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  #1    
Old December 6th, 2012, 06:20 PM
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Recently I've been writing a fanfic/LP called, "Dash, a childhood in Johto;" and it's working ok. However the sentences aren't entirely interesting. Most of them are simply stating actions with some adjectives thrown in. So I'm looking for some tips on writing interesting-er, "Filler," sentences to make the paragraph more interesting. Any and all help is appreciated :3
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  #2    
Old December 6th, 2012, 06:31 PM
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Filler isn't good! Minimalism is key to writing good stories, minimalist yet efficient. You don't want too much prose but you don't want things left plain and bland. A good balance usually yields good story-telling!

It's difficult to help without any examples, maybe provide a paragraph or two of your writing so we can better assist you? c:
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Old December 6th, 2012, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzaleaLightning View Post
Filler isn't good! Minimalism is key to writing good stories, minimalist yet efficient. You don't want too much prose but you don't want things left plain and bland. A good balance usually yields good story-telling!

It's difficult to help without any examples, maybe provide a paragraph or two of your writing so we can better assist you? c:
Sure! O: Here's one I don't particularly care for:
Quote:
Breakfast with mom was great this morning, she made pancakes, eggs, and sausage. She also re-discussed with me all those parent-things. More obvious questions, yay. After that I helped clean up, seeing as I'd be gone for quite some time. I had cleaned my room, so no longer is it a disaster-piece. She might use it as a guestroom, who knows. Later, after helping with various house chores, I finished packing my backpack with things I'd need. This consisted of simple stuff: extra clothes, a pocket utility knife, a few eating utensils, some trail rations and a basic survival kit(matches, a compass, etc...). Saying goodbye was quick, and I was eager to proceed with Professor Elm's chores. [OOC: Also a bit of sarcasm there. You'll see hints of it here and there, especially when talking about other people.]
The first sentence to me seems pretty bland, the list seems extensive, and the sentences all together almost feel choppy as if they're too short. Also it seems every sentence is describing an action in a plain way, nothing really interesting about them. Oh, and ignore the sarcasm at the end xD It's in reference to a previous paragraph when he was about to go to bed and said:
Quote:
Enough of that stuff, I better get some good rest because in the morning I have a real task ahead- Obtaining and delivering a package or egg or whatever he said. [OOC: Can't you TASTE the sarcasm?]
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Last edited by -; December 6th, 2012 at 06:44 PM.
  #4    
Old December 6th, 2012, 07:30 PM
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If you understand what a passive vvoice is then I can say avoid them to make the sentence have more oomph. (Passive voice is when the verb To Be is used as the primary verb)

Example: (Your first sentence in that quote) Breakfast with mom was great this morning, she made pancakes, eggs, and sausage. Was is a past tense conjugation of the passive voice

Better: I enjoyed a great breakfast with mom that consisted of pancakes, eggs, and sausage. A small rewording gets the message out while avoiding that bland passive voice

Best: I enjoyed a typical parent conversation with my mother over a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, fluffy waffles, and juicy sausage. This sentence is not necessarily the absolute best way to write the sentence though it combines the first two sentences in that quote, gets the message across, avoids the passive voice, and uses adjectives

You do not always have to avoid the passive voice, though complex verbs and adjectives are your friend!

As for the sentences being choppy, it is because they don't relate well with each other.

These sentences come to mind: More obvious questions, yay. After that I helped clean up, seeing as I'd be gone for quite some time. I had cleaned my room, so no longer is it a disaster-piece. She might use it as a guestroom, who knows.

Okay let's break it down! First of all, omit the first sentence, it really disturbs the flow of the story and doesn't do much.
Your second sentence is awkward. Try using: I would be gone for while so I thought it would be a good idea to help clean up. Note this uses the passive voice, though since it is a sentence that doesn't require a lot of sparkle we can allow it. Pretty much never let the first sentence of your story and paragraphs to be passive voice. Finally not that I separated I'd into I would, this is just a personal preference because I don't like slang in my writing.

Sentence three suffers from awkwardness as well, and it is an extension of the second sentence. So let's try combining them shall we?
I would be gone for a while so I thought it would be nice for me to clean the house; although I wouldn't be here mom could still use my room as a guest room.
That is a little better, I changed your room to house as it is implied that if he cleans the house, he also cleans his room (it also makes your character seem nicer).

Obviously my changes are not for your story, but to show you how to improve your sentences.

As for the list, don't just throw nouns at us. Use description! Does not have to be complicated either!
I packed my bags with extra clothes for my adventure, some trail rations for food, and utensils to eat with. Additionally I decided to bring my utility knife and survival kit that contained matches, a compass, a map, and first aid supplies. Please don't use etc. The use of it can be confusing to readers who may not know what exactly is in a survival kit.

Also sarcasm doesn't translate well over thoughts, it is much better to use it in dialogue. Though it is fine if it is not completely random.

Remember you won't need filler if you are detailed enough! Seriously, grab a thesaurus, dictionary, or whatever and look for some stellar verbs and adjectives, those alone can make your stories enticing to readers! Also don't forget exclamation points, they give excitement to your story. Additionally thing in italics can be used to exaggerate a word.
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  #5    
Old December 6th, 2012, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khawill View Post
If you understand what a passive vvoice is then I can say avoid them to make the sentence have more oomph. (Passive voice is when the verb To Be is used as the primary verb)

Example: (Your first sentence in that quote) Breakfast with mom was great this morning, she made pancakes, eggs, and sausage. Was is a past tense conjugation of the passive voice

Better: I enjoyed a great breakfast with mom that consisted of pancakes, eggs, and sausage. A small rewording gets the message out while avoiding that bland passive voice

Best: I enjoyed a typical parent conversation with my mother over a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, fluffy waffles, and juicy sausage. This sentence is not necessarily the absolute best way to write the sentence though it combines the first two sentences in that quote, gets the message across, avoids the passive voice, and uses adjectives

You do not always have to avoid the passive voice, though complex verbs and adjectives are your friend!

As for the sentences being choppy, it is because they don't relate well with each other.

These sentences come to mind: More obvious questions, yay. After that I helped clean up, seeing as I'd be gone for quite some time. I had cleaned my room, so no longer is it a disaster-piece. She might use it as a guestroom, who knows.

Okay let's break it down! First of all, omit the first sentence, it really disturbs the flow of the story and doesn't do much.
Your second sentence is awkward. Try using: I would be gone for while so I thought it would be a good idea to help clean up. Note this uses the passive voice, though since it is a sentence that doesn't require a lot of sparkle we can allow it. Pretty much never let the first sentence of your story and paragraphs to be passive voice. Finally not that I separated I'd into I would, this is just a personal preference because I don't like slang in my writing.

Sentence three suffers from awkwardness as well, and it is an extension of the second sentence. So let's try combining them shall we?
I would be gone for a while so I thought it would be nice for me to clean the house; although I wouldn't be here mom could still use my room as a guest room.
That is a little better, I changed your room to house as it is implied that if he cleans the house, he also cleans his room (it also makes your character seem nicer).

Obviously my changes are not for your story, but to show you how to improve your sentences.

As for the list, don't just throw nouns at us. Use description! Does not have to be complicated either!
I packed my bags with extra clothes for my adventure, some trail rations for food, and utensils to eat with. Additionally I decided to bring my utility knife and survival kit that contained matches, a compass, a map, and first aid supplies. Please don't use etc. The use of it can be confusing to readers who may not know what exactly is in a survival kit.

Also sarcasm doesn't translate well over thoughts, it is much better to use it in dialogue. Though it is fine if it is not completely random.

Remember you won't need filler if you are detailed enough! Seriously, grab a thesaurus, dictionary, or whatever and look for some stellar verbs and adjectives, those alone can make your stories enticing to readers! Also don't forget exclamation points, they give excitement to your story. Additionally thing in italics can be used to exaggerate a word.
Oh wow thank you! I'll definitely go look up using passive voice O:

Alright so I rewrote it a bit, how does this sound?:
Quote:
Before the day really began I enjoyed a meal of scrambled eggs, delicious pancakes and juicy brown sausage. Referring to last night, we re-agreed on some decisions, and then pondered on childhood memories. Running in lush fields, playing with Professor Elm's friendly Pokemon, shopping in Goldenrod's huge store and playing with miniature Pokemon action figures are all memories that I vividly remember. Seeing as I'll be gone for a while, I assumed it would be courteous to help clean up the house. Mother cooked the breakfast, so I did the dishes for her, and so she could possibly use it as a guestroom I cleaned my room up as well. Once I was done with simple house chores I had to finish packing my backpack. I stood there for a second, blankly staring at my backpack contemplating what I should bring with me and what I should leave. In the end I decided to be a bit minimalistic on what I would bring so I could be efficient at travelling and not lug a 40-pound backpack around. Being simplistic and light on what I could take along, I packed extra clothes for the adventure, utensils to eat with, trail rations for food and a basic survival kit containing a compass, matches, a utility knife and a map of the region.
Note: On the survival kit part I didn't include descriptions of the nouns because the sentence was already relatively long. I didn't want it to become too extensive.
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Last edited by -; December 6th, 2012 at 08:02 PM.
  #6    
Old December 6th, 2012, 07:58 PM
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Yeah, the best way to make writing more interesting is to avoid the passive voice. When I'm writing and I reach a sentence that uses the passive voice, I run it through my mind in various ways to see if I can rewrite it without the passive voice. This isn't always possible or necessary.

I found this website where you can learn about passive voice and when to use it.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
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  #7    
Old December 6th, 2012, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by - View Post
Oh wow thank you! I'll definitely go look up using passive voice :O Wew time to rewrite stuff >u<
I'd also read most (if not all) of the literary terms on this site http://www.uncp.edu/home/canada/work...l/glossary.htm
There are a lot to power through but you can skip over ones having to do with poems and ones that you already know. Knowing the terms used to describe literature can help you write it :D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_literary_terms (Simpler list with more words!)

Nice website on Active/Passive voice http://www.towson.edu/ows/activepass.htm
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  #8    
Old December 7th, 2012, 10:29 AM
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Well, Kwahill and Astinus really beat me to it, I probably couldn't have the patience to write out everything Kwahill did, so kudos!

Your new paragraph does seem kind of passive, although personally I don't find complete fault with it if it's used right, which is often difficult and unnecessary. Every writer has their own style though, n'est-ce pas?

One thing I always keep an eye out for when I'm writing is what information is absolutely necessary.

Quote:
Mother cooked the breakfast, so I did the dishes for her, and so she could possibly use it as a guestroom I cleaned my room up as well.
That part I think could be toned down to be more simplistic and to the point. Does the audience really need to know that the protagonist's room will be a guest room? Does that contribute any way to the story? I'm not saying cut out every bit of extra information as some of it sets the scene and helps build the image, but that fragment of information isn't really necessary and distracts the reader from the story at hand. That's something I see really commonly with amateur writing (even I'm at fault sometimes!) so I've tried to really keep an eye out for it.

Otherwise, that's a huge improvement from the original; good job!
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  #9    
Old December 7th, 2012, 12:38 PM
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dudebot says:

While I do agree with Khawill and Astinus for the most part of his post, it's often best to wait until climatic moments to "filler" up your sentences.

To summarize, people aren't going to remember that great breakfast that the trainer had with his/her mom nearly as much as the pokemon (s)he chose. So, it's best to keep those moments to a minimal.

However, for moments where you do want to spruce up a sentence, use mental imagery.

Whereas you normally have to explain things in basic style,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Example 1
I picked up the pokeball containing Charmander.
you instead describe the atmosphere, the moment and the action all at once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Example 2
In the lab of Professor Oak, one red and white ball called to me above the others. It seemed to pull my hand towards it. As I reached, I could feel the warmth of the fiery lizard inside. I knew my choice well. As of today, I made a friend in Charmander.
This way, people don't get lost trying to read every other sentence, but the moments that you make special will be interpreted as such.
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Old January 28th, 2013, 05:09 PM
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Short sentences with sudden, dramatic turning events:
"He thought it was gone. That it would never haunt him again.
Suddenly he heard a noise, deep beneath the metal containers covered in dust and debris blocking the horrendous port into the basement.
It wasn't gone.
It was still there."

Make it as visual as possible.
Be as descriptive as possible.
Make it interesting to yourself most importantly, let your imagination flow and write down your thoughts. It all comes down to your style of writing and mine certainly doesn't suit everyone. With great diligence comes great results, anyone can write
  #11    
Old January 28th, 2013, 09:46 PM
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Unfortunately, threads in the Writer's Lounge subforum fall under the "no posting in threads over a month old" rule, so I'm going to have to close this. Just keep the dates of the last post in mind when reading threads and you want to respond.
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