Some Advice for Fellow Writers

Now, before you begin, let me just get some basic pieces of information out of the way to avoid confusion:

1) These are in no particular order. Well, technically they are in the order in which they came to my mind, but that won't really matter here. The point is, any of these may be the best for you.

2) If I don't recite my source, it's my own writing.

Now, for the first thing I have to say: Find your inner voice. There are, in fact, a few methods to do this (it varies on the writer). However, here's what I did: Read. What books do you like? Dark, gritty ones? The ones that are filled to the brim with happiness? Do you enjoy mysteries? This could influence your writer's voice greatly. Now, on the topic of the function of the voice. Each has their own strengths, and when you use them properly, they can be a piece of a great story. As an example, my writing drastically changed for the better when I found my "voice". It was a major change, yes, to go from light, humorous stories (as I was encouraged to do when I began) to the darker style that I have adopted as my own. Now, once you find your voice, I know what you may be thinking. "But if I jump into what I'm not used to, I'll suck!" Well, that's something wonderful, isn't it? People learn from failure! Just keep pushing, and you will master it!

Next, the inspiration. I bet that you cannot think of a writer who lacked influence from an outside source. As an example, my style was influenced by my own experiences. I have some themes in my stories that reflect some past events in my life, such as loss of control, loneliness, and even being shunned by society. These may seem like a collection of painful memories, and they are. However, they also have tendencies to weave their way into a story.

There is also something else I would like to discuss. Sometimes, (alright, often), writers take inspiration from others. Think: What are the books that, after you read them, inspired you?

Now, a small note: DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Inspiration means that you are getting ideas, not the other writer's story. Make your work, well, your work.

Making Characters : Oh, how this one's fun! For this, I have several questions to ask the character:

1) How would you describe yourself?
2) How would your friends describe you?
3) What makes you laugh?
4) What makes you upset?
5) Do you have any secrets?
6) What do you usually wear?
7) What's your family like?
8) Do you have a crush on anyone?
9) Kill or be killed?

Now, for the most important question : What is your heart's desire? This question is what drives the entire story. Maybe it's something "normal" such as when Harold wants that new gadget (that was not even in my writing). Maybe it's that a band of mismatched characters are out to stop Xagernoth, the god of chaos. Whatever it is, it's the "wants" that drive the story forward.

Finally, writing the story. Here are a few basic principles, complete with an example for #1.

1) Show, don't tell. You hear this a lot, and for a good reason. You want your audience to visualize what you're saying instead of just being told. For example, which is better?

Cyri awoke to the sound of heavy rainfall, and a burning sensation covering her tail. Still lying almost motionless, she tried to picture all that had happened before she blacked out, but all of the memories seemed blurry and out of focus. All that she could remember through the veil of pain and her own corruption was her own fight for control, and hoping that her friends would be safe. I should really go back to my friends and kingdom, she thought ruefully. Suddenly, the sound of a snapping whip echoed around her, and a new, more severe pain struck the top of her head. She shrieked in pain and surprise, and opened her eyes to instinctively looked to the direction from which the sound came. A familiar voice sounded through her surroundings, which were still fuzzy under weary eyes.

“Oh, I was hoping you would wake up. I wanted to get to know you a bit better before I killed you. In the meantime, our other cellmate is trying to feel where we are. Either he’s lost his mind and covered his own face in bandages for similar bad idea’s outcomes, or that human’s blind.”

“Ow…Did you really have to burn me with a fiery whip?” Cyri replied as everything began coming into focus in the room, which was illuminated by the sun’s weak attempts to breach the clouds. Knowing this, Cyri assumed it had to be midday. As she continued staring toward the speech, two figures appeared. Nira stood before her with the tip of her tail ignited, and Sir Taren was walking around in his even darker world with his arm held in his path. Cyri looked at him with tears in her eyes, and then hid her face with her wings in order to avoid Nira’s judgmental gaze.

Cyri woke up in a red cell while it rained outside. She tried to remember what happened before she blacked out, but to no avail. Nira, who had been jumping around in her fiery form, spoke to her about Sir Taren, who was also in the room. Soon, everything came back into focus for Cyri.

2) Listen to your characters. They will tell you when something isn't right, and by that I mean they won't do much to progress the story.

3) Don't follow too close to the map of the story in your head. Originally, Nira wasn't even a character in this book, and Cyri had a bit of a more back-line role.

4) If three or more people criticize the same thing in your writing, you should definitely look to improve that part.

5) See what I have to say on writer's block on the list that covers that.

6) Know where to stop. Sometimes, you go past where the ending should've been.

That's all, folks (for now)! I hope you picked up a few things, and enjoy your book!


Good tips, I'm pretty sure a lot of people reading this found this to be helpful - visitor

Excellent. Thanks for sharing! - Ashes