1. _AB
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    _AB Member

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    Advice for a beginner

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by _AB, Sep 29, 2015.

    Evening, Good People...

    My profession and passion is software engineering. I used to write on my journal all the time, and I always imagine stories and scenarios and try to work out the intricate details of characters, but I've never really took a stab at actually sitting down and writing something other than my thoughts.

    For the past week, I started writing a horror story that was building up in my head for a very long time. The experience is truly exhilarating. I'm not really doing it for profit or publication, but simply for the joy of telling a good story. I really enjoy asking myself: "What would this character do in this situation??" or "What is that character thinking of right now ??".

    My point is that, I've always read books and watched movies and played games as a consumer, but never as a creator for those mediums. I am interested in continuing my story and hopefully publishing parts of it in this fine forum for peer reviews (after my 2 week probation). My question is: after you've understood my situation, do you have any starting pointers for a rookie ?? Do you think that its a bit too early for writing my own work, and I should do some writing exercises, ghost-writing, or freelance work before ?? Are there any books that you would recommend for a beginner ??

    Thank you for reading
    AB
     
  2. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    It's never too early to write your own work. You want to write? Go nuts. :cheerleader:

    There are no prerequisites for creativity. This isn't medical school. :bigwink: Just pour out whatever's in that head of yours -- via outline, a draft, a bullet list, however you want to do it -- the important thing is that you write.

    Since you're not aiming to be published (yet?) I wouldn't worry about trying to be so formal or follow anyone's guidelines. Write what makes you happy, and remember why you're doing it: for the love of storytelling.

    I'm not saying don't seek out tools or tips on how to write better, I'm just saying there are no rules. :bigwink:

    ....Except grammatical rules. Follow them, please. :wtf:
     
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  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I recommend you get a slew of how to write books from your local library and peruse them, finding the ones that make sense to you.

    For whatever reason, there is no one book that works for everyone. Some of us rave about this book, others rave about that book. For example the Orson Scott Card books are raved about. But for me, I thought they were just telling me common sense things that I didn't need to read about to figure out.

    I really got a lot out of Lisa Cron's Wired for Story. And I used a lot of the advice from Spunk and Bite by Arthur Plotnik. I also look a lot of techniques up rather than looking for entire books. Sometimes I find great stuff online. Other times I'll get a reference book like, The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression. There are several other books in that series.
     
  4. _AB
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    _AB Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I'll stick around this forum for a while. I think I can learn a thing or two.
     
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  5. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    A lot of people will tell you to drop "the ego". Ego is good. Ego drives. But drop any hint of egocentrism you have inside. Write so other people see the picture you are seeing.
     
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  6. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    Gun to my head, what's the "best" piece of advice I've ever received about writing and storytelling?

    Show, don't tell.

    You want your reader to believe something? You gotta prove it. Give them solid evidence of why your character is such a badass, don't just say "This guy's such a badass." A scary event happened? "This shit was so scary, man." Frighten your reader.

    This one little reminder transcends all other aspects of storytelling. No emotion in the writer, no emotion in the reader.

    Make it real. :bigwink:
     
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  7. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Careful though. Sometimes the room smells like sulphur, other times a sharp smell pierces your nostrils.
     
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  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Continue reading the kind of fiction you want to write, but read analytically. How does this author build tension? How does that one reveal character? To what effect are chapter breaks used? And, most importantly, what makes this such a great story? Don't be afraid to go back and read more than once.

    Good luck.
     
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  9. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    Then there is this:
    http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/lee-child-debunks-the-biggest-writing-myths

    I tell everything on my first draft then go back through on my edit and decide what and how much I want to show.
    Telling also serves as a good place holder until you can figure the details and lets you keep moving.
     
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  10. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Critique.

    On top of your two weeks probation, you've also got to critique two works on this forum before you're entitled to post.

    That's not just to make you help others, it's also the best practice you'll have at improving your own writing.

    You won't like everything that's been posted here. Guaranteed. But work out why you don't like it. Is it horrendous SPAG issues? Is it plot-holes the size of a nebula? Is it the way that he tells you how the characters feel, without really showing you? And then incorporate everything that you've learned into your own work.
     
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