1. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    How To Be More Open

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CrystalDreamer59, Nov 21, 2012.

    My dad thinks I make the characters in my stories too much like myself and that I should write something other then fantasy. He also says I write too much about how I feel. I know he's trying to get me to expand my horizons, but I'm not sure how. I'm so use to writing fantasy and how I feel and that sort of stuff that I'm not sure how to write anything else.
     
  2. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    I used to be the same way. I'd suggest just trying out some short stories about things you know. They don't have to be long, a page or two, and just try to experiment. That really helped me to gain the confidence to try writing things that were more out of my comfort zone.

    It's good to try and write a short that has a character type you've never written before. If you can get a few shorts done, it'll really boost your confidence that you can write other things.

    That's my suggestion, and I'm sure that others will have different things to say, but I hope this helps!
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was recently at a conference and heard a lecture by a well-known agent who has written books about writing fiction say that you should always be putting yourself into your characters. That's what makes them human and unique. If you enjoy writing Fantasy, I don't think you necessarily have to stop writing that genre. Writing is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. So if that's what you enjoy, that's what you should do.

    It might be worthwhile to attempt to write some pieces with different sorts of characters and in different genres, just because you might find that you're good at those, too and enjoy them. If you don't find that to be the case, then stick with what you like.
     
  4. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    I have thought about what you said and I have decided I'm going to try and give journaling another try. The problem I usually have with journaling is that I feel as though I have to keep at it everyday so when I miss a day I feel as though I have to stop completely. I was journaling in my sketchbook, but I think it would be better to use a flash drive since I want to keep it private and since my flash drive is password protected I feel as though it's more secure then a sketchbook.
     
  5. Fife
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    Fife Senior Member

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    I was just asking about character development in the thread, <Is there a Technique You Use?>. One of the guys mentioned something about watching people (with emphasis on not in a scary or perverted way). If you are a student, watch how your peers interact at school or how teachers interact with students, etc. While what they say and do may not be exactly fantasy-material, you can note their temperament, the emotions on their face, physical traits, etc. After all, I think we can only write about what we know--and even fantasy is arguably based on what we know (with a few twists of the imagination); therefore, it's good to try to observe and experience things you may not normally experience.
     
  6. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    I was just mentioning to my dad that as a creative writer I should write down what I experience and look at that as reference for my stories. I volunteer at an animal shelter and spend time with the animals and I have noticed different personalities among the animals. Some are scared and aggressive toward people and the other animals, while others are a little more calm. I also should start paying attention to the personality of others that I'm around such as my parents.
     
  7. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    >when I miss a day I feel as though I have to stop completely

    I see no logical reason for this. Write your journal when you can.

    I don't see that you've posted any of your stories for review here. Perhaps if you did, people would give you an unbiased opinion about whether the story was too much about feelings.

    To expand your horizons, read more widely, and then see if you can come up with something interesting in another genre.
     
  8. Rooster
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    Rooster New Member

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    For what its worth i believe you should write about what excites you and gets the creative juices flowing. If thats fantasy then go for it. I try not to force myself to write about things that dont interest me or to appeal to a different audience. I dont want to be put off writing by trying to force it.

    As for having characters that are like themselfs i would suggest that most authors put 'themselves' into their novels in some way. Whether thats some of their personality or fantasy or even what they like to eat. Embrace it but expand the character beyond that to avoid repeating the same characteristics. I personally find there is some of me in a lot of characters even though none of them are like me. I find i ramp up certain aspects.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    to 'open up' your mind to being more creative than introspective, READ!

    read constantly... read the best-written examples of the genre you want to write, as well as the works of the best fiction writers of all time... this should get you out of yourself and into the limitless worlds beyond...
     
  10. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    I journaled some last night and I am finding out some things about myself. Also after the holidays I'll check out some books at my local library to try and get into reading.
     
  11. the antithesis
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    the antithesis Member

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    If you tend to write nothing but fantasy, I suspect you read nothing but fantasy. Try reading other things. Things that are not fantastic. I recommend some J.D. Salinger or maybe some Truman Capote. These were two writers who I have encountered that wrote about, for lack of a better term, real life and made it interesting. These are just two I had found. I'm sure others could be suggested.
     
  12. alexa_
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    alexa_ Banned

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    A good exercise here could be a simple description of certain situation you experience. Feel yourself like an artist. In this way, your pieces of writing will become more real.
     
  13. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    I could try writing down things I experience to get better at writing. I feel as though my parents aren't encouraging me enough. They seem so critical of me and anything creative I do.
     
  14. Webster
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    Webster Senior Member

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    Dear CrystalDreamer59,

    You're breaking my heart. It sounds like you're still young, and experiencing all those stupid fucking pressures, that , believe me, are only going to get worse. I'm going to be tough with you (as if you haven't had enough of that). Suck it up, take it on the chin... Then ask for more.

    All the criticism, all the patronising comments, all the evident doubt others have in your abilites- use it. Use it against all the negative shit life is going to throw at you. Have you heard of Aikido? It's a martial art based upon the philosophy of using your enemy's momentum to gain the advantage. I'm not telling you to take up Aikido (though it might be advisable, since as a sensitive soul, some people will try to take advantage of you), but in your mind, in your soul, be an Aikido Mistress. Don't lose the compassion you have shown us here, but learn, also, to be fierce when the need arises. All this can be applied to your writing. Just be patient, allow yourself to experience life, and it will all come naturally.
     
  15. Fife
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    Fife Senior Member

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    Parents can sometimes be like that. We expect them to nurture our interests and our endeavors, but sometimes, they don't. If you truly want to get better at writing--or anything for that matter--you have to find the encouragement from within yourself. Sometimes family members are the worse critics of art.
     
  16. Dagen
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    Dagen New Member

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    I used to have the same issue. When I first started writing in High School, fantasy was my favorite genre and I felt most comfortable writing it, and in truth, when I'm suffering from writer's block, I still go back to it. I found journaling actually did help a lot. That's where I started in terms of branching out into drama and more general fiction. It is a very different beast, but if you search through your own experience long enough you'll find something to write about that speaks to you, and hopefully to others as well. If you have trouble with style, as my father always said, the only way to get better is to read, read, read. Even if fantasy is your prefered reading genre, if you search hard enough you'll find something else that inspires you.

    In terms of encuragement, Fife and Webster said it best. As a writer, your going to have to learn to encourage yourself and keep yourself going. Its going to be tough, but even the best writers have to do it sometime. You're going to have to deal with discouragement and nay-sayers as a writer. Don't shrug them off entirely; take what advice you can, but don't let them stop you.
     
  17. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Think of someone you hate the most, or you despise. Why do you hate this person? Now, imagine yourself becoming this person. Can you write the thought process he or she has as you become the character that doesn't follow your own thinking or logic? You need to be able to become something you never imagined yourself to become--if you want a variety of different characters.

    Lets say your writing a story about murder. You need to think like a real killer. How? You become him.
     

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