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The Year: 2025

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 Lesson 2: Fancy Writing

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Kinaga Unabara
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Nickname : The Plot Master, The Storm Ninja

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PostSubject: Lesson 2: Fancy Writing   Sat May 14, 2011 3:15 am

As writers, description is very, very important. We don't have the luxuries of images and video and sound to tell the reader about what's going on. We have to rely entirely on our ability to guide peoples' imaginations in the right direction. You are just as much an artist as any painter, musician, or director. Your medium is words, and your canvas is the imagination of the reader.

When writing, think about what kind of an emotion you want to make the reader feel. Do you want them to be touched? Horrified? Shocked? Aroused? Confused? All of these things are good, but only at certain times. For example, the reader shouldn't be confused when a character is explaining something, and they shouldn't be Aroused during a horror rp (except in certain cases, but I'm speaking in generalities here).

Describe characters. Yes, we have recruit threads, and they often feature images of our characters. However, you should usually describe character as though the reader is seeing him for the first time.

Quote :
Axel stepped through the door, waving to the others.

Ignoring the obvious issue of a one-line post, and assuming this is at the start of the thread, what is wrong here? We don't know anything about Axel. What does he look like? Aside from his hand-waving, what other mannerisms does he exhibit? Does he have an unusual walk, or does he dress strangely? Even just describe what he's wearing. A suit, or jeans and a t-shirt? Are his clothes appropriate, or out of place? This can go towards writing in bulk, adding description to make a short post long.

Your characters aren't the only things that need to be described. Don't forget about the environment. Rooms, buildings, areas, vehicles.

Quote :
PITFALL: Avoid info-dumps. Info-dumping is where you just rattle off a list of facts in narration. In many cases, narration should be restricted to describing actions. Avoid this pitfall by sneaking your descriptions of environments INTO descriptions of actions, and by having characters state the descriptions themselves in dialog. Example:
Wrong:
Quote :
The courtyard was large, with a collection of stone statues in the middle, and a series of triangular steps in the corner.

Right:
Quote :
He walked into the large courtyard, and noticed his partner on the other side of a collection of stone statues. "It's right over there, by those triangular steps." his partner said, pointing toward one corner.

What did the door look like? If it wasn't mentioned before, is it the only door? Did the other characters notice it was there before Axel entered? What is the room like? Comfortable? Luxurious? Spartan? Trashy?

You should also avoid using the same word over and over, as it gets irritating to read. There are usually several words that mean the same thing, and if you aren't sure, use a thesaurus to find synonyms, words and phrases that mean the same things as each other.

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Assignment

Choose one of the following pictures and describe the environment, scene, or character as though the picture did not exist and the reader had never encountered them before. This will be judged based on how closely the description matches the picture. Put the number of the picture you chose at the start of your post, post responses in this thread.

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Lesson 2: Fancy Writing

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