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[SIZE=10pt]Step 1: Read[/SIZE]
[SIZE=10pt]Step 2: Think of something to write[/SIZE]
[SIZE=10pt]Step 3: Write it like in the manner of what you read[/SIZE]
[SIZE=10pt]Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3[/SIZE]
[SIZE=10pt]Step 5: There is no step five because you should be on step one again by now.*[/SIZE]
[SIZE=10pt]*Disclaimer: Only take me seriously when you want to be disappointed.[/SIZE]
Well technically he is right. Even before I started rping, I always loved reading. It gives you great ideas and depending on your favorite author, give you variance of style.
Put yourself in the head of your character. Daxton is Zabrak Sith, but unlike the common sith who rely on brute force, he mixes it with deviousness and a capability to improvise.
I suggest reading some of the threads of other writers, see whose style you like and then try pming them to see if they would be interested in doing a story with you.
I saw you are an Ewok. A very interesting choice, considering the limitations of the race (not being tech savy most of your adventures would be on one world, unless you explain how he learned tech in your background).
The most important part is to have fun. The more fun you have with the character, the more you want to write as them, the more you write, the more fun you will have. Its a wonderful cycle.
Striving to improve is also something you want to latch onto and never let go of. When I started to role play (15 years ago), I took from everyone I wrote with. Those that I really enjoyed reading, I tried to pick pieces and parts from their style of writing and add it to my own. Soon I had a collaboration of many authors and it evolved into my own style. Let's face it though, if you don't enjoy reading what you wrote, you're not going to have a very good time. So that's my goal, to enjoy what I, and the people I write with, write.
I've got such an exemplary vocabulary thanks to the wonders of reading books.
Once you've read a few books, read some more.
If you want a good Star Wars book, read Matthew Stover's adaptation of Episode 3. Glorious writing there.
After all that, as Daxton said, get in the head of the character.
-What kind of writing style suits them? Are they an emotional character? If so, use lots of exotic words. Are they very cold? If so, use lots of cold, technical vocab. Are they silly? If so, jump between the two for comedic effect.
-What kind of personality do they have? Are they very contemplative? If so, detail their thoughts when possible. Are they blunt? If so, write as so- straight to the point, but not in a basic way- use functional and effective words. Think about breaking down a situation and write as such.
Also, try and write some short stories/novella.
That's how I honed my writing- hope it works for you?
There are some far superior writers than me here, I must be frank. There's tons of 'em. So go listen to them too
Everyone's given you sound, solid advice. It's as simple as read, write, rinse and repeat. You emulate what you read, and it is for that reason that I can write in 1st or 3rd person, and rp a woman just as well as a man. I can't call myself a certified author yet because I'm too lazy, and all I've got under my belt right now is a really long, unfinished fanfiction, but everything these people said is what I did to become the writer I am today.
@Wicker If you want a wonderful read from one of our board members, try this it's wonderful and will likely help you with your own writing. I know I would love to spend the time it would take me to reach this level of skill.
Keep it real. - Keeping the feeling that the character is human, and has his or her weaknesses makes them interesting to read and write. This in the rules however, but I can't stress it enough, the more realistic or balanced the character is the more interesting he becomes.
Give and Take. - The more you give another writer to work with, the more you'll get back, with the good ones. If you're never getting hit or even threatened in a duel, why bother, there is no tension at all.
More than one character - If you run more than one character try and come up with some unique mannerisms for each, better still come up with a few unique words and phrases you use for each. Pick out some Idiosyncrasies even before you start. What does one do when he's thinking hard, differently from the other. What does one do when he's put in a stressful situation. What does one do when they laugh, that last one is especially important, or defining for characters who rarely ever would laugh I've found.
Motivation - What drives them. What's going to be interesting for you to write out long term. Any conflicts? What flaws are they overcoming, struggling with or writing through. Most people say their muse runs out from time to time, but its not the muse, it's just you've written out what needed to be written out or you enjoyed doing, the trick is then finding the next thing. There is always another want inside the mind of a writer, and character, it's how life works. Finding it is the trick.
Villains, Rivals, Heroes - (This is my perspective) The best villains are strong characters that don't mind losing from time to time. I just find them more fun to write, it encourages others to play the hero role. Getting a villain in your character's life or a hero bothering the villian, makes for some great threading . Rivals make some of the best character development threads ever.
The more tense a thread is, the more you might want to drop in an OOC pm or OOC message to the authors you are doing it with. Till you know they are enjoying the thread as much as you. This let's them know you're approachable, and keeps even the most explosive situations friendly ooc. When you know them it's different, certain characters gel with other characters naturally, and you'll just find they work well together. At first though make that OOC contact and compliment people when they've put effort into a post, when it really was good to read.
What i've found helpful:
Plotting - Talk out what you are looking to do in a plot before hand with someone over PM. If you've a complicated idea or story in mind. Use Wookiepeedia often to bring in terms and story elements into your threads, thus helping to give you plot hooks.
Story Arcs - Mini stories going on with your character, these are very varied concepts, but allow you not to get stuck in one post, one story, always waiting just for that one character to respond. They might be character development, family related, faction related, tech related, etc.
Well originally I was terrible. Now I am acceptable(ish). Whenever I write I listen to music the sets the tone. I Also read books to see where and when I use commas. And overall I would say you should get better overtime if you are not good right now. Then posting is helping me in two ways. I will get better at writing later so I can write long stories and my posts will be great quality.
“In six seconds, you’ll hate me. But in six months, you’ll be a better writer.
From this point forward—at least for the next half year—you may not use “thought” verbs. These include: Thinks, Knows, Understands, Realizes, Believes, Wants, Remembers, Imagines, Desires, and a hundred others you love to use.
The list should also include: Loves and Hates. And it should include: Is and Has, but we’ll get to those later.
Until some time around Christmas, you can’t write: Kenny wondered if Monica didn’t like him going out at night…”
Instead, you’ll have to Un-pack that to something like: “The mornings after Kenny had stayed out, beyond the last bus, until he’d had to bum a ride or pay for a cab and got home to find Monica faking sleep, faking because she never slept that quiet, those mornings, she’d only put her own cup of coffee in the microwave. Never his.”
Instead of characters knowing anything, you must now present the details that allow the reader to know them. Instead of a character wanting something, you must now describe the thing so that the reader wants it.
Instead of saying: “Adam knew Gwen liked him.” You’ll have to say: “Between classes, Gwen had always leaned on his locker when he’d go to open it. She’s roll her eyes and shove off with one foot, leaving a black-heel mark on the painted metal, but she also left the smell of her perfume. The combination lock would still be warm from her butt. And the next break, Gwen would be leaned there, again.”
In short, no more short-cuts. Only specific sensory detail: action, smell, taste, sound, and feeling.
Typically, writers use these “thought” verbs at the beginning of a paragraph (In this form, you can call them “Thesis Statements” and I’ll rail against those, later). In a way, they state the intention of the paragraph. And what follows, illustrates them.
For example: “Brenda knew she’d never make the deadline. Traffic was backed up from the bridge, past the first eight or nine exits. Her cell phone battery was dead. At home, the dogs would need to go out, or there would be a mess to clean up. Plus, she’d promised to water the plants for her neighbor…”
Do you see how the opening “thesis statement” steals the thunder of what follows? Don’t do it.
If nothing else, cut the opening sentence and place it after all the others. Better yet, transplant it and change it to: Brenda would never make the deadline.
Thinking is abstract. Knowing and believing are intangible. Your story will always be stronger if you just show the physical actions and details of your characters and allow your reader to do the thinking and knowing. And loving and hating.
Don’t tell your reader: “Lisa hated Tom.”
Instead, make your case like a lawyer in court, detail by detail.
Present each piece of evidence. For example: “During roll call, in the breath after the teacher said Tom’s name, in that moment before he could answer, right then, Lisa would whisper-shout ‘Butt Wipe,’ just as Tom was saying, ‘Here’.”
One of the most-common mistakes that beginning writers make is leaving their characters alone. Writing, you may be alone. Reading, your audience may be alone. But your character should spend very, very little time alone. Because a solitary character starts thinking or worrying or wondering.
For example: Waiting for the bus, Mark started to worry about how long the trip would take…”
A better break-down might be: “The schedule said the bus would come by at noon, but Mark’s watch said it was already 11:57. You could see all the way down the road, as far as the Mall, and not see a bus. No doubt, the driver was parked at the turn-around, the far end of the line, taking a nap. The driver was kicked back, asleep, and Mark was going to be late. Or worse, the driver was drinking, and he’d pull up drunk and charge Mark seventy-five cents for death in a fiery traffic accident…”
A character alone must lapse into fantasy or memory, but even then you can’t use “thought” verbs or any of their abstract relatives.
Oh, and you can just forget about using the verbs forget and remember.
No more transitions such as: “Wanda remembered how Nelson used to brush her hair.”
Instead: “Back in their sophomore year, Nelson used to brush her hair with smooth, long strokes of his hand.”
Again, Un-pack. Don’t take short-cuts.
Better yet, get your character with another character, fast. Get them together and get the action started. Let their actions and words show their thoughts. You—stay out of their heads.
And while you’re avoiding “thought” verbs, be very wary about using the bland verbs “is” and “have.”
For example: “Ann’s eyes are blue.”
“Ann has blue eyes.”
“Ann coughed and waved one hand past her face, clearing the cigarette smoke from her eyes, blue eyes, before she smiled…”
Instead of bland “is” and “has” statements, try burying your details of what a character has or is, in actions or gestures. At its most basic, this is showing your story instead of telling it.
And forever after, once you’ve learned to Un-pack your characters, you’ll hate the lazy writer who settles for: “Jim sat beside the telephone, wondering why Amanda didn’t call.”
Please. For now, hate me all you want, but don’t use thought verbs. After Christmas, go crazy, but I’d bet money you won’t.
For this month’s homework, pick through your writing and circle every “thought” verb. Then, find some way to eliminate it. Kill it by Un-packing it.
Then, pick through some published fiction and do the same thing. Be ruthless.
“Marty imagined fish, jumping in the moonlight…”
“Nancy recalled the way the wine tasted…”
“Larry knew he was a dead man…”
Find them. After that, find a way to re-write them. Make them stronger.”
Honestly you will develop your own style that is great for you and the people you write with. I am, by no means, an exceptional writer but I have fun with it. Most people are willing to work with you, and since you seem to have an open mind, it will be much easier for you to pick up tips. That is the biggest things, learn from others, but also make your own little style. My writing style is a mixture of all the people who I considered to be great writers as I have roleplayed over the years. Don't be afraid to incorporate other peoples styles into your own writing because no one is perfect but everyone has neat little tricks they do.
Don't be afraid to ask people for help because most of the time people are willing to offer advice. I have a lot of little things that I do that help me so I will give you the little things that have made me a better writer.
1. Know your character inside and out. For me this is the biggest thing that will help you because if you don't know your character you'll just be aimlessly writing, and when I say know your character, I mean REALLY know them. My biggest pet peeve on forums is this: Age - Unknown. What? WHAT? You don't know your own characters age or you are just using the lazy cliche? You created that character and you should know every little detail about them. How do I know that? You made him/her.
2. I am notorious for not describing the scenery around me. My first post is always inner dialogue... kind of. I find that it helps the flow of writing if I explain what my character is thinking, why he is there, what he is going to accomplish by being there, and the rest will just kind of flow. I give them a reason to be in a particular thread and then the rest is my characters actions or dialogue. The first paragraph sets the tone so you want to ensnare your reader. I put the bulk of my character development in the first paragraph of my posts. Inner dialogues, self turmoil, reactions/actions, it's all there at the beginning. I have always hated describing scenery, unless I am the first to post in the thread, and I hate reading it in books. Personal preference so it is up to you, but just remember, try and gain your readers attention in that first paragraph.
3. Collaborate. Could you imagine writing a novel and not knowing, at least somewhat, how things were going to turn out? If every paragraph ended and you had no idea what was going to happen in the next paragraph? That would suck, right? Talk to people, figure out where they want to take the thread, and express where you want to take the thread and find a nice middle ground. This website is about writing with other people and creating stories so try not to go into it blind. Have a rough idea of how you want the thread to go and work your way to it. I am not saying plan out every little detail, but, if you want a certain thing to happen make sure they know so they can help you get there.
4. UNLIMITED POWA! Don't do that. Come on. Seriously? Don't be THAT guy. I am sure you have seen them, the invincible "I am the most powerful being in the universe." toolbag. Give your character some depth besides power hungry mongol trying to kill everyone. You're evil? Give them a reason to be evil, I don't care, but don't just be evil for being evils sake. People want to see your character develop over the course of your threads. Whether you slowly go mad with power or you struggle with trying to make the right decision in such a corrupt Galaxy. I wrote Ben Watts, the Jedi Grandmaster, and a lot of people might tell you he was a strong and brave Jedi who had no fear. That is just completely false, he was very detailed, and he struggled with a lot. And it wasn't completely heartwrenching and emotional either. He struggled with the fear of failure, letting down the Jedi he loved so dearly, it was his worst nightmare. It isn't about blatantly writing "Awww, my character has so many feels, tehe." no. Honestly, IC, I can think of maybe two people who knew about how troubled Ben was. OOC, I am pretty sure everyone knew. It made it that much more intriguing because IC people only saw the brave, battle ready, wise Jedi and they thought he could do no wrong. But inside? Inside he was a wreck.
5. Be willing to lose duels. You can't win them all because that is no fun. Plus, losing fights is a huge part of character development. If you watch DBZ, look at Vegeta, that dude never beat Goku. Did it mean he was any less badass? Find someone who pushes your character to the limit. Write fear into your character, fear is awesome as a writing device, you can do so much with it. You want to write a fearless character? That's cool, but remember my number 4, write a little fear into it. Everyone fears something, or at least they should, so write that in.
6. Have fun. Have fun. Have fun. This place will make you angry, it'll make you happy, it might even make you cry, but the real draw is the people. I will stand by this for the rest of my life, the people here are awesome. I watched this community grow from a tiny little baby into a full fledged adult and the thing that sticks out is the people. You have your tools, but without them, I would have never gotten a job on staff in the first place. Some of you drive me crazy, you really do, but I love it in a way. Make friends, chit chat, collaborate with people and create epic stories that you will remember for the rest of your days. And trust me, you will.
The best thing I've learned while doing roleplay is that my characters speak differently than I write. That's important. Characters talk how they want. Formal, colloquial, cuddly, with or without contractions, in an odd dialect, some words they use that I don't. Slang is also nifty and helps with immersion. Basically, while actions should always be clear, dialogue should be personal.
Write about what is interesting for you, keeping in mind that others may not like it. There, you'll find an equilibrium and roleplay accordingly. Your content might not be great, it might be the best, but that's peoples opinions.
Edit: Oh and whilst I am on the tips giving thang, stay away from the Jedi. They smell of ashla.
When you're describing something, first, try to picture it in your head. Really know what you're talking about. Then describe it in as much detail as possible. The reader isn't in your head, and isn't picturing the same thing you are, unless you make them. Your reader should be able to construct a mental picture pretty damn close to what you're thinking of. Try re-reading your post. Ask yourself what you'd think the scene would look like just from the words you've written. If they don't match what you thought of, revise, add, or even start over.
That being said, if you write ten page thesis about opening a door and walking through it, your wrists, friends, family, and eyes will hate you.
I agree with Aru, the main thing is to enjoy RPing & make it so others enjoy RPing with you in turn. Also, I remember when Je'gan talked to me about writing with passion, and I think that is the one thing that helps me continue to love writing.