August 30th, 2010, 09:30 AM
Originally Posted by I, Brian
Nice, it is very useful. I haven't used many how to write better books but I also feel writing is a craft and one that needs practice daily. One book I have used is how to write about "Sex" in you books...when I find it (lol that is a choir unto itself) I will post the book's title and author. But it got me through some tough love scenes in my adult sci fi book.
Another thing I try to do is write the scene almost in a tell format then rewrite it in a show format. Before almost taking a hybrid of the two.
I don't write flowery so it is a very difficult exercise for me to come up with discriptions of the scenes...I usually just say nuts and write dialog instead.
August 30th, 2010, 10:47 AM
Originally Posted by Pookiejmk
I'm sure this comes down to a matter of preference, but I find that many Sci-Fi and Fantasy authors cram too many adjectives into their sentences.
I choose to describe things in more simple terms. Not only does it prevent the sentences from becoming convoluted, but I like to let the reader fill in some of the details themselves.
. . . readers can probably imagine cooler things than I could ever describe, anyway. . .
August 31st, 2010, 08:35 AM
Hi, Nod. You've got some interesting ideas. I agree that two months would be better - also agree that few of us have that kind of time.
I have a primary reader - my sister who, conveniently, is an avid reader and fan of SF and fantasy, so she "gets" what I'm writing and is also honest enough to tell me when something I've written doesn't make sense or just doesn't work.
And yes, I agree about adjectives and adverbs. I try to hold them to an absolute minimum - and to stay within the framework of my POV character. I guess if I was writing from the POV of someone who thought in terms of flowerly phrases, I'd probably work that in ...
But I also wouldn't work from that character's POV except when I wanted to achieve a certain effect. A little that goes a long way.
Interestingly, I had an editor for a while who was constantly urging me to use more flowery descriptions, and we had a few discussions about why I had not and would not incorporate them into my work.
I doubt I ever truly persuaded him, but he darn sure didn't persuade me. Eventually we agreed to compromise, and I would write my way.
August 31st, 2010, 09:33 AM
That's really cool that you have a sister who can help you out like that. My wife has absolutely no interest in this kind of fiction and won't read anything I write. I have a few friends who will read things for me, but they always just tell me how much they love it and I'm afraid they're not being blunt.
Originally Posted by plblair
Before I get too much farther into the language usage, I want to say that I'm speaking purely in terms of my personal tastes . . . I think everyone has their own tastes and when it comes to art, no single person's tastes are more "valid" than anothers . . . we're just all different.
. . . but with that said, I do personally prefer simpler styles which I think can be more powerful.
I think some people write with the voice of their 7th grade teacher in the back of their heads. Back then, we had to 'prove' that we had an adequate vocabulary, so teachers were looking for how effectively we used big words.
Now we're grown ups and we're trying to tell a story - not showing off regarding how many big words we know or how well we can use a thesaurus.
If someone's particular style incorporates a lot of adjectives and adverbs and that's the way they want to tell their story, Great! They need to do what works for them, but personally I prefer a simpler, more direct approach.
One little exercise I like to do is, when I'm at the dentist's office, I pick up a copy of Reader's Digest and read the anecdotes sections.
Look at the way the people sending their anectdotes structure their sentenes. That's the way people who aren't real comfortable writing phrase things when they want people to think they know what they're doing.
If someone's writing looks too much like the anecdotes in Reader's Digest, I'd suggest they step back and think about what they're doing.
. . . and stop trying to impress their 7th grade teacher.
Last edited by Land of Nod; August 31st, 2010 at 09:46 AM.
August 31st, 2010, 02:42 PM
I love that my sister enjoys reading the kind of "stuff" that I write! I consider myself very lucky. Another of my sisters sort of likes what I write - but she isn't really big into fantasy - and the fourth sister isn't much of a reader at all.
We kind of range across the spectrum.
I'm with you in terms of the adjectives and adverbs. I don't use a lot, and I don't especially enjoy reading books by those who do - but that's personal taste. I have friends who love the descriptive stuff laid on with a trowel, and that's perfectly okay for them. Just not my style.
August 31st, 2010, 04:10 PM
writing is a family affair
I am lucky that my mother is a writer (she has written her memoirs for over 20 years now). I have a cousin who is a writer, and an uncle that writes very well. My younger sister and my niece are just now showing an interest in writing they are more into graphic art than writing but both are working are writing projects.
My mother is my first editor and I am thinking of using my uncle as my second. Both catch everything...lol.
I don't know if you can all tell but my spelling well....it can be a tiny bit off.
But I'm blessed with a talented family that has been supportive and critical at the same time.
August 31st, 2010, 05:48 PM
Originally Posted by Pookiejmk
September 1st, 2010, 09:07 AM
It is very cool to have a supportive family. I'm fortunate that even my sisters who don't quite "get" what I right still support my efforts. My youngest sister makes copies of favorable reviews of my books and posts them outside her office door where she works.
I think, if you really, really are determined to be a writer (if you're actually driven to be a writer), you can succeed even without family support.
But having that support from the most important people in your life is truly priceless.
February 16th, 2011, 01:58 PM
I've used this site (almost) daily for months now: http://750words.com/
The conceit is that freewriting or journaling every day helps your other writing by training you to be less critical of yourself and by getting your ideas flowing. The site tracks your daily progress and saves your writing--you can even set up email reminders for yourself to keep you from accidentally missing a day.
February 17th, 2011, 06:51 PM
Resource for Quotations
If you need quotes by famous people, please take a look on http://QuoteDepot.Net.
Last year when I searched quotes, I couldn’t find a good quotation site with following reasons:
1. Annoying popup ads. (Some of them gave me malwares. Those sites on top of the google search for quotes keyword!)
2. Hard to search/ find quotes easily. I did google, but I had to spend time to search and noway to verify information. Google is not IBM Watson super computer answering a question like, Who said ‘This too shall pass’?
3. Information is not reliable. All quotation sites have no source information of quotes.
I launched Quote Depot site to build quotation database that people can contribute their knowledge and share the benefit together. It has foundation to move forward and we need your help to improve it. Please help us to build reliable source for quotations. We all will enjoy the information together. Thank you!
Last edited by QuoteDepot; February 17th, 2011 at 06:55 PM.
February 18th, 2011, 07:42 AM
Checked out quotedepot - looks like something I'll use. Thanks - and I'll try to do my share by contributing when/if I can.
February 18th, 2011, 04:17 PM
plblair, Thank you for your comment!
March 30th, 2011, 09:47 PM
Not sure if anyone's recommended Making Shapely Fiction by Jerome Stern yet, but it's a great, slim resource.
May 11th, 2011, 06:35 PM
Feel free to visit our site regarding all aspects of Medieval history.
May 12th, 2011, 03:54 AM
Looks like it could be a good resource right there... bookmarked.
Originally Posted by kvsff
Tags for this Thread