Best Piece of (Writing) Advice Ever Gotten

PrincessFelicie

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It's still an example of telling being used to talk about fiction, or even be fiction. Another example that comes to mind is SCP stuff, if you prefer that? Look, my point is, telling is a-ok, know when to use it.
 

BenJepheneT

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It's still an example of telling being used to talk about fiction, or even be fiction. Another example that comes to mind is SCP stuff, if you prefer that? Look, my point is, telling is a-ok, know when to use it.
SCP is a go, because we go in EXPECTING them to "tell" us what's going on. Even then, the best SCPs there are known for showing instead of telling. Like the one where the anomaly steals information regarding itself. Granted, that's a bunch of drawings, so it doesn't count. But take SCP-2000. Instead of telling us what it is, it shows the SCP in descriptions and left notes, having us piece the usage of the SCP itself.

No doubt there are good SCPs that primarily tell instead of show, but those are SCPs where the novelty is in the concept. Remember "here be dragons"? That's a great example to show don't tell.

Point is, there is a situation where telling is better than showing, but when the time comes, it's better to let the audience piece it together than to just outright tell them.
 

BenJepheneT

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That said, I think Tolkien writing is a boring slog that made me want to drop the book multiple times and I only persevered through because it was "a classic", as I'd have surely dropped it without a doubt if it was something by any other writer. And once I finished The Hobbit and LotR I made sure to never touch anything else made by Tolkien ever again.
Tolkien is more of an exception. He more or less PIONEERED fantasy. The revolutionary thing he did was flesh out a believable world packed full of lore to discover even outside the boundaries of his exposition. He's a good world crafter, not so much as a storyteller. That isn't to say LOTR and The Hobbit weren't good books (I quite enjoy them and go back to em' every once in a whole), but for the time being, he's more of a figure to learn from than to admire.
 

Assurbanipal_II

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None. People rarely bother to comment in my case, and they even rarer bother to write a helpful critique besides they don't like - not surprising - my MC and they don't like the writing style.

So, to make a long story short, no advice given = no best piece of advice. :blob_cookie:
 

ShrimpShady

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I don't think anyone taught me these things per se, but rather I realized these lessons through the works that I love.

1. Your protagonist should help the other characters with their problems, not solve them. (learned this from the Monogatari Series)

2. Real life conversations are more than just two people sitting around and talking. Do the same with your dialogue, don't let the characters just sit and talk without doing anything or interacting with the environment. It's also perfectly fine for your characters to go on tangents when they're talking, as long as your tangets are interesting, engaging, funny, or add something to the characters, regardless of whether or not they're relevant to the subject matter at hand. (learned this from Quentin Tarantino's dialogue scenes)

3. If you aim to write characters who are meant to emulate living human beings, do give them something to do or some kinda substance outside of what's relevant to the plot. Like, give them a totally unrelated hobby, give them a circle of friends who have nothing to do with the actual plot, or give them an ambition that isn't saving the world/getting the girl/living their best life with a harem in another world. (learned this from a lot of pieces of media, but three that stick out for me would be Senjougahara from the Monogatari Series' passion for astronomy, Shinji Ikari from Evangelion's cello playing, and Ayumu Aikawa from Kore wa Zombie Desu ka's breakdancing abilities.). These elements might not add much to the plot, but they add a nice and subtle touch to your characters that brings them just a little bit closer to actual humanity.

4. The easiest way to wring emotions out of your audience is by having the main couple go stargazing (learned this from every single anime that involves stargazing)
 

AliceShiki

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Tolkien is more of an exception. He more or less PIONEERED fantasy. The revolutionary thing he did was flesh out a believable world packed full of lore to discover even outside the boundaries of his exposition. He's a good world crafter, not so much as a storyteller. That isn't to say LOTR and The Hobbit weren't good books (I quite enjoy them and go back to em' every once in a whole), but for the time being, he's more of a figure to learn from than to admire.
Aye, his story is fine for its time, it's just... Dated. So IMO many of the things he did just aren't good enough for modern day storytelling.

But his contribution to the way fantasy shaped up is nothing to scoff at~
 

ChronicleCrawler

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Write everything that's in your mind. There's no such thing as writer's block. only a blockhead writer. Write what you see, what you feel, what you smell, what you hear, and what you taste. Behold, now you've written something.
 

Vaerama

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Best advice I've had is to just put it out there. I'd been writing here and there, but I was always afraid to even put something up, because 'what if I just dropped it, like i've done so much else in life'. I'd have been doing me a disservice, and goodness forbid anyone actually enjoys it by the time I inevitably fail to keep going!

But I did keep going. 2 days wrapped up in a cocoon after the first one dropped, afraid to even look at it... but then I found myself wanting to write the next one, even though it scared me. Years I've wasted coming in and out of the same stuff, and never hitting post... rather: I've written hundreds of pages only to delete (near-all) of them, only few snippets were saved from my hateful delete key by my husband.

So for me, may not be true for you, or anyone else... what I needed was to put something up I couldn't pretend away and trash in the darkness. Now I want to write even on days when I really shouldn't (like today, eyes aren't too well considering the lack of sleep I got, but I'll still probably put up 500-1500 words by the end of the day, despite myself)!

Tolkien is more of an exception. He more or less PIONEERED fantasy. The revolutionary thing he did was flesh out a believable world packed full of lore to discover even outside the boundaries of his exposition. He's a good world crafter, not so much as a storyteller. That isn't to say LOTR and The Hobbit weren't good books (I quite enjoy them and go back to em' every once in a whole), but for the time being, he's more of a figure to learn from than to admire.

Well, the pioneer of the 'epic fantasy' brand of modern fantasy, and he popularized the term 'fantasy' (as opposed to 'fairy tales', 'gothic horror', 'fantastical', and others). Guy set the stage for success with fantasy, particularly in his marriage of magic and fantastical beings, both of which are in *usually separate* abundance in the stories below.... with the added advantage of 'an epic quest' styled similarly to the Iliad (or the Odyssey, if the abject suffering inherent in LotR can be factored in, I know I love it... >__>)

But the fantastical itself has been rather well developed with excellent works... Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, A Christmas Carol (my first love in reading), Carmilla (my spiritual goddess) and Dracula, Frankenstein, Undine and The Little Mermaid, The Portrait of Dorian Gray (a personal favorite), to say nothing of fun little pieces of fantasy folklore of Arthurian ilk, or which came out of Arabia before Islam... put rather a stop to it.

The 'real' pioneer of the fantastical is Horace Walpole, and I'll not hear otherwise! :D Tolkien brought us 3 pages on just how dark the black darkness was, but ol' Horace Walpole brought me all the lovely terrors that fantasy is capable of bringing to bear!
 

Vaerama

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So much people having bad opinions on Tolkien here lol.

That's probably because the Lord of The Rings is a slog one has to be extremely determined to get through.

A Christmas Carol? Charles Dickens can tell me all manner of fun stuff in his handy use of the Em Dash, and I'll be like 'yeah, you go Charlie! Respect! Gospel!'

LoTR? Tolkien spends 2 pages here all in elf tongue, over there is an entirely out of place section of the story in Tom Bombadil (do not make me find out how to spell that), and that's to say nothing of the absolute messiness of parsing the guy's naming sense... is there both an Eowyn and an Arwen? That does a number on the eyes if you're not careful with those equal ending bits of the same size in the midst of 'elf-tongue' and whatever else.... and if that wasn't enough, the overly observant perspective can break me completely out of my immersion!

It's like reading the Grapes of Wrath... if the Grapes of Wrath couldn't stay fuckin topical!

I do love The Hobbit though, I just wanted to say. That's a well constructed story, stays excellently topical and within parseable perspective. Extremely good, The Hobbit. Love the movies of LoTR (definitely do not like The Hobbit movies), but the books are just..... they're just not doable:

I've read Jules Verne and Robert Lewis Stevenson's typewritten wordy messes, and I don't have much trouble with them anymore... but no matter how much I read: LoTR is hard. It's messy, it's wordy, it's overly descriptive of the irrelevant AND underly descriptive of the VERY relevant at the same time >___< It's not good. It's like The Bible, there's a few bits here and there that might well be gold, and there's certainly enough written that there's bound to be some hither and thither.... but it's a DAMNED SLOG!
 

Variation

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Not something anyone told be but I'll share.
helpful little habit I've found is going through a site like novel updates and browsing for your own tags. Just reading through all the criticism on similar stuff can really help you watch out for common pitfalls without taking the criticism yourself.
Useful for the timid.
 

skillet

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4. The easiest way to wring emotions out of your audience is by having the main couple go stargazing (learned this from every single anime that involves stargazing)

Lol MOOD haha great advice right there, lowkey might use this just for the tongue-in-cheek reference to this advice :D
 
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