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  #1    
Old July 31st, 2004, 12:01 PM
oni flygon's Avatar
oni flygon
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note: Though obsolete, I still think that this thread can help authors improve. - Niko

Originially created by Frostweaver

Basic Pokemon Fanfiction Writing FAQ

This is a basic FAQ for all new Pokemon fanfic writers for some guidance on how to write a good Pokemon fanfic. It should cover most of your concerns, along with examples of stories, which you can review (and read for enjoyment) to see these concepts in action. All of the stories can be found either at www.fanfiction.net or within the fanfic forum in PokeCommunity. (The authors of stories used as good examples are also listed)



Q: Where should I begin as a fanfic author?

-Find and sign up to multiple places where you can post your story

-Write some good stories to slowly establish your reputation



Q: What are the common writing styles for Pokemon fanfics?

-There are only 3 narratives that are common, with a few genres. Remember that you can always combine narratives and genres for your story.
Narrative A: pros narrative

The narrator is also a character in the story. This is the only case where the word “I” should be used outside of a dialogue. (Example: Ties of Love and Friendship – Oni Flygon; Price for Freedom – Silver Dragon 2488)



Authors sometimes switch into this narrative when s/he wants to emphasize a character’s dialogue. (Example: Tangled Web – ChicRocketJames; Against the Rules, Against the Odds – Veravine)

Narrative A-2: Pokemon pro narrative

The narrator is also a Pokemon within the story. (Example: Price for Freedom – Silver Dragon 2488)

Narrative B: 2nd point narrative

The narrator unfolds the story as a 3rd person, and is not a character in the story. This is the most common narrative format, often combined with a little pros narrative once in awhile for certain effects. (Example: Pokemon MASTER – Acey; Cavern of a Million Colors – Eeveebeth Fejvu)

Narrative C: Script narrative

This is usually discouraged because stories in script narratives are either absolute trash, or it’s definitely worth reading. There are a few script fanfictions that are quite a read. Fanfictions such as Hoenn Mirror World by Nekomajo Asunya and Pocket Monsters Chronicles by Yamato-san are one of the few excellent fanfictions.

Genre A: Original Trainer fanfics (OTs)

This is the absolute worst genre possible if the author does not add twists into their story… Most OTs are written in the sense of following something similar to the Pokemon Anime, and that’s just terrible… This genre usually needs to blend in with another genre to even stand a chance to get reviews. (Example: The One Drop – Aiya Quackform; Tangled Web – ChicRocketJames)

Genre B: Dark fanfic (darkfic, df)

Started by the legendary darkfic author Acey, darkfic strays away from the G version anime into something suitable for more mature audiences. Usually rated at least PG-13, it satisfies the popular demand of Pokemon being more mature. Dark and twisted ideas are usually involved in this fanfic, along with heavy angst. (Example: Pokemon MASTER – Acey; Codename:ASHURA – Legacy)

Genre C: School fanfics

Characters from the anime are warped into the alternate universe of being at a normal school, instead of venturing off into a Pokemon journey. All school fanfics are based on romance, and never anything else. Regardless of its lack of flexibility, it’s still well loved. (Example: Yoru no Uta – Washuu Puppet)

Genre D: Pokemorph

This genre features humans changing into Pokemon, or vice versa. It used to be as common as OTs, but now it is no longer so common. (Example: Called into Question – ShinobiWolf; A True Role Reversal – Acey, and can only found on his website)

Genre E: Crossovers

Some concept/characters of Pokemon are mixed with some concepts of other games/anime/whatever, and there are just too many of these fanfics that you will come across one eventually. It’s usually either a beautiful classic, or it’s trash. (Example: Card Captor Ashura series – shadow/phantomness)

Genre F: New Game!

This genre floods Fanfiction.net every time a new Pokemon game for the GB/GBA comes out. This genre features characters from the gameboy games, and what happens to them. (Example: Hoenn League: A Brandon and May Adventure – o0o BrEzY o0o)



Q: What should my fanfic’s title be?

-Anything but “untitled” or anything else along that line

-Title should be catchy and reflects something about your fanfic

-Title should not be a cliché phrase

-Try to avoid the use of these words in titles, because these words are overused to the extreme to the point of boring for titles: legend, legendary, adventure, Pokemon, shadow, story, Fanfiction, fanfic, <name of legendary Pokemon>, search, journey, lonely or league



Q: What Pokemon should I add into my story? Also, what are some cool nicknames?

-Anything works for Pokemon really… just keep in mind that not all Pokemon stories need Pokemon in it

-Common and overused Pokemon protagonists are: any legendary Pokemon, Umbreon, Espeon, Jolteon, Eevee, Vulpix, Ninetales, Ponyta, Rapidash, Pikachu, Pichu, Houndoom, Houndour and the 27 starters of the Pokemon gameboy games

-Don’t give clich&#233; nicknames to your Pokemon (like Fury, Blaze, Inferno for a Torchic)

-Don’t give them names of characters from somewhere else unless you are trying to allude to something. A real living example of this ugliness is Yuna the Umbreon.

-Don’t you even try to call your Umbreon Moonlight, Darkness or Shadow, as there’s already 1000 other Umbreons in the world nicknamed Moonlight, Darkness or Shadow.

-You can easily make a nickname by looking up a Japanese word, then add or take a few letters (a great idea used by many respectful authors whenever they ran out of original names)



Q: How long should my fanfic be?

-At least an average of 900 words per one chapter (unless this is a song or a poem)

-Oneshots (stories with just one chapter) should be at least 1400 words long

-There is no requirement for maximum length. The longest Pokemon fanfic so far is Pokemon MASTER by Acey with 200000 words)



Q: Where should I get ideas for my story?

-(From a post by Aiya Quackform) just “freewrite”… write down whatever ideas that come into your mind. After that, reorganize these ideas into a story through constant reviews and edits. Freewriting almost always provide you with original ideas.



Q: What are some general tips for writing?

-Grammar is your best friend. Try to be as grammatically correct as you possibly can.

-Be original! A good plot is one of the most important things you can possibly wish for.

-Always have descriptions! This is not a movie. Your readers rely on your words to “see” what’s happening. The more detailed your story is, the better.

-Don’t use “said” without adverbs. “Said” is the most boring verb in any Fanfiction. Use adverbs to help out, or use alternative words like commented, asked, exclaimed and so on.

-Sudden usage of one short sentence always helps create an impact on whatever’s being mentioned in that one short sentence.

-“A lot of work” doesn’t mean a few hours. It means a few days at least… don’t rush a production. Take all the time you want in the world.

-Ending a chapter with a cliffhanger usually attracts your readers to continue reading.

-Never dedicate an entire paragraph to descriptions… descriptions are important, but do not let the story come to a halt for the sake of descriptions.

-Try to save all authors notes at the end of the story. You can have a little bit at the beginning, and some at the end as well, but never in the middle of a story.

-Writing takes practice and a lot of work. Don’t ever be discouraged if nobody reviews your fanfic. Most authors need to write a few stories before even getting one person (who is not a friend) to review it.

Oni's notes: I'll some of my tutorials at some other time when I finally have some time...
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Last edited by oni flygon; November 6th, 2005 at 09:24 PM.
  #2    
Old August 18th, 2004, 12:24 PM
oni flygon's Avatar
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Here's my contribution. Descriptions. Feel free to correct me on some of this... XD

Okay, welcome to learning how to write fanfictions! Now, its my turn to contribute to help people write decent fanfictions. This lesson is about descriptions. Note that descriptions are the essence of literature. To quote my English teacher, a story without descriptions is like hot dog without mustard or music without melody.

Now, to do descriptions, you must have a visual picture in your mind. Try to describe something that you see in your mind. Here is one example. The best to do when doing descriptions is to list down as many things as possible in your visual picture. Here is a picture for one example. Try to list down as many descriptions in it as possible for the surroundings only and not the people in it.


(Fanart credit to Ogura Hermitage)

So what can you describe? Here are my descriptions:

The beautiful, pink blossoms of the tree fell slowly and gently to the ground while some were blown by the wind. The branches of the tree spread towards the sky while the great, brown tree supported them. The trees roots were softly pressed on the fertile ground where the luscious green grass grew. Petals of the pink blossoms were strewn all over the ground.

The best thing to do in descriptions is to describe the picture in order. I described the picture from top to bottom if youve noticed. Also, try to use as many adjectives in order to make your descriptions a bit more colorful. One thing to do when youre doing descriptions is to use a Thesaurus. If you dont have one at home, you can use Microsoft Words Thesaurus.

To use the thesaurus, just highlight the word and right click it. Then, go down the list to synonyms. It will list a few adjectives that might be able to help. If you dont know how to do it, heres how to do it.


Write your sentence.


Highligh, right click on the highlighted word and pic synonyms.


Choose from a list of sysnonyms.

When you describe a character, try starting from the bottom or up and, depending on what you chose, work your way describing from up to bottom or bottom to up. In that way, the reader wont be confused.

Describe the appearance of some characters that will have major roles in your story or if the characters have a very important purpose in the story.

When you describe characters, try to make the characters do something while you describe them. In that way, you wont make up boring description paragraphs.

When describing the surroundings, try to catch the air or the emotion of the surroundings by adding sound words.

When describing something, dont overuse the word. Try finding synonyms of that word using your thesaurus or Word.

In Pokmon fanfictions, a well-described battle will capture the tension of the reader and will make the battle stand out. Describe the attacks or the appearance of Pokmon. Dont leave behind the trainer and describe their actions, too.

When you describe emotions, try to make them meaningful and never, ever conjure up fake emotions that you made up. The best way to make the emotions evident is through the characters actions. (i.e. smiling, gnashing teeth, clenching fists, etc)

Never overuse said. Use it only once if you have no option. Use other words such as replied, exclaimed, asked, questioned, explained, phrased, called, etc. There are many more than just that.

One thing to help you in your descriptions is the right grammar and spelling. Try using Microsoft Words spell check or if you dont have one, try using your email spell check.

I hope that the tips above have helped you. You can always suggest more by replying to this thread.
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  #3    
Old August 19th, 2004, 02:42 AM
Frostweaver's Avatar
Frostweaver
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Pokemon Battling Scenes


Pokemon battling can be an important scene for your story. It has actions and can be very influential for the characters, such as winning a title. However, there is one thing to avoid when you're describing Pokemon battling- anime battling.

Anime battling- A way a fanfic writer describes a Pokemon battling scene, as if it is a battle from the anime. Anime battling relies heavily on trainer's commands within conversations, and usually lacks description in the Pokemon itself. Anime battling focuses on the trainers giving the commands, rather than seeing the Pokemon in action (as if you're watching the anime and you can see the Pokemon battle, so the writer didn't bother with much work in the Pokemon). The Pokemon trainers say an unnecessary lots, making the battling scene feeling very laggy and boring. Trainers also like to say "anime lines" (corny lines) such as "try to get up," "you earn yourself a good rest" and all other battling boring phrases.


Anime battling will be something like...:

"Go Alakazam!" exclaimed Trainer A as he throw out a red and white sphere. Alakazam came out and eyed his opponents.

"Go Tauros" shouted Trainer B. Her Tauros was let loose from the Pokeball.

"Alakazam, use your psychic attack!" said Trainer A as his Pokemon launched the psychic attack right at Tauros.

"Oh no Tauros hang on! Don't give up!" shouted Trainer B as her Tauros got back on his feet. "Alright now counter it with horn attack!"

"Alakazam use teleport to escape!" said Trainer A. Alakazam dodged out of the horn attack.

"You're doing great Tauros! Keep chasing it down with horn attack!" commanded Trainer B as her Tauros launched multiple horn attacks at the psychic Pokemon.

"No Alakazam we cannot lose this gym battle! Use your disable to stop it!"

<repeat crap like that for 60 more paragraphs>



As you see, the trainer does a lot more than the Pokemon which is terrible. We see them giving commands more than the battling itself. Very ugly... however, there are 2 methods on stopping yourself from anime battling.

a) don't use so much conversation commands

b) add in description (most important)

The above scene can be improved into something like this to escape anime battling...


A gym battle has begun in the city of <blank>, as the challenger Trainer A stepped up to the plate. At his call, a psychic Pokemon appeared on the scene, with its deadly psychic weapons ready to launch its fatal attacks. The gym leader reacted calmly at the intimidating scene, and summoned her raging Tauros out into the battlefield.

"Alakazam, use your psychic attack now!"

The Pokemon obeyed the command as he raised up his hands, and a purple blast of energy was shot forward from its two metal spoons directly at the helpless Tauros in the blink of an eye. The bull Pokemon was forced onto the ground at the sheer power of the attack, and slid across the gym floor as the gym leader gasped at the power of the devastating psychic attack.



It's still a Pokemon battle, and trainers can still give commands. But this way it's a lot more entertaining.

Anime battling is sometimes purposely used for one of the trainer in a Pokemon battle (usually the loser of the battle) to indicate the fact that this trainer is an idiot. It's pretty much the only time when anime battling is allowed: to mock a trainer.

Pokemon battling should pack descriptions regarding the Pokemon. Describe how the attacks look like, and how the Pokemon reacts to various situations. Don't use a heavy amount of text bubbles for trainer commands. You can easily do the same thing through narration as demonstrated in the example. You can also talk about the emotions of the Pokemon, or the status of the Pokemon during the battle (ex: tired, enraged at its opponent, afraid of its opponent, etc).
  #4    
Old August 21st, 2004, 09:42 PM
oni flygon's Avatar
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Fanfiction Reviewing Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rifted
I'm assuming this topic might be closed, but I was looking through many of the fanfics around here and looking at other people's replies to them. I'm not going to mention any specific stories or names, but most are like...

"Wow, nice fic, can't wait for more!"

"Great fic!"

"You're an awesome writer! Can't wait to see what happens next!"

And these types of replies may come after a fic with obvious grammatical errors, story structure, plot holes, and the what-not. >.>;; Yeah, there may be the occasional suggestion, but these so-called "reviews" are about as weak as a Level 1 Magikarp.

Now, I know sugar-coated reviews are nice and yummy, but how do you expect to get better when you don't know what's wrong with your fic? Nobody's perfect, of course. But don't get me wrong, there are a lot of excellent fanfics out there, and it would be hard to place a finger on what's wrong with them. However, some fics are in need of constructive criticism, in order to make them better, as well as their writers.

You're probably telling me, "Geez, don't take it too seriously. They're only Pokemon fanfiction." But if you're taking it seriously enough to post it on a message board, let alone even write it in the first place, then you probably want to receive serious response. Also, if you want to pursue writing as a serious career, you'll want to learn how to get better. It'll also help you in school when you have to write reports and/or stories. :D

However, I've seen concrit gone wrong at times. Some people pick out the most silliest excuses for an error and blow it to enormous proportions. And then there are those who just downright dislike a fic because of their personal preferences. It'll be hard to pick out the good advice from the bad, and if people are sensitive, they just might get their self-esteem hurt by the bad advice. And speaking of sensitive people, some may be hurt by good advice, and may just want to halt their fanfic because of the criticism received. They may not want to work harder on their fic. I've seen it happen.

Basically, I'm trying to vie for more constructive and comprehensive fanfic reviews, that's all. *points at Shadow's fanfic rules sticky* It may be a bit of work, but it'll be good for the community. Not all of it is picking out problems, you can say what you liked about it and some plausible suggestions.

But also, there's another problem. Some fics aren't even getting any notice at all. I know it may be because of personal preference (or sheer laziness to read a long fic , but as a community, we should work together to give advice to each other and improve our works together. And that Level 1 Magikarp I mentioned at the beginning? Yup, it has the capability to evolve into a powerful Gyarados. I hope for the same to happen with our fanfics and reviews. (Heh, I just had to have some sort of symbolism chucked in there.) ^_~
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  #5    
Old September 6th, 2004, 04:21 PM
Frostweaver's Avatar
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Advanced Fanfic Writing Guide

What truly seperates a decent fanfic from a legendary fanfic is not related to plot, characters or settings, and these kind of "basic" elements. Surely they're all important for a fanfic, but a good writer can turn one of the most unoriginal ideas into a good fanfic, because of his or her writing ability.

By enhancing your writing ability, the quality of your fanfic will rise in direct porportion. There are a few other important aspects that are forgotton in the minds of inexperienced writers and readers. This guide will talk a bit on some of these aspects and various writing techniques...

Note: this guide is generally directed towards adventure/angst/romance genres... I'm so sorry that I can't write any fanfic outside of these 3 genres. I tried comedy with Another Way of Battling but eugh that was so difficult...

-Tone
-Setting (advanced)
-Foreshadow
-Mood and Atmosphere

And ultimately, almost everything within these 4 aspects are controlled by -- Diction (Diction: the manner in which an idea is expressed through words) Foreshadow, mood and atmosphere got no tricks to it at all, as they're all determined by diction and careful writing skills and writing setup, which can only be accumulated by writing and reading.


1. Tone

Tone: the general atmosphere of a place or situation and the effect that it has on people

Tone is related to the characters within a story, often in dialogues. But the narrator in a pros narrative will also be affected by tone. Even though you're writing a story and you cannot "hear" the tone of voice, the wordings of a dialogue is also part of the tone.

Tone can be used to show emotions, feelings, and can also function as an indirect part of character description. A good use of tone can also reduce the need to make huge long boring paragraphs dedicated to one character's description. Example...

a) "Why yes father, I have returned back home," said the young girl.

b) "Oh daddy, I'm home~!" exclaimed the little girl.

Both a) and b) means the same thing. But the difference of tone makes a big difference. The dialogue doesn't seem to be saying much, but the hidden factor of tone is saying a lot about the girl, and the family.

In a), looking at the tone, it is very formal. The girl addresses to her parent as "father" and very proper grammar is used in a dialogue. This suggests the possbility that the girl and the father are not very close. The formality also suggests the maturity of the speaker, how she's a mature girl, even possibility a very independent person. "Said" is used on top of the formality, as if the sentence is emotionless. This further backs up the analysis that the girl is really far apart from her father.

In b), the tone tells us that the girl and her father is a lot closer. The tone of voice is very warm, as very informal words are used, and perhaps even slang. "Daddy" compare to "father" not only suggests how the girl loves her parent, but she is either younger than the speaker in a), or she trusts her father a lot, being very dependent on him. She also "exclaimed" the dialogue, which is much more emotional and warmer than "said" which is very boring and emotionless. "Little" instead of "young" also backs up this hypothesis.

As you see, though the meaning is the same, there's quite a bit of difference in terms of the hidden meaning regarding the girl. Manipulation of tone in this manner will save you some length too, so you don't have to use narration to talk about the girl's family relationship and so on.

How to control the tone of a character relies on...
a) diction within the dialogue
b) what's the "action verb" following the dialogue?

a) Play around with the diction within the dialogue. Reword the dialogue yet keep the same meaning, and you'll be creating different tones. Generally, use your experience in the English language (note: this means that if your first language isn't English, you'll be having a lot of trouble with tone generally) and conversation in your daily lives, and apply it to your fanfic. Your brain naturally say things in a certain manner depending on who you're talking to. Pay attention to how people talk to one another, and "feel" what words are generally used in what situation. Practice in writing will also help with this, as eventually tone will come naturally and you'll write in a certain manner because it feels right.

b) the word "said/say' and all of its synonym influence the tone. In the example, "exclaim" had a different effect than "said." Adverbs can also help with this. Here is a very small list (because I'm doing this rather quickly) regarding what verbs will generally create which kind of tone... notice that some verbs do overlab in categories.

Monotone (no emotions)
-said (no adverbs following), stated, told, read, recited, requested (emotionless questioning), indicate

Curiosity/Excitement
-asked, wondered, thought, exclaimed, screamed, shouted

Harshness
-demanded, questioned, pressed, urged, hurried, criticized, refuted, corrected, roared, brayed, shot

Firm/Strong in belief
-stated, exclaimed, replied, said, shouted, roared

Ridiculing someone
-ridculed, snickered, laughed, mocked, grunted

Ease/Joking
-laughed, joked, gagged, giggled, teased, exclaimed

Displeased
-muttered, mumbled, murmured, grumbled, complained, uttered, grunted

Upset
-cried, wept, cooed, whispered, whimpered, wailed

A very short list... there's a lot more words than this. A few important and commonly used tones are missing, and they are innocent, young, old and "evil." But then these ones usually rely on mixing different emotions together and is a lot harder to have defined tones... so I'll leave these tough ones up to you XD;

(More guides later... on the other 4 sections)

Last edited by Frostweaver; October 23rd, 2004 at 03:17 PM.
  #6    
Old September 6th, 2004, 07:57 PM
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Frostweaver
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2. Setting

Setting does more than just giving your readers a sense of reality by telling them where the story is taking place. Setting doesn't necessarily have to be a very "big" place, like a region or planet. Setting can range to include small stuff like "the blue tiles on the floor," the raining weather or anything as long as it's related to where and when the story is taking place.

Setting can contribute to mood, and describes something about an ongoing event as well. A certain kind of setting will generally evoke a certain feeling within us. It's part of our way of thoughts to think that a starlit sky is romantic, or hospitals must be white. Using these stereotyping and common feeling, you can manipulate the setting to help you in narrating the story.

This is why you have to choose the setting carefully at times, and give these "minor details" some major thoughts, as they can help you in explaining the story better, or even act as transition in a story (and it's not bad at it too.)

Once again, small lists regarding some common advanced usage of setting... first of all, the time of the day.

a) Morning
-signifies a new beginning, usually stuck in the beginning of the chapter/story. You'll notice that many Original Trainer fanfic leads off with the morning.
-signifies the end of the night, meaning the end of whatever happened at the night time

b) Dawn
-though it does have the same meaning as morning, dawn pacts a more negative and sad feel to it. It usually describes the end of the night more than anything.

c) Sunset/Evening
-as the sun which is the source of light for the world sets, it also means that the end of the good days is near... Sunset foreshadows an upcoming terrible event at night time
-serves as romance at times as well
-in terms of relationships (friendship or love), some chats between characters usually occur at the evening, and usually it never goes too well, or the conflict will not get resolved...

d) Night/Midnight
-being the opposite of day, night time signifies something bad or mysterious is happening

e) starlit sky
-whatever happens under the starlit sky usually lead to something romantic. Regardless of what happens, positive or negative, events during this time of the day will often result in the couple growing closer together in terms of their relationship

Another commonly "abused" setting is color... color is often used as an adjective, but color always serve more than just some words that fill us in in terms of visuals in our mind. Colors often represent many ideas behind it, especially on an original character's clothing (or an unoriginal character who got new clothes.)

a) white
-obviously, signifies innocense and purity, or even to the point of holiness
-for clothing, it often comes along with other adjectives like "silk"

b) black
-opposite of white, signifying evil and other forms of wrong doing...
-for clothing, it's leather (just look at Matrix! XD)

c) light red
-signifies romance and love, a caring nature
-if lip color is ever mentioned, it's almost always this color, and almost always for females only

d) dark red
-on the other hand, darker shades of red bends to the evil side... most well known is probably the infamous evil red eyes
-if high heels are ever mentioned, it's always either the dark red or black... as if women/crossdressers with high heels are always evil or has unknown intention

e) blue
-mysterious, with unknown intention... though this is changing as blue is starting to lose its meaning, just being spammed everywhere

f) green
-green is a calm color... usually comes together with good judgement.
-at the same time, green also represents envy to some extent

g) purple
-royalty color

h) yellow
-a "wealthy" color as we typically relate gold to yellow
-also the color for intelligence, or so some people say... though I really don't think of this one as true all the time

i) grey
-machinery and automation, usually talking about lifelessness or just lack of anything related to life (such as emotions or feelings)
  #7    
Old September 22nd, 2004, 02:14 AM
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May I please give advice? I hope it helps. I hope I'm not doing the wrong thing by posting here!!!

3. Character Portrayal [I][U]

To write a good story - narrative, etc. not description-type passages -, you need good characters, as the story revolves (or should revolve!!!) around your characters, and thus crumbles from the core if your characters aren't portrayed well.

I have seen so many wonderful stories die hard because their characters, who had so much potential, were portrayed OOC, etc.

To portray your character well, you need to understand your character, and get inside the skin, or shoes, of them/it/he/she, whatever pronoun it is. If you don't know your character, you can't manipulate it to do what you want to do.

I find that if you insist on giving a character a particular emotion, you need to have felt, or had close hand experience with, that emotion. It's hard trying to write about intense jealousy over a guy/gal/attractive-opposite-gender-member-of-your-species if you haven't felt it, or understand it. After all, try and imagine something that can only be really understood by experience; i.e. EMOTION!!!

So don't try and go beyond your limits. Your character has to be someone/something you understand, that you can use. Trying to use Tracey Sketchit, for example, when you don't know much or understand Tracey, is a bad idea, unless you're parodising him, which is a bad idea anyway if you don't understand him. For instance, one OOC story I heard of (Serebii.net, I think) had Tracey and Misty going out. Then Ash went out with Misty, or kissed her, or whatever, so Tracey... BURNED ASH WITH A METAL ROD??? Shame!!! Tracey would never do that! Talk about OOC portrayal!!!


Oh, and yeah, like Oni says, use the Thesaurus. Many times, it has helped me. Green became, for me, which has extended my vocab by miles, verdant, lush, emerald, jade... get the point?
Hope I wasn't doin' the wrong thing, just trying to help, mods!
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  #8    
Old September 22nd, 2004, 04:30 AM
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Does it count as being horrible to other members if you give a really, really mean review?
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  #9    
Old September 22nd, 2004, 10:06 AM
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Well, if you give a really horrible review of things, only point out the bad bits, say nothing and basically flame the fic - then yes.

But if you you point out the bad things, tell them what they could do to improve them, and also praise them on what they've done well, then that's a nicer way to say that your fic needs work, but you have done other things well. It still implies criticism, but at least you can say what they've done right.
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  #10    
Old September 23rd, 2004, 10:12 PM
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Well, if you flame someone, it is being nasty, as it's not constructive critiscm. Here, I shall aid you with some examples.

Something like this is plain old flaming criticism:

"That was stupid, boring, and annoying."

"All your characters were OOC. It was dumb. Shame on you!"

"You idiot, you can't write a story for nuts!"

"Your spelling is so bad it makes me sick."

Now this is CONSTRUCTIVE critiscm:

"OK, I was bored, but I think if you livened up the dialogue, you would grab me in. Great plot!"

"Brock was OOC, but with your talent, you can fix it easily, by slipping in a romantic scene, where he falls in love. However, I think your story is great!"

"I think if you put your manuscript through a spellchecker, and left an extra space between each paragraph, it'd be better. Aside from grammar, I think the way you portrayed Ash Ketchum was terrific!"

"It was pretty good, just a bit more description, OK? Keep the good work up!"

See? Praise, then you can be constructive. Point out the good things, and point out the bad things, but tell the author how they can fix the bad things up! If you don't know how to fix it, stay by your own standards and don't point it out!!!

Also, here is a bit to add on Frostweaver's guide to weather/colour/time, correct me if I'm wrong.

Sunshine
- An easy, mellow mood
- A bright outlook
- Some good news on the way
- Joy, amity, companionship
- Energetic mood

These are some of things we relate to sunshine, as many people are livened by sun and good weather.

Light clouds

- A calm, peaceful day

Just a nice, mellow, sunny day with a speckle of white fluff in the sky. Not much more I can really help you with.

RAIN -

Sunshower

- Generally happy
- Associated with summer (summer rain)
- Light, joyful dancing
- Followed by rainbows

A sunshower is a light, short thing. If the good news came in the sunshine, you could celebrate in a short burst of sunshower dancing!

Dark, grey clouds, no rain

- Thunder, lightning
- A broody, miserable mood
- Good for a mystery or romance like the one in Darkness of my tears (by me. I haven't read many fics, so I can't give many examples)

A dark, grey, and gloomy outlook, ready for a full-on burst of rain. Similar to RAIN.

Light rain/drizzle

- Light/mild sadness


Rain is associated with cold, grey gloom. Can't help much with drizzle. Gentle tears, perhaps.

Heavier rain

- Dark feelings and mood
- Weeping
- Terror, panic (fear of lightning)
- Gloom and depression
- Brooding
- Passion and anger

Ah. My specialty. Heavy rain is, well, see above. A dark, rainy night is a cliched, but nevertheless a useful, setting for a mystery. Also good for running away, or rage (thunder/lightning) and passion. Could be a good time for the villain to scheme or whatever, as dark rain sets a cold, miserable, somewhat darker, and more terrifying, mood.
Hail is not really a specific thing unless you're dead set on a flood, such as in DoMT (yeah yeah roll your eyes, but this is not a plug, it's just a story I know that I can effectively compare with rain as the whole feeling of it is heavy rain)

Well, can't think of any more. Good luck, aspiring authors! OMG, I feel like a moderator, the way I've been talking, *Mock horror* Hahahaha... That's better.
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  #11    
Old September 28th, 2004, 11:42 AM
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MCD's guide to reviewing FanFiction

Well, here it is. The guide!!! But... yeah... anyways: There are 3 main bits to reviewing people should concentrate when giving their final review. And... here they are:

1) Read the story thoroughly

Firstly, read the entire fanfiction from cover to cover. If you decide to review when the fic has about ten or eleven chapters, commenting on the last one won't exactly let the reader know you've read them. They might even be offended that you gave a review based on one chapter. I certainly would be!

Also, this helps you understand some of the techniques the author has used - if they have used any that it - and by doing that, you will be able to comment on how well they've done that certain bit of the fic.

2) Praise

Unfortunately, only frosty has the right to mindlessly flame fics. The rest of us have to say something good in order to keep our reputation points green. Even if the fic is complete and utter trash (of which some are on this forum... no names), at least try to break it gently to them by saying something that is good with the fic. It shall leave the author knowing where he/she is going right, so he/she does not have to concentrate on it when he/she posts his/her next chapter. Praise lets the reader know where he/she is going right basically, and leaves their self-esteem intact.

3) Constructive criticism

Not to be confused with flaming, constructive criticism (CC) is also an essential part to good reviewing. Like the opposite of the above, even of the fic is ny on perfect - no one is perfect. There will be some flaw in the chapter(s), and the author won't know it until someone tells them. CC is the only way for an author to improve. If everyone went around going - this fic is great... I love you... here's 20 reputation points - then we'd get nowhere with writing. CC is the basis of improvement in fanfiction, and writing in general.

The difference between flaming and CC is that with CC, you can help the author to improve. Flaming is just stating out the bad points and leaving it at that. CC allows you to help the author by suggesting ways of improvement and advice.


Well, there you have it... the three essentials to good fanfiction reviews. If frosty or oni would care to add anything to this, then be my guest by all means. The more the merrier!
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Old September 28th, 2004, 02:45 PM
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Merge time!
*hums the merge song even at the depths of his own depression*
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Old September 28th, 2004, 02:48 PM
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Merge? *is confused, hands oni a peach* o.o;

Nice reviewing guide MCD! It feels funny to review a review but...XP Anyway, kudos for the guide. I enjoyed reading it. I would add some, but I really need what the other people add. Plus, I can't even review so meh. x.X

Ty.....:3~
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  #14    
Old September 28th, 2004, 02:55 PM
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I merged the stickied thread that is the "Basic Fanfiction Writing" thingie with MCD's tips. His tips are in his recent posts...so...*trots along*
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Old September 28th, 2004, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Cat Dog
Unfortunately, only frosty has the right to mindlessly flame fics.
What do you mean mindless... I support myself! So let's reword it to "Unfortunately, only frosty has the right to open fire upon his free will at all fanfics." XD

And as for Lily, merging is when 2 threads are merged into one. (lol and Oni went through a technical mistake and messed up with the title during the merge too)




MCD's Guide to Review Fanfics- expansion (by Frosty)

MCD summed it up very nicely, but allow me to expand just what is "read the story throughoutly." This instruction is currently a bit too general, so let's tag on some details about just how to read any story, any fanfic.

This also helps with writing as well, as now you know what the most picky fanfic reviewer is looking for... XD

If you're dedicated to do a good review, always read the chapter/fanfic TWICE. If the story is too long or if you're lacking on time, just re-read the crucial scenes, but re-reading at least one part of a story is a must do. You gain a lot more insight from the 2nd reading in comparison to the first time you read it.

Titles
-Before you start reading, always look at the title, and predict what is the story about reasonably. Keep this prediction in mind as you keep reading. Do the same for the chapter titles, if any. When you finished, see if the prediction you made is somewhere along the line of the actual plot, or if it's related to certain themes within the story/chapter. If the prediction and the actual things are totally different, then the title is obviously insufficient and irrelevant. Inform this to the author right away. Titles "must" be as perfect as you can make it to be, as it's the first thing that your reader reads, and it determines rather the reader is going to stay behind and read your story, of just move on to find another story.

Grammar

-tell the author if there's grammar mistakes. All stories are bound to have some somewhere, so it's alright if they make one or two occassionally. However, if it's to the point that it affects readability, or if the same types of mistakes are often reoccuring, then tell that to the author.

-the usage of punctuations and paragraphing always seem to be the most common of all grammar problems.

Narrative
-always check if the narrative is consistent and is appropriate for the fanfic at hand. For example, if the narrative changed from 3rd person to pros narrative suddenly, then you know that something is wrong.

Repetition
-if you seem to have read something that you've read before already earlier in the story, then immediately stop, and find where did you read that same thing earlier. When repetition occurs, the author is emphasizing something, or is saying something to you in an implicit manner. Stop and use some time to find out what it is, so the stories will be even better and more meaningful. It is only a fair trade if you spend just as much time in reading the fanfic for the writer who used many hours to write the fanfic for your enjoyment.

Tone and Diction
-when you're reading, if the wordings are unusually funny or awkward, then there's something wrong with either tone or diction. It's either done on purpose to once again tell you something in an implicit, indirect manner, or some mistakes are made by the author. Try to find out, and if you can't find anything, ask the author what happened there.

-adjectives often uses colors, and color itself is the easiest thing for readers to find out the author's skills in terms of diction. With the exception of skin and hair color, all usages of colors should be automatically assumed to have implicit meanings attached to it. Find out what they are and see what they're trying to say, especially the eyes, color of flowers, and the sky.

Character Description
-every fanfic should have this! Though depending on the genre, character description can shift on focusing mainly on emotions to mainly on physical appearance, or implicit to explicit, but you know that there must be some form of character description in every fanfic save the mindless, humourous ones that are only meant for a laugh. If you honestly cannot find enough/any at all, inform the author immediately. Look for this especially in anything that resembles adventure, action, and/or emotional fanfics!

OOC
-always check if a character is OOC. If the character changes in behaviour and emotions without any valid reasons, then inform this to the author immediately. It is fine for writers to have a character to change and not tell why, but be sure to drop off hints here and there that "something happened, hence, this happened."

Setting Description
-just like character description, not every fanfic needs this one (some are perfectly fine without any setting description), but always keep an eye out for it. Though some rare fanfics do not need it, a vast majorly will require some setting description. Keep an eye out for it to see if they exist, or if they are appropriate.

-for Pokemon battling, these battling scenes also require description of their own, and Pokemon battling can be very difficult to write at times. Tell them what you think of the battle scenes.

Boring Scenes?
-always be honest about it. If some scenes seem to be slow, uninteresting and boring, tell the author. It is true that perhaps you feel this way because of personal preference, but tell your author anyway. If the author sees that the majority thinks of some certain same scene regarded as boring, then something is wrong... if just one out of a majority thinks that a scene is boring, then the author will know that s/he is to ignore that anyway.

Themes
-at the end, think carefully to see if the author is showing any themes or major ideas within the fanfic. This is certainly not necessarily, and for those that have one (or even few), then you know that those are professional writers Though rarely does a fanfic have themes, always check for it anyway so you know that you aren't missing out on a great fanfic.

Other Literary Devices
-check for the usage of literary devices, ranging from sarcasm and other more obvious devices to the greater ones that are much harder to detect, such as irony. If the author planned his or her fanfic out so carefully that it has many literary devices along with a theme, then you should also use some time to pick them out one by one carefully.

Last edited by Frostweaver; September 28th, 2004 at 04:36 PM.
  #16    
Old September 28th, 2004, 04:33 PM
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I just noticed that...DARN!...
Oh well...I'm too lazy to re-do things. XP
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Old September 28th, 2004, 04:51 PM
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*gasps*

Another review thingy! o_o; Yay. Thanks for typing it out.

I have a question. About the themes, doesn't every fic have to have a major idea?
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Old September 28th, 2004, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyPichu
*gasps*

Another review thingy! o_o; Yay. Thanks for typing it out.

I have a question. About the themes, doesn't every fic have to have a major idea?
No. Theme isn't necessary for fanfics aimed to purely entertain. OTs usually have no theme as well. It's just travel, beat this trainer up, beat this gym up, then beat the E4 up. No themes necessary for adventure fanfics in this manner as well.

Some of the fanfics have themes, but they're so explicit, so shallow that I'm not sure if it even counts... when the theme is so weak and terribly mentioned/supported, I just treat it as if it didn't exist in the first place.
  #19    
Old September 28th, 2004, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frostweaver
What do you mean mindless... I support myself! So let's reword it to "Unfortunately, only frosty has the right to open fire upon his free will at all fanfics." XD
*Whistles to self as frosty comes at him with his pitchfork* XD But... yeah... frosty's just elaborated the actual key elements of the constructive criticism part... Also - shouldn't this be restickied since it is kinda the most improtant thing in the forum... :/
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  #20    
Old September 30th, 2004, 07:42 PM
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I have to find some time to read all of this. This thread is treasure. ;;
  #21    
Old October 1st, 2004, 04:06 PM
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It sure is. This is great for the people who want to try a fanfic as a test.
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  #22    
Old October 4th, 2004, 03:53 PM
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There we go...thread renamed...
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  #23    
Old October 13th, 2004, 04:51 PM
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Prologue Writing


Many fanfic writers are interested in writing something called a "prologue" as an introduction to his or her fanfic, as it's certainly a rather good way to begin for a story... that is, if it's done properly. Lately within PC, there are *many* fanfic writers who just can't wait to write a prologue, and eventually the supposed and expected effect of the prologue backfires. Instead of luring the readers to be sure to read chapter 1 and the rest of your story, the prologue turned the readers away. This is because those prologues have done some of the things that should never appear within a prologue...

A little "hit-list!" of what not to do within a prologue, and what you should be doing in a prologue instead.

1. Don't ever include the word "summary" in a prologue


It is completely tiring to see "This fanfic is about" or "The summary of this fanfic is." That is NOT the point of a prologue. That's called a synopsis (a fancy word for summary.) The purpose of a prologue is to give readers some necessary background knowledge that took place prior to the beginning of the story, and/or to create a glimpse of the story that quickly ends with a cliffhanger effect so your readers will be motivated to read the first chapter.

The "glimpse" of the story is NOT a summary. It is not the description about what to expect, and what will happen in the future. It is a very short scene that is used to "show off" your awesome writing skill, that quickly ends with a cliffhanger or some ways to evoke the curiosity within your readers so that he or she will keep reading. The purpose of this type of prologue is to prevent the ignorant readers from leaving a story just because chapter one looks so long. Another usage is possibly giving the readers prior knowledge about an important event that the story will be building itself on top of.

So, don't ever mention the word "summary" in your prologue, as when you're revealing too much of the plot, why would anyone want to read further? They already know what's going to happen... so why bother reading?

Example: For those of you who remember "Mewtwo Strikes Back" (Pokemon the 1st movie), everything that happened before showing the movie title is the movie's prologue. You're striving for something like that...

2. Don't say "This is a prologue."


Do not insult your reader's intelligence. If they read a prologue, they will know that it is the prologue. Prologue has its own uniqueness that will allow your readers to be able to identify them. Saying "this is a prologue" or anything highly explicit and direct like this will result in annoying your readers to the extreme. It is also unprofessional to say something like this. If you do not believe in this, try saying "This essay will be/is about..." on your next english paper as the first sentence, and the 50% will prove my point.

However, to just title it "The Prologue" is fine, as if how you'll label a chapter "Chapter 1- <chapter title>" in the same way. Just don't ever make a sentence saying "this is the prologue." And a prologue doesn't necessarily need this title as well... Prologues can also be posted together at the same time as the first chapter of a fanfic as well, or even, be incorporated as part of the first chapter...

3. Don't ever include a character list

There is absolutely no reason why you need one. I don't see Matrix leading off with character profiles about who's Neo, who's Trinity, what's the Matrix and so on... the movie will lead the readers into seeing these characters. It makes the character list redoned and completely useless. Also, it is a way of telling your readers this:

"Hey, guess what... I can't write. I have to rely on a crummy character list to introduce my characters, because I can't fit them into my fanfic at all."

4. Do not talk as the author

Author's words are called "author's notes," not the prologue. Get that straight. Don't make the prologue into something as if it is your speech and you are about to read something out to your readers... though this rule is broken sometimes in rare occassions, but author's words should be precise, short and quick. Your reader comes in to read your fanfic, not to hear you talking on and on and on without shutting up... Also, author's notes always go to the very beginning or the very end anyway. Shouldn't be anywhere within the prologue... either before the prologue, or after the end of the chapter/oneshot.

5. 1000 word Prologue!

No... Prologue are meant to be short and quick, nice and easy. Prologue is the reverse of the fanfic chapters. Fanfic chapters got a generally preferred word length minimum, while prologues got a word length maximum. No reason for any prologue to last more than 500 words approximately, and even with that number it feels kinda lengthy already... *Generally* for a prologue that is meant to hook up readers, < 100 words seem the most effective, as you're revealing close to nothing, yet enough for the readers to say "so what's with everything else then? Hmm let's read on..."

Some prologues that are involved with giving prior understanding about certain events can be longer though, without any certain clear cut line for word maximum limit. But remember, a prologue can never be longer than a chapter, so keep that porportion in mind as you write the chapters.

6. "The prologue isn't that good, but I promise you that later chapters will be better."

Absolutely an easy indentication for everyone to see that you are not putting that much effort into a work. If later chapters can be done better, then how come the prologue can't be made just as nice as the later chapters? Makes no sense... Save these kind of talk as reponse to reviews/fan opinions in author's notes. Also, it's much easier to make empty promises than promises that are kept, so really you're better off not saying something like this...

Example of a poor Prologue:


Okay let me layout the main stuff and give you the audience the idea of what im trying to do. This saga was inspired by the soap opera The Bold And The Buetiful (obviously). Ill add on more stuff as i go along and more people are welcome to help me write, just pm me. Okay heres the main stuff:

-Location: Pallet Town
-Present Day 2004
-pokemon replace the humans(so everyone is a pokemon)
-the pokemon will talk in english
-they will have houses just like normal humans would and some pokemon may live together
-there will be no cars and pokemon may not have pets
-theres no such thing as pokeballs or pokemon trainers

this is all i can think of right now as for the sagas reality, ill come up with more stuff as the story unfolds.

Main Characters: Pikachu(of course)(male), Nidorino(male),Butterfree(female),Marill(female),S nubbel(male)
Other Characters: Chansey(female),Pichu(male),Mudkip(female),Raichu( male),Treecko(male),Charmelion(male)
ill have more characters as time goes on.

Okay now its time for the prelude:

In the quit town of Pallet Town, Pikachu is a sports writer for the local news paper and reports on pokemon battles. Marril, his wife, stays at home and takes care of their son Pichu. Nidorino is also a pokemon battle reporter and doesnt take kindly to Pikachus new promotiuon.He was once Pikachus best friend. Butterfree is a next door niehbor of pikachu and marril. Snubbel is a merchant and freid of Nidorino. Chansey is the nurse at the pokemon center. Mudkip and Treecko are freinds with pikachu and marill. Raichu is Pikachus father. Charmelion is the local detective for the pallet town police.

The first episode will be written in probly a day so i can get the story straight.Like i said just pm me to help me write the saga which will probly consist until there is no more to be writen.

(title of the work will remain hidden, because that'll be "flaming PC members" on Frosty's part then)

Example of a good Prologue:

"Cold, so biting cold. As she hugged herself around her slim shoulders,
folds of her ice-blue cloak blew out in front of her by the biting winds
at her back. She stared out at the black tumbling waters of the vast
ocean. From her perch upon a seaside cliff that seemed to be made
entirely of ice, she remained silent and still, even as her high heels
seemed to hold her unnaturally steady upon the sheer slippery surface.

Cold to suit her frozen soul. It was what she was after all. To tell the
truth, she didn't know how she could still be alive with her very heart
unbeating, a block of ice.

Sea-green eyes blinked once. She could sense them coming. She reached
within her cloak to remove her small spectacles and put them on
carefully.

She watched.

And waited." (Pokemon Master, ch.10... not an actual prologue, but definitely qualifies to be one)
  #24    
Old October 13th, 2004, 04:54 PM
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oh..I see what i did worng.
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  #25    
Old October 31st, 2004, 10:46 PM
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Right may I help some more?

Also you might wanna, if it's a really emotional fic that you need to get inside the character, make a prologue first-person, like mine. (Which sucks.)

Anyhow...

Similes and Metaphors

Ah, useful literary tools indeed.

Simile - a form of comparison used to liken something to another, e.g. red as dying sunset (like, as, etc.)

Metaphor - saying something is what it isn't, saying it isn't like something but IS something - a stronger form of simile, e.g. the path was a ribbon of moonlight stretching out to the horizon (it's saying the path is a ribbon of moonlight. was, is, etc.)

Comparison - compares something. (I suck at that bit, I'll fix it later. Sorry.)

All helpful descriptive literary tools used to help the reader paint a picture.

Cliches and poor similies - examples

dark: Dark as night, dark as midnight, etc.
brightness: Bright as the sun, bright as sunshine, bright as a lamp, etc.
black: Black as jet, black as midnight, etc.
white: White as a sheet, white as sugar, white as salt (heard that a few times), white as paper, white as snow, etc. (Been there, done that.)
blue: Blue as the sky, blue as the sea, blue as the lake, etc. (Some seas and lakes are red when the sunrise is above 'em ) (OU.)

There are plenty more.

Try and be original.
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