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Author Topic: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___  (Read 153678 times)

Supermikhail

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #60 on: January 29, 2012, 12:58:01 am »

Spoiler: Disclaimer (click to show/hide)

Webpages, talked about in this post, which may be useful to you without all my rambling:

First of all, I've just stumbled upon an article which says important things, I think. Link No.1

One of the points in this article that are more poignant, at least for me and based on my experience, is that you shouldn't edit while you're writing. I imagine had I {heard of / followed} this advice {since the time I started writing / at least since two years ago} it would have... well, possibly not sped up my progress but at least saved me some sanity. Two years ago I had a thing on this board which involved posting short bits of prose involving community ideas. I took it very seriously, tried to do it daily and thought that each bit of prose should be stellar. It may not have been as bad if the idea was to write short bits of prose. But it actually was to finish a novel in this fashion. And it is now very clear that a stellar novel could not be accomplished this way. Maybe a first draft. But the concept of drafts wasn't very familiar to me then. So, I guess the lesson I'd like my 2-year-past-self to take away is that I should learn to make mistakes... the constructive way, I guess. (The last sentence doesn't seem to make any temporal sense. Whatever.)

The other important thing in that article is about time. When you're a beginner, you probably can't sit writing for 8 hours a day -- you're probably not going to write much in one sitting while keeping it up consistently -- and you need to keep it up consistently if you want to become good -- you'll write little -- and in this way you're going to have a first draft of a novel in a year. Not sooner. Up until a few months ago I kept telling myself that I'm going to finish my novel in a couple of months. That's not a healthy attitude, at least for me. It may be a short lapse in ambition or a short glimpse of sanity in my life - or a consistent +1 to WIS - but right now I wouldn't put a time interval on completing anything. Except that I recently played with a calculator and it appears that by the 10,000 hours rule I'm not even half of the way to expertise. So the lesson I'd like my 11-year-old self to learn is that it's going to take at least 10 years until I'm good if I'm going to write every day (however little it may be).  My 11-year-old self is not going to believe me because my 11-year-old self thinks there's a superman in everyone - or at least in everyone worth considering for this role. Fortunately, breaking important news to my past selves is not a problem I have to tackle in real life.

Last point I want to make involves another website. Link No.2 A creative IQ test. I think it might be a very objective test of a very subjective property. Actually, what it might tell you about is not your creativity per se, but how easy/difficult it's going to be for you to do your chosen creative thing. I scored a D on this test. It is well deserved - I'm obsessive, insecure, shy - and I think I'll have to do something about it before I'm able to be a successful writer.

So, hopefully this ramble is going to be useful to someone. And thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

---

Addendum - from my wisdom trove: I've been digging through my last year's diary, and stumbled upon an idea for writing prompts:

Create a striking story incorporating some facts you need to remember. I guess you could say, "hit two birds with one stone." For anyone thinking that incorporating some random facts into a story would be boring, I'd like to introduce you to Jonathan Coulton (for example, this Youtube video).
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 09:06:47 am by Supermikhail »
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Urist McScoopbeard

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #61 on: January 31, 2012, 07:09:16 pm »

Hello, I have a question about character creation: How specific should I be, I want to write a scene where the character gets defined but how specifc should I be? should I give his basic traits now and slowly reveal more about his character as the story goes on? or should I give it all all away now?

Also, can someone critique my scene at the bottom of page 4?
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Phantom of The Library

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #62 on: January 31, 2012, 09:47:08 pm »

Okay, even if I don't have time to review I can still make prompts for now.

___/WEEKLY PROMPT TWO\___

Since most people here seem to be comfortable with the fantasy genre I think we'll stick with that for now.
Describe a craftsman in a fantasy world of your own or somebody else's creation.

Focuses:

Character Development: Focus on a single character and make sure that by the time we are finished reading we understand the character, and also that it is presented in a way that keeps the reader's attention.

Environment Description: This is not a primary concern, but make sure that we at least have an idea of what the world is like, even if you choose to do it in say: a world that resembles Dwarf Fortress; assume that we are completely unfamiliar with the fantasy genre, but avoid talking down to your readers, always assume that the reader is at least as or more intelligent than you.

Short story form, should be between 200 and 700 words, it's okay to go over if you feel you have to, but the point here is to try to learn how to effectively describe a lot in a smaller amount of space.
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Supermikhail

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #63 on: January 31, 2012, 11:23:10 pm »

Hello, I have a question about character creation: How specific should I be, I want to write a scene where the character gets defined but how specifc should I be? should I give his basic traits now and slowly reveal more about his character as the story goes on? or should I give it all all away now?
I wanted to write a long profound post here, but... As with pretty much everything in creative writing, you can only determine the amount of characterization that is right for you by trial and error. The only thing is certain that you don't want too much or too little.
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Deadmeat1471

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #64 on: February 01, 2012, 08:25:12 am »

I don't know if were suppsoed to post this here, but here goes.
I had a short go at the above task, I don't write fantasy though, in fact I write very little at all (TOO little)  :P
I had some fun with this, but its a very short. It's based on a character I'm using in a book i'm writing, very early stages.


Spoiler (click to show/hide)

*If I changed this, I'd add little flashback moments/thoughts inbetween each of the smithing stages to A) beef it out and B) draw it along to a realistic time frame. Not just melt, drop, cool in one paragraph.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 08:29:58 am by Deadmeat1471 »
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Kattaroten

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #65 on: February 02, 2012, 05:14:06 pm »

Sorry if this is a bit long, I've never really shown any of my work before. This is something I wrote last during the weekend, it's a bit poorly edited and it's not perfect, but I would appreciate tips. Also, english is not my first language so please point out any and all grammatical mistakes.


Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Reudh

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #66 on: February 02, 2012, 06:46:36 pm »

I'll sign up as a mentor. I've got very good English skills, and I've had a background in reading and writing from a very early age. I can critique quite well, having learnt to in a diploma class.

Kattaroten:

-Some punctuation is a little fuzzy. If Eric is referred to as Eric the dwarf, as dwarf is a title in this case, perhaps it should be "Eric the Dwarf".

-The action in the first paragraph is superb. I can see what is happening merely by glancing at key words; and that is most definitely what is needed in an action scene. Well done.

-Some syntax errors ("fear for own safety" should be "fear for HIS own safety") but nothing critical.

-I can see that you've taken the 'splitting ideas into paragraphs' and emphasising a statement by using it in its own paragraph. Well done again. :D


Second paragraph:

-Minor punctuation errors. Mans should be man's, as he owns the sword.

-The thought not being encased in quotes is fine, often it's a stylistic choice. Some people are irritated by thoughts not being encased in quotes, but others aren't. Me personally? I don't mind.

-I like the way you emphasise the moment "Without warning, without any kind of sound". Repeating an idea in this way is very useful to communicate a character's fear and terror.

-The sentence 'Eric waited what must have been...' is a little clunky. It would work better if there's a break in sentences between 'open the cupboard' and 'the doors swung open with a creak.'

-'He peeked out, nothing...' - the comma could be replaced with a semi colon. Semicolons work like a longer pause with an unspoken 'and' after the semicolon. 'He peeked out; nothing, the corridor was as void of life as the room with the dead man.'

-'...the coast was clear everywhere' is a preonasm. That's when part of a statement is made redundant by the previous part. To say the coast was clear infers that it is completely clear, so 'everywhere' is not needed.

Third paragraph:

-It's unclear who you're referring to with 'His breastplate'. Assume the average reader will not understand. You and I know you're referring to the dead man, not Eric, but this should probably be changed to 'The dead man's breastplate...'

-'Cleft' is an absolutely perfect choice of word. Cleft means 'V-shaped hole', like what a sword cutting partway through a body would be.

-'...him and the floor, there was a lot of blood, more than Eric had ever seen.' This is clunky, but would work well as two sentences. Replace the first comma after floor with a full stop and start a new sentence, so that it becomes 'Blood covered him and the floor. There was a lot of blood, more than Eric had ever seen.'

-Call me crazy, but when Eric considers how much blood is contained in the man it could use a hyphen ( - ) where the comma is. I may be wrong, as I used to over use hyphens.

-Where Eric enters a foetal position, although this part of the paragraph sound awkward when I read it out, in my mind it works fine.

-You forgot a full stop after 'windows.'

-The knocking down of the chair part works well. No comma is needed after 'echoed'.

-The 'no' after the initial one does not need capitalisation. 'No, no, no, no!'

-The little action scene of Eric trying to get back into the cupboard works, however 'Barely being able to close the door before someone burst through the door' is a sentence fragment. It's not clear who is referred to. The correct phrasing would be: 'Eric was barely able to close the cupboard door before someone burst through into the room.'


Fourth paragraph:

-The initial few sentences leading up to the dialogue is fine. I can't find anything wrong with it. Unless you weren't trying to deliberately emphasise the steps between the servant walking to the door and opening it, but otherwise it's fine.

-The dialogue MUST be in 'speech marks' or "quote marks" - either are fine, but you must be consistant in what you use.

-I see you start a new line for each new piece of dialogue. That's good. That helps readers see who is talking.

-The rest of the paragraph is fine, besides the final sentence. That needs to be split into two sentences after 'light of dawn'.


Fifth paragraph:

-It's not clear who is looking for the key in his vest.

-'castles many tilestones' needs to 'castle's many tilestones' as the castle owns the tilestones.

-New sentence starting from 'When he turned the key'.

-Instead of 'thumps was heard' it should be 'thumps were heard'. If something plural is acted upon by a verb, it should be 'were' rather than 'was'. If it was a singular, as in 'A thump was heard', it would be fine.

-As I said, dialogue requires quote marks or speech marks.

-I enjoy the small part of the paragraph where Eric thinks about the Eisenschwärze. There is no fault I can find with it. Well done.

-The simile 'no more sound than a silk rubbing against silk' is very good. I liked it a lot.

-The dialogue is quite good, if a little stiff and formal.

-The remainder of the paragraph is very good. There are minor mistakes in punctuation and grammar, but besides that it's fine. :D

-'I'm getting jittery by all this fighting' should be 'I'm getting jittery FROM all this fighting.'

-Swore should be sworn.

-In the final part, 'eventually thought,' should be 'eventually though'.

-'Dead tired' doesn't really work in fantasy as it's modern slang. 'Absolutely tired' could work better.

-Start a new sentence from 'his dreams.' Remove 'and'.
I've spoilered a new marked up version for you in a new post.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 06:48:31 pm by Reudh »
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Reudh

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #67 on: February 02, 2012, 07:03:00 pm »


I liked reading this... Eric's a pretty likeable character.

Urist McScoopbeard

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #68 on: February 02, 2012, 08:53:07 pm »

If I may suggest something (keep in mind that I have no right to actually critique any work) for this latest story, you should define Eric The Dwarf's thoughts ex.) with italics, bold letters, different markings, etc. Also fantastic action man, I felt like I was right there in the cabinet hiding with Eric.
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Kattaroten

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #69 on: February 03, 2012, 06:05:22 am »

Wow, thanks a lot Reudh, that helps in so many ways. Ill try to keep everything you said in mind as i keep writing.
The formal language was a choice I made though, as he is supposed to be an ambassador. He would probably always be very formal with strangers since that is what he is taught to be, even in a situation where he was scared to death. The servant was probably also taught to formal with nobles, officials and such. I don't know if it made any sense. This is actually my first time writing more than two or three lines of dialogue. So it may have looked strange.

But still, I'm really happy someone liked it. If you want, I can post the next few pages when I'm done with them.
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Reudh

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #70 on: February 03, 2012, 06:10:34 am »

If this is your second language, then I would say that this is amazingly written. The last story I wrote in another language was hopelessly simple. :P

I attempted to write a little story for year eleven Japanese a few years back about a small boy called Wilson who struggled to understand the city I live in's weather. Don't have it anymore... but what I remember of it it was very fragmented and poorly written, to the extent of "Wilson is a young boy. He is seven. He lives in Victoria, Australia. He doesn't like the heat."

Tiruin

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #71 on: February 03, 2012, 06:11:21 am »

I liked it muchly!

Also, "he" clenched his fist so hard they went white? Singular-Plural?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 01:54:03 am 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!

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Kattaroten

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #72 on: February 03, 2012, 07:16:54 am »

Also, "he" clenched his fist so hard they went white? Singular-Plural?

Seems like I missed an "s" in there, it's supposed to be fists :D
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Supermikhail

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #73 on: February 04, 2012, 11:04:46 pm »

So, I've been itching to write here again, and it may turn out woeful. I apologize strongly in advance because what I'm about to write (or the very fact of my writing it) may be unpleasant to people.

[REDACTED. REASON: DANGEROUS COMMUNIST PROPAGANDA]

But, in case I or anyone else takes this seriously, I'd like to remind myself/them that this is probably a bad idea based on the fact that I am the creator of the "Writers Guild" thread and it wasn't exactly thriving, as opposed to this one, which seems alive and kicking so far. Also, I'm sort of crazy (as in, about to be put into a mental hospital for therapy), so you're probably legally forbidden to take me seriously, unless you're a qualified medical person.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 04:03:07 am by Supermikhail »
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Vehudur

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #74 on: February 05, 2012, 01:52:06 am »

Posting so I don't forget about this thread, which I plan to put some time into as soon as I have some to spare.
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