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something actually about writing

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As I am intensely bored, I thought perhaps I should post something that''s actually about writing. Writing is a peculiar art - anyone who can talk can write, and a lot of peopke have the potential to be good writers. From the posts I''ve read, I think we can assume everyone who visits this forum could write a short story without assistance, and many of us have written a lot. I have lots of problems writing: I have trouble thinking of something that I can care enough about that I don''t get bored after writing a few pages. I have trouble constructing large plots because misdirecting the reader feels like a waste of time to me. I have trouble thinking of a moral that''s worth preaching to people about. Although I am an excellent editor, I can''t edit my own work and have trouble finding someone who can edit it in any useful way. What problems do you all have? Who knows, maybe we can help each other. I''ve carried out several activities to help me figure out what to write about - I''ll describe them in case anyone is interested. I went to the library and just read the title of every book on the shelf, writing down the ones I liked. I grouped these into similar grammatical structures, and came up with some formulae for creating poetic phrases. It is possible to combine the results of this with a writer''s-block breaking technique called the Word Bucket. For this technique you and possibly some friends take a stack of notecards and write an interesting word on each one. Then you throw these in a bucket, mix them up, pull out a handful, and write about what you get. Another good cat-vacuuming activity (means time-wasting and never-finished, because the cat will run away from the vacuum cleaner, usually hiding in a dusty spot that makes them even more in need of vacuuming) is to make a list of all your favorite tropes, themes, world-building elements, etc. Some things on my list are: love triangle, identity, a dark pegasus, eggs, and zebra stripes (see the forum game thread ) Another thing to do is draw a picture of or write a poem about one of your characters, to help flesh them out in your mind. Copy your favorites - I have trouble with plot, as I mentioned, so sometimes I will diagram the plot of one of my favorite books and try to fill the shape in with my own details. Anyone have any activities like this to share? Anyone have any issues about writing they would like to discuss?

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Don''t allow yourself to be distracted by the inffinit possbilities. When im not doing something i want to do i like to rationalize about it which in my oppinion is a waste of time. The one thing that matters in writting is that you must write. dont waste your time considering the details. Write something then go back and make changes. Let your subconscience do the work. Ok im done preaching. Im working on a game design based on the resident evil series, but i cant get myself to sit down and commit to the ideas in my mind because one part of my brain says that just based on someone elses hard work. This doesnt matter though, work must come first then you go back and make it origanal or varios other improvements like spellcheck. Dont automatically asume you know whats good or bad or even what you think you may like or dislike. Let your peers be your guide not your friends. Communicating the thought and feelings (which dont nessicarilly come to the surface right away)that bring us together; dreams, desires, fears... Tell your story from your prespective. We all know the same stories but.., I the differnt point of view that makes them interesting.

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Hi,

Writing is an art. Secondly you have to review, review and review because everytime you review your story, you want to add something new. From my experience writing and design go hadn in hand.

Well most of my problems is in thinking about the players goal. Goals which games like Quake have become too common. If I have well set players goal, then I know I have a story and then I just try to build on it.

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Check out this letter-response about writer's block (on a site called wordplay, about writing screenplays).

Here is a small excerpt:
"I have always hated the actual act of writing, I have always found it excruciatingly painful, and I can honestly say I've never enjoyed a single second of it. Writing one word is hard, and takes a psychic toll. Putting a second word down is twice as hard. And an entire sentence is pure torture."


I think that's quite funny, considering the guy writes screenplays for a living

That's pretty much how I feel too, I would like to write, and like to think about stuff to write, but whenever I sit down with a pen and paper or in front of a wordprocessor my mind goes absolutely blank. I find it rather reassuring that there are 'professional' writers who feel the same way

Edited by - Dactylos on June 25, 2001 10:12:01 PM

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Hmm, I''m thankful I at least know how great it feels to be writing and really on a roll. Getting a writing partner is an interesting idea. I wonder where one goes shopping for a writing partner, or whether I could agree with one enough to actually get someone written...? Hmm...

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Shopping for a writer ? I am not sure where you should start. Your idea seems interesting about finding a partner for a writer. I never ever thought of that. One could divide the story line into parts and each one writes a part - it may speed up the process. However I do see one drawback, you would have to define the story etc very well(which rarely ever happens). I mean that there should be no ambiguity.
Also titles make an impression. A good title will make a good impression eg :- I am sure a Title like "Urge to Kill" give a certain impression. I find it tough to decide on the title too most of the time.

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Yeah I write music(can you really write music, anyway)/games/stories. I have been told I am pretty good at it but I don''t think I am, humility is a bitch. Anyway perfectionism,that''s the main problem for most people in writing. You cant write because you think it wont be good enough. Just write even you think its pure shit, you will come up with something.

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[Whoops...I accidently posted this in the wrong thread, sorry.]

Hello,

A lot of people here seem to begin their post on writing with the statement ''writing is an art''. I don''t disagree with that at all. I studied it in school and I now write for a living, so I can appreciate the kind of training, study, and hard work that goes into becoming a writer (and I''m not even talking about becoming a good writer).

One standard axiom about writing (and someone else touched on it briefly in a former post) is that when you write you should just sit down and do it. Don''t think too much about reviewing and revising at first. Just get your ideas down on paper (or the screen...whatever feels more natural and flows more easily). Good writing is largely about knowing how to edit well, but if you get bogged down in the revision process too early, you end up giving up on your project because it seems too daunting a task. I see a few of you have said that after a while you feel overwhelmed and drop your writing project. This could be because you allowed yourself to think about the big picture too much, when you should be concentrating on the words that are just ahead of you. It''s just like climbing a mountain -- if you think of the mountain as a whole, summitting seems like an herculean task. But, if you can make yourself focus on only the next landmark, before you know it you''ll be at the top. That''s when you should look back on your work as a whole and see how to improve it.

Another thing that helps (it helps me anyway, but there aren''t any tricks to becoming a writer, you just have to write a lot and find a technique that works for you) is to draft an outline before you begin writing. It doesn''t necessarily have to be an outline of your entire work, but at least an outline of your first chapter or section. This can be as general or detailed as you like, but it will provide you with some of those ''landmarks'' to get you on your way. Then when writer''s block hits you (as it does all of us at some point) or you feel discouraged about where to go next, you can just refer to your outline for inspiration. Sometimes being able to see a little bit into the future can help you write what''s happening in the present with more confidence. Does that make sense?

The final thing I wanted to say is that the only way to become a good writer is to practice, practice, practice. And by practicing I don''t mean reading books about writing. That''s about as useful as reading books about becoming a great musician. You can only learn by doing. Also, read a lot. As much as you can, and from a wide variety of topics that interest you. It will help you become a more well-rounded person which will, in turn, make you a more well-rounded writer.

If you need an exercise to practice writing with, go to a nearby coffee shop with a pen and a notebook and write character sketches. Just pick someone that looks interested, and make up a background history for them. Examine how they dress, how they look, how they carry themselves, and come up with a fictional ''history'' for why they are the way they are. This is a great exercise, and strong character development is a fundamental building block of a good story.

Hope this has helped some of you. I don''t claim to be an expert, but I''ve done a fair bit of writing and am working on my own game design, so I think I have a good handle on some of the issues you people seem to be facing.

Best of luck, and feel free to email me if you have any questions (raphael@gamitopia.com).

Thanks for reading.

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[Hi. Does anyone remember me ? ]

My personal problem with writing is inspiration.I need to feel inspired to write, and since right now everything is terrible in my life, I can''t write.I just CAN''T.When I''m inspired, I can write very well, but when not ...

Another problem is dialogue.I guess writing dialogue is not something good for me.I can edit it very well, though.

My advice :
1) Write from the heart (and watch Finding Forrester).Don''t think at all while you''re writing, don''t make too many corrections, and don''t think about your next sentence.Just write.You can edit it later.
2) Don''t try to write like someone else.Don''t try to write a story ''similar to X''.Write the story the way you want to write it.But don''t get stuck with ''this is my style'', either.Every story has its own style.


Runemaster

"Coding is like building a house with molecules instead of bricks!" - Wavinator
"Damn, and I thought you were a cannibal..." -Selkrank, to dwarfsoft
"Romania, a quite large but totally unimportant country just outside Europe. Soccer, beer, no vampires." -Diodor

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Well, writing is like this....

DON''T..hehehee...

Don''t write to write...write to pretend...better yet, write to finish a movie, or a story you read the way you are viewing it.

Like StarWars...didn''t you want darth vader to be luke''s father? During the first set of episodes, did old ben have to die right then?(well, ya..martyrdom is always a way to draw people into a chr and let them side for him or her). Did yoda have to die?? Did Billie Dee Williams actually have to be in the episodes at all?

You get my point...I took the beginning of Gladiator and, after the initial seen when he says, ''...on my command, unleash hell...'', I began writing a high fantasy story, changing names and making new events into the way I wanted. And I just wrote, hour upon hour, for about 6 or 7 hours straight...ya know why?? Cause I let myself be entertained with it...not make it into a chore...I know a lot of writers feel the way the playwright does(oh I have to write another?!?!?!?!...oh agony) And, you can always make revisions, or add something that totally makes no sense just to see what your mind makes out of it.

With me now moving into programming(very........slowly), self-teaching myself, beginning with c++(oh my..hehehehehhe), I''m going to write interactive fantasy stories and convert them into programs, not quite games, but, hopefully even java(oh god..heheheheheheh...ya, I want them all on my list), and make a paper and pen style of java-based web app, but for an rpg...basically, you have this choice, what do you do...and blahblahblah.... we all know D&D games

Plus, I want to also write kiddie things for my 4 year old daughter...

Anyhow, those last two paragraphs were OT, but it''s my point..you have to write to pretend, for something you like(I hated writing stuff I know about, but do not like at all) whether it''s good or bad, cause it always gets better

Just keep doing it...

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