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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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When you post your work online, type it up in flourescent pink font of size 6. Make your readers cry blood not just for your main character in all their horrible angsty suffering but for themselves and the temporary loss of vision afterwards. If you're lucky, it might be permanent.

Also, when typing, present it in a way that throws all grammar, spelling, punctuation and paragraphing out of the window. Show your readers that all the English lessons you ever attended were a total waste of taxpayers' money.
The main character absolutely must have connections: filthy-rich and/or royal best friends, cousins, uncles, etc. After all, who wants to see them struggle through on their own without outside monetary or political assistance?
use jacknsallyrdied
Oh, and be sure to spam completely unrelated threads in assorted forums to get readership. Everyone will absolutely love you for it.
...check your spelling. Spell checking is completely overrated.

...give your villains a background story. If they're evil, they're just evil, right?

...use the * mark for actions.

...make the main character freakishly like yourself. You're the author!

...if you're writing fanfiction, don't keep the original characters in character. You can make Captain Jack Sparrow the most graceful gentleman ever if you'd like. IC characters are for losers.

And remember, everyone loves when you T41K LYK3 TH15!!111one!
Make your villains evil for the sake of being evil, or because they had terrible childhoods. Readers love that.

Don't bother making your dialogue sound realistic. Stiff, wooden speech is all the rage.
When writing vampire stories, the male vampire MUST be extremely seductive and look just like Dracula. Because all vampires do. 3nodding
And the heroine WILL fall in love with him no doubt.

People LOVE when your vampire story looks like a modern form of Dracula.

The hero does not cry. Ever! People want them flawless.
Don't bother to make them realistic.

((Love this thread.))
Trixa Pyswell
The hero does not cry. Ever! People want them flawless.
Don't bother to make them realistic.
While the hero never cries, any supporting character, no matter how incredibly badass they are, must go through at least one emotional breakdown. Because, seriously, they can't be as tough as the hero! Ideally, they'd need the hero's help to get through their personal crisis because the hero is such a good guy/gal and everyone's totally dependent on them.
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Remember, emotions are everything. If you haven't relied entirely on the intangible, you're wasting time on pithy realistic things.
Your main characters (including the villain) must be the absolute most gorgeous people ever to walk the face of the earth, and the heroine can make anybody follow her orders because she's just so damned beautiful. And your villian should speak with a heavy accent (the more British-colony-esque the better!); nobody is evil in their homeland, it's just not done.

Your villain has to have superb powers that greatly exceed the heroes', but the heroes still manage to win the day because they formulated a plan in the two minutes they had after the villain divulged his entire scheme to them. Bonus points if the heroes discover right before their supposed demise that they have the key to their enemy's undoing, and that it's been with them since the beginning, the key-holder didn't know because they were too busy wallowing in self-doubt and issues from their past.

Lastly, no good story is without a legendary, elderly hermit who knows exactly what's going on and exactly how to stop it, and has mysterious powers that banished him/her to hermit-hood in the first place because they were used to massacre a village. No one has seen them in decades/centuries, but the heroes find them easily, and they hit it off immediately, and those 'mysterious powers' involve giving insight and/or a vision of what needs to be done.
Sleepy Snake's avatar

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You're story should contain at least one vampire no matter where the story is set.

Elves are always graceful and are always good. They are also much more powerful than even the hero, who happens to have learned every skill he knows in a matter of pages.
No one sexy should ever stay evil, or if they do, they should have regrets about it until the bitter end, bang one of the good guys, and/or realize their folly in the last moments before death.

Everyone waxes poetic right before they die. Everyone. This usually includes cryptic advice to the hero. This is, duh, the best way to do exposition, so have people die all the time.

If there is an unfulfilled prophecy, unsolved riddle, unbroken code, or anything of that sort anywhere in the universe, it is required for the hero to fulfill/solve/decipher it before the story is over. This should take minimal effort; in fact, it should be achieved simply because the hero is who he is.
If the hero/heroine has a best friend of the opposite sex, they WILL fall in love.
It's just how it goes.

EDIT: But of course they wont realise that before the hero(ine) has been sleeping and 'almost in love' with some handsome person.

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