Author Topic: Writing Elements  (Read 3807 times)

Ranger Reid

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Writing Elements
« on: October 28, 2015, 07:21:28 pm »
I am putting this here since it applies to our games and writing in general.

I had a lunch yesterday with a friend who is a best selling author.  He has arrived on a road I can only glimpse in the distance.

We were discussing the role editors play and he mentioned some things I knew about, and some I did not.

Continuity-                if your character is left handed, and you have him writing with his right hand, or if his name is Kipp in the beginning and becomes Kip at some point.    Any detail that doesn't track with a previously formed detail.

Grammer/ Spelling/ Usage-   this may seem obvious, but using the correct to, too, two  or punctuation counts.

Echo-     Repeating phrases or words.   This is especially important at the beginning of sentences and paragraphs, but can also be simply the repetition of words.
                  I did not know this had a name, but I already work not to repeat myself often.    In my game writing, I will try to say my character's name, then a pronoun like "the young man" or a label  "the ranger"    instead of repeating   "Reid said this"  Reid did that"

****I didn't start this thread as a know-it-all how-to, but as a discussion so that if there are other concerns that I did NOT mention, maybe you folks can chime in and help educate me.

Many of the writers/ players here often impress me.  So please offer any insights.    I will grow from your input and try to improve my own writing.


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Re: Writing Elements
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2015, 08:18:01 pm »
Fair Points and filled with truth
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As a point with names

Ranger when used as title or name when being referred to is always capitalised, but ranger as in "The ranger walked the line" is always lowercase

Echo/Repetition - there are conflicting rules on this.

If you want to learn more I can point you to a good FB group I am in.
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Stella Gaslight

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Re: Writing Elements
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2015, 08:44:27 pm »
My help is more content than grammar related.

Never be afraid to put your characters in peril and have damage from getting out of that peril stick.  My headstrong doctor's attempt to take out a mummy in the marigold games lead to a withered leg and excellent series of stories about how hard it was to be suddenly gifted power.

I admit I do use too many run on sentences when doing more steam of conciousness stuff but reading things out loud can realy help with that even if it is only under your breath.

Synonyms are awesome. Learn as many words and their uses as you can. These are your slings and arrows never be short of them.

Describe describe describe. If your world is a real place I want to be able to reach out and touch it in a visceral way,
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Re: Writing Elements
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2015, 09:00:43 pm »

Describe describe describe. If your world is a real place I want to be able to reach out and touch it in a visceral way,

But that there is in breach of the rule that says "Show not tell"
Dunno why I am pointing it out because this rule is stupid Showing and telling is the same thing!


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Re: Writing Elements
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2015, 09:34:55 pm »
All good points.

I have been and am still certified to be an English Teacher (secondary level) in teh State of Texas. I won't claim to be a passable or good writer; People have said that I am one or both of those, but I have only one published work under my belt, and due to contract and other SNAFUs that were/are entirely my own fault, I have yet to be paid for anything. On top of it all, I am constantly made to look absolutely clueless and foolish by my own execrable typing skills - not  to mention an obsession with past characters, and a tendency to make then a bit more powerful, and to grow a bit more into more power than might be acceptable in a novel format. I try not to God Mode, but sometimes I fall into that trap, especially with villains who are desinged to be of the recurring sort (Merovingia, Morganthe - mine, not D&D's - and Handthorpe are all perfect cases in point, I somewhat shamefacedly admit).

I tend to not make any bones about people's grammar. A lesson learned while working as a tutor and various levels of instructor in a couple of writing labs in college, coupled with my actual bachelor's degree (basically a melding of technical writing and linguistics) is that
1.grammar tends to take care of itself as long as the writer decides to learn proper grammar as he or she goes along. Trying to correct someione's grammar by constant redirection tends to annoty people and turn what should be a pleasurable or at least tolerable experience into an onerous chore. I'll correct a formal student of mine because that's what a teacher does, but the people I RP or write collaboratively with are equals, not students or subordinates. They have their style and grammar, and I have mine. All of the people whom I did Steam London with have improved vastly since I first started writing with them a few years ago (sorry about the gaffe; I really don't mean to be insulting or to give a backhanded compliment).

2. "proper grammar" varies from field to field, and also from one nationality to another (such as American versus British, for example). Contrary to what many people will tell you, there is no one set grammar that is THE one and only right one. Yes, there are certain language-wide standards by which people tend to judge one's intelligence and level of education, but write in more than one or two fields (say, any of several scientific disciplines vs. Computer Science, or perhaps Business versus the utter minefield of  career academia), and you will find out very quickly that "proper grammar" tends to be whatever the boss, dean, or lead professor says it is. Disagree with them? Sure, some will let you do so, but many have serious trouble with such an attitude. You just might find yourself being right, unemployed (or untenured), and utterly starved.

In short, grammar and all of that are important, but let's try to remember that everybody writes differently, and that no one style is the only one that is right. "Tolerance rules," I suppose one could say.
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