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Writing points to improve

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Writing points to improve

Postby nightlock » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:20 am

Ok, let's get some more discussions in here, this place seems dead.

I don't know how many of us are currently working on a story (I know I am drifting in and out of stories, never seeming to finish any one of them but always at work), but I am sure we could all improve our work. We can help each other improve, my weakness might be your strength and vice versa. Yes, we have a critique and advice forum, but nine times out of ten, I don't read the giant swathes of text there even if I had planned to, so only two or three people comment, and not much of a discussion arises.

To really help each other out, we need to become less specific and more generic. We each need find the areas we can or want to improve and then maybe, the SpecVision community can come to it's own and really contribute again. So take a good careful look at your latest work and critique it. What's really great, what's truly awful? Which parts gave you trouble? Where do you want to improve. Rinse, repeat and write down a list of things you'd like to improve or which you think you've nailed down (really important, so you won't make yourself depressed by a list of only failures). Here's mine:

Good points:
  1. Imaginitive
  2. Out of the box thinking
  3. 'Original'
  4. Well established backgrounds
To be improved:
  1. Dialogue, and how to switch between dialogue and descriptions
  2. Established English grammar and punctuation
  3. Too much focus on world-building, not enough on story-building
  4. Easily distracted.
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Re: Writing points to improve

Postby The Master » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:43 am

"Easily distracted."

Yeah I get that too. Wait, wasn't I doing something?
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Re: Writing points to improve

Postby berry » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:09 pm

I found that doing a creative writing course is helping with the specifics. Doing exercises to get you plotting work and generating proper character profiles and such like. There were a few simple (simple but not always easy) things that we were told that really helped with the things you listed.
Dialogue - become very nosy, eavesdrop when you can take special note of patterns and how the conversation gets from one topic to the next.
Story building - start plotting using different methods, we had to try using little reference cards or spider diagrams even flow charts. I found that doing it on paper rather than on the computer made a big difference.
Grammar - Lots of rereading the rules and practicing and a lot of editing. It's still really hard word for me.
Getting distracted -Do a bit of writing everyday, doesn't have to be good and you may not use it but it keeps a bit of your brain focused on the task even when you're not doing it. Well that's the theory!
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Re: Writing points to improve

Postby nightlock » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:28 am

It's not so much speech patterns that bother me, it's that when I switch between descriptive writing and dialogue it always looks like some else wrote it. The style is different and looks .... off, somehow. It's also difficult to know when to stop the dialogue, or switch things up a bit. Any scene with extensive talking ends up boring old:

"I say something" said X.
"I reply" replied Y tersely.

etc. I am practicing working dialogue more naturally in the flow of descriptions, and paying attention to how some of my fav. authors avoid this problem.

English is not my native language, but I learned it at a young age in more or less the same way as I learned Dutch. I don't use grammar, I use 'feel'. But English and Dutch are just different enough to cause some sensory disruptions.


What about you though, what do you think you need to improve on?
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