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Hey everyone. Just as I have announced myself in the Game Development forum I'm announcing myself here. Now that schools over and I'm outta high school I have a lot more time to devote to the forums here, and I'll be hanging out more in this forum and the Game Design forum. Okay, so most of you from the Design forum hang out here too, so posting this really is pointless but what the hey. At least I chose a less God-sounding subject line Time to jump in a few discussions... ============================== "Need more eeenput..." - #5, "Short Circuit" ============================== Edited by - Gaiiden on June 26, 2001 8:14:29 PM

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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 (

Thanks for reading.

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