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 The Decent Fic Guide 
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<center>... or "Easy Steps to Write a Decent Story"</center>

Before going through this awesome and incredible thread, I highly recommend that everyone reads the Fanfiction Rules thread and take part in the Fanfics Discussion Thread. Enjoy your navigation. :)


<center>Number One: A Pretty Structure Makes the Reader's Eyes Happy!</center>

Yes, it does. If you know how to decently structure your story I can assure you the readers won't be going Wakka trying to understand what is going on. Besides that, your post will look clean, organized and pretty, capturing the readers' attention. I guess I can give a little help here.

1.1) Paragraphing

[color=#BFEFFF]Before telling you when to start a paragraph, I'm going to teach you how a paragraph should be structured.

In books paragraphs are usually started with a margin, a blank space at the side of the page, that is a bit longer than the edge of the lines that follow. Even though we can do that using Microsoft Word, WordPad or any writing software (by just pressing tab), you can

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Last edited by Galar on Fri May 04, 2007 1:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:51 am
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If any one does read this, I would like to add to what makes a good fiction thread. EDIT: WOW< After so long being gone, this has stayed up as number 1 reply! That means it's been read! Since I've grown so much as a writer in time, it's about time I actually give advice instead of comments about good advice. mLet's EDIT!

Characters!!!!

Characters are verry important. They need to be different and have their own personality. No one wants to read a book with characters that seem they are a bunch of clones. That's no fun. Try working through each individual character. What I do is time consuming, but good. Go into their past, grow up with them. Each individual character has gone through events, has had a life, that has shaped their attitude and personality. Let me make up two characters right now. Please xcuse any stereotypes or use of actual names. Let me see... Galar, you mind?

Galar: Let's say... Galar grew up on a farm, so they've developed a Southern accent. Galar almost drowned as a kid, so a fear of water has impacted their life. Galar's mom smoked, which would contribute to a scratchy voice. Maybe because of it Galar's nerves were screwed up, giving Galar a slight twitch in the left hand. Galar found christ at a young age, which would contribute to Galar's kind nature and selfish personality.
Again, all of this is just speculation, and is not true. I just made it up on the spot. Now, NONE of these have to be in your story, at all. But you just created a character, yes? With quirks, a personality, and a past. A real person people can relate with? Some more then others *Wink*. Thanks for being a kind sport, Galar. I hope this isn't offending. Again, ALL THIS INFO WAS MADE UP!

Ok, to help you do this you should create a word document with a complete outline of all your characters. If you've read my book, Cleansing Warswick, you know tons of things are hinted about character's pasts that you will NEVER hear about, adding a sense of reality to my universe.



Another thing, plot outline. You need a story, not a bunch of random events! How can you work on this? Similarly as characters. Check your world, your era. If you're using someone else's world (Pokemon) then learn more about it. Get in tune. History, future, present. These things can heavily effect a plot outline and create a setting of individuality, that's only yours.

For instence, say your character is... Like Frodo, you need to bring... some documents from France to South Korea. Ok, you can't just make then get on a train and head there. Think about what's going on in the world? Say it's in the future? Can't go through Russia, for a second Cold War has erupted between the US and Russia and Russia has began attacking countries around it's border, putting Frodo in danger. Can't go through North korea, North Korea has strict policies about who goes through their country. A rebel movement in Africa makes Africa a dangerous route. So, Frodo and a team of people take these secret documents from france, into africa, through india, on a boat into South Korea. Yes? BUT! France isn't in good relations with... Brazil. So, a Brazilian Assassin is chasing after them the entire time. So, now you have a setting, so how could the events and conflicts unfold in this story? See? It's all contributing to these factors?


And for the other end. Try to contribute! Don't sit there and post random things like
Quote:
...
or
Quote:
lol..... it was ok.
try to actualy contribute. and remember, people spend alot of time typing these. If your going to make a post than do a long one telling what you liked/hated and why.

Also, try to post. Even if you thought the story stunk try to at least tell people that. If you absolutly read something in here than please reply to it. I mean that's just what they're looking for? Isn't it? Do you think they just randomly decided to post a random story one day? No!!! They are looking for other people's ideas on it. They REALLY want someone just to say, "I gave you attention, and I turned out to love your story" Or "I appreachiate the effort you put in it, but I thought it wasn't as good as others I've read." Come On! People! Please!

And don't openly critisise them on their thread. Sure, tell them what you think, but if you absolutly hated it than try to PM them telling you that instead of humiliating them on Psypoke. Ok?

Remember, we're all friends here.


Last edited by comedianmasta on Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:32 pm
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While I have an idea of how a story will go in my head, outlining on paper is the number one way to kill a story idea for me becuase I feel that once it is written it is in stone and that often stops my ideas flowing :(.

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Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:50 am
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never read one of my bro's fanfics. he hasn't even heard of puctuation (or at least it seems like that) and has terrible spelling. he is a person who gives writers a bad name. do not be an ES187! plus, try to limit yourself to 2 random emoticons. make all others seem like sketches for future reference in a journal.


Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:47 pm
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girog wrote:
never read one of my bro's fanfics. he hasn't even heard of puctuation (or at least it seems like that) and has terrible spelling. he is a person who gives writers a bad name. do not be an ES187! plus, try to limit yourself to 2 random emoticons. make all others seem like sketches for future reference in a journal.


...and use capital letters at the beginning of a sentence.

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Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:43 am
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Wow, my story complies to some but disagrees with a few (having Mudkip as a main character)... but it is a bit more humour.

Banov in my story wrote:
Your story is very unprofessional and unorthodox


Still I think stories should be able to bend the rules a LITTLE bit.

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Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:43 am
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This topic's first post has been revamped. Please read and comment. :)

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Fri May 04, 2007 1:54 pm
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Oh my gosh, I'm happy I decided to take a break from my marathon. Galar you're amazing, sitting down and updating the first post so it applies to our 'lovely' new members. I can't tell you how excited it makes me that now I don't have to list all the mistakes anymore, and why; now, I just have tell the 'darlings' to go to this thread and which parts of it apply to them.

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Fri May 04, 2007 2:39 pm
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Thank you, Crimson. I spent about 2 hours to revamp that post. Hopefully it will help people.

Bad news. It was my first time using the "Split" button and I made a big mistake... You see, I was trying to split this topic in two and make a new one, which would be more about tips on writing an interesting story than structuring it, punctuation and etc (aspects emphasized in this thread). I accidentaly pressed the wrong button and all the posts I wanted to move were deleted. Please forgive me, guys, I promise you this won't happen again. :( I'm so embarassed. T__T

I'm still starting this new topic, which will be focused on writing tips other than gramatical issues. Hope it generates great discussions.

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Sat May 05, 2007 6:15 am
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It's okay, I don't think we even noticed...or maybe I just wasn't paying attention...hmmm. Anywho, you'll get it yet, and I think that'll be a great idea.

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Sat May 05, 2007 6:19 am
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It's funny that after 4 days of being in the Fan Fiction section that I finally got to read this. I need to go back through and make my sentences where my characters talking new paragraphs.

One question: Do we indent the new paragraphs where the characters talk? It would seem a bit unusual to me.

One section that you might want to add is Commas. I know you already have a short and easy section for them, but if there are people like me in these forums, they like to use commas whenever they can. I would type it all down right now but I needed to know about dialogue. Thank you for making this, Galar.


Sat May 05, 2007 3:40 pm
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You would, in the formal format, indent the first line of every paragraph. That includes dialogue. But, indentations don't work on the forum so double spacing is done instead.

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Sat May 05, 2007 5:18 pm
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Can we make it so they HAVE to post something in this thread to prove they've read the rules before they can start a new thread with their own fanfic?

All these bad fanfics hurt my eyes...

GRAMMAR IS NOT HARD PEOPLE!!

I hated school, I was a right prat to my teachers, but I still learnt my abc's properly.

Dammit, you kids these days are going to send me to an early grave.

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Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:45 am
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I have often thought of that requirement, other sites have them and it works well enough.

As for the bad fan-fictions, welcome to my world. I have to say it's a whole lot better than what it had been a few months ago.

As for the grammar statement, it is hard. The English language is one of the most complex languages in the world, it also has the largest vocabulary of any other language. That's why we only aim for a decent attempt at proper grammar. It doesn't always have anything to do how much we like or dislike school. Some people, just have difficulty understanding it. Some of us were poor with grammar because we were lazy, and some of us are poor with grammar because we really don't understand parts of it. And for some of us, English is a second language.

Trust me, at this point you don't have much to complain about with poor grammar. It was much worse only a few months ago and I wondered when it'd ever end. Please don't lump everyone into the same group when there are different reasons. If you are preparing your will because of this, well sir, be happy I, a kid, helped most of our darling writers over their grammatical issues. Please, by all means, enjoy the forum. Oh, and I forgot to tell you, I love the way you spelled 'learned' while making such a statement. It added a bit of humor to the whole post.

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Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:22 pm
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To be honest, Psypoke is EXTREMELY lenient about what is an 'acceptable' fanfic and what isn't. I haven't really seen anyone post that things are bad, but you should see the fic section of Serebii's forums.

Trust me guys, it ain't pretty. Everyone is so, SO cruel. I'm thankful theres a place I know I could post something without being absolutely blasted, should I want to.

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Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:26 pm
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It's been a while but I thought of some things.

Know your genre! If you're writing a Science fiction then don't say you're writing a Fantasy, they are not the same thing. Granted, there is a thin line in some cases they are usually easy to tell apart from one another. The best way I can tell you the difference is this: a Science Fiction is what could happen or could have happened even if it's highly speculative, and Fantasy is what can't happen no matter what.

Pokemon, despite its technology, is a Fantasy because we all know that there's no way there will ever be real Pokemon.

I'll admit that I usually go into a story with little idea as to the genre, rating, or audience because when I think about it I tend to freeze up because it reminds me of brainstorming for school (something that does not work). For my book I went into it knowing it was Science Fiction because of its very nature, but that's it. But, at the end you should have an inkling, at the very least, as to what it is.

Next, if you're serious about writing, even if it's just to improve for leisure and you have no intent to publish or pursue a career in writing, you need to read a lot. This, in my opinion, includes the How-To books in your bookstore. Even if you don't use some of the methods or agree with what's being said you are at least learning. I recently read a book on writer's block, actually I finished it last night, and while I will probably never use the 10-day program they were talking about I did learn a lot from it.

Yes, I know Non-Fiction can be a drag (look at our school text books) but in my experience with these books they're written in a much more different style. They're usually more conversational, these people can relate to you on some level because at some point in there career they were like you. This style is much easier to read and it is not so dry and boring. You may not think they will help, and they may not, but at least you can finish the book and have a better idea of what you think on a topic and possibly some solutions to a problem. When I read How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card not only did I finish with a better understanding of the genres (and things to consider when writing either genre) but I also left with another book idea (as if I need another) and a list of more books to read (my list must be over 30 now). It may feel weird at first, but I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the books out there. Most of them are written to be (general) reader friendly, not just expert friendly.

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Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:19 pm
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Crimson wrote:
Pokemon, despite its technology, is a Fantasy because we all know that there's no way there will ever be real Pokemon.


You're a cruel person, Crimson. :P

And I cannot stress how much I agree with Crimson's point about non-fiction help books. I had this excellent book bought for me, which I really begrudged at first; my Mum bought if for me for Christmas, and I was slightly offended, as if she thought I needed help when writing fiction. But after reading it, I realised loads of things, and it was odd comparing how I wrote fiction before said book and after. Don't underestimate the power of how-to books!

Oh, and good job on the guide Galar. I thought I'd posted in this topic, but clearly I haven't, and therefore I feel the need to congratulate you on such a well written 'how-to-write-well' guide. :P

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Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:13 pm
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I never said I was nice. Anyway, you may've posted previously; she accidentally deleted some posts at some point. I'm hoping to finish two more books today, but I'm exhausted. I've been building a catapult all day for Physics. If you can go to a Barnes and Noble, Borders (at least the one near me) has a dismal reference section. Barnes and Noble has a much better one for nearly any topic.

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Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:38 pm
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This will hopefully improve the board. But authors of topics like "STORY!" and "The Adventures of Mudkip!" should read this. And elite did! Hopefully cutemew stears clear of fanfics. Why?

http://www.psypokes.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=19783

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Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:49 pm
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Since we're all rewriting Jenny's morning, I thought I might as well have a go at it.

Thunder_dude7 wrote:
Jenny got her backpack and walked to school

    The alarm rang and a hand swatted at the offending clock until it was finally shut off. Jenny laid under the covers, head included, with her face burried in her pillow. After a long moment, she breathed a heavy sigh and slowly pushed herself to a seated position. The old sheets slid off of her as she rose and fell onto the even older matress. As she clambered out of bed, Jenny wiped sleep sand away and readied for the day.

    Once she was dressed and had crammed all of her school suplies into her weathered backpack the real struggle of the morning began. Julie fought with the zipper and eventually won. The girl then hoisted the bulging pack onto her shoulders and began the short walk to school.

It's descriptive but, at least to my tired and sick (I have a bad cold) mind, is not dry like long passages of useless drabble.

Writing out actions step-by-step and providing lots of description are easy ways of lengthening a compositions length. However, it can be over done and that's when the reader starts skimming and skipping passages until something more interesting happens (this is me during action scenes). I also know few who would want to know how many birds are on a tree branch unless it pertained to the story.

Moving on, I have a few things I'd like to go over... None of this is directed at anyone in particular.

It must be a trend, because I've increasingly seen people place the verb before the subject. An example is "said he," this issue is usually seen around dialogue.

For goodness sake, don't do it. It's old fashioned, awkward to read and makes you look like you're trying too hard. Please, do yourself, and others, a favor and stop.

Next, let's talk about vocabulary You don't need to use ridiculous words to impress people. It makes you look silly more times than not. Don't go hunting for flowery words when you already know a better and more consise word. The more you read and write, your vocabulary will grow. There's no need to hunt down unnecessary words for your writing.

Your writing can be passive or active. Active is whenever the subject of the sentence is doing something. Passive is when the subject is having something done to them. Passive is bad. Adverbs make your writing passive. You want your writing to be as active as possible. Plus, if you've done your job the adverb should be redundant.

Bad Example wrote:
When I first entered the library I felt suffocated by the silence. My partner led me to a table; I felt on edge, as if my presence was unwelcome and shattered the atmosphere.

"This alright?" My companion asked quietly. Suddenly, the air was less oppressive and I visibly relaxed. With a nod we got to work.

Good Example wrote:
When I first entered the library I felt suffocated by the silence. My partner led me to a table; I was on edge, as if my presence was unwelcome and shattered the atmosphere.

"This alright?" My companion said. Suddenly, the air was less oppressive and I visibly relaxed. With a nod we got to work.

It's easy to imagine that they were quiet as possible, so why keep stating it? The point is, avoid adverbs as much as possible. I know I've used them and will probably use them again.

Now for "said," it is an "invisible" word. It's so disgustingly simple and bland that we don't pay much attention to it. You should try to use this word more than flowery substitutes. If you're afraid the reader will miss the emotion, despite you're best efforts to set up the setting, you can use other words. In this instance, "whispered" would have worked well.

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Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:29 pm
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Ok, now I have read this, I'll be more serious (Please disregard my other 2 topics), but you won't be seeing me in a while.

One more thing to add is that the variety of characters, for example, don't have a part of the story explaing slow, lazy "bad guys" with a few active "heroes."

EDIT: Let me fix it then.


Last edited by lawa001 on Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:10 pm
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Learn to express your points without the use of emoticons. They're there to add to what you type, not replace it.

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