Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Literate Chaotic => Topic started by: Cain on September 26, 2008, 06:35:49 pm

Title: How to write
Post by: Cain on September 26, 2008, 06:35:49 pm
Several handy guides on this topic can be found at the below link.  If you are unfamiliar with bookchan, pdf files are hidden in the pictures, and you need to use a program like WinRAR or 7-zip to extract them.

Have fun now.

http://www.anonib.com/bookchan/index.php?t=328
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: nostalgicBadger on October 25, 2008, 10:51:46 pm
Or you could pull a Hunter S. Thompson and type out the Great Gatsby over and over again.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Kai on October 28, 2008, 11:31:00 pm
Or you could pull a Hunter S. Thompson and type out the Great Gatsby over and over again.

Or you could, oh, I don't know, actually learn the mechanics of writing (as an artist learns the mechanics of painting) and write something original.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: nostalgicBadger on October 29, 2008, 12:14:25 am
Or you could pull a Hunter S. Thompson and type out the Great Gatsby over and over again.

Or you could, oh, I don't know, actually learn the mechanics of writing (as an artist learns the mechanics of painting) and write something original.

Which I'm sure you learn from reading "On Writing" by Steven King lol
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Cain on October 29, 2008, 06:05:49 pm
Because of course, that is the only book there, isn't it?

Oh wait, you mean it isn't?  Well damn, thats you're entire point gone now, then.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Hoopla! on October 29, 2008, 06:18:15 pm
Or you could pull a Hunter S. Thompson and type out the Great Gatsby over and over again.

Or you could, oh, I don't know, actually learn the mechanics of writing (as an artist learns the mechanics of painting) and write something original.

Which I'm sure you learn from reading "On Writing" by Steven King lol

You seem much more hung up on that book than anyone else here.  You're funny.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: LMNO on October 29, 2008, 06:18:50 pm
Needz moar semicolonz.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Hoopla! on October 29, 2008, 06:37:31 pm
Yes, must remember to use lots of semicolons in my NaNoWriMo story; to give it that professional feeling.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: nostalgicBadger on October 29, 2008, 06:53:28 pm
You guys are ridiculous.

Srsly.

I didn't say there was anything wrong with reading people's advice about how to write - bear in mind that I am a writing grad student. I was simply adding that actively studying the work of writers you admire can help you become aware of technique and how it is used in practice, and it goes a lot farther in helping to develop rhythm (which, by the way, is why Hunter liked to type Fitzgerald books over and over. To listen to the rhythm. )
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Cain on October 29, 2008, 06:53:31 pm
I wonder if How to Make Friends and Influence People had too few semicolons for nB?
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: nostalgicBadger on October 29, 2008, 06:56:24 pm
I wonder if How to Make Friends and Influence People had too few semicolons for nB?

It could have gotten by on less, but they weren't too distracting.

By the way, what did you think of "Avoiding Double Standards"? Or did it disagree too often with your taste in genre fiction and political biases to be willing to acknowledge anything it said?
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Hoopla! on October 29, 2008, 06:58:23 pm
Do you come here to converse, nB?  Or to impose your ridiculous opinions on others?

I'm seriously interested in the answer.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Cain on October 29, 2008, 07:01:08 pm
I wonder if How to Make Friends and Influence People had too few semicolons for nB?

It could have gotten by on less, but they weren't too distracting.

By the way, what did you think of "Avoiding Double Standards"? Or did it disagree too often with your taste in genre fiction and political biases to be willing to acknowledge anything it said?

You're funny when you pull opinions out of your arse like that.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: nostalgicBadger on October 29, 2008, 07:10:07 pm
Do you come here to converse, nB?  Or to impose your ridiculous opinions on others?

I'm seriously interested in the answer.

Truth:

I used to come here to converse, but ever since I made some over-the-top post about why Philip K. Dick can't write worth shit and most of the active members decided that everything I say is automatically wrong - you must admit, it's a hilarious coincidence that people began to flame every post I've made immediately since that thread - I pretty much just drop by to fuck with you guys when I feel like procrastinating.

I feel kind of bad about the small handful of regulars who I do have some respect for, but I'm seriously convinced that I could have more interesting conversations on 4chan than with most of you. They have all the same memes, too, and their general disdain for all major political candidates is somehow refreshing compared pd's (homo)erotic obsession with Obama.

Holy shit.

Is 4chan more tolerable than you?
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: LMNO on October 29, 2008, 07:11:52 pm
Aw, it's just that it's so fun to fuck with you, and your whining, pathetic attempts at thought.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Hoopla! on October 29, 2008, 07:14:02 pm
Do you come here to converse, nB?  Or to impose your ridiculous opinions on others?

I'm seriously interested in the answer.

Truth:

I used to come here to converse, but ever since I made some over-the-top post about why Philip K. Dick can't write worth shit and most of the active members decided that everything I say is automatically wrong - you must admit, it's a hilarious coincidence that people began to flame every post I've made immediately since that thread - I pretty much just drop by to fuck with you guys when I feel like procrastinating.

I feel kind of bad about the small handful of regulars who I do have some respect for, but I'm seriously convinced that I could have more interesting conversations on 4chan than with most of you. They have all the same memes, too, and their general disdain for all major political candidates is somehow refreshing compared pd's (homo)erotic obsession with Obama.

Holy shit.

Is 4chan more tolerable than you?

I wouldn't know, I've never been to 4chan, but you can probably ask IANAR for an opinion.

I think the problem is that a lot of people just don't like you.  When I don't like someone I tend to not engage them in an overly serious manner, I tend to fuck with them a bit.  It seems like that is rather common around here.

So, you fuck with us, we fuck back with you.  Finger cuffs.  Tar baby.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: nostalgicBadger on October 29, 2008, 07:19:12 pm
Aw, it's just that it's so fun to fuck with you, and your whining, pathetic attempts at thought.

PD.COM: "STFU and throw around old memes."
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: LMNO on October 29, 2008, 07:21:01 pm
When it's not worth it to rise above, why not?
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on October 29, 2008, 07:23:13 pm
Truth:

I used to come here to converse, but ever since I made some over-the-top post about why Philip K. Dick can't write worth shit and most of the active members decided that everything I say is automatically wrong

No... I came to the conclusion that everything you say is automatically wrong LONG before that, on the basis that just about everything you post is stupid.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Triple Zero on November 01, 2008, 11:10:51 pm
Yeah, I distinctly remember nB being flamed a lot for saying dumbass shit long before that pathetic attempt at social experiment/troll/conversing.

wait, conversing? it must have been an attempt at conversing right? cause you said you stopped after that thread?

hehehe
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Kai on November 01, 2008, 11:39:11 pm
Or you could pull a Hunter S. Thompson and type out the Great Gatsby over and over again.

Or you could, oh, I don't know, actually learn the mechanics of writing (as an artist learns the mechanics of painting) and write something original.

Which I'm sure you learn from reading "On Writing" by Steven King lol

It helped to know that no reader likes excessive adverbs and over pretentious punctuation. Perhaps you are the exception?

The best point King had in his book was reading makes you a better writer and writing makes you a better reader. Language is a very malleable formula. If you know how the forumula works you can shape it for effect. Part of using the formula is understanding what works and what doesn't for particular audiences. Therefore, writers (especially sucessful writers) are useful sources of information on writing. Finnegan's Wake may be a classic, but if you are trying to reach a certain audience not so esoteric in their reading ability then a Joycean format is not the best way to go. Furthermore, Joycean style writing is a horrible format for a novel, because a good novel entraps the reader in their entertainment. This is known as flow.

Writing is a skill that is learned. One of the best ways to learn a skill is from those who are skilled. When you become skilled it is your job to do something original, or at least entertaining.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: nostalgicBadger on November 03, 2008, 05:40:03 pm
Yeah, I distinctly remember nB being flamed a lot for saying dumbass shit long before that pathetic attempt at social experiment/troll/conversing.

wait, conversing? it must have been an attempt at conversing right? cause you said you stopped after that thread?

hehehe

I don't remember this.

Citations?
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Triple Zero on November 03, 2008, 11:02:17 pm
Like, let's say we already checked and didn't find anything. :roll:
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Brotep on December 17, 2008, 01:34:13 am
The best point King had in his book was reading makes you a better writer and writing makes you a better reader. Language is a very malleable formula. If you know how the forumula works you can shape it for effect.

When reading the work of a great writer, I understand things about writing I didn't before and don't after (unless I crystallize that knowledge by applying it).
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: indigoblade on January 11, 2009, 04:55:41 am
 :lulz: This thread is a wonerful read! :D
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Cain on February 22, 2009, 02:07:06 pm
http://www.demonoid.com/files/details/1808812/9155768/

Its about 8 gig...I have managed to whittle that down to about 130 MB, through judicious picking and choosing.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Requia ☣ on August 01, 2009, 07:22:13 pm
Hmm, anyone have stuff on writing academic papers?
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Cain on August 04, 2009, 01:40:44 pm
Yes.

I'll upload it on the weekend.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: fenris23 on August 07, 2009, 07:43:58 am
How to write: Write, like, a lot.

Slightly less tersely:

1. Love words, love language
2. Build a good vocabulary
3. Read a lot (this helps with 2)
4. Say exactly what you mean (2 helps with this)
5. Use only as many words as are necessary to get your message across
6. The message includes the feeling or tone you want to get across (also known as the Faulkner exemption)
7. Write a lot (it takes ten thousand hours to master something, supposedly)
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on August 07, 2009, 07:51:19 am
Spoken as a true necromancer.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on August 07, 2009, 07:51:53 am
Well, I mean also what you said was totally true. But this thread, man, this thread.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Cain on August 07, 2009, 07:54:47 am
Also great advice.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Cain on August 08, 2009, 04:43:44 pm
Hmm, anyone have stuff on writing academic papers?

As promised http://www.megaupload.com/?d=1E0X1BQN
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Kai on August 08, 2009, 04:48:37 pm
How to write: Write, like, a lot.

Slightly less tersely:

1. Love words, love language
2. Build a good vocabulary
3. Read a lot (this helps with 2)
4. Say exactly what you mean (2 helps with this)
5. Use only as many words as are necessary to get your message across
6. The message includes the feeling or tone you want to get across (also known as the Faulkner exemption)
7. Write a lot (it takes ten thousand hours to master something, supposedly)

I agree with this, especially 3 and 7. S King said in On Writing that improving your ability to read improves your writing ability, and vice versa. This seems very true, as the better reader I become the better writer I seem to become as well.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Requia ☣ on August 09, 2009, 06:27:49 pm
Hmm, anyone have stuff on writing academic papers?

As promised http://www.megaupload.com/?d=1E0X1BQN

Thanks.
Title: Victor 0. Schwab's Re: How to write AN ADVERTISEMENT
Post by: Love on August 29, 2009, 02:11:20 pm
I am filled with strife that this book is not discussed in this thread.

This is not an ad since this is not an affiliate link => htxtp://wwxxw.amxazon.com/Write-Good-Advertisement-Victor-Schwab/dp/0879803975/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1251549656&sr=8-1 <=Naked LINK.

ASK WES UNRUH if you can't track the vocabulary. There will be a quiz in a few daze and I would prepare if I were you before ALL YOUR GUESTS COME!

You like guests, right?

I'll be inviting guests from here => htxtp://Twitter.com/Daryl0

0 Effect
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: the dreadful hours on September 16, 2009, 03:02:35 am
what?
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Kai on October 12, 2009, 05:27:01 pm
Horrible troll. Nothing more.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Captain Utopia on October 12, 2009, 05:33:38 pm
Sometimes I miss "Ben Mack", author of "Poker without Cards", and wish he'd check his google alerts more assiduously. As of today, he hasn't been back since Sep 29th.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: on October 23, 2009, 02:25:03 am
I always thought of the Hunter S. Thompson technique, typing out the Great Gatsby, as kind of a zen meditative thing. There is merit to the simple pneumonic programming aspect of it, but I imagine the approach was designed specifically to create kind of a no-mind state that would allow him to channel the flow. I haven't tried it, but I imagine it would have its benefits.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Triple Zero on October 23, 2009, 01:53:08 pm
pneumonic?
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: on October 23, 2009, 09:03:12 pm
pneumonic?

Mnemonic, sorry.
Pretty tired when I wrote that.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: nurbldoff on November 19, 2009, 10:31:26 am
Kurt Vonneguts tips for writing short stories:

   1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
   2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
   3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
   4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
   5. Start as close to the end as possible.
   6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
   7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
   8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Not that I write a lot, but I love Vonnegut's style.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: President Television on December 01, 2009, 04:15:17 am
Kurt Vonneguts tips for writing short stories:

   1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
   2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
   3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
   4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
   5. Start as close to the end as possible.
   6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
   7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
   8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Not that I write a lot, but I love Vonnegut's style.

But it should be kept in mind that he goes on to say that great writers break several of these rules.
Not to disagree with them, but I thought that part should be included.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 01, 2009, 10:48:58 pm
Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch said "Murder your darlings", and I think that's still one of the best bits of writing advice out there. Along with Octavia Butler's "write every day" and my friend's mom's "Write what you want and then strike a third of it".
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 02, 2009, 03:52:56 pm
Kurt Vonneguts tips for writing short stories:


   2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
 

WTF?  That only happened ONCE in Vonnegut's novels, God Bless You, Mr Rosewater.  Other than that, his characters in his *novels* were all pathetic losers.  They were still great books, but I didn't root for anyone.

His short stories are another matter.  Harrison Bergeron was a direct parody of Ayn Rand, but I still liked the character.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 02, 2009, 06:03:42 pm
Kurt Vonneguts tips for writing short stories:


   2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
 

WTF?  That only happened ONCE in Vonnegut's novels, God Bless You, Mr Rosewater.  Other than that, his characters in his *novels* were all pathetic losers.  They were still great books, but I didn't root for anyone.

His short stories are another matter.  Harrison Bergeron was a direct parody of Ayn Rand, but I still liked the character.

Those tips ARE for short stories.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 02, 2009, 06:35:57 pm
Kurt Vonneguts tips for writing short stories:


   2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
 

WTF?  That only happened ONCE in Vonnegut's novels, God Bless You, Mr Rosewater.  Other than that, his characters in his *novels* were all pathetic losers.  They were still great books, but I didn't root for anyone.

His short stories are another matter.  Harrison Bergeron was a direct parody of Ayn Rand, but I still liked the character.

Those tips ARE for short stories.

I didn't read that part.  There was nobody to root for. :(
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 02, 2009, 06:40:23 pm
Kurt Vonneguts tips for writing short stories:


   2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
 

WTF?  That only happened ONCE in Vonnegut's novels, God Bless You, Mr Rosewater.  Other than that, his characters in his *novels* were all pathetic losers.  They were still great books, but I didn't root for anyone.

His short stories are another matter.  Harrison Bergeron was a direct parody of Ayn Rand, but I still liked the character.

Those tips ARE for short stories.

I didn't read that part.  There was nobody to root for. :(

 :lulz:
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Hoopla! on December 02, 2009, 07:27:44 pm
Kurt Vonneguts tips for writing short stories:


   2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
 

WTF?  That only happened ONCE in Vonnegut's novels, God Bless You, Mr Rosewater.  Other than that, his characters in his *novels* were all pathetic losers.  They were still great books, but I didn't root for anyone.

His short stories are another matter.  Harrison Bergeron was a direct parody of Ayn Rand, but I still liked the character.

You think Harrison himself is a parody of Ayn Rand?  Or the story itself?

I definitely got the impression that Vonnegut agreed with the character of Harrison, myself... maybe I missed the point.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 02, 2009, 07:28:48 pm
Kurt Vonneguts tips for writing short stories:


   2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
 

WTF?  That only happened ONCE in Vonnegut's novels, God Bless You, Mr Rosewater.  Other than that, his characters in his *novels* were all pathetic losers.  They were still great books, but I didn't root for anyone.

His short stories are another matter.  Harrison Bergeron was a direct parody of Ayn Rand, but I still liked the character.

You think Harrison himself is a parody of Ayn Rand?  Or the story itself?

I definitely got the impression that Vonnegut agreed with the character of Harrison, myself... maybe I missed the point.

The story itself.  Bergeron is a sympathetic character, but the world he lives in is DEFINITELY a parody of Rand's jabberings.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Hoopla! on December 02, 2009, 07:35:09 pm
hmm, you may be on to something here... I never thought about it that way... I always took it as a jab at the "feel goods" who try to make sure everyone is equal and nobody's feelings are ever hurt.

Looks like I got some thinkin' to do!  This is gonna hurt.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 02, 2009, 07:37:00 pm
hmm, you may be on to something here... I never thought about it that way... I always took it as a jab at the "feel goods" who try to make sure everyone is equal and nobody's feelings are ever hurt.

Looks like I got some thinkin' to do!  This is gonna hurt.

The totally over-the-top enforced mediocrity was a hallmark of Rand's storylines.  Harrison Bergeron was just an endgame version of that (where you had to be physically and mentally, rather than just economically, handicapped).
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Hoopla! on December 02, 2009, 07:47:38 pm
Christ, you're right.  What an idiot I am.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 02, 2009, 07:50:36 pm
Christ, you're right.  What an idiot I am.

Naw.  Almost nobody I know that's read the story has made the connection.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Hoopla! on December 02, 2009, 09:43:39 pm
Ever seen the episode of Donahue she was on? 

She was rather amusing for a nutbar.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Hoopla! on December 09, 2009, 07:43:10 pm
Ok, protip on how to kill a conversation... bring up Ayn Rand being amusing in ANY sense.

Noted.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Freeky on December 13, 2009, 06:51:58 am
Ok, protip on how to kill a conversation... bring up Ayn Rand being amusing in ANY sense.

Noted.

(Crickets chirp)
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Hoopla! on December 16, 2009, 06:58:48 pm
Yup, you hear that sound? 

It's the sound of a cricket riding a tumbleweed.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Reginald Ret on January 03, 2010, 08:48:42 pm
some one make that image
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Ratssinis on January 06, 2010, 07:55:21 am
some one make that image

From your mouth to my ears.
(http://i45.tinypic.com/2vxqa9y.jpg)
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: MMIX on February 20, 2010, 10:55:37 am
/pokes thread

From todays Grauniad [sic]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one


a bit of pick and mix advice from some working stiffs of fiction


/unpokes thread
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Batty Kissinger on April 01, 2010, 10:32:10 pm
The thing with advice is that almost always the exact opposite is also true. Extending any list of ten rules into a list of twenty and so on.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Cain on April 03, 2010, 03:13:14 pm
True, but it is nevertheless a damn fine link.  Thanks MMIX!
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: MMIX on April 04, 2010, 10:51:46 am
True, but it is nevertheless a damn fine link.  Thanks MMIX!

my pleasure . . .
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Kai on April 04, 2010, 06:26:28 pm
The two rules that almost every author gave were "read widely" and "write often". Doing one improves the other. The rest is mutable.




Edit: Excepting the rule about adverbs. That is immutable.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Kai on April 04, 2010, 10:52:02 pm
An interesting writing exercise I just thought up.

Write a short story, preferably 2-3 pages long, fiction of any kind, and in your own voice.

Now take that same story, the characters, the locations and the plot, and write it again except this time in the style and voice of a specific author.

Now do it again, with a different author.

The idea is to imitate style and voice in the same way that painters copy the paintings of the masters. This is similar to one of the suggestions in the above link. If you can really imitate the voice and style of the author, then you can enter into it any time because you understand it. Some people say it's all been done before, but if you want to find something original, you have to know whats already out there. It's a sort of mindfuck too.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Cain on April 04, 2010, 11:19:48 pm
It's a good one, too.  I think I more or less have Raymond Chandler and Roald Dahl down pat, but many others I am failing miserably at (such as Pratchett).
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Kai on April 04, 2010, 11:33:10 pm
I'm getting close to having Darwin down pat.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: LMNO on April 05, 2010, 04:26:49 pm
An interesting writing exercise I just thought up.

Write a short story, preferably 2-3 pages long, fiction of any kind, and in your own voice.

Now take that same story, the characters, the locations and the plot, and write it again except this time in the style and voice of a specific author.

Now do it again, with a different author.

The idea is to imitate style and voice in the same way that painters copy the paintings of the masters. This is similar to one of the suggestions in the above link. If you can really imitate the voice and style of the author, then you can enter into it any time because you understand it. Some people say it's all been done before, but if you want to find something original, you have to know whats already out there. It's a sort of mindfuck too.

I like that idea, with one addition: After imitating several different authors, try to write it again, as yourself.  That'll fuck with your head.

"How am I not myself?"
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Triple Zero on April 11, 2010, 11:38:56 am
This might be useful to some of you, especially the easily distracted types:

http://pyroom.org/features.html

Basically, it's a full-screen text editor, designed to minimize distractions from the program itself as well as other running applications and/or notifications.

Just you and your thoughts. Writing prose in a world as busy as the online world can be hard. Instant messengers, busy websites and other distractions can always get into your way when all you want to do is write.
Enter PyRoom. PyRoom is a free editor that stays out your way - and keeps other things out of your way, too. As a fullscreen editor without buttons, widgets, formatting options, menus and with only the minimum of required dialog windows, it doesn't have any distractions and lets you focus on writing and only writing.

Seems like a great idea. The screenshot has a green-on-black "terminal" style going, which would not be my preference, but maybe if you're writing cyberpunk. The font and colours are customizable, anyway.

Only downside is that it requires Python and the GTK engine to run. If you already have GIMP installed, you also got the GTK engine. Getting Python is not hard either. Just saying it's not a one-click installer :)
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Brotep on April 12, 2010, 04:25:24 pm
Cool, TripZip. I love that language. It's just so...convenient.

However...For those who don't have Python and don't want it, there's always Dark Room (http://they.misled.us/dark-room). There's also a link on there to the Mac-based program that inspired it.


Anywho, I think with writing it is important to get everything down first rather than just what you feel is essential, so you can trim later. It's something I've had trouble with, but lately I am getting better about not self-censoring. I'm just going by the general shape of the idea and figuring out the details as I go along, filling in as much as possible.


Another thing that helps, if you get stuck, is writing out what you already have by hand. Maybe the computer will work, too, but the fact that writing by hand is slower is a merit in this case--it gives you time to anticipate what comes next. I find this puts me back into the frame of mind I had when I was writing those words the first time. This is particularly useful for any writing project in which a draft takes more than one sitting to complete.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 12, 2010, 07:36:29 pm
You guys are ridiculous.

Srsly.

I didn't say there was anything wrong with reading people's advice about how to write - bear in mind that I am a writing grad student.

Yes, bear that in mind.

Dok,
Capable of mockery for years afterward.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: LMNO on July 12, 2010, 07:41:05 pm
;









I swear, I've been using a semicolon in exponentially greater amounts since the nB flare up; there's probably a down side, though.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Cain on July 23, 2010, 06:19:59 pm
The Guardian How To Write series has been uploaded online

http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/5711414/Guardian_How_to_Write_series
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Iason Ouabache on July 25, 2010, 09:39:12 am
/pokes thread

From todays Grauniad [sic]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one


a bit of pick and mix advice from some working stiffs of fiction


/unpokes thread
I'm pretty sure that Charles Dickens broke 9 out of 10 of those rules. (He wasn't much of a fan of exclamation points.)
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: MMIX on July 25, 2010, 02:08:53 pm
/pokes thread

From todays Grauniad [sic]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one


a bit of pick and mix advice from some working stiffs of fiction


/unpokes thread
I'm pretty sure that Charles Dickens broke 9 out of 10 of those rules. (He wasn't much of a fan of exclamation points.)

I think Dickens sucks; though we have had the full set in the house for the whole of my life I have never actually got past page 5 of any of them. The movies almost universally sucked too - except maybe Oliver  :wink:

Elmore Leonard is not exactly my taste either, and his advice [they aren't actually rules at all ] is for contemporary writers, not old lags like Dickens.

I thought the more interesting stuff was the actual article itself - about how different contemporary authors approach their craft . . .




Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Placid Dingo on July 26, 2010, 08:45:44 am
/pokes thread

From todays Grauniad [sic]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one


a bit of pick and mix advice from some working stiffs of fiction


/unpokes thread
I'm pretty sure that Charles Dickens broke 9 out of 10 of those rules. (He wasn't much of a fan of exclamation points.)

I think Dickens sucks; though we have had the full set in the house for the whole of my life I have never actually got past page 5 of any of them. The movies almost universally sucked too - except maybe Oliver  :wink:

Elmore Leonard is not exactly my taste either, and his advice [they aren't actually rules at all ] is for contemporary writers, not old lags like Dickens.

I thought the more interesting stuff was the actual article itself - about how different contemporary authors approach their craft . .

I really liked Dickens. I read Oliver Twist and found he had a very dry, savage sense of humour in the way he expressed things, such as describing the poor children in the workhouses as 'not overburdened with food or shelter'.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: MMIX on July 26, 2010, 12:10:17 pm
Sorry. I tried again and I didn't even make it past the first page.

Quote
CHAPTER I

TREATS OF THE PLACE WHERE OLIVER TWIST WAS BORN AND OF THE
CIRCUMSTANCES ATTENDING HIS BIRTH

Among other public buildings in a certain town, which for many reasons
it will be prudent to refrain from mentioning, and to which I will
assign no fictitious name, there is one anciently common to most towns,
great or small: to wit, a workhouse; and in this workhouse was born; on
a day and date which I need not trouble myself to repeat, inasmuch as
it can be of no possible consequence to the reader, in this stage of
the business at all events; the item of mortality whose name is
prefixed to the head of this chapter.

For a long time after it was ushered into this world of sorrow and
trouble, by the parish surgeon, it remained a matter of considerable
doubt whether the child would survive to bear any name at all; in which
case it is somewhat more than probable that these memoirs would never
have appeared; or, if they had, that being comprised within a couple of
pages, they would have possessed the inestimable merit of being the
most concise and faithful specimen of biography, extant in the
literature of any age or country.

Although I am not disposed to maintain that the being born in a
workhouse, is in itself the most fortunate and enviable circumstance
that can possibly befall a human being, I do mean to say that in this
particular instance, it was the best thing for Oliver Twist that could
by possibility have occurred.  The fact is, that there was considerable
difficulty in inducing Oliver to take upon himself the office of
respiration,--a troublesome practice, but one which custom has rendered
necessary to our easy existence; and for some time he lay gasping on a
little flock mattress, rather unequally poised between this world and
the next: the balance being decidedly in favour of the latter.  Now,
if, during this brief period, Oliver had been surrounded by careful
grandmothers, anxious aunts, experienced nurses, and doctors of
profound wisdom, he would most inevitably and indubitably have been
killed in no time.  There being nobody by, however, but a pauper old
woman, who was rendered rather misty by an unwonted allowance of beer;
and a parish surgeon who did such matters by contract; Oliver and
Nature fought out the point between them.  The result was, that, after
a few struggles, Oliver breathed, sneezed, and proceeded to advertise
to the inmates of the workhouse the fact of a new burden having been
imposed  upon the parish, by setting up as loud a cry as could
reasonably have been expected from a male infant who had not been
possessed of that very useful appendage, a voice, for a much longer
space of time than three minutes and a quarter.

Did you have to read it at school or something . . . ?
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Placid Dingo on July 29, 2010, 07:54:48 am
No I just read a lot. Reading Tale of two cities at present (when I have a chance to read).

I love the dynamic between the style and content. The style is sophisticated, matter of fact, elegant, and almost completely inappropriate for the content, which is dirty smelly crowded criminal filled London.

The passage you posted I don't mind at all; he introduces the character and I quite enjoyed the sequence where this baby has buggereised around working out whether he even has any interest in breathing or not chooses to come into life. It's a tense situation, but I love the matter of fact way it's described.

Also, if i remember rightly, I think Perfume by Patrick Suskind may have subverted this very opening sequence, with the child of that book instead choosing to live out of spite alone. But I haven't read it for a while.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: MMIX on July 29, 2010, 11:24:07 am
No I just read a lot. Reading Tale of two cities at present (when I have a chance to read).

I love the dynamic between the style and content. The style is sophisticated, matter of fact, elegant, and almost completely inappropriate for the content, which is dirty smelly crowded criminal filled London.

The passage you posted I don't mind at all; he introduces the character and I quite enjoyed the sequence where this baby has buggereised around working out whether he even has any interest in breathing or not chooses to come into life. It's a tense situation, but I love the matter of fact way it's described.

Also, if i remember rightly, I think Perfume by Patrick Suskind may have subverted this very opening sequence, with the child of that book instead choosing to live out of spite alone. But I haven't read it for a while.

I used to read voraciously until about ten years ago. Your reply makes me feel just a touch jealous that I could never get the same joy from reading Dickens that you obviously do. For me trying to read Dickens is definitely the triumph of style over content :sad:
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Placid Dingo on July 29, 2010, 12:14:51 pm
It might sound weird but there days I kind of 'work at' reading somewhat, to try to push myself to make interesting but difficult or dry stuff accessable.

That said when I find something that actually really excites me, it's on! Last thing I really enjoyed just as a read was Cat's Cradle. I don't know if Vonnegut wrote advice, but CC is the epitome of ensuring anything that you right builds character or moves the actino forward.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Eartha-ly Delights on July 31, 2010, 10:29:55 am
If you want to have a go on  something Victorian which is far and away more gripping than Dickens try Vanity Fair by Thackeray. It defecates all over anything by Charlie for writers craft and plot devices, as well as a fine example of controlling a narrative voice
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Placid Dingo on July 31, 2010, 04:07:31 pm
I have one of those '1000 free books' applications, so I do have that on the list.

I am however reading 16 books at the same time more or less so, it may be a little while.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: ranacuaro on October 29, 2010, 05:56:16 am
Several handy guides on this topic can be found at the below link.  If you are unfamiliar with bookchan, pdf files are hidden in the pictures, and you need to use a program like WinRAR or 7-zip to extract them.

Have fun now.

http://www.anonib.com/bookchan/index.php?t=328
thanks men
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Hoopla! on November 18, 2010, 03:54:38 pm
;









I swear, I've been using a semicolon in exponentially greater amounts since the nB flare up; there's probably a down side, though.

Me too.  Especially on here... I found a post I made last spring and thought "Why the fuck did I add a semicolon there?", then I remembered.  I laughed.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on November 19, 2010, 04:47:36 am
You guys are ridiculous.

Srsly.

I didn't say there was anything wrong with reading people's advice about how to write - bear in mind that I am a writing grad student. I was simply adding that actively studying the work of writers you admire can help you become aware of technique and how it is used in practice, and it goes a lot farther in helping to develop rhythm (which, by the way, is why Hunter liked to type Fitzgerald books over and over. To listen to the rhythm. )

1.  NB was a bigger prick than I remember, and

2.  As a writing grad student, he is most likely now a fry cook.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on November 19, 2010, 07:00:24 am
You guys are ridiculous.

Srsly.

I didn't say there was anything wrong with reading people's advice about how to write - bear in mind that I am a writing grad student. I was simply adding that actively studying the work of writers you admire can help you become aware of technique and how it is used in practice, and it goes a lot farther in helping to develop rhythm (which, by the way, is why Hunter liked to type Fitzgerald books over and over. To listen to the rhythm. )

1.  NB was a bigger prick than I remember, and

2.  As a writing grad student mediocre writer, he is most likely now a fry cook.

He was such in insufferable ass.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Cain on November 19, 2010, 12:49:32 pm
I figured I could do with reading these downloads, but the links are a-dead. What would I do well to insert into a torrent site to find them again please?



"writing books" and "writing guides" would probably do the trick.  Make sure to find a copy of Strunk's Elements of Style
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Placid Dingo on November 22, 2010, 06:39:16 am
I had King's 'On Writing' reccomended very strongly to me.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Ambassador KLOK KAOS on July 05, 2011, 01:16:31 am
Is there one really good current resource for this?  I've seen a bunch in here but would like to see something crisp, concise and well presented.

I'm in a writer's guild elsewhere and they are compiling resource links for the wiki.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Cain on July 05, 2011, 11:15:24 am
Not really.  Writing is such a personal and subjective process it is very hard to find a single guide that works for most people.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Suu on November 09, 2011, 12:27:23 am
I don't know if this has been posted yet, but it's a source that I was given in my class:

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/

It's for everyone, not just Purdue students...as I don't go to Purdue.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Kai on November 09, 2011, 04:29:39 am
I don't think I've mentioned it here yet, but How to Read a Book (http://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Book-Touchstone-book/dp/0671212095) is an excellent guide to reading, and insofar as a better reader makes a better writer it's a must have.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Placid Dingo on July 26, 2012, 07:28:16 am
How to be an author; http://www.staciakane.net/2012/07/24/be-rich-and-famous-the-internet-way/
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: MMMW on July 28, 2012, 09:07:34 pm
Robert McKee's "Story" is geared towards screenwriting but it's great for any storyteller.
Here's a PDF of the key points - www.kennykemp.com/pdf/story%20structure.pdf (http://www.kennykemp.com/pdf/story%20structure.pdf)
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Placid Dingo on August 02, 2012, 01:53:46 pm
Robert McKee's "Story" is geared towards screenwriting but it's great for any storyteller.
Here's a PDF of the key points - www.kennykemp.com/pdf/story%20structure.pdf (http://www.kennykemp.com/pdf/story%20structure.pdf)

This is great.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: zarathustrasbastardson on November 13, 2012, 02:36:16 am
God help you if you have to get up and work manana!
Estas bien? porque yo estoy Asi asi
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Ben Shapiro on August 21, 2013, 06:38:22 am
The butthurt nom nom nom
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: 3n1g on January 20, 2014, 05:28:55 am
There are some very good comic book writing books that (obviously) apply in many ways to all types of writing. The only one that comes to mind now (as it is on my bookshelf) is Come In Alone by Warren Ellis.
Title: Re: How to write
Post by: Prelate Diogenes Shandor on March 12, 2018, 05:57:06 am
Or you could pull a Hunter S. Thompson and type out the Great Gatsby over and over again.

Or you could, oh, I don't know, actually learn the mechanics of writing (as an artist learns the mechanics of painting) and write something original.

Which I'm sure you learn from reading "On Writing" by Steven King lol

So then you type out "all work and no play makes jack a dull boy" over and over again instead?