1. Davi Mai

    Davi Mai Banned Supporter

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    One year into writing, what have I learned?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Davi Mai, Aug 15, 2020.

    (not that anyone asked...but I think the Lounge is the place to post random waffle?)

    > No, I have not written an amazingly unique story that is just waiting to get noticed, then I can quit my job.
    > Putting sex into every story doesn't necessarily make them better.
    > Don't ask people if it's okay to write about something you haven't experienced. You'll start a weird war between the writers that think any topic is fair game, and the writers who rally against something called cultural appropriation :)
    > Another futile question is "Are prologues bad?"
    > Passive verbs suck.
    > My attempt at anything is not great and should not survive without major edits.
    > I like editing about as much as sticking a fork in my eye.
    > Getting a story narrated by someone with a nice voice can actually mask a lot of faults in the writing (true!)
    > I'm too old to learn the craft to a high standard, I doubt my writing will improve a great deal from this point. and that's just fine :)
    > Be careful when discussing writing - some people take it very seriously. Don't be a dick just because for you it's only a hobby.
    > Don't accidentally link your erotic story on your professional linkedin page.
    > Don't let "Good" be the enemy of "Average". LOL.


    Anyone else want to share what they learned early on?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
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  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Is it okay to...? Is it bad to...? Is it wrong to...? These are all different ways to ask permission.

    What I've learned:

    Make your choices.
    Own their outcomes.
    Never ask permission.​
     
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  3. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber <[:>)-|---< Contributor

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    You are strongly disagreed with :-D
     
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  4. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Staff Contributor

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    This has actually been quite the year of writing for me...

    1). Show, don't tell certainly has its limits in attribution.
    2). Writing in dialect is generally an absolute waste of time (opinion, I'm sure, but the harm is more often prevalent than the good).
    3). Less is often more.
    4). Overwriting is okay if you're able to "murder your darlings."
    5). Rarely are adverbs necessary. But they don't all need to go.
    6). It's important to observe the elements of style and try to utilize them to your advantage. Sometimes leaving one almost untouched is a good decision if purposeful.
    7). Read everything you write aloud.
    8). If you're writing, stay at the desk. I promise you, replanting that rose bush can wait until tomorrow. Motivation won't.
    9). Your first draft is shit, no matter how much time you spent on it. Revise, revise, revise.
    10). Showing hand-to-hand fighting is very difficult and often ineffective. A good amount of time, referring to the battle or inferring it another way is as or more effective.
    11). Even flat characters have their place.
    12). You have to keep writing to discover your own style and methods. No one else's is going to be the same, no matter how much you read about their methods.
    13). Study a lot of different genres and works. Try to establish why the books were successful or why they weren't.
    14). Critically read like a writer. Notice what works for you as a reader.
    15). Write what you want to read. Read different styles and genres to figure out what you actually want to write. Don't just stay in one genre.

    I'm sure there's a lot more...
     
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  5. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Contributor Contributor

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    This (says the guy who can't seem to write anything but horror at the moment).
     
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  6. Davi Mai

    Davi Mai Banned Supporter

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    Thanks. That's a more useful list :)
     
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  7. N.Scott

    N.Scott Active Member

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    Some random thoughts I noted down over the past year:
    a.Find your weakness; then learn from others.
    b.Sentence itself is a story.
    c.There are light beats and hard beats. Fun beats and depth beats. Like roller coaster. By beats I kinda mean scenes.
    d.The secret to hook a reader is to make them want to know something, then tease them terribly.
    e.It doesn't matter what scene(where, doing what, which character) it is, as long as you make it into a plot point.
    f.Emotion destress is what creates tension.
     
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  8. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    @Davi Mai

    > I like editing about as much as sticking a fork in my eye.

    Aha! Yes! I hate it too!
    So here's something I've learned to avoid it: I write more slowly now. I prefer some decent 500 words a day to a full scene of 5000 words that will have to be edited to madness. Also, I'm no longer afraid that I'll forget what I was about to write like I was when I started. This fear of "forgetting" would drive me to write very fast and messily. I've realised that's not a problem after all. If the details are solid and make sense, I'll remember them later. And I can always add them if I need them. I don't have to write a novel in one single day. :bigwink:


    > I'm too old to learn the craft to a high standard, I doubt my writing will improve a great deal from this point. and that's just fine

    I disagree. You're never too old to improve. Unless you mean sports, but we're writers, thank goodness.
     
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  9. Zeppo595

    Zeppo595 Contributor Contributor

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    Adverbs can be great for adding humour to a piece.

    Also, nothing wrong with staying in one genre if it's working for you.
     
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  10. Zeppo595

    Zeppo595 Contributor Contributor

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    The biggest thing I learnt was probably the more time I spent reading and writing, the better I got. In year one, that was the key thing. Just do it more. Write more. Read more and write more.

    Now I'm in what, year 10? I'd say the biggest problems I have are with too much self-criticism and then self-criticism directed to who I am as a human being and not at my work. I find myself despising my work so much I am afraid to even read it again to edit it often. I find it about as uncomfortable as listening to a recording of my own voice and I will often only be able to rouse myself to do it under the influence of drugs.

    I think getting the strength to put the words down is the first key battle, but editing, that's a war.

    You have to be utterly merciless as an editor quite the opposite to the more generous way you can be with everything when your writing hat is on. I didn't even split it up into editing vs writing in my first year. I did almost no editing in my first year and pretty much what I wrote was the final draft a lot of the times.
     
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