Author has written 16 stories for Harry Potter, Misc. Books, and Glee.
Verisimilitude is my favorite word - I learned it from Richard Donner, director of the first Superman movie. It's a noun, and it means "the appearance of being true or real; likeness or resemblance to truth, reality, or fact; probability."
I'm 19 years old, in my second year of university and a proud city slicker. I grew up in the City that Never Sleeps and currently reside in the Windy City. I love writing (obviously) and I cannot comport myself like a normal, functioning member of society around an attractive male to save my life. My worst vice is procrastination - usually through fanfiction. Oh, and I sing to myself when I get bored.
I love Cary Grant. My favourite singer is Sara Bareilles. Among her songs, I like "Morningside" and "Come Round Soon" - go check them out on youtube. She's a wonderful artist who is the best live singer I've ever heard. Also, look into Royal Wood, a brilliant pianist/singer who makes beautiful music. I've recently been listening to Rosi Golan, and she's just as awesome. And Taylor Swift is just a given.
I started writing creatively about two years ago, and so far I've learned a few things. Tricks of the trade, if you will. Some of them are from class, some are from friends (who are infinitely better writers than I) and some of them are from my own personal experience. Try 'em, ignore 'em, just remember they're here if you need 'em.
1. Write every day - My friend who's trying to get her own trilogy published (eep!) in the real world told me about this one. She writes at least two pages every day and swears by this method. It keeps your writing on its toes and your writing style consistent.
2. Don't wait for inspiration - kind of goes hand-in-hand with the first rule :) I know I'm terribly guilty of ignoring this one. Still, it's best to write even when you're not inspired. If you don't, its just too easy to fall into a rut of writer's-block. Best thing is to just write whatever crap you can at the time and pray that there's something salvageable in it. Tell yourself that you'll never ever publish it, but, for Merlin's sake, don't delete anything. Ideas take time to sort out. Just keep writing; eventually it'll get good.
3. Show, don't tell - Gah, I hate when writers ignore this important stylistic rule (I mean, you can. Hemingway doesn't abide by it, at least). But really, it's the most important one to me and I firmly believe everyone should know about it. Right, so the gist is: don't narrate yourself when you can have a character do it for you. Use body language instead of statements, and use feelings instead of description. Like, instead of simply saying "Rose was surprised" try, "Rose raised her eyebrows" or, "Rose's eyes widened" or even, "Rose stumbled slightly as she unexpectedly caught sight of Scorpius Malfoy" ... stuff like that. Or, instead of "they had a high tech security system" you could say, "Robin sighed impatiently as he punched in the multi-digit access code" See how everything kind of implies the same thing, but the subject is active instead of passive? true, it's longer, but it gives the reader more to work with. I learned this rule in High School Sophomore English class, and I've never forgotten.
4. Spellcheck - Never underestimate the importance of these handy electronic short cuts if you're writing in the 21st century. Just do a quick run-though before you finish a story. It's quite astonishing how many mistakes I make if I'm on a roll and typing out a million words a minute without regard to simple things like grammar or spelling.
5. Thesaurus - if you find your story sounding a bit dull, try sprucing up your words with a Thesaurus! I always have one open next to my work document. Warning: don't use the thesaurus for words you don't know. Just use it if you can't think of a synonym for a popular word off the top of your head. I never put words in unless I'm relatively certain I've read them a couple times before. Nothing's worse than publishing a story and then rereading it later only to realise you sound like an idiot because you tried to be too smart for your own good. Usually I end up looking up synonyms for "to ask" or "drawl" "to mumble" ... easy stuff like that.
6. Language Converter - Right, so I know there are some writing programs that don't have this, but I urge you to do a google search to find out if you do. It'll save you heaps of trouble if you're a Harry Potter fanfiction writer and you're looking sound like you're English. Just reset the language of the main document from English (US) to English (UK). I know for certain Microsoft Word has this. That way, when you write like an American, you can use Spellcheck to find your non-British words!! Super exciting, I know :) It's a good idea for non-native English speakers to use this too.
7. Search Function - Okay, I know this sounds a little bizarre, but I swear I use it all the time. If I think that I've been using a word way too much in one chapter I search it on the document and change it to a synonym at appropriate times. For me, I hate for my writing to sound repetitive, so the search function really helps with that. Plus, I always do a quick search for "your" and "you're" to make sure I get those right. Nothing's more horrifying than finding 6 homophone mistakes in a 300 word chapter.
About what annoys me:
When people assume I can actually predict number-for-number the real percentages of how much I have done at any given time. I welcome criticism, as it makes me a better writer. However, criticising me as a person because I can't speed up the writing process? Not so much. I take pride in my story, and I'm not going to degrade myself and the precarious reputation fanfiction already has by publishing some half-finished, unedited, and poorly paced chapter out on the internet.
I cannot stand it when authors format quotes incorrectly, like, "Oh Rose." Said Scorpius or "Oh Rose." said Scorpius, instead of "Oh Rose," said Scorpius. It simply annoys me to no end. Commas, people! Commas!
It makes me wonder they are thinking when authors write "summary sucks!" as and ending to the summary of their story. I mean, I just read the summary... of course I know it sucks. Why waste words typing that out, when you can take the extra space to make it better and attract more readers?
Although it won't make me stop reading by any means, when a HP author uses American words it can be the proverbial straw that breaks the Hippogriff's back if there are other small grievances such as incorrect grammar or crazy descriptions instead of dialogue/plot. Here are some of the most basic things that authors can change in their fics -
bloke, instead of guy
snog, instead of make out
arse, instead of ass
trousers, instead of pants
Also, there are u's in most words that, in American spelling, end in -or. Ex. honour, colour, favour. And s's where there are z's. Ex. realise, apologise
Lastly, please check out my favorited stories. They're really great and should be shared!
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