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Uhm… Hello there? (1 Viewer)

AcademicCockroach

Senior Member
Hello everyone!

I’m going to be completely honest, I know very little about writing communities or writing in general so I have little clue as to what exactly am I supposed to say in this but I’d like to avoid word vomiting my entire life story onto this post so I’ll try to be brief. (spoiler alert: I failed to be brief)

I think the three most important things are: my mother language isn’t english (I learned it during high school), I only write for fun as a private hobby and I’m a maximalist.

So what I wanted to convey with that is that I’m looking for a way to make me cringe a bit less at my own writing, learn new tricks and techniques, get inspired by others, the usual stuff but I only have a vague idea how. (When I say I’m an amateur I mean the ‘how do you use a semicolon’ and ‘what is punctuation’ kind…)

So a bit of backstory for anyone who’s interested (feel free to skip it and go straight to the end where I ask for actual advice):
About a year ago I sat by my computer, my three hour long online class going on and on in the background, weeks old dirty dishes in the sink, my street clothes unused for about 10 days, mood rotten, motivation to do anything (uni related or otherwise) is at it’s absolute lowest. The usual thing that happens when your relatively busy colledge life gets interrupted by a deadly pandemic. I’m sure many of you can relate.
I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve watched all the movies and shows I possibly could, put 400+ hours into Breath of the Wild, finished an amateur animation contest, reread LoTR and Harry Potter TWICE (which officially marked the 10th time I revisited them during my life) and simply, I just had nothing to do than scroll redit all day while pooling in bed.
I’m the kind of person who’s very ‘all or nothing’ and I read a LOT, usually I pick up a 500 page book and devour it during a single night, feeling like death warmed over the next day but fulfilled nonetheless. So when I turly had nothing to immerse myself in (don’t get me wrong, I had books, it’s just nothing ‘seemed appealing’, if you know what I mean) one of my devilishly caring friends proposed that I should read HP fanfiction if I’m so starved for content. So I naturally told them that ‘fanfiction isn’t real writing’ and wallowed in my pretentious ignorance puddle for a few more weeks before caving in, trying it and getting hooked.
So now again, I’m consuming wordcounts in the hundreds during a single night, my eyes feel like they could pop out of my orbits every time I blink to refocus on the blinding white screen of my tablet and there’s nothing to stop my rampage, no price tags, no publishing dates, no sequels in the making, just pages and pages of free content, some of which is I can honestly say is better than a lot of published books I read during my lifespawn.
First it’s only HP, then it’s Voltron (I watched the original as a kid and now the new show got me in my nostalgia bone), then it’s Good Omens and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles (same reason as voltron) and then I inevitably arrive at anime, my one true guilty pleasure.
I’m reading this truly amazing My Hero Academia piece when suddenly it just— ends. Not ‘ends’ ends just simply ceases to continue. No note from the author, no update scedule, no ‘sorry, on a hiatus’ no nothing. This isn’t the first time I came across something like this but this one sits. It keeps me up at night, vexes me, the possibilites play out in my head on the rare train rides I go on, the characters come to life and talk to me, plotpoints, conversations, descriptions float behind my closed eyelids and at this point I’m 100% sure I’m simply going insane. It’s winter exam period, day and night has ceased to have a significance to me, I haven’t seen my friends in person for months, my exams are all online and even though I did study, I do like what I’m studying to be, my fingers always find that Ctrl+F and it’s hard to resist looking up mid exam if my answer is right and erase all the joy from finishing another set of questions.
So I cave. I open a Word document and stare at the intimidating whiteness, the terrifying blank space where I’m supposed to pour all this turmoil onto. The name of my first draft is ‘What am I doing with my life’. Catchy, I know. I have this habit when I’m digitally painting (something that also suffered greatly under my stiffled creativity) that I set the canvas colour to beige or straight up black to erase that gut feeling of ‘once you start, you can’t go back’. You cannot really do that with a Word document, sadly.
Fast forward to today: I have about 400k words written for a fanfiction I didn’t even make but more importantly, about 500k more written for my own passion project, also fanfiction but slowly turning into something more, something separate from the fandom I write it in. But as I said, I’m a maximalist and I aim to give my best in my hobbies as I do in my profession. I wan’t my scenes to pop off the page, my descriptions to create a vivid mental image not just for me but for my readers, my humour to make them release a quick little snort inadvertently and my emotinal scenes to hit them right in the ‘feeler‘ every now and then again.

I have gotten feedback (It you saw the atrocity above and decided ‘screw this’, welcome back) but I just yearn for that professional advice I get in my actual work, that though love that makes my occasional triumph all the more rewarding from people much more experienced in writing than me. From what I understand, I should engage in the community forums, so I’ll probably lurk for a few days until a figure how things work here but for now, I wish to know what forums you suggests for people looking to improve their writing in a grammatical sense, maybe some ‘writers 101’, that sort of stuff. Ill probably head into the Plot and Character development section right after I post this monstrosity since that’s the thing that interests me the most, especially character. I struggle with wordbuilding (hence the safespace of fanfiction) and planning the most since I’m more of a ‘start a scene and see where it takes you’ sort of writer.

Eventually, what I‘d like the most is to post snippets of my rough scenes/short stories, ones I really put my back into and see where I can improve them and also read similar snippets from others if that’s a thing here.

Okay, that’s all, for anyone who read the entire thing: have a wonderful day and treat yourself to something nice, you deserve it.
 

Lawless

Senior Member
You're one hell of a writer already. I don't know why you want to put yourself into the shackles of all that theory, but if it's your true wish then welcome aboard. (Never mind me, though. I tend to argue against most things "what the publishers expect".)

Come to think of it, I can direct you to another writers' forum where they are really dogmatic and narrow-minded. This one here is actually a nice community.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Hello and Welcome to the forum!
I wish to know what forums you suggests for people looking to improve their writing in a grammatical sense, maybe some ‘writers 101’, that sort of stuff.

You'll find lots of discussions on grammar here:
 

AcademicCockroach

Senior Member
You're one hell of a writer already. I don't know why you want to put yourself into the shackles of all that theory, but if it's your true wish then welcome aboard. (Never mind me, though. I tend to argue against most things "what the publishers expect".)

Come to think of it, I can direct you to another writers' forum where they are really dogmatic and narrow-minded. This one here is actually a nice community.
I think I’ll stick with the nice community for now, I did a quick dive into different forums and I already found more inspiration and useful information than I did all sumer
 

AcademicCockroach

Senior Member
Two things struck me in your post, AC:
1. I'd have had no clue that English is a second language
2. You can write, and how! :)

It's a pleasure to have you join the community.
Aw, thank you, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t agonise over what to say and how to say it but I’m glad it went over well (My english is only thanks to being too impatient to wait for books to be translated to my native language so I’d read them as E-books in advance in English)
 

AcademicCockroach

Senior Member
Welcome. I like your own story about turning to writing. By the way, what is your 1st language? I see it as an advantage to have 2 (or more) languages and cultures with their own phrases and concepts to pull from.
Thanks, my first is Hungarian actually. Yeah, I agree and disagree at the same time since it does help to have more phrases and cultures to pull from but English is so very different from Hungarian that sometimes I get stuck when trying to translate a scene/idiom/sentence that would sound so good in Hungarian but it’s just not right in English. It’s better if I think exclusively in English and rarely pull from Hungarian (consciously at least)

Most notably, we make no difference between ‘simple, perfect and continuous’, there’s just , ‘past, present and future’ tense and everything else if a matter of context, adverbs or how you modify the base word (that’s another big difference since English is an ‘isolating’ language and Hungarian is an ‘agglutinating’ one for the most part, but I’m sure most of you are familiar with these grammatical things, probably even more so than me so I won’t bore you with it)

One thing I find really weird in English is how there’s no difference between familiar ‘love’ and romantic ‘love’. I mean we have ‘like’ just like English does but we also have ‘szeretet’ which means non-romantic love and ‘szerelem’ which is strictly romantic. I just struggle because for me, ‘love’ mostly means romantic (because of ‘I love you’ being used in that context much more often) and it just feels weird to use it like in a mother-child context… but that’s just a bit of trivia.
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
Thanks, my first is Hungarian actually. Yeah, I agree and disagree at the same time since it does help to have more phrases and cultures to pull from but English is so very different from Hungarian that sometimes I get stuck when trying to translate a scene/idiom/sentence that would sound so good in Hungarian but it’s just not right in English. It’s better if I think exclusively in English and rarely pull from Hungarian (consciously at least)

Most notably, we make no difference between ‘simple, perfect and continuous’, there’s just , ‘past, present and future’ tense and everything else if a matter of context, adverbs or how you modify the base word (that’s another big difference since English is an ‘isolating’ language and Hungarian is an ‘agglutinating’ one for the most part, but I’m sure most of you are familiar with these grammatical things, probably even more so than me so I won’t bore you with it)

One thing I find really weird in English is how there’s no difference between familiar ‘love’ and romantic ‘love’. I mean we have ‘like’ just like English does but we also have ‘szeretet’ which means non-romantic love and ‘szerelem’ which is strictly romantic. I just struggle because for me, ‘love’ mostly means romantic (because of ‘I love you’ being used in that context much more often) and it just feels weird to use it like in a mother-child context… but that’s just a bit of trivia.
My second language is Danish. It’s not very differwnt from English except for number of vowels. But I think you’re right, it only helps me because It helps me choose less Latin words for my Books set in the Viking age. Of course it helps me with research for that, too.

I would say with some confidence that most English speakers aren’t very aware of how English differs from other languages. I would say this is mostly because other culturew often learn English and not vice versa, so the majority of English speakers might only have a bit of second language exposure.

I like the concepts of how different languages can be. I like hearing about languages. My husband’s second language is Polish, and my dad speaks English, German, Russian, Czech and if he is traveling to a country he will pick up a language for a time, he is very talented at it in my opinion. He was proud to pick up some Hungarian for a bit— not too deeply but he is a great mimic of accents— and Hungarian is so different. I wish I had inherited his ability.

Anyway, your English sounds fantastic and I am very glad you are here!
 
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