ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

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ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby ReccaSquirrel » Tue May 12, 2009 1:20 pm

Every once and a while, I like to come out of my writing hole and breathe. I find that message boards are a suitable escape for me during these times. You also never know when you might need some insight into a particular subject. Having a wide range of resources is always going to be useful. I don't actually need an escape at the moment but thought I'd create a thread for writers and prospective writers.

Who amongst you has a passion for writing?

For the curious, I'm about 60% complete on the second draft of a novel I believe can be published.
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby Xewleer » Tue May 12, 2009 7:50 pm

I like writing steampunk, sci-fi and cyber-punk type stuff.
'Write' now I'm working on short stories in a universe a friend an I made up. It's pretty cool, he's designing a website for it. (doubt we could get published though)

What's your novel on?
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby ReccaSquirrel » Wed May 13, 2009 7:33 am

The novel is a romantic tragedy set in a fantasy world. Its about a human who journeys into fae territory and the impact he has on those around him during his time there.
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby NigaiAmai Yume » Wed May 13, 2009 9:30 am

See my thread for my writing projects. lol

I mostly focus on fantasy, I find it really hard to write "real life" without at least a little fate magic controlling things so it works out right. :P

Right now I'm looking to get enough written that I can put up a website, get a schedule set up, and get the writing done that way, maybe self-publish when there's enough. "Due dates" seem to be the only thing that get my procrastination overcome. Mostly because I seem to work best on a "last minute" basis. :P
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby Mikalyaran » Wed May 13, 2009 9:16 pm

I've always liked the thought of writing but my grammar is really horrible. The subject just never stuck in my brain sad to say. I stick to coming up with stuff and running it in rpgs. Props to those of you with the literay werewithal to wrtie those. I've got a lot of respect for you guys.
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby Xewleer » Thu May 14, 2009 12:28 am

do you think we should start a rpg here?
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby ReccaSquirrel » Thu May 14, 2009 6:26 pm

Mikalyaran wrote:I've always liked the thought of writing but my grammar is really horrible. The subject just never stuck in my brain sad to say. I stick to coming up with stuff and running it in rpgs. Props to those of you with the literay werewithal to wrtie those. I've got a lot of respect for you guys.

I have always and will always struggle with grammar. I'm better than I once was but I'm not perfect. I don't make a lot of mistakes on my first time through but I still make them. Fortunately, edits always take care of the serious problems and my wife takes care of the ones I miss.
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby blackcitadel9 » Thu May 14, 2009 8:19 pm

Used to write a lot, just random stuff for my own amusement, and just to practice, but I've come to despise my own literary style. Mostly because I don't seem to have one anymore. When writing stories, my characters become less and less human (either Mary Sue-ish, or just plain..."Huh?"), plots make no sense and what seemed sensible at the time just seems silly by the end. And my grammar is absolutely terrible (comma splicing anyone? And seriously, Where the heck is it appropriate to use a semi-colon except in C++ code?).

It's a pity really, because I have a much greater command of the written language than the spoken. If only because I can think before I type, proof read and correct errors, well usually anyway.
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby ReccaSquirrel » Fri May 22, 2009 7:58 am

blackcitadel, writing is all about practice. Having the ability to use proper grammar and spell is a great boost to writing. If you want to write, you don't need to necessarily have an idea. All you need to do is sit down and write.

Writing is different for everyone. My wife, whose work is superior than my own, seems to think out characters until she knows them inside and out. After that, she's typing away thousands of words in no time. For me, I tend to have a good idea with a couple of characters that have shared some of their details but not all of them. When I write, the character's reveal more secrets to me.
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby JohnnyEgregious » Sun May 24, 2009 4:31 am

Semicolons, colons, dashes, and commas, in my opinion, are used to make the reader read it differently. When I read them, they create different kinds of pauses in my mind. For interjections, which is when you throw stuff in the middle with commas around it, you can use commas, dashes on either side to make it stand out, or parentheses if it's just meant to be soliloquy-ish (This is all my feelings of course.). If I were to say my friend--the truest friend I ever had--had died telling me about grammar rules, I would use dashes.

I like to use semicolons are to join two sentences that are closely linked ideas; the sentences are so close, you could even use a conjunction instead (and, or, etc.). It keeps them close, but doesn't make them seem like really long sentences. Semicolons are REALLY useful as commas when you already have commas: like when you make list or when joining clauses. Cities make a good example. If I went to Barcelona, Spain; Paris, France; and Detroit, Michigan; then the semicolons help you avoid confusion. If you can, use a semicolon here; and you'll avoid confusion, if you love to use commas, in your sentences.

The difference between colons and semicolons is that semicolons let you add a whole sentence that could stand on it's own to the end of a sentence. If you have something that couldn't stand on its own, there is one thing to do: use a colon to add it to the end. This is how you use all those sentence fragments that sound cool. "It was a night like any other in this city: stormy and cramped with damp, uncaring strangers crammed shoulder to shoulder."

And! I'm not trying to turn this into a grammar-nazi thread. I think it just helps with writing when you have good uses for those other punctuation marks; you can create a sentence just like it sounds in your head: unique and flowing across the page just like you'd say it.

P.S. I started out not knowing how to use them, but then I just looked them up one at a time and created places to use them until I got the hang of it. There are some really good, cheap, tiny grammar handbooks that are perfect for this.
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby Xewleer » Sun May 24, 2009 10:17 pm

I toss in '...' and such to represent thought during a conversation. I had two teachers that I had for most of my school career that pounded grammar into my head until I now HAVE to make a conscious decision to make egregious grammar mistakes. Keeps me grammer top notch, then! Wot wot!

Takes a lot of practice though, not something you can just sit down and do. Takes WORK. (ooohhh) Though, I still consider my first real drama/romance story one of my best. :D

So description, conversation or action? Or any combination of both? I prefer action and conversation, personally.
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby Lilmikee » Mon May 25, 2009 11:10 am

I do some writing here and there; mostly poetry because I don't have the attention span for a story. If I'm distracted I lose all train of thought, and I can be distracted extremely easily (once completely forgetting what I was doing due to a fly zooming past).

blackcitadel, writing is all about practice. Having the ability to use proper grammar and spell is a great boost to writing. If you want to write, you don't need to necessarily have an idea. All you need to do is sit down and write.


Hm. It's certainly possible for some people to sit down and write with no clear direction (the same way people can sit and doodle, yet still produce something coherent). That said, the majority of people do need a clear idea before doing anything to get started. Even those who don't, the end result is usually something of lesser quality to something which was planned out and done deliberately.

While I'm disagreeing, your grammar and spelling is only important for the finished result. You can have terrible grammar and spelling as long as you can get your ideas down, you'd simply have to run everything through a spelling and grammar checker later (which you should be doing anywa). You can certainly apply better techniques (such as inserting examples with parenthesis, or using commas to include extra, but not entirely necessary, information) but before you should worry about technique you should focus on your idea. Otherwise, you are effectively polishing garbage.
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby Xewleer » Mon May 25, 2009 10:53 pm

m'dear, have you been on non-famous writing forums? Sections of larger forums dedicated to writing, like this one is? You
WILL
see someone actually submit something that is SO bad in its grammar and punctuation, plot and characters, that it will make you feel SICK. It has happened before, it will happen again.
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby JohnnyEgregious » Tue May 26, 2009 1:06 am

Then we'll just have to constructively criticize it... to death. Then we can help them uncroak it as something new. Something glorious.
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby Lilmikee » Tue May 26, 2009 6:29 am

JohnnyEgregious wrote:Then we'll just have to constructively criticize it... to death. Then we can help them uncroak it as something new. Something glorious.


"Gentlemen we can rebuild it. Make it harder, better, faster, stronger."

This reminds me of one time on another forum when I saw someone post a poem with no grammar and bad spelling intentionally. A lot of people jumped out of the woodwork to pound on the horrible presentation but I actually stopped to read it and it was actually fairly good. I did tell him to fix the grammar but had to tell everyone else they should at least read the poem before criticising it for the bad presentation alone.

I kinda knew the guy who posted it and knew he had decent grammar, which was why I stopped to read it first (I just guessed he was up to something, which he was prone to do). Turns out he'd deliberately posted a famous poem (which nobody managed to recognise) with bad grammar and spelling to trigger a reaction. Unfortunately the thread was deleted in a forum purge years ago so I can't recover the discussion.
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby Xewleer » Tue May 26, 2009 7:28 pm

Lilmikee wrote:"Gentlemen we can rebuild it. Make it harder, better, faster, stronger."


We have the magic and technology.

Just can't stop someone from writing a crappy plot though... wonder if we can change that?

Wait, grammar in poetry?
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby Lilmikee » Wed May 27, 2009 8:32 am

Xewleer wrote:
Lilmikee wrote:"Gentlemen we can rebuild it. Make it harder, better, faster, stronger."


We have the magic and technology.

Just can't stop someone from writing a crappy plot though... wonder if we can change that?

Wait, grammar in poetry?


Yes, there's grammar in poetry, unless you're doing some weird avant-garde stuff (which is pretty much code for "I have no idea what I'm doing"). You can take liberties with it, but I rarely see people do so very well.
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby Sarcose » Fri May 29, 2009 3:23 pm

After spending my entire life writing and attempting to write and turning out terrible pieces of work, I can attest personally that a clear idea and direction are entirely necessary for a long work. These are furthermore even more crucial in a short story; a short story cannot have fluff, it cannot have "write til you come up with a conclusion." It must be absolutely concise, every detail has three or four times as much important as it would in a novel or novella of the same subject.

A novel comes together, in my experience, from many directions at once. You can start out without a singular idea but to make any progress you must begin thinking of an outline and obsess over your own cohesion. The "write with an outline" bullcrap teachers made you do in high school is not the same as "I have two dozen characters all vying for page-time and an intricate spiderweb plot that needs to be resolved by page 368; looks like I should sit down and start analyzing everything I've put together."

I have hundreds of pages of setting for about four different "planned literary masterpieces," as well as a first edition AD&D milieu I just started formulating (and am rushing to put together before session-time arrives), and I've noticed all my writing deals with one subject: the idea that man is greater in capacity than God(s), and the story revolves around the ascension of a mortal to a position that is morally greater than the gods he must serve. Even my D&D campaign is this way.
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby Xewleer » Sat May 30, 2009 11:31 pm

I don't know... about what ^^^ says. I often start writing with only the beginning and middle in mind. For example:

I'm currently writing a story about 1950's style 'Greasers' (seen crystal skull? Shia Lebouf's character? Like that) who fight on motorcycles against Punks (barbarian hordes, ON MOTORCYCLES). Set in a country about the combined size of Europe and Asia (the planet's Jupiter sized, I calculated it out, there are BIGGER countries) and completely covered of layers of cities (thus roads). Because of a battle that kills several key members of the main characters group forces them to join with a former greaser (who joined the military, 'cause they had super fast TANKS) to go to the domain of King Odo the Great. He rules a minor kingdom within the country. He's amazingly fat and tall, but has a great liposuction team. Anyway... the three groups join forces, break the back of the punk armies (which had been gathering together). Meanwhile, the main character, his wife, and several representatives from King Odo the Great go to the capital to allow Odo (and his family) nobility status. *When they get back, Odo is majorly different. He kills the representatives and the main character's wife then leaves the main character for dead. He's joined by another greaser (who doesn't have his own group) and they rally the rest of the Greaser mobs together. King Odo has hired the revived Punks to ravage his kingdoms. Big battle, King Odo reveals himself to be possessed by a previously minor character who just really wants to kill people. They fight, the military man comes in with the companion who helped the main character previously, they destroyed the body of Odo, which reveals the puppet master. The man is unamused that his body is destroyed, but laughs it off and kills the main character. A tank destroys his real body and he dies. The two remaining characters realize that all they've recently done to civilize this area is for nothing and they might have to abandon it until the proper army comes along to crush the still-rampaging Punks.

how much do I make up as I'm writing? * and onward. Right now. I'm actually taking a shine to it. (well, that all depends on whether I can write it well enough or now)

There's something to be said for making things up on the fly. Yep. Oh well.

I have hundreds of pages of setting for about four different "planned literary masterpieces," as well as a first edition AD&D milieu I just started formulating (and am rushing to put together before session-time arrives), and I've noticed all my writing deals with one subject: the idea that man is greater in capacity than God(s), and the story revolves around the ascension of a mortal to a position that is morally greater than the gods he must serve. Even my D&D campaign is this way.


What?
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Re: ReccaSquirrel's Irrelvant Writing Thread

Postby Gerwulf » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:53 pm

Xewleer wrote:I had two teachers that I had for most of my school career that pounded grammar into my head until I now HAVE to make a conscious decision to make egregious grammar mistakes. Keeps me grammer top notch, then! Wot wot!


My favorite assignment when I was in high school was from my creative writing teacher. The assignment was simple: write an essay of any length that explains every rule in the English language, with one catch - in order to get credit for that particular rule you had to violate it while explaining it. For example if you had the following sentence: "And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction" you would get credit for that rule and 1 point. Bonus points were awarded if you could link rules together in a single sentence: "And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction because that’s really bad and it takes away from what you are trying to say and it really makes things seem weird and run on sentences are bad too cause you kind of lose the point somewhere in the middle." would count for 2 points plus one extra for linking them. It was fun and challenging, and the best part was that we all kept trying to one up each other for the highest scoring sentence. If memory serves correctly the winner had a 29 point sentence.
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