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 Post subject: Writing Tips?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 3:11 am 
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General Edor Crespin
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(4/16/04 7:11 pm)
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Like the topic says, anyone have any tips for good writing? Do you make a little outline before you start writing? Sometimes I do, sometimes not. Or things to avoid? Or anything else, anything at all... Thanks.



General Corran Horn
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Reply | Edit | Del Re: Writing Tips?
One good writing tip that the pros tend to use is to think up your story first, then rather than just starting at the beginning, start right in the middle of some exciting scene. It grabs your reader's attention right away, and then you gradually explain what's going on.

Here's another tip for all you people (probably most of us) who have trouble starting a story. Start it with something random, insane, fun, and seemingly unrelated to your main idea. It'll make a great intro. Then you can have it lead up to your true story.



Aaron Vaeon
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(4/18/04 10:43 am)
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Reply | Edit | Del Re: Writing Tips?
I tend to see two different groups of writers: writers who write stories, and writers who write characters who are a part of stories. Example of the former: J.R. Tolkein. Example of the latter: Orson Scott Card. (Be reminded that these examples are just what came to my mind first. There are probably better examples out there.) Neither side is better than the other, they just focus on different elements of the story. Identify which type of writer you are, and run with that. Create either a story (or subplot) or a character, then use that as the basis as everything else.



Taz Krayli
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Reply | Edit | Del Re: Writing Tips?
Hmm, well kind of going along with that, I'd say don't be afraid to switch stuff up. I tend to fit in the second category, but I've intentionally written stuff that followed more of a storyline. There are so many different styles out there that you can choose based on how you feel. Even vignettes can work for something like this.

And I find it fun to skip around. Last week I wrote a scene for our school play- a murder/mystery kind of thing, then my RS post, then part of a short story I'm working on that's told completely from the POVs of uninvolved bystanders.

Just don't force yourself to write in a particular style. Figure out what you're in the mood for that day and go for it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 10:42 pm 
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Think we could dig this thread up? I'm sure a lot of us have tips someone else could use.

Only suggestion I can offer is advice I need to work on myself: keep time-tenses consistent. It gets very confusing when characters keep shifting from "does" to "did" to "will do," you know?
Also, you'd be amazed how much more enticing a story is when the word "was" is not the primary verb!

Thats all I got, who's next?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 11:03 pm 
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Lately I've been trying to vary my vocabulary. I try never to use the same word twice in a paragraph. Instead, I get out my handy thesaurus (actually..i cheat and use the thesaurus on dictionay.com) and look up alternate ways of saying stuff to keep it interesting. Every now and then, though, I'll repeat words just to be funny. I think it really depends on the mood of the story you're going for.

Most recently I've even been proofreading what I write. I used to absolutely despise doing that, but I've caught a lot of mistakes that left unchecked could become quite confusing to the reader. I also keep on the lookout for repeated words, like I said before, and change them accordingly if I feel it being seen twice is too monotonous.

I'm a real stickler for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation too. :D

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Last edited by Halley Kadorto on Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:38 am 
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Some stickler you are, considering that 'grammar' is not spelled 'grammer,' and the end of your sentence was not punctuated... :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:43 am 
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Those habits tend to only apply to my plot stories. In informal messages like this, all the English rules are up for grabs, but thanks for pointing out my misspelling of "grammar."

And just for you Tyria, I've changed all the mistakes you observed in my last post, and if you'll have noticed, this particular post is extra formal.

Happy now? :P

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:57 am 
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Talking to other people is a big help when you start writing your plot; you can either have someone else set you up for a beginning for your plot, or set someone else up for their plot. This way you get a continuous flow of events from character to character between other plots. Another option is to just hitch the start of your plot onto the tail end of someone else's (Much like vector addition, initial point to the terminal point.. oh never mind.) Thus, you have a pre-written beginning for your character (Especially if your character was talked to) that you can respond to, and then phase away from that subject and write your own thing. Face and I do this a lot, in fact the next Plot I'll do will probably reference the writing on the datapad.

Anyways, if I think of anything else I'll stuff it in here.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 12:32 pm 
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We're a lot like our characters, so the better we get to know each other, the easier it is to write each other's characters in stories. And it's fun to see how someone else depicts your character, as long as they're in the ballpark of accurate. Complete accuracy is both impossible and unwanted, because the imput you can give into another person's character opens up another little side of them, thus giving them another dimension. No one entirely owns their character, because other writers help in developing who they are.

Featuring other people's characters in stories is also essential for group writing like this. It's how we get all of our stories to flow together well instead of being a mess of loosely tied strings.

Of course, it's also been a general Plot rule in RS to not permanently injure, kill, or give a long leave of absence to any character without permission of the writer, unless that character is inactive.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 5:54 pm 
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A good piece of advice that is true both in writing scripts for movies and plots (I've learned): Write what you know. I wouldn't be surprised if Elassar starting toting around Holocams and stuff; the biology I put in my last plot was all stuff I learned from one of my classes. Writing from an experience you've had is also equally effective.

And don't be shy either!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:10 pm 
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One writing tip...

When using apostrophes, they are not meant for use when something is said in its plural form.

Apostrophes generally denote either a possessive form ("That's Tyria's lightsaber.") or a contraction ("Tyria's not going to be happy if you play with her lightsaber."). But they are not to be used for making words plural ("Tyria has two lightsabers," not "lightsaber's").

I know that, for me, knowing and following this rule makes it really hard for me to read stuff by those who don't follow the rule, because whenever I see a word like "cell's" that is meant to be plural, I read it as "cell is," and then I have to backtrack to figure out why it didn't make sense.

With regard to "its" v. "it's," the word "it" is one of the rare words where an apostrophe is not used to indicate the possessive form. The possessive form of "it" is "its," without the apostrophe. "It" with an apostrophe is always a contraction of "it is."

Following the apostrophe rules will make it so much easier to read plot's - er, plots. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:17 pm 
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Never write between the hours of 3 and 7 am.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 12:26 am 
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Hey Tyr, do one on 'to' and 'too' because I keep on mixing those two up!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:06 am 
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10 to 3am is an excellent Plot writing time, though. Fewer interruptions, a day's worth of experiences and idea, and a dangerously altered state of mind brought on by sleep deprivation as the hours wear on.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:08 am 
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I'd personally only recommend that on days where you don't have anything important the next day, and can afford to sleep in somewhat :?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:45 pm 
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Tyria, I'm glad you brought up proper apostrophe use. It would be the ironic statement of the day if I claimed to be a stickler for grammar, (just look at my writing style up until about 4 years ago) but still, nothing detracts from the "readability factor" better than a bunch of blatant errors in a row. Worst offenders: your, you're, their, there, they're, to, too, two, and of course, apostrophe errors.

I was just reading Jedi Trial the other day while waiting for the movie Closer to start. (It was VERY good IMO but it well deserves the R rating due to strong sexuality.) The book talks about Anakin and Neeja together. At several points it says "Jedis' lightsabers" or "Jedis' robes." Does that imply the authors feel the plural of Jedi is Jedis or what? What is the plural posessive form of Jedi?

*edit*
Oh, and Bowman, I wrote my entire plot in 11D between the hours of 2AM-5AM so nyah! To each his though, of course. That time period for me is the most productive time of day.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 8:41 pm 
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Ok, but did you have class the next day??

Um... since the plural of Jedi is "Jedi"... it would make sense that its plural posessive would be "Jedi's"...


and on the side, who wrote "Jedi Trial"?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 8:53 pm 
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Myn Donos wrote:
Worst offenders: your, you're, their, there, they're, to, too, two, and of course, apostrophe errors.


Don't forget about it's/its!

And another one that drives me batty...

Hanger/hangar.

Ships are docked in a hangar; clothes are hung on a hanger.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:19 pm 
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Yes, the plural posessive of Jedi should most probably be Jedi's....
In Jedi Trial however it is written as Jedis' so I guess someone messed up.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 10:24 am 
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I was actually thinking about making a Star Wars Technology Spelling Guide. A lot of people mix up things like repulsorlifts (Correct) and write repulsarlifts, or commlink (correct) rather than comm. link or comlink. Comm works as well. Commlink is a contraction of the words Communications Link, hence a double M. And so on and so on.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 10:46 am 
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People mess up "freighter" all the time too. I can't tell you how many times and ways it was spelled wrong in that massive group plot!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 2:15 pm 
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I've seen a lot of SW books with it spelled comlink...


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 2:24 pm 
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"Definitely" is the word that college students are most likely to spell incorrectly...so be warned :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 2:44 pm 
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Yah, your Definately rite about the freiters and comlink stuff there, people.




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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 7:51 pm 
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RanKether wrote:
I was actually thinking about making a Star Wars Technology Spelling Guide. A lot of people mix up things like repulsorlifts (Correct) and write repulsarlifts, or commlink (correct) rather than comm. link or comlink. Comm works as well. Commlink is a contraction of the words Communications Link, hence a double M. And so on and so on.


I've always used comlink or com; the only place I've seen commlink is here. That and comm have always driven me nuts!

But it is comlink; commlink is incorrect.

http://www.starwars.com/databank/technology/comlink/


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 2:56 am 
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Well I'll be jiggered; apologies all. I suppose that's why I always was annoyed when people spelled it wrong! I had the wrong spelling!

I still stand by repulsorlifts though.

http://www.starwars.com/databank/techno ... index.html


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:15 am 
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Well, repulsorlifts, I'll give you. If ever I have to use that word, I shall heretofore use an "o" instead of an "a" there. I actually thought it was something just 'made up,' so I spelled it how everyone else spelled it. Hee hee.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 12:44 am 
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I just got back from my first old school RPG with a gamemaster, dice, pencil, and paper. For anyone who's never had this experience, I highly recommend this activity for writing material! I got enough tonight for ten plots worth.


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