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Found 8 results

  1. I have a fantasy adventure book I would like to get published, but before I publish it I want people's opinions to see if anything can be fixed. I will PM you if you are interested, or you can PM me. My goal is to have everything done before May 27th, 2018.
  2. Hello Everypony I have been seriously looking into writing as my life long career. So, I've started a book. Everyone I've talked to (aka my parents and my writing teacher) have all said it had Best-Selling Potential once finished. I'm naive and of course, I do believe they are obligated to say that, they're my parents and a teacher, who's job it is to encourage kids to be themselves. So I've typed my book up and I'll add it as photos because that's how I did it on accident. Please, please, please don't steal my work. I've worked really hard so far and already got literally the whole book planned. I trust all you guys not to steal it so please don't. Leave feedback and constructive criticism instead. Thanks in advanced! ~Aqua Edit: I am very sorry it's all blurry, as you can see I had it typed on PicCollage. I'll be posting it on Wattpad tomorrow but for now, this is all I can do. My Wattpad is in my bio.
  3. I'd really like at least somepony to read my practices of writing and give me insightful and constructive criticism to help me become a better RPer/writer. I'll try to keep it pony related, but sometimes, I'll be inspired to do something completely different. It really just depends of the day and how well I sleep/feel. I'll PM you a link to google document or if I get enough requests, (If I ever do) I'll post the link on the thread.
  4. Good day, I was inspired to write this after seeing a post questing whether it was the action in an action scene that mattered more or the motives and characters behind the action. I think it’s an interesting topic that has changed over the past few hundred years. There are two secrets to writing at work here. First, people like it when their brains are active, it's an evolutionary trait, and different people generate more brain stimulation from different things. Some people like action more and some people like the metaphorical fights. A good visual example is the Luke/Vader fight in The Empire Strikes Back vs. any light saber fight in the prequel movies. In Empire there is a lot of emotion, motivations, circumstances, there is a personal relationship between the characters and the very basic fighting, with the occasional cool special effect, enhances all that. On the other hand in the prequels everything is excessively choreographed which is visually pleasing but the conflict is usually summed up with me good you bad stahhhhp being bad, I kill you, goodnight Tatooine may the force be with you. The choreography is also counter to potential character growth such as when Qui Gon died and Obi Wan becomes angry and attacks Darth Maul only to suddenly have his rage induced charge turned into a perfectly choreographed dance and he doesn't really face falling to the dark side, there are zero consequences because of how the action was choreographed. How does this translate into writing? Well before I get to that there is one more little secret that works its way into this dilemma. What would the audience like to see? This is actually a deeper question because in the history of writing this has changed. It use to be that people looked to books for things they couldn't get anywhere else; fantastical alien worlds, armies the size of cities, impressive and imaginative fight scenes. These were all things that books gave affordably that nothing else really did. But now we have movies, TV, the internet, video games, and people can get masterful paintings reprinted for an hour or two of work. Not only that but movies, TV, and video game all do action better to the point where what would have been enjoyable before isn't as good anymore simply because, by comparison, the action scenes are less action packed. So when it comes down to it, writing on its own can go either way when comparing action to characterization and plot. But with the modern media available to us that action becomes extremely hard to make worthwhile on its own because people won't respond as strongly to it as it's rather dull by comparison sometimes. On the other hand decent characterization and plot are still as strong as ever and can activate a lot of the brain. Add to that the things that other media does for characterization and plot often pale in comparison to a book equivalent, thus elevating the medium of writing by association which makes it stronger. Now good media can do this as well, it's just rarer. Of course, the one consistent exception to this is for action scenes that aren't portrayed well in the media. The Dresden Files has an amazing magic system. But, it doesn't carry over to visual mediums as well because it's more about outsmarting and putting two and two together than flashy visual displays. It also has a lot of character to it and is first person which also doesn't translate over to visual mediums as well. So if you are trying to decide to focus on action or the motives/characterization in an action scene I say go characterization except when the action is more unique and thought provoking than you would normally see in other mediums. Do be careful about reader fatigue when writing action, however, because it can get to the point where the reader doesn’t care and can’t keep track of it in their heads. Have a good day. If you found this informative, and think others might as well, please share it. -Piquo P.S. If you found this helpful, follow me on FIMFiction.
  5. If you find this useful, check out my Fimfiction Profile. A bold title, yes, but not an untrue one. You see, I’ve been working on a number of writing projects and one of them is an actual book to be published. Because of this I’ve been doing a number of things that are new to me and I came to a realization; I can research how to write all I want, and I can practice trying to be the best I can, but you learn stuff differently when, on purpose, you do something wrong. Let’s start with the story of how I came to this realization. One of the things authors need to do for their book, that was new to me, is to prepare a pitch for the story. A pitch is used to sell the book to a publisher or agent and is a lot like the paragraph on a back of the book designed to sell it but it is slightly different. Usually an author needs to prepare a short pitch, a medium length pitch, and a long pitch. The short pitch is the most important because that’s what will get you in the door and it can sell the book completely if done perfectly. I needed this so that if I run across someone who wants to hear about my book I can explain it in an interesting, concise, fashion like a knowledgeable professional. Now, I’ve never been good at selling myself or things I’m involved with. I’m even terrible at convincing people to try a movie when in a group and have had people recite, word for word, what I have said to successfully convince people of things. Thus, pitching my story really worried me because even on the rare occasion where I’ve done “everything right” it still hasn’t always worked for me. So, a few weeks ago, I started really learning about pitching a story. I’d listened to several podcasts and read a dozen or so articles on pitching. Thus, when it came to write it, I was feeling confident that I knew what needed to be done. However I could not get it right. The short pitch was too long, it had way too much info, and/or the pitches generally had everything wrong with it that you could have at one point or another. I just couldn’t condense all that I had learned into a single concise pitch that worked. I decided to do the opposite. I wrote out a really long, overly complex, and confusing pitch just to get it out there. I had this idea because I did something similar when trying to find my voice for the novel. I was originally trying to go for a medium length pitch but decided to screw it and see if doing it wrong would get it out of my system, possibly even produce a rough gem that I could improve upon. The crazy thing was, when I was done I was able to go back and actually do a much improved pitch. It was a few words long, maybe a tad to much info, but it was close to being focused and concise and, most importantly, interesting. In fact I just went back and tried again and was able to, I think, nail it. I was able to do this only because I had purposely done it wrong the first time. By doing so I was able to get all the information I wanted out there, analyze it, make some of the cuts and refocus some of the wording and really grasp what not to do. The real key, however, was that I saw the bad. It reinforced to me what not to do so that when I sat down I instinctively shied away from many of the issues I had had. Note how I even changed the focus of the pitch from the characters to the world. I did this realizing that everything in the story really revolves around a deep interesting world. While I love my characters and the plot, it’s the world that really ties everything together and makes it interesting. Continuing on I went on to do a pitch that I liked a lot better. It leaves the person who reads it wanting more and asking questions, it speaks to the intertwining effect the setting has on the characters and the problem, and it lists the selling points in my book (character and world) by framing them in the context of this particular story and the challenge faced. After realizing how doing it wrong helped me do it correctly, I thought back on some other times I’ve done this. When having trouble explaining a section of a story I sat down and wrote a thousand words in a uninteresting extra telly 3rd person fashion. But afterwards I was able to rewrite it in an interesting first person fashion that was only about 450 words. In fact, my very first fic (never published) started with 3 pages of boring tell. But when I sat down to re-write the beginning it flowed easily, ended up being smooth, and had a lot of character and charm, all condensed into a page and a half that was almost all dialogue so it effectively cut my word count by two thirds while still feeling like a lot. Now, this is different than the tool of simply sitting down to write and warm up/wait for something good to start flowing. I purposely did something that I know was bad and analyzed it to find the good/identify what I really wanted to say and I have a theory for why this works. Doing and seeing things wrong also hit home the lessons I had been learning. It was one thing to see bad examples, but it was another to make them. But, by doing it on purpose it didn’t get me down, I wasn’t frustrated, and it didn’t discourage me in the least. If anything it encouraged me because I was already way above the bad pitch even though I wasn’t satisfied. Now, there is a reason I think learning this way helped. You see, words are all conceptual, there is nothing physical about them, so practicing something with words is a bit different from practicing something physical like trying a special knot. If the knot is wrong you can simply follow the rope back to see that a lope is simply missing because you forgot a step. With words it’s different because you aren’t writing a single word. You are writing a word that coalesces from one general concept, like a chair, and relating that word with many others to form a weave of interconnecting concepts to make something more substantial, a creaky chair that a woman is pulling out to sit on and rest her weary bones. Beyond that sentences are formed into paragraphs, and paragraphs are only a section of an even larger whole. Now, in relation to a whole 30,000 word long short-story missing a simple comma isn’t all that big of a deal. Missing every comma, however, would be noticeable. This is because a simple mistake will often get edited automatically in our head before the concept as a whole is messed up. Don’t believe me? I would remind you that when we speak we have a lot of hmms, huhs, and ums. We don’t like to see it written that way because it’s wrong, but it’s also undesirable in speech. In speech we just overlook a single um or huh in regards to carrying on listening to many other words and nonverbal cues. But if you say um a lot it stands out and bothers us. Writing is much the same way only for it’s own special set of circumstances. In both cases, speaking or writing, the more there is the harder it is to pull out a single mistake. So when you sit down to identify the problems with a character, it might be one little thing, or a collection of smaller things, and the problem might not even consistently be there. Thus when we try to find a problem that’s there we can often overlook it even as we know something is wrong. We are looking at the whole concept, sometimes the plot for an entire story, and one little part is off but we can’t see it. But if everything is wrong, if we are seeing issues all over the place, we can’t just fit it in and auto fix it nice and neatly. Thus, it helps identify the issue by changing the filter in our minds. The good can also really stand out which can help us change the focus. By comparison, if we go to the original knot comparison it’s easy to find the problem if you simply follow the rope to see that you zigged when you should have zagged. I have found this tool of doing things wrong on purpose incredibly helpful without even realizing I was doing it. As a result I figured it was something others might like to try so I have come up with a list of situations/reasons writing something wrong can help. I say situations because when I think about it each things that I tried to fix took a slightly different approach. 1) Voice: Sometimes the story you are trying to tell isn’t coming out right and just sounds wrong. Rather than constantly fighting it specifically try to write in a boring fashion. Then, instead of trying to figure out what’s wrong try to find what’s working. There is a good chance that if you can find something about your purposely boring words then you should focus on that because it’s coming naturally. A lot of people don’t realize what’s actually good about their work until people tell them. This is a way to do that yourself without relying on the input of others. The downside is that you might still have to try a few different things. Maybe once in 1st person and once in 3rd, or perhaps you should switch between past and present tense on tries. These are normal things to try if your voice doesn’t sound right so this practice can feel repetitive. But if trying those things didn’t work the first time you might find it helpful to try again and to do it wrong on purpose. 2) Something is wrong with a character: Your character not interesting, find their dialogue dull. Great, do in on purpose. Write a scene unrelated to your story but with the character. Now, there are two ways to do this that I feel work the best. The first is to add in some other character that you are familiar with from a different IP and have them talk. The second is to have the character you need help with make an impassioned speech about something to a version of himself that is completely boring and frustrating. The other option is to write out a bio specifically highlighting what is bad. You should be able to identify the interesting bits in any of those example which you add in on accident. The second suggestion there is a bit more specific but the contrast could help a lot of people, it’s another tool but one that could work well when combined. The third I haven’t tried but I would think it would help much like the next situation I’ll list. 3) Problems with your plot: Sometimes I’ve had problems with my plot. I wish I had thought of this a long time ago but simply listing the plot in a giant paragraph and go back and try to edit it can really help. This is the wrong way to plot a story but it can highlight a lot of issues. Maybe you’re characters have to much drama, maybe there are a few too many side plots, maybe something needs to be moved around, maybe you have too little going on, perhaps you need to add a try/fail cycle, or maybe some of your plots just aren’t that interesting. Putting you plot down in the order it happens can really help you see how chaotic a story is, and while many good stories are actually pretty crazy when you put it down like that it can help some issues jump out at you and help you identify the plots that you are most motivated to write. 4) Action/Fight scenes: Action and fight scenes can be really hard to do well for a lot of people. If this is the case for you write out the scene purposefully being bad. It’s all action, no thoughts or pauses, just straight action. My gosh it will get boring fast, hopefully boring enough that you will learn a thing or two about what really needs to go into a fight scene and what needs to stay out. Then, compare it to what you had been writing, any similarities? If so take them out or change them until it looks totally different. Make some actions quick, others take a while, add in a pause, maybe even some slight tangents. Add emotions like frustration or disgust. The trick is to always change it in a different fashion. While you generally want somethings to be the same going from all identical to all unique will help you identify where you want to be and get some good creativity flowing for how to write something properly. 5) Summaries: Whether you are writing a synopsis for a fanfic, quickly describing a story to someone, or writing a short pitch for an actual book, authors generally have to summarize their story a few times and doing so can be a challenge. If you are struggling do it poorly, line it out without being a draw on purpose. But then go back and identify any little thing that is interesting and use that as a starting off point. Well, that’s it for my list and this topic. I am sure there are other ways to use this tool but it is still new to me. I am sure there are more ways to use it, so if you're stuck try with something not listed above try to create a failed version and learn from it in some way. It might require a bit of extra work to really get the most out of it but in the end if it works, and you learn something about your strengths and weaknesses, then it’s a winner in my book.
  6. Youtube link Both the video and blog provided by Ckat Myla, And check out my Fimfiction profile. Set your chapter free: Knowing when it's time to post I've been there, we all have. You have obsessed over your writing for ages, always finding something that needs to be tweaked or worked on, but then comes the moment when there doesn't seem to be anything else to fix... well, that can't be right. There has to be something else to work on, what if this part goes too fast? What if I didn't give enough explanation here? It can't actually, really be ready to post, can it? Yes, the day has come, but you are still reluctant to set that bit of story free. You know it's probably just over-thinking paranoia or stage fright, but that doesn't make it any easier to just put it up. At the same time though, you shouldn't just keep your story from seeing the light of day (especially if it's updated by chapters. You gotta let it join its written brothers and sisters). Here are some good little guidelines to follow on when to just … well... let it go. - When you have enough to post. It always helps when you have most of the chapters done or mostly done already. I'm sure that some of the absolute best writers of systematically-posted fiction here on the internet have most – if not all – of their story completed or at least written before they start posting chapters. That must be such a good feeling... I'll bet. Because I always say I'm going to do that every time I decide to write another story. it didn't end up happening. The closest I have gotten has been when I had a story mostly-done and already posted on another site, and then when I brought it over to a new story site I already had like, four chapters ready to go. So I released them weekly and felt like such a pro. It was great for my readers too since they didn't have to wait around for me to get to the next chapter. I had it ready for them with some consistency. I still try to keep at least two chapters ahead of where my readers are, but that doesn't always work out. Real life does tend to get in the way and that's fine. Your readers understand that (the reasonable ones, anyway) and as long as you try to keep it mostly consistent in a realistic way for your schedule it should be good. Maybe not weekly, but perhaps monthly, or bi-monthly. It also helps if you don't always write in chronological order. I've done NaNoWriMo three times (two times in a row these past years) and those november writing frenzys blessed me with a very sizeable chunk of story to work with, and it wasn't all just once part of the stories. Some was from the beginning and I could start working on and editing immediately, but some of it was from near the end and I had to wait on it to be released. The story I'm updating now – and currently finishing – a good amount of the last chapters were written during NaNo 2012. Having a good amount written already (however you wanna space it out) is something that requires the existence of patience, but the rewards can be pretty worth it. - When your proofreaders are done with it. I have been over the importance of a pre-reader or beta before in my other videos. Mostly I've mentioned how great they are as second or third pairs of eyes to help you both catch mistakes in grammar as well as story/pacing/character continuity. Another handy role that they can perform for you is telling you that it's time to post. It's not exactly fair to put the pressure of 'when can I put this up?' completely on them, but they can act as a good crossing guard, telling you when it's safe to go ahead. I probably have put much more stress on my poor PRs due to my anxiousness to get stories and chapters up by certain times, and/or fretting about this thing or that thing far more than I should because whatever it is probably won't be noticed or even become important until later. I shall take this time to apologize to my present and past PRs for any undue stress I've put them under. You guys are/were awesome, and I am lucky and blessed to know you and have you help me. Your relationship with your PR is important, guys. They're helping you out probably for free, don't be their demanding boss, be their buddy too. Trust their judgment of your work to be fair and unbiased, because even if you are friends a good prereader will be critical as well as complimentary. - When you've gone over it at least three times yourself Maybe once for grammar and structure, once for story and/or character, and once trying to look at it from the perspective of the reader. Most likely your reader will either have been waiting weeks/months for this chapter and might not remember everything that happened in the last one, or they are coming late to the party and are reading everything at once. Neither way is a problem, but it might do well to focus more on the former type of reader. He is the type of person that explains why we need episode recaps on TV shows. There's absolutely nothing wrong with giving a little bit of a recap at the beginning of a chapter, but not in the exact form of a 'previously on _____'. Making it a bit more organic than that would be better. Try not to info-dump the recaps, but maybe if there was a spectacular battle in the last chapter, we've got the aftermath being looked over by a character who was there at the start of the next one, remembering the horror or watching a friend fall. Something like that. The important stuff as a gentle reminder for the reader to go, 'oh yeah, okay. I'm with ya.' On the grammar/structure side of it, while your PR is doing their thing, you still look it over and make sure all your 'your's and 'you're's are right and such. I really like this text-to-speech program I found online called Free Natural Reader. The free version has three pretty human-sounding voices and is quite helpful with picking out the little typos I or my proofies might have missed. - When you are so used to the story that you're worried it isn't as good as you think. The writers of the Simpsons and Futurama have mentioned on the hundreds (literally) of episode commentaries that they always seem to keep making up new jokes during the process of making the shows. They'll pitch one joke, and then afterward during all the subsequent stages of creating an episode they get so used to the joke that they can no longer tell if it's funny to anyone but themselves anymore. That's why they have to bring in new people to see/hear the joke for them to know that it's still totally fine. When you feel it's ready (though sometimes even when you don't)you are probably good to go, and over thinking it won't help your sanity. It will never ever EVER be perfect. Even if you have spent years carefully crafting and cultivating your beloved chapter babies, they will still never be ready unless you say they are. Much like the mama bird who has to push her babies out of the nest to teach them to fly, you just have to set them free into the world and trust that they can make it on their own. - When it's the ending, cut yourself some slack. Endings are hard. Any monkey with a keyboard can poop out a beginning, but endings are impossible. You try to tie up every loose end, but you never can. The fans are always gonna complain. There's always gonna be holes. And since it's the ending, it's all supposed to add up to something. I'm telling you, they're a raging pain in the patootie. Yes, that's a paraphrased line from Supernatural, but that doesn't mean it's not true. Even if you haven't really had a problem with posting your story before, when it comes down to that last chapter, you will most likely start to feel that anxiety. That's even if you're satisfied with your ending. Well, about as satisfied as you're going to be because let's face it by restating it: ain't no way you will be completely one-hundred percent happy with it because complete and total perfection is a myth. More elusive than Bigfoot on a Princess cruise to Narnia with the tooth fairy. What I'm saying is, don't over-think it too much. It's very important, yes, but that doesn't mean you should tear your hair out over it or be literally scared of it due to a perceived lack of culmination or payoff. You never know, most of your readers probably will be satisfied, and remember the number one rule is to me satisfied yourself. I think this video article as proven that sometimes you can be your own worst enemy, but maybe after the second guess should not come a third, forth, or for-hundreth one. Not entirely sure how to finish this one of, because... you know... endings are hard. I do hope I've helped you at least a little though. Let it go, let it go, post it up, let it be heard let it go, let it go, stop over-thinking it, you nerd It's okay, perfection is a myth. Set your chapter free. Come on, just get it over with.
  7. Ckat_Myla has done a very interesting video about how to follow up after finishing a story. Find the video link and transcript below. And feel free to share this with others that might benefit. The video also includes a contest for a copy of the Pony Tales Comic Vol1 which includes the single issue comics for the mane 6. Free shipping within the US. Find the video here. Imagine if you will: you just completed a very big story (or other such entertainment project) and you are filled with the relief and elation (or perhaps 'reliefalation' ;P) that such an occasion brings. Though as the completion euphoria dies down, you realize that you can't simply sit on your laurels and not do anything else. You are a creator, you must create! A writer writes, and all that. So you begin to wonder to yourself, 'what should I do next?' This is where you might just find yourself in a place quite similar to the one you were in when you began writing and planning your last story. Now however, there are some new questions to ask. Should I do something completely different from my last story, something totally unrelated? Should I continue my story and write a sequel? Can I even write a fulfilling continuation to this last piece of art? There are two different ways you could be coming from in this situation; either you are finishing one story in a series and moving on from it, or you are finishing something to go onto a new story completely separate from the last. From either of those scenarios, you could be feeling a bit of performance anxiety. That's especially if your last story was popular or successful in some way. You might be feeling like you want to give your readers something different, but also not alienate them by going so far away from what made your last story good that you run the risk of losing that same audience. That's why determining what your readers like about that last story (and what you liked too) is so very helpful. That's not to say that you should try to include every thing and every character type that made your last story a hit. There are far too many examples of writers and directors of popular works trying to incorporate all of the things we loved about one book/movie by stuffing it all into the succeeding ones, or incorrectly guessing what it was we loved so much. So don't just do market research. Again if it was successful, you might be feeling a little like that first hit was a fluke. How can you repeat success? Are you just a one hit wonder? Well, I can't give you advice on the former, and probably not on the latter either. I can offer some help on trying to figure out where to start when you hit this new and nervo-citing time. `-`-`-`--`-`-`-` If it's a sequel to their last story usually writers have – if not the entire series planned out – at least some semblance of an outline or a general idea of where the series is headed. But let's say that maybe you don't have as much as you probably should for an outline regarding the entire series (no offense to those that don't do this, I'm more of a plotter than a pantser) or maybe you hadn't considered making a sequel when you began. A good place to start would be to look at the emotional state your characters are in at the end of story 1. Then consider where you could take them to further the story in an interesting and entertaining way. This is an opportunity to take the current ending (however happy or sad) and go 'now... what could go wrong here?' They may have overcome some physical and emotional strife in story 1, but in story 2 they might still have some insecurities or things to face. You might possibly be able to develop new ones for them based on how the last story shook out. The really great writing podcast 'Writing Excuses' (of which I have been borrowing some points for this video article) brings up something they call the 'Yes, but/No, and'. Meaning that you can take your ending and ask the question 'does it get better?' You can give it a Yes, But and then adding some sort of twist or complication/cost that can feed into the next story and start a whole new adventure. The No And works similarly, only in the reverse. The ending did not go how the characters planned, and now something else has happened/been revealed to add onto this predicament. Your Beta reader/PR (or writing group, or any other person who will help critique your work) can be very helpful in determining what those bits other people enjoyed were. They can tell you what they liked, and what they felt resonated enough that you should probably address in the next story. `-`-`-`-`--`-`--` If you're attempting to make something completely new, it might still be worth having a chat with your Beta/PR. As mentioned before you might not want to feel like you're trying to repeat success, but focusing on general aspects/tropes you enjoy reading about can help in discovering where you want to go next, writing-wise. That's also good if your new story is in the same vein as your last but not a straight-up sequel. Don't be afraid to shake things up a bit too though, to go way out there and try writing something completely different from your last thing. I like the idea of making a list of your favorite media (shows/movies/books/etc) and then trying to isolate what are the core things that make them lovable or memorable to you. What is it that you love about that thing? You might – like me – find some common threads that can help pinpoint an element of storytelling or a trope that you would enjoy including or working with. When looking for new ideas and new inspiration/motivation, consuming media is a very good method to try (long as you don't go over board and lose that motivation). Once you've gone through the things you've already seen and know you enjoy, branch out. Try new things that you haven't seen or read or heard, and then try and determine why you like those new things. All that fun discovery and 'research' will help you make a nice list of things you might want to use. If you're still stuck, there's another cute little exercise you can try. Write down five character archetypes (Bruiser with a soft center, Trickster, Cynic, Princess, Cloudcuckoolander, etc.) and then make a list of five problems that need to be solved (The washing machine is broken, the monster hibernating in the center of the planet is awakening, they discover their love for and then their allergy to peanut butter, they have to babysit a whiny eight year old, their boss is coming for dinner and also their boss is a T-Rex, etc.). Pair them up and write a page on them and see what flows, see what you're drawn to. And if you are indeed still feeling somewhat worried about somehow not living up to your past success, or 'letting down' your readers, just try and remember that your last story was able to find an audience – however big or small – and even if this new story doesn't attract those same people, if you put the love and work into it it can find an audience possibly all its own. As long as you are pleased with it, it has the potential to please others. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What do you do after finishing a story?
  8. (Note: By accidently pressing the enter button I posted this before I finished writing the title and do not know how to edit it. My apologies.) I recently started a writing channel with a focus toward fanfiction, specifically MLP fanfiction but they are intended to extend beyond to other mediums. My videos take a psychology focus to understanding writing. Please find the full transcript and link to the video bellow. Feel free to pick the medium you want. If you like either subscribe/follow me for more weekly content from myself and others. Did you know that swear words are expletives and activate a slightly more primitive part of the brain than normal language. In fact it’s largely found to relate to the limbic system which involves emotion. This is probably why swear words are so hard to define and why they can be used in a large variety of ways, in a way they aren’t real words they are a verbal expression of emotion. They are a conceptual expression, involving emotion rather than specific definitions. This is also why swear words and expletives can enhance or weaken your writing style. Swear words are a very negatively viewed expletive so I’m going to need to explain some bits and pieces separately before bringing them together, in a family friendly manner of course. Let’s start with expletives and cultural. Expletives say a lot about someone. Such as where they came from, their class, their culture, their values, and the current levels of their emotion. Intensity is something that expletives convey very well. Saying something loudly and swearing loudly feels very different. Even swearing under ones breath can add a level of meaning that is hard to convey with normal words. Let’s look at some classic MLP fan expletives, ponyfeathers and buck. I should clarify that ponyfeathers is used in the show as an expletive, along with several other words. But they are never shown to be swears in official material, only fan material. Buck is not used as an expletive in the show but was initially used quite extensively in fan content. Buck is odd because it’s just changing one letter from an actual swear word but is also a word used in normal speech. Perhaps that is why it’s lost a bit of popularity compared to early mlp fanfiction, it’s really not that different than the existing word and therefore does not speak to the mlp culture. Ponyfeathers, on the other hand, is unique and seems to have grown a bit in popularity as people have come to realize what they can do with it. Ponyfeather’s meaning has been growing with use whereas buck is more limited to it’s real world counterpart and thus ponyfeathers means more to those who use it. It’s effectively become a part of a cultural dialect and if you use this word in the brony culture it shows that you’ve been around the block and probably read more fanfiction which is where I see it used most often. It stands out as something unique to you and your culture and implies a deeper meaning. As for creating expletives for your own world, I find it is a fun and engaging thing to do. I remember when A Clockwork Orange was all the rage in junior high and I remember the colorful and unique language that seemed to entrance many student’s fascination . Adding your own expletives is a way to add something unique to your writing. When deciding what expletives to use for a character or a culture keep in mind that you should have a good variety. I suggest having at least 1-2 expletives, preferably a minor and an intense one, for the quote “six universal emotions.” Many of these expletives can be used with multiple emotions though often the intonation changes, so there is no need to have 12 unique expletives for each character. The six universal emotions described by anthropologist Paul Ekman and his colleagues in 1972 are; surprise, fear, happiness, sadness, anger and disgust. They are considered universal because the basic facial expressions for each are recognizable between all human cultures and they are universally expressed by the blind who have never seen them. Many other emotions are often described in terms of these six basic emotions as well. Now, each emotion can pull from a large pool of words which I will get into later, but swear words are a common factor and many swears can be used to express different emotions. I like to categorize swearing along the lines of Steven Pinker’s work. He describes five types of swearing; Abusive, Emphatic, Dysphemism, Idiomatic, and Cathartic Swearing. Abusive words are used to insult, objectify, or humiliate others. Many abusive words come from things that we fear, that we don’t understand, or that we find dirty such as baby making, death, bodily fluids, and illness just to name a few. Abusive words can also be derived from class or racial differences such as calling someone a piece of s or a fat f’er. Emphatic swearing is generally used when one wants to express that their feelings are stronger than the social pressures exerted on them, when breaking a taboo is a statement in and of itself. I find this type of swearing is generally not directed at anything in particular. For example: loosing a job when dealing with financial woes might cause a person to swear, even if they are around a parent or other respected figure that would frown on swearing. Dysphemitic swearing is where where a euphemism can be used to express an unpleasant concept in a socially acceptable way, dysphemism is an extreme representation of the mundane where a socially unacceptable term adds intensity. EDIT: Honestly this is one I have a little trouble understanding myself. Where abusive swearing is directed at another Dysphemitic swearing is a more relevant to situations where your talking about another where they aren't present. Ala saying "what a #%*$" when talking about someone else. Dysphemism is also usually derived from a difference in social class. A very simple example is the S-word. The S-word has germanic roots whereas defecation has latin roots. At one point, those in a higher social class in Britain used defecation. Using the lesser classes word was socially unacceptable and was used to add a negative connotation. This really has not changed at all and a lot of people from lower social classes use the S-word where those in higher classes use other, more socially acceptable, words. Idiomatic swearing is used in a casual setting. It’s not negative in context but expresses a closeness with other. It’s the kind of swearing people use around friends when it’s unnecessary. I swear around my friends and they don’t care that what I say is taboo because we are friends, we accept each other regardless of normally perceived faults. It shows and enhances bonding. One might also argue that the rebellious phase teenagers are famous for is an expression of trying to find a social circle. A circle who will be accepting and where you can relax the propensity for socially derived niceties, people who you can relate to. People who use words like you do where parents often insist on speaking “properly” even though they don’t always speak properly themselves. This can be used in writing to show distance between a parental figure and the offspring. Even if a parent lets you swear, swearing at your parent or using abusive swearing is not usually allowed whereas friends might turn it into Idiomatic swearing. Cathartic swearing is my personal favorite. Cathartic swearing gives us lalochezia, meaning the relief one receives by swearing. It’s actually been shown repeatedly that swearing lowers our perception of pain, effectively reducing it instantaneously. Swear words make particularly effective cathartic words because if somebody hurts themselves they might only have enough time to utter one word before falling unconscious and so a swear word will catch the attention of others. Its the type of word used right after a sudden but inevitable betrayal and falling unconscious to a poison, or perhaps a soldier being wounded in battle. It’s the cry of a significant other if something stressing or harmful happens. It summons help from others, it’s an immediate action that can actually work toward a solution. Using these 5 types of swear words and similar expletives can greatly enhance characterization in a story and can even help with world building. Perhaps the dwarves and humans in your world get along and the humans make short jokes using idiomatic swearing. By contrast elves might use abusive swearing toward dwarves in the majority of situations. Using this setup properly can create tension in a scene with the utterance of a single word, once the audience has some context of course. Many expletives get spread around between all these social contexts. But they also get spread around between the different emotional states; Surprise, Fear, Happiness, Sadness, Anger, and Disgust. There are some neat tricks to use when we combine different swear words with different emotions. Some good surprise expletives include ow, gah, what, eeek, or even a generic shriek. I find Cathartic swearing is the most common and appropriate for suprised based swearing. But emphatic swearing can also work especially when the proverbial s is going down. In the case of surprise swear words that are also idiomatic they tend to work best when the character is coming from a comfortable setting such as being around friends or in their own home. Have you ever surprised someone only to hear them swear out loud before laughing, I bet you have. People also use idiomatic swearing when bad things are going down and hearing something similar back is comforting. It can also hint that maybe someone really isn’t on the side that they say they are. Thus it implies that someone may be a traitor. Think a cop trying to infiltrate a gang when they get jumped by a rival gang, he will swear with them because if he doesn’t it’s suspicious. Cathartic swearing can also be fantastic when combined with the emotion of surprise. Mostly if some form of pain or potential for pain is involved. In fact this is a good place to point out that cathartic swearing can be used preemptively such as when a car goes over a cliff and the passenger utters a swear even if it would be absurd that he should die. In many example, such as the one I just gave, cathartic swearing can be combined with fear as well as surprise. Fear. Some fear expletives include; no, ahh, gah, screams in general, and muffled or unmuffled cries are all decent options. Again swear words are good. Religious or belief driven words are common. Even something like “You can’t be real, you can’t be real!” works. Repetition is a good way to express fear, especially with expletives and fear induced panic attacks. Another good type of expletive for fear that is more situational is some word or comment relating to what is going on. This is most commonly used with individuals who are very focused or fanatical. Think a comic book villain who has dedicated themselves to defeating the hero, only to have his doomsday weapon turned on him and just before his death calls out to curse the name of his nemesis. This is actually a perfect example of expletives being both personal and emotionally driven, thus abusive swearing is a good option in these rare instances whereas I find idiomatic swearing to be a particularly poor choice. Happiness; For happiness some good examples are ya, yay, wooo, woho, and all right. I promise that those sound better when with a group. But that’s kind of a problem with happiness expletives. Think of the cool characters, the ones who simply smile, or take a kiss from the girl... or guy. A lot of times it’s a side character, or the comedy relief that expresses happiness at the climax when the main character is too tired to care or continue. Sometimes if it’s a cheeky character they will lay out some witty comment. So what other types of communication can people use to express happiness? Well, one good one is laughing. It’s not really a word or phrase but it’s a sound that people make that can be made unintentionally and in the heat of the moment. It’s also universally recognized. Snorting while laughing is an extreme example as well. Emphatic swearing is a good option to express happiness because it emphasizes that the character is so happy that no negative social impact would dampen their spirits. Along the same lines idiomatic swearing is a good choice if a character is sharing an experience with others. You also see emphatic swearing a lot at parties, especially if people are imbibing in inebriation. Idiomatic swearing is also used to express happiness when someone or a character is presenting a joke, such as in a standup comedy routine. They are expressing that they are sharing with you. They are your buddy. This is especially funny when used as abusive swearing directed at others. Think of Lewis Black, he is using abusive swearing directed at some QUOTE A’hole, but with you he is using idiomatic swearing because you are the buddy chum of this “A’hole” [insert picture of Lewis Black]. Sadness; pretty much all swear words work for sadness. Wordless expressions such as cries and sniffling and names of people related to the sadness also work quite nicely. Just don’t add too much energy unless they are also angry or, in rare cases, fearful. Anger; hell, heck, pretty much any swear word or any word with er tacked on the end. Hater, f-er, spooner. When people, and ponies, are angry they tend to yell whatever forms most easily on their lips. Just try to keep it relevant and consistent unless you are showing how unstable they are. Things that relate to broad categories such as race, professions, actions, and body parts are also quite common. Disgust or Repulsion; our old friend the swear word is a fairly standard choice, as are less wordy expletives such as oh, eww, gah and any noise indicating its hard to breath. These swears and expletives are, in my experience, short. Hope this can help some folks. If you like this either subscribe/follow me for more weekly content.