What's some writing advice that you think everyone should know about?
Just like the title says~
3 months ago
Wow, I can't really imagine what you're explaining, but it does sound interesting. Thanks for the clarification. =)
3 months ago
Hi, I am referring to a surprising phenomenon, which I interpreted as supernatural the first time I experienced it, and going beyond inspiration. As the phenomenon is very strong and weird, I investigated the subject. In ancient Greece, this was called genius. Not the genius of the author and his ego, but a form of external force that blows the story to the author. I hadn't met it in my first writings and novels, or hardly.
Today, I call it " The story ". I identify this force with the story of the tale, as if it were autonomous and endowed with life, and that it wrote itself. A kind of channeling experience, where the author is the channel leading the story of his abstract living space to reality.
The process is strange from beginning to end. The source ideas that structure the story are already sudden inspirations, and accumulate. The author has a role as you describe it, that of sorting, measuring, keeping good ideas. But some ideas are also mercilessly imposed, whether we like it or not, even if they are counter-intuitive. I feel the influence of " The story " here.
Once the structure is in place, and the main ideas established, comes the time for writing.
During this moment, the channel of communication with the story opens. I find myself in a modified state of consciousness (I just had a coffee, I specify, nothing else). Automatically, the story takes shape. Every new idea that comes along to enhance the text seems perfect, unexpected and brilliant, with connections in all directions. As a result, I rarely question this style of ideas. The final text is much better than what I could have written on my own. I can only thank for that.
I noticed that in some states of fatigue or weariness, this door did not open. I stop writing in these cases. I would only complete a passage with my own resources, and the result would be disappointing.
3 months ago
I never gave much though on how truth and falsity affect the state of mind, so that was refreshing. And I believe you're referring to writing when you're inspired, right, as in the case of "the inner door" and its form of energy that you have mentioned?
3 months ago
About point number two on ideas. There is truth and falsity.
It is quite difficult to establish a rule about ideas.
As for the general ideas, about the plot, the scenes to be placed, I think that's true. A certain amount of time makes it possible to invalidate ideas that we thought were good but are not. And also to validate ideas that we thought were bad or forbidden, but that are the best.
On the other hand, once the orientation is defined, other ideas come up during the writing process itself. If the state of mind is rested and open, most of the ideas that come up during writing will be good, even the surprising ones. It doesn't work if you are tired, or if you write mechanically to complete the passage to be written, however.
As a result, this leads me to formulate an advice at the same time:
Writing in a mental state capable of opening "the inner door", the one that leads to a form of energy outside ourselves.
And otherwise, I agree that there is no point in trying to please readers.
I have written some twists and turns that will shock the reader/viewer at first glance. The development of these developments is able to prove to the reader that he was wrong and to captivate him even more, by their power. I would not have dared to implement such ideas if I had been afraid of the spectator's return. Even I was shocked, and I hesitated. If I hadn't completed the process, I would have written something consensual, which would have ended up boring me first.
3 months ago
I hope you don’t mind this long list, and if they’re not useful, sorry in advance.
1. Write what you’re into, not what you think would catch a lot of people’s attention. I think this is one of the biggest mistakes for a writer, and doing this leads to other “problems,” if you will. For example, if you’re comfortable with writing melodramatic stories, then try to plot a story that falls under that genre. I’m not saying it’s impossible to write a story in a genre that you’re not comfortable with, but if you were to tackle that challenge, be mindful that in the long run, there’s a bigger possibility that you can go through writer’s block or hate the story because of frustration, etc.
2. If you want to tackle the challenge of writing a story that has components you’re not comfortable with, I suggest you slowly write the story and build it up on the sideline until you’re comfortable or until you’re sure this is how you want it to be. In other words, don’t publish it yet.
3. If you have an idea, set it aside and come back to it days later. You can plot out the small details, but don’t write anything. This is so that you won’t be on that emotional high and be blinded that whatever idea that came to you is the best. When you set it aside and come back to think about the idea, your mind is clearer and more objective. Also, you should make your story public only what you have written enough chapters to solidify a plot. This way, you could make as many changes as you want and not frustrate or confuse your readers.
4. Another reason why you would not want to write for your readers is because you can come into a “this is what I want for my story” versus “this is what my readers like.” I once had an author who knew exactly how her story was going to be, but due to our comments saying that we would prefer something else (we weren’t bashing the story), she killed off a character that she liked to make it happened, and then she didn’t know where to go after that because that character was supposedly a catalyst for an important event that tied to the end. She never completed the story and dropped it.
5. Your readers should only be a community that you created without strings attached, and you shouldn’t see them as an exchange of obligation. What I mean is there will come a point where you might feel that you’re not feeling appreciated, such as your stories aren’t getting enough comments. Yes, you take time to write, edit, and post the chapters, but that doesn’t mean you’re automatically warranted for comments, and that was one of the main problems on AFF in the later half of 2017 or 2018 (you can check old discussions).
What I want to say is that if you want some kind of love in the form of comments, don’t assume that your readers would know you want comments (or upvotes, likes, etc). That’s kind of harsh and one-sided. Instead, what you could do if you want comments is initiate. But by initiate, I don’t mean just ask. I mean build a proper relationship with your subscribers or readers and then ask. The reason why I say this is because if you don’t build a relationship with your readers and just request for feedback, the reader who has no connection with you would just gloss over that part. Or in most cases, they would feel that they’re not good enough to even give you feedback because they’re scared that their opinions might not be taken seriously because they have yet to know what kind of author you are. But it could be a different story if you have built a friendship with your readers, and they would like to help you, so they would participate.
6. But here’s another take on comments. Majority of the authors would prefer if the comments consisted of genuine constructive feedback. If you want genuine constructive feedback, it’s better if you opt for a professional beta reader. Most readers, if not all, are here to read a story you got to tell, so of course, they’re going to leave the cliché comments like, “This is great! Keep it up!” They’re not a beta reader who has the time to write a one to two-minute paragraph about how the chapter could be written or about your grammar or etc. Besides, most if not all readers are probably reading the story on their mobile during a commute.
Anyway, my main point is, think about your subscribers too.
7. Regarding beta reader, choose a beta wisely. I was once a beta reader due to my love for a story. However, by six chapters in, I noticed that almost all my “requests” were rejected. It was because we had different writing styles. More importantly, the story was a genre I’m not comfortable writing in but loved reading. I’m a romantic writer, but that story was a dystopian thriller, so she wanted sentence fragments to give her readers dramatic tension whereas I thought those sentence fragments should be fixed. So, know your genre and writing style including your beta’s preferred genres and writing styles and see if you two would mesh well when it comes to editing. And keep this in mind: yes, your beta reader might be more “professional” in terms of editing or whatever, but don’t change your story entirely to match their editing. That was one thing I loved and admired from the author I worked with. I liked that she knew where she was going or what she was doing with her story and her story still had her touch and not my touch, if that makes any sense.
8. This is my current problem as a writer, and you might think it’s not important. It is word-count. As a writer, I feel like writing anything less than 4k is not enough for my readers, but I fear that writing more than 4k is too overwhelming. And here’s how I solved my problem: I have a relationship with my readers, so after asking them which they’d prefer, they were okay with the overwhelming word-count.
Now when I’m a reader and see a chapter with less than 2k, I’m skeptical to read the story because I feel that quality might not be good (other factors play a role too, such as format—big font, marginalized indents, long paragraphs, etc).
So, write in a word-count you think would be helpful.
9. Don’t dislike or hate your story because it’s not getting noticed. If anything, even if everyone’s against your story, you should never be. It’s like the saying that only you can talk smack about your family, but no one else can (sorry for the bad comparison). The reason I bring this up is because I have read so many stories that were left incomplete or were dropped because the author felt the story wasn’t good enough due to low views and whatnot. Yes, this ties with #1 too. Also, if everyone’s against your story, that’ some publicity, and (depending on the situation and the story, of course), it means that your story’s original. Not cliché. Not like what society has read. See that in a good light. Of course, if your story’s romanticizing ia or anything taboo or immoral, it may deserve the hate and you should not continue. But then again, freedom of expression. So, your call.
10. I’ve written over four stories so far and with each completion, I learned something about my writing or about myself. With my first story, I learned to be patient. To not publish as soon as I had an idea or as soon as I had written a chapter. With my second story, I learned to format stories “correctly,” such as a new line for each time a new person speaks, or correctly using dialogue tags and dialogue beats (there’s such a thing! It’s still confusing at times…). With my third story, I learned that word-count is important to me, but word-count has to be with quality, not with quantity. With my fourth story, I learned that editing has to be spread out within days. In other words, don’t edit immediately after writing the chapter. Come back and edit with a fresh mind (and trust me, you’ll catch a LOT of mistakes).
I feel like there’s more that I would like to touch on, but this is all I can think of at the moment. I hope there were of use or had made sense. Just a bit of defense in general, I’m not attacking readers or authors because I am both a reader and a writer.
Thanks, and may your writing adventure be a fun journey.
3 months ago
Think about the character's situation and ask yourself: how can things go wrong from here?
3 months ago
It’s okay to be stuck. Sometimes, you’d even get weirdass dreams which could translate to decent plot ideas.
If you’re stuck, put yourself into your character’s shoes and think about what you would do in that situation. I’ve found that helpful a few times.