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How do you try to improve your writing?

I try to avoid old, stupid things. 0.17531504818384 17.5% [ 2365 ]
I add new things. 0.14736842105263 14.7% [ 1988 ]
A combination of both (if one more than the other, pick it). 0.67731653076353 67.7% [ 9137 ]
Total Votes:[ 13490 ]
I_Write_Ivre's avatar

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marshmallowcreampie
Remember that telling is more important than showing. Readers will care far more about what you tell them and take that as truth, rather than look at the character's thoughts and actions and interpret the character for themselves. You can totally pass a character off as smart by saying she makes good grades and reads books, even if she constantly does stupid things or avoids taking the logical course of action in any situation. You can also pass her off as strong by talking about what a good fighter she is, even if she gets captured easily and makes no attempt to fight them off. You can totally pass a character off as nice by having the girls talk about what a sweetheart he is, even if he only does things that benefit himself.


((This is my problem with Beauty and The Beast)

Telling trumps showing every time. Just by saying your character fights for justice makes everything they do okay, even if you write three pages about them nearly beating a man do death for being drunk and thinking she's a prostitute due to her tight clothing.

Telling everyone she fights for equal rights when she calls anyone different 'confused' will convince the readers.

Telling the reader she's strong-willed and capable and yet she's kidnapped and raped in every story she's in will keep the readers from thinking otherwise.
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Even though your story takes place in an alternate fantasy world where it's made very clear that things work differently, your character will have modern Western views on everything, no matter how s/he was raised.
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marshmallowcreampie
Even though your story takes place in an alternate fantasy world where it's made very clear that things work differently, your character will have modern Western views on everything, no matter how s/he was raised.

Poor agricultural societies were not dependent on kids to work and keep the family out of poverty. Kids and adults had tons of free time before the industrial revolution.
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I_Write_Ivre
marshmallowcreampie
Even though your story takes place in an alternate fantasy world where it's made very clear that things work differently, your character will have modern Western views on everything, no matter how s/he was raised.

Poor agricultural societies were not dependent on kids to work and keep the family out of poverty. Kids and adults had tons of free time before the industrial revolution.


Then public school was invented and ruined EVERYTHING. Before that, young people could always run off on adventures.
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marshmallowcreampie
I_Write_Ivre
marshmallowcreampie
Even though your story takes place in an alternate fantasy world where it's made very clear that things work differently, your character will have modern Western views on everything, no matter how s/he was raised.

Poor agricultural societies were not dependent on kids to work and keep the family out of poverty. Kids and adults had tons of free time before the industrial revolution.


Then public school was invented and ruined EVERYTHING. Before that, young people could always run off on adventures.


There's no actual law that kids need adults to take care of them or that they even have to go to school.
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I_Write_Ivre


There's no actual law that kids need adults to take care of them or that they even have to go to school.


Any parent who tries to stop their 15-year old from going into the haunted, monster-filled Forest of Doom to look for treasure is horrible and oppressive.

Royal characters must always complain about how it sucks to be royal because they're expected to dress nice and they can't go out to look for treasure and fight monsters. Peasants always have more freedom and fun.
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marshmallowcreampie

Any parent who tries to stop their 15-year old from going into the haunted, monster-filled Forest of Doom to look for treasure is horrible and oppressive.

Y'know what proves that you're the person to save the world? speechifying about how your the speicialest person ever and how the years spent with your family and friends have meant nothing to you and how how the lives of every single person in the universe can just vanish if you don't get what you want.
I_Write_Ivre
Y'know what proves that you're the person to save the world?


Having a scar or birthmark (but not one that makes you look ugly, because ugly heroes are a big no-no) that marks you out as the "Chosen One". And, just to make it absolutely clear, there should be a prophecy out there somewhere that relates specifically to you.

Also, "it's fantasy" is an excellent excuse for things which change inexplicably from one chapter to the next - just blame it on a random witch or wizard.
The ReTARDISed Whovian
U shud nevar b afrayd 2 typ lik dis! Any1 who sez u cant becos of gramar or sum sh!t iz just stoopid!

(Good God, that was painful to write.)


(T.T That hurt my eyes and my brain to read though I tend to play with the "evar" word. mrgreen Guilty, guilty. Don't lynch me!)

Please do give the main character hero status who has all the resources handed to them to save the world or accomplish their goals.

Everyone knows plot convenience is fun to read! Even if the reader is sitting there going, "Where the snap did that come from? Gosh, that was really convenient that the insane hobo dropped off a bag of evidence at the detective's house. In fact, he climbed in through a window that happened to be open or unlocked and plopped it onto his desk without making a sound or stealing food and then left without getting caught or seen at all by neighbors who never stay up past sundown because he was conveniently an angel who was helping the guy out for pity or believing in his goodwill or something like that!"
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Clare_N
I_Write_Ivre
Y'know what proves that you're the person to save the world?


Having a scar or birthmark (but not one that makes you look ugly, because ugly heroes are a big no-no) that marks you out as the "Chosen One". And, just to make it absolutely clear, there should be a prophecy out there somewhere that relates specifically to you.
.


No one questions this prophecy or who wrote it.
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Whenever you use symbolism or allusions in your story, make sure to address them directly. Readers are obviously too stupid to get the subtle brilliance of your work, so you need to make sure they understand how great you are!

((I was feeling so smart for getting the symbolism in The Hunger Games, then they go and ruin it by stating things directly. cat_emo ))

When characters travel through the wilderness, it's always super easy and no more difficult than a walk in the park. Characters get hungry? Well, they'll always find some fruit trees, or forest dwellers who are willing to share, just in time! And the one or two times you have the characters get dirty so you can have a sexy bathing scene, they'll manage to find a crystal clean river with no leeches or anything. If rain comes down, a cave is always nearby, and the dirt road won't get muddy at all.
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marshmallowcreampie

When characters travel through the wilderness, it's always super easy and no more difficult than a walk in the park.

Park, wilderness, same thing. It's not like there's different environments.
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I_Write_Ivre
marshmallowcreampie

When characters travel through the wilderness, it's always super easy and no more difficult than a walk in the park.

Park, wilderness, same thing. It's not like there's different environments.

Your character never has to 'rough it' in the wilderness though. They always find food or game to hunt easily. They never go a day without food or fresh water because the wilderness isn't polluted or poisonous, ever.
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Misuki Marishima

Your character never has to 'rough it' in the wilderness though. They always find food or game to hunt easily. They never go a day without food or fresh water because the wilderness isn't polluted or poisonous, ever.


They don't get dirty, either. There's always a crystal clean lake or river to bathe in.
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marshmallowcreampie
Misuki Marishima

Your character never has to 'rough it' in the wilderness though. They always find food or game to hunt easily. They never go a day without food or fresh water because the wilderness isn't polluted or poisonous, ever.


They don't get dirty, either. There's always a crystal clean lake or river to bathe in.

No one needs to wash the animal they kill or prep the food. Shoot it and it's steak.

Also, bugs aren't in the slightest bit nutritious, just icky.

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