1. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    Few things

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by wolfi, Jul 5, 2011.

    1st off i know its "best" to start off with a action that keeps them reading but form what i can come up with they all are chicle and while yes a skilled writer could make them more then that I do not call my self a skilled writer (nor do any of you i am sure)
    So is it really "best" to if your a beginner when what ever you put will be chicle? would it be better to start at a more boring but more original part?
    (while nothing is orignal of couse it would be less cliche)

    And i know someone is going to post a "skilled writer can make chicle's good, I am not said writer therefore i can not and saying it dose no good

    Could i become one? yes sure years form now not here in this time so i need advice for now

    2nd There seems to be a certin "rule" of starting with action then bulid up to the middle where things get worse then have the cilmex while true this works i find it greatly a bad idea as any other "rules" like that are looked down on them so why have that one?

    3rd i head pepole say good writer but how dose one become good? sure one can write but writing is not necseay skill, its luck that your book gets to the right pepole who like said wriitng, after all even if you write "beutifuly" some will call it brabgae is it really a skill? as picking certin words dose not gantie someone will like it in fact the opsite, with a few exceptions the more big words the worse it is
    so less is more and yet writers seem to have to know more words very confsuing
    but in the instreast of im thinking to hard what makes a good writer?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you are serious about writing, you must start with spelling, punctuatrion, and grammar. It may sound harsh, but until you do, you will NOT be taken seriously.

    There is little point in delving into the more esoteric aspects of writing until you do.

    Again, this is not meant to be cruel. I mean it only as a necessary reality check.

    By the way - you might give some thought to thread titles that are a little more specific, so readers have some idea of the topic before they read it (or pass it over).
     
  3. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    Oh trust me, I work on it night and day, I know it looks like I am not but if you compare this to my first post you will be surpized at how much better it is not to add the fact I had jumped leaps and bounds form where I started even then, I know all to well my writting sucks but compared to when I started I am thosund times better, besides the only way to get better is to write, write, write.
    It's not cruel at all, what was cruel was my school and what they did to me, It's hard work fixing a mess a school kept up for 8+ years and pepole say its hardar for a older mind to learn a langue and I belive it
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm puzzled as to how you can say that all action is cliched, with the added implication that narrative without action is somehow more original. "Action" doesn't mean a gun battle or an atomic bomb, it just means an event that has some conflict and emotion. There are infinite possibilities. To produce a quick dozen examples:

    1) A small child drops her ice cream cone.
    2) An adult living with his mother comes home, and mother emerges from the kitchen berating him for going out without permission.
    3) A guy on a blind date rudely criticizes the dish he's just been served, expecting to impress his date.
    4) Two drivers vie for the same parking space, and the loser angrily insults the winner.
    5) A woman discovers that her husband has used her expensive sewing scissors to cut cardboard, thus ruining them.
    6) A woman tells her husband, "I straightened your desk for you."
    7) A man tells his wife, "Very nice, dear, but why don't you wear something a little more sophisticated?"
    8) A dinner patron says, "At the prices that we're paying, I'm sure you can waive the corkage fee."
    9) A woman gets into her car, the one that she loaned to a friend yesterday, to find sticky soda stains on the carpet.
    10) A girlfriend finds that her boyfriend hasn't put a new toilet paper roll on the spindle.
    11) A woman gives her tomboy daughter a new Hair Styling Barbie (Now in Pink!) for her birthday.
    12) A restaurant manager tells the chef that from now on he'll be using Standard grade chuck for the "kobe" beef tartare.

    All of these are action, by my definition. All have the potential to be character-revealing, to produce conflict, and to draw the reader in.

    Now, yes, many of these are essentially the same thing, when they're stripped to the core. For example, 2, 5, and 6, and arguably 8, 9, and 12, and maybe even 11, are about boundary violations (to use psychology-speak). And there are probably other patterns. But that gets into the "there are only seven plots" realm. There may only be seven plots, or X possible types of conflict, but there are infinite variations in terms of the detailing of those plots or conflicts.

    Editing to add: "Knowing more words" isn't a vital part of being a good writer. It helps, but it's not, IMO, something that you should pursue on its own. To be a good writer, you should read and you should write, and those activities should naturally produce a more flexible and varied vocabulary.

    I would say that in general, skill is a minimum prerequisite for success as a writer. Yes, some lousy writers get published. I'm two chapters into a simply dreadful book, and I can't begin to imagine how it got published. However, the fact that the scope and depth of "simply dreadful" in that book is unusual - that I've rarely seen a published book that was so very bad - is actually reassuring. It makes me realize that, yes, most books really do achieve a fairly decent level of quality.

    Now, on the other hand, many very good writers never get published--just as many very good musicians, and artists, and actors, never make a living at their chosen pursuit. That's unfortunate, but it doesn't change the fact that your odds of being published are a great deal higher if you're a good writer.

    I'm not altogether clear about the cause of the spelling and word choice errors in your post--when I translate to the correct words and correct spelling, you seem to be putting together coherent sentences and paragraphs, with a modest level of errors. So I'm assuming that there's an issue with written language and largely ignoring that issue. Though I find myself wondering if perhaps you'd do better writing by speaking into a recorder and then transcribing, or having someone transcribe, what you've spoken? An inability to spell or make the correct choice between similarly spelled words would be a very large handicap for a writer, but it seems to me that it wouldn't have to make it impossible to author stories.
     
  5. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    *Cough*

    Cogito's right, though. Know how to use your chosen language, and then write. It's that simple. Don't think about what other people think until you've actually written it.
     
  6. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    With all of the grammatical comments above: I have to say I disagree on that matter, up until the point where the draft is sent to either an editor or a publisher. If you KNOW what you're trying to say, then you should be able to at least get the general idea across. However: That's only step 1. After you get it down on paper, you need to be able to read it fluently, because if the writer can't understand what he/she's written, then he/she can't expect the editor, publisher, or the reader to as well (The one exception that proves the rule being someone like Dr. Seuss).
     
  7. another wasted day
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    another wasted day Member

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    I would like to say good and successful writing is in the execution, but with authors out there like Stephanie Mayer, Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult etc. making millions for poorly written but easily readable work, I think the public would rather have an interesting, easily-digestible story, over one that would have to make them stop and think.
     
  8. LaGs
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    LaGs Banned

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    The original poster strikes me as a TROLL.
     
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  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've read one Jodi Picoult and none of the other two, and I'd say that Jodi Picoult's writing is pretty simple, perhaps simplistic, but I wouldn't say "poorly written". I don't have the book any more to check it, but are you talking about actual fundamental writing errors, or just simple-without-also-being-elegant writing?

    ChickenFreak
     
  10. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    The way I see it is to make #1 any good you would need to be able to make that action ... defreint could I? I don't think so or at least no ideas have come yet and I've been tyring
    Also a lot of those are not what i consider as action maybe I've misunderstood or we just don't count the same thing as action.
    I don't see how almost any of these would grab the readers attrition but that may just because I'm not quite the writer you are

    Well as i said I don't think many of those are intros as none of them just by they hold my instead except maybe two or three, could (entyer writer here) do it? probely but as I said I could not I mean its not that I'm not creative but thats a whole nother level of creative to turn a ice cream in to a action pack adventure that keeps the readers wanting more

    I said it before and I'll say it again I read a lot, I read at a collage level in 5th grade maybe even lower so reading is not a problem for me
    I dont see it proudcing though
    Some pepole you list as bad others would say are good

    Now, on the other hand, many very good writers never get published--just as many very good musicians, and artists, and actors, never make a living at their chosen pursuit. That's unfortunate, but it doesn't change the fact that your odds of being published are a great deal higher if you're a good writer.

    Okay form kinder though 5th grade i had speak class ALWAYS when we where doing English and since I have chicken scratch hand writing all teachers a summed i knew everything as I was very smart and the just figured i knew it which I did not it was not in till 4 or so years in to my writing life that i knew you needed these "" for someone speaking
    I still cant do that period trick as I'm become accustomed to reading with out pausing at periods so I can read my whole one long run on sentence and stop in the middle of a sentence because its how I did it for so long
    I have no probleming reading my own work or any one eles like me in fact I'm often called to exspaling what someone said

    So yeah a 16 year old is trying to learn grammar and what not form scratch with disleax and disgrpaha (why dose and does looks the same and some times my B's and D's look the same thankfully i know where they are on the computer so its far less then if i was hand writing

    If you want go to my posts and see my first post, you will see a huge jump and if you where able to go to my other sites all the way to the first then you would be shocked at just how bad I was and how much I improved.

    this is a old post form a old web site (was easy to find asd it was my first, now the mods and I did fix some of the stuff but not all as you can see its .... bad really bad and even then i had been wriiting for years and was loads better then my first atempt at writing something by my self
    I've wondered this how ever as my speech impediment makes it hard to read and translators would cost money i don't have, I'm hopping one day to get this down just becuse I don't like the idea of not being able to do it becuse a school was stupid enough to do that
     
  11. LaGs
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    LaGs Banned

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    This might sound terribly harsh, but have you ever thought you might be dyslexic, just not diagnosed?

    Edit, I think you mentioned you are
     
  12. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    Yeah I am, so as you can see I have a a very long road ahead of me
     
  13. Cain
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    Cain Member

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    On your first point, it is important to open up with some kind of hook to keep the reader interested. What do you think are clichéd though? Really it can be anything - not necessarily something explosive, it can be funny, quirky, or even just puzzling enough for the reader to want more. There must have been some ideas you had & didn't like in order for you to make this thread - maybe we could help you put a fresh twist on them?

    On your third point I think there are two sides to being a good writer. You have the person who works magic with sentences - they can evoke a sense of being right there in the book with all the emotions of the characters. They don't have to use big words, they just have the right words in right order. Then there's the person who's the story teller. They get the pace spot on, keeping the reader turning the pages. There are plenty of books where the author is mainly a story teller - many of these can be written in fairly miserable prose, but the story's enough. However it's the books where they're a wordsmith and a story teller that are the great ones. It's just rarer that you get the two skills in one person (but practice helps, allegedly).

    On a side note, my brother is dyslexic, and he's a big reader (although it came to him later in life). I saw for myself how people equated bad spelling with ignorance, plus the difficulties of keeping up in classes where reading was so important (written exams were a nightmare). At the end of the day you have your imagination and your sense of art - everything else a spellchecker can fix (you know there are dyslexic spellcheckers? Dyslexic spelling errors are definitely distinctive). So I totally support your efforts, and hope you stay inspired (not expired as I saw someone post the other day - even non-dyslexics struggle it seems).
     
  14. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    But that's sort of what I mean - when people say "start with action", they don't necessarily mean an action packed adventure. They generally just mean that you should start with something happening, rather than starting with a lot of musing and background and explanation. They don't mean "action" as in "action movie" they just mean that a character is saying or doing something, rather than the _author_ doing a lot of talking and the characters not doing anything in particular.

    ChickenFreak
     
  15. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    You can improve your writing a surefire way I know: reading. Read, read, read and then read some more. Read everything you can get your hands on. Exposure to a myriad of different styles of writing will improve your own abilities.
     
  16. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    I don't agree with this fully and two reassons why, not saying its not good advice but saying that this is a sure fire way to get better is well wrong IMO
    I read a lot and I mean a lot to the point where as i said could read collage level books in 5th and did it for fun
    I have stoped reading quite as much but the weird thing is I've goten tons better since then the way I see it is this

    Just like playing music, sure hearing other songs CAN help but when it comes down to it it has its limits and you just go to pratice the thing (writing or playing music)
    And i think I've gone there, I wont deny that reading did not help, it did but it seems to reach its limits with what it can do, after all there is so much you can learn form watching someone or hearing about it
     
  17. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    But just like writing music, there always is inspiration from somewhere. Music, especially, I should say. Sorry to take this into a different realm for all those here for the writing, but why else are so many musicians producing the same sort of stuff? One person tries it, it catches on, and everyone else follows the trend. While this is only a small example when it comes to writing, the basic idea is the same. You should look for a certain style and try to adjust it until you find that it's the most comfortable for you. It's not a matter of reading yourself to death (if that's even possible :eek:), but rather it's about finding that one certain type of book that caught your eye, that read like a dream, and was a masterpiece in your eyes. If you see it, you'll know it, and once you know it, you can try and adjust, NOT MIMIC, the style until you can use it as your own.
     
  18. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    Well not rezally it is cause msuic only has 12 notes, so only 12 notes arnaged in defrient order and not all of them work together, in other words music speaking chocies wise is very limited

    Chords are used with a "Rule" of 1,4,5 over half of msuci use these chords
    in defreint keys so in other words they did not get it form (enter favorit badn here) they got it formt eachers who teach them how to make songs
    or form hearing with their own ears how 1,4,5 sounds so good
    and then you add 6th and that adds another 1\4th of it I'd guess
    .
    But thats just it writting is not like msuis, I have tried this and i have not noticed any style what so ever, not so say it dose not exist but tell me how do you write?
    do you think of words to fit or do you put the first one that comes?
    of couse the moment that this qurestion is aksed maters, but for isntaince

    its Better to use common words then use fancy words as they will make you seem more down to earth ot what ever
    So if you use nomral words the first ones to come to muind is it a style?
    Sure some pepole ahve a style but I think its like a lot of pepole saying that
    (enter pop band here) is better then (entyer another one)
    they use the same chords and use the same key
    yet one is etter not cause of stlye as their style is the same but becuse of something eles what exactly? I dont know

    I'll give it a try I gues how should I "adjust it" and get the style?
    When i read books i dont notice any style
     
  19. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Every writer has a style, or potentially many different styles, so that they can choose the style most appropriate for the current work. For example, the following descriptions are in three fundamentally different styles, even though they're describing the same woman:

    Description One: She was a young woman with long red hair, wearing a low-cut evening dress made of green silk.

    Description Two: She had fiery auburn hair, rippling down over flawless creamy-white shoulders. Her gown was of the finest emerald silk, with a plunging neckline...

    Description Three: Her hair was red. Really red. Raggedy-Ann red, fire truck red. The hair was what would make her easy to pick out of a crowd, but what I really noticed was the dress. Actually, not the _dress_, so much; I couldn't even tell you what color it was. What I noticed was just how low the neckline was. I had a long, happy look at the view before I walked up to introduce myself...

    The first description is bald, plain, generic, largely just informational. The second is overwritten and sentimental. The third is written to reflect the mindset of a very specific narrator. These three descriptions aren't really using many of the available style tricks - they're still all using pretty basic vocabulary, standard grammar, and so on. But do you see them as having different styles?

    ChickenFreak
     
  20. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    For how I write, I basically visualize the section or the event in my head, and I take down all the details and actions that the main character would see. I step away from it for a bit, and then afterwards when I find nothing to expand on I look back and try and find the spots where it doesn't flow.

    As for style, I tend to enjoy dialogue-driven books, with as little back story as possible. One of my friends, however, loves the types of novels that are just filled with character's background and history since these tend to create a clearer picture initially, but leave little room for character development.

    With word choices, that's completely up to you. Simple words can convey a lot of meaning, since something as simple as fire, for example, can mean a flame, a forest fire, or even a spark.

    How you adjust your style of writing is completely up to you. If you enjoy elaborate scenes where the images are right in front of you, then add more of those sort of sections into your book. Or, if you prefer a book where you start off with a blank character but see him or her grow morally, physically, and so on, then try adding more of those sections in. How you adjust is completely up to you, but I hope this helped.
     
  21. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    Oh Ok to me thats not a sytle, to me a style means its the same evrey time, but anyways , the problem I have with that is that, I guess true they have a "Style" but if you asked them to rewrite a book would it be the same? I dont think so
    maybe I'm wrong
    Still I'm not sure how to get this style with guitar a style is very... "simple" to get hard work but its there
    this how ever dose not seem to e like that
     
  22. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can you explain the "rewrite a book" question? I'm not sure what you're asking.

    I would say that, no, a style isn't the same every time. You mentioned bands - if a band was "the same every time" they'd only play one song, or at least they'd always play fast angry songs, or always play slow love songs. But a band can play a variety of different types of songs and you can still recognize them as that band. The Squirrel Nut Zippers and the Bare Naked Ladies both write lots of songs, but I would never, ever, mistake the songs of one of those bands for the songs of the other band. And I'd certainly never mistake the Bare Naked Ladies for, say, Glen Miller. Or Devo. Or Pink Martini. They all have fundamentally different styles that affect the way that they approach a song, just as writers will have fundamentally different styles that affect the way that they approach a piece of writing.

    ChickenFreak
     
  23. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    This is true. I get what you're saying, that it only goes so far, wolfi, but there's always a source of inspiration in books.
     
  24. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's best to start with something that keeps them reading, but it might not be action. It depends what you are writing. If you are writing an action adventure you will probably start with action, but if you are writing comedy you will probably start with something funny, which might not be action. Lake Wobegone Days starts with an extended description of the town, but the incongruities in the description keep the reader interested (and starting with an extended passage in which practically nothing happens prefigures the main joke about the town: nothing of any significance happens there). Literary fiction might well start with elegantly crafted prose which again might not be action (East of Eden, for example). Start with what is likely to interest your readers, whatever that might be.
     
  25. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    But when those bands play you can tell its them or at least you should be able to
    When I read books i dont see that
    Of couse a band has defreint songs but they sound the same not 100% but you should say "hey thats"
    even when the band is defrient they have somehting you can hear
    Granted most none muscsions wont be able to hear it

    when i read harry potter or enter book series here they are defreint or even read another book
    Writers dont seem to have a style for the most part they wrtie what ecer first comes to mind
    some may try really hard to make "good words" but those turn out bad most of them
     

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