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Writer's Lounge Need advice? Want to give advice? Come on in and share ideas with your fellow writers. Just remember, all fics go in the main forum.


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Old August 8th, 2011, 08:02 PM
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Dagzar
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Yay, new topic.

Obviously, as the title says, what tips would you give to a writer? It doesn't have to be specific or anything, but most of us are writers, so there must be something we can give as advice.

Mine: Treat all of your characters equally, whether protagonists or antagonists, or whether heroes, villains, or the little people. Treat your world realistically. Don't make one character's life living hell while you pretty much throw roses onto another character's path. In more general terms, giving a character too much luck will make them seem 'sue-ish', while never giving a character a break will seem like you're either bashing or picking on them. Both can cause a reader to lose patience with a story, especially if they happen to a main character.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 08:17 PM
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Astinus
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Write a lot.

Read a lot.

Edit your work if you are going to be sharing it.

Write what you know, but never ever be afraid to use your imagination.

On the other hand, do your research.

--

That's all for now.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 09:02 PM
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icomeanon6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagzar View Post
Mine: Treat all of your characters equally, whether protagonists or antagonists, or whether heroes, villains, or the little people. Treat your world realistically. Don't make one character's life living hell while you pretty much throw roses onto another character's path. In more general terms, giving a character too much luck will make them seem 'sue-ish', while never giving a character a break will seem like you're either bashing or picking on them. Both can cause a reader to lose patience with a story, especially if they happen to a main character.
You're on to something, especially in regards to preventing Sue-ish-ness, but I wouldn't go so far to say that you should treat your characters "equally." I would say "reasonably," instead. I think that when applied correctly, obvious disparity between the amount of luck that two characters have can create drama (the good kind!), but only if the author makes it an interesting part of the story instead of just an accidental artifact of Sue-ish characters. As an example, it often seems in Harry Potter that Ron has gotten the short end of the stick when compared to Harry (especially when it comes to money and popularity), but Rowling makes sure that it never goes overboard, and she makes the jealousy an important and interesting part of Ron's character.

And now for my own advice:

I've found (and others have occasionally pointed out) that I have a problem with telling as opposed to showing. For a long time I just didn't know what to do with the advice "show don't tell," but now I think I'm finally getting better at it. (Maybe. Don't hold me to that.) What I've found helps me in this regard is while proofreading to recall which passages are supposed to make more of an impact on the reader, and then look over them and try to picture just what kind of feelings and sensory impressions the reader will get from the words alone. If something seems dry or passes too quickly, embellish it. There's always a disconnect between the vivid scene in your mind and what the reader will get from the words, so try and put as much of what makes the vision in your head vivid into your language as possible.

Imagery is the key, and it doesn't just mean what things look like. Imagery is any kind of language that appeals to the senses, and that includes sound, smell, and touch.
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Old August 12th, 2011, 10:08 AM
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Sgt Shock
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There have been some real good advice given thus far. Let me see if I can add something to the mix.

Make your character feel and talk realistically (even though they may not be in a realistic world). You have to make your characters feel alive, feeling their emotions like you will feel your own. I think most writers has to tread on the thread of what is real and what is fiction anyway. Doing this helps you get into the characters a lot better and gives depth to whatever you are doing.

If you can't answer how your character is going to react to a circumstance, you don't know them as well as you can. What may be a good idea for a character may appear shallow once you write them. Flesh them out and you will do exceptionally well.

EDIT: Also learn how to chose against some of your options for the betterment of your story. There are plenty times I wanted a character to look a certain way or I wanted to add something in; but, the state of the environment made it feel out of place or forced.
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Last edited by Sgt Shock; August 12th, 2011 at 12:18 PM.
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