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Just before we start, I'm not here to teach you how to make a story that’s good. If I could do that, then I'd be out writing my own fucking good stories.
Chapter 1 – WHERE TO START
Where to Start on Where to Start
Oh, man. Where to begin? Writing is the most convoluted, grueling process known to man. Writers spend eons in their little black boxes, planning every fucking micro-centimeter—no, millimeter—of their characters, settings, and plots.
OH WAIT, NO THEY DON'T.
I'll tell you right now: I am not even close to being either the most prolific or the most eloquent writer on the site. I, however, do have a special writefag talent: I don't fucking think twice before I post or publish anything.
Have you written anything for fun? Because you saw that amazing fanfic of your favorite ship (which is shit, by the way) and you absolutely needed to follow up on that? Chances are, you have. Now, have you slapped that shit onto THP or fanfuckers.net? DOUBT IT, BECAUSE YOU HAVE STANDARDS. But I'll tell you now: Take those standards, cherish them, and tuck them safely in the deepest crevices of your heart. Your first story (or the story after that or even the story after that or the story after [...]) will not be God's gift to mankind. It might not even be good! It might be dogshit. Don't let that discourage you because you're on this site—you're already dogshit!
Go ahead. That terrible idea you had about a fairy protagonist rising up to defeat a Mecha-Reimu gone haywire? Post it. The overly-specific fetish smut adventure that you and two other people find hot? Go nuts. The story where you take all the characters in Touhou and replace them with their OC daughters? Die in a fire.
Now you're ready to write.
Myths to Consider
Just kidding. First, we have to go over some background. Yes, this is the shitty exposition and yes, you have to listen.
1) Writing is fun
We need to first dispel the idea that writing is fun. Writing is like taking the biggest shit you've ever had, except when you're done, all you feel is the vague, empty feeling that you’ll have to do it again. There is this image of a writer feverishly rattling off a thousand pages through a stream of genius. They sit down and, after much struggle and turmoil, they dish out their magnum opus. This image is wrong, wrong, wrong. You’re always going to have distractions, and therefore, I guarantee that you’re always going to be tempted to distract yourself. Face it—there are a fucking million different ways that you’re going to distract yourself. We have the power of the motherfucking internet at our disposal: thousands of articles, games, and other THP stories are all at your fingertips and can be accessed in a matter of seconds (that is, of course, unless you have dial-up).
2) Writing comes in bursts of inspiration
This is somewhat related to the first myth, but I must stress this: Writing is a slow and arduous process. Sometimes (read: most of the time), it’s hard to find the right words for what your brain wants to describe. Maybe the sentence is too long. Maybe a word feels out of place. Maybe you don’t know whether a paragraph should even exist. Ultimately, writing speed is completely up to you—but if you’re dishing out five thousand words in an hour, you are one of these things: the world’s most prolific writer, a Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing speedrunner, an author with no proofreader, or fucking batshit crazy.
3) Writing must be original
As a wise man (and the dude who copied him) once said: “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.”
If you can steal, fucking steal it. Yeah, that’s right. It pays to be original, but swiping up all the good ideas yields dividends. If you liked how an author used a particular phrase or word, eat that right up. Chances are, you might use it for your own purpose in your stories. Keep remembering all the things you’ve stolen, and eventually, you’ll build your own repertoire and style. Of course, do not abuse your copy-powers: Use the things you’ve imitated sparingly because you will not grow if you only copy. You’ll just become a worse version of another author.
Also, plagiarism is bad and you should never (I repeat: never) steal entire excerpts.
4) Writer’s block
(synonyms: The Bubonic Plague, Ultra-AIDS, The Devil’s Cancer, Video Games, etc.)
The infamous disease. Intensity of ailments vary but the general gist is this: You have a hard time writing. Unfortunately, it’s such a prevalent issue for writers everywhere that we must clarify what the fuck it is—even if it isn’t really a myth.
If you’re out of ideas, force yourself to try one more time. Then, after that, if you’re really out of ideas, throw some words onto paper and hope something sticks. If that doesn’t work, then consider taking a break from writing and concentrate on something else (play some video games or something because that’s fun, unlike writing).
If you have writer’s block for a week, you’re in a slump.
If you have writer’s block for a month, you’re just lazy. Yeah, that’s right. Get the fuck back to writing, you peon. All jokes aside, there is a clear difference between writer’s block and burnout. Burnout is simply mental fatigue—you’ve written too much and too often that it makes you too exhausted to wrack your brain for any more ideas. Now, when you’re in this state, you may feel an insufferable desire to keep writing. Don’t. Rest is a part of writing.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish my video game backlog because I have writer’s block.