Writing First Aid

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Writing First Aid

Postby Scarab on Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:52 am

So I had a writing issue I wanted to talk to you guys about, and then I decided that since we're mostly writers here, we could use a thread where we can ask questions about

  • Writing technique
  • Story ideas
  • Grammar and writing rules
  • Literary theory
  • And any other queries that might come to mind which you can't find answers for on the rest of the internet.

I thought I might as well start a specific thread before I asked my question. So here we have it, an Amateur Writer's First Aid page where we can help each other out. (The assistance of pros is of course, always greatly appreciated).
Last edited by Scarab on Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Writing First Aid

Postby Scarab on Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:53 am

I suppose I'll start this off with my REAL reason for starting the thread in the first place :P I have a short story here that I'm planning to send off to a writing competition. The deadline is in two days, but the person I originally asked to help me out has had to back out, through no fault of their own.

I would really appreciate it if somebody had time over the next day or so to give my story a quick 'beta read' as they say on the internet, and tell me what they think of it. :)
They sometimes say, "the place where I am right now was circled on a map for me"... Unfortunately, I kind of suck at orienteering.
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Re: Writing First Aid

Postby eli_gone_crazy on Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:07 am

Scarab wrote:I suppose I'll start this off with my REAL reason for starting the thread in the first place :P I have a short story here that I'm planning to send off to a writing competition. The deadline is in two days, but the person I originally asked to help me out has had to back out, through no fault of their own.

I would really appreciate it if somebody had time over the next day or so to give my story a quick 'beta read' as they say on the internet, and tell me what they think of it. :)


:D Send it to me!
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Re: Writing First Aid

Postby agoraoptera on Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:45 am

Me me me me me me! :D
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Re: Writing First Aid

Postby JackAlsworth on Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:18 am

I'd like to take a look at it as well.
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Re: Writing First Aid

Postby narrativedilettante on Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:56 am

I'd also love to give it a read. If you don't think too many readers will confuddle things.
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after.
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Re: Writing First Aid

Postby RotavatoR on Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:13 pm

Can I read it? Is there anything specific you want us to comment on?
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Re: Writing First Aid

Postby Sicon112 on Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:01 pm

I can do it. I've done plenty of beta-reading before.
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Re: Writing First Aid

Postby Pixelmage on Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:31 pm

*remembers related stuff* >_< *scolds self*

I can do it. Though like you foresaw, everyone is going to offer to help. :P
Not a bad thing. :)
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Re: Writing First Aid

Postby Scarab on Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:59 pm

Pixelmage wrote:*remembers related stuff* >_< *scolds self*

I can do it. Though like you foresaw, everyone is going to offer to help. :P
Not a bad thing. :)


It seems they have. Which is genuinely awesome, guys, thanks a lot :)

I'll work on the rough and link to it in the neatchat and message some peeps
Last edited by Scarab on Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
They sometimes say, "the place where I am right now was circled on a map for me"... Unfortunately, I kind of suck at orienteering.
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Re: Writing First Aid

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:05 pm

I'm always happy to beta, but if the time frame for this specifically is today-tomorrow, I suppose you'll have to count me out for obvious reasons.
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Re: Writing First Aid

Postby Scarab on Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:22 pm

Qara-Xuan Zenith wrote:I'm always happy to beta, but if the time frame for this specifically is today-tomorrow, I suppose you'll have to count me out for obvious reasons.


S#cool, Qara, no worries.
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Re: Writing First Aid

Postby Scarab on Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:10 pm

Today in my writing class, we elarned about something known as the CLOSAT writing technique.

Because originality and creativity in writing is often the result of familiar ideas being put together in different and interesting manners, rather than coming up with brain-bustingly creative, never-seen-before-concepts right off the bat, the CLOSAT method is a clever way of developing new ideas for stories. Considering the following are the kind of vague ideas that often show up in writers' notebooks (if you don't keep one, guys, then you totally should, just to scribble in completely random thoughts. Very handy.)

CLOSAT is an acronym for the following story components. Once you come up with several examples for each, just mix and match them and see what story you can write based on them.

C - Description of the Characters who could feature in a story.
L – An intriguing Location
O – A curious or evocative object
S – A loaded and/or revealing Situation
A – A revealing or odd Action/Act
T – A theme you find interesting (this is my favourite one)


Here are some examples to demonstrate how it works, just in case you guys ever feel like messing around with this kind of idea.

C
  • The overworked mayor of a small town
  • A dragon with an annoying allergy to charcoal and other fire-related emissions

L
  • A dark cave several hundred miles beneath the earth’s surface
  • An abandoned city, with ivy growing through all the broken windows

O
  • A ceramic dolphin with a crack in the snout
  • A red jewel pendant capable of stopping time for sixty seconds a go, but only once per hour

S
  • A hurricane picks up an entire swamp and spills toads down on a nearby town
  • A village burning down

A
  • Singing Bohemian Rhapsody in a crowded park
  • Maintaining a smile while being threatened with a knife

T
  • Love conquers all
  • Violence is never the answer

Soooo yeah, that’s kinda how it works. I have a really strange selection of these which I have to do for homework this week. I have no idea how I’m going to make my Situation (someone running naked through the woods) work with my Object (overflowing shopping basket) but there you go, they can’t all be gems :P
They sometimes say, "the place where I am right now was circled on a map for me"... Unfortunately, I kind of suck at orienteering.
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Re: Writing First Aid

Postby narrativedilettante on Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:04 am

All right, I'm working on starting up a comic. I have seven character designs, but only four character names. So here I'm going to present to you the three characters that I have designed but not named, and I would love to hear your name suggestions. I'm looking for full names for each character, so feel free to recommend a full name, just a first name, or just a last name for each of them and if a suggestion resonates with me then I'll totally use it. Here are the characters:

Character A.

Character A downsized.jpg
Character A downsized.jpg (12.06 KiB) Viewed 2850 times


Character A owns the science lab that is the main setting for the comic. All the other characters work for her. No one knows why she founded the lab or what she's trying to achieve. She looks to be about 45 years old. She is older than she looks.

She wears stiletto heels that you can't see because I hate drawing feet. The archetype I'm pulling from for this character is the one parodied in this Kate Beaton comic. This lady is ALL BUSINESS, and that business is science, but it's not clear why she's working in that field.

Character B

Character B downsized.jpg
Character B downsized.jpg (12.47 KiB) Viewed 2850 times


While Character A OWNS the science lab, Character B RUNS it. We'll see her far more often than Character A.

Character B has decades of lab experience. The key word for her is "competence." She's spent her life making sure everything is done correctly and no one's making dangerous or otherwise foolish mistakes. She never stood out as a scientist, but she's always been ambitious, and running the labs is exactly where she wants to be. Everyone reports to her.

Character C

Character C downsized.jpg
Character C downsized.jpg (10.71 KiB) Viewed 2850 times


Character C is one of the experimenters working in the labs. He's enthusiastic and easily excitable. Having worked there for two years, he's had time to get comfortable but he is not yet complacent. He believes that it is up to him to discover the Next Big Thing, and while he's friendly he can sometimes come across as pretty arrogant. When the protagonist of the comic starts working in the labs, he is assigned to train her and show her around the facility.

All right, let's name these people! Go crazy!
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Re: Writing First Aid

Postby Scarab on Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:09 am

May I introduce to you one of the most fun things ever:

http://www.behindthename.com/random/

I hope that helps :3
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