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 A would be hobby writer in need of advice 
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Chibi
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Post A would be hobby writer in need of advice
I've got this over active imagination in need of an outlet. With me going back to school my schedule no longer allows me time for my geekiest of hobbies RPG's. Now I need a new outlet of my creative energies and a way to blow of steam between tests and work.

I've done a bit of writing in the past but allow me a bit of dignity by saying its not fit for publication. I've always wanted to work on my writing skills, to do at length and on command what I?ve done when inspiration struck in the past; write well.

What I need is feed back and advice from people that have done this kind of thing before.

So what do say ye pack of lunatics have I found the testing ground for the atomic weapons of my mind?

Oh wait I?ve changed my mind don't feel like asking anymore, I'm posting when it?s done pretty or not.

Coming Soon

Zombie Apocalypse Comes to Jersey!

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Fri Nov 05, 2004 10:03 pm
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Chibi-Czar
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I'll give you good advice from a guy who knows his shit. The most important ingredient of any story is...

THEME!!!

NOT plot, not inner monologue, not atmosphere, not cheezy soap opera exposition OR dialogue.

THEME!!!

THEME is the foundation for which all of these elements are built upon. If you don't have a theme, your story will...

SUCK ASS!!! JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER WANNA-BE'S ON FICTIONPRESS.COM

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Fri Nov 05, 2004 10:38 pm
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Chibi-Czar
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Meh, I'd say characterization.

Create interesting charcters, place them in interesting situations, and see what happens.

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Fri Nov 05, 2004 10:47 pm
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Chibi
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THEME & characterization > begins taking notes<

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Fri Nov 05, 2004 10:56 pm
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Characterisation BASED ON theme!!! THEME is the most important!!! GET YOURSELF A THEME!!! Your characters have to meet a chriteria!!!


Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:49 pm
Chibi-Czar
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My advice: you are your own worst critic. Write things you enjoy writing. If you have to push yourself to work on something, then you aren't going to do a good job with it.

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Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:50 pm
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Chibi-Czar
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Don't do writing because other people want you to; don't be a ghost writer for a group of people wanting SIs.

My first Gatekeepers story sucked big time, since I made it as an SI to please my firends. It never went online. My second was more Si-ish, and I called it "GK: The Wild Geese" to piss off my SI loving friends. Work on that has stalled for the past 18+ months.

My other 2 Gatekeepers projects... they came up because I had this what if idea....wait, I'm rambling.

Write for yourself, write for your readers, but most importantly, write for yourself. If you don't like what you're doing, you won't want to finish it (as opposed to being just plain lazy, which I am. ^_^)

Oh, and I'd reccommend trying one-shots, before you think of a series.... that way, you won't struggle with feelings of uselessness and disappointment.

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Sun Nov 07, 2004 2:51 am
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Chibi-Czar
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"As goatherd learns his trade by goat,
so writer learns his trade by wrote."

Write what you enjoy writing. This is practice more necessary than anything else.
Read voraciously, and read the highest-quality stuff you can find. Grist for the mill of your grammar and compositional skills and imagination.

When creating a story, it may be theme-driven, character-driven, plot-driven, or even setting-driven. It depends on what you like, what you write most naturally, and what you're best at. I, for instance, build massive worlds and then develop my characters in the course of the story, which I never have finished when I start to write. I know others who create extremely detailed characters and let THEM write their own plot. It all depends on how you write and what you like.

The ebst way to find out is to read widely.

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Sun Nov 07, 2004 4:17 am
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Chibi-Czar
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I'm only so agressive on this 'theme' business because I don't want to see young writers be mislead by crap stories on the internet. As a writer myself, I had to discover on my own what makes a good story; these are what I used as reference points in my experimentation.

Plot: What is the plot? Plot is the arrangement of events. They are what happens in the story to effect the characters. Most young writers, including me (sometimes) immediately start by laying out a progression of events that effect the characters, often leading up to, or surrounding a single event that they want to write illustrate. It becomes very tedious when you are always looking at the finish line and difficult to even begin the story. You'll ask yourself questions like "Where do I start?" The problem in this case is that you started at the end and you have to find your way backwards. It's very complex, and when you have finally decided on a place to begin the story. Plot makes a story more complicated than it should be. A pre-defined plot makes it difficult to allow room for new events in the flow of the progression. Ideas for ways to make it better may mess up the whole thing, so they must be put on the back burner. If you must start with a plot, keep in vague enough so that you can manipulate events with enough ease to save yourself many headaches. However, know one thing before you start; plot' only purpose is to affect the characters; it has little to do with what is really being 'told.'

Characterization: Many people don't realise what roll a character plays in a story. Characters ar 'mediums' for the reader. They exist to help the reader understand the meaning behind certain events. When something happens to a character, how they react is how they relate to the reader.

If plot illustrates 'cause' then characters illustrate 'effect.' But then again, causality is only telling you what happened, it doesn not explain 'why' it happened, or for what purpose it was important enough to write about.

Causality is meant to illustrate an issue that stories are 'really about.' In other words, a theme that every single event and action can be tied to. This is why characters and events must meet a chriteria. When the story is built on a 'theme' that everything relates to, it becomes unified. It's easier to read, understand and enjoy.

However, unity can be boring, so it helps to have more than one theme that struggle for dependance over one another. As long as you are mindful of all of your themes when you write, it doesn't matter if one is currently dominant over the other, your story is well-built. When you ignore theme, the story becomes confusing, like you are lost in the cries of someone wandering in darkness.

So before you begin writing, answer these two questions:

    What do you want to express to your audience?

    What themes relate to that message?


The themes you chose will tie the story together and allow the audience to understand what you are trying to tell them.

Hope that helps.

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Mon Nov 08, 2004 11:24 am
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It does thanks and i'll be posting my notes on the story shortly, then move on to the actual writing it self. I hope to make this a one shot around 6-12 pages depending on how things go while writing.


Wed Nov 10, 2004 9:30 am
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Ooops forgot to log in their.


Wed Nov 10, 2004 9:32 am
Chibi
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Zombie Apocalypse Comes to Jersey!

Notes

I?m sure progress will be slow on this cuz that?s just how I do this in spurts. Finishing this one is important I?m getting tired of false starts on crap like this. The trick is to force those spurts in chapters, and teach myself the basic of story telling in this median along the way.

The two main characters have little in common other then blood relation but will continually stick their necks out for each other some times in the strangest ways, because their family, and that?s important.

Horror, comedy, Action, family, and the timeless wisdom of the zombie movie. This is what this stories about. Think of it as a lesson in horror writing using the Kevin smith mold. The style and story telling are basic no Clock work Orange or 2001 action here. Maybe get a bit into think touching of that kind of symbolism later on but those are other stories for other times. Now we get started on Zombie action, and bad movie references.

Setting

The setting is New Jersey land of gold paved streets, birthplace of Christ, and home of cheap diseased free whores. Or rather normal every day NJ I see every day.

The characters

An unlikely pair of brothers raised in a working a class Irish dysfunctional family. Two young men caught up in the events of a virus born disaster of origins that are really unrelated to the deeper Themes of the story.

Patrick age 24
Younger of the two brothers and the most realistic (as much as this story will get) of the pair. His first though at the start of the story is to find a nice safe hiding place with running water, and enough toilet paper to last until help comes along. Finds it ironic that his older brother would be the one to go ? bat shit insane? instead of him.

Sean age 29
Ex army reservist and zombie move expert that was pushed over the edge by the coming of the undead. Lost in the lore of Hollywood?s great zombie master works only his kid brother?s presence keeps him in touch with reality, were like in his mind there are also zombie?s running lose.


That the basics i've got worked up im my spare time and the rest I hope will follow school work and life promitting.

DD

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Tue Nov 16, 2004 6:34 pm
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Cherub
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Creativity is the first thing you need....so be proud. You've got those intense visual ideas? Those really snappy ideas for a description? Here's my advice on how to get started:

Write them. Screw plots. Screw symbolism. Write some scenes...write whatever the hell comes to mind. The plots and characters will come later...so if you're looking to just improve your writing structure...write scene ideas. Violence rules.

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Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:53 pm
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Chibi-Czar
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And for later drafts, the single best way to create powerful, evocative language:

Use less words, use less words, use less words.

Otherwise you risk vagueness of ideas, and boring the reader.

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Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:15 pm
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Chibi-Czar
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Someone's been reading Strunk and White.

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Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:22 pm
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Chibi-Czar
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Those 50 pages will teach you more about good writing than a dozen years of writing classes ever could.

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Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:11 pm
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Chibi-Czar
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I quote him constantly when I mark frosh papers.

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Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:16 pm
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Chibi-Czar
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Ooh, having to invoke S+W on a regular basis.... I can feel the pain from here...

And it's such a simple little thing.

If it were required reading for everyone over the age of, say, 16, it'd save people on both sides of the paper a whole lotta grief.

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Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:23 pm
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Chibi
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Strunk and White Umm what is this and will i find it usefull?

Work on turning my notes and tandom ideas in chapters beginning tonight expect somthing when I deem it readable to myself before i give it to you people to chew appart its suckyness.

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Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:06 pm
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Chibi-Czar
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It's a book, and FUCKYES. It teaches you how to write. Well, some of it. Most of the rest is reading good books, and writing. Just writing stuff.

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Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:11 pm
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Chibi-Czar
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DatDude wrote:
Strunk and White Umm what is this and will i find it usefull?


Put it this way. You can take a 4 years of very expensive "writing classes," spend hours on fruitless exercises and assignments and come out with jack shit, costing yourself multiple tens of thousands of dollars in the process...

Or you can read these 50 pages. And learn more, better, quicker. And better.

Read it once a week or month or so - your writing will gleam.

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Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:30 pm
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Chibi
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I did a check on amazon and came up with " The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition " and " On Writing Well, 25th Anniversary ".

Are ither of these the book you mentioned ? If not what is its title i've got to hit the book store in the next day or so for x-mas shopping, i might grab myself a gift.

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Sat Dec 04, 2004 4:42 pm
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"Elements of Style" is Strunk and White. Most people refer to it by either the title or by the authors.

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Sat Dec 04, 2004 5:36 pm
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Chibi-Czar
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Yeah, Elements of Style is the title. Us folks who read it just feel so close to old Strunk and White that we refer to them by name. ^_^

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Sat Dec 04, 2004 6:37 pm
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