Date: Mar 23, 2015 06:16 am Title: When the Dog Bites. When the Bee Stings PT2 (Updated)
1)I don't mind so much the return of the ex. Sometimes that gives insight to past behaviors of the OG/Michael but I get where it can be too much at times. Especially when they try to inflict bodily harm on the OG/Michael to get them out of the way.
2)I agree. If you're going to have the character do certain things build it into their personality. Have lead ups and reasons why such an action would occur. The sudden shift can be quite jarring.
3)Lol I knew this part was coming. I do have to say though that sometimes thoughts and interactions may not be able to accomplish or conevy a scenario well enough to evoke the feelings and reactions the character would have without actually experiencing the event. While dreams don't have the same boundaries of reality some dreams are grounded in reality which has the person locked into believing it's actually happening that is until they wake up.
4)totally agree I can't get why one would want to maintain a relationship that amounts to nothing but unnecessary foolishness. It can get tiresome if the same scenario keeps happening for the sake of drama. (I Know it does happen tho)
5)Agreed. Time and place is everything.
6)I some what agree sometimes synonyms become over used. There is nothing wrong with using the word face instead of visage. A well timed synonym though can be gold. It's all about placement like you said. The way I write is actually how I talk in real life. From slang to proper English and back again. Lol. Like this is a sentence I have actually used.
"Nah son!! Stop being obtuse.." Lmao.
I chalk it up to being from a country that uses the queens English as its base and NYC influences. I've had the 'trying to talk white' (what ever that means)phrase thrown at me a couple of times. In real life I would use the word inebriated instead of drunk but knowing when to use it in writing is key eg...
"He was inebriated with lust." Drunk just fits better for this sentence. Makes it more raw.
"He was driven, compelled, inebriated by it, the lust." It's more effective here. Again its time, placement, connotation and moderation.
Great insights as usual.
More soon! <333
1) When they conspire to break up OG/Michael? That's my "I'm out!" moment.
3) It had been part of the first list, but got bumped back b/c I had too many points to cover. I'm curious as to what you think dreams can accomplish that real scenes can't. I have yet to see that be the case. For me, they are usually just repetitious.
6) That's an example of how slang doesn't mean a person isn't intelligent or well-read. It's simply a dialect. Your first 'inebriated' example had me rolling...because I've seen it.
Date: Mar 22, 2015 08:43 pm Title: When the Dog Bites. When the Bee Stings PT2 (Updated)
The love triangle. I'm good with love triangles. OBVIOUSLY I've got one of my own going. I mean I created it with the purpose of it being a triangle, but minus all the drama and crazy psychotic behavior. It's one of those things that if its well written and all of the character's actions make sense and they have motive other than Oh Michael thinks he's gonna get another girl!? I want him back!
If the ex girl is gonna randomly come back make her be pregnant with his baby or something or have a kid by him that he doesn't know about.
Another cringe thing for me is the cheat scene when Michael or the OG JUST HAPPEN to be at the exact right place at the right time. I mean sure that can happen, but I'd rather feel suspense and lead up. Like the OG is brunette and she finds a blond hair on his jacket. Lipstick on his face, stories he tells that don't add up, etc.
The dream sequence? I dont' know what this is. When you include a dream in your story? I can't say if that bothers me or not...
The Codependent couple - sad things about this is... it's often reality. I can read a good dysfunctional couple story. It's a change from all of the happily ever afters you usually see. BUT it's weird when the relationship just randomly makes a turn from dysfunctional to happily ever after...
The watergun fight - That doesn't bother me so much. I'm pretty sure its in like 2 of my fics. It was one of his favorite things to do! Summertime + outside + Michael I'd assume some water is being thrown. I mean if every single time they step outside he's shooting the OG in the face... but on average, I expect to probably see it at some point.
I don't use a thesaurus or dictionary... but I probably should. Sometimes I use the Urban dictionary just to confirm something means what I think it means. STL uses a lot of crazy slang I get around some people and its like we're speakin' a different language.
Love Triangle: On the one hand, I get it, but at the same time the frequency makes it a cliche. It doesn't mean it's necessarily bad, it just means that I think authors might do well to look beyond it sometimes. Don't rely on it always being the primary conflict. That being said, completely tossing it would be extreme.
Ah, good point. The Far-Fetched Run In. Excellent point. I hadn't thought of adding it to the list, but it is one of those things that I also cringe at. Once, I can handle it, as the world is a bit random at times, but over and over? Naw. I like your ideas for a suspenseful build up. Subtle, realistic, and suspenseful.
Yes, it's when the narrative or chapter is suddenly written to show a dream. No lead-in, often no warning.
Oh, I agree, it is often reality. I think having that is an awesome opportunity to show character growth and the growth of the couple. I probably should have included this, but my main issue is when it appears as though the author is glamorizing such a relationship and assumes it's idyllic.
I think I've just read too many awkward ones/unrealistic ones. I could see it in certain circumstances, but not in every circumstance. I think a lot of authors skip over other things he loved to do. He loved to learn, so much so that his bodyguards said they learned something new from him on a daily basis. He was also deeply spiritual (Think Deepak, the Dalai Lama, Dyer) and often mentored others. I think those three aspects of MJ are often overlooked (aside from the JW influence). I'd love to see more of those in stories.
I like your writing without those. I feel ya on UD. I'm constantly trying to figure out if the 'cuz' or 'bro' is actually a relative or not. Then, if as a relative, they are actually the cousin or the brother. I'm obv not thug.
Date: Mar 22, 2015 01:17 pm Title: When the Dog Bites. When the Bee Stings PT2 (Updated)
1.The love triange seems to be very common and it's always the same ex, usually having her be so OOC it's not funny..
2.AMEN..those type of moments cause me to go.."what on earth just happened"?
3. Most agreed..could make lots of unwanted drama in the fic
4. Guilty of that one in my Betrayed Trust fic..but it was in a scene that really fit..I had written about Prince's 6th birthday and Nancy Malnick's children had come over but Michael had not participated because he was still nursing the spider bites so he couldn't very well be in tip top condition.
5. That right there was one of the issues I had with my former Prep 2 English teacher back in college..he would encourage people to use big words in their essays to enhance their vocabulary when 9 times out of ten students didn't know what they mean
6. Couldn't help but chuckle at the last one with common errors in diction..I know sadly you're not making it up..makes me think of one episode of The Weakest Link where George Gray had once asked the rhethorical question "who thought the word knowledge starts with the letter n"? I do, however let those slide when it's an author who has a learning disability..
1. It really is. On the one hand, I get it, but at the same time the frequency makes it a cliche.
3. Yep. When I was looking around the interwebz for others' opinions, it seemed pretty well-established that authors like to include them, but readers (for the most part) tend to skip over them.
4. One out of 6 isn't bad, by any means.
5. I think big words are fine, if they are appropriate and fit the story. One needs to know the literacy level of their audience and adjust their writing appropriately. As such, my writing is different when it is for a 13-year-old, than for a PhD, than for a professor, than for the general public. The major problem is when this: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c4/38/99/c43899f3319b07d2ffc10eaada54e8f3.jpg happens....and it happens to a lot of great authors (too big to post as a pic)
6. I also let it slide when the author is ESL. What scares me is that the worst offenses are by native English speakers.
Date: Mar 16, 2015 08:22 pm Title: Case Example - Using Repetition to Increase Suspense
It didn't bug me, but now that I see it... it will LOL.
I don't really have much to say on this topic... I don't have any big suspense stories besides the Bodyguard. Knowing me, you should know I did not take the typical route of exposing his secret.
I can't be argumentative on this one so that doesn't leave very much for me to say lol. Very helpful info!
No debates? How sad :(
Let it bug you. Let it fester until all you can see is that "c". bwahaha
Girl, you totally toss suspense into your stories. I could think of half a dozen cliffhangers you've done without serious effort.
Date: Mar 16, 2015 05:42 pm Title: Case Example - Using Repetition to Increase Suspense
Thank you so much. Now I know better how to apply this to my story. Lol I didn't even realize they had misspelled suspense.
More soon <333
NP. Thanks for the question :)
'Suspence' doesn't annoy me as much as their error at the bottom of the screen. I facepalm every time.
Date: Mar 16, 2015 10:47 am Title: The Basics
I just found this survey on tumblr about defining and describing your OC's. It was honestly SO useful! They ask you the normal questions, but then a lot of in depth ones that make you think about not only who the OC is as a person, but what their point is within the story and how their arc should be played out GIVEN THEIR PERSONALITY. Maybe you could post this in an author's note of yours--it could be really useful to people who are planning stories, have writer's block, or are trying to figure out the direction of their story and the characters. It's a little lengthy, but honestly so, so, so good to just sit down and think about this stuff. There were a lot of questions I'd never even considered in terms of Julia and I feel like I've learned a whole lot about my writing style and the direction of my story :)
Shoot - I missed this before. Is it the survey that you find helpful, or is it the results? The results seem focused on gender, sexual orientation, race, and some personality factors (e.g. warmth, dominance, emotional stability). The results read like a social psych experiment.
Do you find the questions more helpful than:
? I'm looking to update a previous segment and will bump it when I do so. I'll wait until I hear back from you, though ;)
Date: Mar 16, 2015 07:29 am Title: Case Example - Using Repetition to Increase Suspense
Ahhh sorry for the late review(s)! First of all you know how I feel about your last author's note about the CV thing lmao...yep..yep...
Suspense-- I wish I was more strong willed so I could include cliffhangers! I'm an instant gratification person and always find myself wanting to continue the story immediately. Same for playing the long-game...I'm always nervous to include "mystery" tidbits that go unresolved for chapters at a time for fear that a) they'll be a let down and b) the readers will forget/not understand what I'm trying to do. << I think above anything else in my writing, I need to work on suspense! Thanks for bringing this back to the forefront of my mind!
I saw some conversation about the merits of swearing in the review section, and this is something that while I feel strongly about, I'm also self-concious of. I know that I swear a lot. Some of it's intentional, some of it's bad habit (in writing and irl) I do always try to make a point that, in my story specifically, people like Julia and Janelle are the potty mouths and Michael is someone that swears when necessary, not like the college kids that the other characters are. Even still, I'm afraid that it's excesive and I do try to tone it down. I feel like, particularly for Julia, her tone and style of dialogue has beend developed to include a healthy string of explicitives, but I do my best to counterbalance that with insightful dialogue as well.
I'll come back and write more later, gotta run now. Good stuff, good stuff!
NP. No rush, no obligation, no ....I ran out of words.
You've done cliffhangers - need I remind you of Julia getting kicked out in LA or the car scene?
"potty mouth" I'm dyyyying. I usually hear cursing or swearing. This takes me back to volunteer work that I used to do.
Swearing is an art form. As with slang, it can carry a lot of meaning and can change how one sees interactions/dialogue, without even changing the message of the statement.
Date: Mar 15, 2015 08:17 pm Title: Case Example - Using Repetition to Increase Suspense
Regarding to the cliffhangers I've never really read a story that over did them. I can tolerate them but I hate them more than anything too. It's like I can do it on my story but I wouldn't want the author of my favorite story to do it just because thats my favorite story.
Now, when it comes to suspense I'm not very good at it. Every now and again I get lucky and write a good suspenseful scene, but I am not afraid to admit that I'm not that good at it. I'm a little bad at building up to big suspense scene but the way you make repitition work within suspense is nice!
Wait, now that I think about it the recent dinner chapter in GL was a good suspense moment... or would you not call it suspense? And maybe the chapter where Semaj and Michael were close to doing it and her parents had returned.. that was a nice little moment there and I won't lie when I outlined for that to happen I was tempted to make it a cliffhanger but I thought against it.
I really hate the building of a suspense scene... or a big climax for the simple fact that authors enjoy to use cliffhangers right in that moment. So when I feel the rise of a big scene I'll stop reading for a good four chapters and then I'll come back to it so that way I can read straight through it.
I love the double standard ;)
I think the biggest key to suspense is to not allude too much to what will happen. Just follow the KISS strategy. A few repetitions can do that beautifully.
I'd call the dinner a suspenseful scene.
I think you hit the nail on the head. That's definitely a factor in my decision to delay starting most stories until they are a fair bit developed.
Date: Mar 15, 2015 07:31 pm Title: Case Example - Using Repetition to Increase Suspense
ooo! and for the vampire bit also that he is becoming increasingly thirsty for blood..or is that revealing too much? or never sleeps in the night..
I think the increasing thirst for blood also works. Again, repetition can't be used for everything, but spread out and used sparingly, it is a powerful tool.
One excellent way to use it is to have seemingly unrelated factors start to escalate at the same time, then to tie them together at the apex of the tension. The key there, though, is that the readers don't necessarily know they are all linked.
Date: Mar 15, 2015 08:44 am Title: Writing Suspense into your Fiction
I beleive you covered the use of 'snakes' in chapter 15 Lets Talk About Sex. Wooooo Lmaoooooo. I kill me. That euphamism is dedicated to SkyWriter. Lmao.
LOL. True, snakes and bayonets.
Date: Mar 14, 2015 10:06 pm Title: Writing Suspense into your Fiction
@ Redone boo :) no problem! Also, I am rather late in this discussion lol I haven't read all the replies or suggestions on this topic so I do apologize in advance if you in fact did clarify a point (because you might very well have). My post was based on some of the later replies I have seen and some of the suggestions I have read.
Also, I notice that there are some things I pointed out that I could have clarified more in my last response.
I want to clarify again if I did not clarify before in my last post that I really think this is an excellent story or "fanfiction guide" that you created and you have done an excellent job in providing pointers for writers because god knows I need it! hahaha Because I am always looking for pointers and things that I can do to grow as a writer.
With that being said, when I refered to "restricting creativity" I was mostly specifically referring to conceptual ideas, characterizations and story concepts. For example, having a strong OG's as a good OG characterization. I was in no way referring to grammatical advice, structuring of stories, or other technical pieces of english writing.
This is why I made the comment that maybe its not that some writers need to improve technically but maybe "every story is not for everybody". I was specifically referring this phrase to some of the conceptual suggestions that you made, just to give you another perpective to think about ...thats all :)
I think there is a niche and audience for all these different concepts, themes and characters. There is no right or wrong. For example, There might be some readers that might not like Michael to be portrayed as a virgin and of course there are some who don't (I personally don't prefer this myself but just giving you something to think about because I know some MJ fans who like to see him portrayed as a virgin in these MJ stories or innocent)
There are some people who don't like cussing, or hyper sexual explicit deragatory slang or "slang dialogue" and there are a niche of writers who cater to that audience who don't. However, me personally, I LOVE it lol Because I think it can make certain conversations strong with emotion and reflects the "conversation" of certain communities or groups of people depending on what the personality or cultural beliefs the character is reflecting. Lastly, I always love a good dirty explicit sex scene lol because I love feeling what the characters are feeling and you do that by being detailed and maybe sometimes explicit (there is an audience for that too).
There is a audience for all these different concepts and characters regardless of how cliche or repetitive they might be and I respect you giving suggestions of other concepts and characterizations that people can open their horizons too as well. Its just the way some of it was phrased seemed a bit restrictive and to me kinda implied that if these suggestions are not used than you won't get any readers or replies
The reason why I mentioned replies is because that was an essential thing you mentioned that you wanted to help readers achieve in your opening quote of the cover of this fiction.
This is why I said, "just because a story has low replies doesn't make it good or bad per se because there are other factors that should be taken into consideration such as.
There are readers who don't give reviews and instead favorite stories or just give ratings.
There are some readers who read stories that they like but don't give any reviews
I just said that to say that I don't think that reviews specifically should be the end all be all factor for what determines a great story as you kinda imply in your opening. I have read a few really great stories that have little reviews likewise there are few stories with a lot of reviews in which concepts or story lines are not as appealing to me imo (and this goes back to the whole every story is not for everybody) Once again I am not trying to be harsh or offend :)
And I will apologize if my last review came off "harsh" to you because that definitly was not my intentions at all.
In my last post, I was just giving a different perspective of what I have personally heard from other MJ fanfiction writers who write. There are some who just do this for fun because they love Michael and I just pointed that out because I think that is a point you might want to consider as well.
In your last response, I noticed you said that you were interested in hearing what I have to say just in case you might have to change something and that was not my intentions to change your opinions. I was just trying to give you a different angle or perspective to think.You have definitly given me much to think about! Keep up the good work and Nice guide ! :)
Yay, thanks for returning and addressing my queries :)
When I say a strong OG, I meant that the author develops the character. Doesn't just keep her as someone who is passive b/c of poor character development. For instance, someone who we only really know the description of, but has no set personality, has minimal history, and changes with the wind. I don't feel that is restricting creativity...it's actually asking authors to be creative.
I agree about different niches. I just also do believe that there are some rules to writing fiction that should be attended it if you want the fiction to be read by more than just a couple people. What you described (e.g. virginity, swearing, sexually explicit language, slang), I don't see any one of those as being rules to good/bad fanfiction. There is a time and a place for everything. My main message is that an author should be aware of and attend to that time and place, if he/she wants to write a fanfic that more than three people will read without cringing. I'm being completely direct. I like some ff with a number of very sexually explicit scenes, tons of slang, swearing, different types of OGs, etc. A person can write using ebonics, the Queen's English, or American English...it really doesn't matter to me, as long as it's consistent with the setting, the characters, and the plot. Ditto for a dirty explicit scene - if it's in the first chapter, is unrealistic, doesn't match the personalities that have been portrayed, etc - to me it's a wasted scene and I'm out of the ff. Putting something in, just to put it in, is IMO the lowest level of creative expression.
I also agree about there being some uses for the cliche characters and concepts, as I stated in that segment and the reviews. These can still be done well. I'll be posting another chapter of cliches soon, and I think the same about many of those. If the writing is good, the author takes a unique slant, and/or in some way adds a spin to it, it can work in the author's favor. There are very few instances in which I think an author just shouldn't go there...and those tend to be the ones that are: a)banned on this site or b) show that the author has no clue what they are talking about (Just thinking off the top of my head of instances that I've seen recently: a court case that ignores how court cases proceed, a PO dating their client, a therapist dating their client, a student who attends med school and college at the same time, a student who takes gen ed courses during law school, etc). One could argue that there is an audience for both, but one could also argue that there was an audience for The Chevy Chase Show, Celebrity Boxing, Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire, and 2 Girls 1 Cup... I'm not naming those to say that the writers are similarly low brow, but to make the point that stating that there is an audience for everything, doesn't necessarily mean that that is the audience an author wants. I'm essentially writing this for those authors who strive to eventually have a story that appeals to readers in a similar way that Michael's music appealed to the general public. He didn't go for the small niche, he strove to be timeless and make music that all people could enjoy.
Thank you for clarifying re: my phrasing. I will attend to that more carefully in my next segment on cliches.
I focused on replies as those are originally why I started this thread. People were asking and begging for replies/reasons why they weren't getting replies. So, I'm going to be completely blunt: I think replies are an important measure of whether or not people enjoy a story. When people are members and read a story but don't post a review, it's not simply because they are being lazy. Often there is another reason that they aren't saying. It could be because they don't like what they read, they feel it is played, there is something in it that turned them off, it is forgettable, they are otherwise occupied at the moment, the author never replies to them, or they just don't know what to say. I don't think that I ever said that low reviews meant a story was bad or that reviews are an end all, be all. Please quote me if I did....
There are readers who don't give reviews and instead favorite stories or just give ratings.
^I've done that in a couple some cases. Mainly when the author doesn't engage with the readers....and those are also the first stories I remove from my "favorites". The thing is, that as a writer, that isn't as helpful as a review. You don't know what they are responding to when they neg you or favorite you. Ditto for readers who read a story they like and don't give any reviews. That's like having a fan who loves to hear your song on the radio, but never requests it, doesn't purchase your album/singles, and doesn't play it on spotify. It's a fan that clearly isn't gripped enough to do anything about liking the song.
I hope my response makes sense. It's early and I'm tired lol. Thank you again for clarifying and expanding more on what you said. You helped me to better flesh out my thoughts on this topic (in my head) as well as gave me some points to ponder as I go forward with this segment.
Date: Mar 14, 2015 07:18 pm Title: Writing Suspense into your Fiction
Oooo this is excellent!! I need this especially for CTTG. My recently posted chapter of Inked also has a high Suspence factor to it was well. I love a good suspenseful story.
3)can you give some examples of reptilian that works well?
5)This I have had a little issue with in both stories. Luckily I'm quick on my feet and I've been able to steer things back to where I need them to be. Where was this segment a month shot!!!! Shakes fist at sky!! This is even more proof to me how much this thread is needed.
6) The cliffhanger. I may have over used this too. Lol. I have a love hate with cliffhangers. I love them but then I need immediate gratification of the next chapter. This is why I kinda like catching stories that have already been established where I can move chapter to chapter without waiting.
PS I have to say SkyWriter's reviews always has me in tears when I read them. OMG. Lmaoooooooo. 'Sausage under my barbecue hood'. (Paraphrasing) DEAD!!! you hear me!! DEAD!!!
I'll leave this little quote that me and the hubs were discussing just yesterday and it rings true for this thread.
"Do not correct a fool because they will hate you for it. Correct a wise man because he will forever be grateful..." This is gold.
Love it as always!! More soon! <333
I love that quote. Thanks :) I'm a huge believer in the quote: "Perfection is the willingness to be imperfect" by Lao Tzu
3) I'll add a mini segment with an example. Anything else I should post an example of that you (or anyone else reading this) can think of?
5) LOL. Sorry eep.
6) this is easy to over use. It's so tempting to include as an author....and it's also why I typically wait until a story hits past 25,000 words to read.
SkyWriter is full of those gems. Srsly. I can't respond to any of her comments with even a modicum of seriousness. .
Thanks as always!
Date: Mar 14, 2015 04:43 pm Title: Writing Suspense into your Fiction
Suspence is one of the weaknesses of mine when it comes to fanfics or even my favorite shows because it leaves me wanting more and I would be that much more compelled to stick around..I love it for sci-fi..when the chapter could end with the badguy for the fic smirking or laughing evilly and not putting why..it leaves you wondering what is on the person's mind..or if the bad guy makes a sinister scheme and the chapter ends like that the reader wonders whether the villain will succeed or not..if the scheme is carried out and not saying what happens to the protagonist right away
Suspence could work for pretty much like a good 'ol romance fic or even family oriented ones..one character revealing bad news and not letting the listener's reaction be known..or simply just saying that there is news to be told..or arguments..or car accidents..(which makes me feel uncomfy as if I feel the character's pain) ..so many possibilities..
Most agreed that the suspenceful element must not be overdone...
As you alluded to, there are so many uses for suspense. So much of the suspense is in our heads and a product of our desire to know more.
Thanks as always for your input :)