Writing Seeking Writing Advice from Experienced Authors

FranGark

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Apr 21, 2024
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Hi there,
Just discovered the forum. Anyway, I'll get right down to it. I published my first fanfiction two months ago and I'm looking for some guidance. I've watched videos on story planning, character creation, and setting a consistent writing schedule, but well I'm certainly no pro, my writting is probably trash and leaves a lot to be desired.

I'd love to hear from experienced writers who can offer advice, tips, and tricks they learned when they were starting out. Any feedback on my writing would also be greatly appreciated.

Here's the link: https://www.scribblehub.com/series/1067511/attack-on-titan-wolfborn/


Edit:

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience :blob_hug::
TsuruI_am_a_bot, OokamiKasumi, Enfabled, DubstheDuke, TheEldritchGod, Syringe, MasFaqih, Story_Marc, Lloyd, PancakesWitch, MrPopocap, Tyranomaster, ParticleOfSand, Tim_Saian, Vnator, K5Rakitan, Simo, KoyukiMegumi, Hans.Trodheim


I compiled all of your advice in a note, thought it would be simpler to leave it here. Huge thanks to everyone again!

  • Write regularly, even if it's just 100 words per day, to keep your story fresh in your mind
  • Fail often, learn from your mistakes, and keep writing to gain experience and improve
  • Have fun and write what you love, staying true to yourself
  • Read extensively and analyze what you enjoy and don't enjoy in stories
  • Read both good and bad writing to learn what to do and what to avoid
  • Take inspiration from your favorite books, shows, games, and other media
  • Be open to constructive criticism on aspects like pacing, clarity, etc. but don't let others dictate what you write
  • Make notes of significant plot points to create a story framework, then fill in the journey between those points
  • Determine the direction you want for your work, then seek out specific advice and answers
  • Ask for feedback and compare your work to others to gauge if you're on the right track
  • Don't let reader expectations or negative comments dampen your motivation
  • Consider starting with fanfiction to practice in an established world.
  • Or jump right into your original ideas is also helpful to get a complete experience.
  • Use editing tools like Grammarly and Google Docs to help catch mistakes(ChatGPT but don't rely too much on it as it could change your writing)

Resources:

- [Tutorial] For new users of Scribble Hub!

- Writing - Corty's Tip Jar

- https://forum.scribblehub.com/threads/tyranomasters-guide-to-getting-readers.18063/
- Element Of Style By Strunk And White
- Check TheEldritchGod's answer(big compilation don't know how to point to it here)
- https://forum.scribblehub.com/threads/tutorial-fixing-writers-block.18603/ ; https://forum.scribblehub.com/threads/tutorial-dealing-with-creative-doubt.18626/(some of OokamiKasumi's tutorials)
- https://www.youtube.com/@story_marc
 
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MrPopocap

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Sep 7, 2022
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Hi there,
Just discovered the forum. Anyway, I'll get right down to it. I published my first fanfiction two months ago and I'm looking for some guidance. I've watched videos on story planning, character creation, and setting a consistent writing schedule, but well I'm certainly no pro, my writting is probably trash and leaves a lot to be desired.

I'd love to hear from experienced writers who can offer advice, tips, and tricks they learned when they were starting out. Any feedback on my writing would also be greatly appreciated.
First of all, dont listen to the guy above me. Start with anything you like, fanfic or one shots. HELL, only write those if you want that, but make sure you try and improve on your writing style along the way.

If you want to do an original, take your time to think about the whole plot ahead of time, the MC, the friends, the antagonist etc. It helps alot when writing;

Well, if you still don't use it, I recommend a editing site like Grammarly or GoogleDocs to help with your grammar and any mistakes you might have on your fic.

Write everyday, even if 100 words. It helps to keep the story fresh on your mind.

There's many more tip, but I'm still a newbie and I will always be one, so I can't help much. Just do your thing, have fun, and that's all.
 
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Tyranomaster

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This provides comprehensive advice.



These two are shorter quick tips.
 

FranGark

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Apr 21, 2024
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First of all, dont listen to the guy above me. Start with anything you like, o fanfic or one shots. HELL, only write those if you want that, but make sure you try and improve on your writing style along the way.

If you want to do an original, take your time to think about the whole plot ahead of time, the MC, the friends, the antagonist etc. It helps alot when writing;

Well, if you still don't use it, I recommend a editing site like Grammarly or GoogleDocs to help with your grammar and any mistakes you might have on your fic.

Write everyday, even if 100 words. It helps to keep the story fresh on your mind.

There's many more tip, but I'm still a newbie and I will always be one, so I can't help much. Just do your thing, have fun, and that's all.
Thanks! I did try laying out the story before hand, the major events and relationships, but I use it more as a guide not a strict roadmap I guess. I didn't even think of those sites for grammar and editing, definitely will start using them now. I'll check out your stories, thanks again for the help!
 

Tim_Saian

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Jul 28, 2020
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I agree with all that's been said. There is undeniable benefit to crafting your own story but as someone who started down this path with fanfiction and has later returned to it, I see the value in it. Practice makes perfect and it's easier to practice in a sandbox that's already been prepared for you. You can flip and twist the IP however you wish when writing fanfiction and it will give you an idea on how to handle character development as a facet of fanfiction has always been changing the behaviours of said beloved or even hated characters, with practice you'll learn how to make douchebags likeable and apply that knowhow to your own original work. Good luck, consistency is bae.
 

Vnator

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The best advice is to just start writing, and keep writing! There'll be mistakes with the grammar and the story overall, but that's natural. Use your text editor (Word, Google Sheets, etc.) for spellcheck and grammar check. Finding issues with the story or writing in general will be harder, but the best way to deal with that is to keep reading as well. Good and well-recognized good stories to take from, bad stories so you know what not to do, and maybe even some professionally published literature that's been combed over by an editor so you know what really good writing looks like!

After that, check out the book "Elements of Style" which will bring your writing abilities to an entirely new level. And after that? Just keep writing! That's the only way to really get better, and I went from mid stories to really good ones.
 

Simo

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Consistency is the most important thing. Once you start, do not stop, you will improve with time. And don’t take criticism or hate comments to heart. Learn from the ones you can and ignore the ones you can’t. And most importantly, just have fun.
 

MrPopocap

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Thanks! I did try laying out the story before hand, the major events and relationships, but I use it more as a guide not a strict roadmap I guess. I didn't even think of those sites for grammar and editing, definitely will start using them now. I'll check out your stories, thanks again for the help!
Honestly, my advice on that is : Start Writing with the ideas you have and see how it goes.

I have problems with procrastination ( who doesn't 🙃) and literally one of ways I use to write things is using the advice I gave you. I start to write, focusing on 300 words and when I notice , 30 minutes passed and I finished a chapter I didn't have a plot to minutes ago.

Down the line and before publishing the story , see if you have inspiration to somehow improve it. I recommend you have 50k words or at least 30 - 50 chapter ready before posting the fic, as it would give you some time to read the feedback others gave you.

I wish you luck and I'll make sure to follow your fics!
 

KoyukiMegumi

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Write and fail, then write some more. I'm not experienced enough to say what works or not. But I know the only way to learn is to fail. Mistakes make you stronger, not weaker. Also, don't be afraid to post. We all start somewhere.
 

Hans.Trondheim

Hans off, please!
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Write and fail, then write some more. I'm not experienced enough to say what works or not. But I know the only way to learn is to fail. Mistakes make you stronger, not weaker. Also, don't be afraid to post. We all start somewhere.
This is legit writing advise. Nothing beats experience when it comes to improvement. I'd also recommend determining what direction you'd like for your work, then look online for answers. Reason is, there are lots of authors out there advising something, and it can get chaotic (and contradictory) if you'll take all of those in.
 

FranGark

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Apr 21, 2024
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Honestly, my advice on that is : Start Writing with the ideas you have and see how it goes.

I have problems with procrastination ( who doesn't 🙃) and literally one of ways I use to write things is using the advice I gave you. I start to write, focusing on 300 words and when I notice , 30 minutes passed and I finished a chapter I didn't have a plot to minutes ago.

Down the line and before publishing the story , see if you have inspiration to somehow improve it. I recommend you have 50k words or at least 30 - 50 chapter ready before posting the fic, as it would give you some time to read the feedback others gave you.

I wish you luck and I'll make sure to follow your fics!
It's what I've been doing, I have to admit not everything has gone according to plan, changed lots of things along the way. Things I thought were fitting to the story that I later saw didn't fit so well so changed it. Luckily I've managed to write consistently so far, maybe dragged on too much on late chapters. I'm already sitting at 62k. Thanks again! I'll leave a link if you want to check it out later.
https://www.scribblehub.com/series/1067511/attack-on-titan-wolfborn/
 

TheEldritchGod

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Hi there,
Just discovered the forum. Anyway, I'll get right down to it. I published my first fanfiction two months ago and I'm looking for some guidance. I've watched videos on story planning, character creation, and setting a consistent writing schedule, but well I'm certainly no pro, my writting is probably trash and leaves a lot to be desired.

I'd love to hear from experienced writers who can offer advice, tips, and tricks they learned when they were starting out. Any feedback on my writing would also be greatly appreciated.
First, SEARCH FUNCTION IS YOUR FRIEND.
This question has been asked a thousand times.
Because you are lazy, I have compiled my answers:

While Reading, Put this on a loop:


WHAT IS "PHYSICS" IN FICTION?"



In fiction, we write stories based on reality, to some extent or another. It can follow reality very closely, like in a normal, slice-of-life romance, or it can have magic, super science, or spirits. It can even be really out there, like Flatland, a book about 2-dimensional life, and have very little do to with the laws of reality, as we know it.



However, by definition, every fictional story has FICTIONAL physics, because the book is... duh... fiction. You, the author, have to decide what rules you are keeping, and what rules you are throwing out. This is simple for most since most authors don't change physics much. Less is more, so most stories have a few changes, stated up front, and then the story tries to be "as normal" as possible from there. But maybe YOU are the exception.





I have developed a series of categories that I use for keeping my fictional setting's altered physics properly segregated so it is easier to keep track, thus avoiding emersion-breaking plot holes.





TERMS

Pataphysics - Imaginary Science (What we cannot conceive)

Metaphysics - Memetic Science (What we conceive)

Isophysics - Normal physics, but in the literary sense. (Objective reality)

Hypophysics - Quantum mechanics, but literary. (Subjective Reality)

Infraphysics - Null science (The science of nothing)

Paraphysics - An altered version of Meta, Iso, or Hypo.







EXAMPLES:

Pataphysics - Something completely alien to the human way of thought. This would be your neverborns or eldritch horrors of Lovecraftian origins. By definition, you cannot conceive Pataphysical concepts.



Metaphysics - This is thought. Pure concepts such as emotions, honor, philosophy, etc.

Para-metaphysics - It's where you take normal human thought and give it new rules that couldn't exist. The physical manifestation of thought would be a para-meta concept.



Isophysics - "Normal" physics, but the thing is, does "normal" physics really exist in writing? For example, 20 bad guys shoot SMGs at MC and nobody hits. This is Isophysics. Yes, it is POSSIBLE, but really, did that make sense? So, it isn't "physics", it's isophysics.



Para-Isophysics - You take physics and add new rules. This is most magic systems.



Hypophysics - Quantum mechanics, but again, literary. This gets a little fuzzy because TECHNICALLY, it should only be what is possible, but we don't know what is or isn't possible. On some level of reality, when you get small enough, perception changes reality. The act of observation alters what you observe. So this would be quantum mechanics as we understand it.



Para-Hypophysics - Quantum physics applied to macro objects. Again, this gets fuzzy. I put the line at "How hard is the Magic System/Super Science?" Para-Hypo is more sci-fi than Para-Iso, IMHO. It's more about how much justification you put into your altered physics. How closely do you "observe" your magic system? if you do a lot of hand waving, it's Para-iso. If you are very specific and detailed, chances are it should fall under para-hypo.



Infraphysics - The Science of NULL. This is a difficult concept to handle. It is the literary science of NOTHING. The absolute lowest end of concepts. Where we are dealing with the absence of everything. There might be a complete absence of matter/energy/thought, but even empty space has rules and permanence. So, if you are dealing with REALLY alien concepts about NOTHING, then you are dealing with Infraphysics.



You will note, that there are no Para versions of Pata or Infra physics. Why? Because it already IS as Para as we can get. There are no ALTERNATE versions of Pata or Infra physics because humans cannot even begin to conceptualize what is NORMAL for these versions of physics, much less what an alternate version of them would be.





IN PRACTICE:



Let's start with Isophysics:



You might say, why make up a new term? Just call it physics and be done with it. Why call it isophysics? Well, all isophysics falls under normal physics, but not all normal physics, falls under isophysics. What I mean is that isophysics are the rules of reality you, the author are KEEPING.



There was a new manga I read called Colorless. In this setting, it has most of the normal laws of physics. Buildings have foundations. People need to eat. Electricity works. That sort of this. All that would fall under isophysics. However, in this setting, there is no color, except for color that has been collected and harvested. This collected color has magical properties. So, under normal physics, there is a spectrum of color, but in this universe, there is not. The new and altered properties of color would fall under Para-Isophysics. Para-iso would be any normal laws of physics that you have changed or new laws that you have added. Typically, you would put most "normal" magic under para-iso.





However, if you are sticking with normal physics, but just pushing the boundary, it stays in Isophysics. Whenever you do something possible, but highly improbable, you should stick it under isophysics and keep an eye on it. Yes, luck exists, but if you use luck too much, it starts to move from isophysics to para-isophysics, and readers do not like it when you start making up powers on the fly to save your MC. It's a useful tool to keep track of "Possible, but improbable" events in your story. if you use them too much, you might want to consider going back to the start of the story and establishing that your MC is very lucky, or has a blessing from a leprechaun, or something, so it becomes easier for your reader to suspend disbelief.







Metaphysics:



Metaphysics is anything that deals with concepts. This is the realm of memes. If you can imagine it, it falls under metaphysics. We all know what thought is, so I hope I don't have to clarify that. However, you might want to get whacky with your memetics, so that becomes Para-metaphysics. Typically, that would be your ghosts, your spirits, gods, that sort of thing. If you want magic that is based off summoning spirits and then the spirits do the magic, that's Para-metaphysics. If your magic has personalities, it's Para-meta. So if you are just dealing with "hard" magic, you'd stick with para-iso, but if you are dealing with praying for spells, summoning spirits, that sort of thing, then you are moving into para-meta.



Now the two do bleed from one into the other. This isn't a hard and fast set of rules. Remember, this is to help YOU, the author, keep track of how you are altering your fictional setting and the changes you are making to reality. So, while a summoned spirit would be Para-meta, the magic it casts could fall under para-iso. It's useful to think of it this way, so that when you are considering "What can my MC do?" you don't make the mistake of making a given power a Swiss army knife. LIMITATIONS ARE GOOD.





People like to see MCs challenged and then overcome those challenges. They also don't like "new" powers that just 'happen' when the situation needs it. If you need the MC to get out of trouble, see if he has an already established ability you can twist and use in a devious manner to save his ass, rather than make something new, or if you must, make sure it's at least adjacent to an established exception.





Pataphysics:



I didn't make up the name. Some French guy did. This is the physics of what we cannot think of. If you can imagine it, it's metaphysics. If you can't, it's pataphysics. A good example of pataphysics is a 4-dimensional hypercube. We are three-dimensional. We cannot see in four dimensions, so we cannot truly "conceive" of a hypercube. We can make a 3-dimensional shadow of one, but in the end, we are just seeing its shadow and trying to imagine what it might look like





(Actually, because the back of our eyes is effectively "flat", we are seeing a 2-dimensional image of a three-dimensional shadow, of a four-dimensional object. Funny that.)



This is pataphysics in a nutshell. It is where you cannot conceive of something, but you can observe how such a thing might interact with what you CAN conceive. So if you are trying to write about truly alien concepts, then it falls under pataphysics. Oddly enough, a good chunk of horror stories use pataphysics. Most physics we can understand, but the utterly alien tends to send chills up one's spine. We can understand some guy chanting and casting fireballs. It's hard to understand why someone, with tears of bubbling pitch streaming down their face, would open three of their seven mouths to chant the song that destroys the world.





Both involve chanting, one is a bit more disturbing.



Pataphysics doesn't have to be terrifying, however. Look at Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic. Magic has a colour that we cannot see unless you are a magic user yourself. it is the 8th color. This would be Pataphysical. It's just a nice, yet alien touch to the story. I also like the part where he describes an object as being so cold it is ANTI-BOILING the water around it. So if you want to add just a pinch of the alien to your story, consider googling prefixes and suffixes and then take some concepts from your story and just mix and match. See what you can come up with.





Hypophysics:



Hypophysics is another word for quantum physics. Again, it is the physics you are keeping, hence why we use this term instead of quantum physics. Hypophysics is about the rules that govern very small things as well as minute details. When you try to observe very small objects, it gets increasingly difficult the smaller it is. For example, you need a microscope to see single-cell organisms. To go smaller, you might use an electron microscope. However, an electron microscope works by shooting a stream of electrons at an object. There is a limit to how small you can go with this.



Let's say you are trying to look at a single proton. If you used an electron microscope, this would be like trying to find out what color a beach ball is in a totally dark room by firing a stream of billard balls at it, then observing where the eight-ball bounced off to. This is what they mean when they say that the act of observing an object changes the object.





On a quantum level, perception changes the object you are looking at. If you took a stream of photons, trying to detect packets of energy, you will find packets of energy. if you switch to detecting for waves instead of particles, you will CHANGE the particles into waves. So if you have a stream of light that you split into two, and you start detecting for particles on one, and waves on the other, you will get 50% and 50% each. However, if you put a detector that detects only waves before the splitter, it will change the beam into 100% waves and you will stop detecting particles.



What's strange, is that this can work in reverse, changing the photons retroactively one way or the other.



All sorts of strangeness occurs with quantum mechanics. Teleportation, tunneling, entanglement, and some REALLY strange stuff that seems to break the speed of light and conservation of matter and energy. However, it has limits. You can't walk through walls. You can't teleport a person.



But what if you COULD?



That's where Para-hypophysics comes in. If you are dealing with super-science instead of straight-up magic, then chances are you are dealing with para-hypophysics. When you want to break the speed of light, you might turn your MC into a macro-tachyon. You know what a sonic boom is, right? What if you want to break the light barrier? Would that be a "Luminal Boom"? What the hell would that even look like?



Para-hypophysics is like a scalpel, whereas Para-iso is more of a sledgehammer. The "science" of Star Trek is mostly straight-up magic when you think about it, but the writers (used to) put in a lot of effort to TRY and connect it to real-world physics. There is no reason you cannot mix and match. You see, while I'm mostly splitting it up by Fantasy being para-iso and Super Science being para-hypo, it's not quite that simple.



Para-hypo is more about how perception alters reality, and Para-iso is more about altered objective reality. A wizard just says, "By my will be done" and casts his spell. The scientist needs to justify what he is doing. He has to perceive how the magic works. He needs a full framework in his mind of all the steps. So a "hard" magic system would fall under Para-hypo, because you are getting down into the nitty gritty. Most very complex magic systems in a LitRPG would technically fall under para-hypo.



If you do a lot of hand-waving, or magic isn't that central to your story, you can keep most of it in Para-iso. However, if you plan on getting down into the details of how the system works, you are "Observing" it in great detail, then it's Para-hypo. Note, that this isn't a hard limit here. Again, these are just ways of keeping concepts subdivided so it is easier to keep track of how your setting works.





Infraphysics:



Finally, we get to the strangest of the categories. The physics of nothing. What is nothing? And I mean, Null, Not Zero, because zero is a number and therefore exists. I'm talking about Nul, where you don't even have a ZERO. What is empty space? Is the void actually something? If you had a box with a true vacuum in it, and no light or any form of radiation or bosons of any sort passed through, and you brought it down to absolute zero inside the box, is anything there?



Oddly enough, yes. If you could take something down to true absolute zero, the universe would force the temperature back up via virtual particles, thus creating energy. If you could keep harvesting it, you could achieve what is called, zero-point energy. Which is basically taking reality and dividing by zero and somehow getting a result.





Alas, since the conservation of matter and energy exists, you don't get it for free. What you are doing is converting reality into energy. Imagine that the world was on a grid, like most video games. You have to place things on the grid, or objects snap to the grid for placement. Zero Point energy would be like burning the grid ITSELF for fuel. In other words, using the very fabric of the universe for kindling. On paper, it sounds nice. I bet there would be some problems if we actually pulled it off.



If you are dealing with concepts like this, you are dealing with infraphysics. But it would also cover the use of "null" in general. Another example would be how you view magic working. In Forgotten Realms, magic works because of "The Weave", but the goddess Shar noticed that the weave left gaps. The weave casts a "shadow" between the threads of the weave. So the goddess of night used this "shadow weave" to set up an alternate power source for magic that allowed her to get around the goddess of magic's stranglehold on magic.



Perhaps you view magic as gathering mana and then releasing it. An alternate method might be to "dig a hole" in reality. To create a "mana vacuum" that then, due to thermodynamics, causes mana to flow into the "negative space", and thus a way of using the mana around you without "gathering" it. So if normal magic users gather magic into themselves and then use that to cast magic, this "vacuum magic" would be more about clawing a hole in reality, than stealing mana from sources around you to "fill up" the hole.



Infraphysics is a hard concept to tackle. It's the exact opposite of Pataphysics. At least pataphysics allows you to infer what you cannot conceive by observing how the inconceivable interacts with the conceivable. With infraphysics, you literally have NOTHING TO WORK WITH. It is more of "the edge of the map" than a concept that you would use for organizing the laws of your fictional setting, but if you are the sort who likes to play around with "Things Man Was Never Ment To Know", then this category is definately somewhere on your "To Do" list for things to play with.









CONCLUSION:



Think of these categories as just the way to order things so that when you are considering adding in a new power, or exception to the laws of physics, you can properly compare it to the other exceptions you have already added and say to yourself, "Does this add anything to the story, or is there a better way to do this? Have I changed too much, or does this fit in with what I'm doing?



For example, if your story is a romance where the magic system revolves around summoning sexy nymphs and fluttering faeries to cast spells and do magic, it wouldn't make much sense to have the Villain use laser blasters and robots. Now summoning spirits to shoot lightning bolts, or binding them into corpses to create an undead army, that fits much better.


How long to write a chapter?

I spend up to twelve hours thinking about a chapter, then slam it out in an hour. There are many steps to writing. Planning is part of writing.

Editing is the part that takes the most time. Learn how to be your own editor.

-----------------------------------------------------

What About the first chapter?

1) The first sentence is what grabs my attention to read the first paragraph.
2) The first paragraph is what sells the first chapter.
3) The first chapter gives me a question that the reader should be curious about and your book should be the only way to answer that question.

I have a pattern.

Single Line at the start of the chapter to be a zinger.

Then I have a little exposition at the start of most chapters.

A paragraph explaining the setup.
Paragraphs are broken up by topic.
Occasionally a one-liner where I hit the reader with a single idea.




I will sometimes put something all by itself after many carriage returns to make it ESPECIALLY stand out.





"When having a conversation I have words inside quotations and get rid of the word 'said' whenever possible." Eldritch had discovered that people are smart enough to figure it out for themselves, "You just need a comma and some quotes to get people to know who is talking. The important part is to start a new chapter whenever the speaking subject changes.

My imagination interrupted, "This would be an example of that." It looked around and wiggled its tendrils, "Actions can be done by anyone and rolled into the paragraph." Eldritch nodded as my Imagination continued, "As long as who is talking inside the quotes remains the same."

"So Expositions should be all at the start of the chapter, with maybe a small wrap-up at the end, but if you get in the habit of having conversations like this, you can group things up in a way that is easier on the reader's eyes. It knows where one speaker ends and another begins. In fact, if you keep up the pattern, you won't even need to point out who is talking, the reader will figure it out by style of speech, or the fact only two people are talking."


Then, finally, I try to have a final zinger line to end the chapter on.






It's cheap psychological manipulation, but it works.

How about an example?

Author Note: This is my first time writing a novel, so bear with me now.



"Keugh... is this.. how I leave this world?" He coughs blood, and after a slight pause he laughs and smiles. "Oh well, whatever all I can do now is hope."

My life was full of stupid shit honestly, I never spent my time well.. if I could I wish I could go to a different world like Murim with some system, man, I should've stopped reading those weird novels, but whatever honestly, in the end, it's the survival of the fittest, even in this so-called "comfortable" world. All I hope now is that I at least don't go to hell, or get reborn, since me going to Heaven is the equivalent of letting a crazy murderer not go to jail while being caught.

"G-goodbye you shitty world." he tries to yell out loud while on the concrete ground, but only to output a barely audible voice with a lot of people looking down at him in worry, with sirens in the background.

Suddenly, he wakes up on a bunch of leaves and some grass, with rays of sun on his face. Still not comprehending what has happened, he looks around to see many tall trees with lots of leaves on them. He then feels a different type of clothing on his body, he sees himself wearing a red and black Hanfu. (I believe a Hanfu is the things people wear in wuxia or murim please tell me what the name is of what they wear.) When he tries to look around he notices his long hair going all the way down to his upper back. Upon noticing all of these details, he begins to check if he still has his manhood.

"Oh... thank god, I'm still a man." He redirects his attention back to his surroundings. "So where am I? By the looks of it it seems like I'm in a different universe?" He begins to remember the life he's lived giving him a irritated expression on his face. "AGH! Whatever, I just need to be better then last time, this time I will try to actually do something with my life."

And then out of nowhere a blue square appears right in front of him, not bounded by gravity or the laws of physics.

[Initializing...]

After looking in confusion for a little bit, a light begins to pop up in his head, causing him to grin a little bit at the realization of what has just appeared right in front him.

"My god, haha... is that a fucking system!? Please let it be a system and not just me being crazy." At those words the blue square begins to show numbers indicating the percentage of something.

[Initializing... 4% 7% 13% 25% 43% 77% 99%]

"What the hell, I'm not hallucinating? It really is a system!"

[Initializing... 100% Congratulations, Thank You For Playing Our Game!"
"Keugh... is this.. how I leave this world?"



Melvin was dying. he held his hand to his mouth as he coughed and pulled his cupped hand away to look at it. The odd mix of blood and mucus actually distracted him from the sucking chest wound for a few seconds. For just a moment, he forgot there was a small bullet hole in his back and the frickin Holand Tunnel out the front.

He fell to his knees, not quite sure who shot him in the back. Given the time of day, it was most likely anyone who knew his schedule. That meant this assassination was a betrayal, "Oh well, whatever all I can do now is hope."

The funny thing was, he had just realized he was doing things wrong. His whole life he'd be a bastard. He'd only thought about number one. He justified it with how life had treated him. His father was a working stiff who never got anywhere. Mom always bitched at dad and only thought about how much happier she could have been if she had only married Jack back in college.

Melvin spent most of his childhood getting the crap beat out of him, so as soon as he had his chance to get ahead, he took it. He had learned nobody cares, so he cared about no one. He was a very good liar and got ahead by backstabbing, betraying, and never ever showing mercy.


One day, that changed.


He realized everything he did was to get back at the people who beat the crap out of him. Everyone he hurt, was just an attempt to make things "right" to make things fair. But one day he realized something. He was just evil.

It started small. he couldn't do his job. He couldn't focus. he started trying to stop, get out. Nothing made him happy anymore so he just stopped doing drugs, stopped having sex, and stopped doing everything. He finally made up his mind. He was going to quit.

Unfortunately, his partners figured it out first.

Now he was face first on the sidewalk, people screaming, people running. He doubted anyone would catch the bastard who killed him, nor would anyone care. He just stared at the growing pool of blood under himself as he thought, ~Honestly, I really was going to try and fix things.~ He closed his eyes, ~Ah well, at least there's a special place in Hell for someone like me.~

Now, compare these two What is the QUESTION?
The original: What is this guy going to do?
My Rewrite: Is this guy going to make good on turning over a new leaf?

Which question is more compelling? Which one is more likely to get you to read to the end of the book to find out?

People like a question that goes somewhere and isn't open-ended. Keep that in mind.

------------------------------------------------------

HOW TO BE YOUR OWN EDITOR

1. Write the chapter yourself.

2. Run it through a simple spell checker like Word.

3. Go to ChatGPT and type "Rephrase The Following Paragraph" Take one paragraph of at least 3 sentences and save it in a separate file. Feed that paragraph to ChatGPT. Copy the resulting paragraph to a separate file. Make a hybrid paragraph of the best of both.

4. Repeat step 3 until you have done every paragraph.

5. Turn on Grammerly. Just use the spell-checking feature. Screw the suggestions.

6. Go through your chapter to search for the following words:
Suddenly
Very/really
Started
Just
Somewhat/slightly
Somehow
Seem(s)
Definitely
If you see any of these words, reconsider them. Usually, these words are misused. If someone is speaking, no problem, but outside of the conversation, they usually are a bad sign.

7. If any sections don't feel right use the following at random:
prowritingaid.com/rephrase
sudowrite.com/app
writesonic.com/
But they do not allow unlimited use, so just use these occasionally to get a different perspective on how you phrased something.

8. Put it through Text Edit and turn on the text-to-speech feature. Listen to the chapter and fix it as it reads it out loud to you.

9. Go through and check for words that you keep using over and over. Using the same word too often will stand out. Try to have at least three different ways of referring to any main character. Avoid using the same word more than once in any given paragraph, or at least no more than once a page (pronouns/conjunctions not included, obviously). The English language is incredibly diverse, so the more you force yourself to get creative using alternatives, the more interesting your work is.

10. Turn on Grammerly one last time for spell-checking.

-----------------

START AT THE END.

You need to know what the ending of a plotline is, At least the final gut punch you plan for the reader to have. You can have an epilogue afterward, but you need that final scene in your head at least. Just writing because "I have a cool idea." Doesn't work. You need to know the ending.

Most books are three acts.

You need a plot that starts then finishes in Act/Act, in order of importance:
1/3
1/1
3/3
2/2
1/2
2/3

What I mean is you introduce a plot in Act 1, then it ends in Act 3, followed by Act 1 ends in Act 1.

The overall plot, that goes from plot 1 to plot 3 is the most important, but 1/1 is the second most important because it KEEPS THE READER READING.

That means, before you start the story, you need to have 6 endings. I don't care how much you write it out, but you need 6 plots and 6 plot endings. ANYTHING ELSE IS BOTH UNNEEDED AND DANGEROUS. You also need to know how the plot STARTS. So you need 6 beginnings and 6 endings. However, if you work those out ahead of time, everything else is just filler to get the story to move from one key scene to the next.

For example:

1/3: Joe is summoned and he has to defeat the demon lord
1/1: Joe is dropped into a strange situation and needs to adjust.
3/3: Joe will have a setback he needs to overcome
2/2: Joe will go on a training montage.
1/2: Joe will encounter the miniboss and have to overcome them.
2/3: Joe will have a romance subplot where he meets a girl and they fall in love by the end.

So three things begin in the first act, 2 starts in the second, 1 in the last.
There is one conclusion in the first, 2 in the second, then 3 in the ending
(and if you do it well, it all comes together in one scene.)

It's simple, it's formulaic, IT WORKS.

If you do this, you won't "write in the wrong direction" because you know where the ending is. Once you work out those 6 starts and 6 ends, everything else in the book is just connective tissue.


--------------------


If you are having problems making a character Here's my cheat sheet


Name
Race
Apparent Age
Actual Age
Sex
Gender
Height
Weight
Eye Color
Hair Color
Parents (How many, Sex, general Relations)
Place of birth

Current mental Age group: (Childhood/teen Age/Young Adult/Older Adult/Elder)
Where PC/NPC spent their (Childhood/teen Age/Young Adult/Older Adult/Elder)
Note Worthy Events of (Childhood/teen Age/Young Adult/Older Adult/Elder)
Current Socio-Economic Standing (Poor/Lower Class/Middle Class/Upper Class/SuperRich)

Stats: 1-5
Physical: Strength/Dexterity/Stamina
Social: Charisma/Manipulation/Appearance
Mental: Intelligence/Wisdom/Perception

Morality (scale of 1-5)
Good-Evil (Objective Morality)
Right-Wrong (Subjective Morality)
Legal-Crime (Social Morality)
Positive-Negative (Outcome Morality)

I go with the 1-5 scale with occasionally 0 or 5+

Nobody lives in a vacuum. However, everyone rhymes. get in your head the above groups and some stereotypical traits for each.

A guy whose morality is Objective 1, Subjective 1, Social 5, Outcome 1 is the kind of guy who believes in "Good" Outside himself and seeks to internalize it. he thinks society is corrupt, and willing to commit crimes if the outcome is positive.

ie Batman.

Charisma is personality, Manipulation is how controlling you can be, and appearance is how you look.

So your typical otome Villainess is a Chr 1, Manip 4, App 4.

When you get good at it, you can "shorthand" a character with ease

--------------------------

How to self-motivate:

Tell yourself, "NO ONE LOVES YOU! YOU ARE A WASTE OF SKIN! YOU ARE ONLY WORTH SOMETHING WHEN YOU DO SOMETHING! IF YOU AREN'T DOING SOMETHING, WHAT GOOD ARE YOU? EVERY MOMENT YOU WASTE NOT DOING SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE, A BABY KITTEN DIES! IF YOU ONLY TRIED HARDER, THERE WOULD BE LESS DEAD LOVED ONES IN YOUR LIFE! EVERYONE YOU EVER LOVED THAT DIED IS YOUR FAULT BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T WORK HARD ENOUGH!"

Then I get back to writing.

---------------------------

On units of measurement:

If you wanna use metrics in your story, go ahead. It's your story
But I always use "We put a flag on the fuckin' moon" units.

--------------------------

On How Much You Write:

Brevity is the soul of wit.

Something pounded into my head was, "WHAT CAN YOU CUT OUT OF YOUR STORY?"

Every word you include is a fraction of a second to read. Every fraction adds up. Time is the currency of exchange between an author and a reader. I am asking you for time. I am asking you to SPEND TIME ON ME. So, I go through and I pare it down. Carefully and deliberately ask myself, "What Does This Bring To The Story? Is it redundant? Have I already told this to the reader? Does repeating it serve a purpose? If not, how do I cut it? If it is new, then how can I make it serve a second purpose? Is there a way to have this information have a second meaning? A third meaning? Can I combine it with something else? Will It change when the reader knows the ending and will it be BETTER? Is there a better plot point I can use instead? Can I subvert their expectations and give them something BETTER than they expected and if so, how much can I keep hidden from the reader so they truly can't see it coming, yet will think it was obvious in retrospect?"

Smaller. Tighter. More concentrated. BIG is the enemy. Flowery fluffy filler is a sign of weakness. Hit him hard, let the reader breathe, then hit him again, but short rabbit punches.

I know that quality is what matters, but in the back of my head, I have this Big Is Evil, hang-up. 500k Well Written Words is fine. the 500k isn't the problem.

Except it's a problem.

Part of me wonders, like it or not, is it too much? Then I say, "If it's quality, then it doesn't matter. You can have large quantities of quality. It does happen."

Then I say, "No it doesn't. You arrogant FOOL!"

------------

BEST TIME TO POST CHAPTERS

The best time is subjective, just be consistent.
HOWEVER...

I have anecdotal evidence that the best time is 12:01 am local time so you have the maximum amount of exposure to the algorithm. To get the most amount of "hits", post once every three days for maximum return. But that's just my own systematic testing of the system. Take it with a boulder of salt.

------------------------------------------

ON WRITING FANFICTION

Step 1: STOP. TEARING. YOURSELF. DOWN.

If you start by thinking, "This is going to be crap" then you will succeed in making crap.


Step 2: Become a scholar on the subject.

If you haven't, watch the show. Maybe watch it again. Make a point of watching an episode every day. NON-STOP. Unless you are a freak like me who can remember obscure details from one watching of an episode, they you need to learn the material.

For example, if you said, "What's the name of that computer that accidentally kills a redshirt by hooking up directly to the warp-"
ME: "The M5"

I can't remember the names of my co-workers who I have worked with for 5 years now, but the name of a AI that killed a RedShirt in a ST:tOS episode I watched once when I was 12? THAT'S EASY. So unless you are a freak like me, STUDY YOUR MATERIAL. Which also means that you need to WATCH OTHER VIDEO Essays on the subject. Bad takes. Good Takes. You need as many PoVs as you can get on the material.

You need to LEARN THE CHARACTERS BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL CREATOR.


Step 3: DO NOT SELF INSERT.

Every Author needs to write what they know, and who do you know better than yourself? However, you are new at this. Are you ready for when the readers start to TEAR YOUR SELF-INSERT APART? When they call your Self-Insert a little BITCH, or a sociopath, or a cunt, or systematically explain why the self-insert is a total loser and tear apart every flaw they have and basically vivasect your self-insert alive in front of you, are you going to be able to take that?

I am. I got no problem with that. I love having my flaws exposed and pointed out. It's a great way to grow and improve as a person. I went on a talk show once on Youtube and got RIPPED APART, but you know something? I grew from the experience. It hurt, but I learned something about myself and I became a better man.

How about you, mister, "I'm cutting my own legs out from under myself by assuming my story is going to suck before I even write it"? You gonna grow from having your self-insert's soul shredded before you? I don't think you are up for that.

However, it is okay to use ELEMENTS from your life. Personality quirks, but KEEP IT TO A MINIMUM.


Step 4: Craft your Isekai OC character Well.

A. Read up on isekai.
B. Determine if they will want to stay or strive to return.
C. Do they know the setting and story? How well?
D. What is their weakness? A MC without a weakness to overcome and grow is a lame MC.
E. What is their Strength?

You should give your MC some sort of perk. Something they are GREAT at. Yes, you can make them superstrong, or the best water bender, or they have multiple elements they can control, or they can control... nothing, but they have access to the internet.

ONE. PERK.

Yes, you COULD have them be Superman in A:tLA, but you are new. You do not know what you are doing. ONE PERK ONLY. Make them have to get creative. Maybe the only power they have IS being creative. They are a water bender, but they know how to make Steam, Ice, or Ice-7, which only forms under 30,000 Atmospheres of pressure. or they can break down Water into Hydrogen and Oxygen and make the air flammable.

Whatever it is establish it in the FIRST CHAPTER. your readers will put up with as much BS as you want to shovel in the first chapter as you want. HOWEVER, after that first chapter, you need to make everything a LOGICAL CONCLUSION FROM THAT.

"And THEN". not "Just HAPPENS"
Meaning, A leads to B leads to C leads to D.
Not A HAPPENS. B HAPPENS. C HAPPENS.
Consequences. Cause and effect. One thing causes another.

Step 5: Your OC should never overshadow the IP's original Characters.

Go to my Sig file. Read Hotrod Lantern.

the OC is Ungodly powerful. However, he STILL needed to be saved by the original IP characters. He HELPED them, but in the end, they had dealt with people MUCH more powerful than him in the past, so while he had his moments, he wasn't the top dog.

The main problem you will have is finding ways to make your OC LOSE. How to have him fail. Cost him. You need to kick him in the teeth. You need to make him WORK at it. At least once in your story, ask yourself, WHAT IS THE WORST THING THAT COULD LOGICALLY HAPPEN AS A CONSEQUENCE? Then have it happen. Don't hit him with a Meteor. Have his actions come back to bite him. He's sneaking in somewhere? He trips and activates the alarm. Whatever it is, at some point things should go WRONG.

Then have him scramble to fix it.


Step 6: Don't have everyone like him, unless his one perk is he's super likable.

If he knows the story, acting super chummy with the Main Characters will often set off red flags. How does he know how I like my tea? How DOES he know my nickname? What would YOU do if a complete stranger suddenly dropped into your life and knew everything about you and just kept smiling around you all the time?

You'd Freak the fuck out, that's what.

Make him WORK to become friends. Have him fuck up. Have him want to get busy with one of the babes and have her flat out REJECT HIM. BTW, the Subject matter? SEX AND ROMANCE IS RIGHT OUT. Unless you are making THAT sort of fanfic, this type of setting does NOT lend itself well to any sort of relationship, unless it's FRIENDSHIP. You said you wanted to be serious? Well, KEEP IT SERIOUS AND RESPECT THE SETTING.



Step 7: You need a REAL character.

What does this mean? The Reader will swallow anything in the first chapter, after that, he needs to ACT LIKE A REAL HUMAN.

Ryan is the MC of HKN. If you drop him in the middle of Hell, he will crack his neck, sigh, then get to work being a hero. Why? BECAUSE I BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF HIM. I put Ryan through HELL. I spent 20 chapters kicking him in the TEETH. I made him SUFFER. However, that all said. Now? Now it is totally in character for him to just look at any problem or threat, roll up his sleeves, and get to work.

Jack, is a goddamn coward. He acts in his own self interest FIRST. Yes, he does heroic things, reluctantly. Plus, he sucks. He is a REAL person with REAL goals and REAL REACTIONS.

If the MC sees a problem and goes, "No problem". beats up all the bad guys, never acts scared, never worries about anything, constantly makes jokes, and basically acts like nothing matters, then the reader will think nothing matters. Ryan can act like nothing matters, because he is suicidal and wants to DIE. You know his blase attitude stems from his pain. He throws himself into danger because he wants to be reunited with his dead wife. Ryan acts like a blase hero, because he is dead inside and part of his journey is learning to become a Real hero by actually CARING.

See the difference? Ryan is a wise cracking never say die hero because he's insane. You know why he acts the way he does and it's SAD. Occationally the pain leaks out. There are moments the facade cracks.

Don't try and do that. Stick to a NORMAL DUDE in an extraordinary situation.



-------------------------------------------------------------


ON TIME TRAVEL

Establish rules on Time Travel lest you completely fubar your story.

I myself have the omnipresent now, but with enough chronoenergy, you can create limited change in time.

Time is a series of beads on a string. You enter a bead and possibilities expand until you get to halfway through the bead, then possibilities contract until you get to the exit. However, you do not move in a set path, but your path is a series of beads inside a larger bead, inside a larger bead, until you get to a bead that is THE CURRENT UNIVERSE.

To change a bead, you have to obey the conservation of energy. Meaning, you need chronoenergy. Try to change too large a bead, it fails.

Going into the future is easy, but it doesn't matter. To go beyond the Omnipresent Now is just a 'What if' and nothing is set in stone until universal 'Now' catches up. If you run out of energy on your trip, you snap back to NOW.

The energy is used to 'fix paradoxes' For example, you go back in time, kill your own grandpa. You return to the present. If you had enough energy, that's fine. You are still alive. You are now a Neverwere. Maybe you go back in time and convince yourself to be evil. Now you return to the present there are two of you. You are now a Meanwhile.

The conservation of matter and energy is balanced by Chronoenergy. However, there is only so much in my setting. In fact, it's running out. The end of everything is Neigh. There are only a few million years left, and every immortal in existence is fighting over the last remaining scraps of time left.

That way, when readers go, "PARADOX!!! THAT DOESN'T WORK!!!" I go, "He had enough chronoenergy to pay for it." and move on.


------------------------------------


ON THE NATURE OF POWER


Power does NOT corrupt.
Addiction to power corrupts.
If one can avoid addiction to power, power reveals one's true nature.
An evil man with power will be evil, a good man will not.
Alas, dopamine is a hell of a drug.
A good man addicted usually tries to justify his actions by at least lying to himself, an evil man becomes a horror.
 

DubstheDuke

Well-known member
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
303
Points
103
Here's my two cents.

Don't write for the fans. Don't write for the popularity. Don't even write for the money.

You want to create something good?

Something really good?

Write for yourself.

Write because you love it. Write because you enjoy it. Write because you're having fun.

Write, even if you go 200 chapters before receiving a single comment.

Write, even if the haters blast your story with entire essays about how bad it is.

And laugh when they do.

Take inspiration from your favorite media. Keep on reading what you consider to be good, so that you can get a better understanding of what you consider to be good fiction. Then, take a look at your own - and think to yourself. What is the difference?

Write hundreds, thousands, millions of words. They're all going to be garbage. Write day in and day out, fail more times than you can count, experiment so much that you don't even know what you're writing anymore. And when you've finally lost yourself in the madness - a lightbulb will come on.

You'll find yourself laughing, crying, raging, hating, tearing the keyboard apart and sweating bullets as you try and become the characters that you create. It will feel like your mind is going to hell, but when all is said and done - you'll be laughing.

Laughing, at just how good the thing you've just made is.

"There can be no genius without madness. But madness without genius? There is plenty of that in the world."
 

Enfabled

New member
Joined
Nov 18, 2023
Messages
5
Points
3
Read. The second best thing you can do to improve your writing is to write, but the best thing you can do to improve your writing is read. Most advice you get from here is going to be highly subjective or from people repeating what they heard said by someone who may or may not know what they're doing, but reading and learning to recognize what you enjoy and don't enjoy in stories will not steer you wrong.
 

OokamiKasumi

Author of Quality Smut
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Messages
257
Points
103
I'd love to hear from experienced writers who can offer advice, tips, and tricks they learned when they were starting out. Any feedback on my writing would also be greatly appreciated.
There are literally hundreds of Tips available on this section of the forum for just about anything your heart desires to learn. The range is goes from one end of the writing spectrum to the other.

I suggest being far more specific about what you want to know.

Being specific actually helps us tutorial writers focus our answers on what you actually want to learn, as opposed to things you might already know.

☕

Full list of my writing tutorials. <-- Link


Never Forget!
End01.jpg
 

TsuruI_am_a_bot

Yandere Robot / Wife of Botty
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
769
Points
133
Hi there,
Just discovered the forum. Anyway, I'll get right down to it. I published my first fanfiction two months ago and I'm looking for some guidance. I've watched videos on story planning, character creation, and setting a consistent writing schedule, but well I'm certainly no pro, my writting is probably trash and leaves a lot to be desired.

I'd love to hear from experienced writers who can offer advice, tips, and tricks they learned when they were starting out. Any feedback on my writing would also be greatly appreciated.
I had ton of tips

but to summarize all of them : READ MORE, TRY MORE, FAIL A LOT, NEVER GIVE UP

Or to make analogy : Imagine yourself like a drawing artist.
(Look more at other people art, look at market, look at lessons, draw a lot, fail a lot, draw more, pick what is popular, pick smut, never give up)
 
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