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Thread: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

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    THE EVER ACID-BURNED ONE Namboto's Avatar
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    "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    You may be wondering "What is the purpose of this thread? Why is it here?" Well, to put it simply, this is a place for writers to talk and help each other out. Whether you simply can't think of a name for a character or you find yourself hitting a block in your narrative, feel free to come here for help.

    We already have a thread for music and art discussion, as well as one for the technical aspects of both, so why not have a thread for writing? After all, while there's plenty of great artists and musicians in the fandom, there's some spectacular writers as well. I'd like to give them a chance to advertise their personal projects too. It would also give a place for developing writers to learn more about their craft and get feedback on their writing.

    If we want to get really deep, we could even discuss techniques and styles of writing, the advantages of certain perspectives, and maybe gush about our favorite writers from time to time.

    Why did I make this thread? Mostly it's because I love to write, but would love to get feedback on my writing and didn't really have a place to do that. Sure I could make an individual "what do you think of this?" thread, but I figured that there were other people out there with the same sort of questions that I had, so why not make a thread for everyone?


    So, to start things off, I'd like to get some feedback on something I'm writing. It's the first part of the first chapter, and I'd like to know if I should expand on it at all, and if so, on what.
    Last edited by Namboto; 03-06-2012 at 08:29 PM.

    sig quotes I guess? (one of them)

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    Page of Parchment Nameless1's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    First off, hell yes. I approve of this thread.

    Concerning your writing: You might want to make it visible, it's hard to critique something you aren't allowed to see.
    Dreamswapped: Currently 0 dreams, 0 swaps, 1 hell of a misnomer
    Godtear: The gods may weep (fledgeling text adventure(indefinite hiatus)

    your chumhandle is audaciouslyComplex and as your name would suggest you know to many words for your own good.

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    THE EVER ACID-BURNED ONE Namboto's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless1 View Post
    First off, hell yes. I approve of this thread.

    Concerning your writing: You might want to make it visible, it's hard to critique something you aren't allowed to see.
    Herpaderp, fixed.

    sig quotes I guess? (one of them)

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    Knight Of Doom Luxian's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    I have a pending fanfiction (it may have questionable content so i have drillgorg checking it over)
    And if he says its okay, then Ill put it up here

    In the meantime have some cute:
    Scalemate Playdate

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    Long Gone Quirk's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    @ Namboto

    First off, this thread pleases me.

    Secondly: BAM! That's how you do a stinger. I have no idea why, but I really like the solid-black eyes motif. Probably because I'm a Gorillaz fan.
    Kill ALL the Vriskas!: A silly fan adventure

    So long, thanks for all the fish...

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    Page of Parchment Nameless1's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    Right then, to business.

    You need to indent paragraph and dialogue, but that's just a quick formatting error.

    Dialogue: For the most part it's good, there are times when your wordiness becomes a little awkward i.e “Maybe you should take some of the bread I made yesterday over too.” Now I'm probably just being nitpicky but you don't really need "yesterday" in there, it's not a very important detail and when removed it makes the sentence a lot smoother. Other than that, try to give dialogue a little more...form. At the moment it sounds like Zane's saying whatever pops into his head the moment it comes to him, it's very erratic.


    General writing (picky nitpickings):
    I walked down the street at a brisk pace, wondering what this new family would be like. We’d had several other arrivals this summer; the cost of houses in this area had dropped quite a bit recently, and several new firms had opened up in town.

    I got a funny feeling as I looked at the shorter of the two, a kid about my age with blond hair, a white shirt, and faded blue jeans. It was almost as if I knew him already, like I was meeting an old friend. Or an old enemy. I shook the thoughts out of my head as I approached and put on my best smile.


    This section really needs something in the middle to connect it, you go from discussing house prices to staring at people. (in fact, I'd dump the house prices comment all together, it really doesn't add anything to the story). Also, you have him "wondering what this new family would be like" with that comment I'd expect him to do something like speculate on the nature of the new arrivals, not talk about houses.


    It's a good start, but it needs some work. A tool I've found useful when looking over my work is to read it aloud, if it sounds strange or I'm confused by it, I know it needs editing. Best of luck to you in future wordsmithing endeavors!
    Dreamswapped: Currently 0 dreams, 0 swaps, 1 hell of a misnomer
    Godtear: The gods may weep (fledgeling text adventure(indefinite hiatus)

    your chumhandle is audaciouslyComplex and as your name would suggest you know to many words for your own good.

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    THE EVER ACID-BURNED ONE Namboto's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirk View Post
    @ Namboto

    First off, this thread pleases me.

    Secondly: BAM! That's how you do a stinger. I have no idea why, but I really like the solid-black eyes motif. Probably because I'm a Gorillaz fan.
    Thanks

    Also this proves that this was a good idea; Zane's eyes are solid-black (think of how other "normal" people would react to that), rather his irises are black and appear indistinguishable from his pupils. I guess I should clarify that so people don't think that he's got 8-ball fractures in both eyes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless1 View Post
    Right then, to business.

    You need to indent paragraph and dialogue, but that's just a quick formatting error.

    Dialogue: For the most part it's good, there are times when your wordiness becomes a little awkward i.e “Maybe you should take some of the bread I made yesterday over too.” Now I'm probably just being nitpicky but you don't really need "yesterday" in there, it's not a very important detail and when removed it makes the sentence a lot smoother. Other than that, try to give dialogue a little more...form. At the moment it sounds like Zane's saying whatever pops into his head the moment it comes to him, it's very erratic.
    Yeah, I could tell that some of the dialogue was awkward; I'll go through it later and try to make things more natural. Also formatting is the bane of my existence, as it's so inconsistent from book to book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless1 View Post
    General writing (picky nitpickings):
    I walked down the street at a brisk pace, wondering what this new family would be like. We’d had several other arrivals this summer; the cost of houses in this area had dropped quite a bit recently, and several new firms had opened up in town.

    I got a funny feeling as I looked at the shorter of the two, a kid about my age with blond hair, a white shirt, and faded blue jeans. It was almost as if I knew him already, like I was meeting an old friend. Or an old enemy. I shook the thoughts out of my head as I approached and put on my best smile.


    This section really needs something in the middle to connect it, you go from discussing house prices to staring at people. (in fact, I'd dump the house prices comment all together, it really doesn't add anything to the story). Also, you have him "wondering what this new family would be like" with that comment I'd expect him to do something like speculate on the nature of the new arrivals, not talk about houses.
    His comment has a bit more to it than just random musings; there are six "main" characters in the story, and most of them are moving into new houses for a variety of reasons. I'll leave the comment in, but I should probably connect it better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless1 View Post
    It's a good start, but it needs some work. A tool I've found useful when looking over my work is to read it aloud, if it sounds strange or I'm confused by it, I know it needs editing. Best of luck to you in future wordsmithing endeavors!
    Thanks, and I do that as well, just not as consistently as I should.

    sig quotes I guess? (one of them)

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    Long Gone Quirk's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Luxian View Post
    Could I ask for crit on mine too?
    I'm going to be very honest: I was creeped out. Now, 95% of shipping-relating works creep me out in general, but nonetheless, it was creepy. And not in the good way.

    Also your formatting was not good. Copy/pasting from Word to the forum messes everything up, so make sure to take time to edit in some spacing and line breaks.
    Last edited by Quirk; 03-06-2012 at 09:24 PM.
    Kill ALL the Vriskas!: A silly fan adventure

    So long, thanks for all the fish...

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    Page of Parchment Nameless1's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Luxian View Post
    Could I ask for crit on mine too?
    Well, I'm not all that good at fanfic critique (odd as that may sound) but I'll give it a shot

    First off, lines of dialogue are double spaced:

    Example

    And then something happened someone did something.

    "WORDS" He said.

    "My words are better than your words!" Said another.

    That is the WORST dialogue I have ever written, but you see what I mean with the formatting?


    Nitpicking gogogo:

    “What would that be?” “Only if I could be a pirate with you.”

    The last line is really strangely worded in context. "I get to be a pirate with you" or something would make more sense as a response.


    "But there’s a catch."

    Never start a sentence with "but". If you do, you are sentencing wrong.


    Lastly, you may want to practice placement of commas, the way you use some of them causes there to be pauses in places where pauses don't belong.


    Gah, I'm sorry if that was really shitty but I have real trouble critiquing fanfics for some reason. They're just so different from what I'm used to. Hope I could be of SOME help at least.
    Dreamswapped: Currently 0 dreams, 0 swaps, 1 hell of a misnomer
    Godtear: The gods may weep (fledgeling text adventure(indefinite hiatus)

    your chumhandle is audaciouslyComplex and as your name would suggest you know to many words for your own good.

  12. #12
    Vindictive Chemotherapy Lord Obselescence's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    I like to write too, sometimes. But I usually suffer from some sort of crippling anxiety that tells me "I am writing total garbage" and either saps my motivation to continue, or encourages me to make a lot of modifications that may or may not make things worse. I am trying to ease myself into writing something again by writing fanfiction, but I'm suffering from similar problems with that too.

    Bllluuuuuh self-confidence.

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    Long Gone Quirk's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Obselescence View Post
    I like to write too, sometimes. But I usually suffer from some sort of crippling anxiety that tells me "I am writing total garbage" and either saps my motivation to continue, or encourages me to make a lot of modifications that may or may not make things worse. I am trying to ease myself into writing something again by writing fanfiction, but I'm suffering from similar problems with that too.

    Bllluuuuuh self-confidence.
    Do I need to break out the encouraging speeches? Because heaven help me I will start quoting Gurren Lagann. I will quote Gurren Lagann right now if the situation calls for it.
    Kill ALL the Vriskas!: A silly fan adventure

    So long, thanks for all the fish...

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    Prince of Half-Heart kholhaus's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    OH MY GOD.

    This thread

    I have waited so long

    Alright I'll be right back with an edit to this post; need to find a story I posted a while back.

    Edit:
    HERE IT IS! I wrote it a while ago, back in the summer, and I can already see some glaring flaws, but I need your guys' opinion.


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    THE EVER ACID-BURNED ONE Namboto's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless1 View Post
    "But there’s a catch."

    Never start a sentence with "but". If you do, you are sentencing wrong.
    I'd like to contest the "never". Most of the time, no, it's not a good way to start a sentence. However, dialogue follows a different set of rules than narration or formal writing, and there are places where it is appropriate to start a sentence with "but".

    One of the biggest rules of writing is that is that the rules of writing are not to be taken as absolutes. In fact, many great authors are great because they broke those rules of writing in creative and enjoyable ways.

    As for the sentence, it works best as an interruption or sudden declaration, and needs to be phrased as such.

    "But," said Vriska with a toothy grin "there's a catch."





    Quote Originally Posted by kholhaus View Post
    I'll do a full rundown later, but right now I just want to say that this could (and perhaps should) be so much longer. If you keep the pacing from the opening scene and apply it where necessary, you'd get a whole lot more. Go into detail when it comes to "the first few weeks" of training, give us the day to day of the soldier's life. I understand that it's a short story, but it has the potential to be a novelette at least. (A really good novelette.)

    Besides, a bit more length would make the twist much more dramatic.

    sig quotes I guess? (one of them)

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    Prince of Half-Heart kholhaus's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Namboto View Post

    I'll do a full rundown later, but right now I just want to say that this could (and perhaps should) be so much longer. If you keep the pacing from the opening scene and apply it where necessary, you'd get a whole lot more. Go into detail when it comes to "the first few weeks" of training, give us the day to day of the soldier's life. I understand that it's a short story, but it has the potential to be a novelette at least. (A really good novelette.)

    Besides, a bit more length would make the twist much more dramatic.
    The funny thing is, this was for short story writing.

    So I had to work with the small space I was assigned. In the end, I wrote a beginning for a MUCH longer story than what was intended, and I DO mean to make it much longer, maybe even Novella length.

  17. #17

    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    Alright I might as well have a go.


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    THE EVER ACID-BURNED ONE Namboto's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    Quote Originally Posted by 98714123340 View Post
    Alright I might as well have a go.

    You'll probably want to change that first sentence to "Wind can be very comforting" or "Wind. It can..."

    Also, SoC works only if you can keep it up. I recommend reading "Mrs. Dalloway" for a look at what constitutes a "good" stream of consciousness work.

    sig quotes I guess? (one of them)

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    Long Gone Quirk's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    Welp. This is something I just spat out a few months ago for kicks and giggles.



    Yes, the ending is abrupt.
    Kill ALL the Vriskas!: A silly fan adventure

    So long, thanks for all the fish...

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    Page of Parchment Nameless1's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    Ok,

    First off.
    "Lucas scowled. The ellipsis hung in the frosty air." I absolutely love this, it gives your prose a real cartoony feel while still keeping it in traditional prose.


    “Really, man? Really?”

    “I have a five year old niece, you know that.”

    “I also know that she lives out of state. Come on, own up.”

    “I really don’t see what I have to own up to.”

    “Spit it out.”

    The dialogue is pretty good for the most part, it goes too quickly though (IMO), for instance "Spit it out." seems like it would be more appropriate after some buildup, like "Come on man, just spit it out", it just needs to go a bit slower. Right now Lucas is coming off as aggressive (again, IMO)



    “Fine. I watched one episode while visiting for Thanksgiving last year.”

    Try to add a little more detail. Who was he visiting? Was it his niece, his lover, the electrician? It may not be an important detail, but it sounds more natural.



    "But you know I’m going to sneak into your computer when you’re not looking.”

    As was said to Luxian with an amendment from Namboto, there are one or two times when it's acceptable to start a sentence with "but", this is not one of them.



    "The camera pulls out and there is a glimpse to two remarkable human beings."

    Ok, I really like what your doing with the subtle implications that the reader is a physical observer in your story, but this needs re-writing.



    "The first: Ivan Kamenev IV, son of the son of the son of an immigrant. 19. Majoring in psychology, minor in history. Five-foot-nine, one hundred and seventy pounds. Brown hair grown out, plus goatee, brown eyes. Currently wearing a grey jacket and worn jeans.

    The second: Lucas Cawlin, all-American mutt. 20. Trade school, set to take over the family mechanic shop. Six-foot-four, thin as a twig. Shaved head, grey eyes. Black sweatpants, blue parka, scarf and hat."

    Technically all of those periods would be commas, but to me that's more a style choice than anything else.



    "The entity known by most and Ivan-and-Lucas"

    Pretty sure that "and" is supposed to be an "as"



    “So then. How the fuck are you? They have snow down there yet?” Lucas said around a mouthful of muffin.

    "Lucas asked"



    ", and"

    There are times when this is acceptable, most of the time the way you use them is NOT. Generaly lists and shit work like this: "In the bag he packed thing, other thing and more thing."



    Ivan threw the gigantic book of baseball stats that had been taking up legroom in the backseat as Lucas inserted the keys. The car coughed to life. Led Zepplin resumed blasting from the speakers. The interior was, as always, that sort of chaotic mess where every single thing is exactly where it should be: food wrappers, random scraps of paper, used tissues, various CDs, and a whole other assortment of garbage.

    I get what your trying to do with your descriptions, but this sounds really awkward.



    "Three-twenty-six"

    I'd go with "3:26" personally, at least when dealing with time anyways.


    The same thing about awkward sentence structure and wording applies throughout the rest of your story (haha yeah that's BS, I'm sorry but I honestly don't want to nitpick anymore, not because of your story, I'm just to lazy to go on)
    Dreamswapped: Currently 0 dreams, 0 swaps, 1 hell of a misnomer
    Godtear: The gods may weep (fledgeling text adventure(indefinite hiatus)

    your chumhandle is audaciouslyComplex and as your name would suggest you know to many words for your own good.

  22. #22
    THE EVER ACID-BURNED ONE Namboto's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless1 View Post
    ", and"

    There are times when this is acceptable, most of the time the way you use them is NOT. Generaly lists and shit work like this: "In the bag he packed thing, other thing and more thing."
    Eh, I like the oxford comma. At worst it adds one more character to a sentence, at best it makes things less ambiguous. Sure you could only use it in those situations where it would otherwise be ambiguous, but then that makes things inconsistant. (An example of one of those cases would be "I'd like to thank my parents, the president and my fourth grade teacher." Without the oxford comma, it almost looks like he's saying that his parents are the president and his fourth grade teacher.)

    Also, I really liked that Quirk. It felt like "John Dies At The End" mixed with a bit of Pratchett.

    sig quotes I guess? (one of them)

  23. #23
    Seer of Hope Milksweet's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    First person.

    /thread


    Alright, yeah, there are lots of things that I enjoy greatly about first person. It lets me picture the world I create with a vision that is personal. I can never NOT value that. I find it easier to focus on the details I wish the reader to notice like that, by positioning myself where I want the reader to be. I've known people that don't like it, but I find it TOO useful. Not that I have not tried other methods, like monologue. I really enjoyed writing that one. But...FIRST PERSON MAN. FIRST. PERSON.
    Fear the power of red, for it is strong as my passion, and warm as my rage
    --
    How fitting that someone that thinks hope is bogus is the Seer of Hope...
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  24. #24
    Uses Abbrvtns 2 Condescend u Ace of Dark-Hearts's Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    Whoop, finally a thread for casual writing.

    Even though I don't really have any literature to contribute.

    But casual conversation is always good.

    So do you guys have any ideas for a novice writer who is trying to form ideas for a story? I have a pretty good idea of the main characters and setting, but only a loose concept of the plot. It's difficult because half of the things I think of end up becoming knock-offs of Homestuck, which is why it is particularly hard. Also conflict. Conflict is probably the reason why I'm having trouble with plot. I'm just not sure how to integrate conflict. Just inserting a mad supervillain is forced, lame, and cliched.
    My tumblr. Also here is my art and music blog. Check 'em out, maybe?


  25. #25
    here, have a medkit The Dr.'s Avatar
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    Re: "How do I words?" OR "The writing advice, critique, and discussion thread!"

    I too find first persion very awkward to write! I can never seem to find the right thing to say. In third/second person, I can always just kind put out factual statements (as well as how it makes the characters feel, etc. etc.) but with first person everything seems to come out wrong. Especially in scenes where the hero does something cool, it always comes out sounding like the main character is bragging to me. It is a mystery I will never unfold.

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