Writers on Smogon

EV

Ayo, sis
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

Art by Arhops
Are you a writer?
Let's connect.


We can talk about your current projects, your luck with publishing, your goals, and even your fears. Got writer's block? Maybe someone here has the right advice to get you going. Afraid to share your stuff with others for the first time? This is a safe place where you may ask for criticism and feedback. We won't bite! (Keep in mind that the Smeargle's Studio thread is probably a better place to submit work for critiques, however. This thread is geared more toward general writing topics, but you may still find people willing to review your writing here.)

And the best part is, we can talk about anything*! Short stories, fan fiction, poems, chapters from your book, an article for a website, grocery lists, you name it!
*except grocery lists, sorry. No one needs to know your dirty shopping habits.

Jump into the thread with the template below in the hide tags or just start talking. I'll look for resources and post any that other users bring up. Also, make sure to check out the Writing Room on Showdown to talk in real-time with fellow writers. They also run this website where you can find contests and activities to participate in.


Questions? Comments? Just want to talk? Send me a message! My inbox is always open. (Actually, I need to get that looked at ... moths keep getting in.)


The Smeargle's Studio Writing Thread (the original critique thread)
Writing Excuses (podcast with tips from the best in the biz)
Writing About Dragons (webcast of an online class by author Brandon Sanderson)
This Google Doc is filled with all kinds of advice!
Who vs Whom by The Oatmeal
Scribophile (free critique website)
Critters (free critique website)
Meetup (site I use to organize my critique groups in person)

  • What do you like to write?: Fan-fic? Novels? Short stories? Flash fiction? Non-fiction? Genres?
  • Are you working on a current project?: If so, what? What's your timeline/goal? Do you want to publish it?
  • What got you interested in writing?: A class in school? A friend/family member? I great idea you had to turn into a story?
  • Are you branching out?: Support groups? Clubs? College classes? MFA? Residencies?
  • Do you have a method?: Daily quota? How-to guides on writing? Casual? Professional?
  • Favorites: Genre, series, book, author, quote, character, etc!
  • Misc: Where do you live? Do you have an agent? Have you sold any work? What are you reading right now?


I'll go first.

What do you like to write?: Anything from flash fiction, to shorts, to novel-length work, mostly sci-fi and fantasy.
Are you working on a current project?: A blended fantasy/swashbuckling series of novellas. I've written the first novella and while that flies out into the netherworld of submissions, I'm working on the second. My goal is four in the series.
What got you interested in writing?: I was a perpetual liar as a child! So I was always coming up with stories, plus I have been called creative and weird all my life and I think that definitely helps.
Are you branching out?: I'm in a critique group that meets bi-weekly on Thursdays. I also took classes in college, but it wasn't until a few years after I graduated that I started to really pursue this.
Do you have a method?: I strive for 5 pages (single-spaced) a day, so about 25/week. I have quite a few books on how to write, covering everything from specifically POV to conflict to general fiction writing and more. I try not to focus on them too much right now since I'm more concerned with getting my story down. But it's good to know what works before you jump in and then use them again to polish up your work.
Favorites: I typically write sci-fi and fantasy, but I'll read just about anything. I really like Ursula K. Le Guin and I got to meet her in person at an event in Canon Beach, OR last year. I like the Song of Ice and Fire series by GRRM, though I've only read the first 4 (and I think they're way better than the show.) Over the last year, I particularly liked Swamplandia! by Karen Russell and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
Misc: I live near Seattle and I don't have representation yet, but that's one of the reasons I moved back to the city area. However, I still may end up with an agent in New York (or wherever), but Seattle has a lot more to offer compared to where I moved from. I haven't sold anything yet, but before I shop my YA novel, I want to publish some short stories so agents will have a reason to take me on. And currently I'm reading Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence.
 
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I'm going to branch out from the ASB now.

Hello, I'm Cheese and I'm an alco... Wait a minute...

What do you like to write? I don't typically write fanfiction, I prefer original work because with fanfiction, the characters are pre-made and I personally can't get them right, though I may give it a go every so often. I haven't written much more than 20,000 words for a single story and I'll continue with this further on. Anyway, I like to write a little bit of fantasy, some crime (I studied this genre for a year in high school) and maybe a little sci-fi, I do enjoy crime/fantasy cross-overs.
Are you working on a current project? Yes. Progress has been stop and start since I had the idea (last NaNoWriMo) when I was on holidays without anything to write with and fell behind rapidly. Since then I have had several events in my life (starting tertiary education, moving away from home, losing a family member etc.) that has been puling me away and let's face it, I like to procrastinate.
What got you interested in writing? This is a great question. While I don't know the exact point it started, I can give you a background. When I was a lot younger, I found a short story by my much older sister and it was great! I would read and read everything I could, constantly visiting the library over the beach etc. Then I started to write Star Wars fanfictions (They were sadly lost with the computer). I moved interstate and stopped for a few years until I had to write something for an English assessment and BAM! Writing again.
Are you branching out? Not really. I took a class in my final year of high school which the aim was to compose a short story (which I did three plots for), but otherwise, I don't really do anything that involves writing (I am studying Accounting!)
Do you have a method? Once again, no. Sometimes I won't write for months on end and as soon as I get an idea good enough, or expand on an idea, I'm into it, often writing a thousand words to the hour. I have experimented with chapter breaks and the likes, though I have not quite been able to get the hang of it.
Favourites? Well the first answer talks about my favourite writing, so I'll go into other things. A final note from your narrator, I am haunted by humans. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Read the book, screw the movie!), A Song of Ice and Fire (A Clash of Kings currently), The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks and others I can't think of right now (I wasn't expecting this question)
Misc I currently live in two towns, about 2.5 hours from each other and being an 18 year old, I haven't looked into publishing anything yet, nor have I had a look at writing anything seriously (with a decent length), I'm terrible at editing and I have only just started to get into fanfiction. Most of my writings include a little bit of smut (or maybe a lot) but meh. I haven't sold anything, but I only share my work with those closest to me. I often don't share my ideas with my family at all.

Okay, who's next?
 

EV

Ayo, sis
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
Thanks for adding your own experience! I always like to hear how other writers work.

Regarding your last bit, I used to share a lot with close friends and family, but as I wrote more and more I began to close up because things changed so often and I would rather write than talk about writing. Yet I still get the urge all the time to share ... it's hard not to.

I'll pass some ideas on to my mom so I have one person to count on for feedback, however. Then it's back to work!
 

Codraroll

Cod Mod
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributor
Moderator
Well, I guess you can say I write. That being said, my only ever finished work was an overly long (though decently received) Pokémon fanfic at a relatively obscure forum some time ago. I've been working occasionally on a standalone story for a couple of years, but it'll probably still take a couple of years to finish. I'm a slow writer, and a student too, so wrriting is not my top priority.

Though, I'd love to write more. I've understood by now that my biggest problem is characters, getting them right and letting them develop. Describing that somebody does something is easy enough, but to make that somebody come to life is a wholly different matter. As I write, at least I start to realize what I do wrong, so I guess that counts as an improvement. I hope to take up the abovementioned fanfic again one day, shine it up and post it in a slightly less obscure place. Feedback is great for motivation.
 
This thread is wonderful! I figured all the writers from Smogon post are in The Smeargle's Studio, but I can throw out a small intro here too. I've actually been looking to connect with writers from Smogon and PS because I've been starting up a community archive to host and share all works from people. It's an easy way to share each other's content and give each other feedback too. Here's an FAQ if you're interested. The cloud drive folder can also be found here.

  • What do you like to write?: I like to write poetry the most, but I also get a lot of enjoyment out of trying new things and pushing my own limits. I've enjoyed writing fiction, a large variety of poetry, raps, songs, essays, articles, tutorials, satire, blog posts, and just about anything that utilizes creative or argumentative writing.
  • Are you working on a current project?: Well, the only projects I'm currently working on I'm not allowed to discuss according to the rules. But if things go well I hope you'll be able to see my works in the next issue of The Smog :)
  • What got you interested in writing?: I think it's something I've always liked. I had a knack for spelling and vocabulary as far back as Kindergarten. Writing is such an effective form of communication and a great way for me to pour my emotions out when my mouth misleads me.
  • Are you branching out?: Unfortunately I don't know anyone in real life that enjoys writing. It's kind of weird really, but I suppose when I get back to college that'll change. Currently, the only branching out I've done is here on Smogon. Add me on Skype if you'd like! -> thinkpi314
  • Do you have a method?: Depending on what I'm writing I do have procedures I follow. When I write articles, I read about 2 or 3 different sources before starting my own piece. I also look up any related videos and watch what's necessary. In essence, I like to research my topic before writing on it. When it comes to poetry, I go through a mental rhyme dictionary. I like to settle on a thought or emotion to convey in a couplet, and I come up with an initial first line. If I can't come up with something solid to rhyme it with on my second line I rephrase the first one and retry. I go through this until I'm able to construct something that both flows in structure and conveys the thought I had in mind.
  • Favorites: I This will probably sound terrible but I don't usually read for enjoyment. I don't think it's that I don't like reading but that I'm too lazy. Reading for enjoyment also tends to put me to sleep. And yet I would rather toss and turn in bed for hours then to pick up a book and read it. I think I have major issues, but that's besides the point. Major issues, but that's besides the point reporting for duty
  • Misc: I live in Massachusetts and I currently make a living as a freelance writer. I love learning new words and I have a particular love for the English language. There's something more to it than just the definitions of words but how they're used, the connotative associations that go with them and the wordplay people employ in their works that never cease to entertain me. I love so many different forms of writing and I honestly love writing as a whole. It's a passion of mine that defines me. But I guess it makes more sense to say I love language, otherwise I would be a bookworm, no?
 
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What do you like to write?: Hm…this is a hard one. I have written fanfiction on-shots in the past(all of which are overly dark and result in massive character death), but I have never had any success with a longer fic, because I suck at using other people’s characters in my own work. Now days, I write poetry, short stories, or longer. Gene wise, I tend to write sci-fi and fantasy.

Are you working on a current project?: Well, I am plodding my way through a sci-fi novel, although work has stalled when my laptop screen bit the dust, so I am currently in limbo there(writing on a Kindle Fire doesn't work well, unless it is poems). I am about 70% done with the story, although some major edits are needed before that manuscript is ready for anything. Ideally, I want to get it done and dusted well enough to try and publish sometime in the next two years or so. More on the why’s of that later.
Beyond my novel, which is obviously stalled at the moment, I churn out a couple of poems a week, some of which I post on tumblr, others I archive in my sorry looking notebook. I intend to try and publish some of those somewhere are well, in the next two years or so.

What got you interested in writing?: Hm…I am not really sure. I just sort of started, and rolled with things. My drama director, who was also my composition teacher helped my find my feet, so to speak, and I have just sort been going ever since. I actually got a friend of mine into writing about three years back, so that was cool.

Are you branching out?: Well, I edited and indexed for our high school lit magazine, which is good I guess, but beyond that, right now no. College wise, I intend to take some classes in writing, although exactly how much depends.

Do you have a method?: Not exactly. I tend to talk ideas out before I write them, usually while I shower. I’ll talk through a scene, or series of scenes, kind of get a rough idea how I want things to go, then I sit down and write things out afterwards. Beyond that, I don’t really have a rhyme or reason to how I write, I just let things flow, and don’t force it. I don’t have any guides or such, but if someone has a suggestion of ones that might be helpful, I would appreciate the suggestions. Give me something more worthwhile to spend money on than cheese-its to eat while write.

Favorites: Ho boy…I will read anything, if given the time. I prefer fantasy and sci-fi, although I can read just about anything and enjoy it. Currently, I am working my way through the Game of Thrones books (Clash of Kings at the moment), and waiting for the next Dresden Files book to come out. I’ve read most of the hit young adult book series in the past five years, most of Stephen King’s books, and some others. Actually, I just though this over, and that is a lie. I will read anything that isn't historical fiction. No clue why, but I can't stand it.

Misc: Currently, I live in near Purdue, about ten minutes’ drive to campus. Being 18, I don’t have an agent or anything like that yet, partly because I have only just seriously started to work on writing long fiction, since I generally don’t want to publish my poetry, for various reasons. A large part of it is that poetry is my emotional outlet, so much of that is extremely personal in nature, and being a very private person, I don’t like letting people see that much about me. I do have some poetry published through various contests from a couple years back, and maybe some time I’ll get more published as well, hopefully with a little money behind it. Actually, if I publish any poetry, there will be money involved, since I am going to need money for my future plans. I haven’t let anyone see my novel yet, mostly because parts of it are really choppy, others are really bad, and at least the first quarter has more than a few scenes that are just missing, since I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with them at the time, and I am trying to get all the way done before I go back and edit anything majorly.

Going forwards, I, (this feels really weird, because up until recently, I had no future plans, this literally got figured out over the weekend), intend to go to college, and then either go into editing, of some variety, or some non-journalistic writing field.


Reading right now…um…more fanfiction than is healthy? No, seriously, I burn through a million words of fanction a week if I am not careful, luckily Clash of Kings slows me down a lot.
 
I think this is the first time I've posted in a forum other OMs or CAP in a long while.
  • What do you like to write?: Usually fantasy novellas, although I also write sci-fi and cyberpunk relatively often. I once started on a pokemon fanfic but never finished it. Most often, however, if this counts, I write for Roleplays. The current most active one I'm in is called Erde Story, and I can't give you much of a plot because it's still very young. I can find a couple examples of my work if anyone curious for some reason.
  • Are you working on a current project?: I'm very slowly writing a cyberpunk story that doesn't have a name yet.
  • What got you interested in writing?: I learned to read at a very young age, and it was my favorite pastime before I discovered the wonders of the internet. Reading long novels at ~ten years old had a predictable effect on my interests.
  • Are you branching out?: Not really; I mostly write on my time and don't always post my stories anywhere, mostly because I have a tendency to write the first few chapters, then get interested in something else.
  • Do you have a method?: Outside of writing posts for RPs very often, not really. I just write when I get a good idea, or on the rare occasion I do a request. My forum home has a writing contest (albeit one that progresses very slowly) and that's usually when I write my short stories.
  • Favorites: Fantasy or cyberpunk is my favorite genre; not sure which one. My favorite author is David Eddings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Eddings) and my favorite series is the Malloreon, by him. My favorite character from written fiction is hard, but it's probably Silk/Prince Kheldar from the Belgariad.
  • Misc: Currently I'm re-reading Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, albeit very slowly.
 

EV

Ayo, sis
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
Though, I'd love to write more. I've understood by now that my biggest problem is characters, getting them right and letting them develop.
I love love writing characters. The way it usually goes for me is I have a name and then I write a scene where the character shows up in my story. Bam! All of the sudden they come to life and I see them. Totally surreal. It's probably why I have way too many in my story right now.

I think this is the first time I've posted in a forum other OMs or CAP in a long while.
OMFG ditto me too except maybe ever.

I'm loving everyone's responses so far! I know there are more of us out there... You don't have to fill out the whole Q&A--Cobraroll didn't. Just drop in and say hi and tell us why you write or what you write or just that you write.
 
This is slowly becoming my favorite thread <3

I'll follow all of you, nice to meet other writers from the community :D
 
What do you like to write?:
For me, it's mostly, like, novel length stories. If it wasn't for a few personal issues, I would also have a full on epic universe that I was at one point writing. I also write OC Pokemon fan fics. As for genres, I practically can't write something that doesn't include some level of fantasy, but sci-fi is also a common genre (though I tend to solve interstellar travel problems by means of fantasy elements)

Are you working on a current project?:
I'm working on a few projects at the moment, mostly because I write rather casually. I guess I'll go and describe each one

1.) In the last few days I've been scribbling together a kind of modern fantasy like story featuring essentially my take on the whole magic school/person mentoring someone story. Essentially it's a first person story centering around the mentor character. He chooses this one girl to mentor because she was about to be expelled for nearly killing (by accident) someone that was bullying another girl. He pretty much admired the girl because he saw himself in practically everything he did and wanted her to succeed.

2.) A Pokemon Journey Fic. It's another first person shindig. The guy ends up meeting his old crush on the journey and starts travelling with her and I won't want to spoil it if I ever do finish it and post it somewhere...but the typical journey fic plot is really a backdrop for the big defining drama in the second half. I would love to share more, but I just don't want to spoil the (somewhat predictable) twist

3.) And finally we have another modern fantasy story. Essentially we have a few high schoolers trying to save the world from everything because the current focal point of like everything is in their small town. It's lampshaded to hell and back, but actually part of it has to do with the true big bad trying to have the lead female commit suicide. The lead female has what I joke around as "Batman Syndrome" - she's rich but has dead parents and she fights for what she believes is justice. The lead male is just a typical new guy in a new town (who seemingly brings about his own villain who is seemingly after him). They don't know, but old legendary heroes from the 1200s have also established their places in that small town as well and they're there to guide the new generation and help them out when truely necessary.

What got you interested in writing?:
To be honest, I don't even know. I was always a bit creative and so one day I finally started writing. I remember my very first story was a Pokemon OC fanfic where, of course, I caught all the Pokemon at the time (151 + Ho-oh, Togepi, and Marill). That was when I was 9 years old.

Are you branching out?:
Essentially telling people my stories is about how far I usually branch out. Last year my friend helped me co-create an epic universe to set as the backdrop for this one story I was writing. It was a massively large story featuring pretty much all my friends ever in it. She was the head of the whole nation of people that could transform into dragons. So she REALLY got into helping me with "Tolkiening" (essentially creating a remarkably detailed backstory that will probably never be explored in too much detail)

Do you have a method?:

I am 100% casual. Pretty much my only major stress releases are writing and playing Pokemon. I write and it's just relaxing to make my thoughts on paper. So, I guess I really don't have any method or really any discipline to finishing a story. For instance, the first idea I'm working on now was something I came up with about 2 months ago, wrote about 600 words, tried to come up with a plot, and abandoned it because I just didn't like it. I got a new resurgence after I started actually teaching the girl that inspired this story. I'm kind of reshaping my original idea into something new. This happens too often with me.

Favorites:
I, ironically, haven't had a lot of time to actually read. I read purely for fun only sometimes (I wouldn't count research papers as "reading" for the point of this thread. Most of it is classified under humor though (like the Zombie Survival Guide, a guide to time travel, and the Cracked.com books). I really don't have a favorite author per say, but I did go through a Frank Herbert kick back a few years ago. I do want to say that I find Fantasy to be easier to write than read... I guess my favorite genre is still some degree of Science Fiction.

Misc:
As for me, I've been living in Philadelphia since the day I was born and if the proper contrived circumstances happen after I get my PhD then I may even end up staying here (I'm trying to become a professor somewhere and there are three universities that have my program in the city and if I can get a job there that will be interesting...) Since I'm totally a casual I yet to really have any agent at all. None of my work has ever made an appearence ever, though I guess you might find some of research papers if they get accepted soon... I'm not currently reading anything. The only real free time I feel comfortable devoting to reading I'm currently spending sleeping (on the train. I enjoy complete silence when I read which I can't get home)
 

_Tonks_

Guest
  • What do you like to write?: I've been writing game reviews for quite sometime. First for a really bad Media site which I'm happy no longer is being ran, and now I'm writing them and running the Review section of Showdowns Video game room, which is tight. I also write little short stories when I'm bored. Usually not short, longest I've written was 180 something pages. They're just Stories about Characters I made up in the far future, they each have their own story and they cross paths a lot. I've thought about doing something with them, but probably won't.
  • Are you working on a current project?: I have about 5 Game Reviews planned for the VG room website, which usually take me a bit to work on, since I actually have to play the game, lol. I also have one of my short story thingies I've been working on in the side. It's somewhat of an important Story that ties together two characters, so I have to do it right or it'll be fucking stupid.
  • What got you interested in writing?: I'm in a wheel chair, so unlike most kids I didn't have the ability to go outside and play and run around and stuff, I'd probably hurt myself on those dangerous as fuck playground contraptions. Anyways Most of my time spent growing up was playing video games, reading , and writing. I used to just read nonstop. Comics, Novels, Magazines, Textbooks, anything I could get my hands on really. I was reading at a 10th grade level when I was about 8, lol. I started picking up books at thrift stores and reading those, learning other languages to read some, which sucked hard, but was worth it.
  • Are you branching out?: Not really at all, nope. The only branching I really do is with the VG room review section, other then that I keep my short stories to myself.
  • Do you have a method?: Nope, not really. With my Reviews, I really study the game. How it plays, how it feels, what it covers, it's flaws, it's pros/cons, all that. And then I really focus on what needs to be said about the game, and I say it. With my Short Stories, I really keep the characters true to themselves and the world around them. No Deus Ex Machina shit. Currently Having a character ( the "main" character) go through a situation that's out of his character. I don't like talking about it much, but he pretty much gets paid to kill very important people, and he's been doing it for a very very long time, and he's responsible for a lot of political and social changes in their world. He's essentially going to start specifically working for someone he failed killing, and working with someone who he absolutely hates. So I'm trying to really really focus on how the three characters will feel and act in situations like this. It's Tricky, since all three of them have very conflicting personalities, and basically all want to hurt and eventually kill each other. But what's harder is trying to make it work with the other characters in the world, since the whole plot dosn't revolve around any one character. It goes from points of view to Narrative. Sometimes it'll be a Journal Entry from the "main" Character, Sometimes it'll be a Narrative 3rd person about events and what not, sometimes even tying into The journal logs. I feel like just blabbed on about that.
  • Favorites: I will read ANYTHING but those tasteless sex novels.
  • Misc: Well, I don't have an Agent or anything, since I'm not really trying to get anyways. I'm from Ireland but currently living in the united states. I'm a gurl, and I think birds are assholes.
 

EV

Ayo, sis
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
_Tonks_ brought up her narration, so why not talk about it?

Is there a narrative style you all prefer? What about points of view?

Personally, all my stories that go anywhere are in the third-person set in the past tense. I don't like to jump POVs or tenses and I often don't like stories that do with exception of TSoIaF series and Cloud Atlas (two that popped into my head at the moment.)
 
To me, it depends on the story for my own writing.

Originally when I began writing my (god-awful) first stories, everything was first person. It didn't feel like they really needed first person and I was just limiting myself to the main character's viewpoint. The thought process of the main character never really came up during those stories.

Now, I've kind of learned and use first person more sparingly. I only use first-person now when my character's point of view really will affect how my story plays out and not when I might want to just tell a narrative. The first two of my stories that I mentioned I'm currently writing (the urban fantasy story featuring the main character mentoring that girl and the Pokemon fanfic) are first person. To be honest, they need it.

The first of the two (the guy mentoring the girl story) really is, for the most part, an actiony story where the action is an aside for personal growth of both characters. I chose to write it in terms of the guy because the relationship mirrors my real life and I'm certainly the more mentory figure to my friend. Because the personal growth is the most important part of the story, I really wanted to let the readers really learn the character's thought process.

For the Pokemon fanfic, personal growth isn't quite the central point. Instead we have the main character meeting his crush and with all the drama that follows I wanted the audience to really understand what he's saying and doing. Also, I won't really go into much detail, but there's a good reason I want to have a character who doesn't know the full story behind everything narrating. I get to hide pieces of the fringe plot more reasonably.

I'm using third person for more actiony kind of stories or when I want to convey a series of events rather than a set of emotions or, of course, when I want to actually have multiple plots going on with different groups. The third story I'm writing is like that. Not only does it have a lot of action in it, but it also follows three different groups though it. I still have some thoughts from the characters appear, but for the most part everything that happens is understood by their actions rather than their thoughts. There are too many important characters in the story to really have everyone's thoughts mixed in. It would get confusing way too quickly. Also, some characters work better when you don't know what they're thinking (I have one extremely introverted character who when she cracks a smile it's considered a big deal) since it would just ruin the appeal in my opinion. And, some situations, especially the fight scenes, don't work well when you are following the emotions and feelings of a particular character.

I never really read a story that switched POVs. I don't think I would like it.



There is one problem that I've been having in my own stories: how do you come up with the title? I can never really figure out a good title for my story. I either write something almost obvious (like "The Heroes of Lusiux Valley"), other times it really sounds cheesy and doesn't really work with the story unless I force it in while writing (two examples are "Eternal Unrest" and "Last Stand" neither of which work with the story in question), and a few others that I "like" are mostly based off of inside jokes or something else (a weird story that I was considering reviving had the title "Operation Sunflower"; I'll let you figure out what it means). So, do any of you have problems with titles?
 

EV

Ayo, sis
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
I read somewhere that a good title needs to be indicative of the story while being ironic at the same time. I can't remember where I read that, and I'm sure there was more to it, but it's just one example.

For me, it really depends on the story. I started work on a pulpy novella that's bleak and loud and harrowing all at once. For its working title, I chose "Who Is (insert main character's name)?" Well, open the page and find out!

My main project is that YA fantasy I mentioned in my introduction. It has a working title along the structure of the Harry Potter series, but I won't share it yet. Also, your title will likely change on bigger projects unless you're really lucky. If your agent doesn't want to change it, an editor will, or someone in marketing, etc.

Small stuff like short stories is different of course and a title that conveys the genre or mood with a bit of intrigue always grabs my attention. Sci fi gets mocked for its titles, but honestly when I open a story called Red Planet Blues I have a general idea of what I'm going to get (Sam Spade on Mars obvi.) Fantasy goes something along the lines of The King of Misthaven or whatever. All these lords and kings and wizards get repetitive, so spicing up the title and making it different is good for drawing attention.

As for other genres I haven't really dabbled with them too much. I feel like literary fiction is basically always The Something (The Goldfinch, The Luminaries, The Flamethrowers) or someone's name (David Copperfield, The Great Gatsby, Don Quixote) or something very generic sounding (Pride and Prejudice, Gone Girl, Freedom).

And when all of that fails you, try this link for help!
 

_Tonks_

Guest
_Tonks_ brought up her narration, so why not talk about it?

Is there a narrative style you all prefer? What about points of view?

Personally, all my stories that go anywhere are in the third-person set in the past tense. I don't like to jump POVs or tenses and I often don't like stories that do with exception of TSoIaF series and Cloud Atlas (two that popped into my head at the moment.)
Yeah, it depends completely on what I'm writing. I've written a lot of First person, and a lot of third person, both have amazing benefits, but I couldn't ever stick to one. That's why I'm so happy I'm doing both with this current project, lol.
 
I mostly write in third person because I'm used to it, but I actually prefer first person. I tend to avoid clear good and bad distinctions in the antagonists and the protagonists, and letting me color the narrative with the main character's opinions allows a subtle way for attentive readers to realize everything isn't the way this character sees it. When the protagonist questions the morality of their actions, the audience might too, as I dispel any feelings of "protagonist centered morality." When writing in third person, I find subtlety difficult. Either I lay out everything that's happening, or I leave parts out. Maybe this is just because I'm not as good at third person, but in first person I'm able to carefully control what the audience sees with what the character notices, without actually leaving very much out. Something the narrator glosses over might not seem as important, and its relevance might not be considered at first. I also find fight scenes far more enjoyable in first person. I can really show what's going on in the character's head in first person, coloring the battle with their desperation or overconfidence. When the enemy lands a solid hit, I can write more than "[character] grunted in pain," I can describe the wound and show how it effects their mindset and fighting far more easily. Because first person is no format for Roleplaying with a group of people, however, I use third person more often.

Titles are often one of the last things I come up with. Of my three main projects right now, only one of them has a real title. the others are named things like "worldstory" and "infusionstory" in txt files relating to them. On occasion, I get the idea for a story from the title, such as a writing contest entry a long time ago. I knew I wanted to call my entry Blinding Light, and from that I immediately started with a "light is not good" premise. The world I created for the story actually ended up being related to fire as much as light, but it worked. The whole point of the story was to show the guy that had chosen love songs and pictures of summer sunsets for the prompts that not everyone wanted to write superhappyfuntime stories of true love.
 
[*]What do you like to write?: I love to write my own stuff. It's just more enjoyable that way. I prefer to write fantasy novels because I can use my imagination to the fullest, plus I find the genre more fun to write about.

[*]Are you working on a current project?: I've been writing a fantasy book for a long time and have been trying to finish it for years. However, I get a bad case of writer's block and sometimes I don't come back to writing for several months in order to think up ideas for my story. I don't exactly have a set time for finishing it because it mostly depends on my schedule and if I have the time to write and if I have ideas I want to write down.

[*]What got you interested in writing?: I honestly have no idea where my interest started. I guess it started when I was young. At the time, I was obsessed with dragons and wanted to write a full-blown story about them. Eventually I found an idea that I thought would be amazing and it continued from there.

[*]Are you branching out?Not exactly. I tend to write only when I no longer have a case of writer's block and when I have the time and energy to work on it.

[*]Do you have a method?: I try to be as professional as I can, but I mostly write for the pure fun of it. My grandpa is my biggest supporter and I usually have him critique chapters of my story to see if it needs improvement and grammar fixes.

[*]Favorites: One of my favorite series is called His Dark Materials. It's a trilogy that came out in the early 1990's, but I occasionally read the books every now and again. In fact, the series became part of my inspiration to write a fantasy story of my own! The trilogy's plot is hard to describe without spoiling anything, so I can only say to read it for yourself. It's a great read and I highly recommend them.

I also read The Hunger Games (like pretty much everyone) and I really enjoyed it. I actually read the first book before it took the world by storm and I was happy that it got so popular so quickly. If you haven't read any book in the trilogy, I recommend you do so! Imo, the books are better then the movies, even though the movies are surprisingly good.

[*]Misc: I live in Southern California and am a high school junior. Because I'm still in school, Im a little young to have an agent already. I plan to eventually publish my story (when I get around to finishing it) in the future.
 
  • What do you like to write?: I mostly do fantasy, mystery and horror.
  • Are you working on a current project?: Yes I am, it's a story focusing on my land Honduras' most famous mystery, The White City.
  • What got you interested in writing?: A british friend of mine wrote a saga, and I was so enthralled I had to write.
  • Are you branching out?: Mostly other novice writers.
  • Do you have a method?: Casual
  • Favorites: Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments.
  • Misc: I live in La Ceiba, Honduras.
 
  • What do you like to write?: I mostly write novels and maybe some short stories. My genre of choice is horror. Preferably gory.
  • Are you working on a current project?: I am currently working on a horror story about a supernatural war called Death And Damnation. I'm almost done with it, but i cant see it getting published, as I am only thirteen years of age.(I know, I know)
  • What got you interested in writing?: My fifth grade English teacher, who told me i had a talent for writing.
  • Are you branching out?: Not really.
  • Do you have a method?: I love to write, and I make a point of writing at least 1 page a day, whether its a short story, an addition to Death And Damnation, or just something random doesnt matter.
  • Favorites: Horror(Genre),The Demonata(Series), Lord Loss:The Demonata Book 1(Book), Darren Shan(Author), Mage(Character, I made him up.)
  • Misc: I live in Karachi,Pakistan. I do not have an agent nor have I sold any work. I am currently reading the Zom-B series by Darren Shan.
 

EV

Ayo, sis
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
  • What do you like to write?: I mostly write novels and maybe some short stories. My genre of choice is horror. Preferably gory.
  • Are you working on a current project?: I am currently working on a horror story about a supernatural war called Death And Damnation. I'm almost done with it, but i cant see it getting published, as I am only thirteen years of age.(I know, I know)
  • What got you interested in writing?: My fifth grade English teacher, who told me i had a talent for writing.
  • Are you branching out?: Not really.
  • Do you have a method?: I love to write, and I make a point of writing at least 1 page a day, whether its a short story, an addition to Death And Damnation, or just something random doesnt matter.
  • Favorites: Horror(Genre),The Demonata(Series), Lord Loss:The Demonata Book 1(Book), Darren Shan(Author), Mage(Character, I made him up.)
  • Misc: I live in Karachi,Pakistan. I do not have an agent nor have I sold any work. I am currently reading the Zom-B series by Darren Shan.
Cool! I just switched gears to writing some short stories to take a break from my novel and the shorts tend to end up in the horror genre. I must be going through some phase. Who knows.
 
Bumping this

im a writer....i can come up with good plots but i just get stuck on the writing process...i'm hopeful my fall semester classes in creative writing might help but i still hold the lingering fear that i still won't find a process that works for me...turning to you guys for advice, as i want to begin writing more seriously this summer. does anyone have any tips that they bring to writing a story that theyve fleshed out? do you map out character development and plan everything or do you let what you've written so far dictate where the story goes? there hasnt been much revealed in the "method" responses so i'm looking for a more direct approach to it.
 

xenu

Banned deucer.
Bumping this

im a writer....i can come up with good plots but i just get stuck on the writing process...i'm hopeful my fall semester classes in creative writing might help but i still hold the lingering fear that i still won't find a process that works for me...turning to you guys for advice, as i want to begin writing more seriously this summer. does anyone have any tips that they bring to writing a story that theyve fleshed out? do you map out character development and plan everything or do you let what you've written so far dictate where the story goes? there hasnt been much revealed in the "method" responses so i'm looking for a more direct approach to it.
I tend to make things up as I go along, but if I were working on a big project like a novel I'd probably plan everything out beforehand and put it on paper as a timeline or something. Some big names, particularly Vonnegut, used this method - IIRC for Slaughterhouse 5 he took a big piece of chart paper, drew separate timelines for each character and those that died over the course of the story had their timelines cut off prematurely. One of the biggest challenges in writing, in my experience, is being able to directly transmute abstract concepts and plot points into the right words, so it helps to have a visual intermediary.

EDIT: here are some good writing/story planning resources for anyone who needs them: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B91436tj5T1FcWhwdEhVeWtsak0&usp=sharing
 

EV

Ayo, sis
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
Bumping this

im a writer....i can come up with good plots but i just get stuck on the writing process...i'm hopeful my fall semester classes in creative writing might help but i still hold the lingering fear that i still won't find a process that works for me...turning to you guys for advice, as i want to begin writing more seriously this summer. does anyone have any tips that they bring to writing a story that theyve fleshed out? do you map out character development and plan everything or do you let what you've written so far dictate where the story goes? there hasnt been much revealed in the "method" responses so i'm looking for a more direct approach to it.
You know it really all depends on what I'm writing. When I start a new project, I tent to just jump right into it and write until either I feel like the story has ended or I've run out of ideas. Then I'll go back and create some structure by outlining the plot, organizing my scenes, deepening character development, etc.

To get more specific, when I'm doing novel work, I like to hammer out that first draft so I can get all the important ideas down without self-editing. It's almost like free writing. Once I've met all my main characters, I use a matrix I created to flesh them out. To me, the most important things are their back story/description (where are they from? what do the look like? what are their fears/limitations/etc? This can be very detailed or brief), then you move into motivation (what do they want? how will they get it? what are their values that they put above all else in this world and how can you test that?), and then how they fit into the world (relationships, interactions with other characters, etc.) As I map out my plot I like to write individual scenes on note cards and break them into "proactive" and "reactive." Proactive scenes are working toward a goal and along the way you throw obstacles at your character to prevent them from getting it. Reactive scenes essentially are the breaks between proactive scenes and give your characters a way to literally react to what just happened. "I can't believe I failed" etc. and then they must decide how to proceed, which leads into the next proactive scene.

Short stories are a little different because I tend to gloss over a lot of the development stuff in favor of plot. Once I get better, I'll be able to incorporate a lot of character development into shorter stories, but for now they tend to be plot oriented. I'll typically write a first draft, go back through and edit on the computer. Then write another draft, print it out, edit on paper, and then incorporate the edits on the computer. Sometimes I write a third draft after that. Depends on how it feels.

I guess that's really most of what writing is: feeling. How well the writer writes often relates to how well the writer feels. If my feelings are coming through in the pages of my story, then I'm more likely to think it's "done." If it comes off flat or disjointed, usually that means I haven't put enough of myself into it. Other people might not take such a personal approach to writing, however, but to me that's when you get the "formulaic" stuff that falls back on stereotypes and over-used tropes. But hey, writing is as varied as the one writing it. I think the beauty comes from how we all do it in our own way.
 

Shiv

mostly harmless
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion
You guys should look at Writing Excuses. It's a great podcast with tons of solid tips from some of the best in the business.

For people interested in SciFi/Fantasy, it's a crime not to go through Write About Dragons. I don't know what the class they've organized online is like but you should definitely go through all the videos of Brandon Sanderson teaching. For those who don't know, Sanderson is an amazing author (#1 bestselling a few times over) and is probably my favorite author at the moment. Each year, he takes out the time to teach a writing class at BYU to help the next generation. This website has recordings of the classes available.
 

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