GlooMi’s Guide to Writing Welcome to the first and only guide to writing in Kingdoms at War! There wasn't one there for a while so I took it upon myself to make a guide for all you writing noobs who want to make a story, but are too scared. Or this is for those of you who have made stories, and are laughed at because your story doesn’t flow right, or you sound like a 5 year old. I will mention a few of Kaw’s writers in some of the subjects that I think they are particularly proficient at. If you are not mentioned, it does not mean that I hate your story or anything, I just haven’t had the chance to read them all yet. Below I have put all the subjects that will be covered in the order that makes the most sense to me. Table of Contents Getting started Settings Descriptions Narrative Forms Characters Subjects/Genres ------Writing to your audience Plot Endings Writer’s Block How to Write Character Bios I) Getting Started Getting started is either the easiest part of the whole writing process, or the hardest. There’s rarely any in-between. One of the most important parts of the beginning is the introduction of the theme and the main character. You don’t even have to introduce the plot right at the beginning. You must however establish the tone of your story be it happy go lucky or blood and guts. Also an early intro. to the character(s) is helpful . If you are an inexperienced writer, NEVER start the story with “Hi my name is _____ I’m doing this, and this is my story.” Readers like to be shown, not told, and the only exceptions to this rule I’ve ever seen are Colonial and iZaln. Other than that, stay away from showing information. Another good thing to remember is, don’t slam your readers with information right at the beginning. You generally need something to pull them in, not confuse them. (Yes I am guilty of this). A good action sequence is usually the right thing to do, just make sure that you keep it pretty simple. You as the writer might know that Susie Lou can shoot massive amounts of electricity out of her hands, but the readers don’t. Once you’ve got the first scene down, the rest comes pretty easily. II) Settings Settings are the place in which your story happens. It can be anything from Pony Land to The Planet Zerg. It is very important however to establish the setting in the beginning, especially if you change settings a lot. To be able to picture in their minds what is going on, the reader has to be able to see where the characters are in the first place. Also it helps to know what the setting is, because then if you decide to use the settings in other stories, it is easier to the readers (especially in fantasy) to be able to understand what they look like. Even if your character doesn’t go there, if you make a reference to it, for example, “Linda died in Fashnoozelpoo, she never had a chance with those awful Jabberwockies.” They can imagine why she died so fast as opposed to being like “Whaaat? Why did she die? I don’t know why she died in Fashnoozelpoo, it actually sounds like kind of a nice place.” If you can make a long paragraph about the setting without it sounding dry and boring, that’s great! If you can’t, try sneaking in little bits like “the moss on the ground squelched under my feet as I grimly walked into the dark, shadowy forest of Doom.” It doesn’t give you the full description, but at least they can imagine how scary it is, as opposed to “I walked into the forest of Doom." Settings are an imperative part of your story that you have to do well on. III) Description Despite what people think, it is possible to overdo it on the description. Don’t force it, and more than about three adjectives is usually too much. Compare “As I walked down the sparkly pink and blue striped carpet, I felt absolutely fabulous, cool, in style, and fantabulous.” To “As I walked down the blue and pink carpet, the sparkles of it shined brightly in my eyes and gave me the feeling of excitement and glamour” Remember to always read over your writing to catch any mistakes, and read it out loud to see how it sounds. If you don’t, then it is a recipe for disaster. Fantasy and Sci Fi writers often over or under indulge on adjectives. If you’re writing about a whole new world, it is better to have a lot of description, but don’t have too much or it will distract the reader from the point of the story. IV) Narrative Forms There are three types of Narrative forms. 1st person, 2nd person, and 3rd person each have their separate pros and cons for storytelling. 1st person is the: I, me, my narrative. People like this particular one because it unfolds from a personal point of view. Unfortunately, it can be done very badly because the main character cannot get inside the minds of other characters (usually). This can often lead to really annoying repeated sentences like “I did ____” without very much description. It can also lead to repeated scenes happening over and over again like déjà vu, with different characters every time because in order for the writer to show something, the main character has to repeatedly stumble upon private conversations to find out anything. Also, those writing in first tend to not develop the other characters, and only focus on the main character which is bad. This is one of the many reasons why I think 3rd person is best for any beginners. 3rd person has two different categories. 3rd person limited and 3rd person omniscient. With 3rd person limited, you only know the thoughts and feelings of one character in one scene. This is the best type of narrative form for beginners because you can change the views of characters without sounding weird or random. 3rd person omniscient is when the reader knows all the thoughts and feelings of every character. This one is a particularly hard one to write because it is hard to have much suspense when you already know everything. If you can pull it off however, it can sound amazing. 2nd person is only really used in dialog for pieces of writing because this form is the you command form and can sound awkward. For example “You must look up my lawyer Bob. Then find a way to get the money” would be in second. Second person is also when there is a character that talks to the reader as the writing flows. Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events is a good example. Characters Characters are written differently depending on which narrative you’re writing in. If you are writing in 1st person, please resist the urge to have your character look in the mirror and describe him/her. That just sounds ridiculous. Describe the clothes he/she is wearing, or the color of their hair that is whipping about their face, but don’t give me a super detailed account of what he/she looks like because when have you looked in a mirror and described yourself? That was a rhetorical question. 3rd person is a little different. You can do the whole total description thing without it sounding ridiculous, but don’t make it too long. Then it just gets boring. Remember to write your characters as best you write them. If you can write girls the best, make a girl the main character and vice versa. Experiment with the other gender until you think you’ve got it, but don’t post a story about a boy when you can’t write boys very well. Personification is one of the most difficult things for a writer to write. Like I said before, experiment in short stories, or scenes before attempting to write a novel about a dog, because otherwise, you’ll just be frustrated and grumpy. When writing personification, I believe it is best to try 1st person first. That way you can almost put yourself in the body of the animal and imagine what you are doing. That is only my personal opinion of course. Do what works for you. Another important thing, DO NOT make your characters perfect. It’s the little flaws that readers can appreciate and connect with, and if they’re perfect the story is dull and pointless. The entire story is about the characters own personal journey, not just the one they’re traveling. Subjects/Genres The subject of your story is what it is all about. The genre is what “classification” it is in. Every writer has a genre that they prefer to write in. My personal favorite is Fantasy. Seth73 is into Sci Fi. However, try to expand your horizons a bit. Try to write in Sci Fi or Adventure or Romance, because that will often help you when you go back to write in your favorite Genre. For example, if you want a relationship in your Sci-Fi, try and write a completely Romance story. You may fail, but you will get some useful insights into how the relationship would work in the other story. If you can’t think of a subject, go back to that old quote, “Write what you know.” If you live in the ghetto, write a story about gangsters. If your parents are history geeks, try some historical fiction. If all else fails, write a mini story that takes place inside your favorite book. You may not finish the story, but it might give you a fantastic idea for a new one. A) Writing to your audience Well all of you reading this are from KaW, so this should make this easy. Writing to your audience is writing a story to a specific group of people. Here on KaW we like our fights and battles and drama, so if you like your story about rainbows and unicorns, that’s great! Write it by all means! Just don’t post it on KaW because no offense, but most people aren’t going to like it. Go post it on High School Heroes. They just might. Make sure that you always know who you’re writing to. If you’re writing for yourself, it is completely different than if you’re writing for a bunch of judges. VII) Plot Here we come to the most important part of the story. The plot. The plot is the most important part of the story because without it, it would be either a fail or an essay. Plot flow is very important. Without it the story would be random, disjointed, and would not read smoothly. Make sure that the sequence of your story makes complete sense to you, because if you’re confused, just imagine how confused your readers will be! Also make sure that there is something to help the flow from one scene to another. Imagine it as a river that your readers are rafting down on. If there are too many rocks and random turns, your readers will be sunk deep into the depths of confusion. Plot twists are another very important thing that keeps your readers on their toes. If the story is boring, no one will want to read it. Make sure that the character messes up every once in a while or else no one will be able to connect with him/her/it. Make sure that the unexpected happens every once in a while. Kill the main character or one of the main characters. It doesn’t always have to be a happy ending. At the same time, don’t put too many plot turns in. Otherwise the story will be a complete and utter random mess. If you want some good examples of plot twists, read Utho’s story. He’s great at that. Endings Endings are either really easy or really hard, and I can’t help you much with these. Some advice for those who are truly stumped is this: -Don't make endings too abrupt unless you are planning on writing a sequel. You don't have to tie up ALL the loose ends, but make sure that the ending isn't confusing. -Always have an ending in mind. Your ending will never be the same as the one you originally planned out, so don't try and make it so, but it helps to have an innitial goal in mind. An example of this would be: -In The Dark Army, I had originally planned for my heroine to die at the end in a certain city. She didn't end up dying, but I kept most other details the same. Writer’s Block With writer’s block the best thing to do is take a break from writing for a couple hours. It probably means you have been writing too long. If you sit down and can’t think of anything however, the best thing to do is believe that if you don’t believe in it, it can’t hurt you. Put something down, add in a plot twist, and take the story in a new direction. Just keep writing. Don’t stop and fix mistakes until after your done writing or you’ll never finish. That’s all the advice I can give you . How to Write Character Bios For all Character Bios there is a basic format. Authors can add on anything they wish, but these are the things you need to have. Name: Choose one that fits your character. Try to make it interesting. Which sounds cooler Vyne Ainaeta, or Anna? Age: It's usually a good rule of thumb not to make one under 10, or older than 50 Race: Common ones are human, elf and dwarf. it depends on the story however. When in doubt, go with human. Gender: Male or Female usually Appearance/Characteristics: Make this part as detailed as possible Personality: This is probably the most commonly changed sections of the bio, but still make this part as detailed as possible so the author can get a vision of how your character acts, and correctly portray them in the story. Other common bio requirements Biography: This is the story of the character's life, in a few COMPLETE sentences. This is probably the most commonly changed part of a character bio. Be warned, some authors (such as iZaln and myself) DO NOT like it when people post Biographies. DO NOT post one unless the author has specifically told you to. Weapon: Make sure the weapon fits in. If your character is weilding a war hammer, don't tell me they don't need armor. Special Ability: This one has been popping up more and more lately. Try to make it interesting, like if they can fly, say they have a tattoo on their back that can turn into real wings. The most important thing to remember is DON'T make your character overpowered. That is unfair to the writer and unfair to the other characters and in the end unfair to you because the writer will change it to suit his or her needs and it might not be what you invision the character as. In Role Playing this is referred to as god-modding. Thanks for reading, that is all Note: If I have missed anything you have deemed important, please tell me and I shall fix it/write a new section. Thank you for your time. Have a nice day.