Writers Anonymous
Writers, come in. Talk about your stories, problems, any advice you need, critique, etc. You don't have to be good, you just need to want to write! Fanfic or original fic writers, all are welcome. Read the rules before posting or risk Rhea's displeasure.
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Ariana Ethaitrius

I'm working on a challenge (multichaptered) story "The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black" (Harry Potter) and I find if I focus on it I can get more ideas. I also have had positive reviews (15 for 6 chapters) and am quite proud of the work.

With my Egyptian story, I find it hard, because while I know about ancient history, I do not know much about the land/culture/religion/people/buildings/lifestyle of moddern Egypt. Description is important to me, but as I'm blind, its hard to put it across in a story. I don't know about hotells (important in the first few chapters) travell, what the land looks like.

6/11/2010 #781
Ragnelle

I'd say make your limitations work for you. Visual descriptions are not the only descriptions you can use, and I think you could give some really stunning and different descriptions working with what you do know: smell, taste, sound, touch. I think touch is the most under-used from of description, and the one I find most fascinating myself. A good description of how things feel, is very vivid and stunning.

6/11/2010 #782
Ariana Ethaitrius

Touch is something I haven't really thought to use before; thanks for the suggestion. See, another problem I have, I don't seem to have the right wording for the scene at hand. I get all tongue tied(with writing)and I just can't seem to find the right way to word my sentences.

6/11/2010 #783
Ragnelle

Do you have a beta or perhaps a writing-group that can help you? Sometimes it helps me to have others look at the passage and give suggestions or often only ask the right question.

I know the feeling though. I type slowly, and sometimes my thoughts get lost on the way from my mind to the paper/screen. Try 'tasting' the sentences - say them out-loud and try different formulations that way. It helps me sometimes, if I manage to remember what I have just said...

6/11/2010 #784
Ariana Ethaitrius

I have neither beta/writing group, but I could get my friends/family to read it if I wanted. Yeah, that's exactly how I feel. I'll try your suggestions:)

6/11/2010 #785
Amita4ever

Out loud is good - if you have something that records your voice maybe you could keep it handy and try sentences and play them back. My method is to try and scramble to write it down while I'm thinking about it and THEN try it out loud if I need to. Another option might be type it down and use a narrator. If you are blind, than I'm guessing you use a narrator to read whats on the computer screen to you? I'm sighted, but I occasionally use the narrator program that comes with Microsoft. The voice leaves something to be desired, but sometimes if I'm having a problem with a sentence or paragraph I'll put in several variations and have it read it to me so I can hear it.

Without the inflections, I get a good idea of exactly what the words say, how they flow and of the picture they paint. Then I can pick the one I like best and tweak it further.

As far as betas, one of my beta's (my most helpful and faithful) actually started out as one of my reviewers. From her end, I knew she liked the fandom (she was reading my story), and that she had an interest in helping (she had given helpful advice in more than one review). From my end, I found her critiques insightful and knew she didn't have an issue with the way I handled the canon characters (because her reviews had indicated she found the stories enjoyable). I also liked a story she was writing, both in the style, grammar and character handling even though it was different from my own.

I figured if an author of a story I was reading found my reviews valuable enough that they asked me to beta for them, I wouldn't be anything but flattered, so I decided to ask her. The worse she could do was say no. As it happened, she said yes and it has become a online friendship as well.

Friends and family are nice if they share your interests, but if they are like mine, it's not their first priority and I spend more time trying to give them the background for the story because they aren't familiar with the fandom, than it is worth because even if I tell them about it, they really don't know the characters. A reviewer who likes your work is already familiar with the fandom AND the story. That's one idea, anyways :)

A beta might be able to help with the visual stuff to if they are interested too. Out of curiosity, would anyone at a public library be willing to help you look for pictures? Maybe they would occasionally be willing to search the net for you and help you pick a couple pictures that you could have printed and take home or get the net addresses for so you can look them up again. Now there is where friends/family might really be helpful... they don't necessarily need to know anything about your story to help you pick apart a picture and maybe help with landscape descriptions.

6/11/2010 #786
Ariana Ethaitrius

I use Jaws (a screen reader that I feel is better than narator) and its really helpful in that part.

My father is always busy and when he has the time to explain things, he assumes that I know what the character looks like...

I'd rather internet information so I can store it.

6/11/2010 #787
mutemockingjay

Touch is a great sense to use in a story, and I agree with Ragnelle, it isn't used very often. I like smell as well, especially when it comes to attraction. It makes no sense usually, but when you're close to someone the way they smell can drive you absolutely insane with lust. It's also unique to each person, so it makes for interesting variety.

Friends and family are nice if they share your interests, but if they are like mine, it's not their first priority and I spend more time trying to give them the background for the story because they aren't familiar with the fandom, than it is worth because even if I tell them about it, they really don't know the characters. A reviewer who likes your work is already familiar with the fandom AND the story. That's one idea, anyways :)

My family doesn't care much, and my beta is a godsend almost all the time. Strangely enough she is barely familiar with RvB- she has seen part of season one, the mini series Out of Mind, and I linked her to Recovery One and season six, Reconstruction, but I don't know if she's watched it yet. It's actually really nice to hear her take on it- she knows enough canon information from my babblings to understand the concept of AI and armor enhancements and what happened to Wash, but she doesn't get so caught up in the story that she forgets to point out errors, like my friends do when I send them my writing.

So having someone who is slightly familiar with what you're writing but not an expert on it can be really helpful as well but I would recommend having a second person who knows it better give it a once over as well. I generally do that with a few close friends of mine, and I have a few go-to friends for specific situations. Like my best guy friend helps me figure out how guys' minds work for when I'm writing Maine or York, and another friend helps me when it comes to any sex related stuff that crops up, as I completely freeze up when it comes to that.

It's helpful, too, if you can get someone who is familiar with your writing style- my main beta has been reading my writing for years so she can tell me when things aren't up to my usual standard and whatnot.

I'm sure if you took a look around here, Ariana, you could probably find someone who would be willing to look over your stuff for you. :)

Well, I'm writing three at a time, but only one is being posted currently, and I'm a few chapters ahead of what is posted in that one. I tend to write two or three chapters at a time and then lose inspiration, so I'll move to the other stories and write a few chapters for those. I generally don't start posting until I've got like... eight or so chapters done so I'm not taking months and months to update.

That makes sense. ^^

Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon and Axis Powers: Hetalia, at the moment.

Ooh, Hetalia. Do you have any recommendations for fics in that fandom? I have a lot of friends who are obsessed with that show, and would appreciate it, I'm sure. ^^

6/11/2010 . Edited 6/11/2010 #788
Ariana Ethaitrius

I was talking about how I find it difficult with description on facebook (status) and my friend Suzanne commented:

"keep trying... sit outside and write down everything that you hear, the next day do the same thing and write down everything that you smell, the next day do that same thing except write down everything that you feel. Keep doing that.

The only way to be a better writer is to practice."

6/11/2010 #789
Amita4ever

Ok, she's right. It's one of the best ways to improve.

I also pay attention when I read other's work (fanfiction. book, whatever) and when I come across something that impresses me or pulls me in, I study it and see if I can figure out why... see if it is something I can incorporate into my own writing.

6/11/2010 #790
Ariana Ethaitrius

I do research when I don't understand something like in the Lord of the Rings and if I need it for a story (such as the language) I'll use it in my own way.

6/11/2010 #791
Kitsune no Tora

Ooh, Hetalia. Do you have any recommendations for fics in that fandom? I have a lot of friends who are obsessed with that show, and would appreciate it, I'm sure. ^^

XDD I tend to read a lot of M-rated fics in that fandom, but you're free to sift through my favorites to see if there's something you think they might like. I usually only read oneshots, though, and if I find a longfic it's usually finished when I do since I habitually filter all the unfinished fics out... With such a large fandom I have problems with finding fics that never get finished, so I gave up on that, lol.

Anyway, on an on-topic note, I agree that touch is not used often enough; it's a powerful thing that all of us can appreciate, more-so than sight and sound since some of us are blind or deaf, but all of us can feel. I've been trying to incorporate that more into my writing, because I've gotten in the bad habit of just writing down everything that happens instead of sensations, even though those can be the most important.

I do research all the time. In Rune Factory 2 I have to look up weapons and monster names, and since there isn't a really reliable wiki for the game (it's not incredibly popular, unfortunately) I need to use the source material often. Of course, in Hetalia there's just SO MUCH HISTORY that I'm constantly doing research to both find topics to write about and to get a better handle on reasons for why the characters interact. And since I RP in that fandom I need to do even MORE than what I would need to for my fics. I'm always looking things up, and once I get more time I really want to get to a library and check out a few good history books.

6/11/2010 #792
Ariana Ethaitrius

I think it'd be interesting to use touch:)

6/12/2010 #793
Rhea Silverkeys

That HP Lexicon sounds amazing, Rhea- I'll have to check it out. ^^

*nods* It's a lifesaver and beats trying to look through 7 books to find a fact. It also sources its information, so you can, if you want, discard interview material and use only what is in the books.

See, another problem I have, I don't seem to have the right wording for the scene at hand. I get all tongue tied(with writing)and I just can't seem to find the right way to word my sentences.

This forum and a Harry Potter one elsewhere help me when I have problems like that. You can always tell when I'm writing because sooner or later I post a topic asking for help to describe a certain thing or how people think this character would react to this and that XD

6/12/2010 #794
mutemockingjay

I also pay attention when I read other's work (fanfiction. book, whatever) and when I come across something that impresses me or pulls me in, I study it and see if I can figure out why... see if it is something I can incorporate into my own writing.

I'm always iffy about doing that with fics, though. Style wise, maybe, but I'm also afraid of letting it influence me too much, and then people might think I was stealing ideas from someone else which wasn't my intention at all.

I found a really great fic once, called The Prodigal Son but I haven't finished reading because her idea of what Agent Maine is like is very similar to my version of Maine, and I don't want hers to influence mine too much.

...Does that sound stupid? =/

6/12/2010 #795
Rhea Silverkeys

...Does that sound stupid? =/

I can understand not wanting to read something that's too close to what you're doing, but if I found someone who had the same idea of what a character was supposed to be like, I'd be quite happy...I could see how the author wrote the character and could use it as ideas for how the character would react to things in my own story. Kind of like reading about the character from canon and using canon for ideas on how the character reacts to things, but instead of canon it's someone else's fanfic. That's me, though. On the other hand if I was writing an AU based on a 'what if' question, and found another author that is writing a fic based on the same 'what if' question, I probably wouldn't read it. Just in case I subconsciously used an idea from it.

6/13/2010 #796
Ripdos A.K.A The Bad Ash

Wow, I've been gone for a while. I have had OCs and other characters try and take over the fict, but I don't like to let this happen because they look like a marry sue.

I've had more problem telling the story from the perspective of each character equally in a crossover.

I only outline the story, not the chapters unless it's a terning point or something like that.

6/13/2010 #797
Amita4ever

Private Tucker said...

I'm always iffy about doing that with fics, though. Style wise, maybe, but I'm also afraid of letting it influence me too much, and then people might think I was stealing ideas from someone else...

That was what I was meaning... stylewise. When a passage really draws me in, I want to find out why... was it because they knew just the right words to paint a scene? Was it because they involved all five senses? Was it because they gave the characters subtle gestures that made them mor real? What perspective were they using? etc.

I had one authorI LOVED because she could have a character say an entire paragraphs worth of dialogue with a look and a shrug... no words spoken. It was just the "inflection" she would give to the lift of an eyebrow, the "emotion" she could give to a sidelong glance.

Another could truly "paint" a picture with words, and create fight scenes that flowed but were explosive with action. When I read a piece that makes me go "WOW!" my next question is, "How'd they do that?" I can rarely master their techniques, but if I can emulate it, even just a little, I think my writing is improvement by their example.

As far as the other part, no. It doesn't sound stupid at all. You know your style and how much it might influence you. I do think what Rhea said is valid, too, though. And if I found an really good author who's CC was close to mine I might also take it as evidence that I was getting a good handle on how the character needed to be portrayed.

6/14/2010 #798
Ariana Ethaitrius

I'd be interested to read those stories that you mentioned.

6/15/2010 #799
mutemockingjay

I can understand not wanting to read something that's too close to what you're doing, but if I found someone who had the same idea of what a character was supposed to be like, I'd be quite happy...I could see how the author wrote the character and could use it as ideas for how the character would react to things in my own story. Kind of like reading about the character from canon and using canon for ideas on how the character reacts to things, but instead of canon it's someone else's fanfic.

That makes perfect sense. I never thought of it that way before. Maine is a character that we don't know very much about in canon, so I was just worried (because I look up to her a lot) that she would think I would be ripping her off, though our plots are somewhat different. Thanks, Rhea. ^^;

I had one authorI LOVED because she could have a character say an entire paragraphs worth of dialogue with a look and a shrug... no words spoken. It was just the "inflection" she would give to the lift of an eyebrow, the "emotion" she could give to a sidelong glance.

Do you have a link to this fic? It sounds brilliant.

6/15/2010 #800
Ripdos A.K.A The Bad Ash

I finally updated. I hope the people who do read it aren't upset with the late update.

6/15/2010 #801
Ragnelle

Yay! Congratulations on updating, Ripdos!

6/15/2010 #802
mutemockingjay

Congrats~

:)

I hope the people who do read it aren't upset with the late update.

Eh, it happens. They should get over themselves- quality over good timing at the end of the day.

Were you blocked on it or something?

6/15/2010 #803
Amita4ever

Ariana & Carolina - I'd be glad to share :) One is a professional author - I really admire CJ Cherrah's style for descriptions and she can pull off a pretty good fight in both the past and the future.

As far as the one that makes a look speak volumes, she got busy with college and no longer writes *:(* but if you go to my profile under favorite stories, anything by JacklynK is worth reading. Dry is a one shot - more internal churning that external, but still well written - IMHO - especially if you are familiar with the CC.

Where You Headed, however, is one I like alot for some of the non-verbal communication. It was intended to be a longer story, but when she realized she wasn't going to get it finished, she graciously put an end on it. Bless her for that - *:)* - I hate when a good story is left hanging.

6/15/2010 #804
Rhea Silverkeys

Agent Carolina: I'm glad I could suggest a different way of thinking about it =) Yea, basically for me if the plot is different then I think it's ok XD

Ripdos: Congrats on the update!

6/16/2010 #805
mutemockingjay

Thanks muchly for the links, Amita. ^^

I'm hopelessly blocked on chapter nine of my fic. What do you guys do when you get writer's block?

6/16/2010 #806
Ragnelle

I have found that I get very productive on public transportation. I have taken to bringing with me a notebook that fit in my purse so it is easy to take up and write while I wait for the bus/tram, or sit on the bus/tram etc. Long bus-rides are very good, because then I have time to get a lot written. Very strange, but it works for me.

6/16/2010 #807
Ripdos A.K.A The Bad Ash

I couldn't update cause I was busy.

6/16/2010 #808
mutemockingjay

Thanks for the idea, Ragnelle. Never thought of that before. :)

And I finally, finally, finally updated GtS after struggling for three weeks to write that chapter. 8DDDD

6/19/2010 #809
Ripdos A.K.A The Bad Ash

Ragnelle's idea works when I want to draw, strange...

AC, what chapter are you on?

6/19/2010 #810
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