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#21 Ash

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 03:36 PM

To add to that, don't say something 'is' something else, try and show the comparison instead...

To clarify:

Don't say 'Angie was afraid'. Instead try and show that she is by her actions, her manner, her body language.

This is a simple example of 'show, don't tell' but still.

#22 Jeeves

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 12:51 PM

This is a great thread, though I think after the grammer lesson semi-colons are still scary. I overuse them, and my trick to knowing when is this: A semi-colon is a fullstop and a comma, so use one if either would make sense.
& my tip... Uh., I'll just point out that I find atmosphere the most vital thing in a story. Get the atmosphere right & you can write without names and without dialogue. Not that these aren't themselves vital, names can be especially important for minor roles where theres little to establish the character with. Also with characters, I always make sure they all have a virtue, flaw and a habit; I think its the easiest way to make characters realistic. I'm sure you know all this anyhow, but it worth pointing out for that reason alone

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#23 Joszef

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 02:54 PM

thanks alot guys this would help me greatly! :xcahik_:

Edited by Joszef, 18 June 2007 - 02:56 PM.

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#24 JEV3

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 06:33 PM

Hmm... after skimming through some stuff I'd like to include my own two cents.

Flow: This is important, give no more detail than is necessary. The reader may be interested in someone going in the jungle, but once you build up to it, it kills the flow to go through a boring scene at the airport. If the airport however serves only to help build it up, it must be executed in such a way that it does not hurt the flow.

Eg. In my story, I had to remove Dr. Robotnik's break-out from jail because the prologue had already reached its climax. A smart reader probably can tell that he will use his robots to break out, however, if I were to spell it out for the reader, it would have ruined the rapidly moving flow for the prologue.

Another example of how flow is important is it doesn't always need to build up. I decide the speed for the flow depending on the characters and events. For the confrontation between Robotnik and Sonic, I kept things moving fast, but slowed down a bit for the flashbacks. After resolving both minor conflicts temporarily, I slowed things down so Tails could tell his backstory which flowed smoothly and steadily.

Ambiguity: I consider this a very powerful literary device, but also a very dangerous one. You can tell a chapter in a story leaving enough out so that the reader may have a hint of whats going on, but is usually left with no clue. It is handy for foreshadowing, a common technique where future events are hinted at without all but the most shrewd reader noticing. If you do not describe a character much, his appearance and such are left to the reader. This is good if you don't want the reader to know the character very well and can easily make way for the coveted good plot twist.

As you can see in the excerpt I showed in me Sonic topic, I wanted to use ambiguity quite a bit when Robotnik witnessed the destruction of the echidna race. Firstly you don't know they are echidnas, from Robotnik's point of view they are just warrior beasts that any human race represent in stories. Secondly, you don't know anything about the chieftain or why he's attacking it in the first place. Lastly, Tikal and the chao are set up for later flashbacks and story development, but it is made clear that their assumed death are the reason why the monster unleashes his anger.

Flow and ambiguity are very difficult to handle, and I'll probably have to revise my story a dozen times more just to get the flow in the first few chapters right. However I think that they help a story splendidly. Also, using flow and ambiguity should not prevent you from using vivid descriptions. If the flow permits, take a step back to describe that landscape without any action. (I described the metal 'wasteland' in this way) However if your flow is too fast, the landscape can be learned on the run. (I described the Marble ruins in this way)

I hope this helps. :p

(yeah I know this an old topic, but pinned topics never die, they just become dormant... :p )
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#25 Mathijs

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 02:40 AM

My advice is to write along and make sure you measure up to your favourite authors in skill and (individual) style. Just reread whatever you wrote and see if you actually liked it. More often then not I've written down several pages, but after reading a terrific book and rereading my own work, I'm very motivated to redo it all so it can stand up to the quality of the book I just read.

Edited by Matias, 09 June 2008 - 02:41 AM.

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#26 Folca the Hunter

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 12:46 AM

I don't think this has been posted yet, but one of the most important things to know as a writer...YOU MUST LIKE TO WRITE!!!

In addition, you must not be afraid to spend three times as much time editing, re-editing, and re-re-editing that you did writing the story itself. That is where 80% of authors fail. They reach the editing, start it, impatience sets in, and they get irritated at how long it's taking, and then quit.

I've been working on a book for a few years now. I personally don't care if I publish it or not, but the stories and histories of the world I have created are all too expansive to not put to paper.

About Matias's comment, It is alright to idolize and emulate a certain author, but make your piece unique by creating your own style. I started my book with a similar structure to C.S. Lewis, but now it's a bit of a blend between Paolini, Lewis, and Tolkien, as well as some of my own devices.

Keep writing, fellow writers.

Edited by Folca the Hunter, 06 September 2008 - 12:49 AM.

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#27 Mathijs

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 01:13 PM

I wasn't talking about emulating authors, I was talking about trying to reach their quality level.

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#28 Vortigern

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 12:01 AM

It's impossible not to emulate your favourite authors, I find. Whatever you've been reading at the time just creeps into your work in some way. For example, I read 'A Spot of Bother', by Mark Haddon (a hilarious, if slightly disturbing book), and then found that the next thing I wrote (admittedly only a few hours later) was extremely similar to his style. I only realised this after reading the first few pages back through.

But yes, I agree, it's important to enjoy your own work. As the writer, you know what the style you're trying to replicate requires, and if you haven't achieved that, it is unlikely that others will enjoy your work either.
I hope I am a good enough writer that some day dwarves kill me and drink my blood for wisdom.

#29 Folca the Hunter

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 03:33 AM

I wasn't talking about emulating authors, I was talking about trying to reach their quality level.


I misunderstood you the first time. I am sorry if I offended you.
There is much I choose to conceal from the world. I live among people, though they hold little interest for me in times of normality. My life has been quiet, and confined to what little I can glimpse from the fractures of my high life. I am a king. My realm is not of this world, but how can one rule what exists not in reality? I am a writer. I am a king. I am...alone.

The greatest of wealth can come from the smallest of men. From the smallest of wealth can come the greatest of men.

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#30 dooman

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 05:06 AM

do it TWO times ;)

#31 Jack Frost

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 01:23 PM

I work as freelance writer and try constantly to improve my writing skills.

As I wrote a lot for writing service https://edubirdie.co...ion-style-guide I want to share with you some tips that help me to write an essay, when I have no idea from what to start.

1. Understand your goals (the main aim / idea)
2. Choose a topic (what to speak about)
3. Set deadlines (give yourself a time)
4. Arrange for reviewers in advance (ask someone whom you trust to read your work)
5. Outline your essay (remember about editing as well)
6. Stay organized

Remember that “perfect is the enemy of good.”






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