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  #16  
Old 09-30-2009, 06:54 PM
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If you're writing stories about other people's characters, I think you should use your own characters instead. If you're writing the stories to fill in gaps in a campaign, I don't see why the players would object, unless you really have their motivations wrong. Perhaps you could encourage them to contribute "chapters" to these stories, and tell them what you need to happen by the end?

Another good tip: Don't describe your character by having him/her study himself/herself in a mirror. It's really old and a little annoying.

I'm reading a great book right now called "Thanks, But This Isn't For Us" by Jessica Page Morrell. Wonderful read if anyone wants to pick it up.
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  #17  
Old 10-11-2009, 01:16 AM
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1) read
2) read more
3) read Lawrence Block's books on writing advice
4) write
5) read some more, then write
6) I find that there are great names all over: i love to use names of cities i come across when i travel/vacation. every part of the country has cool names for (often, very small) towns. I also like using Latin for names, to me, the language has a nice flow of consonants to vowels, a good ratio.
7) My personal pet peeve: Although I loved the Horseclan's series, Robert Adams' use of multiple names and titles and nicknames and more titles for the same person was difficult to fathom sometimes. Keep it simple, at least for the first several chapters.
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  #18  
Old 10-11-2009, 11:00 AM
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So, writing?

1) find inspiration anywhere and everywhere. Carry a little notebook with, to put in pocketses, next to the bed at night -- because seriously, a lot of the time you'll be woken in the middle of the night with a great Thought and won't recall a darned thing in the morning.

2) Just write. Whether the story you come out with looks like garbage to you, finish it. That tale might be worth diddly, but give it a second look; there may be diamonds in the garbage.

3) Talk to other writers. For one thing, networking's important because other people out there might know of different places you could submit stuff. For another, it's good to know others who do the same thing you do, and so understand worries, gripes, frustration, and thrills. LiveJournal's got a ton of writers, for one thing; Absolute Write Watercooler (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/) is a great place to be too, for that.

4) Expect rejection. No, seriously. If you're going to write, you're going to run into people who don't like your work as much -- and at times even more than -- those who do. Sometimes there are editors who are just plain mean. Most of the time you'll get a quickie form rejection with stuff crossed off in boxes, which says nothing about what you wrote and will frustrate you no end. The rare beastie is the editor who'll actually write you back with if not an in-depth explanation of why he or she disliked your work, something about it that did not tickle their fancy. You want to keep those; I do not mean submit solely to these nice editors, but think about what they've said. Think about the nasty editors, and those with the crossed-out boxes. Look for stuff in common about those comments.

5) KEEP WRITING. It takes a while to become a writer of any kind, and consider yourself to be one from the time you have your first published story (as a word of reference, mine was back in 1997 at a non-paying market). There will be frustrations aplenty along that long and winding road, but if you persevere, you might find the treasures there as well.
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  #19  
Old 07-01-2010, 05:53 PM
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I've been combing over the advice people have been giving so far, for the sake of not repeating anything. So I'm afraid my advice is going to be especially limited, with all of the great advice I've seen so far.

But one thing that hasn't been mentioned, I believe is:
Don't ever, ever, ever, throw out anything you write.

Sometimes, a writer is their worst critic. We will finish fleshing out a scene, or even finish that chapter in the novel, and think it is complete and utter crap. We're frustrated with it. And the first thing we want to do is ball it up and toss it in the garbage (or, hit the delete button). Something I have found through college is that, if you can manage to make yourself keep it, you can tune it up later! In whatever you write, there is always SOMETHING worth keeping. Whether you re-write it all, or just have to tweak it, it can be useful.

So make sure you never delete anything. Just leave it alone for awhile, or bury it in that "Exiled for 6 months" folder. Does anyone else have one of those other than me?
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