1. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    Is this a good idea?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by wolfi, Dec 10, 2010.

    Since I decide to start being good at writing I decide to write short stories
    about one every night, I've only done three and each one in a night so far about 500-3000 words, I got the idea form the weekly short story comp I also
    go to the short story comp forum and look up old ones for the subject and then i Write BUT I work on one thing
    like
    Character personality
    Describing
    Dialog
    ect
    and i fugued every now and then combining two together but have not done that yet

    Is this a good idea?
    anyone try it?
    if so dose it work?
     
  2. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have a go - and see what happens.
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Don't seek validation - everyone has their own different way at doing things, so what works for you might not work for someone else. Be your own judge. If it works, do it. If you're a beginning writer, what you're doing sounds like an excellent idea if it's helping you build strengths.
     
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  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I think what you're asking is whether or not you can break writing fiction down into component parts - character development, descriptive writing and dialogue - and work on them separately, much like an athlete works to develop specific skills through specific training. No doubt there are creative writing courses that do exactly that, and you can certainly do things like character sketches as exercises. But, absent the guidance of a teacher or experienced writer, I'm not sure it would have that much value.

    When I coached youth soccer, except for when I was teaching brand new skills, I always tried to put everything I taught my players into the context of a game. I might have them do skill-specific drills, but then I quickly put them into group exercises or controlled scrimmages that were meant to accentuate the skill I was looking to improve. This did two things - it kept the kids' interest up, and it showed them the way to use the skill I was teaching them in the game, so I got buy-in from them and a good effort.

    The same thing goes with writing. You can write all the character sketches you want, but all that will so is develop your skills at doing character sketches. It won't really bring the character to life. That won't happen until you put the character into the context of a story, because the story is what grows your character (I often find that my characters develop through the story in ways I never expected when I first dreamed them up). I think the same holds true for descriptions and dialogue. Yes, you can write a description of a scene that you can actually see, and then see if the description is really accurate, but only the story can give reason for the description in the first place, and your writing will be as much about the characters' reactions to their surroundings as to the surroundings themselves.

    As for working on each component within the context of the story, and just accentuating one at a time, and then two, I like the idea in theory, but don't forget that who your characters are shapes what they say in their dialogue; what their surroundings are like, what the conditions are, will shape how they act and feel; the flow of the story will impact the dialogue as well. You may find your attention veering over to an element that you weren't planning on addressing in that story, and my advice would be to let it happen.
     
  5. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    I've done the "flash a day" thing. It was fun.

    More recently, I've done a "short a week" - again fun.

    Just try it. If it works, then kudos to you. If not, then no big deal - it just didn't fit into your personality or lifestyle.

    -Frank
     

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