined" etc. to show Emma was the one who wanted juice, because it was followed by "Emma headed towards the kitchen" and that alone tells us it was Emma who wanted a glass of juice.)

Using those notes above, you don't want to confuse anyone about who's talking. So you'll always want to give some piece of information including a character's name just for the sake of being able to tell who's saying what. For example:

"I want a glass of juice," Emma thought aloud. She headed towards the kitchen. "Do you want some?"

Matthew nodded his head. "Sure. What kinds do you have?"

Emma opened the fridge and peeked inside. "Cranberry, orange, and grape."

"I'll take orange," Matthew said, "it's my favorite!" *end of example*

Up above is perfect for when you have three or more, and should be used 50 - 75% of the time with two people. If Emma and Matthew had already been talking for a while and we know they're the only two people who are talking, it would flow better written like this:

"I want a glass of juice," Emma thought aloud. She headed towards the kitchen. "Do you want some?"

Matthew nodded. "Sure. What kinds do you have?"

"Cranberry, orange, and grape." *because Emma just spoke before hand, we know it can only be Emma who is talking now.*

"I'll take orange, it's my favorite!" *Emma just spoke. Someone is responding. Matthew is the only other person in the room. We know it's Matthew.*

Now keep in mind, you would only want to do something like that for 2-4 sentences, no more, or else it gets a bit confusing. The only exception would be a short, heated argument with short sentences. For example:

Emma stared at the broken glass in shock. "You broke my favorite figurine! How could you?"

"I didn't break it, why would I?" Matthew shot back.

"Yes you did!"

"Did not!"

"Did too! And I hate you for it. It was special to me!"

"It's a dumb glass dolphin, get over yourself, crybaby!"

Emma stomped her foot, frustrated. "I'm not a crybaby!"

"Are too!"

"Am not! I hate you!"

"I hate you too!"

Andrew peeked his head in the doorway, interrupting the argument. "Did I come at a bad time?"

Emma and Matthew looked over at the boy and shouted simultaneously, "Yes!" *end of example*

Even then, towards the end you want to give a small hint to at least one person. Like I did with "Emma stomped her foot, frustrated."

I'm not sure of the exact rules, but if you wanted them I'm sure you could just google "how to appropriately use commas and periods in dialogue". :)

I really hope this helped. Message me if you still need help, and I can't wait to see your story appear in the Talent Showcase! :D
"Art is when the mind shuts off and the heart takes its turn to speak. Whether it's music, paint, theatre, writing, or what have you; each heart has its own voice.

"What is your heart trying to say?"

- Aunt Katherine from énoument (a quote from a book I'm writing)
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Writing tips! 1 year 5 months ago #58933

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Thanks a lot! I'll see if I can finish a few of my stories now... :)
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Writing tips! 1 year 2 months ago #61643

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Hey so I REALLY need you to keep writing that story... It's been literally months, maybe even a year! What happened?! R u ok? :dry:
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Writing tips! 1 year 2 months ago #61865

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Hey! I'm sorry for taking so long...I've been seriously struggling with something and I wouldn't say that I've been OK but I think I'm doing better...I'll try my hardest to submit the next chapter sometime this week cause it's fall break. It's a very long story and I'll spare you from the details.
"Art is when the mind shuts off and the heart takes its turn to speak. Whether it's music, paint, theatre, writing, or what have you; each heart has its own voice.

"What is your heart trying to say?"

- Aunt Katherine from énoument (a quote from a book I'm writing)
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Writing tips! 5 months 2 weeks ago #81252

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#OperationTimeTravel

So say I have the beginning, middle, and end roughly figured out, the plot seems fairly simple, all that. But how do you make the 3 parts of the story to flow together well and not just like a list of things you want in the story?
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