The Author Appreciation Guild
Authors paint with words. Here, at the Author Appreciation Guild, we love the art they create & everything those words have given to us. We want to give something back. We offer concrit & advice guides; we want to help authors improve.
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o hai thar its elle

In the Discussion threads, we aim to talk about anything and everything. This is a place where no views will be mocked; where you can share and say whatever you want. This thread will be updated with questions about every aspect of fanfiction, from styles to preferences, on which you can offer your thoughts; if you want, you can offer up questions and anyone can attempt to answer or offer their views.

There's only one rule: respect every opinion. You can disagree, of course, but do so respectfully, without insulting the person you're talking to. They can have their opinions, and you can have yours; it's fine! :)


Here are a group of questions that have already been asked and discussed. Try avoiding asking the same question twice but, if you feel it wasn't properly covered, just say, and we can reuse it.




"How do you write a good fanfic? & What do you look for in a fanfic?"


"Why do you write?"


"When writing your fanfics, how do you stay motivated?"


"What is your writing like? Do you stick to a particular style, or do you experiment with different kinds? How have you developed your style, and if you feel you haven't what do you think it's lacking?"


"Is there any particular way you like to begin your stories? James Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" begins with a children's bedtime story, symbolizing the protagonist's connection to art even as a young child. Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons" begins with the murder that kicks the whole plot into motion. Other books begin with a flashback, or a dialogue between two or more people later to be revealed. How do you usually begins your stories, and why?"


"What do you write on? Word or OpenOffice on your laptop or desktop? Or maybe you go old-school and scribble away in a journal or a piece of paper lying around, like an old newspaper or card?"


"Is there a specific place you go to when you want to write? Do you hole yourself in your room, stocked up on snacks, or do you venture out to a cafe or a local bookstore? If you stay at home, is there a particular reason? And if you leave your home for someplace else, why?"


"What do you concentrate the most on while writing?When creating a setting, what do you keep in mind, and how much detail/description to you put into your story?"


12/4/2010 . Edited by windsilk, 7/10/2011 #1
o hai thar its elle

For: 04/11/2010


So, our first question, for you to answer;

How do you write a good fanfic?

Is it possible? Is there really one set way to write a good piece of fanfiction? Doesn't it all depend on opinion? Surely there's no way to satisfy everyone; what I consider to be brilliant might only be considered average by the next person. Here, you can all share your views on what you look for in a piece of fanfiction, and what you think should be included to write a really good fanfic.



12/4/2010 #2


And now, to answer the question. :)

How do you write a good fanfic?

There'll be plenty of answers for this, but, in my opinion, it's best to go down to the basics, especially if you're just aiming for "good", and not "excellent" or "fantabulous."

So, if you just want to write a good fanfic, then, in my opinion, it has to be readable; there should be paragraphs, so that it isn't just a piece of block text, as that's difficult and annoying to read, and the spellings of the words you've used need to be pretty damn good; you don't want the readers to be squinting, and thinking, "Yeah, this could say unicorn, but, then again, she might actually be trying to spell genocide." The character's names have to be spelt right; none of that "Sauske" and "Sakra" nonsense; if you've felt so strongly about the fandom that you've decided to write for it, then the least you can do is spell the names right.

And if you can't do that, then you could always look for a Beta! :)

Continuing onwards, for a "good" fanfic, there has to be some plot; it doesn't have to be outstandingly original, but it should be written well - and, if its a cliché, then make it your own! Likewise, to push "good" into "fucking awesome", then you'd take a cliché and turn it into something new; you'd twist it and turn it, and shock the reader. You'd do what Stover did with highschool clichés in MAELSTROM; she took a highschool and she turned it into something exciting, without making it a cliché. It was an idea I haven't seen before. So yeah, I'd say a good fanfic should have a good plot, an awesome fanfic would have an awesome plot, and the difference between good & awesome would be the way the story is told, the way it unfolds; the twists and turns and so on.

Is it possible? Is there really one set way to write a good piece of fanfiction? Doesn't it all depend on opinion?

I'd say there are certain things which will always boost a fanfic from "average" into "good", or "good" into "excellent". That, for me, would be spelling and sentence structure, as well as a basic comprehension of literary techniques. Those techniques wouldn't even have to be massively brilliant; just a variety of punctuation, or varying paragraphs, or metaphors and description. As long as you include that little something which, if you were writing for school, your English teacher would place a tick by, then yeah, you're going to have a relatively good piece of fanfiction.

However, plot-wise and character-wise? No. There is no set away, as we all have different things we'd look for in a plot. While I might look for a surprising, shocking twist, or a little bit of mindfuckery, another author might look for a heart-wrenching romance. Character-wise, I might be searching for a brooding Sasuke with that little bit more, like an Oreo - a crunchy, biscuity exterior with a soft, creamy inside - whereas someone else might just be searching for a dark, brooding, mysterious Sasuke.

We all have different things we like and look for, and that could be what makes a piece of fanfiction good for us, personally.

12/4/2010 . Edited by A. E. Stover, 4/7/2011 #3

Haha, Briony pretty much said anything. I feel like if I tried to add something, I'll just be stepping on all of her points (and yours too, Elle). ;)

12/4/2010 #4
o hai thar its elle

Ah, then I'll offer up a second question, as well, to link to the first:

What do you look for, in a fanfic?

It's similar to the first one, but it's a bit more personal. :)

12/4/2010 #5

Gah, sorry Speed. xD

Anyway, now to answer the second question~

What doyoulook for, in a fanfic?

Generally, I'm looking for somethingnew.

I want a story which will make me pleasantly surprised; where there's a twist at every corner and I'm always a step-behind. I don't want to be able to figure out everything on my own; I want to be constantly surprised, and I don't want the story explained to me. I don't want to be sat down and have a character explain it all; I want to learn it through the actions. I want to be a part of every single event, but also be completely distanced. I want to be kept on the edge of my seat at every moment, and I want to say, "Oh, that makes sense!"

I'm also a description sorta girl. I want everything to be vivid and colourful, whether it's the surroundings or the feelings; as long as I can picture it perfectly in my mind, then that's brilliant. And as long as the characters are in character, then woo, I'm good. I wouldn't want everything to be given away, of course; just enough description for me to think, "Oh, I can see that. That looks nice/pretty/ugly/whatever. What brilliant description."

Genre-wise, I usually look for "romance" and something else; and that something else is usually "fantasy", "horror" or "humour", depending on how I feel. I'm usually searching for my favourite character, as well, or my favourite pairing, and I tend to stay away from stuff I know I won't particularly enjoy reading, like "angst" - ironically - or "tragedy".


12/4/2010 . Edited by A. E. Stover, 4/7/2011 #6
o hai thar its elle

New question, guys:

Why do you write?

12/21/2010 #7

Oh! Me!

Well, I started writing when I was... fourteen/fifteen-ish. I was kind of a troubled child; a rebel, if you please. And then... I think I was googling something and stumbled upon a Dragonball Z fanfiction vault. And, well, I was bored and not sleeping off any kind of effects out of my system so I read. And read some more. And then I found Fanfiction(dot)net and read a Naruto fanfic. So, I got an account and just read and reviewed for a long while.

Until my brain hatched an idea; I think it had to do with a gang-related fight in my school. And so I wrote my very first story; lame, see-through plot, typos and such... But, surprisingly it became rather popular. So I finished said story, started its sequel.... And then my brain began to get consumed with ideas and plots and such until it didn't become a hobby, but more my reason to... Not live, coz that's rather cliche. Writing became my... Something. I haven't found the word yet.

So, I write because it helps me breathe, it calms me, it keeps me from doing stupid things and its really soothing.

(Pretty lame explanation, but well, yeah.)

12/21/2010 #8

Why do you write?

Because, if I didn't write, I'd go mad. No, seriously.

Okay, let me just rewind.

When I was little, I had an imaginary friend, name Andy. He was around six years old - a year older than me, at the time - and he could do everything I wanted to do. He could climb trees. He could play football with the boys. He was funny, and he told jokes all the time. And, best of all, only I could see him. My parents, at first, were a little bit confused, or worried, but, as far as I can tell, parents always seem to worry about imaginary friends - I mean, just look at Drop Dead Fred. But no, that's beside the point; I had this imaginary friend, called Andy, who used to take me on adventures and so on; thing was, being invisible and all, I had no proof for my parents. So I wrote about him. I drew pictures. I still have a little scrapbook called "All Things Andy", with most of the writing done by my mum, as I thought it was way too much work.

A few months after I hit seven, Andy just disappeared. I know it sounds stupid, but I remember that it hurt really bad - because Andy just disappeared, and I didn't know why. My mum said it was because his time was up - he'd been around for two years, and he had to go home to his parents - which led me on to my next big imaginary thing, aptly named "The Land of Imagination." This was where all the imaginary friends lived, with their parents - and, to them, I was an imaginary friend. My mum said I'd always talked to myself but, before then, it wasn't really that bad; but now, with the Land of Imagination fresh in my imagination, I'd just sit at the bottom of the garden, talking to myself.

So my dad, being a genius and all, bought me a notepad. A really nice one, actually - it was black, with a little gold butterfly, and I even had a pen with a feather on the end - which I lost - to go with it. He told me, "If you don't do something, the Land of Imagination will disappear - if you want to keep it, you have to write about it. That's why worlds exist. Because people write about them."

So, that's why I write.

One day, when I was little, my dad thought up some silly excuse to stop me from talking to myself for too long - to create a place where I could put all of the characters in my head. I write, because I want to create worlds. I still believe that, even if it isn't true. Worlds exist because people write about them. I write, because I want my worlds to exist.


(And there's my life story for you. 8D)

12/22/2010 #9

Oh! Oh!

My story isn't as cool as being about gang fights and imaginary friends (although I had one--I remember him, although not his name! he was my best friend), but...I'd still like to share it. (:

I've always loved writing. In kindergarten, I remember, is when I was first exposed to it. So in kinder, I went to this private school, and in kindergarten, I could read and write pretty fluently. Well, fluently for a six year old, anyways. So we had this project thing to write. And I wrote about a butterfly. I drew a picture, and I presented it to the class and later on to a bunch of parents. But all I really remember is writing it. Well, and learning how to spell the word butterfly.

I learned a few things that day:

o1. I liked butterflies,

o2. My kindergarten teacher didn't have nearly enough appreciation for my butterfly-drawing skillage, and

o3. I kind of liked writing. (:

That was where it all started.

As I grew through elementary, we did little creative writing things and I loved them, but I still hadn't fully grasped how much.

And then middle school came, and I met this guy. (Wow, doesn't that just sound like the beginning of some sappy romance story). And he wrote so beautifully. His words were so powerful. And I was inspired. So I wrote this really crappy story about some girl named Lynne. Her mother was an alcoholic and her father was dead. She was such a Mary Sue. She had the horrible past, the horrible background, but she was still such an angel. She claimed herself plain, but she was actually pretty. I liked that story at the time. I thought it was immensely sad, and people claimed to have cried/teared up when they read it.

That was probably a lie. x)

Anyways, I finally grew some eyes and realized how crappy of a story that was.

And then I discovered this site. I read a lot of fictions for a while, changed my penname twice, and ended up becoming wholly Twilight obsessed. The best one I'd ever read was Peonies, and still, even though I don't like Twilight anymore, that was a really well written fic. And then I decided to try my hand at it. I wrote another Mary Sue fic which is, sadly, still on my profile, called new dawn. It sucks. I can't bring myself to delete it, though--I feel like it was a part of my development. I actually wrote an entire spiral's worth of that because back then, I actually wrote-wrote. Not typed-wrote. Anways, I abandoned that pretty quickly, though.

And then one day, I had this burst of inspiration. And I wrote memories. It was the first fiction that I wrote that received good acclaim. Lots of people favorited it. Not as many reviewed it, but I remember, when I got past the 10 mark, I was elated. I was successful!

And then Twilight the movie came out. My eyes were once again opened, or gouged out, whichever you prefer, and I threw Twilight aside. And got sucked into Naruto. I loved it to death. Still do.

And so I read and read and read so many fanfictions. I reviewed and read and favorited and spent so much of my time reading that I began to run out of good fanfics. And then I felt the desire to write something. And I kind of sort of forced it out of me, which is why it's laying there, still, abandoned like a train wreck. Chasing Dreams. It's fixable, and it's actually got a semi-decent plot. It just has to be written. Anyways, I wrote that. People sort of liked it. It was my attempt at writing adventure, because I loved reading romance/adventure or romance/angst. But it kind of dwindled away.

And then I finally got inspiration. I found my strength, a strength I didn't even know I had. I wrote humor. All my life, I'd been trying to crank out depressing stories that would make people curl up in a ball and cry. Well, with the exception of my butterfly story. Anyways, I wrote letter to you. Everyone loved that. I loved that. Still do. Then, I forgot my plot. But that's another story.

So I wrote humor. I wrote letter to you. I wrote wordless, another oneshot that was pretty well-received. And then I wrote Inevitable, my well-received unfinished collab. That was was what got me going. Everyone loved Inevitable. Authors that I read reviewed for Inevitable. And then I had this massive burst of inspiration, and I wrote the fan club. That story is my baby. And I love it to death. It's my little child, and I'm nurturing it. With lots of love.

But the point is, I went through a LOT of rough patches. I wrote some of the worst stuff on earth. Not at all like Snapple, which is made from the best stuff on earth. I wrote things that I look back at and grimace. I wonder why in the world I wrote such terrible things, things that make me flinch in the horror of it all. And then I realized:

I wrote that, wrote everything because I love love love love love love to write.

The end! (:

...oh jeez, that was really long. That was definitely unintentional.

12/24/2010 . Edited 12/27/2010 #10
o hai thar its elle

To the three of you; would you mind if I borrowed your "stories", so to speak, and placed them in the "Beginner's Guide to Fanfiction" section?


12/27/2010 #11

Sure. (: I'd be honored.

12/27/2010 . Edited 12/27/2010 #12

I don't mind, either! :D

12/27/2010 #13

I don't mind, either. :)

12/27/2010 #14
A. E. Stover


"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

I don't think anybody can give a straightforward answer for this sort of question. What's considered good changes with who's reading it. But as Briony already said, a story needs to have a strong foundation to stand on. If you want to make a table, you've got to make sure its legs are sturdy enough to support it and are all the same length.

You know those tables that have a screwy leg? There's a lot of 'em around, especially in cafeteria rooms in high school. God, don't you hate them? Especially when some big kid with no brains freaking plops down on the other end after you so carefully found a spot you could perch delicately on? Then you go flying up and everybody who sees you laughs. This is the way with stories. A solid plot, good characterization, good writing mechanics (grammar and spelling), and a general grasp of the language you're writing in, the ability to express yourself with words --- these are your legs for your table. Make sure you build them up properly, and make sure your knowledge in each area is equal.

Otherwise, somebody's gonna be shooting up three feet in the air.


I want to read something that will shock me. I want to read something that will make me laugh. I want to read something that will make me cry. I want to read something that will make me cheer the characters on. I want to read something that will make me think. I want to read something that will make me sing aloud in joy.

Do you know what all of those "wants" have in common? Emotion. That's the secret ingredient. If your story can't connect to your readers, then it's goodbye. You need to be able to figure out what it is that readers generally like and don't like. If I can't connect to your characters, I can't be interested in your story.

You don't have to be the best writer to do this, but the best writers generally are able to channel emotions through the characters in their story and lure readers in that way.


I write because I have to. Let's backtrack here a couple years ago so I can fully explain.

I used to hate writing. I had (and still have trouble focusing on things and when it came the time for me to learn how to write, I couldn't focus long enough to do it as well as the other kids could at my age then. I remember always tapping on the surface of the table with my pencil, twirling it, changing it to a different pencil, pen, crayon, marker, whatever, and doing everythingbutusing it the way it's supposed to be used. I thought it was boring, if everyone used these things the same exact way. I wanted to find new ways to use them and have fun, but unfortunately my teachers didn't think the same way as I did. So they sat me in the corner by myself and made me practice my letters and numbers by myself and made me sit there by myself while the other kids played so that I learned my lesson. And, after a while, I did: I friggin' learned to hate writing.

But I always loved reading. I could never get enough of it. I didn't realize how much I actually loved reading until I spoke with my parents recently, who've told me that whenever we went to Toys R Us when I was little, I would play around and look at the toys for about five, ten minutes, and then go straight to the section where they had those Disney books. Whenever they asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I'd ask for a book (and a Barbie! I wasn't a complete weirdo, you know...) I actually remember going into Toys R Us when I was little, and heading toward the book section and seeing a row of Power Ranger action figures that weren't there the last time I had gone. I remember how I just stood there and bawled, because the books weren't there and all this stuff (though I remember thinking it was cool stuff) was in the way. The store had just re-arranged their shit and my dad laughed at me and he picked me up and we walked around the store to find where they had moved the books. When we found them, I remember crying again because I was so happy that they hadn't thrown them out, and I remember telling my dad I wanted to buy them all because I didn't want them to be thrown out or something stupid. My dad just laughed at me and I never understood why until, well, until I grew up.

My dad also loves to read. My memories of my dad consist of him sitting comfortably on the couch with his feet up and reading anything and everything he got his hands on: books, magazines, newspapers, anything. I remember thinking how cool and handsome he looked, and I often copied him, grabbing one of my Disney books and looking at the pictures, or looking through the newspapers my dad had already read and making up stories of my own, since I couldn't actually read the newspaper itself. I would say stuff like "In New York today, it snowed a lot and the snow covered all the buildings and everybody couldn't get out so they had a hot chocolate party and the office people next door brought lots of marshmallows." And then my dad would add on to the story, with things like, "The snow was actually a snow monster that was trying to eat the city, so now the people had to find out how to melt the snow and they used the hot chocolate from their party to melt it all and save the day."

And... That's how it all started. I made up so many stories with my dad and kept forgetting what happened, so my mom told me one day to write them all down. I was aghast at first, because I thought that would take forever. But when my mom said something "Do you want to write them down so you don't forget, or forget them all forever?" That pretty much made up my mind and I started writing down the stories.

And that's why I write. So I don't forget the stories I come up with.

...Yeah. :D

1/4/2011 . Edited 4/7/2011 #15
Nautica Dawn

Why do you write?

I started one really remembers when I started writing. It's just something that I've been doing my entire life. I know I picked up fanfiction when I was about thirteen or so, and it was Harry Potter that started it because I couldn't bring myself to agree with certain things in canon. I knew there was another story there and so I sat down and started writing. I will be the first to admit that my early writing kind of sucked. Go look at my earliest fic and then at my most recent. There's a pretty drastic difference between the two.

I know that part of the reason I started writing and kept writing is because I had no other voice. I was soft-spoken, intelligent, and a girl. In the place where I grew up, this meant that I was the kind of person who was to be seen and not heard. Writing was a way for me to say everything no one would listen to and it was genuinely something I loved. I was into music and theatre and a bunch of other things, but no one really saw me there. Writing was the one thing that was really and truly mine. It was the one thing someone else could do and I could always do better.

And I loved it. Being able to step out of a boring classroom that wasn't teaching me anything and yet never leave my seat was an amazing ability. I could see far off lands and magical places without anyone else knowing; without anyone else interfering. The worlds in my head were uniquely my own. The people there were the kind of people I liked, even if they were radically different from me. This is part of why writing original fiction is something I am far more comfortable with. Originality developed sooner and took on a new life long before I ever considered taking someone else's work and writing it differently.

We never did anything creative in schools outside of art class. The written form of the English language was so neglected I sometimes felt like screaming at the teachers. I never did, though, I stayed quiet and kept writing utensils close at hand. I occasionally had a teacher who would discover what I could do and who would encourage me, including the kindergarten teacher who inspired my love of writing scripts by letting me write skits I could perform in the little puppet theatre at the back of the classroom with my friends. I still remember the way the rest of the class loved those little stories and it's things like that that have kept me writing fifteen years later.

Most of the time, though, I was told to put my things away and pay attention, something that generally backed me into a fairly defensive position. As I grew older, my classmates and teachers stopped caring about the fictional world and started caring only about the things on tests we had to take. I kept writing, but everyone stopped reading. Even when I set a record on a standardized test using my skills as a creative writer, it was still a pointless endeavor but it was one that meant a lot to me. I've tried describing what writing is to me for so long, but the easiest way to put it is to say that "writer" isn't a description of me. It's actually my identity. Ink for blood and pens for bones, this is who I am.

Which is why I can talk/write myself into circles trying to describe why I write. I do it because I do. There are stories to tell and I have the ability to tell them. When I was young, and even now, the stories were of my own creations. As I grew older, I found that I could write other people's stories just as well.

For instance, my first venture into the world of fanfiction began when Harry Potter came out. With those books came the character of Hermione Granger. She was smart and out of place and she was so much like me it hurt. The way she was written in the canon story just bothered me time and time again. It was always like there was something missing, something to do with her and so one day I sat down and started writing. I can't even remember what it was about. I vaguely recall something involving a garden of blue roses, but nothing specific. From then on, I started writing fanfiction when my original work was at a standstill, quickly discovering that messing around with someone else's world was a better method for testing new character archetypes and plot twists than potentially ruining a new character of my own.

How do you write a good fanfic?

I could spend years explaining this one and I'm sure everyone else can. In the end, it's no different than writing an original story: respect the characters. In the end, the story you are writing isn't yours, even if it is 100% original. It is the story of the characters. You are writing their life stories and that requires a certain level of respect. Without that, there is no way the fanfic will be good because the characters will never properly fit the story.

What do you look for in a fanfic?

I generally look for things that are a little odd. I like stories that are well-written, complex, and unique. The standards I hold fanfics to are no different than those I hold regular literature to. I want to see the characters portrayed well and I want them treated as humans because that is what literature of any kind is. It's a reflection of life, of the human condition, and if the author doesn't treat the characters accordingly, the story is going to be extremely dull and probably irritating.

1/5/2011 #16
A. E. Stover

New Question?

When writing your fics, how do you stay motivated?

1/5/2011 . Edited 1/5/2011 #17
Nautica Dawn

When writing your fics, how do you stay motivated? Usually. Music and art. It typically just sparks something in my brain and it's like "I KNOW WHAT TO WRITE!" And I don't really plan ahead. I might write out chapter title ideas and some character information, but I usually let everything develop as I'm writing. It keeps me from burning out on a story.

1/5/2011 #18

When writing your fics, how do you stay motivated?

Well, I can't write with music, because I start singing & then my fingers start typing what I'm singing, so it's usually reviews. If I start feeling a little lackluster midway through, I'll head over to the reviews I already have for the story, and read a couple, just to make myself smile & push me forwards. I mention it to friends, as well; it's always nice to hear someone tell me that "I can do it!", because that's the sort of encouragement I like. ;)

1/5/2011 #19

When writing your fics, how do you stay motivated?

I used to be motivated by music, and I still am, really. But now I can't type and listen to music because I break into a Sing At The Top Of Your Lungs With A Hairbrush Mic moment and I forget that I was ever going to write. So... I'm just easily motivated, I guess. Maybe there's a reaction I want a character to have and getting to that reaction is what motivates me to type everything that goes down before it. Or I just really like what is going to happen to them, so I type-type-type until the bomb explodes. But most of the time, I just write. It just happens; I open a word doc and just type. :)

1/6/2011 #20

When writing your fics, how do you stay motivated?


I rarely lose motivation as such unless I've grown past what I've written; it's usually just a matter of having the time to be motivated. However, I find that if I re-read what I've written, I feel a lot more motivated. I read and I re-experience the motivation that I put in there. Music motivates me a lot, too, but mostly, it's quite distracting if I really love the song. I feel the need to sing along with it, and I sing to pretty much everything--which can be a problem because I end up typing lyrics as I'm singing.


It can be a problem. I'll have to backspace, pause the song, pick up my train of thought which I had so carelessly discarded in favor of singing at the top of my lungs.

But life, I think, motivates me the most. I'll just be doing whatever--laying around or doing precal or something and I'll be thinking while I'm typing away on my calculator what the sine of 46 radians is or whatever and something will just occur to me, like, a random epiphany and I'll rush to my laptop and just type.

1/8/2011 #21
Just Lovely

When writing your fics, how do you stay motivated?


I lose motivation when suddenly, I'm jerked out of my concentration and lose track of what I'm about to write. It can be anything, for me, from the radio, to someone talking, to the t.v. , to the sound of rushing water etc.

But to stay motivated, I re-read and try to find where I was and to get the feeling and emotion into the words that follow. I try to remember and think to how I want the reader to feel when they read it so that I can keep on going with the concept as it grows and grows and grows.

Sometimes, I just set a goal to finish this many number of words and make little memos that make me really want to write and write and write, they have to make things interesting for me to be motivated to write it and finish it. Things that are big events, big climaxes that occur that make you want to write the in-betweens to get to that point.

When I finish a goal, I'll try to keep on going anyway, just because I'm in the 'zone' and to help develop the story more.

Setting goals, making things lively and interesting, concentration, quiet spaces and everything around you can be motivating; thinking about the end product always makes me want to type and type until I'm finished because I want to know how it's received. There's a giddy anticipation in me that makes me want to finish and be motivated to do so. Sometimes, it can be a phrase said by someone and then I'll have this great idea and I'll have to write it, I set my ideas in notebooks/journals and put them in a format where the thoughts, excerpts are the very first things I read so that I get into it.

1/14/2011 . Edited 1/14/2011 #22
A. E. Stover

NEW QUESTION! -- On Style!

What is your writing like? Do you stick to a particular style, or do you experiment with different kinds? How have you developed your style, and if you feel you haven't what do you think it's lacking?

1/19/2011 #23

What is your writing like? Do you stick to a particular style, or do you experiment with different kinds? How have you developed your style, and if you feel you haven't, what do you think it's lacking?

God, this question's hard.

I've never really been good at pinpointing just what is my style or anything of the likes. I like to think its a bit sarcastic at times; humor-esque, maybe? I don't even know. I've been told a lot of things by different people but I... Just don't really see what they see, kinda. Maybe I'm too analytical - too critical with my writing? Who knows, coz I sure as hell don't. :/

In my writing I don't tend to use description as much as I'd like, you know? I'm more of the... What's the word... action-y kind. As in: She was running - a whirlwind of colors - a blur. She didn't really know why she was running or if it was because someone was chasing her; she didn't know. She just had to - to keep moving. Fear pumped through her veins--

Yeah. See? Anyone else would make it a big, big paragraph of how everything is seen through this girl's eyes, as she ran for her life. And I just can't do that - I can't stick around for descriptions because I get restless and angry and my writing blotches up and I end up deleting everything. I'm more of the kind to throw in certain traits of the character through their movements; sorta like this: "I'm going to slap you," she hissed, black eyes narrowed in anger. Her pale lips were pressed into a thin line and she just hated him.

I just... I don't even know, man.

As for trying out different styles... I've tried Sara's - tried doing that thing she does where she; gosh, I don't even know how to describe it. Have you guys read her stuff? I've tried it - failed miserably and it kinda made my brain pulse. Since then, I haven't really tried experimenting.

Y'know, when I first started writing, I don't think I really had a style - it was still developing for it to be considered as such. Just robotic sentences and failure in descriptions - I think my dialogue was what kept me alive, honestly. And then I just started reading a lot (not that I haven't always read) and concentrated on the way things were worded and the voice of the narration, basically. And then I just began to work with it; not copy - copy doesn't work well with this, but more like borrowed. Borrowed someone's style and warped it - bent it until it was my own.

And then I got what I have now! :) In the words of Elle, quirky. ;)

So... Yeah! /fails

1/19/2011 #24

What is your writing like? Do you stick to a particular style, or do you experiment with different kinds? How have you developed your style, and if you feel you haven't what do you think it's lacking?

Uhm, writing style! :)

I'm still at a point where I'm experimenting, I think; I know which styles I like most, and which I want to develop further, but I suppose my style changes depending on the genre. For example, Fifty Days sounds nothing like Masquerade, in my book; it's more serious, the sentences are shorter, there's less of a hectic, frantic jumble of everything. It reads as a typical story would read; it's not all that confusing, and my English teacher would probably love it a lot, because it nods at every literary technique I've been taught. Foreshadowing, metaphors, ongoing metaphors, similes; I sort of wave at them, tug them in, and then smile a little bit. It's all very safe, with Fifty Days.

Which is why it isn't as fun to write as Masquerade.

Masquerade basically goes, "Screw the rules, I've got money!", and has the same style as the way I actually think. The sentences are sometimes confused; it's all very raw. There are long, rambling sentences, and shorter, sweeter sentences; there's a whole bunch of description, because, hey, that's what I love most. I overuse the word "beautiful", though. I've realised that after writing, like, this new chapter.

And, well, that's just because I want it to be beautiful.

So, yeah, my style is pretty long and rambly. I use a lot of semi-colons and hyphens, which I probably need to look at and cut down on, and I tend to do a lot more description & thoughts, than dialect, which I generally quite like. At the moment, Lucky 13 is the only fic of mine which has broken away from that.

Uhm, I'm not really sure how my writing has developed. I would have said through reading certain authors, and looking at certain fanfiction authors, but I haven't really read anything since last year, in around August, on holiday. I read less and less now, which is a bit sad - but I do a lot more drawing, look at a lot more artwork, read a lot more comics. That'swhy I think my writing has changed. I read more comics. My English teacher would loathe me right now, but I think comics count; I think you can improve when reading them, because that's what I've done. I think they give you a styalized type of writing. You do a bit more action; you tend to have your characters say things which don't really make sense at first glance, but definitely sound cool - and I'm not even joking. Because of the fact I read comics, I always want my stories to be a bit fast-paced; I want the readers to get to know the characters so that, when there's a fight scene, they squeal and fist-pump. It's what I do before fights, in the Naruto anime - you hear the music for that certain character, and you just know there's going to be a fight.

(That's partly why I'd like to direct films. I'd so try and do stuff like that, so the audience's heart starts pumping and the like.)

My style, actually, is sort of influenced by films, as well. I like how certain directors have signature touches - Quentin Tarantino and Tim Burton, off the top of my head. I like how the first has such a styalized

1/22/2011 #25
Just Lovely

What is your writing like? Do you stick to a particular style, or do you experiment with different kinds? How have you developed your style, and if you feel you haven't, what do you think it's lacking?

Um, well I think my writing is just a little...bland sometimes. Sometimes I find that I really put a lot of emotional detail in like : He caressed her cheek so lovingly in such a delicate manner that made her heart beat so fast and her eyes go glassy with a trembling of emotions.

While other times, I write like a robot, thick sentences with rare amounts of description or emotion and just, a sequence of events - like a play by play. : She ran fast against the wind. Her footsteps thumped against the pavement as her head whipped around and she caught small movement.

I'll start a chapter/story off in a really captivating manner with description, dialogue, emotion and then as it goes on, sometimes I don't finish it so I continue it and it just, loses some things I guess. There's always this big gap in my writing where there's this big emotional thing going on and then suddenly, it's cut off.

Sometimes, I'll read a story and as I read it, I suddenly get ideas and words form together in a good manner and then I start typing. By then, I've realized that in some way, my brain has taken little notes on the author's words and formation and just...adapted, I guess. I write in a very similar manner to the author's story I may have just read, remembering the amount of detail and the formation of the receive, the manner of dialogue, the little descriptions.I just, I sort of ' steal ' the style, I alter and adapt and change, sometimes it's similar - close to the same - but as I go on, i change it to become my own?

I try to use different styles but mostly, in my stories, I experiment with viewing points, trying to put in scenic and emotional atmosphere, I alter and pick at little bits in different stories and try to develop a style that's just my own. I don't even really think I have a style, actually. I just write and let the words flow.

1/22/2011 . Edited 1/22/2011 #26
A. E. Stover

New Question!

Is there any particular way you like to begin your stories? James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man begins with a children's bedtime story, symbolizing the protagonist's connection to art even as a young child. Dan Brown's Angels and Demons begins with the murder that kicks the whole plot into motion. Other books begin with a flashback, or a dialogue between two or more people later to be revealed. How do you usually begins your stories, and why?

2/8/2011 . Edited 2/26/2011 #27
Nautica Dawn

Is there any particular way you like to begin your stories? James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man begins with a children's bedtime story, symbolizing the protagonist's connection to art even as a young child. Dan Brown's Angels and Demons begins with the murder or the event that starts it all. Other books begin with a flashback, or a dialogue between two or more people later to be revealed. How do you usually begins your stories, and why?

My stories start the way they should.

That doesn't make a lot of sense, I realize, but that's the only way I know how to describe it. Some start with another story and some start with a crime and some start with something completely random. The beginnings of my fics form the same way the characters do: they just happen. The same way I can see a character in my head, I can see the start of the story. Just as there's a moment that feels like the ending, there's a moment that feels like the beginning. I don't sit down and plan the way the story is going to run. The best example I have is with hello/goodbye, because that's the one that I know for sure there was a definite click moment with the beginning. There was just something about the way that plot was formed that said those words had to be first. With my fanfiction, prince ali abooboo is probably the other one that had a really clear moment of "this is how this has to start."

"It goes the way it always does; silent and painful and so horrendously normal that he just wants to break anything and everything in his path, himself included."

I honestly have no idea where that line came from. When I sat down to write prince those words were just there and insisting that they go first. The vast majority of my fics start in this way. There's a story to be told and I'm just the storyteller.

What is your writing like? Do you stick to a particular style, or do you experiment with different kinds? How have you developed your style, and if you feel you haven't what do you think it's lacking?

My writing has evolved as I've grown older. A part of it is related to what I'm working on in various classes or what I'm reading. I've always held that the language is alive. Given the way it evolves and grows and thrives it's hard to think of it as being anything else. For me, it shifts from being alive to being a river, or something in between. It can't be seen or touched, but it's constantly on the move and always changing in some way. The way I write seems to reflect this. As I look back over old writing, my pre-AP style was very detailed and, as one reviewer put it, poetic. I was compared to Virginia Woolf and a few others with similar writing styles. Going back even further, I was writing almost exclusively in first person before I abruptly shifted to third person when I was about fourteen or fifteen.

AP, of course, means AP English. This was probably the worst and best thing to happen to my writing. On the one hand, it destroyed my style. Looking at the dates of everything I have, I wrote very little during my senior year of high school. What writing I did do is rather terrible, with the notable exception of Genevieve which suffers some failings but not nearly as badly as other writing I did during this time. A lot of my novels and chaptered fanfiction came to a screeching halt because of this year, though The Butterfly did begin on the orig!fic side of things, it was at the beginning of the year and came to a stop soon after.

On the other hand, AP allowed me to start with a blank slate. After decimating what style I had, I came out with the freedom to form a new style. This didn't go so well in the beginning. My first quarter in college was spent in a creative writing class in which I recycled a lot of older pieces because I couldn't find the magic that holds prose together. I started Four Candles during this time and wrote my first completed orig!fic in a long time with Wheels for Wings. Reading it today makes me cringe, despite the fact that it was generally well-received. Similarly, I properly finished Genevieve during this time after halting it so a friend of mine wouldn't have her romantic wishes for the characters ruined by the ending that I knew was there.

And then I took a poetry class that winter.

I hated the class and wasn't overly fond of the professor in the beginning. There were these constant remarks about how only poets could do certain things to the language and it just made me want to write. So I pulled out a blank piece of paper and a pen and the words just flowed. For the first time in over a year, I was actually manipulating the language to form a story. After class, I read over what I'd written and realized very quickly that it was unlike anything I'd ever written before. There were still some echoes of that old grand style, but that could be written off as the setting in which I was writing. My style remained rather amorphous after that, swinging back and forth between detailed and stark.

It was when I sat down and wrote Onna for Higanbana in response to a complicated relationship with a male friend/almost lover that my current style began to form. I'm not really sure how it started. This was an emotionally trying time and I just needed to vent. There were two young men in my life and I was torn between three choices that consisted of trying to sway the subject of Onna away from his destructive relationship that was already long over, by complying with everyone's wishes and giving the one who claimed to love me a chance, or for saying "screw you" to everyone and going on with my life alone. Now it seems so very simple, but back then it was an emotional mess and I had no outlet because the words were being so erratic. Then, one day, there was this click and I sat down and started writing in a style I had never used before. It was third person, present tense, damn close to being stream of consciousness with almost no dialogue and little sections that I had to italicize because they didn't fit with the rest of the narration, yet they belonged in the story.

My writing had never confused me so much. After I finished Onna, the things that drove me to write made so much more sense, but there was this issue of the style. It was extremely introspective, which wasn't surprising, but I had always avoided present tense like it was the plague because of how unwieldy I'd always found it to be. There the was the glaring issue of the stream of consciousness. Up until that point, my only experience with that particular style was Catcher in the Rye, one of the books I had to read for AP and thus didn't like. I had no idea how it was that I could write in the style that was the very reason why I didn't like Catcher.

Needless to say, it stuck. I switch between present and past tense, sticking mostly with the past, but that stream of consciousness shows. take my hand and let me follow, my SasuSaku anthology, is the first of the fanfics that I've written using this style. prince ali abooboo is the second. I never thought I would stick with this style, but I'm now almost exclusively writing like this and I've written an entire novel using it. It's actually part of how I managed to write hello/goodbye in about a week. There's just something about this style that flows. It's extremely comfortable to work with and it has that river-like quality of movement that I've always attributed to language. When I was younger, I used to think that something was missing from my writing, but now it feels more complete than it ever has.

2/8/2011 #28
A. E. Stover

New Question!

What do you write on? Word or OpenOffice on your laptop or desktop? Or maybe you go old-school and scribble away in a journal or a piece of paper lying around, like an old newspaper or card?

2/26/2011 #29
A. E. Stover

What do you write on? Word or OpenOffice on your laptop or desktop? Or maybe you go old-school and scribble away in a journal or a piece of paper lying around, like an old newspaper or card?

I usually use OpenOffice, but there'll be a time when I'm on the bus or the train and get hit with an idea. In that case, I usually use the document app on my iTouch. If not, I'll dig around in my bag for a scrap of paper or something to write on. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo began on the back of an envelope. Eyes on the Horizon grew out within the blank pages and margins of my Shanghai textbook.

By the third month, my professors are pretty much used to getting back papers and assignments with random stuff written on the back or at the top. It was a little surprising for them to it at first, and for me it was a little embarrassing, but now it's like "Oh, she's working on something, cool" or "lol this again?"

2/26/2011 #30
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