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Old 11-29-2012, 03:01 PM   #1
Oo_Bugsy
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Smile Help: Writing my own stories

I want to start writing my own stories, starting with simple shorthand ones and eventually ranging up to writing series.

Could any story writers here give me some advice on what I need to get started.

And also answer a few questions;

Should I invest in a notepad & plan every single part of my story?
Should I use a thesaurus & make every word as "exciting" as possible?
Basically... Please teach me ^_^
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:57 PM   #2
JustaSCOUNDREL
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Oo_Bugsy here is what I think most other authors will tell you. Sit down and write your story. I firmly believe the best and perhaps the only way to learn to write fiction is to write.

I doubt any two writers write in exactly the same way. I for example write down a few ideas/things I want to include in my story and refer back to them to ensure I have them all included,but I often find the story or the characters will not let me put everything in. You may well find, as so many others have, the characters do as they damn well please no matter what the author planed for them.

So start writing and be ruthless as you do your editing. Lastly make sure you have your spell and grammar checker turned on and pay attention to them. Good luck.

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Old 11-29-2012, 04:16 PM   #3
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Smile

Thanks Mike, appreciate the advice.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oo_Bugsy View Post
I want to start writing my own stories, starting with simple shorthand ones and eventually ranging up to writing series.

Could any story writers here give me some advice on what I need to get started.
Writing is a very individual experience. Experiment and find your own style. But the important thing is to get writing and not let the idea of perfection intimidate you - everybody needs practice to get good.

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Originally Posted by Oo_Bugsy View Post
Should I invest in a notepad & plan every single part of my story?
This is something that works well for some writers and not for others. I like to start by getting a good idea of the characters, then throw them together and see what happens, but I try to have some idea of where the story's going to go, otherwise I'm likely to have trouble ending it.

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Should I use a thesaurus & make every word as "exciting" as possible?
No.

Think of vocabulary like a toolkit. It's great to have a wide variety of tools available, if you know how to use them. (And it's fun collecting stuff too, even if it's not something that's likely to be useful.)

But no carpenter ever said "I've been using my hammer too much, so this time I'm going to pound that nail in with the back of a wrench". Use each tool when it's the best for the job, don't use it just for the sake of variety.

When I read "she had cerulean orbs and Stygian ebony tresses", it doesn't make me think "what a great writer". It just makes me think "blue eyes, black hair, and the author's just run it through a thesaurus". You DO NOT WANT readers starting to think about that stuff, because it breaks their suspension of disbelief.

For most things, simple words are fine. (Hemingway won the Nobel Prize with plain writing.) Some styles get a bit more flowery, but unless you're H.P. Lovecraft you shouldn't be invoking obscure words just to impress your reader.

When you run into a problem that looks like repetition of words, it's quite likely that the REAL problem is repetition of ideas - and a thesaurus won't fix that.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:41 PM   #5
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The best way to get started is to make the world and the characters as rich for yourself as possible in your imagination, and then to actually get to writing about it. The more you write, the better you're getting at writing - it's all practice. Play 'What If?' with yourself. Write something that you're happy with, and use the constructive criticism and hindsight to get a better piece next time.

If the act of investing in a notepad will make you set more stock in actually getting around to writing the story (as in, 'I paid good money for this notebook, I'm going to actually write the damn story!') then by all means, invest in the notepad. In any case, having a bit of paper and pencil on your person in case you get a brainwave (or need to write something down) is a good idea.

Don't bother with a thesaurus until you get to the editing stage, and don't use artificially ornate words for the sake of it. If you want to show a high-class princess, then she may need a better vocabulary than a woman in the lower classes. If you're in a modern setting, then you can try for a more natural approach to the language.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oo_Bugsy View Post
I want to start writing my own stories, starting with simple shorthand ones and eventually ranging up to writing series.

Could any story writers here give me some advice on what I need to get started.

And also answer a few questions;

Should I invest in a notepad & plan every single part of my story?
Should I use a thesaurus & make every word as "exciting" as possible?
Basically... Please teach me ^_^
You might want to stop by the Authors' Hangout and introduce yourself.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:09 PM   #7
Oo_Bugsy
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Very helpful advice from everyone, thank you all so much.
I will drop into the Authors Hangout
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:20 PM   #8
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I'm going to do a fair bit of quoting Stephen King here, so actually the absolute first thing you do is go on Amazon and buy his book On Writing. It's about as good a primer on going from zero to author as can be written.

What you need to get started:
1) To read. A lot. Read everything. Not just stuff you like--in fact, read stuff you hate, so that you can learn why you hate it and avoid those things in your own fiction. Read until you find a story that makes you say, "Christ, I could do better than that." And then keep reading some more.
2) A door you can shut (S.King). That shows the world you're serious and gives you privacy. Writing is very personal and is best done without people breathing down your neck, or interrupting you with requests to unclog the toilet or take the kids to school or whatever. And unfortunately, if you can't ask people to stop barging in on you, then you need to wait five or ten years until that is reasonable before you start writing. Writing is like masturbation: it's hard to get going if you can't guarantee your privacy.

Should you invest in a notepad? No. Open notepad.exe on your computer instead. It comes for free.

Should you plan out every corner of your story? That's up to you. Stephen King says he prefers not to do this, because then the story can spin out in its own directions. I personally have to plan out at least the basics, because if left to their own devices, my plots and characters stall out. Writing is like taking a roadtrip. Some people, like King, like to just jump in the car and go where the wind takes them. I'm the sort who wants to have a route planned, to know where I'm going and how I'm getting there. Which one are you? That's the answer to the question of how much you should plan out your story.

Thesaurus? God no. Bramblethorn hit the nail on the head for this one. (And likely with a hammer, not a wrench.)

But the absolute best thing you can do is just start. Beat your head against the keyboard until something legible comes out. That's how everyone learns. Any good writer you care to name--that's how they did it. They wanted to write, and so they tried it until they could. It's really nothing more complicated.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Should you invest in a notepad? No. Open notepad.exe on your computer instead. It comes for free.
On a related note: backups are your friend.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:12 AM   #10
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Everyone's advice has been very good. My advice is along the same vein, but plainly put.


Write.

Writers write.

Write what you know. Write what makes you happy. Write about what you hate. Write something sad or write something exciting. Just write.

Writers write.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:06 AM   #11
Oo_Bugsy
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Originally Posted by Emerson40 View Post
Everyone's advice has been very good. My advice is along the same vein, but plainly put.


Write.

Writers write.

Write what you know. Write what makes you happy. Write about what you hate. Write something sad or write something exciting. Just write.

Writers write.
As my parents taught me
"Practice makes perfect"
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