News:

If you really want to hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be a homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts. But do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites, standing for absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.

Main Menu

How to write

Started by Cain, September 26, 2008, 06:35:49 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Ratssinis


MMIX

/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
"The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that it is something we make and could just as easily make differently" David Graeber

Batty Kissinger

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.
Blue potatoes are ungainly things
As are red and purple lamb chops
Yet when we eat and creep and fall
We never ask a silent question. --Racter

Cain

True, but it is nevertheless a damn fine link.  Thanks MMIX!

MMIX

Quote from: Cain on April 03, 2010, 03:13:14 PM
True, but it is nevertheless a damn fine link.  Thanks MMIX!

my pleasure . . .
"The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that it is something we make and could just as easily make differently" David Graeber

Kai

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.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

Her Royal Majesty's Chief of Insect Genitalia Dissection
Grand Visser of the Six Legged Class
Chanticleer of the Holometabola Clade Church, Diptera Parish

Kai

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.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

Her Royal Majesty's Chief of Insect Genitalia Dissection
Grand Visser of the Six Legged Class
Chanticleer of the Holometabola Clade Church, Diptera Parish

Cain

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).

Kai

I'm getting close to having Darwin down pat.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

Her Royal Majesty's Chief of Insect Genitalia Dissection
Grand Visser of the Six Legged Class
Chanticleer of the Holometabola Clade Church, Diptera Parish

LMNO

Quote from: 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.

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?"

Triple Zero

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 :)
Ex-Soviet Bloc Sexual Attack Swede of Tomorrow™
e-prime disclaimer: let it seem fairly unclear I understand the apparent subjectivity of the above statements. maybe.

INFORMATION SO POWERFUL, YOU ACTUALLY NEED LESS.

Brotep

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. 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.

Doktor Howl

Quote from: 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.

Yes, bear that in mind.

Dok,
Capable of mockery for years afterward.
Molon Lube

LMNO

;









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

Cain