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How do you try to improve your writing?

I try to avoid old, stupid things. 0.17528139810427 17.5% [ 2367 ]
I add new things. 0.14728969194313 14.7% [ 1989 ]
A combination of both (if one more than the other, pick it). 0.67742890995261 67.7% [ 9148 ]
Total Votes:[ 13504 ]
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Minion Ripley's avatar

Eloquent Flatterer

(Sweet thread. I cannot resist posting my own. Sorry if I repeat anyone here. Also, sorry my post is rather long. sweatdrop )

Overreactions are a must. Say someone says to your character, "Your pants are muddy." No, your character does not say, "Oh my! I better go wash my pants then!" He/She must snap the neck of the person who made your character aware of this, instantly killing the innocent person. Bonus points if there are mass amounts of blood and gore involved.

Do you know what's better than vampires? Half-vampires! Who cares if it's impossible? If your half-vampire character is good, make him/her feel he/she must have their revenge against vampires for eternally damning him/her at birth. If your half-vampire is evil, make him/her insane because of the mixed blood. Either way, he/she must be hugely zealous about his/her direction in life. He/She must also have a name with a "v" somewhere in it.

Gray areas are for losers. Uncertainty is for losers. Your characters should always be at the extremes in every aspect. Also, they should never doubt themselves, unless it is for an angst scene. Even then, they should quickly rebound.

Speaking of angst, no one should ever tell the character who talks about his/her dark past constantly or whines in general to "shut the hell up already". It doesn't matter if they're in the middle of a tough battle either; the angst character must at least mention some horrible part of their life in every line. After all, it keeps your reader's interest and sympathy!

Sex with vampires is HOT. Once again, who cares if blood is not flowing properly to have it happen correctly? Do it, I say - do it!

Screw the laws of physics. A 30-foot fall onto concrete would so not seriously injure your character. If you need an explanation for those whining reviewers, just say your character has legendary physical abilities.

All important characters should be in their teens, preferably in the range of thirteen to sixteen. So what if they're still kids and are under the effects of overpowering hormones? They can still save the world from complete destruction!

And, speaking of destruction, all shall be warned of the "imminent" and "unpreventable" doom of the world via obscure and mystical prophecy, which, amazingly enough, is a popular topic of discussion and an entire book about it - complete with translations if need be - can be found in the local library.

Self-inserts are always great stories. Really. Especially if the person gets all of the attractive characters in a snap, despite preferences, current relationships, sexual orientation, and other factors that could possibly impede on that. The only way you can make this even better is to make it fan-fiction. Really.

Despite the fact that you posted your story or poem for the whole world to see, no one is allowed to say anything besides "omg ur teh BEST!!!1!!" That's just how it works. Anyone who does not obey that rule is an idiot, and you are allowed to set their a** on fire with your flaming, immature insults.

Fairies are tiny creatures with pixie wings and antennae coming out of their heads. They're always female and constantly giggle in a cute manner, even if your character just had his/her hand chopped off. Research on mythology be damned.

Okay, okay. If you must have a character be a more traditional fairy, he/she will be hotter than hell and a sex god/goddess. Personality? Puh-shaw! Who needs that? His/Her body and uber powers will be more than enough.

There is always a weapon that can kill an immortal. Ignore logic. Ignore reason. Ignore any and all rules regarding the subject of immortality. They can die, but it has to be overly-elaborate and dramatic.
Raincrow's avatar

8,400 Points
  • Survivor 150
  • Healer 50
  • Pie For All! 300
When traveling for long periods of time in the wilderness, there is absolutely no chance any of the male characters (especially--heaven forbid!--the hero) can grow beards. Their hair also never grows, and is always neat and orderly. Sucks to brushing your hair in the morning!

Always keep in mind: All blacksmiths are gigantic, unless they're dwarves. On the same note, all blacksmiths are grouchy, unless they're actually just misunderstood and gentle as teddy-bears. All blacksmiths are old and have graying/grizzled hair and long beards. And their clothes are always threadbare or rough-woven, or made of leather/animal hide.

All blacksmiths/large male characters/dwarves must swear fluently, and speak in Scottish/Irish/Unintelligible accents. They should also randomly spout advice or old folk proverbs such as, "No use breakin' yer shin on a stool tha's no' in yer way."

The big guy/blacksmith is always stupid, unless he's actually very smart but very quiet and shy. They're also really thoughtful and sensitive, unless said blacksmith/dwarf/big guy is a total crank nomatter what's happening. Blacksmiths always know more than they let on. They also have a high alcohol tolerence (but, of course, can't beat the Hero(ine) at a drinking contest).

The blacksmith must only be loyal to the heroine/healer girl/female mage/priestess, and be bent on protecting her nomatter what. This is probably because he's secretly in love with her but knows someone so shining and beautiful could never love someone as big and hairy as him. Make him sacrifice himself for her, so she can angst endlessly about how she never paid attention to him. Also, the blacksmith hates taking orders from the Clueless Hero and gets told off constantly for it, because seriously, how could a big, hairy, muscle-laced man who is twice the age of the Clueless Hero know any more about the world than the next guy?

As a final note, it will always make your plot a jillion times better if your female lead has some memento (preferrably a locket or necklace) from her mother/father/grandparent/friend's sister's cousin's brother-in-law's roommate's uncle's ex-wive's ferret named Frankey. She will NEVAR part with this memento, and it will usually end up having SUPER MAGICKAL POWERZ!!11one!1! and saving the day when it seems all is lost. And then the heroine should leave the memento on the grave of some deceased party member/family member/friend at the very very end. But then it won't really be the end, because, by putting the necklace on the headstone, the magickal powerz suddenly brought the person back to life! And they all live happily evar after and spawn hundreds of little Sue babies with UBER MAGICKAL TALENTS, leaving convenient room for a sequel.
-If the story is set in midieval Europe (and how can it NOT be?), you must use "thee" and "ye" in place of you. Always. Who cares that the word "you" existed back then? Or that "thee" was the informal form of you (as in, the one you would use with people you knew closely), or that "ye" is the plural form of you? Your readers certainall don't care!

-Speaking in other languages PWNZ ALL! The more languages known, the more the character pwnz j00 lol! And all swearing MUST be done in another language, whether it be made up, or something nice and obscure, like Spanish.
-If the story is set in midieval Europe (and how can it NOT be?), you must use "thee" and "ye" in place of you. Always. Who cares that the word "you" existed back then? Or that "thee" was the informal form of you (as in, the one you would use with people you knew closely), or that "ye" is the plural form of you? Your readers certainall don't care!

-Speaking in other languages PWNZ ALL! The more languages known, the more the character pwnz j00 lol! And all swearing MUST be done in another language, whether it be made up, or something nice and obscure, like Spanish.

When using "thee," "thou," and "ye" be sure to employ them out of context as much as possible. Who cares that a Queen would never use one of those because it signifies you speaking with your betters?

Whoever told you that there is a difference between "their," "there," and "they're" lied! Liars! They're probably the same people who said "it's" and "its" weren't the same. You'll show them.

No one graduated from college--college is an urban myth. Therefore, you need to write in itsy bitsy redundant sentences so that everyone will understand what you're trying to say.

Never use "said." If you must use "said," use it all the time, even when your character is yelling.

Don't bother thinking up your own action/comedy/dialogue. Originality is for squares--what do accomplished writers care if you take and butcher their work? They've got enough money! So, go ahead, do it. No one will read it long enough to notice.

When sending your work to an editor/publisher, do NOT run it through spell check, do NOT get a friend to read over it to make sure it makes sense, and do NOT bother taking the editor's advice or attempt explaining a single thing happening in the story. Editors LIKE receiving work that looks as though it was written by an eight-year-old. gonk

When in doubt, switch to script. Everyone loves script, right?
Also, yes, I don't know who told you it wasn't, but 1334 IS a language. Use it early and often to show how sophisticated you are.
erikakaiser's avatar

Dapper Inquisitor

Sex with vampires is HOT. Once again, who cares if blood is not flowing properly to have it happen correctly? Do it, I say - do it!


1) Always name your character after the element of magic that they use (I mean, really, everyone loves fire mages named Flame!), and if you can't do that, then spend at least five hours searching through baby name books for a name that fits the character's personality perfectly. No one will even notice the fact that parents don't have any clue what their child's personality will be like when they name them.
Better yet, make a thread in the Writer's Forum asking complete and total strangers to do it for you! People who know nothing about your book and the characters in it are the best source of naming information.

2) When in doubt, name the character Raven, or give them a Japanese name. Seriously, American kids or kids in a European-style setting are totally going to have names like Izumi. Totally.

3) The more names, the better! Why just have a first name, a middle name and a last name, when you can have three middle names? The more names you have, the more meaning you can add to the names! And always be sure to take simple names and add in random letters to make them infinetely more complex. Readers love complexity in names. The more unpronouncable, the better!
Who would want a name like Lucy Elizabeth Harris, when you can have the name Lucirra'jani Autumn Eli'za-belle'a Moonbeam Hirralis'in Shadow Fox?

4) Always add -chan or -san to the ends of the character's names when they're talking about each other in dialogue. Because people who aren't in Japan or who live in a world without a Japanese culture are totally going to use Japanese name suffixes.

5) All mage characters must wear robes and carry staffs. Pointy hats are a must, too.

6) All princesses ever want is to just be free. I mean, really, being a princess is so difficult! And that castle, so confining! Naturally, they'll leave the castle one day and be able to use a crossbow or sword without any sort of training from anyone anywhere.
And of course, the king/queen have been acting awful weird since the new advisor/chancellor entered the castle ...
This thread pleases me so....
Every story needs some of the following characters.

-OMGLIEKANGSTY!Maincharacter!!11!!: This character has had an awful past and yet suffers no personality flaws, mental problems or any other things that you would expect to happen to a rape/abuse/alcoholic/abandoned/suicidal character.

-TTLYSMRT!maincharacter!!111!one!!: This character is so smart! It's like the character is everything you wanted to be in school! This character knows everything regardless of what they should know for their class/gender/age and no one bats an eye when they do.

-PSHLIEKTIMEPORTAL!characterization: This character is inappropriate for the setting it has been placed in, like your pirate story where your woman wears pants or your civil war story where that girl joined the army. Or maybe your fourteenth century Lord is using pick up lines on a Lady. Wherever you can incorporate these fatal time-stamp flaws, do so.

-HAHALYKESOOOOFUNNIE!Comicrelief!!!one!111!: Be sure that this character has no purpose but to speak the funny little one-liners you have thought of, regardless of their revelance to what is actually going on during the story. This character probably isn't very bright, either.

-OMFGSODUMB!villian: Not only will this villan spill out their entire plot, but they will be genuinely confused when it is foiled before they finish explaining how they're going to take over the world/universe/realm/place.
[N]ever.[A]utumn.[M]other's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

When you do not have a villianess, you must make the hero (Who is sensitive, flawless, and everything a woman wants) drop the lead girl in an instant for a busty adolesent half her, and his, age--who automaticall takes her place. She then must become the strings behind the plot to destroy the world, because she wants to force the hero to love her again. Cause you know, there's NO way that there could be a better man for her out there.

If the best friend dies, he must either A) Be reborn in the hero's weapon of choice, or B) Have his soul be taken under the commands of the hero as a hostage/shield for the villian. Because there's no way that Side-kick is getting off so easy, even though he died after twelve hours of having all those spikes in his body.

Speaking of death, all death scenes must be unnaturally long, even if the character should only have seconds to no time left when the bullet (because the villian must have an incredibly out of place weapon simply appear when it's convient) has entered their brain. They need enough time to either confess undying love they've always kept hidden, and/or insert a random title for the hero along the lines of 'The Chosen One.'

The only plot you need is one that involves evil losing and lots of sexual tension, as well as snogging. 4laugh Who needs character development when there's plenty of porn available? xp

Never forget to have a character try (or succeed even) to commit suicide in your story, based off of the lost love/tragic past/unwanted future they are doomed to be burdened with. If saved, they must instantly fall in love with their savior. heart

Evil must never win. Good triumphs, and the villian must be successfully vanquished no matter how outnumbered your team was. After all, villians aren't REAL people. rolleyes And in reality, you always come out on top. 3nodding
No matter how long she spends fighting, traveling, or doing other strenuous activity, your heroine will never become sweaty, bloody, or otherwise dirty. Your hero may get a bit dirty, but only in an attractive way. After all, who wants to hear about a character who sweats like a pig?

Because no one ever gets dirty, the only purpose of a bath is, obviously, to provide an opportunity for more sex. This will happen in the bath, after the bath, or both. Always. Because why else would you even take a bath?
Because why else would you even take a bath?

[N]ever.[A]utumn.[M]other's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

Oh and the only purpose for a blanket is to drape it over the opposite gender and selflessly give up its provided warmth, only to be invited to share it, as well as a night of deliciously hot bonking. 3nodding
It is generally good to refer to someone's eyes as much as humanly possible because eyes have to be the only body part that is noticed.
Spellcheckers are for the weak. So is punctuation. Anyone who says that they don't understand you just hates you and is jealous, and deserves to die and burn in hell.

In addition, middle aged women don't exist. There are only young, beautiful heroines, and old women.
Spellcheckers are for the weak. So is punctuation. Anyone who says that they don't understand you just hates you and is jealous, and deserves to die and burn in hell.

You're my hero.

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