Good Writing Tips


The Strongest
Sep 3, 2015
What are the essential tips and techniques a writer needs when starting their story? What are the main core aspects they should utilized before the writing process including character building, lore building and information dumping?

Those with experience with writing by having tons of written out content, what are things that you think writers should considered and/or avoid? Explain your thoughts.
Writing essentials, for me:
-NEVER begin writing before you have completed the proper amount of world building. How can you write a detailed story if you don't have at least the foundations of the world down to work from as your skeleton?
-Have a good idea of how long you anticipate your story to be and plan the pacing accordingly. Long stories and short stories are a bit different in the difficulties.
-Always have a person willing to read your chapter before you post it. They can catch things you didn't. At the same time, take feedbacks and weigh their significance accordingly. If you choose to not take the commentary and change your work accordingly, have a good reason why.
-Get to know your characters before you put them in the world. It makes creating dialogue much easier.
-have good names for humans. If you make one up because of a hopefully appropriate reason, ask yourself "would anyone want to give their kid this name?" 'Punny name' systems are exempt from this though, they're usually intentionally dumb sounding for comedic purposes.

I haven't completed any of my current stories I'm working on, so all I can really say is that the destination isn't even the hard part to come up with. It's the journey. The way you get the cast to get to the conflict and resolution are even harder than thinking up the ending. How are you going to make it interesting? How will you want your audience to care about any of the characters?  The destination and the journey are equally important though.

It's not much but I hope it helps somebody out there.
Here's a good writing tip:

There is a difference between adding necessary details in a scene if it has an importance to the narrative, than worthless filler that does nothing other than fill up the pages. If a character is walking from point A to point B, we don't need the extra detailed in between unless it has a narrative focus. 

Another tip is to avoid flashbacks. Do not add any kind of flashbacks into your stories, at all. They are the lowest forms of literacy devices for your work. You can expand your character through dialogue, scene and summary without the usage of flashbacks.
I usually plan out my character first and make their personality lead to decision making. However, a character doesn't single handedly run a story, you need supporting roles that both support and hinder your character. Note that the antagonist does not need to be the character who hinders your character. You also need a theme for your story, as in 'a message' you want to tell readers. It can be something as simple as your OC getting their goal or something a little more complex like making the reader think outside the world your story takes place in. Lastly, it would be a good idea to plan at least 2 arcs and their conclusion that does NOT involve your OC. Avoid hyper-detail backstories, this is literally Baby's First anime FanFic 101, you know, the ones that make their OCs virtually unstoppable but try to define 'flaws' as part of their 'sad/tragic backstory.' Other than that, everything mentioned above should be able to be summarized in 2-3 sentences. Once you can do that, you've created a solid character/plot that is tangible enough to mold should things change in the story. 

Allow me to explain using Kire.

Who is Kire?: Kire is a man who lives life on the edge due to his unwanted connections to a hidden market in Hope City. He despises the rich for taking advantage of his advanced computer/IoT skills as well as his trust, leaving him resentful and penniless in an evergrowing city. 

What is the theme?: Behind the Thorns focuses on giving people a second chance, however, emphasizes that not everyone deserves one.

Kire's goal?: Kire wishes to escape the life he was forced in and live a normal life.

All this will remain the same, even if I change the story plot and timeline drastically. Why? Because it's very open and not too specific, however, it pertains to only Kire and his views because he's the main character I want the reader to focus on.

For example, Behind the Thorns takes place in a world similar to ours and roughly around the same time era. Say I change that to 500 years in the future in a sci-fi post-apocalyptic era underwater in the moon. Certain elements, plotlines, and technologies changed, however, everything above remains the same. Kire can still be a man living life on the edge, he can still hate the rich that abused him, and he can still want to escape his current situation to live a normal life. The only difference is when/where it takes place. If you can make a character that can be molded into ANY scenario, regardless of time era or genre, you can easily build your story around them and their actions. This isn't done in one go and you have to think of ways your character can fail. This brings up another topic I see many MANY writers do: Make the main character justified.

Everyone loves their Main Character and the OCs that follow them, however, this creates a problem of making the character always 'right', even when presented or proven not to be.

For example, Kire works in the Red Market of Hope City, distributing illegal goods for all to obtain. Kire finds information on certain targets and sends the information to another person who hunts them down and kills them, harvesting their organs and other body parts. These organs are given to a doctor who uses them to save hundreds of his patients and provide medical advancements for future generations. The Doctor says Kire is doing nothing wrong because he is putting down people who are already criminals and will continue doing criminal things. If he stops this operation, many innocent people will die and medical science will come to a halt. He says if there were more people donating their organs, they wouldn't have to go as far as to steal them from others. The doctor doesn't like it as much as Kire, but he does it for the greater good. However, if Kire stops his line of operation, he and a couple of others will be killed.

In a situation like this, some people are inclined to agree with the doctor, however, with today's laws and policies, Kire will NOT be excused from it. He does not agree with any of this and thinks it's wrong, despite the Doctor having some valid points. One can argue for days about this, but the point is, Kire should not be made into a saint because he's saving innocent people. Regardless of how many people he saves, the methods of doing it are wrong. The message should not be "Kire is doing the greater good! He's helping innocent people! His actions save people!" but rather "This is a messed up situation and things need to change. There has to be a better way to help people than this."

And sometimes, there is not a better way to fix it. Those are moments where your character is stuck between a rock and a hard place. In this case, it's Kire picking between killing others or getting himself killed. No matter what he does or what he picks, he can't win. 

"But he's a computer expert! Have him use his skills to get himself out!"

And this is the final point I will bring up: No consequences.

It's more fun to see a character struggling with certain decisions in their life than simply using their skills to find a convenient loophole in your story. This is where you bring in your supporting role and expand their skills to help your main character. Put your main character in a situation, that no matter what their abilities are, they cannot escape/fix/overpower the problem. The only way to save your character is through an outside force, primarily your supporting roles. This not only shows weakness and vulnerability in your main character but shows development in your other ones. It strengthens the bond between your characters and gives the reader an interesting viewpoint from another side.
That's an informative tip, Z!

Here's another one... when it comes to writing your characters, I think it's a good idea to revealed the name of your character straight away, unless their names needs to be kept secret. It's hard to read the story, only to see BLONDE WOMAN or TALL GUY. I fell for this trap lots of time and tried to reduce it by introducing their names as quickly as possible.
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