Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Write a hint or trick for writing fiction and have it critiqued here by a member. Good and bad advice is welcome. (2 Viewers)

Status
Not open for further replies.

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
So my research into description, narration, and movement led me to conclude I must use a library. I have not had the opportunity to have a library near me. (it's been many years since I lived near one) So it seems my only solution is to subscribe to one. There is a service called 24 symbols and kindle unlimited. So a book I read advocates looking for facts, experiences, that could help you describe movement. So that is what I intend to do.

Doing Creative Writing by Steve May: explains it's necessary as being a writer means you need to sometimes do research by going to a libarary.


Looking at pictures and videos doesn't do it for me. I think all I need to do is the so-called research to write descriptions that come to life for the reader. Is this the wrong writing advice or the one to take in this case? Take in mind non-fiction includes facts which are crucial for writing a scene's description. I for instance struggle a lot with the basic style of a piece. I think if I research I could improve the presentation of my story's ideas. That is the execution of the story.

True or false and why? (critique this opinion)
 
Last edited:

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
I read another book which motivated me to make this post. Which is poetry is a good way to improve one's style and prose. So I will order 3 books. I think I will sign on to 24 symbols. It works on kindle fire and is cheaper.
 
I'd say both of these tips are good. Not everyone needs to go to a library for research, but I could see how it could be useful. And I 100% agree that writing poetry will improve your prose. It forces you to think about cadence, sound, symbolism, condensing of meaning, etc.
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
I think all I need to do is the so-called research to write descriptions that come to life for the reader
Yes, the library can help if you're writing something you can't experience. The internet can be a good research tool as well. And then there is what is called 'immersion research' which is going and having the experience you plan to write about. Interviewing people who have the experience you want to know about is helpful, too.

Immersion research sounds like a big thing but to some extent you do it all the time. Walk down the gravel drive and you'll understand how the crunch of gravel sounds, you'll know the smells, notice the light at the time of day where you are. If it's thick gravel you'll notice that it's a bit of effort to walk on, if it's thin and scattered with hard dirt underneath then it's uneven, bumpy, dusty.

I worked at a country fair for the last week and while I was there I set myself to noticing things. The ambient noise is made up of announcements on the grounds or grandstand, the sound of engines and/or animals, the music and bells and noises of the midway, singing from the free stage, the constant hum of customer conversations and the sound of their footsteps as they walk by. The tastes/smell of fried food, animals, mud/manure, dust, lemonade, grass, powdered sugar. Lights spinning and wheeling, tall flags waving in the breeze over the carnival midway, girls and guys in their jeans and boots and t-shirts or checked shirts, moms with babies sipping lemonade, the glass blower shaping decorative items, the people lined up laughing in front of the booth across from mine, kids hula-hooping in front of the free stage as another song is sung, the riffle of leaves on the trees overhead.

All the things I've mentioned barely scratch the surface of what it was actually like to be there. I could probably fill up a page of impressions. You can do this with anything you've experienced, too. Maybe write out a page of all the impressions you have of being in a certain place at a certain time. Think of all your senses, what was each one taking in? You'll only use a very small part of that as description in writing stories, maybe only one or two things, but they'll be informed by reality and feel solid.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
Your first sentence / paragraph / chapter is the thesis statement for the entirety of your piece. Everything else is riffing off of that core idea or contention.
I agree, and add that the first stanza sets the story in motion. Before the beginning your characters and the world they live in exists in stasis, the first scenes is about shoving it off balance.
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
My guiding principle is: don't be boring. Delight, tantalise, mystify, bemuse, unsettle, aggravate - anything but tedium.

Of course the rule never says whom one must not bore. Me, I can revel in banging down a twenty page description of a leaf, all in commensurate floral language. So I do ;)

No, I'm kidding. As a side note though, things like confusion and repetition can also lead to boredom.
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
One should write what interests them. That also comes with a caveat. Write what you know is advice one can like or dislike. So supposedly that is how you write subjects for prose that intrigue you. Which can later be turned into poetry. This can start with free verse which is full of feelings. They also includes observations, descriptions, and reactions. Poetry benefits from journaling ( the creative writing kind). For one to master prose reading poetry that interests you is because of subject matter. Poetry stripped down is full of feelings. My source for this advice is Stephen Wade's book on professional writing. I like his journaling system for creative purposes. Make quotes of sections you like of poetry and prose. Use that as inspiration. You can't wait for inspiration.

News : I bought all the books recommended by the poetry mentor. I am just missing the dictionary of poetic terms. I also am now subscribed and now I realize what I missed.
 
Last edited:

Matchu

Senior Member
- don’t buy all of the ‘creative writing’ handbooks. Buy one at the beginning of your ‘writer journey’ when you enrol upon the creative writer course/making the new ‘writer friends’ and to provide yourself an opinion on these writer books & writer courses - do not tell anybody.

Do not boast on writer forums about having read only 3 books ‘ever’ in your life - written by other writers (Seuss etc)- because the stories you truly enjoy reading most of all are all of your own story(ies) scribbles. That is a different hobby.

Do not brag about Lord of the Rings. Your present ‘chippy’ ascendancy is the mere temporary blip. Also your lack of education makes your arguments infantile. You sound, you are like children and if you had actually read 1984 you might realise those ‘plebs’ there-in are in fact you and your ilk (all of your mates) so do not write any stories and embarrass yourself further. Please none of your blue-collar faction so tedious for us mekons. Leave writing to fellows and to our ‘ladies who lunch’ obviously.

okay, my 3 very important literary ‘truths’ - I’ll return tapping wisdoms after my bath + anti-bac. All ‘mobile phone’ writing at the moment because of my job. Ah, point 4. Writing is not your job. Get a job and write about your job. GET A JOB. If you could get a job. I’ll get you a job, PM for job.
 

VRanger

Staff member
Administrator
Discussed ad nauseum in threads from time to time:

Break "writing rules", and do it as often as you want to. HOWEVER, you SHOULD know what the rule is you're breaking, why it applies when it does, and why it works for you to break it when you do.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JBF

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
- don’t buy all of the ‘creative writing’ handbooks. Buy one at the beginning of your ‘writer journey’ when you enrol upon the creative writer course/making the new ‘writer friends’ and to provide yourself an opinion on these writer books & writer courses - do not tell anybody.

Do not boast on writer forums about having read only 3 books ‘ever’ in your life - written by other writers (Seuss etc)- because the stories you truly enjoy reading most of all are all of your own story(ies) scribbles. That is a different hobby.

Do not brag about Lord of the Rings. Your present ‘chippy’ ascendancy is the mere temporary blip. Also your lack of education makes your arguments infantile. You sound, you are like children and if you had actually read 1984 you might realise those ‘plebs’ there-in are in fact you and your ilk (all of your mates) so do not write any stories and embarrass yourself further. Please none of your blue-collar faction so tedious for us mekons. Leave writing to fellows and to our ‘ladies who lunch’ obviously.

okay, my 3 very important literary ‘truths’ - I’ll return tapping wisdoms after my bath + anti-bac. All ‘mobile phone’ writing at the moment because of my job. Ah, point 4. Writing is not your job. Get a job and write about your job. GET A JOB. If you could get a job. I’ll get you a job, PM for job.
I wish I could have believed your advice concerning craft books. But writers learn in the most difficult ways, by experience. There are very few craft books on creative writing and these too didn't work for me. The best advice I got from a craft which lead to be searching the web was that conflict can be interpreted as a moral dilemma.

That and I'd resort to textbooks recommended by members who are mentors.

I could have used that money for just one creative writing class. Preferably a subscription. However, out a few hundred books you'll find one like a diamond in a mine. I like Stephen Wade's book on poetry and prose. I might even invest in a few of his books. ( he only has 3 books and I own one) His book on journaling for creative writing purposes I will try out.

As for the rest of the advice especially regarding a job, I am not sure on how to get one since my emotional illness handicaps me.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
No one is purely good or evil, so give your protagonists vices and your antagonists virtues.
An antagonist is simply a character with conflicting goals to your protagonist - each side of the conflict believe they are doing the right thing.
 
@indianroads I kind of disagree. Some antagonists are like that, but not all. Antagonists that are essentially Satan-figures exist., as well as antagonists that at least have some sense they're in the wrong but have despaired of change. Think of General Tarquin vs Darth Vader vs. Emperor Palpatine. You get the feel that Tarquin really believes in the Empire and upholding it. Darth Vader seems totally inhuman at first, but his position is pretty clear with the line, "It's too late for me, son." And Palpatine is ... basically just the Devil.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
@indianroads I kind of disagree. Some antagonists are like that, but not all. Antagonists that are essentially Satan-figures exist., as well as antagonists that at least have some sense they're in the wrong but have despaired of change. Think of General Tarquin vs Darth Vader vs. Emperor Palpatine. You get the feel that Tarquin really believes in the Empire and upholding it. Darth Vader seems totally inhuman at first, but his position is pretty clear with the line, "It's too late for me, son." And Palpatine is ... basically just the Devil.
IMO you're in danger of creating a batch of two-dimensional characters, as was most of the Star Wars cast.
When I was a kid there was a cartoon called Dudley Do-Right, that was about a syrupy squeaky clean Canadian Mountie, vs Snidely Whiplash - a guy dressed in black with a top hat that had a penchant for tying vacuous women to railway tracks. It was silly and funny for a child, but as an adult it's not something I'm interested in.
Yes, pure evil exists - or at least from my perspective, but someone else might see my bad guys as not so bad or possibly even good... Hitler and Stalin would be a stretch for anyone though... however, even those tyrants believed they were in the right.
So, I ask that you consider looking inside your antagonist's head to see their motives. Why are they doing these harmful things? The exercise might give your character greater depth and make them more interesting.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
I'm not sure if this is the type of thing you are thinking of WRT to a hint or trick, but it is something that works for me.

Make a list of all of the key plot points for your story. Then, think about how you can write each one into dialogue. Imagine who might be believably discussing these issues. Once you have all the points covered, make a list of all these people who you need, and you have your cast of characters.

Maybe that's too obvious to be a hint...lol!
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top