So, I’m seeing a lot of negativity from some writers on the net.
Since creative people are tangled in a vast swathe of emotions and sensations, negativity is certainly part of that tapestry and it has it’s place.
But too much and everything becomes dull. Now the negativity I’m speaking of isn’t even the expected kind – you know that self-hating, self-doubting type we writers sometimes find following us around like a bad smell.
So, I thought I would start on my World Building Series of posts.
As a fantasy writer I build new worlds to tell my story on. Since I write large fantasies that span trilogies (yep, I can’t seem to contain my stories within a single novel) I get pretty in-depth with my worlds.
Now despite being a world builder I am not the sort of writer that includes pages of just world description in huge chunks. Personally I find that dull, instead I build my worlds and then weave them throughout the story, bringing in information gently. I prefer this way in my writing and my reading. I don’t want extensive descriptions about a world that covers 4 pages right at the start before we even meet a character.
If someone asked me what I wish I had known when I first started writing that would have helped me now, I think my answer would have been starting my electronic organising earlier.
Having amassed huge amounts of scenes, notes, ideas, plots, character profiles, lists, maps, pictures and more all to do with SEVERAL novel series’, an organised system was needed.
So is it really important? (I hear you ask)
You’ve been daydreaming about your story for ages, your ideas have been fed, watered and bloomed quite nicely and you’re itching to really start writing. So, do you outline or just jump right in?
That entirely depends on your preference. In truth everyone works different and some people prefer the seat-of-their-pants approach where they just write and the story unfolds and gets organised as they write and others prefer the comfort of an outline structure.
I got a question on my deviantART page asking me about writing romance in a story. So thought it would make a great subject for my next post.
However let me make this clear, I am not a Romance Writer. This tutorial is about how you introduce romance into a story and things to think about when you do. It is not about writing a story that is predominately romance-based.
What writer hasn’t heard the advice “Show, don’t tell!” However I have noticed that some people just use this as the advice itself. As if saying to a new writer “show me, don’t tell me” is enough.
Not everyone will instantly understand and that’s why do many new writers ask about this key concept.
I think Showing rather than Telling is a pretty fundamental piece of writing advice and can really set writers apart. New writers often fall into the trap of telling their story rather than showing it. But if you are a new writer you are meant to fall into all these mistake pits – how else are you meant to learn and grow.
Following on from my Fight Scene Tutorial, I present my Battles and Wars…
When you are writing a war or battle first make sure you plan where it’s going to take place. Land can be tricky, and it changes during a battle.
Image two giant armies amassing on a huge field. Infantry and cavalry alike, all decked in battle gear and heavy armour.
The pound of thousands of feet, men and horses alike. How do you think the ground will look? Grass torn and flattened, turned to mud especially if the weather turns and it begins to rain or sleet. Are there hills or mountains? Has one army taken a higher ground, dug a moat or added spikes of wood to protect their area?
If you missed part 1 check out here Writing Sex Scenes (part 1)
First know your characters, second know your location.
Words – If you are writing a gritty crime novel in modern-day, words like “fuck”, “tits”, “blowjob” might seem appropriate. However if you are writing a fantasy-type novel set in ancient Egypt they aren’t. Think about your words carefully.
How to write dialogue
Dialogue is the speech between characters. It is when the narrator (you) stops telling the story and the characters speak instead.
Here’s some pointers regarding dialogue writing:
Never write dialogue like real-life speech. Why? Because if you listen to real-life speech it is littered with umms and ahhs and errs. Anyone who has ever sat through a meeting or an assembly listening to someone droning on umming and ahhing will know just how frustrating it is. The last thing you want is to inflict that on your reader.
The terms “talent” and “skill” can often be heard, banded about. I see many young writers, new writers who speak in awe of someone else’s talent. This is often followed, I am sad to say, by talk of “I’ll never be that good” or “I wish I was that talented.”
It is so easy to get disheartened in the creative arts. When I was younger my writing would suffer horrendously every time I read a great book. As the wow factor of the book faded, it would be replaced by a bitterness at myself and my work. This led to my own novel festering away alone as I refused to “waste my time” on it.
Thankfully I have grown out of that annoying habit and while I do still read books that wow me, they are now just a measuring stick by which I can gauge my own development.