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A Guide To Storymaking


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#1 OFFLINE   Master Neverdead

Master Neverdead

    In Verses, Prophecies, and Curses

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 08:47 PM

I've read a lot of fantastic stories on these boards, and I've read a lot of not-quite-so-fantastic stories here as well. I'm still excited that we have this oppurtunity, an oppurtunity to practice our creativity and try our best at impressing our forum mates. As sort of the 'mentor' of these boards I feel obliged to point something out. I see the same problems in nearly every tale (even some of my own!) and I feel it is time I passed some of my own advice to help with making your stories more entertaining and more successful with your comrades.

Characters



First, I'd like to address the characters, as they are the MOST IMPORTANT role in any successful tale's greatness. Badly written characters can be the downfall of even the greatest of plots, but well rounded and well portrayed characters can make a horrible plotline seem amazing. Here is what you do:

Quest Requirements: An imagination, a comfortable chair, and some mood music.

Rewards: Characters that will be the envy of all your rivals.  

Sit alone in a room. (Music is optional) Now take a deep breath and try to empty thoughts from your mind. Focus them by thinking about a room, and not just a blank room, a room with chairs, fireplace, a painting, or whatever else you can imagine. Now, imagine someone walking up to you. Don't force the image just let it happen. Ask yourself these questions: What is the gender? What is he/she wearing? What does their face look like? What is their body type? What do they sound like? Are they being polite? Get deep with your questions, essentially becoming intimate with the character. Allow them to tell you their life story and wham-o! You have yourself a character. Be VERY careful to ensure that your story has balance. You cannot have a character with an endless supply of power with no downside and no one to fight him. BALANCE IS EVERYTHING!!!!

Now that you have your character you have to input them into a plotline (we'll discuss these next). This is possible the most dificult part but there is one rule that if followed, makes much better results. Your character CANNOT allow the plotline to control it. Your character MUST control whats happeneing in the story. Your plotline should be made to suit your character, not your character to fit into the settings. Make sense? Readers don't connect with plots, they connect with emotions, and what portrays emotion? Characters! Your characters seem more real when they are seperate from a plot. Essentially the plotline exists BECAUSE of the characters. I hope all my rambling makes sense.

Storyline


Characters are great, and they are what the storyline is about. But they only draw the emotions of the reader, not their physical bodies. You want them to FEEL your world. Needless to say, without an interesting plot the story falls flat. Here is my advice:

Quest Requirements: Characters, thoughtfulness, a friend, and open mindness.

Rewards: A story that doesn't flounder, and the tears of your readers all over their keyboards.

Once you have a whole cast and supporting cast of characters, it is time to make them do things. I cannot tell you how to write a storyline, because if I did then it would take away from your stories unique potential, however I can offer this. There has to be a history, a problem, a protaganist(hero), an antagonist (villain), a neutral party, a world for all of this to take place, a solution to the problem, and your own unique way of explaining why things happen. For example: Just because the Dwarves in Lord of the Rings wear blocky armor and have unkempt beards doesn't mean yours do. Just because magical powers come from ones soul in Hammer of the Gods doesn't mean that yours do. This is YOUR WORLD, bend it how you wish. But be careful, you have to make sure you can make it all seem real and believable.

Ask yourself this one question: Why am I writing this?

Presentation



This is something I've noticed a lot of you have not yet mastered. Presentation is key, as its difficult to understand and get drawn into something like this:

"He turned he crner and, saw, their in front of him, the very prson he to kill. So he fast like ducked back and got ready ta fight."

Hmmm...See my point?

"He turned the corner, and there, to his surprise was the very person Max had sent him to kill. Quickly, he ducked back around the corner and removed the silenced pistol from his coat pocket."

Slightly more compelling no?

Grammar, spelling, and creativity are key, and if you don't have it naturally then it is difficult to learn. But, those of you who need help, add my YIM account: [email protected]

I look forward to your stories, and am prepared to be knocked out of my seat. Good luck.

Edited by Yuanrang, 06 July 2013 - 06:52 AM.

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"The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it." - Leo Calvin Rosten





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