Date: Aug 31, 2016 07:13 am Title: Discussing Dialogue
These tips are very helpful, thank you. I also wanted to ask if you can do a chapter on time period?
Glad you thought so! Hmm, that's an interesting idea. What abou time period, in particular? Thanks for the idea!
Date: Jun 25, 2016 06:58 pm Title: Writer's Block - Defeating it, once and for all
I have to thank you for the wealth of information you've posted to help the writers. I've been reading up on your advice topics and they have helped so much, especially this one. Writer's block has always been my biggest issue when it comes to writing. I will try out the pointers you gave and hopefully they'll help me when I'm so frustrated with myself for not knowing what to write.
Again, thank you!
Date: Aug 10, 2015 09:23 pm Title: It's the little things that count
Thanks sooo much for doing this type of thing!!
I AM NOT a great writer, better then some on here, but not great.
I really struggle with spelling and grammar. I have had this question for a while and now that this topic has been taken care of I see no harm in asking it.
There are some writers on here, that well, to put it nicely have run ons and no way of knowing where one sentice stops and where another one begins. What's also mind blowing about this is that the story has lots of reviews as well as chapters and the people that review the chapters seem unfazed by the writers writing skills or lak there of.
Obviessly this isn't a sight where every writer that comes on here has to be good, but what do you do about those who aren't? I'm not asking this to be mean, I'm just asking this for the sake of just wondering about this for some time.
There are a LOT of people with duplicate accounts on here.
Many people have friends who are loyal and supportive.
Some people come up with very original plots that lead readers to look beyond the grammatical errors.
Finally- MJFiction has some simply wonderful people who seek to encourage everyone.
Date: May 27, 2015 05:59 am Title: Formatting - It makes a big difference
ur number 2 was a complaint u posted in comments on my story. However when ur reading a book there is no huge spacing in between lines. I someone is getting tired they either need to take a break or the story is boring. If a reader doesnt ant to invest in what the author has to say they should discontinue reading the story like u did.
The content of my story is good and for u to commnt in such a way, if ur an admin is asking to lose writers, quqlity writers simply because they won't do a story ur way. these are novels not scripts... they are supposed to have paragraphs and "" quoatation marks....They indicate speech btw not line spacing1 thank u very much for being a downer insteadof uplifting writers.
Have a good day and get Redone.
Yes, it does touch on the same suggestion I made for your story. When reading stories that have been published, you'll find that a new speaker = a new line. I'll touch on this more in my next update, but for now, the main point I'll make is that many (most?) readers will find (regardless of the time of day or their level of alertness) that including multiple speakers in a paragraph without starting a new one results in a "talking head syndrome". Characters in a scene begin talking, and after a bit, we lose track of who's talking, where they are, and what the characters are doing. It's essentially a scene of talking heads in white space. By creating a paragraph space you give the reader time to process what they are reading and who is speaking.
As the author, this is clearest to you as it began in your head. Without that time to process, this is much much less clear to the reader. Think of it as a gap of knowledge. When you start humming a song, you know what the song is because it is in your head. Others? Not so much. Maybe after a good spell of time, but not the way that you do. The same is true for each scene you write and each conversation you portray.
I'm sorry you thought I was a downer. I was trying to let you know that I, as a reader and reviewer, wanted to engage in your story but was being held back by something that I thought you as a writer might consider easily modifiable. A lot of writers ask for feedback and want to know what they can do to make their work better; I now know that you are only receptive to 100% kudos (as you are ignoring my compliment). It's responses like this that remind me why so many people lurk, read, and never speak up. It's the fear that if they so much as say something that doesn't involve full-on flattery, they will get attacked. It's an unfortunate tightrope.
Date: May 17, 2015 06:08 am Title: Writing about Sensitive Issues
"it was popular to write characters cutting themselves to music in full emo fashion"
Well... my character is different, cos she cuts to upbeat 80s pop rock..... SHES GOT THE LOOK! na na na na na naaaa.
And cartoons on tv, right?
Date: May 14, 2015 05:56 am Title: Writing about Sensitive Issues
This was a great chapter. It's going to come in handy for me in the upcoming parts of CTTG. I already have the how fleshed out but Ive been trying to figure out the most delicate way to approach the scenes without them being convoluted. I want to be subtle yet not loose the severity of the scene of that makes any sense at all. I don't want to be graphic but I want the sinister nature of it to be echoed fully. It's getting closer to that part of the story so I'm sure I'll pop in here to get your advice on a few things.
I agree with you because I too find it strange that in a story one could kill another and then it's business as usual. Even if they're a psychopath they tend to mull over the act. Some times for months if not years for satiation.
Ill come back if I have any questions.
more soon I was happy to see you posted!! <333
Hey Girl! I like to think that the most genuinely suspenseful scenes are the ones in which it doesn't feel as though the author is trying to layer it on. Ideally, by the time the scene happens, the plot should have created enough tension that the scene doesn't need 'extras' such as storming weather, a raging overly dramatic character, or in movies, loud music. Definitely feel free to pop back in here.<3
Date: May 11, 2015 08:23 pm Title: Points to Ponder in Developing Any Character
I have this thing where I add too many supporting characters to my story. My first and second Michael and Stacey story had so many supporting characters that I even had to go back in previous chapters to find out what I named them, their age, and so on. Now I know when you have to do that then its a problem. Which is with Gangsta Lovin there have been many times where I've caught myself from adding more characters than what I had introduced. I find myself introducing different people as I go on but thats only in Semaj’s school setting because in real life you talk to people at school that you don't necesaarily hang out with outside of school. So would that be considered as an ambivalent character?
Now when it comes to the supporting characters that are actually relevant to Michael and the OG thats where I get sort of iffy. Like Lina, sometimes I wonder if she's truly needed... sometimes she gives advice or sometimes she's there for a laugh or to fill in the blank. I know Teeny and Duck aren't really needed, but its nice to have them in there. Bigs and Lenny had significance obviously, but I'm bad...really bad with the whole limiting and making sure my supporting characters have a good importance to Michael and the OG's relationship.
I sometimes wonder if the whole one best friend for the OG is overused, because sometimes it seems like the OG has two best friends and one ends up betraying her or just one best friend period. But there is one thing that I really dislike (and I've probably done it) is when a character is used in the first ten chapters consistently and then disappears without a cause. A lot of readers catch that. For example Maria in "I Want You" although she didn't really disappear she was just out for five chapters, but still its the same. Going back a few chapters in this topic to introducing minor characters: I've never been the type to be like "....and that's my best friend Melanie, we met 10 years ago after she put gum in my hair blah blah blah..." i choose to be simple abd sweet. "....Melanie was my best friend of 10 years making us inseparable..." but hey thats just me.
Good advice as always. I hope you continue soon!
It's tempting to fill in so many characters. I get the appeal, I mean you get to create so many different personalities. The problem is that they cease being memorable to even the author lol.
The random classmates? I think you mean an accessory character, and yeah, I'd consider that to be the equivalent of an extra on a movie set. Unidimensional/flat, but adds something to the scene simply by being present.
I think the case could be made for one best friend or two. It really depends on where the author wants to go with it and how he/she conceptualizes Michael and the OG.
I LOL'd at your Melanie example. Damn her for putting gum in your hair.... Thanks Brandy :)
Date: May 11, 2015 08:02 pm Title: Writing about Sensitive Issues
When I first started writing I would use these in inappropriate ways only because the stories I read would use them and shrug them off as it was nothing. I didn't develope the situation like I would if I was writing a scene like that now. It actually isn't my cup of tea and after my Giavanni and Michael story (the rape situation in that story was poorly developed/ dealth with) I choose to stay clear of that one. I never really tried touching on self-harm/suicide and I attempted once at physical abuse in one of my Michael and Stacey's story. Just like the rape situation that one was also poorly devolped and didn't have a good closing like it should've. I just kind of shrugged it off, but since then I've learned that if I can't write it, then stay clear of it. Just like you mentioned. I'll probably (most likely) never really touch on child abuse to a heavy extent, or murder (unless I'm writing a mystery). Good points!
That's a good point - a lot of this is learned. I think what I want to emphasize is that none of this is intentional. Also, that there is always room to learn more.
I vaguely remember the rape in that story...but it's now missing from the site.
I respect your limit there. I think knowing one's limits is critical as it also means knowing one's strengths. For instance, I'd suck at writing a super heartwarming, less complicated, love story as I inevitably add twists to things. I blame Hitchcock, countless authors, and life in general, for that. I also can't write about cheating without getting upset, so I'd be unable to include that in a story. That doesn't mean I can't write, just that I know what subject matters I'd rather leave to others to write about.
Date: May 11, 2015 02:42 pm Title: Writing about Sensitive Issues
Hey there! Sorry I haven't reviewed the past few chapters!! Since I've been lame about updating my own story I've hardly come on here other than to check out the RP nonsense, haha.
Really, really good points about writing within your skill set here. I think Ego's self-harm scenes are some of the best I've seen in ff by far. It's really pretty obvious when people are romanticizing it all in their own head, which is really sad if you think about any potential real-life implications...
I've now read two stories where a rape occurs and is either a) really casually mentioned and not a big deal at all or b) just dealt with horribly afterwards. I liked both stories a lot so I pushed forward, but damn I got close to just exiting. The worst was where the OG gets raped and Michael automatically assumes that she was cheating on him. Even when it all got "figured out" he was just like oh well it was you're fault for putting yourself in that situation! Nah. I'll pass on that bs....
Referring to the previous chapter now, supporting characters are so tempting! It's fun to write and develop a whole bunch, but more often than not they serve very little true purpose in a story. *sigh* The other day I wrote a whole mini-chapter arc about Julia and Michael meeting Janelle's parents. It was honestly pretty funny, but I restrained myself in the end. Just because something's fun to write doesn't mean it's necessary to the story!
That being said, I think I've done an ok job keeping my characters to a minimum for the most part. Janelle's really the only long-term secondary character I can think of.
I think we've talked about this in other posts, but it just drives me crazy when all a character does is serve the OG/Michael. Sometimes it's necessary, but I always feel bad when poor Janelle has to put up with everyone else's bullshit. What would you say is the line between writing unnecessary plot lines for 2ndary characters and having them be slaves to the main ones?
NP. I hope finals went well <3
She does an excellent job at portraying S/H and Hurt/Comfort, in general. I 100% agree with you.
Those two cases you describe frustrate me. I mean, I can see how someone who isn't all that aware of how it is experienced might avoid going into detail. That discomfort can appear to readers as trivializing it, when they don't really mean to, as I'm going to assume is the case of the first example you mention. The second, with Michael perpetuating rape-culture? I get the confusion at first (depending on the circumstances), but blaming her after she's told him.....smfh. I hope the author at least ended that well. Some guys will do that, but I don't know if I want to read about a "Michael" who would.
I could see him accidentally meeting them, when they stop by the apartment for graduation (yes, I'm egging you on lol). I agree with your reflection on your balance of characters.
I think that if a secondary character has full chapters dedicated to them/their separate plotline, it's too much. I think sub sections within a chapter and/or the supporting character popping in to vent to a main character about their own life circumstances, adds dimension to a story without taking over the plot. For instance, HoneyToTheBee does a good job of this in her My Brother's Best Friend... Chivonn's brother and friend have subplots so that they don't revolve around her, but those subplots are weaved in when they interact with Chivonn and Michael.
I may be stating this too broadly, so feel free to set me straight if I'm not adequately addressing your question.
Date: Apr 26, 2015 10:26 pm Title: Points to Ponder in Developing Any Character
For Fantasy I think you got that one already. Suspence I think would be creating an intreguing story/plot and character developement especially for the villian's role. Is writing a Suspense/Mystery any different from just adding Suspence to the plot of another genre of story? Is it more intense you think? Or are there many more levels you have to cover to have a good read? Those are a few questions I thought of.
For comedy you're right that can be a bit difficult due to sense of humor. Are those stories harder to write or gain an audience for?
Awe I'm going to be sad when you stop posting. :( Food thing this will always be accessible for writers to visit!!
More soon I hope!
I see suspense as the predominant theme simply being suspense as I've described it, as the priority of the story. In other words, the twists may be a little more drawn out, but the overall guidelines would remain the same as what I've described.
I do feel like those stories are more likely to fall flat, as sense of humor is rather idiosyncratic. So much of humor is non-verbal, that when I read a story with a preponderence of purposeful humor, it often falls flat. I think that's why I'm hesitant to write about writing humor. Humor is one of those things that needs to be spaced out and thought out.
<3 Much love, girl! I'll keep trying to think of things. One topic that I think I'd like to cover soon is how to approach sensitive topics (rape, eating disorders, suicide, self-harm, physical abuse....even affairs).
Date: Apr 26, 2015 06:20 pm Title: The Basics
off topic I know but I just wanted to pop in and say you're welcome to contact me so we could talk things out one on one.