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 Shonkey's Tips on Being a Successful Author

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Shonkey



Number of posts : 7
Registration date : 2009-01-24
Age : 32

PostSubject: Shonkey's Tips on Being a Successful Author   Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:59 pm

I suppose I should actually dedicate the time and energy to make this list. The items on this list are in no particular order.

- Know your target audience, and write accordingly. What are people 'into', these days? Who are you trying to get your message across to? Different people are receptive to different styles of writing and content. Remember this, and know your audience.

- Emphasize on classification. In every great story, there is one aspect that is focused on greatly. Will your story focus on a character or group of characters? Maybe your story will focus on a specific event or even the setting. Pick one thing to be your defining aspect, and emphasize on that. It's better to have one really good aspect than numerous mediocre aspects.

- Always say something. Anyone can write a bunch of words on paper and call it a story. What truly makes a story, however, is the message behind it. No matter what kind of literature you're working on, make your message clear and concise. Don't waste a reader's time with an empty shell of words. A message will stay with the reader.

- Verse and imagery. In poetry, there is a definite difference. Verse is simply a beautiful collaboration of words. Embelishments in your work. Imagery is the ability to envoke a mental image in your reader, when he/she reads your poem. 'The cold, Winter night chewed through her bones.' This is just an example of verse mixed with imagery. It is important to have a good blend.

- Avoid the 'had horrors'. In a story, nobody wants to spend several pages reading about what has already happened. Too many people start a story with an amazing bang, but get caught up in the 'had horrors', writing about what led up to that event. Rather than trying to cram every single bit of history into a single, mind-numbing chunk, break it up. Sprinkle bits of the past here and there. The 'had horrors' is the quickest way to lose a reader's interest.

- Always work to improve your writing. There are two sayings that come to mind, both of which fit here. 'Even the strongest blade becomes useless if not constantly sharpened.' and 'Perfection is not a destination, but a never-ending journey.' Never stop working on your skills. They'll grow stagnant and useless, if you don't keep working on them. Don't think that because you might sell one or two books, you're the greatest author out there, and your skills are perfect. No. There is always room for improvement, especially with an ever-changing audience.

The next installment is on its way. My eyes hurt. >>
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Azmaria

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Registration date : 2009-01-21

PostSubject: Re: Shonkey's Tips on Being a Successful Author   Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:10 pm

excellent tips. a lot of those are taught in writing classes but normally are hit upon poorly. thanks!
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Ryue
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PostSubject: Re: Shonkey's Tips on Being a Successful Author   Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:29 pm

I've never actually been to a writing class--English didn't count, and in fifth grade the only thing my teacher was interested in teaching was grammar and paragraph structure--so this was really helpful. Thanks for that Shonkey.
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Shonkey



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Registration date : 2009-01-24
Age : 32

PostSubject: Shonkey's Tips on Being a Successful Author; Lesson 2!   Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:33 pm

Thanks. Actually, the bolded titles are all I have written in my little notebook of awesomeness. I've been trying to expand on them as much as possible, as they come along. Lesson deuce!

- Keep your impressions fresh. Whether your story's feel is comedy, tragedy, convincing characterization, or something else, always maintain a fresh supply of it. If you're writing a spooky horror, don't try to suddenly turn it into a zany comedy. Keep it a spooky horror. Keep it very spooky and very horrifying.

- Mingle. This one might seem odd, but in order to be a good author, you have to get out there and immerse yourself into this great, beautiful world. The more you know about what you're writing, the better. What better way to learn about a certain place or occupation than by experiencing it! You want to have a lumber factory as a setting in your story? Take a tour of a lumber factory! Talk to the people who work there, take a look around, and really learn about your subject.

- Have a genuine interest. If you don't care about what you're writing, how are you going to write a passionate and convincing story? The emotions you write with will cross over into the reader, and if your work is uncaring, then the reader won't care about your work! Be passionate in what you write. If you don't like something, don't write about it! If you're opposed to war, then how good do you really think your war story will be? Not very.

- Keep your characters real. This is VERY important, in your writing. Nobody wants to read a story where the characters are bland stereotypes who have no realistic traits. If a pile of boulders fall in the narrow path of Belnar the barbarian, he would simply move the boulders out of his way and continue on. That's bland. What if he was completely shocked at this turn of events and his mind went blank? What if he saw this obstacle as impossible and lost all hope for continuing on his way? What if he jumps back from the rocks, falls, and bumps his head on a wall? That's realistic.

- Avoid clichés. This one is pretty self-explanatory. There are certain patterns that everyone expects to see in each scenario. These hackneyed patterns, or clichés, are boring. They lack ingenuity, and if you lather your story up with them, your readers will find you lacking ingenuity. Be creative!

- Mediocre things in a fantastic way are better than fantastic things in a mediocre way. This is true in any aspect of writing. If you can write about something you know... something you're familiar with, then you can write about in in such a fantastic way! When's the last time you ever fought a troll, or zipped through the cosmos in a spaceship? These are certainly fantastic things, but you could only write about them with limited knowledge of such things. If you could walk up to some stranger on the sidewalk, and have him tell you his life story, it would be far more enthralling and fascinating than even the grandest of dragon slayings.

- Know what you're going to write. Please do this. Don't think you could just sit down at your computer and start typing away a masterpiece. It takes planning and forethought. Brainstorm, outline, make a rough draft, even a timeline of events. People who don't often get writer's block VERY often.

- Know the characters before you write them. If you don't do this, your characters will be nothing more than blurred-through cardboard cut-outs. Hash your characters out before you introduce them. Be familiar with them, as if they're your best friends. Then, and only then, can you introduce them into your story. Know how Joe Blo will react to a certain situation. Know what makes him tick. What motivates him? Know these things, and have intimate knowledge of him before you put him in your story.

Lesson three comes shortly.
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Dakkon

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Age : 38
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PostSubject: Re: Shonkey's Tips on Being a Successful Author   Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:58 am

One small thing I would like to say: Know what you're going to write...

I find that my best inspirations come when a fancy strikes me and I just start writing. Now, granted, not long after I get this fancy and realize that it is much more than a few pages, I start doing the outline in my head. Not long after that I put said outline on paper or into a word document. But certainly, don't be AFRAID to just start writing if the bug hits you. Just, be prepared to add some bones to it if it becomes something big. After all, just like a person, a story without bones is not going to carry readers.
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Dakkon

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PostSubject: Re: Shonkey's Tips on Being a Successful Author   Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:59 am

BTW, keep up the good work Shonks!
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