"Grammar is important. Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse, and helping your uncle jack off a horse." - Unknown
Reposted from PsyckoSama because as a Reader, this is important to me.
The Golden Rule of Writing
Comments and Criticism are your bread and butter. Review all advice, ask for input, and accept the good with the bad. Do not write for your own self-gratification, but to improve as a writer, understand the difference between criticism and a flame. If someone tells you that you suck, fuck ‘em. If someone tells you you’re great, enjoy. But if someone says you can do better, then tells you how or gives intelligent suggestions, you know they are your best friend, and are the best review you could ever have because that means they invest real thought and effort into your world. Never be rude to the people who give you C&C. Take peoples advice deadly seriously, even if you don’t use it.
The Ten Commandments of Writing an SI:
I: The SI is not you. It’s a character based on you. Remember this and maintain a degree of emotional detachment at all times. Treat your SI like you would any other character.
II: Know your strengths and flaws. If you can’t think of any, invent a couple. It’s only based on you after all.
III: Have a couple prereaders with good bullshit detectors who are willing to smack you upside the head when you approach the Sue Zone. Even just having someone to bounce ideas off of can do a world of good and help kill some very bad ideas.
IV: You are not an ironclad badass. In most of these series you’d be the extra who gets eaten by the aliens/demons/zombies and write accordingly. People are paranoid, panicky creatures and chances are you are no different. Remember this. Things can change with time but that’s what character development is for (See Rule VII).
V: Life is a mixed bag. Shit happens and it happens to you, don’t be afraid to torture yourself a bit. That said, remember, the good comes with the bad. With that in mind remember the following two sub-rules.
Va: Avoid wish fulfillment. Good things can happen to you (see above) but your SI should never be an engine created specifically to allow you to be awesome, loved by everyone, and get all the chicks. If that’s what you really want, I’d suggest putting down the keyboard and reaching for a kleenex.
Vb: Avoid wagst. While its necessary for bad things to happen to create tension, drama, and to propel the plot forward, avoid throwing yourself a pity party. Someone who only has bad things happen to them is just as annoying as someone who only has good things happen. When you go too far it becomes obnoxious and cartoonish.
VI: Life goes on, with or without you. Do not make the universe wait on you, for life waits for no man. This is especially important in video game SIs. If you’re actually in the universe, treat it like a living breathing world. It’s not a magical playground that sits on its hands while you randomly run around and do awesome shit.
VII: Balance your flow of time. Don’t rush what you write. While you might want to skip to the good stuff, doing so can be jarring and make your character look like a Mary Sue. Show us your character is growing and making friends, don’t just tell us. On the same note, be careful not to get bogged down in the minutia. There is such a thing as too much detail. We don’t need to see everything. If you’re training, you can show a montage. If you’re looking at a long span of time where nothing out of a ordinary is going to happen, consider a time skip. Things are permitted to happen in the background.
VIII: Throw curve balls at yourself. Even if you’re in a rather tight setting, your presence can create butterflies. In a loose one, you don’t know what’s around the bend. Good or bad, better or worse, do you find something or don’t you? I suggest the use of a randomizer. Flip a coin, roll some dice, pull pieces of paper out of a hat. Don’t let this do you thinking for you, but it can point you in directions you’d never have considered, and having a good chance to standing tall or fall flat on their face will do much to keep your character honest. But remember, you're not slave to the dice. Just let it point you in a direction, think about it, and see what comes out. You can sometimes come up with some amazing ideas that you never would have considered this way, even if it in no way resembles the original dice result.
IX: Be careful with the use of meta-knowledge. Meta-knowledge should stay that. Meta. Be careful who you tell, and only tell those you trust. If you make what you know common knowledge, you will attract all sorts, and mostly for ill. No one likes a know it all, especially evil wizards, secret societies, and evil military dictatorships bent on total domination.
X: This rule is related to rule IV and Vb in many ways, but deserves restating. In most cases you are not the main character of the universe. Events don’t revolve around you. There are others for that. You are a secondary character, if not background extra. To make yourself a main character, either hang with the mains, or do something, stand up and make the universe pay attention to you. But do remember, being a member of the central cast is a mixed bag. It often means you have the protection of plot, but on the same note, it means your life is always going to be interesting, and there is a very good reason that the ancient Chinese used it as a curse.
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