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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/25/2019 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Writing is a journey. As we get more experienced we learn new things and change and grow. How do you think you've changed as a writer since you started writing, to now? Myself, I started more as a panster. I felt like I needed to almost 'divine' stories, let them come to me without knowing what happens next. But now, I find that doesn't work for me anymore. I went from planster to fairly firmly in the plotter came. Even if I don't write down my thoughts, I still want to know how a story ends before I start writing. It helps me shape the story and is honestly just easier for me to write. I also used to be more about plot driven stories. It was about the cool worlds, the interesting premise. But now I find that my stories work best when I let a character with goals tell me what happens next. I can still have the cool setting, and an idea of what I want to happen, but it has to make sense for a particular character now. This has led me to doing character exploration exercises, writing throw-away pages that no one else will see of me just getting to know the characters, so I can understand what plot actions are understandable for them. The last thing that has changed is my defense of adverbs. I used to HATE how everyone says they are weak writing, that they need to be cut out. I would say, its not a rule, its a suggestion, do what fits best for your writing... while that is still true, I now believe that cutting out all but a few adverbs will PROBABLY strengthen your writing. I don't believe they ALWAYS have to go, but having looked at my writing with a really critical eye the last month, cutting them out has often been the best choice. OUTSIDE of dialogue, I should specify that. Using adverbs in dialogue can contribute to that character's voice, and that's free game. How about you? What has changed about your writing process, your writing beliefs over the years?
  2. 4 points
    I think mine is plotting, so the author of that article wouldn't like me 🙂
  3. 3 points
    Some additional plot structures to add to your toolbox: 'Plot Diamond'/Moral Premise - I found the idea of story as a debate between different values and ethics to be an interesting way to set it up. A four act mystery structure - discussed here and here. you could argue it's still 3 acts, but another way of thinking about it Save the Cat - gonna be honest this isn't my fave but it's worth knowing about and looking at how they break down films Jami Gold - romance-related but she has a ton of good beat-sheets using the 7 point structure, Nano-related excel spreadsheets, as well as some discussion of how to bring a character's internal conflict and weave it into the plot Dramatica - can't comment on whether it's worth paying for (i'm cheap and love libraries), but maybe interesting? Shakespeare's Five Act Structure - also discussed here and here if you can get past the ALLCAPS this is an interesting criticism (focuses more on scriptwriting) eta: how could I forget Chuck Wending? 1 2 3
  4. 3 points
    I find three-act structure useful to a point and then it's kinda… eh. It's like getting a map from A to B and you're on the road and you know where you are and then BAM, a thousand miles of desert with one solitary signpost. It's very good at describing what should happen at the start and what should happen at the end (for a given type of story*), but the middle is vague. "Increase the stakes! Raise the conflict!" Like, is it a soufflé? Do I put it in the oven and wait to see whether it's collapsed or not? For me, when I'm trying to figure out what happens in the middle and where the hell we're going to stop for the night without being eaten by bears, I prefer to think of it as separate sections within Act II. Which I think is what they're getting at with the mention of mini-climaxes, try-fail cycles, and the twist. I'm still figuring out the best method for finding a path through Act II. It's less daunting to think of it as smaller sections than one giant block where Stuff Happens. (*on that note there's a lot of overlap with THE HERO'S JOURNEY and heroic narrative which is great and all but I also wonder about what we can learn from other types of story, mystery and tragedy and so on and whether that structure changes depending on the type of story being told, but that's a whole other discussion probably)
  5. 3 points
    BUT THOU MUST. do itttttt one of Disney's underrated gems, probably bc it's so different from their other stuff. worth watching if you enjoy The Road to El Dorado (which is the Dreamworks equivalent I guess (no central romance, frenemies-road-trip sorta dynamic, similar sense of humour, and MESOAMERICA.)
  6. 3 points
    Such a fun thread! All the selfcomplimenting is awesome! I think that my knack is special details, just a little fun, quirky, strange, odd extra that adds some spice to the character/setting/plot. A little thing to remember.
  7. 3 points
    Just some things that I've noticed can work: characters who are funny because they take themselves too seriously (the boss in The Office) juxtaposition/contrast and subversion of audience expectations (the killer rabbit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. any kind of contrast. Kronk in Emperor's New Groove subverts the expectations for a henchperson - "My spinach puffs!") humour from a situation. "for want of a nail" - you take a basic scenario, and exaggerate til 11, then keep going! (eg. in Meet the Parents, Ben Stiller has to deal with increasing BS from his judgy in-laws - relatable to most people because they probably have some weird family members, but it's exaggerated to the extreme) humour from common experience (ie. the slug lady in Monsters Inc. is funny because most of us have had to deal with either embittered bureaucratic frontline staff AND/OR annoying overly-friendly customers who want a free pass) characters who cause their own demise (through stubbornness, or stupidity, or being a jerk - see the finale of Seinfeld where almost every single character they've ever wronged turns up for their trial to publicly shame them, because they were terrible people. or, by contrast, Bertie Wooster is continually dragged into his friend's schemes because he's dimwitted and also a pushover.)
  8. 2 points
    Three Act Structure - Its the most basic structure we learn about stories, but is still a very good tool to assist with pacing. Here are some explanations of what it looks like, from Writing Excuses Season 2, Episodes three and eight. The long bits at the end are taken from the transcript with all the chatter cut out. (https://mbarker.livejournal.com/96236.html). Its a bit blathering and chaotic, but I did find it useful. I think it is important to be able to internalize three act structure, so you can write it into your stories naturally, or learn how to diverge from it. Explanations: Discussion: Do you find the three act structure useful? Have you used it before? Either to plan a novel, or to use it to diagnose structure/pacing problems in a completed draft? Any tips on how to use the three act structure in a story?
  9. 2 points
    I found this article on Tor, about how writers are usually naturally good at one or two aspects of writing, and struggle with others things. But how you can use your One Free Trick to ladder up into being good at the other things. Take a read, I thought it was interesting. What do you think your One Free Trick is? I'd say mine is probably weaving in worldbuilding details without being too info dumpy.
  10. 2 points
    Today is the first day of Camp Nano 2019! I'm sure a lot of you have ideas already, but if you are still trying to shape yours, the Pixar Once Upon A Time prompt is great help. I found the information here but its pretty well known. There's also the Pixar Rules of Storytelling, but that's a whole post in itself. The Prompt: Fill in the blanks with information about your story and you are off to the races! Bonus points if you want to share it below 🙂
  11. 2 points
    Hm, wordcounter.net is telling me I'm at 37k, too. So I guess out of any of these, Word and Google docs have the word counters that are accurate and aren't counting extra things, so I'm probably better off going with what Word says first and Google docs second.
  12. 2 points
    Once upon a time there was a rebellious princess named Caisha. Every day, she would dream about adventure. One day she decided to actually act on that instead of just dreaming about it. Because of that, she dressed up like one of her father's soldiers, took a horse, and rode off to seek evil. Because of that, she went through a lot of effort, often which was stymied, with the aid of an old writer. Until finally they found the evil she was looking for, and it wasn't what she expected. Not at all.
  13. 2 points
    I think vivid descriptions are my strength. And getting well the incorporation of historical facts into the fiction, so that it flows smoothly.
  14. 2 points
    This is some complicated math happening! It is interesting to see the discrepancies, but also a little... worrying? I guess it's correct when they say that words truly are magic.
  15. 2 points
    I wrote words! words to add: 238,194 words new total: 242,435 words
  16. 2 points
    Thanks for this article. It was a good perspective lens to look at the process through. It's also very hopeful without diminishing the amount of work that writing can take. I think my 'One Free Trick' is probably introspection. I often have a very good idea of how my characters are thinking and feeling, and although a lot of introspection will likely be cut out in any final draft, it is really what helps me push forward in a story. I discover all sorts of things about my characters and my worlds through this method.
  17. 2 points
    March overwhelmed me. I just didn't make it. After adding up, I have a total of 4,753 words for March. Just like said above: Here's to trying again in April!
  18. 2 points
    The only thing I'm currently tracking is word count, using the fancy Excel sheet that @Manu was awesome enough to make for me (and anyone else who wants to use it - here's the link). I would make myself a fancy sheet for tracking projects, but I really have no reason to do so - I really don't have any past projects that I think I really want to go back to, so I wouldn't need to list anything else other than Court of Shadows in it...though I suppose if I started writing more short stories for the writing challenges/to submit places, I would start keeping track.
  19. 2 points
    I wrote words!words to add: [27500] words
  20. 2 points
    I wrote words!new total: [13492] words as per tonight
  21. 2 points
    I wrote words! words to add: 6500 (estimated)
  22. 2 points
    I'd like to put forth a scenario for character building. Imagine your character is at a wishing well (or whatever might work for your world if you have a need to make it match). They have one wish with the following limitations: No wishing for more wishes. (This is generally a given; but if someone can, as an aside, point to a story where this works, I'm interested in how it's implemented.) No wishes that alter time. (Time travel is a pain.) No wishes that directly alters another living, sentient being. (eg. Forced thoughts/emotions, resurrection, transformation, death, illness, healing, relocation, etc.) No wishes for a specific object. (You could wish for a pot of gold, but not THAT pot of gold which happens to belong to Bob.) Wishes that are so cryptic or measureless that granting them would be hard to interpret/perceive (what all does 'powerful' entail? what does 'world peace' actually look like?) are problematic at best. * A note about the granting of the actual wish. This is not a case of the literal or jackass genie trope. Generally the wish, while not necessarily benevolent, will be of some benefit to the wisher, though perhaps not the benefit the wisher was anticipating. * Bearing the above in mind, answer the following, either in point form, or in 'story' mode if that suits you better and the capacity to have a wish fulfilled would work in your character's world. What does your character wish for? You can list both the 'exact words' used in the wish and the mental picture of what they think they are wishing for. How is this wish actually granted? Is the granted wish exactly what your character had in mind? Why, or why not? Once your character has their wish, does it have the anticipated results? Why, or why not? Does this one wish solve the (or a) main conflict for your character? Looking back, does your character regret the wish? Would the character have made a different wish? Ideally this should give you an idea of how your character thinks and what they desire, and if what they THINK they desire is actually what they DO desire. This also helps take a look at the construct of wish granting in fiction as a general sense. Feel free to do this for multiple characters throughout, though only one per post preferably. Also, go ahead and ask any clarification questions here; I don't consider it clutter. (I only mention this because sometimes the original posters don't mention whether or not they want questions on the thread itself.)
  23. 2 points
    I wrote words! new total: 10 027 words (Reached this total on Sunday 24th.)
  24. 2 points
    I wrote words! new total: 9665 words (This is actually yesterday's March 23rd total.)
  25. 2 points
    I wrote words!words to add: 580 words