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Author Topic: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___  (Read 153616 times)

JackoftheBox

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2012, 07:44:08 pm »

This will be an interesting thread to follow. I've always been intrigued by the idea of writing a story of my own, but always struggle with the beginning. This thread just might give me right idea on how to do that. So so, following with interest, maybe posting if I'll get the spark.
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This morning I found myself looking at the numberplates of the cars on my drive in to work and seeing them as tileset characters in ASCII... a silver Renault I was behind had an interesting scene of a Human wrestling a Minotaur near a bin.

nenjin

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2012, 08:04:28 pm »

Quote
It's alright if the paragraphs look short when you're switching between speakers. It's to make it easier for the reader to know whose speaking at all times.

Yeah. Outside of dialog, a single sentence standing on its own signals to the reader that the line is supposed to have impact.

Consider:

The shaft pierced Dulon's chest and he fell to his knees, his hands clutching at the arrow. Through his agony he saw the line begin to falter, as his brothers in arms fell one by one to the axes' of his foes. He thought of his city burning, his people scattered to the winds and the throne of his King smashed into a thousand splinters. The pain of his death wound was nothing compared to the knowledge that he had failed.

On the fields of Peldror, Dulon died in shame.

Versus:

The sun was high in the clear blue sky.

The grasslands whispered as the wind passed over it.

He had been riding all day and night and he was tired.

There were many miles to go until he reached the capital city and he feared he would not reach it before nightfall.

He was afraid.

---

One is a distinct set of ideas wrapped in a paragraph. The other are isolated ideas floating out there. Is there meant to be symbolism there? Is it just being poetic? Paragraphs can help emphasize, or de-emphasize, what you write for the reader. Consider it kind of like a movie. Does a movie present a scene by showing you isolated elements, one at a time? Or does it present a scene holistically, where each element supports the next? Think of paragraphs the same way. Dialog is the same. When two people are talking, the favorite angle to use is the over shoulder angle, where each actor's face is shown while they're talking. (Most of the time, there are many stylistic ways to screw with it.) Dialog is the same way when written, where each line stands on its own just like a camera would show the face of a speaker in a movie.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 08:08:11 pm by nenjin »
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If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the Gods, and the nights will flame with fire.
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lordnincompoop

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2012, 08:11:05 pm »

Just don't over do it. Otherwise you put out choppy sentences and that's almost as bad.

Often, that's more indicative of the writer lacking flow and coherence than improper use of paragraph breaks.
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Willfor

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2012, 08:19:45 pm »

My contributions to the resource list:

http://www.writingexcuses.com/ <- A podcast by genre writers who are all published. There's a lot of good material here, and while there is material you may not need, you're allowed to skip around to what you need. They always give a writing prompt at the end of each podcast.

http://coyotecult.com/communities/sfandf_critters/references/limyaael.php <- Limyaael's fantasy advice rants. There is a wealth of knowledge in here based on one of the pickiest readers in the fantasy genre. She has her own tastes, and those may not be your own tastes, but her perspective can improve critical thought.

http://writeordie.com/#Web+App && http://editminion.com/ :

Write Or Die is a webapp (though it's available on other platforms for a price) that checks to make sure it is receiving input in a specified amount of time. Keep typing until you're done, and you're good. Stop typing, and it will start to alert you to the fact that you've stopped. You can set it to different alarms.

Editminion is a webapp that goes over your stories for the most common problems editors face. HOWEVER it is not always right. Its best use is to highlight things that might be problems, but you should always use your own discretion as to whether it has found a real problem or not.
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nenjin

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2012, 08:27:18 pm »

Quote
Often, that's more indicative of the writer lacking flow and coherence than improper use of paragraph breaks.

Not necessarily. For web reporting, we were urged to break paragraphs down to sentences as much as possible for readability. One idea per complete sentence was their mantra. It's just a very direct style of writing.

It has applications for fiction writing too. If your sentences sit out there like that, they should be good sentences. If they're not great sentences, they should be wrapped into a paragraph that gives them context and allows other ideas to flow from them.
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If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the Gods, and the nights will flame with fire.
Quote from: Viktor Frankl
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Quote from: Sindain
Its kinda silly to complain that a friendly NPC isn't a well designed boss fight.
Quote from: Eric Blank
How will I cheese now assholes?

Pnx

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2012, 08:38:59 pm »

Spoiler (click to show/hide)


I actually have to go sort some stuff out right now, so I'll try to get around to finishing this later.
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UltraValican

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2012, 08:57:20 pm »

Trying cause Im bored.

I was the first to enter the dungeon.
My "master", a human priest who serves some weak god of knowledge, insisted I enter first.
The bastard wasn't two steps in this cursed place and he was already using me as a meat shield.
   The dungeon smelled of blood, feces, and misery. My master urged me forward through a dark corridor that led into a rather large room. In the rooms, center rested a bright pink potion labeled: FRAGIO. I tried to pick it up, but my master promptly caned me away from the "treasure". After a few moments, my master shoved the potion into my hands and ordered me to drink. I knew the dangers of drinking unknown substances.  There was no discussion. I quaffed the potion down. The cocktail itself was sweet tasting, too sweet. My stomach began to churn as I began to howl out in agony. I inadvertently dug my claws into my own stomach as I collapsed onto the ground. I howled out again in pain. My master looked on with cold piercing eyes. I vomited onto the floor, as I prepared to see my ancestors in the Great Beyond.
   My master shushed me.
   "Be quite you..."
    Both of us could here laughter, sinister cruel laughing. Several humanoid creatures with bloody flesh red skin and the faces of dogs poured into the room. Each one held several sinister looking weapons in their hands, and a stupid look on their faces. My master began praying wildly, as the creatures surrounded us. I stared bleakly at the floor; the pain subsided, but I thought I could play dead.
Death. What a fool I was to think Death was the release I would receive. No. Earn.
Be it magic or divine intervention, every single dog faced creature dropped dead in pain. My master quickly produced some food and began to feast. After his meal, he beat my prone body about the head with a cane.
"You will die when I say die, Troll", He said. "Your little stunt just cost you meal time, now come."

I rose from the ground a shambled into the next corridor.

Okay how bad is it?
 
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Phantom of The Library

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2012, 08:59:36 pm »

The quest to find ORB OF ZOT!!

Spoiler (click to show/hide)



Everything I was going to say has pretty much already been said.  Paragraphs are very important.  A piece of advice that really helped me whenever I was first beginning was actually meant to be advice for essay writing.  "Paint a picture with words"  Consider this, when you are writing, what you are doing is taking an image in your mind and making it so that others can see it.  This does not mean that you should overuse descriptive language, but rather that everything should flow and be bound together, a painting of a mountain does not look like a painting of a mountain if you randomly draw bits of a desert on it.  Each sentence should transition into the next. 
Another thing that might help is:  Read over your work and edit before you declare it finished, this is probably the best thing for any writer to do.

Also: Thanks for contributing everybody, and thanks to Willfor for the links I'll add them to the OP as soon as I finish some other stuff.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 09:07:27 pm by Phantom of The Library »
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The Fool

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2012, 10:39:57 pm »

It took a little while to write, but I like how it turned out. I might just turn this into a series of short stories, and write one for each prompt.

Spoiler: The Demon in the Dark (click to show/hide)

How was that?
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Phantom of The Library

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2012, 11:06:15 pm »

Spoiler (click to show/hide)


I actually have to go sort some stuff out right now, so I'll try to get around to finishing this later.
For now I would say that you have the opposite problem, too many paragraphs, there are at least three places where you could have just continued on that line instead of hitting the enter button.

Trying cause Im bored.

I was the first to enter the dungeon.
My "master", a human priest who serves some weak god of knowledge, insisted I enter first.
The bastard wasn't two steps in this cursed place and he was already using me as a meat shield.
   The dungeon smelled of blood, feces, and misery. My master urged me forward through a dark corridor that led into a rather large room. In the rooms, center rested a bright pink potion labeled: FRAGIO. I tried to pick it up, but my master promptly caned me away from the "treasure". After a few moments, my master shoved the potion into my hands and ordered me to drink. I knew the dangers of drinking unknown substances.  There was no discussion. I quaffed the potion down. The cocktail itself was sweet tasting, too sweet. My stomach began to churn as I began to howl out in agony. I inadvertently dug my claws into my own stomach as I collapsed onto the ground. I howled out again in pain. My master looked on with cold piercing eyes. I vomited onto the floor, as I prepared to see my ancestors in the Great Beyond.
   My master shushed me.
   "Be quite you..."
    Both of us could here laughter, sinister cruel laughing. Several humanoid creatures with bloody flesh red skin and the faces of dogs poured into the room. Each one held several sinister looking weapons in their hands, and a stupid look on their faces. My master began praying wildly, as the creatures surrounded us. I stared bleakly at the floor; the pain subsided, but I thought I could play dead.
Death. What a fool I was to think Death was the release I would receive. No. Earn.
Be it magic or divine intervention, every single dog faced creature dropped dead in pain. My master quickly produced some food and began to feast. After his meal, he beat my prone body about the head with a cane.
"You will die when I say die, Troll", He said. "Your little stunt just cost you meal time, now come."

I rose from the ground a shambled into the next corridor.

Okay how bad is it?
 


Actually it was pretty good, the only thing that's blaringly noticeable at the moment is that you get a little repetitious at times. 


It took a little while to write, but I like how it turned out. I might just turn this into a series of short stories, and write one for each prompt.

Spoiler: The Demon in the Dark (click to show/hide)

How was that?

Hhhm, pretty good, you have pretty good characterization.  Near the end it gets a little choppy though, a few fewer periods maybe.
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This is what happens when we randomly murder people.

You get attacked by a Yandere triangle monster.

Tiruin

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2012, 11:38:24 pm »

Would love to join in as a semi-mentor. Still learning the ropes on punctuation, but I've heard from others that I'm doing well in the usage of English, even if it isn't my first language.


Will edit later, if anyone has questions then please post. Bay12 is a very helpful forum, from experience, so don't be afraid.

We don't bite.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 11:46:11 pm by Tiruin »
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Even though accounts vary, everyone has a legendary story to tell.

The Writer's Apprenticeship - A thread dedicated to literary art!

Tales of Shattered Dreams - My RTD, a continuous work in progress.

Digital Hellhound

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2012, 12:43:13 am »

I heartily recommend picking up How NOT To Write A Novel, even if you're an experienced writer. It's a good book, both useful and unbelievably funny!
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nenjin

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2012, 04:43:36 am »

Here's a resource I found a long, long time ago, that's made its way around the internet for years.

Behold, the Turkey City Lexicon

Consider it a document specifically about science fiction tropes, cliches and bad habits that can be applied to many fiction genres with a little extra thinking. It's a great read all around and a good place to bounce story ideas off of.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 05:16:11 am by nenjin »
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If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the Gods, and the nights will flame with fire.
Quote from: Viktor Frankl
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Quote from: Sindain
Its kinda silly to complain that a friendly NPC isn't a well designed boss fight.
Quote from: Eric Blank
How will I cheese now assholes?

Tiruin

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2012, 05:22:41 am »

Another note before I take on the critiquing of other's stories. (May I, Phantom?)

When you write or type as is the case, your words would seem perfect in grammar and pronunciation in your mind as you hit those keys.

Writer, beware: every single punctuation mark, space and paragraph highlight those thoughts and help convey your meaning, without them your words will have less of a meaning.

We, humans, cannot read minds by the way  :D .
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Even though accounts vary, everyone has a legendary story to tell.

The Writer's Apprenticeship - A thread dedicated to literary art!

Tales of Shattered Dreams - My RTD, a continuous work in progress.

kerlc

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2012, 06:02:35 am »

there are two stories on which i have worked for a long time. i want for someone to check them and criticise.

The Diary

The Librarian

thank you.
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