Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction Writers => Writers' Corner => Topic started by: Yora on May 13, 2015, 10:42:15 PM

Title: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Yora on May 13, 2015, 10:42:15 PM
Throw in anything you have which you think might be useful to think about for other writers. Discussing the thoughts is encouraged and it can be much more than on sentence. (And even those pieces of advice you have don't have to be exactly one sentence, just short and to the point.

When you write down ideas for a scene or a story, don't just write down the specific elements it includes, but also the meaning you want to express with it, and perhaps whatever inspired you.

I just remembered to write down an idea I had weeks ago, but even though I remember the characters and key scenes, I don't hav the slightest idea why it would be interesting. I am pretty sure it was inspired by a movie scene or something, but not remembering which one I have no idea what the motiavtion and meaning of it all was.  :-\
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Francis Knight on May 14, 2015, 12:17:09 AM
Persistence > everything else




(is I can add another sentence, IF you are willing to learn)
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Nora on May 14, 2015, 01:36:52 AM
If ultimately you're not enjoying yourself despite the eventual hardships, then you're doing it wrong. (Which is also a broad life rule for me)
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: cupiscent on May 14, 2015, 02:04:05 AM
Figure out what you want to do, and then do it as hard as you can.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: jefGoelz on May 14, 2015, 05:45:17 AM
Read much more than you write and read broadly within and outside your genre.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Rostum on May 14, 2015, 03:30:37 PM
There are easier ways to lose your sanity.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: night_wrtr on May 15, 2015, 04:12:40 AM
Fight through the fear and the headaches to finish what you started.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: K.S. Crooks on May 16, 2015, 04:02:25 AM
Know where you want the characters to be, both mentally and physically at the end of the story.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Not Lu on May 16, 2015, 05:58:30 PM
Characters must be true to themselves.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Yora on May 16, 2015, 06:28:05 PM
Characters must be true to themselves.
That seems to require some more elaboration. As someone who does not know what "staying true to himself" means, what do you think I should know or look out for.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Raptori on May 16, 2015, 06:38:47 PM
Characters must be true to themselves.
That seems to require some more elaboration. As someone who does not know what "staying true to himself" means, what do you think I should know or look out for.
The idiom "true to yourself" in general means behaving according to your beliefs and doing what you think is right. When it comes to fictional characters, I'd assume it has a slightly larger scope, so rather than specifically beliefs and concept of justice, they should behave in a consistent manner that always reflects some part of their personality.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Not Lu on May 16, 2015, 06:55:47 PM
Characters must be true to themselves.
That seems to require some more elaboration. As someone who does not know what "staying true to himself" means, what do you think I should know or look out for.
The idiom "true to yourself" in general means behaving according to your beliefs and doing what you think is right. When it comes to fictional characters, I'd assume it has a slightly larger scope, so rather than specifically beliefs and concept of justice, they should behave in a consistent manner that always reflects some part of their personality.

I pretty much meant just what Yora said, "behaving according to your beliefs and doing what you think is right."

Each character should have his/her own set of beliefs, influences, back story, etc. that makes them who they are. The way they respond to different situations should be based on who they are as a person. What I often see is an author who needs something to happen to advance the story, but the "something" is totally out of character for the person involved. For example, the sidekick who always acts as a leveling influence to the hero suddenly loses his temper over something insignificant then storms off into the wilderness so the hero has a chance to face some monster by himself.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: wakarimasen on May 17, 2015, 10:10:11 AM
Edit, edit, edit.


It's something I don't do! but I'm down with the old phrase "The only thing you can do with good advice is pass it on."
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: jefGoelz on May 18, 2015, 03:46:04 AM


I pretty much meant just what Yora said, "behaving according to your beliefs and doing what you think is right."

Each character should have his/her own set of beliefs, influences, back story, etc. that makes them who they are. The way they respond to different situations should be based on who they are as a person. What I often see is an author who needs something to happen to advance the story, but the "something" is totally out of character for the person involved. For example, the sidekick who always acts as a leveling influence to the hero suddenly loses his temper over something insignificant then storms off into the wilderness so the hero has a chance to face some monster by himself.

Real people do things that seem unreasonable to an observer all the time.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Nora on May 18, 2015, 04:28:20 AM


I pretty much meant just what Yora said, "behaving according to your beliefs and doing what you think is right."

Each character should have his/her own set of beliefs, influences, back story, etc. that makes them who they are. The way they respond to different situations should be based on who they are as a person. What I often see is an author who needs something to happen to advance the story, but the "something" is totally out of character for the person involved. For example, the sidekick who always acts as a leveling influence to the hero suddenly loses his temper over something insignificant then storms off into the wilderness so the hero has a chance to face some monster by himself.

Real people do things that seem unreasonable to an observer all the time.
;
Yeah, fair enough, but that doesn't make the point moot. A Muslim can drink alcohol IRL. That's a reflection on religion, how religious you are, and how real life practices can sneak past a half shameful, half sheepish muslim wine amateur...
Now a character who is described as a vehement feminist and goes about the country side raping and making broad "women" generalisation, that's pretty problematic.
Believe it or not though, that happened to me, when I indulged in a self published vampire story, called "Here there be sexist vampire" or somesuch. It was pretty bad. Inconsistent writing, bad story, cliche characters, poorly written, ect, but the worst was that it was supposed to be all about that super gifted woman vamp showing the big sexist man vamp that women can kick it... and all the while she couldn't resist being totally enamoured and attracted by the big macho vamp, loving being exasperated by his statements, getting rescued, and totally indulging the men's macho behaviour. The massive inconsistencies in that character was an immediate turn off, and the novel was finished only because it was short.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: RussetDivinity on May 18, 2015, 05:07:49 AM
Don't be afraid to have side projects.

(Really, this is probably the only reason I don't get burnt out, though it also takes me a lot longer to finish things than I might otherwise.)
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Ryan Mueller on May 19, 2015, 01:59:09 AM
Don't bore the reader.

Don't confuse the reader.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Doctor_Chill on May 19, 2015, 03:30:47 AM
Your flowery language will only confuse the reader (and yourself), not paint a witty commentary about something.

Yeah, I can make up some of the craziest similes that, at the very least, make sense to myself. Sometimes.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Ryan Mueller on May 19, 2015, 05:40:26 AM
Inertia is your friend, and your enemy.

This is, when you get in the habit of writing, it's easy to keep writing, but when you stop, it can get really hard to get going again.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Lady Ty on May 19, 2015, 06:57:01 AM
A reader's plea- Please cut down on adverbs and adjectives, choose one that is perfect.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: CameronJohnston on May 19, 2015, 08:44:57 AM
When struggling to edit a clunky piece of writing, read it aloud and it will help to iron out problems.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Nora on May 19, 2015, 03:24:45 PM
When struggling to edit a clunky piece of writing, read it aloud and it will help to iron out problems.

I've been told that having it read to you by someone else is even better. Haven't tried it yet, but I love reading my stuff aloud to check out my prose.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: JMack on May 19, 2015, 03:26:08 PM
When struggling to edit a clunky piece of writing, read it aloud and it will help to iron out problems.

I've been told that having it read to you by someone else is even better. Haven't tried it yet, but I love reading my stuff aloud to check out my prose.

I like the "someone else" in addition. When I read it aloud, I do hear the problems; but my audience doesn't. It goes by too fast, and I'm a passionate reader. Would probably help them give better advice if they read aloud.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: CameronJohnston on May 19, 2015, 04:01:53 PM
When struggling to edit a clunky piece of writing, read it aloud and it will help to iron out problems.

I've been told that having it read to you by someone else is even better. Haven't tried it yet, but I love reading my stuff aloud to check out my prose.

I like the "someone else" in addition. When I read it aloud, I do hear the problems; but my audience doesn't. It goes by too fast, and I'm a passionate reader. Would probably help them give better advice if they read aloud.

Problem is when you go to do some writing in a coffee shop/quiet pub or something and sit there muttering to yourself - "Oh, it's just a crazy writer."
:p
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Raptori on May 19, 2015, 04:10:15 PM
When struggling to edit a clunky piece of writing, read it aloud and it will help to iron out problems.

I've been told that having it read to you by someone else is even better. Haven't tried it yet, but I love reading my stuff aloud to check out my prose.

I like the "someone else" in addition. When I read it aloud, I do hear the problems; but my audience doesn't. It goes by too fast, and I'm a passionate reader. Would probably help them give better advice if they read aloud.

Problem is when you go to do some writing in a coffee shop/quiet pub or something and sit there muttering to yourself - "Oh, it's just a crazy writer."
:p
Just pretend you're on the phone? :D

I do think it's funny that throughout history, speaking to yourself would be seen as a sign of insanity, whereas nowadays it's almost a status symbol.  :P
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Yora on May 19, 2015, 06:00:55 PM
Sorry to break this to you, but we still think those people are crazy.  ;)
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Raptori on May 19, 2015, 06:36:51 PM
Sorry to break this to you, but we still think those people are crazy.  ;)
Oh...  :-[
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Yora on May 24, 2015, 07:45:12 PM
"Hemingway had never been known to use a word that might send the reader to the dictionary."

It wasn't meant as advice in any way, but it should be.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Idlewilder on May 25, 2015, 10:25:26 AM
Write every day and, most importantly, finish what you started.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: JMack on May 25, 2015, 11:10:16 AM
finish what you started.
No! Not that!  :o  Please, oh gods, not that...
[falls weeping into a puddle on the writing room floor]
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Idlewilder on May 25, 2015, 11:46:45 AM
finish what you started.
No! Not that!  :o  Please, oh gods, not that...
[falls weeping into a puddle on the writing room floor]

"Especially that!" he says, his voice holier than thou.

<steps in puddle>

"Crap."
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: J9AC9K on May 25, 2015, 07:53:13 PM
"“Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.” - W.H. Auden

When I was in my teens and early twenties I really cared about having an *original* hook to be the basis of a story. Often I'd be dismayed to find an idea I thought was unique had already been done - in some manner - by another writer. The above quote by Auden got me to stop caring about originality, and to care instead more about how authentic I made my characters and how true their actions were.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: JMack on May 25, 2015, 08:23:48 PM
"“Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.” - W.H. Auden

When I was in my teens and early twenties I really cared about having an *original* hook to be the basis of a story. Often I'd be dismayed to find an idea I thought was unique had already been done - in some manner - by another writer. The above quote by Auden got me to stop caring about originality, and to care instead more about how authentic I made my characters and how true their actions were.
This ^.
Love it.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Yora on May 25, 2015, 08:58:06 PM
Yeah, telling a story that has never been told is super hard.

Much more sense in trying to tell an old story the way it should have been told, but nobody did yet.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: J9AC9K on May 26, 2015, 02:10:03 PM
Yeah, telling a story that has never been told is super hard.

Much more sense in trying to tell an old story the way it should have been told, but nobody did yet.

For me, it's not even necessarily about trying to adapt an old story in a new way, but about not letting the fact that there's been a story told that has some common features with the one you want to tell stopping you.

For example, when I was twenty I started writing a comic book about a werewolf detective in a town full of fantasy creatures who were hiding in America. I stopped working on that after I heard about Fables - which is a comic book series about a group of fairy tale people existing in NYC, and the Big Bad Wolf is their sheriff. My story would have had very little in common with Fables beyond the superficial. But I let the quest for "originality" stop me.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Yora on November 03, 2015, 11:10:27 AM
Good conflicts are not started because someone wants to do something evil, but because someone had a bad idea for doing something good.

All too often villains want to destroy, kill, and enslave, but that's not how real conflict works and it also does not force the protagonists to question their actions or provide room in which multiple solutions need to be considered.
Great conflicts start when both sides want the same, but feel that there's not enough to share between them.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Lanko on November 06, 2015, 12:28:40 AM
Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things. - Ray Bradbury

Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Nora on November 06, 2015, 12:30:29 AM
Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things.

That's 5 sentences Lanko, you're disqualified.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Lanko on November 06, 2015, 12:54:54 AM
Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things.

That's 5 sentences Lanko, you're disqualified.

“The hell with the rules. If it sounds right, then it is.”   - Eddie Van Halen

 ;D

Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: ClintACK on November 06, 2015, 01:01:06 AM
Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things.

That's 5 sentences Lanko, you're disqualified.

Quick, replace all the periods with commas -- it totally counts.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Yora on November 06, 2015, 10:11:31 AM
Let the personalty and motivations of the main character direct the plot, instead of creating the plot filling the role of the protagonist later. The protagonist will seem much more proactive and the plot less generic.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Yora on November 27, 2015, 12:24:34 PM
Some wise words I just came across:

"It's better to provide no explanation than an obviously stupid explanation."
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Raptori on November 27, 2015, 01:09:55 PM
Some wise words I just came across:

"It's better to provide no explanation than an obviously stupid explanation."
But... But... Midichlorians...  :-X
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Lanko on November 27, 2015, 03:03:05 PM
Some wise words I just came across:

"It's better to provide no explanation than an obviously stupid explanation."
But... But... Midichlorians...  :-X

You just ruined my day  >:(
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Raptori on November 27, 2015, 03:11:22 PM
Some wise words I just came across:

"It's better to provide no explanation than an obviously stupid explanation."
But... But... Midichlorians...  :-X

You just ruined my day  >:(
(http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-angelic002.gif)
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: m3mnoch on November 29, 2015, 04:08:36 PM
it's not REALLY one sentence, but surely these 12 hard-working words will qualify:

"Have regrets. They are fuel. On the page they flare into desire."
-- Geoff Dyer
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Autumn2May on November 29, 2015, 10:33:05 PM
BACKUP YOUR DOCUMENT.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: JMack on November 29, 2015, 10:56:22 PM
BACKUP YOUR DOCUMENT.

Awesome advice  ;D
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Autumn2May on November 29, 2015, 11:10:04 PM
BACKUP YOUR DOCUMENT.

Awesome advice  ;D

Thanks! Sometimes the best advice is the simplest. ;)
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Francis Knight on November 30, 2015, 01:17:01 AM
Write like your face is on fire

Also

Finish what you start.

Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Lanko on November 30, 2015, 01:22:51 AM
BACKUP YOUR DOCUMENT.

Just realized the file wasn't properly working on Google Drive. It was downloading an HTML fime. So i decided to make a ZIP file now with everything. Also put a copy in a pendrive. Just in case.

Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: m3mnoch on November 30, 2015, 03:39:01 PM
BACKUP YOUR DOCUMENT.

Just realized the file wasn't properly working on Google Drive. It was downloading an HTML fime. So i decided to make a ZIP file now with everything. Also put a copy in a pendrive. Just in case.

depending on how nerdy you are, you could use source control -- the kind they usually use for programming source code.  it even keeps fancy diffs (the differences) between your versions.

i'll do stuff like this from my command line at the end of each session:
Code: [Select]

    $:  git add .
    $:  git commit -m "about one-third done with chapter 9"
    $:  git push


and i can back up and revert to any version ever.  https://bitbucket.org will give you a free private repo even.

like i said tho, it depends on your nerd comfort level.

hrm...  or maybe i'll build and sell a tool that helps to automate that process for writers.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: JMack on November 30, 2015, 04:17:44 PM
This:

Quote
hrm...  or maybe i'll build and sell a tool that helps to automate that process for writers.

Because everything else you wrote is received in my brain as joug bargilap con marpygurgle
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Raptori on November 30, 2015, 05:51:14 PM
Google docs has both auto save and extensive versioning - what else do you need?  :P
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: J.R. Darewood on December 06, 2015, 11:02:04 PM
advice I never take:

Get off facebook.

The same could be said for wikipedia, but that's my weird fetish, fb is probably more common.
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: JMack on December 06, 2015, 11:14:34 PM
advice I never take:

Get off facebook.

The same could be said for wikipedia, but that's my weird fetish, fb is probably more common.

Nah.
The advice should be:

Quote
Stop looking at the Forum.

Who needs Facebook when you have F-F?  ;)
Title: Re: One Sentence writing advice
Post by: Lady Ty on December 06, 2015, 11:33:42 PM


Nah.
The advice should be:

Quote
Stop looking at the Forum.

Who needs Facebook when you have F-F?  ;)

Sorry, useless advice, like Canute tryng to stop the sea. F-F is an incurable addictive drug, even times when you're in extremis with flu or whatever  and can't even lift up a laptop, you lie in bed and struggle to read F-F  recent posts on the phone. Then your BP goes up and so does your temp because you don't have the strength to reply :(

Fb just can't hold a candle.