5 Mistakes Of New Fiction Writers

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Gary, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Gary

    Gary Vs The Irresistible Farce Supporter

    This article was a little too close to the bone when I look back at some of my earlier attempts at short stories! It's a good, quick article for any starters who want to improve their writing.

  2. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Actually, I'd say the biggest mistake of beginner fiction writers is not doing enough writing.
  3. Gary

    Gary Vs The Irresistible Farce Supporter

    Definitely, I suspect that would fix all these over time too but articles like this that focus on specific mistakes rather than improving general practices help fast track awareness of issues in writing style.
  4. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    I'm not a great writer myself. (I've been trying to pen a crime story for a while and getting no where).

    When I studied film, scriptwriting was one of the courses and I tend to write very minimal dialogue and focus on the visuals. (I submitted only 1 dialogue heavy script and although it was well recieved it wasnt well written) - also a reason why I stuck with Storyboarding.

    I seem to have trouble writing dialogue as I cant have a conversation to myself :)

    However, with my faults out the way I'll turn to the faults I regularly found in others.

    The main issues I found was the "speech patterns". (please consider this was University, BA level film scriptwriting and not everyone's strength)

    I read a lot of scripts where the dialogue was where everyone spoke very prim and proper regardless of personality/character. Very Queen's English as it were.

    Now I'm not talking that writing in the accent of the character is a must. However the speech patterns should be considered.
    Graphic novels are the best example. Writing in "accent"

    - "watchoo wan' man"
    - "ee-oop lad"

    Those were extreme cases but usually seen in comics/graphic novels. However I would say that a slight change is necessary to keep the character...well...in character.

    (i really hope this makes sense...I cant be bothered to draw it out..also ran out of crayon)
  5. Hatamoto

    Hatamoto Beardy Man Kenobi Supporter

    I notice in movies, particularly bad ones (The Room, anyone?) that dialogue always has names. "Oh hi Mark" is all well and good, but in the middle of a conversation they'll bring up their name again. "What do you think, Peter?" when Peter is the only person in the room, that kind of thing. Rather bugs me, that.

    I don't understand the first suggestion though, of showing rather than telling.. Having a character doing something is all well and good but surely you need to explain what's happening to give the character's actions some context. Or am I misunderstanding completely?
  6. Bigmikey

    Bigmikey Internet Pacifist.

    I've been doomed in that I write for a living but not what I'd LOVE to write. Instead of writing:

    "The worn, stone steps of the citadel were buried under ages of dust and debris. Weeds and strange plants had long ago taken root between the heavy stones and now stood waist high, pulling at his tunic and scraping his thighs. Unconsciously he swiped at them with his sword, his gaze transfixed on the seemingly mountainous wooden doors waiting at the top of the stairs. He'd never seen anything that big in his life. For a moment he felt insignificant, weak, powerless before their imagination-splitting size. He was strong. Perhaps the strongest man in the southern tribes but as he finally came to stand before the doors he could not help but doubt if ten men of his strength could move the massive, black barriers."

    I must write:

    1. Remove the four (4) 1/4 inch HHCS securing the upper vacuum guard to the vacuum assembly with a 1/4 inch ratchet or open end wrench.
    2. Inspect the upper vacuum assembly for debris or damage. If damaged proceed to step 3. If debris proceed to 'Section 2: Cleaning and Maintenance' on page 84.
    3. Remove eight (8) 8-32 screws from the Upper Vacuum Assembly using a Phillips Head screw Driver.
    4. Carefully remove the Upper Vacuum Assembly from the inside of the Mixing Chamber and set aside.
    Note: It may be necessary to pry Upper Vacuum Assembly from its mounting location as debris may have frozen it in place. It is recommended to use a pry bar and soft mallet to work the assembly free.

    ... you get the point.

    The problem is that I've been doing that so long that now if I TRY to write something NOT technical it STILL sounds like a flippin manual. Ugh.
  7. Instructor_Jon

    Instructor_Jon Effectiveness First

    At least you are working man!
  8. Bigmikey

    Bigmikey Internet Pacifist.

    You're absolutely right, man. And I am grateful to have the job I have, please don't mistake me. Technical writing is a good gig and anyone out there looking to get into a writing job would be doing him or herself a large disservice by not looking into it because at least you get to write.

    And the pay isn't awful either, lol.

    But I'm finding that it's cramping my creative style so to speak. Eh, who needs to write the next great american novel anyway. I'll write the great american operation and service manual instead! :D
  9. Instructor_Jon

    Instructor_Jon Effectiveness First

    Well if you still have some creative gas left in the tank each day you might try blogging.

    I've been doing it for a little less than a year and I really enjoy it, plus it brings a little revenue. Some of my little stories have been read thousands of times by people all over the world.

    It isn't the same as having a bestseller but I find it's a good outlet for my creativity and it makes me happy. If you would like to see some of mine:


  10. Bigmikey

    Bigmikey Internet Pacifist.

    Crap, I can't seem to get on here at work. It's funny the things they block and the things that make it through. Like I can be on here but I can't access blogspot at all. But oddly I can't start a new thread from work but I can respond to existing threads.

    Anyway, I'll check it out at home over the weekend. Thank you for sharing! I appreciate it!
  11. Instructor_Jon

    Instructor_Jon Effectiveness First

    No prob. Love your signture lines. I am a hapkido man myself and I told my students about your signature lines and everybody had a good belly laugh.
  12. Bigmikey

    Bigmikey Internet Pacifist.

    I DESPERATELY want to get T-shirts made that say:

    Hapkido - grab me anywhere to receive a free lesson! :D

    After I get my black belt (this Nov God willing!), I hope to start a small club to practice and the like, and those will be t-shirts for the club. If you'd like I'll gladly send you one when they're done :)
  13. Instructor_Jon

    Instructor_Jon Effectiveness First

    That would be awesome! Maybe we ought to go into business I could sell them online.
  14. Bigmikey

    Bigmikey Internet Pacifist.

    Don't tempt me man! I'd LOVE to do something like that!
  15. Gary

    Gary Vs The Irresistible Farce Supporter

    This might help a little: http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=109411
    What happens to the four (4) 1/4 inch HHCS? Are they involved with the eight (8) 8-32 screws? What is the aside where the Upper Vacuum Assembly is set? I'm following half a dozen plot lines all at once! The intrigue is almost too much for me, I'm itching to see how this all ties together as it develops. Awesome stuff, a classic in the making.
  16. Bigmikey

    Bigmikey Internet Pacifist.

    LOL, *sigh*... jerk :D Well if you're that curious I can PDF the 600 pages and e-mail them to you. Should make for a real nail biter. And the cliff hanger at the end - to die for!

    why I oughta :D
  17. Gary

    Gary Vs The Irresistible Farce Supporter

    Cheers for the offer but I've got two tv manuals (one poor translation from the Japanese original piece) and a telephone directory to get through after the current iTunes Ts&Cs I'm enjoying at the moment.
  18. Bigmikey

    Bigmikey Internet Pacifist.

    LOL! Well, let me know when you need some more bedside reading and I'm sure I can oblige in spades! :D

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