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10770 No. 10770
Because the last rage thread was starting to become this anyway, and I wanted to capitalize on that before the helpful posts got buried in vitriol.

In addition, because summer brings many new writefags to the site, with varying but often low levels of experience.

And finally, because I'd like to see if /blue/ can be used constructively for things besides rage threads and image dumps. I don't find it exceedingly likely, but might as well try, right?

So, this thread will be for any questions and answers about one's writing, how to write well, or similar topics. People are free to give general advice in the absence of questions, I'll be copy/pasting some posts from the rage thread which fit this type of post.

Try to be civil, if you disagree with another's advice then give reasons why. If someone posts a sample of their writing and you dislike it, likewise give reasons instead of just calling them a faggot.

Namefagging because I personally need the help why not.

So, let's see how quickly this falls off the front page, shall we?

No. 10771
>It's necessary to be arrogant, otherwise, as soon as you post your story, you're going to check it every five minutes to see if someone voted or commented, you'll be unable to veto stupid votes, and in the end, Anon will turn you into his personal bitch, writing for His own pleasure, while writing will not be a leisure for you any more. It's good to have a popular story, but it's even more important to enjoy writing your stories. Because if you have a popular story, you can think "yeah, cool, I'm now a real writer, I can have my tilde on IRC and stuff", but writing won't be satisfying for you, and in the end, you won't be happy. On another hand, if your story is mostly ignored, but if you look forward to writing it, then, in my opinion, you're doing it right.
>And thus, it's important to be arrogant. Not too arrogant, but just a little bit. Just enough to know that you're doing the right thing. Anon doesn't like your interpretation of Aki, but you love her like that? Keep her like that. Anon doesn't like your lack of plot, but you don't want to bother coming up with a real plot? Then don't.
>That's what it means to be a writer. Being able to say "no", and yet being able to say "okay, I screwed up on this one". The most important thing is enjoying yourself, AND, perhaps the most important thing, DON'T BE A WEATHER VANE or whatever you call it. If you decide to write a light-hearted story, keep it that way. Don't try to turn into a philosophical grimdark story about god being dead. If you decide to write a deep serious story, don't suddenly pulls rainbow from everywhere while claiming "it was all a dream XD", because you'll probably piss everyone off. Including the people not reading your story.
>And thus, it's important to know yourself, to know if you have the guts to finish what you start. In my opinion, there's nothing worse than an unfinished story, because, still in my opinion, it means that the writefag overestimated himself. One can consider that as arrogance. I call that foolishness. Mainly because I sound like an old sage than I say "foolishness" instead of "being too fucking retarded to notice one doesn't have the balls to finish his goddamn story instead of running away".
>And this is the other problem. A writefag being too arrogant will disregard advices and will overestimate his own ability to write a story, while a writefag not being arrogant enough will acept every vote and will underestimate his own ability to write.
No. 10772
>You don't have to be arrogant to be able to stand up for yourself, or to be able to say "no" to your readers, and doing those things doesn't necessarily make you arrogant, either.

>It's not arrogance to stand by your decisions. If you fall into a state of depressed self-deprecation at the slightest bit of criticism, it's not because you're "not arrogant enough".

>The issue isn't "arrogance" at all, it's confidence, and there is a difference between the two. You can't really be arrogant without having confidence, but you can absolutely be confident without being arrogant. It's all a matter of your state of mind, and how you present yourself.

>Say, for example, you are an artist, and people are criticizing your work. How do you respond? Do you get depressed? Angry? Are you reacting more to what is being said, or to who is saying it? Are you inclined to consider each criticism based on its own merits, or do you just dismissive towards anything anyone says to you, regardless of what they're saying? If you respond to your criticisms, how do you do it?

>There are ways to deal with criticism that don't require you to be arrogant.
Coincidentally, they also tend to be ways to deal with criticism without being an asshole.

>In fact, you will find that there is often a lot of overlap between being arrogant and being an asshole, and neither one is anything anyone should endeavor to be.
No. 10773
>Getting depressed won’t get you anywhere, and if you really wish to improve, you should stop pitying yourself for your shortcomings – after all, every mess-up you make is an opportunity for improvement, and people learn best on mistakes (theirs or otherwise). Take your criticisms and think how you can prevent the issue presented within from cropping up again (a protip here: “it’s boring,” “I don’t like it,” “character X is too bitchy” aren’t valid criticisms, they’re just opinions, they’re useless for learning, though it’s always nice to know them).

>The most general way to get better at writing I can think of is to read other stuff, read, read and read. Imitate structures and patterns employed by other, better writers, memorise previously unknown expressions and collocations, make notes and don’t be afraid to copy encountered habits onto yours (so long as you think they make for a good read). There’s no shame in learning from somebody else’s experience, and by imitating, you’ll develop your own combination of habits and techniques.

>Also, don’t be afraid to ask an opinion. Some of us here have had experience in the (boggy) field of writing, editing and publishing, and quite often are willing to share our experiences and tips, even going as far as offering you advice based on your personal writings (as opposed to general advice such as that above).

>Since I’m feeling generous, here’s a (very concise and user-friendly) book treating of some incredibly useful techniques for writing. It wasn’t of very much use to me, but it did help me put names to things I’d already known and organise them in my head. I wholeheartedly recommend you to read it. Here it is: http://www.mediafire.com/view/?p1o2pxz4tmz7741
No. 10774
>what constitutes bad writing

>Well, there are two parts to any story; the mechanics, and the plot.

>The most basic parts of mechanics are spelling, punctuation, and grammar. If you can't handle these three most basic things, take an English class or read some review books before you try to write a story - gods know that when I was taking a creative writing class, the amount of people who failed these three basic things was unbelievable.

>Mechanics goes on to include writing style as a whole, which is where things get... fuzzy. There's no single "best" style, and you can't "learn" one - you really have to keep on writing and trying until you come to write in a style that at least 60% of people won't vomit at. Style includes things like how you designate dialogue, separate paragraphs, and even use descriptions. What kind of vocabulary do you use? What "strictly grammatical" rules are you bending because you think the story reads better? (Disclaimer: bending grammar rules is only rarely effective, and usually ends up making you look like a twat.)

>And then writing styles can be polarizing; some people abhor the second-person style often seen here, while others love it. I enjoy YAF's style in his Tenshi Satori story in (on?) /underground/, but there are people who find it "too British" or something. When writing something from the first person and trying to get across a sense of say disorientation or confusion, is it better to tell the reader that "I was confused" and risk that being too boring, or get creative with your writing style and risk confusing your reader as well?

>tl;dr: Secure a basic grasp of English, then read and experiment to find a style that both works for you and pleases your target audience.

>As for plot... well, that's a huge scope of things. I don't normally endorse trope lists as educational tools, but >>10743 is pretty good at listing some (but not all!) areas of potential plot weakness. Do note that such a list is not a holy scripture; you can certainly get away with some of the listed things, and some people will disagree whether or not a story contains a certain problem or not, and sometimes (although rarely) a story will be stronger for including one of those, but so long as you keep your head on your shoulders and accept and realize that your story's plot may have certain weaknesses, you're doing good.

>And that's not even considering the question of "what is your story about", which is different than plot, but let's broach that topic later.
No. 10776
I'll just leave this here: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/SoYouWantTo/WriteAStory
No. 10779
No. 10780
>open a rage thread
>yaf and ddyk turns it into a writing advice thread
>open an advice thread
I'm willing to bet that this thread will turn into a rage thread while the rage thread will keep being an useful thread.

That being said, I don't have muh to add. Don't pull things from nowhere, take a proofreader, and accept criticism.
That's kinda all I see.
No. 10781
Contributin’ with one of my favourite tips from Neil Gaiman.
No. 10782

I met those elves that he spoke of in my dreams.

They turned me into a pincushion.

Fuckin' elves, man.
No. 10801
I'd like to add one more thing.
Writing, especially here, in THP, isn't something you do alone. Of course, you can have your own plan, but you can also listen to your readers, read their theories, and use them to improve your stories.
I opened a thread to thank my readers, some time ago (it was a failure, so I recycled it into a moonboobs thread, but that's not the point), and, well, I think that you, as a writer, you should let your readers know that you respect them.

So anyway, while you're mostly writing for yourself (except if you're a fame whore), you still can gain something from Anon. Either he can help you notice something you missed, either he can gives you nice idea (sometimes he's not even aware of that), and sometimes you can drop hints here and here and watch him trying to figure out what's happening and it's hilarious.
No. 10803
And while this is a "writing advice" thread, I also recommend commenting on stories. Say what you liked, say what you hate.
Don't be a stranger, writefags are still human being, they can be wrong, they can be doubtful (damn that word is awesome, I have to reuse it). It's nice for a writefag to see that his hard work is recognized, that the big bad isn't sympathetic at all, stuff like that.

If I had to compare, I would say that while the story is a train, the writefag is the driver, and Anon are both the railways and the passengers. Everything will work fine if everyone does his job. If the story is moving on, if the writefag can lead the train, and if Anon keeps the train from derailing, everything will be fine.
No. 10813
I met those elves too. They tried to sell me an upgraded service plan. Wouldn't let me read the contract either.
No. 10820
Thanks for the advice/book. It's kind of hard to find anyone on the internet willing to say more than "Nice, I like it." or "Ugh, go take a writing class", and I'm not showing things to people IRL.
No. 10869
Thanks to this thread, I have decided to try my hand at writing here. However, my writing isn't quite up to the quality of some of the other writefags and it is also heavily cliched. So, I ask is it worth it to try?
No. 10870
It's always good to try. At worst, Anon will shoot you down in flames because you're overusing clichés, but like that, you'll know exactly what not to do.

So try anyway. If you're really at the bottom of the barrel (and you will be if it's really your first story), you can improve yourself or stay shitty for the pathetic rest of your miserable life.
No. 10871
Post a sample of your writing here, we'll critique it. And yes, you can always get better. Ddyk's a noticeable example of that, despite the bad rap he gets.
No. 10872
Anon had stepped into the darkness, as every nerve tensed up in his body. Suddenly, a blond woman appeared out of no where, with the most unsettling smile on her face.

Anon: Who the hell are you?

Yukari: My my how rude~

Anon: Thats beside the point!

Yukari: Are you always like this, when someone is about to offer you something?

Anon got more and more annoyed by this woman, but held his tongue.

Anon: Fine, whats the offer?

Yukari:Why to go to a magical land of course.

Anon: T-thats just nonsense!
No. 10874
>script format
No. 10875

If you're going to use conjunctions like 'that is' or 'what is,' use apostrophes.

Your descriptions are either non-existent or bare-bones. You are not writing a visual novel or a radio play here. Dialogue alone is not enough. How much descriptions you use is up to you, but let there at least be some.
No. 10876
Erm. Like I said, you can always get better?
That was rather awkwardly done, honestly.

First, script format is heavily frowned upon here, as YAF said pic'ced.
Critique time:

>Anon had stepped into the darkness, as every nerve tensed up in his body. Suddenly, a blond woman appeared out of no where, with the most unsettling smile on her face.
Nowhere is one word, this isn't bad otherwise.

>Anon: Who the hell are you?
Yeah, cliched greeting.

>Yukari: My my how rude~
Use commas. Otherwise, perhaps slightly cliched but a fitting line for Yukari's character.

>Anon: Thats beside the point!
Doesn't make all that much sense. Also, use apostrophes.

>Yukari: Are you always like this, when someone is about to offer you something?
That's a bit out of the blue, but acceptable given that Yukari is frequently whimsical and likes putting people off their guard.

>Anon got more and more annoyed by this woman, but held his tongue.
"was getting" would be a better verb choice.

>Anon: Fine, whats the offer?

>Yukari:Why to go to a magical land of course.
"Why," Also, lacks any real impact, bit of a cliched line.

>Anon: T-thats just nonsense!
Please use punctuation.

I'd recommend reading some of the stories here and generally practicing more before you write a story.
No. 10877
Anonymous walked into the room, and decked Anon, catapulting him clear into the wall on the other side. "You're using script format!" he shouted. "You ought to be putting your text in quotation marks! Script format is for the weak!"

He stomped across the room towards the nascent writer. "Your punctuation is bad. Not the worst, but bad. 'My my how rude~' should be 'My, my, how rude...'. 'What's' and 'that's' have apostrophes. You may also have noticed that I'm using single quotes; if you have quotes inside quotes, you make the inner quotes single. You're also missing some commas in Yukari's last sentence, at least. It should be, 'Why, to go to a magical land, of course.'"

He reached Anon's position, and knelt beside him. "You're a newcomer, aren't you. Well, we were all new once. I expect most of us learned these things in school, though, so you've got some serious catching up to do if you want to become a respected author. Oh, and one more thing. Yukari doesn't really offer people the chance to go to Gensokyo, as much as she kidnaps them and dumps them in Gensokyo. And it's a tired-out plot, not least because those outsiders tend to get eaten by wild stage enemies."


How's my writing, as well?
No. 10878
Considerably better. You had a couple unnecessary commas, but those were the only errors that really stuck out. Your advice was both good and more civil than ours was, as well.

Okay, you are now being put on the spot. Write a fragment of a story and post it here. No real context is required. Go.
No. 10879
Ah, sorry about that sample. However, it was done like that due to not having a word processor.

I will post a better sample when I can.
No. 10880
Okay, point in your favor, you respond well to criticism. That is a quality we could use in more writefags. Feel free to revise and/or write another sample.
No. 10881

Pic related.

I have some minor stylistic gripes: for example, when our point-of-view character moves to kneel beside this unlucky anon, I'd expect some shift of tone. Is his voice shifting to some sort of quieter, more confidential, as if confiding some helpful fact?

That's just me, though, and overall, well played.

I'd write my own version, but that would just be beating a dead horse.
No. 10882
There's something I would like to know about actions happening while a character is talking.
Am I supposed to write like that:
"Shut your whore mouth, you fag!" Said Anon as he was picking his nose. "You don't belong in this place!"
Or am I supposed to use comma in the first part, then an exclamtion point in the second?
No. 10883
Both ways are grammatically correct. What to use depends on what you want what the character is saying to sound like.
If the two sentences separated by the action are different sentences and both would have ended with exclamation points if they hadn't been separated, use exclamation points. E.g.,
>"Shut your whore mouth, you fag! You don't belong in this place!"
would use two exclamation points whether it was split or not.
But if it would have been one sentence, or the first sentence was not emphasized, go for the comma. If you're not sure, default to the comma.
No. 10884
All right then. Thank you.
No. 10885
It was a bit difficult to parse that, so I'll just leave this here. http://oxforddictionaries.com/words/punctuation-in-direct-speech

Your "Said" shouldn't be capitalized, other than that what you wrote is grammatically correct. (Although "as he was" could easily be replaced with a comma, but eh.)
No. 10886
Also in the example:
>"Shut your whore mouth, you fag!" said Anon as he was picking his nose. "You don't belong in this place!"
it does not matter whether the first quote ends with an exclamation point or a comma; if it is followed by a description referring to the quote directly (as in: ‘“Shut up,” he said’ and not, for instance something unrelated, like ‘“Shut up.” He crouched and picked his nose.’), the description should begin with a lowercase letter. See:
>“Shut your whore mouth, you fag,” said Anon as he picked his nose. “You don’t belong in this place!”
>“Shut your whore mouth, you fag!” said Anon as he picked his nose. “You don’t belong in this place!”
>“Shut your whore mouth, you fag!” said Anon as he picked his nose, “you don’t belong in this place!”
or even
>“Shut your whore mouth, you fag!” said Anon as he picked his nose, “you don’t belong in this place.”
>“Shut your whore mouth, you fag,” said Anon as he picked his nose, “you don’t belong in this place!”
are all valid combinations, depending on what you wish to emphasise. The same applies to question marks. ‘“What’s that?” he asked.’

The fun begins when you get to the ellipsis, because technically, ellipsis is an irregular punctuation mark, as in it doesn’t substitute any of the other punctuation marks and should be followed by an appropriate one. A sentence-ending punctuation mark should be followed by an additional dot (... .), and in direct speech, by a comma (“...,” he silence’d). Fortunately it’s generally accepted for an ellipsis to stand on its own despite it being technically incorrect. And thank the gods. Whoever puts FOUR dots at the end of their sentences should be shot and killed. In any order convenient.

>You're a newcomer, aren't you.
This pisses me off to no end, because I do it in real life: tone questions as statements. A quirk I’ve been trying to rid of for years, to no result.

Otherwise, superfluous commas that jar with the rhythm of the reading (superfluous commas are acceptable if you use them to pace the text), the narrative is frankly bland and could use some descriptions (use more adjectives and adverbs, go into some depth sometimes, e.g.: “Are you kidding?” is different from “‘Are you kidding?’ he said,” which in turn is different from “‘Are you kidding?’ he spluttered” or “‘Are you kidding?’ he hissed under his breath” and oft-times that makes all the difference. True, a reader can and will picture their own ‘spluttering’s and ‘hiss’es and ‘ask softly’s, but you want to steer them on the proper course). You may also use descriptions for setting the ambience and the mood of the scene, even when they violate the Conservation of Detail rule. A nice short mention of a creaking floor, a scent in the air or the texture of a shrine maiden’s skin on the sides of her belly will resonate nicely with a reader’s imagination. Try to appeal to the basic senses (smell, touch, sight and sound), and show rather than tell: a character will knit their eyebrows, flush on the cheeks and make muttering noises when they’re flustered, and mentioning that will do it so much better than telling your reader outright that they were indeed unnerved.

That’s my five cents. I’d go in-depth about the technical aspect, but I’m writing out an update at the moment.
No. 10887
>“Shut your whore mouth, you fag!” said Anon as he picked his nose, “you don’t belong in this place!”
>“Shut your whore mouth, you fag!” said Anon as he picked his nose, “you don’t belong in this place.”

Wait, these are valid? Wouldn't capitalization be necessary after exclamation points?

>words, relating to descriptions
This is very good. And something I really need to work on myself. Thanks, YAF.
No. 10888
Anon rose up after that verbose beatdown, arrows still sticking inside him. He cleared his throat as he spoke while bleeding, "Oh, but how many stories can truly claim to be fully original?"

"Almost all stories are based on a tried and true cliche," He explained to his 'attackers', "So, I figured why not go with something typical, in the beginning phases of my writing on this site."

To be honest, he actually planned for there to be a twist, in which the MC was in gensokyo, until an incident made him go outside. Yukari actually knew him, but was hiding such for her own amusement, thus why she offered. There was also going to be a choice on what the hell the MC was. He ended his ranting, thanking his 'attackers' for being honest with him and not sugarcoating it.
No. 10889
>"Almost all stories are based on a tried and true cliche"
No. 10891
>To be honest, he actually planned for there to be a twist
This doesn’t count for shit if the beginning is bland and hackneyed. In the words of my editor-in-chief from when I worked under his wing, “If the first paragraph doesn’t interest me, it’s garbage.” Nobody will last till the “twist,” if the road to it is an old and tired path of clichés.

Also, watch those commas and caps, Ramirez.
No. 10892
On a second thought, since this is TH-P, some would read it nonetheless, twist or clichés or not. All the same not the best way to start off your masterpiece.
No. 10893
you forget that most things that try to be 'radical', 'new' and 'cliche-free' tend to get picked apart as they end up 'new' to an alien level.
No. 10894
To be fair, show me virtually any story, I can point to another and say "It's basically this, just with space whales instead of elves" or whatever. There's a lot of fundamental or at least related trends in literature and storytelling. Still, tropes are not cliches and whatnot.

And that still doesn't sound like all that intriguing a story, >>10888, sorry. If a premise seems like it's been done before, it's generally not going to be as popular.
No. 10895
Capitalization is not necessary for those, as even though you're using an exclamation mark, the comma is implied, as it's the standard for sentences that don't require other punctuation, or a period. True, they're two different sentences. However, you can connect the second quotation sentence to the back of the "he picked his nose," so that it's not the beginning of a sentence, and then you don't need capitalization.

Really, whichever you feel flows best for you, both are entirely acceptable.
No. 10896
Most probably, but I was rather mocking the fact that a plot could be based on a cliché, rather than the mere existence of said cliché.

It's impossible to avoid clichés in a story, but I'm fairly certain one can come up with a plot original enough to avoid them.
No. 10897
Well, thanks for putting up with me.

I'll get to work brainstorming better things.
No. 10921
Question. How much your knowledge about canon before start writing? Did you read other materials other than the game? And did you incorporate all the canon stuffs (i.e. Characterization, relationship with other characters, etc) into the game or disregard some of them?
No. 10922
Depends on the story you're writing, really.

If you're writing lighthearted stuff, you'll probably only take the lighthearted parts of canon.

If you're writing dark stuff, you'll probably focus your attention towards the dark parts of canon.

Or you could just go full AU like some of the stories here.

Really, canon can take a backseat as long as the story's good.
No. 10924
Just don't write yet another Succubus!Koakuma. I'm quite tired of those.
No. 10925
First, your grammar could use some considerable work. Fix or try to remedy this before you write (more?).

Before I started writing here, I had played the games, read all the mangas, and read the non-manga print works (CoLA, CiLR, BAiJR, PMiSS, SoPM) plus the music CDs.

I've as yet had little reason to use most of this, and most writers started out with less canon knowledge. You don't need to know absolutely everything, but IMO you should be familiar with the canon for at least the characters you'll be focusing on. Popular fanon, as well. Reading the wiki (not wikia) and stories here should help.

From what I've seen, you'll generally get a better response sticking closer to canon than fanon, because the latter is even more fragmented and interpretable than the former. An exception to this is for characters who are entirely or mostly based on fanon (Momiji, Daiyousei, Koakuma, etc.)

You can pick and choose pretty freely with a lot of canon aspects, too, as >>10922 said. But you should know what you're choosing from, I think.
No. 10926
I have a question for you all.

Ever feel unpleasant when the plot you've planned is totally different from what anon have predicted?

I hate breaking anon's expectations. It makes me seem like a jerkass.

Or maybe I'm just afraid that anon will rage when the plot goes not in the direction they want.
No. 10927
Hello, everyone. I was sent here by one of my readers, so I figured I'd pop in. Really, I think my writing style is quite bizarre, and I sort of like it that way. I know I can use improvement there, but I think that would best come with practice.

The advice I need, really, is content, which is much harder to advise. I have a basic outline of my plot, I know events that NEED to occur, but besides those, I've been letting my readers more or less run wild, and updates have all been off the top of my head. This has been going okay, but it is really hitting me for character development. I've had a few people point out that characters were getting too close to them too quickly. I understand the complaint, but find it difficult to fill an update with a character just getting a -little- closer. I'm confident in my ability to write interesting spins on characters, and I always have a general idea of how a character acts to the protagonist at first and how'll they'll act once the two are romantically interested in each other, but it is hard for me to bridge those two ideas slowly.

Any tips?
No. 10928

There's a fine line between "HOLY SHIT I DIDN'T SEE THAT ONE COMING THAT WAS AWESOME" and "what the fuck just happened, STORY DROPPED".

Predicting which side you're most likely going to end up on is nerve-wracking, and the logic to which the conclusion is arrived is different for every person, although there certainly are certain tropes that are basically going to be the latter no matter how good you are at arranging words into sentences. If you've been planning something for a long time, it may be better to just go through with it, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, in order to keep your own personal plot intact despite the complaints of Anon.

Personal example if you've read Tainted Bonds: I knew a lot of people would dislike Jizo's interventions, probably resulting in some of the latter, but quite frankly I needed/need him at those/these moments to set up everything else I've planned. Perhaps if I had more time or more talent, I could have thought of something "better", but as it stands, them's the lumps.

And for this sort of thing, there will always be That One Guy who's butthurt no matter what. There's not too much you can do about That One Guy.
No. 10929

Hello and welcome. I'd like to lead by saying that you're damned courteous, and that. Is. Awesome.

Moving right along:

>letting my readers more or less run wild
>updates have all been off the top of my head
>this has been going okay

This is my personal opinion, and lots of people may disagree with me, but I'll put it down. Take everything that follows from the point-of-view of someone who abhors the slice-of-life genre:

This isn't sustainable.

Perhaps you've noticed it too; slice-of-life can only go so far. Eventually, you have to push some plot through, or else fatigue, both on your and the readers' part, will cause dropping left and right, because "goddamn it, get to the point".

SOME people will be happy as long as you keep writing exactly what THEY want, but Anon has a tendency for shenanigans and getting sidetracked, simply due to their (our? your?) fractured nature. Keep a steady hand on the proverbial rudder, and try and steer the ship of the story so that every little scene pushes towards rising action, your climax, your conclusion.

Perhaps unusually for a CYOA story, my own story's conclusion was actually the first thing I plotted out after I came up with my MC in the first place. Every scene I write is intended to push towards this conclusion in some way, which means that I'm not feeling blindly forward in the dark and not knowing what I'm moving towards, but instead purposefully marching towards a destination with each update. Personally, I think having this weight of purpose on each scene makes sitting down and writing extremely easy.

However, your story may not have that luxury yet, what with its earlier arguments of "route battles" and so on. Perhaps try smaller "conclusions" to push towards.

~end biased instructions~

>characters were getting too close to them too quickly

This is always an odd complaint to address. Thing is, people can become close very, very, quickly. I swapped life stories and various physical intimacies with someone I only met in class the morning before, all the while thinking to myself "what the carp is going on, I feel like a fish out of water here".

But then again, some acquaintances remain merely acquaintances over years of knowing of each other. It's kind of a subjective... subject.

>difficult to fill an update with a character just getting a -little- closer

Set some goal(s) for that update. An intimacy that normally would trouble one, the other, or both no longer does - hands brushing when passing an object, and neither party feels awkward about it (this can be merely friendly and not romantic too, for the record). Walking underneath the same umbrella in a rainstorm, no squirming about physical proximity for anyone involved; walking side-by-side even without an umbrella; walking hand-in-hand. Eating together at a scheduled time; eating out at a restaurant for the pure enjoyment of company; eating in the comfort of the other person's home like it's your own; eating the other person out. Lending money in the first place; "lending" money but not even bothering to keep track of its return.

It's the little intimacies that make up a relationship, friendly or romantic. This is what "slice-of-life" scenes can cleverly disguise. We don't need to read the exact same classroom scene half a dozen times, but when you show the evolution of a relationship by showing how your characters' actions towards/with each other have changed... yeah. I can't think of a good conclusion, bleh.
No. 10931
Umm, I think his problem is the opposite.

There's a guy in his thread complaining that the plot's going too fast so they don't get a chance to meet the other characters.

The plot's filled with paranoia and when shit hits the fan, we'll probably only be able to interact with those closest to us.

And shit's going to hit the fan soon. The villain's starting to make his/her movement, terrorizing the MC with threats and such.
No. 10932
That was very helpful, thank you. I already have the end of my story in mind, as I gleefully run over the last choice in my head every night before bed, wondering which choice anon will pick. So everything is building up to a conclusion on that front, even the current "subplot".

The advice about making things less and less awkward was very helpful, though. I've had experience in relationships before, which is mostly what I write from (aside from the typical visual novel inspirations) but my relationships have always been odd about closeness. Some people were immediately close, so I never had time to learn about what it takes to bridge a gap between close friends and dating besides the agreement to go ahead and date. Other people I never got close to at all, and thus nothing was learned there either. They say to write what you know, and while that is solid advice, it is always annoying advice for me to hear. How can one KNOW the tingle of magic in their palms as they alter reality? How can one KNOW the fear of a monster? We can't. A writer is an entertaining liar, and while the best lies are built from the truth, it isn't always possible to do that.

Anyway, I'll be taking your advice to heart in the coming updates. I'm sorry for going off on a tangent and ranting about unrelated things.
No. 10933
canon isn't a solid thing, but rather malleable. You can adjust it a surprising degree while still respecting it. I personally believe respecting canon is a step to making a good story.

After 2-3 major stories? I'm more tired of Villainous Rumia that people seem to love for no good reason. That and Aloof Yukaris.

Nope, but I do try to put a humorous spin on it so they don't feel too bad. Anon needs to learn not all stories run on horrible tropes.
No. 10934
Villainous Rumia?

Are you talking about villainous-yet-still-cute Rumia?

'Cause I rarely find a straight villainous Rumia story.
No. 10936
I have a problem.
I don't know how I can make a decent transition from one scene to another. And it's totally blocking me.
No. 10937

I have this problem sometimes too. Like, for example, when class starts in my stories. I don't want to go into detail for what is going on in the class, since it isn't important, and it isn't even worthy of being superfluous. I usually just end up writing "Class passes without a hitch" or something to the same effect. Are you talking about scenes that have totally different people and locations? I'll try to help if I can.

If you are having characters go somewhere, just give a sentence or two describing the journey if it isn't important. If time is passing? Just say something like "Hours pass as we continue our conversation" or "I don't see her again for a few hours".

If you can give me an example of two scenes you want to transition between, I can probably give you some more specific advice, but like I said this is something I often have problems with myself.
No. 10938
Okay. In the first scene, the character is living peacefully, not knowing there are things such as ghosts, youkais, onis, tax collectors, angry birds, and other monsters.
And in the following scene, I'm not sure how I can bring that up, but I need him to know shit about devils and pacts, and I don't know how I can make a smooth transition.
No. 10939
Alright, lets think this over. The first scene he is totally innocent about Youkai and things, but by the second he has learned something of them?

Couldn't you say that he has an interest in such things and studied it briefly, but doesn't have a belief in the supernatural, just an interest in it as a hobby? There are plenty of people who know about myths and things but don't believe that the monsters and things in them really exist.

I'm not quite sure what you are getting at, though. If it is a passage of time from not knowing to knowing, then merely say something like "That was before. I know better now." or something. I hope I'm helping, I'm just not very clear on what you need.
No. 10940
Bah, nevermind.
I wanted to make it quick, but that's impossible, so I'm just going to take my time and write things smoothly, without transitions.
No. 10942
Sorry I couldn't be of help..
No. 10943
Bah, it was a dumb question anyway. There are just to many things to change to just make a transition, and then expect it to be smooth.
It's like taking a pacifist vegan dude, and turn into a bloodshirsty agressive marines. You have to take your time.
No. 10946
Use some kind of separator and start the next scene in medias res. Pratchett is a simple but excellent example of this. His text was divided into mini-chapters (or paragraphs) with little to no transition save a separator (three asterisks in the translation I read). Your readers aren’t dumb, they’ll figure out the story has gone somewhere else. You’ll remember my earlier piece of advice: SHOW, don’t TELL. Show that the story has gone somewhere else, don’t just state, “well, we’re in front of the school now, classes have ended, the protagonist is walking with his darling heart side-by side,” etc. etc.

Transitions are not always necessary. Sometimes it’s all right to just jump from scene to scene. The confusion here occurs because of the format; if you have two text posts one after another, your readers will wonder whether they’re one integral whole only divided because of whatever (real-life posting time, character limit, etc.) or if they’re two separate scenes. Use separators and the problem is gone.
No. 10949

He said “scene transition” but he misused the term. What he meant was paradigm shift from mundane view of Gensokyo to “normal” Gensokyo with spell cards, flying, etc.

The story in question is “Subjectful Thread”, it’s in /border/. Read it, you’ll understand what he wants to do and why he’s having trouble with it.

An advice on scene transitions is fine too.
No. 10951
Wait, I used the wrong word? AGAIN?
What's wrong with me recently?
No. 10954
My bad. Have a Moku on me.
No. 10958
Sort of on a whim, I decided to demonstrate how descriptive prose and scene-setting can be used to add color to a story -- and how weak script format is at both of these -- by taking >>10872 's contribution and expanding it a little, although I think I ended up going in a slightly different direction by the end. Of course, if anyone would like to put my little contribution under the knife, feel free to do so. I'm just as open to critique as anyone else in this thread.


I don't often have trouble getting to sleep. I'm not one of those people that you see on the late-night television commercials who needs to take some kind of medication to get a good night's rest. On most nights, I'm off to dreamland almost the moment my head hits the pillow. I'm a heavy sleeper, too; in fact, I have to set three alarms to make sure that I get out of bed on time every morning. I've slept through police sirens, thunderstorms, and monsoons. When I was still living with my parents before I graduated from high school, my family had joked that the angels will have to drag me out of bed to get me ready for Judgment Day.

This night, however, was different. I just couldn't get to sleep. I spent nearly a whole hour tossing and turning before I resigned myself to the fact that I just wasn't going to get any rest any time soon.

I sat up in bed, rubbed my forehead to ease some of the tension, and took a mental inventory in an effort to pinpoint the cause. I immediately ruled out some of the obvious potentials: I had already eaten a decent amount for dinner, and I hadn't touched any caffeine or anything else that I knew would keep me awake. It couldn't have been work-related, either; I tended to stay on top of my work load and get along well with my boss, so I wasn't in any danger of losing my job any time soon. It wasn't a perfect job, nor was it one I saw myself devoting my whole life to, but it would pay the bills until I saved up enough money for college. Really, I didn't have anything to worry about.

I laid back down, closed my eyes, and spent another fruitless twenty minutes staring at the backs of my eyelids. This was getting annoying. If I didn't get plenty of rest tonight, I'd be an absolute mess at work tomorrow.

A thought suddenly crossed my mind: Had I made sure the doors were locked before I climbed into bed? It certainly couldn't hurt to double-check, in any event. I threw on my slippers and made my way to the hallway. I briefly debated turning on the hall light, but decided against it. There was plenty of ambient light coming in through the windows, and artificial light would just kill my night vision.

It didn't take long for me to complete my rounds. Both the front door and the side entrance to the carport had already been locked and dead-bolted, and the windows (which I'd figured I should check as well, since I was already up) were closed and locked as well. Satisfied that my last real cause for concern had been addressed, I made my way back towards my bedroom.

“Hello,” said a voice in the darkness behind me.

I spun around on my heel as if I had been shot and came face-to-face with a tall woman in a dark dress. (Was it violet? I couldn't say for certain, at least not in the pale moonlight.) With half of her body hidden by the shadows and her face covered by an oriental folding fan, she seemed to be an apparition from the Netherworld – an impression not helped by the fact that she was standing inside a house that should have been locked up tighter than Ebeneezer Scrooge's moneybox.

“Who the hell are you?!” I shouted. As keyed-up as I was at the moment, she was lucky I hadn't started throwing punches.

“My my, how rude!” the apparition replied. She seemed more amused than offended, though, and coyly fluttered her fan as if to drive that notion home. Mock offense, or not, though, the fact that she had the gall to bring up etiquette while she was plainly inside my house without my permission absolutely rankled. I barely bit back the urge to scream at her again.

“That's beside the point,” I said instead. If I stayed calm, then maybe I could get to the bottom of this situation.

As the adrenaline slowly filtered out of my system, I got a better look at my newfound conversation partner. Locks of radiant blonde hair, seemingly glowing in the reflection of the pale moonlight, spilled out from beneath an old-fashioned mob cap. A few errant strands of that hair had come loose, drifting in front of her deep, dark eyes. What skin she left visible was utterly flawless – to the point that the words “uncanny valley” entered my mind unbidden. She was beautiful, but it was an eerie, inhuman kind of beauty, one more prone to inspire fear than admiration.

“See something you like?” Her voice snapped me back to reality. Apparently I was studying her a little more intently than I had intended. She fluttered her fan again, seemingly oblivious to how her flippancy was starting to grate on my nerves.

“Well,” she continued, “are you always this cold when you have visitors over? If so, it's no surprise that you don't get that many, especially not any who come bearing gifts.”

Nearly a dozen different responses flashed into my head at that moment, each more rude and offensive than the last. I was having a farcical conversation with a strange woman who appeared to have sneaked into a locked house just so she could insult me. Either she was crazy, or she wasn't real, and I was crazy. Either way, I wanted it to end, then and there.

“Alright, so what's this 'gift' you're talking about?” I said instead. My reaction surprised me. Maybe my curiosity had gotten the better of me for an instant.

Suddenly, her demeanour changed entirely. She snapped her fan closed, making me flinch involuntarily with the sudden sound and revealing an impish smirk on her lips. Her eyes stared directly into mine.

“It's a travel opportunity. I'm offering to take you somewhere magical.”

The absurdity had finally reached critical mass. Laughter exploded from my lungs like vapor from a steam engine.

Now she really was offended. “And just what is so funny?” she said as she cocked her head to one side and glared at me.

“Lady,” I replied when I had finally caught some of my breath back, “you have an interesting way of propositioning people, I'll grant you that. That's not gonna cut it, though. I'm not interested in a one-night stand, especially with a creepy stalker with a knack for breaking and entering.” I turned around and made my way back down the hall.

I met her again in the doorway to my bedroom. How the hell did she move so fast?!

“Let me make one thing perfectly clear to you, sir,” she said. Anger flashed in her eyes like lightning. “I am not some harlot looking for a cheap thrill. I meant my offer to be taken seriously and literally.”

A brief moment of perfect silence followed.

“So 'taking me somewhere magical' isn't an euphemism?” I asked, finally finding my voice.

“It is not.”

“And you really mean to take me there?”

“I do.”

Only one question remained. “Why?”

“Because,” she responded, “if I may be quite so frank, your life is boring. Nothing but work, day in and day out, punctuated with cheap, shallow amusements that do nothing but stave off the boredom for a moment. Where's the adventure? Where's the excitement? Where's the zest for life?”

I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, she had just called me “boring,” and I felt like I should have been offended. On the other hand, she had a point. My whole life, I had been sheltered – by my parents, by my job, by my own sense of inertia, or by any number of other things. I was the kid who had always played it safe and never took any risks, even when the risk-taking option looked like it was more fun. It was certainly a way to live a good life, but sometimes it felt more like I was just existing rather than living.

Maybe, by some strange turn of events, this meeting was fated to happen. Maybe this was the one opportunity I'd have in life to take a real chance on something. Maybe if I didn't take this opportunity, I'd spend the rest of my life wondering what I'd missed.

Or maybe I'd go see a psychiatrist in the morning, and he'd tell me I was crazy and have me locked in a padded cell for the rest of my life where they'd feed me a steady diet of medications with unpronounceable names.

“You know what? Let me sleep on it,” I told her. “I'll let you know tomorrow.” If you're still here. If you're really real. If I haven't forgotten about it.

Her expression softened. “Fair enough. I wasn't expecting you to accept right away. I'll expect you to have an answer ready in the morning. Now, if you'll excuse me...?”

She brushed past me, walking out into the hall. I turned to watch her, perhaps to get in one last word before she left, only to find that she had already vanished.

I stood there for a good minute at least, waiting for my brain to start working again. Well, I'm certainly not getting any sleep now, I remember thinking to myself.
No. 10970
Holy shit, you wrote that on a whim?

Writing stuff like that would take me hours and you did it on a whim?

This is why it's hard to write without a talent, folks.
No. 10976

>>10958 here.

Granted, it took me about a day and a half to finally get it all down, but when I'm focused on something, I can go crazy.

It's a shame that I'm usually such a lazy faggot with poor follow-through on long-term projects; otherwise, I'd be writing a CYOA of my own.
No. 10978
Show me your /shorts/.
No. 10985
/shorts/ is dead.

Or Ddyk's lair. Choose your poison.
No. 10986
Of course it's dead. The place was intended to be a mausoleum from the very start: Stories do not require votes there.
No. 10987
How many lairs do I have?
No. 10993

>script format is weak

Not inherently, no. It can be done in a good way, have some examples:

http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Legend_of_Krately_House – a Skyrim book.
http://masseffectfanfic.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=fanfic&action=display&thread=10 – a fanfic for Mass Effect. Granted, the second one is much lower in quality, but the point stands - it can be done decently.
No. 10995
it's not so much dead than people not doing shorts. I know one guy who would update there in the future, just not exactly soon.
No. 10996
Who? Ddyk?

He always updates there.

That's why we call /shorts/ his lair.
No. 10997
It can be done well, in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing with the format. The problem is, too many people use it as a crutch to avoid scene-setting entirely.

A good script fic author (or playwright; script fics are to theater what regular fan fics are to prose, in terms of format) still needs to be able to set the scene effectively, but they're constrained by the fact that they have to use dialogue effectively to do that, more so than a prose author does. Too many people who try it without knowing what they're doing end up falling into the trap of writing dialogue entirely devoid of context.
No. 10999
If you aren't intending a performance, why write a script?
No. 11021

Aspiring script-writers will want to work with a medium that they intend to work with later, or perhaps people familiar with theatre/drama will write something that they're used to reading.

Fanworks are often considered to be "Baby's First Foray into X", after all.
No. 11113
Alright, let me be honest here.

I want to be a popular writer.

No, not a good writer. A popular one.

I want a fanbase that'll stroke my ego each time I update my story.

"Good" is more subjective than "popular" after all.

So tell me, how do I become popular?
No. 11114
By respecting the rules, and by writing what Anon wants. Not what you want, but what Anon wants.
I guess that a romance story with routes ending in a sex scene will be popular. Don't overdo it, or you'll be chased to /at/, but do your worst to create distinct routes, and force Anon to choose only one.
No. 11116
Here’s a checklist.
•Slice of life with romance
•Frequent updates, once a day at the least
•Simple, digestible language that won’t challenge the reader’s imagination
•Story revolves around choosing between touhoes and banging said touhoes, emphasis on choosing over banging (as banging usually puts you in a “routelock” and makes the ones opposed to the chosen girl quit)
•Contrasting choices (between touhoes) so the readers have something to bicker (or to put it mildly, “discuss and speculate”) over
•Advertise on other 2hu-themed sites, as this one’s native userbase is rather measly
•Join the IRC channel and whore for attention there
•No updates without choices, must have choices after each chunk of text
•Have Reisen as one of your love interests
•Cheap jokes and a free hand with swearing
•Let your readers run rampant and do whatever they like; moderation is for unpopular faggots
No. 11117
Did I mention bitchy Reimu? Bitchy Reimu is a must.

Why would you strive for popularity rather than writing what YOU want, though? The attention will only get you so far. You’ll burn out if you don’t enjoy it yourself.
No. 11118
•Put it on /th/
•Girls being cute and teasingly sexy but not slutty
•Hinting at rewards of H-scenes to follow, stringing along the readers in this manner
•Have EOSD characters for potential romancing in addition to Reisen

These'd help too, I think.
No. 11119
Why am I getting irrationally angry at these lists?
No. 11120
[ ] That anger is not irrational.
[ ] The bullet point character. It has to be the bullet point character.
[ ] They've all been done already.
[ ] It's bad writing, but it gets readers anyway.
No. 11121

Because they're true to an unfortunate degree. Anon/the general public often has this tendency to not want what's best for it after all.

I mean, just look at every overused videogame franchise out there ever. People get complacent with what they know, and choose more of the same over something new or even simply just better (in terms of writing quality), just because more of the same is familiar to them.

I mean, people read bad fanfics and praise them for this exact same reason; they like a franchise/story, but when it ends, they'll snap up anything that they can get, even when it's drivel.
No. 11124
>•Have EOSD characters for potential romancing
This. Why in the bloody heck are EoSD characters so popular? I don’t even like them; guess that makes me a hipster... a touhipster?... a hiptouhster?... Anyway, bloody vampires and their... whatever it is makes them so liked.
No. 11127
Because they're often accurate (if undesirably so) and that's why we're posting them.

Probably because EoSD was many people's entry into Touhou, and the bosses would have made a particular impression on them.
Also, lolis.

And since we're on the topic of writing popularity for bad stories, should I be worried if about half of my voters seem to have disappeared in the last couple votes? I'm currently chalking it up to schedule slip and other more interesting stories, but what kinds of things do the rest of you think cause drops? (I'm aware of several, but discussion on this doesn't seem a bad idea for posterity. The story's FAIRY, if anyone'd like to respond to that part.)
No. 11128
Hi probably-Viridian. Steep drop rates in the first thread are normal for all but the most popular stories. Try to keep having fun (you are having fun, right?) and don't worry about it.

People do read the archives, if it helps.

scratch that probably
No. 11129
The issue might be that certain kinds of choices prod people to participate more actively. There are people reading that don’t vote on every single occasion, for whatever reason: “won’t matter if I vote or not, my preferred option isn’t going to win by the looks of it,” or “this seems redundant, I don’t feel like voting,” or that they simply don’t care for active participation and merely prefer to read the story and let it proceed on its own. You want to measure the size of your voter-base? Have them vote on a polarising choice between two female characters. You’ll see a huge spike in activity, this I guarantee.
No. 11130
Additionally, an implied possibility of sex/frolicking would further push people to action. An old and tested formula if you want to spark some flames.
No. 11131


People tend to get lazy and complacent when the first few anons jump on a vote and give it a clear head-and-shoulders lead. As a story progresses and the occasional vote is kind-of-sort-of filler (tell me if you don't know what I'm talking about), people might not feel the need to vote.

People tend to vote on:

-The beginnings of stories, when they want to see where the story goes initially and thus give it a stimulus.
-Anything polarizing.
-Choices that point towards a particular Touhou (their waifu).
-Witty or genius write-ins.

People tend to not vote on:

-Banal everyday stuff without clear repercussions.
-Vague, cryptic choices that can be as bare a choice of colors, directions, or numbers. (Incidentally, you're not cool, clever, or witty when you do this. ur a faget)
-Votes where there is clearly one head-and-shoulders Good Choice (that has already received several votes).
-Stories written by people they don't like. (Try not to antagonize Anon.)

Hope this helps.
No. 11132
>-Vague, cryptic choices that can be as bare a choice of colors, directions, or numbers.
On a similar topic, here’s another piece from me.

Never, never make a choice assuming your readers should have figured out something about the story (a suspect in a detective story, a trail in a mystery, etc.). Always act as if nothing was in the clear, unless your readers explicitly bring up their understanding of the point in a discussion. This is the worst type of choice to give; even if there are a few who are shrewd and attentive enough to figure the meaning of your presented options, for every one of them there are three or more who have not drawn like conclusions. Never assume your readers know/should know the same things you do.

You are the writer; your ingenious plot twist that you’ve been foreshadowing for dozens of updates now is indeed clear and obvious to you, but to your readers, it may not be. Make sure your readers know what they’re reading and voting on. Come the worst to the worst, you can always go anonymous and try some gentle prodding to bait some desired clarification. Always keep in mind though, that whenever something seems “obvious” to you, it only does so because you conceived it. I’m not saying to treat your readers as idiots, but to be very careful and very clear on what you’re about to do.

Unless you don’t give a broken fishstick about your readers’ opinion and just want to write the bloody story, in which case, don’t let me clip your wings.
No. 11135
Yeah, it's not bothering me overtly, I was just wondering. I am having fun with the story, thanks, despite it being a bit more difficult to run than I'd expected.
>People do read the archives, if it helps.
The relevance of this is going over my head.

>>11129 , >>11131
I'd been aware of these points to varying degrees, but that's still helpful. Thanks.

>-Vague, cryptic choices that can be as bare a choice of colors, directions, or numbers. (Incidentally, you're not cool, clever, or witty when you do this. ur a faget)
I think Lion and Fell are turning in their stories' graves. (Not that I don't sometimes find vague choices annoying, but that's a rarity.)

Next update, my story becomes Winemaker. No I don't actually read this, I was just linked to it.
Yeah, think I might pass on that one, for the forseeable future at least.

This in particular I can use, and will be relevant pretty soon.

>Unless you don’t give a broken fishstick about your readers’ opinion
I'm going to assume you haven't been following the story, or were talking about writing in general.
No. 11136
>The relevance of this is going over my head.

The people who vote aren't the only people who read and enjoy your story.

>I think Lion and Fell are turning in their stories' graves. (Not that I don't sometimes find vague choices annoying, but that's a rarity.)

Reading what's already there, it isn't so bad; you don't have to worry about anything, it's already been voted on and updated.

When you get a choice and feel the need to vote on it then... ugh. Decisions, decisions.
No. 11138
You forget that SDM LA is often their first CYOA, that as an influence.

You forgot pure write in choices as Anon these days is terrible with them.

not sure how Lion got away with it, but he must have been laughing his ass off at the speculating. I'd be real surprised if he doesn't troll us in the end.

And Fell? The Game had it working as the MC was sort of insane, but with his other story, it's more out of place.

Most people that copy them do so with only a fraction of the talent and unware of the fact if something goes wrong, anon'll blame the writer.

While people do read the archives, but I suspect some might end up alienated if a story goes too fast... taking "I'll read it when it's done" sort of attitude. Then again THP is a different place and with different people compared to those olde days.
No. 11143
Just as YAF said, an Anon figuring the story is kind of rare, because it takes dedication, and most of us them aren't dedicated enough to a story to be able to figure its secret by ourself. It's more often just speculation.
After all, the usual THP anon is following several stories at once, and you can't really expect him to remember than in that stories, the writefag said something about Layla and the britfag, while he said something about Chang'E in that other stories.

And thus, when you have your so-waited plot twist, you shouldn't hesitate to fully explain it, otherwise a "casual" Anon won't understand it.

Also, yeah, if your story happens near the SDM, don't forget to place Bunker in the little sister position.
No. 11144
>>don't forget to place Bunker in the little sister position.

Uh, what?
No. 11145
Anon isn't that bad as long as you don't bury such bits so deep down and expect them to magically dig it up.

It also helps if you update more than once every 1-2 months.
No. 11146
>Also, just calling Cirno "blue" isn't justice.
>I'll call her "Bunker".
No. 11147
Yeah, that too. It's easier to remember a story if it's updated often. You don't really have to be good in order to be popular, but you'll have to work hard.
You can try to write shorter, more frequent updates, but keep in mind that stupid and meaningless choices will bother Anon.
No. 11153
IF you want to be popular, go to Fanfiction.net. It's better to strive for your vision than to pander to the lowest denominator.
No. 11154
Nonsense. There are still some stories there that almost zero or even zero reviews.
No. 11167
How is going to FF.net doing anything but pandering to the lowest common denominator?
No. 11174

I think that's what he was saying; dismissing FF.net (not actually suggesting it), then asserting that one shouldn't do such pandering (going to FF.net) and instead "strive for one's vision".

Context can be confusing...
No. 11193
No. 11199
that's my point exactly. People who stay true to their vision and not pander get more lasting respect than the panderers usually.

Writing for popularity is a poor drive as it taints your writing and you are likely to never achieve it. Fell's "The Game" was pretty amazing as it managed popularity without pandering.
No. 11201
Well, JtotheE stayed true to his vision and look what it got him to.
No. 11202
No way, that guy actually turned on his readers. At that point he was doomed.
No. 11204
His vision was terribly messed up and was a terrible mix of various mechanics. If it wasn't for anon's "bright" idea we might not have known about just how messed it up it was.

I'm certain if he tried to pander in a more traditional manner, it'd have ended just as badly. He might have been pandering with his crossover-stuff.

I thought the major line cross was META KNIGHT!
No. 11205
>I thought the major line cross was META KNIGHT!
That, and when he tried to explain how Metaknight got into his story on IRC.

The mods said, "Fuck this guy" and they just let his thread got assaulted by anon.
No. 11207
Not that Kapow didn't try damn hard to give him a chance first, if I'm remembering the logs right.

Anyway, this is getting a bit off topic?
No. 11208
That’s a fair example.
See, if I asked you to make a choice to decide his course of action without sufficiently explaining his aims and intents (or ordinarily assuming my subtle foreshadowing and delicate hinting is enough to figure them out), then that would be a dicky move. I will not do that, and neither should any writer wishing to retain any sort of understanding with his readers.
I may continue to be cryptic about some points (at least until the nearing end of the story), but I will not demand of you to read my mind and make any critical decisions based on insufficient information.
No. 11222
That reminds me of what happened with ReijiTabibito.

He got onto the IRC, calling for mods to "watch out for the trolls" just because there was this one anon who kept insulting his story in his thread.

You can guess what happened next. Anon spammed his thread with insults and image macros.

His writing was decent and certainly a lot better compared to when Ddyk first started. The only downside is that it was gamey as heck (still less gamey than Kahi's stories though), so it's hard for normal readers to get into.

If he had posted that story today, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't get as much as flak as he did back then.
No. 11223
Aw hell, even freakin' EZMode participated in insulting him.
No. 11237
Fair enough, the rope is just putting me on edge is all.
No. 11238
He actually made some enemies during his defense of Krisslanza during her disasterous first run. And when he came on to their turf complaining about trolls (expecting the same level of moderation as on Gaia), well they decided to take this opportunity to mock him and encourage a sagebombing of his story.

Perhaps if he adapted better he might have avoided this fate.

But this leads me to ask how would one deal with a unruly anon?
No. 11239
Ignore him.
No. 11241
JtotheE's tale makes me think that there should be a list of forbidden crossovers on this site, the kind that if you make 'em you'll get sagebombed to hell and back.

Let's see:
1. Kirby (because METAKNIGHT)
2. Mario (impossible to make a good fanfic from it, or if you manage to make a good fanfic out of it, you'll get laughed anyway. Or so some anon said)
3. MLP (the horrors when this site is invaded by bronies from Equestria Daily)
4. Sonic (because it's Sonic)

Dunno if Warhammer 40k counts. Maybe they just don't want another story like that Touhou/40k crossover RP over on TvTropes.
No. 11247
>3. MLP (the horrors when this site is invaded by bronies from Equestria Daily)

Technically, an anon did try this crossover in /others/ titled "MLT: Friendship is Danmaku".

The latest update for it is the opening post.
No. 11248

Nothing should be forbidden, and nothing is impossible. Forbiddance causes people to rebel and do things on a dare, and even the craziest ideas work sometimes.

Once again, it all comes down to the skill of the writer. “untitled shambler story” is a good example of an “impossible” crossover done right.
No. 11253
That shambler story is less of a proper story and more of a crack fic.
No. 11263
Where's my Shoggoth fairy story conclusion? ;_;
No. 11264
I challenge anyone to make a Pocky and Rocky (Kiki Kaikai) crossover.

We all know ZUN got the idea for Touhou from there.
No. 11267
How can I write a character's speech to give the impression that said character is frantic, in an ecstatic sense?
I tried using exclamation mark, I felt it wasn't frantic enough. Worse than that, it looked like one of those facebook status, with each sentence ending in several exclamation marks.
I tried repeating the first letter of each word and it just gives the impression that the character is just having a stammer, so I don't know how I'm supposed to do it without describing the character as frantic. And I would like to avoid that.
No. 11268


Broken - broken phrases, yes, with lots of, uh, interjections. You see here - I mean seriously - in prose, a lot of the time, and I mean a lot, the text is really - perfect? Yeah, perfect. Complete sentences, subject verb object, y'know.

'course, throw in some nerves, and that just all goes - out the window. Common to drop particles and such - strip a sentence to the, er, core. It really depends, you know, on the character - everyone's gonna freak out in a different way, yeah? Then there's not finishing words - contractions and all that. Isn't good to waste time on words that really aren't, well, important.
No. 11269
that's not the only game with shooting and mikos. There's also Psyiko's early series, Sengoku Ace, noted for its Miko Heroine... or rather her looks (2nd game and later, first game had her sort of tomboyish)

I say he drew more inspiration from Toaplan games and the company's descents if anything.

I do have another question though: How deep should plot hints be buried? I believe if you do it too deep, Anon'd have to pour over the lines for 30+ minutes to get the meaning.
No. 11291
That worked fine, thank you.
Still looks weird for me, but I guess that's because I'm a foreigner.
No. 11313
Man, I feel like I've outgrown my original story in how I write. It has gone from utter shit quality to somewhat better, and I kind of want to write something different.

However, I know that would be terrible because people never finish stories. And that would just be adding another one to the pile. What should I do?
No. 11314
Ask your readers.
No. 11318
This is a thread to give writing advice. If you have questions about writing, this is the good place. If you have questions about dropping a story, you should talk with your readers instead, for this is something extremely specific.
No. 11323


... if that's what you truly wish, no one can stop you. But everyone would appreciate it if you asked your readers first.

In all honesty, if you feel the story is subpar, then it may not be such a bad thing to leave it on the pile of unfinished stories, and start anew with something awesome. Just don't... do this sort of thing again, or we'll break out the torches and pitchforks.


>I do have another question though: How deep should plot hints be buried? I believe if you do it too deep, Anon'd have to pour over the lines for 30+ minutes to get the meaning.

I feel like there's an Inception image macro to use here, but in terms of "hiding" plot points in order to make Anon feel intelligent for spotting them and acting upon them... honestly, I'd have to say "not very deep". Surprisingly, that's not because I believe no one will catch the references, because there are Anons who will find them, but rather because between the Anons that honestly search and can't find it, random voter Anons, and Jenkins Anons, something unintended/a Bad End will more likely than not end up with a dogpile vote.

A "lifesaver" plot point should probably be something almost directly quotable, so that Intelligent Anon can greentext it and get the rest of Anon to bandwagon onto it. Make the MC pointedly notice it or spend some time thinking about it, or some such.
No. 11326
Question. When is the good time to end properly a story? Too long, and I can't finished it. Too short, and readers will feel it too rushed. I don't wanna to make a story that I can't finish.
No. 11328
What? You didn't have the general plot in your mind first before you started writing?
No. 11329
There is the main plot, but it can be stretched and filled with subplot that complement to it. The problem is when to resolve that main plot.

Oh, and one more question: How much did you give details to your story? Did you explain things or let your reader's imagination creates the setting?
No. 11339
Anon takes a dropped story best when the writer is upfront and honest about doing it and why. They get pissed when you pull a "HY-style" drop (no word at all, leaving them hanging).
No. 11340
And it's even worse if you pull a "hiatus" excuse, but then drop it.
No. 11344
Until a writer does come back, people here take Hiatus and dead as the same thing.

When you feel like it should be ended. If you can't even determine that, then I'd have to question your overall ability as a writer.
No. 11348
I'm tired of people blaming Anon for stupid stories. Someone recently said that DoLF's failure was (partially) Anon's fault for "being particularly stupid".
Hell, if a story is derailing from its purpose, it's easy to blame a faceless dude, but think about it.

In the end, who's writing the story? I'm not talking in a philosophical sense, I mean in a litteral sense. Who's posting the update on THP? It's not Anon.
I think it's fair to say that specific stories will brings specific Anons, but in the end, the one leading the way is always the writer.

And beside, it's not a good thing to underestimate Anon. I'll forever remember the day when one of them understood that this weird thing I posted was SSTV. God, I almost had a heart attack.
No. 11349
You know what? Fuck anon. We'll just make a story without choices.
No. 11351
Wait, actually, that's pretty clever! I'm going to write a story with just one choice, all leading to the same bad end, except for a weird and eerie choice that nobody will pick.
No. 11352
Exactly! You're a good student, Ddyk!
No. 11353
Start here:
No. 11356
Muslim Reimu story.

Oh, and 50 Years of Lies.
No. 11358
>50 Years of Lies
Every. Time.
No. 11359
>The Story: Marisa got drunk and left it unattended one evening, and it's just the right size...
>Teh End: Somehow, climax sets it off in the wrong direction.

I laughed hard in that one. But that's the only funny one.
No. 11361
In a CYOA if something goes wrong, it's likely a mix of writer and anon. And we do not have many writers that know how to restrain such stupidity, not when most of the vets have found better things to do besides continue writing.

Go to ff.net for that.

Please don't encourage bad habits, even if it's someone like Hartmann.

I hope there's some actual newbies looking at this... also if there's a new thread I suggest we put it in /gensokyo/ as I doubt most will step into /blue/ due to its reputation.
No. 11362
Yo, this is writing advice thread. We seem to be drifting into conversation. To get us back on topic, I'll attempt to provide some useful links on the basics.

Textbook: http://www.bartleby.com/141/ (though this is 3rd edition, it's currently 4th edition, but I can't find that for free.)
Lessons and quizzes: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/index.htm (all sorts of stuff, including quizzes!)
Quizzes: http://a4esl.org/ (So many quizzes.)
Simple handouts: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/601/01/ (This particular one deals with verb tenses.)
Tutorial series: http://www.englishpage.com/index.html (Also they have exercises and helpful dictionaries.)
No. 11378
How can I explain mechanisms, without giving the impression that I'm just dumping informations for plot's sake?
No. 11379
You can't. When you do exposition, it's obvious to everyone.
You can, however, try to make it as interesting as you can and weave it in with the narration.
No. 11385
By revealing it gradually over several updates?
No. 11389

>how to infodump without making it obvious

No, "across several updates" isn't a particularly good rule of thumb. The thing about information exposition is that any clown can tell when you're doing it. Do it "well", though, and no one minds, because the flow of the story is never disrupted.

It is almost never okay to "take a break" from the story to give information to the reader, in a narrative sense. (Incidentally, this is why probably why neckbearding is frowned upon, because it's seemingly infodumps and logical processes being done outside the narrative. I have my own opinion on that, but that's another story.) Exposition should travel "with" characters, but also has its own rules of pacing. Really... good exposition is part of good writing. It's hard to teach.

One common way to disguise the information is through a character's voice. When your narrative voice is following a specific character, any time that character encounters something you want to expose is a perfect time for them to wrinkle their brow in-story and think about it. You know Watson, from the Sherlock Holmes novels? The entire point of his character was to tail Holmes and, upon countering things, voice exposition to the reader, because the author didn't feel like the character of Sherlock Holmes would realistically spend that much time thinking about things.

Another way to infodump is to have the characters talk about it with one another, although again, they need to have an in-story excuse to. Finally, a straight infodump is sometimes justifiable if the characters themselves are getting infodumped - say, the character has been searching for a magical book with information in it, and he finds it and starts reading it. He's getting infodumped, and so is the reader.

It's hard to give good examples of this, because truthfully the best example... is a well written book, and I'm not putting one here on the board. If you give a writing example, I might be able to help you with that, though.
No. 11532
Character creation votes.

How should one do them? What should be avoided? Should they exist at all?
No. 11535

Character creation votes are... finicky.

Having a character be defined from scratch by Anon means that you probably don't have a very clear outline of your plot yet, so there's that issue; it smacks of negligence, overall laziness, and probably a story that will die young due to lack of plotting. It will take a truly dedicated writefag to keep up with the planning while simultaneously updating in a timely fashion. Basically, avoid saying "I want to write but I have no idea what to write about, so I want Anon to feed me a character". You won't see that story through to its end, in all likelihood.

This being said, I'm considering doing an Anon survey for a new character to write a side story on (when I finish allargando; a tempo in /shorts/), then taking a step back to plan at length (at least a week) before planning a story around said character, so I'm not saying don't ever let Anon make a character.

Voting for minor traits of a character is less dangerous, and if it's not going to affect the overarching plot, I'd say go for it. Minor physical features like hair color, name, body type, etc. won't change much; minor idiosyncrasies like hobbies or side-abilities are fine too. Personality traits begins to toe the line, but even then a great number of plots can progress regardless of their protagonist's inner thoughts, so you might still be fine.

Basically, if having a character creation vote would possibly compromise any planned out plot you have, avoid it like the plague.

Have I mentioned the importance of plotting yet?
No. 11541
Please pardon the trip use but as someone who did such a vote, I'd like to explain myself. I did it because I couldn't decide which fully characterized part I wanted to cover, so I gave anon the choice. Their choice while surprising, turned out very well, enough for me to say I wouldn't want it any other way.

I would also warn against making a plan/plot too rigid as it'd be unable to adjust to new information and/or curveballs from anon.
No. 11542
Most creation votes don't ask for Anon to make up characters wholesale, do they? The ones I've seen just had voters decide on a few traits.
No. 11543
most stories with character creation votes tend to let the early votes create the personality. A risky thing as one period of stupid posting (or summer) and you'd end up with a mess of a MC.
No. 11803
Some golden rules to make a good plot.


>Be sure to spend time on the little details and stay focused; nothing is worse than a good plot idea that grows ever more chaotic as the novel progresses.

Please don't make too many side plots that's not really related to the main one. You and your readers will probably end up forgetting about the main plot and the story will get caught up in endless sidequests.

>Remember, the end of the story will be the freshest thing in readers’ minds once they put the book down.

Quoted for truth. Who can forget the ending of ASSM?
No. 11809
So, I'm learning to write a good dialogue now but I can't seem to apply the theories that I've learned into practice.

I know that:
1. Avoid said-bookism, that is using words from the thesaurus to replace "said", like "explained", "informed", "interrogated", "ejaculated", etc.

2. Avoid using embellished dialogue tags, like "she said happily", "he gazed lovingly", etc.

3. Avoid using too much dialogue tags in a short time.

4. Avoid not using dialogue tags at all (talking heads syndrome)

5. The best dialogue tags take you into the POV of the characters.

"Say what? Reimu is getting married?" Marisa asked incredulously. (bad)

"Say what? Reimu is getting married?" Marisa's eyes widened and her jaw went slack. (good)

That's the problem. It's really hard for me to come up with a good replacement for the ordinary dialogue tags. And that's one of the reasons why it takes me hours just to write a 500-word short story.
No. 11815
>"Say what? Reimu is getting married?" Marisa's eyes widened and her jaw went slack.

Isn't it better as:
"Say what? Reimu is getting married?" Said Marisa as here eyes widened and her jaw went slack.
I'm just asking, I honestly have no idea.
No. 11816
You don't really need "said" there. It's redundant, and redundancy is a bad thing for your writing.
No. 11817
Oh. Okay.
No. 11818
>"Say what? Reimu is getting married?" Said Marisa as here eyes widened and her jaw went slack.
>capital S
>typewriter quotes


Just no.
No. 11819
>typewriter quotes
The hell are those quotes you talk about?
No. 11820
Something I've never bothered to ever find out, why is ' preferred over " when it comes to dialogue on this site? Fuck, it's started to carry over for me outside of this website, and I've gotten shit for doing it a few times.
No. 11823
"", as opposed to “”. They're 'typewriter quotes' because a typewriter can only produce one glyph per key, so producing proper opening and closing quotation mark glyphs is impossible.

Don't mind them too much, though; YAF only cares because of that form-over-function affliction of his that makes his writing so purple. As long as you're not typesetting a proper book, any old double quotes will do.

What are you talking about? The only story I see running now with single quotes for dialogue is HY's in /border/. I think we're all in agreement that it's a bad idea, or at least not a good one.
No. 11824

“Avoid” is too strong of a word here. “Don’t use excessively” is a guideline. There is nothing wrong in using a flowery dialogue tag here and there, or saying that a character said something coldly, or writing three dialogue lines in a row without tags. Use your head, take it easy, and don’t torture yourself.

“I love you,” Marisa said lovingly. – is bad.
“Meet me under the waterfall,” Nitori whispered shyly. – is not.
No. 11825
It baffles me how you drew the connection between proper curly quotes and purple prose, but I’ll humour you. No, it has nothing to do with form over function; the opposite, actually. Dumb quotes are harder to decipher at a glance and offer none of the clarity that proper double quotes do. You can tell at a glance if the quotation mark is closing or opening a line with curly quotes. They’re simply clearer, more expressive and definitely more pleasant on the eye.

Of course, maybe this is just my editor training speaking and most people really don’t see the difference. Well, there is one still. I’m not saying dumb quotes are unacceptable, but between those and curlies, curlies are so much better.

The only trouble is setting your word processor to automatically replace your Shift+’ strokes to “”s. I know the newer Word versions (as well as the Starter versions) do that; I also know Open Office Writer does not.
No. 11826
If I was locked on to Nitori and read that line, I'd be miffed. Where's the loving description of exactly how her shyness manifests?
No. 11827
Open office does it automatically for me.
No. 11829
You have the right. I downloaded and checked; the current iteration from Oracle does substitute curly quotes at default. The one I used before switching to Word must have been outdated.
No. 11831

>how to write a dialogue

Most of those are good points... to an extent. I feel the need to qualify some of these, as there are a lot of sweeping statements here that could be misleading.

>1. Avoid said-bookism, that is using words from the thesaurus to replace "said", like "explained", "informed", "interrogated", "ejaculated", etc.

Said-bookisms are not inherently bad; this statement is way too sweeping in my opinion. Yes, I don't think I've ever used "informed", "interrogated", or "ejaculated" in my life, but "explained", "asked", "demanded", "pointed out"; all of these are perfectly fine in my opinion.

>2. Avoid using embellished dialogue tags, like "she said happily", "he gazed lovingly", etc.

First of all, "gazed" should never be a dialogue tag. You never gaze with words, unless your narrator is on an acid trip.

While it may be more descriptive to describe "exactly how" someone is speaking, sometimes going into huge detail over the rise and fall of the pitch and tones of a person's speech is flat out detrimental to the flow of conversation. There's a certain rhythm to using short embellished dialogue tags; finding out when you're destroying a dialogue with long lines of description and when you're making it go at the speed of light is a long process, and a subjective one at that.

Also, the two examples both utilize adverbs, implying "don't use adverbs with dialogue tags". This is not a good implication to make; a lot of "neutral" adverbs, like "slowly", "quickly", "quietly", and so on are perfectly fine.

>3. Avoid using too much dialogue tags in a short time.

You may have to use a lot of dialogue markers in certain situations, especially in multi-way dialogues. In a two-person dialogue, you can afford to drop "-said -said -said", but in something as "simple" as a dinner table conversation where there's no regular pattern at all, you may have to get creative with your designations. Not saying to use "-said -said -said" in particular, just don't feel bad if your dialogue has a lot of names floating around it.

>5. The best dialogue tags take you into the POV of the characters.

I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean. Yes, dialogue should be descriptive. Does it mean "put the reader into the place of the active character"? (Active character being how the writer delivers information; through a single character, through a group of characters, through an omnipotent narrator, etc.) If so, that's what all your writing is supposed to do, or else you're jumping perspectives, and that's just bad.

I'll write a sample mini-dialogue if anyone here wants it. Name a subject matter and characters, or I can forge a scene from my modernizing-Gensokyo materials.
No. 11834
What's that Oracle version you talk about?
No. 11835
I'd like to add to this advice thread 'To not go to IRC for opinions'

You know that it's a common thing in THP to insult people who frequent IRC? Well, that is for a reason.

I'm being serious here. There are a lot of exceptions, of course, but I'm thinking about half of current IRCsers in the THP channel are unapologetic retarded man-children. Their idea of a 'perfect story' is either: 'Nothing that you write' (if they aren't writefags') or 'What I write' (if they are) any and all problems on a story are either the public fault for being too stupid to understand that their tastes are the norm of excellence or your fault for not turning your story into another cookie-cutter FF.net submission.
No. 11837
In essence, the “official” iteration of OOO bears Oracle’s logo now. There’s a bunch of alt source ports and modifications floating around since the takeover, but I’m not exactly the best person to ask about the intricacies of this division. Oracle’s is the “official” one, that’s what I know.
Try to speak to people privately rather than asking in the public channel.
I don’t hang out on THP’s IRC, but if you asked for advice on the channel, I’d probably mock you also. On the other hand, if you asked me by PM, I’d gladly share my experiences with you. Hell, you catch me at an opportune time (when I’ve had a few cans) and I’ll review your work and brainstorm with you if you wish. Seriously, try PMing some veteran writefriends and see what they have to say out of #THP’s earshot.
No. 11838
You... have never visited the IRC channel, have you? Because if you have, I really cannot understand what kind of shenanigans were happening to give those impressions. Quite frankly every single detail you provided (as sparse as they are) is just flat out wrong. Care to elaborate?
No. 11839
While it's true that the IRC channel is full of huge faggots, the reasons you listed don't really match up with reality.

And you're trying to derail the thread, aren't you? Good job.
No. 11840
Is it realistically possible at all for a game-y story to be actually good?
No. 11842
>Their idea of a 'perfect story' is either: 'Nothing that you write' (if they aren't writefags')
Hi there, bitter ex-writer.

>or 'What I write' (if they are)
Every single writer in there is either too depressed or too humble to claim their own work is the best on THP. There is no way this happened unless you were around years ago when YAF was an arrogant babby.

>any and all problems on a story are either the public fault for being too stupid to understand that their tastes are the norm of excellence
Any writer who talks like that is mocked mercilessly. Maybe you were one of them, bitter ex-writer!

>or your fault for not turning your story into another cookie-cutter FF.net submission.
Goodness, bitter ex-writer, it sounds like your story must have been too innovative and edgy for those FF.net-loving IRC plebes. It's always sad to see another budding genius cut down by that awful bunch of miscreants.

Haha, but seriously, you have mental issues. What story did you write?
No. 11843

No. It can’t be objectively “good”, as in “eternal”, “critically acclaimed” or “recommended for everyone”.

It still can be a fun game though, highly enjoyable for those who follow and vote in it update by update.
No. 11844
It'd require enough story elements to offset the game-y stuff and a way of making said things accessible to those who normally don't play the 'sort' of game in question.

Too bad most people that go about putting in such elements fail to do these things, ultimately burdening their story.

Yeah, did you really visit there? They do praise non-IRCer's stories (there's a few at least that speak highly of DtRT) but being buddy buddy with them is sure to get your story more notice than normal. For those who don't overly praise their own stories, they do certainly encourage anyone to read the old stories (theirs).

They're not exactly people to read much either, citing things like "can't stand to have another story die on me" (quite funny if it's from someone with a history of dropping stories)

As much as it pains me to say this, YAF's right about how to for advice on IRC: Via PM as if you try in the middle of the chat, you'd be ignored at best and mocked at worst.
No. 11846
Shut the hell up, Wiseman.
No. 11847
>when YAF was an arrogant babby
You belittle me. I’m still one.
Your pain makes my ugly face crack in a wide smile. You have served me well, my good fellow.

But yes, there are many ailments plaguing the IRC channel, of which I shan’t speak in detail, because if I were to do so, I’d much rather toss it right in their teeth and watch them try to defend themselves/call me a faggot.
No. 11848
>objectively “good”, as in “eternal”, “critically acclaimed” or “recommended for everyone”.

What do you all think it does take to make a story like this? My best guess is popular characters written interestingly, a decent / original plot being helpful to this but not necessary.

>being buddy buddy with them is sure to get your story more notice than normal.
This is despite the fact that you also say they don't read much?
No. 11849
yaf is a faget
No. 11850
lion a cocks
No. 11852
You're both ruining the board, so shut up.
No. 11853
Less namefaggotry and thread-ruining!
No. 11857

Stop that. This is the writing advice thread, not the raeg thread.
No. 11858
Go write the last post for FoM, Lion.
No. 11936
I'd like to add something: if you have a good idea for a story, but if it's your first time writing, don't start by your story. Start with shorts, or write a story by improvising everything.
To write properly, you need experience, and therefore, your first story will very often suck. And surely, you don't want to spoil that plot you've been working on for days because you're not experienced enough to turn that plot into a good story, right?
No. 11940
better rule:

don't start your first story in /th/
No. 11942
Yeah, that too.
But more important: your story thread isn't a blog. Unless you're really forced to (because it's been a week since your last update and it's unusual, or because you're going to move and you won't be able to update often, or you want to drop that story because you have problem), don't talk about your life in your story thread. And if you really must, try to keep your story and your life in separated posts, it's better for readers that way, they can just skip over your life if they don't feel like it.

And if you're a reader, don't be afraid of asking questions. Most writers are checking their threads on a daily basis (or hourly basis for some), so sometimes, they'll answer if the question is relevant enough. Take Owen, for example. Even after his story was over, he was still around to answer questions.
No. 11945
I like chatting with my readers. Not about my life, however, that's too narcissistic.
I put a little blurb talking about whatever at the end of every update and nobody has told me to knock it off yet. Is it frowned upon? Would it take you away from the story?
No. 11946
I would be a total hypocrite to call you out on a small post like that; no, the thing I'm talking about are posts unrelated to the story. It's fine to recommend other stories or even movies once in a while, especially if you're taking inspiration from them, but if you're just showing how many books you bought or how many "body pillows" you have, it's unrelated and it's showing-off.

>Would it take you away from the story?
As long as there's a clear difference between the story and your impressions/feelings/recommendations, I guess it's fine.
No. 11948
>showing how many books you bought
Buying books is an expansive but commendable activity; I applaud everyone who engages in it of their own accord.

On that note, the last books I bought were Fulgrim and Descent of Angels...
No. 11949
I wasn't talking about litterature. I was talking about those comics where a gentleman and a lady are partaking in immorals and indecents activities. Sometimes, there are several gentlemen, and sometimes, there are just ladies.
No. 11951
Like so?
No. 11973
Why don't we make some kind of writing challenge, like making a short story within 15 minutes or something like that? You know, just for fun.
No. 11974
That has been tried. It ended up generating a lot of dumb drama, as I recall.
No. 11976
No. 11980

I don't recall the drama though. Probably in the voting.
No. 11981
Voting was here. http://www.touhou-project.com/gensokyo/res/4014.html

I don't see any real drama other than once voting had already finished. Maybe conflicts were caused in IRC, though? Or some minor drama might have resulted from Lion using his trip (didn't seem to realize he shouldn't until later, though).

Regardless, I'd be interested enough in another retread of this. The last contest led to some really nice shorts getting written, and I have a few ideas that might work as potential entries.

15 minutes would not work as a restriction, though, that's far too short for anything high-quality coming out of most writers IMO.
No. 11982
There was also the short-lived nue contest.
No. 11984
After the contest all the stories were 'moved' to /shorts/. You can find them there.
No. 11985
It was on a board, called /nue/.
Created a drama between tsurupettan and teryuo (with one of them bringing a chat log revealing that the other was a douchebag, and the other claiming it was counterfeited and banning the other, we called that the "Nuegate"), and finally, the board was changed from /nue/ to /shorts/ because the winner wanted it that way.
No. 11990
Turns out HY made it out of the blue and Teruyo tried to do something with it. It was Glasnost (2nd place) that wanted to turn it into shorts. Tsurupettan went along with it as it was within his goals.
No. 12011
From >>/th/158700/
>I dont want to sound like a douchebag when I say this, but you burned yourself out, and you were warned beforehand. You updated rapidly, and regardless of if you want to believe it or not, there is a limit to all writers. Honestly, for your story in /forest/ take your time. You shouldn't rush yourself, even if you want to get the update out today, wait until tomorrow. You've gotta have patience.

Being patient is part of a writefag's job. Even if you want to update, you will run out of steam.It's better to update sporadically, but regularly, rather than filling 4 threads in 2 weeks and give up.
No. 12016
On update speed once a day is the absolute fastest speed a writer should go though if you need a proofreader, you'd have to adjust for that. Once a week is a pretty good speed.
No. 12031

Eh, plenty of people manage more often, especially if you make it a major lifestyle decision.

I write once a week because I maintain other entertainments as well (the horror!), and my friends make a point of dragging "the writefag away from his beloved" on a semi-regular basis. HY, by contrast, writes and does nothing but write for his entertainment when he's not working, or so I hear.

Some people can manage the fast pace; if I tried to maintain a daily update, I'd probably lose steam really fast. Others take it easy. insert yukkuri joke here

I will say that any more than once a month is probably just stalling and lack of motivation - especially given the length of some of the monthly updates, I'd have to honestly question some people's dedication. When you drag yourself to the computer to write ~500 words once a month, is that really something you want to be doing, or is that just out of a feeling of obligation to the readers who sit at their computers, waiting in vain for a wall that never comes?

Some people have the balls and the guts to say they don't want to continue writing a story. Personally, while I do feel a little peeved that a story won't see a conclusion, for the writefag to be upfront to the public about retiring earns me a lot of respect from them, not derision. No, my derision is saved for those who let their stories die quietly by the wayside, crossing their fingers to hope that no one bumps their thread and exposes their shame to the world.

... that sounded really dramatic, wow.
No. 12035
Watch out with your references. It's fine to put one or two in your story, but it must seems natural. There's no point in putting a brilliant reference if you're pulling it out of the blue.
For example, in the wizard story, there's the gazebo battle. No explanation is given, just a vague "another wizard did it". And it's referencing an obscure and rather shitty story that everyone on /tg/ knows. In other words, anyone else won't understand the reference.
So don't do it. Even if you don't understand the reference, it shouldn't brek the story's flow.
No. 12036
It's a hint of the villain of the story.
No. 12037
Sometimes it's necessary to make the reference obvious. I put several Sherlock Holmes and V for Vendetta references in my works, and the only comment I got was "Between strict water rationing and extreme homophobia, this version of the UK feels pretty uneasy".
That's not really satisfying when nobody is commenting on something you did. You're not sure if they get it, and in the end, you're so frustrated that you want to shove the reference down their throat until they scream "I GOT IT!". And that's no good, an obvious reference isn't something you should do. Too meta.
No. 12039
So don't put references in. They don't add much anyway.
No. 12041
if you put in references expecting people to comment on them, you're doing it wrong.
No. 12042
I know, but, still...
No. 12043
If you expect people to comment, period, you're going to be disappointed more often than not.
No. 12044
Sadly, you're right. I guess I should just get over with it.
No. 12169
An advice for lazy writers out there.

Set a fixed amount of time spent per day to write your stories. It can be for 1 hour, half an hour, or even 15 minutes. That way, you will have a (hopefully) regular update schedule, even though it's once per month.
No. 12170
Oh no. I suggest to not do that, because if you do so, you'll be out of time, and you'll be unsatisfied with your update. And, more important, the vote you'll put will be mostly useless.
No. 12171
>the vote you'll put will be mostly useless

Huh, I don't see the relation between setting up a constant schedule in writing with that.
No. 12172
Putting in votes for the sake of having a vote (at the end of an update, so as not to have to have it continue any longer). I understand the issue, but I’ve become fond of ending my updates with a choice-less break (which is still nonetheless the end of the scene). I asked my readers what they thought of that, and from what answers I’ve seen, I’d done a well enough job of balancing updates with and without votes to keep it engaging while making it easier on myself to avoid pointless votes.

You can look up the thread and see what people had to say.
No. 12173
Yeah, but you're YAF. Most writers aren't YAF.
No. 12174
Who says you're going to update every day?

It's like this you know. You update once per week, but you write the story everyday. 15 minutes per day x 7 days = 105 minutes (almost two hours, enough for any writer to write their update).

It's to prevent burnout. You know, like what happened with Megasen.
No. 12175
I believe that it's up to every writer to decide how fast he's going to update, and how often he can work on his story.
For example, 15 minutes? That's not enough for me to even write 2 lines.
No. 12176
15 minutes is about 80 words for me, if I have no idea of what I'm going to write from the start (the plot, the scenes, etc)
No. 12177
And I should be glad for that state of things. What’s it got to do with wanting or not to end all of your updates with votes though?
I take it you meant to quote someone else? I didn’t say anything about burning yourself out; I only pointed out why forcing oneself into a tight schedule might result in pointless votes (because some writers are convinced every update has to end with a vote; ergo, you finish an update = you have to come up with a vote, and more updates/chunks of text completed [under that schedule] = more votes needed, in that case).

Which, in my opinion, is bullocks.
No. 12180
This is why you should write down your scenes first, folks.

Which causes a new problem, that is if it's hard to find good words to make a transition from one scene to another.
No. 12181
>This is why you should write down your scenes first, folks.
Again, depends from the writer. I'm okay with having a plot ready, but if I know exactly what I'm going to put in an update, I usually balk. The only way for me to stay interested is by being random and improvizing. Otherwise, I'm not enjoying myself and writing becomes a chore.
No. 12184
Well, I was really tempted to use honorifics like -sama for some conversation, because without it, it feels like the character was rude or not giving respect to higher authority/ older person. And using 'Miss' or 'Mister' is not helping since it sounds unfit into the conversation between two close person/ family figure like Yukari and Ran(Since it's unfitting in some case for Ran to call her 'mother', but not really fitting if using 'Miss Yukari'...

Is there any way to circumstanced this?
No. 12185

Lady Yukari.
No. 12186
>(almost two hours, enough for any writer to write their update).
Says you.
No. 12193

Write every day? That's something I can get behind, but...

>two hours are sufficient for an update

Pic related.

Not saying that writing takes forever, but a healthy 2-3K word update is not a two hour job. Maybe for HY's constant multiple short style updates it is (I couldn't tell you, honestly, ask him) but not for my own.
No. 12194
If it's taking you over 2 hours to write an update, you're obviously not on a writin' groove at the moment. Pretty sure none of the updates I wrote back when I was not a COMPLETELY useless shit yet took me over half an hour of steady writing time.

When in the groove, paragraphs follow one another in one uninterrupted smooth flow. When it started taking me hours of "thinking" time in between each paragraph was around when I was already gradually succumbing to bizarre lethargy issues.

Sage for tripfagging.
No. 12200

Consider wall'o'text updates; there's no way those are being made in two hours even the grooviest of grooves. But agreed that "hours of thinking time between paragraphs" isn't, it's just stalling.

My own schedule goes something like this. Post-update, while I wait for votes, I "relapse" in my area of thinking, moving from "what's coming next" to "what happened earlier" or "what's happening elsewhere". I often scrawl some "backward" or "sideways" notes at this point in time; recently, I've taken to working on my story in /shorts/.

As the votes flow in, my focus kind of goes neutral - "stagnant", to be disparaging. I weigh them with where I originally saw the story going, comparing and reconciling it with my "forward" notes. I withhold judgment or active creation for a day or so.

As the vote solidifies around one particular choice, I finish my neutral phase and begin thinking of the update itself and a little beyond it. Not all of what I scrawl down while brainstorming becomes the update; usually there's a good stopping point before the end of what I've thought of. The "tail" that I don't end up writing about becomes the earlier mentioned "forward" notes, about the near future.

Writing what becomes the update you see is pretty easy; at that point, I've thought the story to death, and turning it into prose is just a mechanical effort, of grammar and spelling, creative formatting and punctuation, using proper vocabulary and pacing; all the things that make "good" mechanical writing, for I've already thought my plot to death. Life (and personal, other entertainments, oh, how I sin) means that this writing time is often broken up, but I never stop because "I don't know what's going to happen next".

And then it all recycles again.

Arguably, you can say I'm writing at any stage, whether it's scrawling down incomprehensible notes (well, incomprehensible to anyone but me) or doing backwards-reading of my own updates to make sure everything is in order or I'm not contradicting myself. Writing isn't what I do for two hours on a weekend afternoon or evening; it's a lifestyle choice.

... but that's just me.

I'm obsessive, aren't I?
No. 12201
Define "wall'o'text".
No. 12202
One of those day, I'm going to record my screen while I'm writing, to give you an idea of how difficult the thing is.
No. 12209
This is one of those things that should go without saying, which makes it all the more frustrating when people don't do it, but save your work. Even if someone has already said this, it needs to be repeated. Save your writing. Save your notes. Make backups. Make backups of those backups. Make backups of the backups of your backups. Make hard-copies of your digital work, and make digital copies of your hand-written work.

You don't need to do it too frequently, but try to keep it often enough that it won't be too much of a setback if the hard drive you keep most of your stuff on goes kaput. Unless, of course, you want to have to go over practically every update you've ever posted just to remember what the hell is going on in your own story. Or ask any of the number of people who were reading it to help you.

Of course, you could just do like I do, and don't bother keeping notes or anything like that in the first place. Just keep everything in your head. Sure, there are still risks of losing stuff, but so what? Best case, you've just forgotten something that might not have been that good of an idea in the first place, and you can take that opportunity to come up with another, better idea. Worst case, you've received some sort of injury that has resulted in brain damage, and by that point you've got bigger problems to worry about than writing magical girl fan-fiction on the internet.
No. 12212
Well looking at what balistafreak has written, he's gone anywhere from 2k words to three posts worth of text. In my opinion, most of that range applies.
No. 12213
but you didn't seem to have much else to do besides write. Some people do have jobs after they come home from them, don't feel like writing.

This groove isn't a common thing in many lives for various reasons.
No. 12387
I'm going to be frank.
I completely fucked up a story. I drove myself into a corner, and I don't know how I'm going to fix that without retconing a lot. And I mean really a lot (from the very beginning to be accurate).
More than that, I feel like I forgot my original goal -writing something about some forgotten characters- in favour of another goal -elucidating the mystery. I honestly don't know if I should drop the story or if I should restart it. I don't like both solutions, but I have no idea how I'm going to fix that shit I put myself in.

Allow me to explain: the character is currently aware there's something fishy going on with his house, and he deserted it. He's currently sleeping at Sanae's place. And I don't know how he's going to wake up, or how I can send him back to the house, given that he ran away from it. I really want to throw in the towel, so help me, please.

Picture unrelated, but I like having a smiling Sanae when I'm posting harsch things. That helps me relax. Sanae is my best friend. She helps me relax.
No. 12389
Ask someone with a better grasp on your story (i.e.: someone who reads it), preferably through private channels.
No. 12390
Most of my readers (read: the 3 of them) are all anonymous. I have no way to contact them directly.
No. 12393
Then ASK them for some contact info, or whether they’d be willing to discuss the story with you, good LORD. You’ve a mouth, don’t you? Well, fingers. COMMUNICATE, you tit.
No. 12427
To all writefag: do NOT start a story with a write-in, or with a bunch of votes. Seriously, don't.
No. 12429
>>12427 is missing an important qualifer:

without having a chuck of story before it that explains what the fuck's going on in your story and what the vote is for.
No. 12430
My bad, you're right.

First, you should define what kind of story you're going to write. For example, if you decide to let Anon write who your main character is, yu migh end up with a character unsuitable for your story, or a character that you doesn't like.
And second, give some hints about the story first. Is Anon going to choose an action, or a location, or someone to talk to?
Don't end your post with just
"[] Write-in."

Write something like:
"Where to go?
[] Write-in."
No. 12431
Pure write ins are signs of one of two things: one giving anon more freedom (as akin to /tg/ quest threads) or the writer doesn't what to do.
No. 12432

You accidentally a verb there.
No. 12438
Pure write-in will get you yukkuri fucking.
No. 12444
No. No it won't. There's Yukkuri fucking because the author put it there.
No. 12446
what about corpse fucking?
No. 12452
Pure write-in will get you Nue tentacle rape.
No. 12454
>Nue tentacle rape.
Why haven't I heard of this before?
No. 12613
Sounds good to me.