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  1. #271
    Less cute in person Beth Pavell's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Writing Questions

    Well, reading widely is an excellent writing exercise. It gives you vocab and perspectives that reading inside one genre won't. Having said that, I think that general curiosity is a better writing exercise than simply reading different genres. I have reference books of flowers and trees on my shelf, books of constellations and cities and just pictures of the world. A lot of them I bought on the cheap, and when I want to look at something specific, Google image searches and Wikipedia are right there. All this finds it's way back into my writing one way or another, and makes it so much easier to write vivid worlds as a result
    The Long Walk
    For Joshua Cook, it's a long walk away from his dull life to the Pokémon League. But does he really want to be the very best? A coming-of-age story of adventure, friendship and growing up in the world of Pokémon.


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  2. #272

    Default Re: General Writing Questions

    Realized i posted this in the wrong thread, and cant figure out how to delete a post so this is going here as well.

    How do you guys go about writing an outline for your story, if you do. I am going to have about 7 hours of uninterrupted writing tomorrow(besides about 45mins for lunch) and I want to get some serious writing done.

    I have an idea for a fic in my head and wanna start writing, but without a decent outline, my writing is just smudges on paper. Any suggestions?
    Im back! I play mtg outside of this, so hmu to talk the card game! ;)

  3. #273
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: General Writing Questions

    I usually like to start by taking my initial idea, then forming a basic idea of the plot. Then, I draw up a bit of the world, character profiles, spell/ability lists (if any), and so on.

    Then I start writing detailed summaries of my first few episodes. However, my outline is not set in stone--it can be added to, deleted from, or rearranged at any time
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

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  4. #274
    Your mind is a world AetherX's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: General Writing Questions

    I don't really use an outline, per se. I obviously have a basic idea in my head, but when it comes to writing stuff down I really only have character backgrounds/profiles. I also have a short list of upcoming scenes described in single sentences at the end of my Word document so that I can keep myself on track and remember any ideas that I had. I'm obviously biased, but I think that this is the best way to write. All you really need to know is a general idea of where your story is going and a more specific idea of where your characters came from. Once you have that stuff down, the story will write itself.

    tl;dr do some character background stuff then just start writing.

  5. #275
    whatever Mako's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Writing Questions

    What I did for the book I'm writing was to build up the world (countries, governments, histories), come up with the main characters, write the first chapter... and then build up the plot from the ideas that came out of writing that chapter (including, rather ironically, rewriting the first chapter to fit in with changes I made to the storyline once I had one in my head). It's not the most orthodox method, I suppose, but it's worked thus far.

  6. #276

    Default How can i go about this story?

    I'll cut right to the chase; although i haven't actually written the story, i'm in the transition of writing a fanfiction season 2 for a show that i liked, which only had one season before being cancelled.

    The show was about three teenagers that were given superpowers after being exposed to a mysterious chemical and the first half of my fan-made season two would have been about 2/3 of them being teleported across the galaxy, along with the leader's grandmother. The story would be them trying to find a way back to Earth along with new allies and them stopping an alien invasion of the galaxy.

    The second half of my fan-made season 2 would focus on the remaining 3rd member of the team, who now must deal with issues back on Earth. Now this is actually where my issues start, as i have two possible scenarios to work with; in one, the remaining member of the trio discovers that he's the heir to a kingdom of highly evolved humanoid canines, and the story would mainly be about him adjusting to life as a royal while still protecting his new home. In the other scenario, the remaining member of the trio instead becomes the leader of his own motley crew of superheroes and must defend his city home from a looming evil.


    The problems i have are as follows:

    Idea 1: I want the character to be portrayed as a leader with great potential but little to no self-confidence, yet i frequently end up imagining him making decisions that lead to disaster.


    Idea 2: I want the the character to be portrayed as one of the more serious and mature members of the team (in hopes of drawing some irony, considering how cocky he was in the first season), yet i keep ending up imagining him saying and doing things that are just stupid and immature.


    In both ideas, i have 5 of the same problems:

    1. I keep imagining the main female lead just being a co-dependent love interest who always supports the main character and is basically just his arm candy. You know that that's just being sexist and anti-feminist.

    2. I want a villain from the first season to be reformed and be a hero in my season 2, but my mind keeps making me think of new ways for this character to betray the others. I wanted a complete reform, not a facade.

    3. I want the group to be a close knit band that looks out for one another, enjoys each other's company and gives the impression that, when the battles are all over, they'd still be friends to the end. However, in my mind, i'm continuously haunted by the idea that these characters don't like each other or respect each other and would gladly go their separate ways when the opportunity comes.

    4. In the original first season of the show, it was implied that the 3rd member of the trio was the one who caused the accident that gave the group their powers (and subsequently created one of the main villains). I wanted to write a way that confirms that that was, in fact, not the case, since if it was, then basically any heroics that the 3rd member of the trio did was just him stopping what he started, not very heroic.

    5. In the original first season of the show, the heroes were on the fence with public opinion; some people thought that they were heroes, but others believed the mayor (who was one of the show's main villains) who had nothing but negative sentiments about them. I want to change that, but i'm in a pickle on the subject; if i make it too good for them, the idea leads to saccharine-ness and corny dialogue, but if i make it too realistic, it becomes all of the negative aspects of Marvel comics that i was hoping to avoid.


    I'll say right now, i am drawing some of my ideas for this fanfiction from other shows and movies, but i really am trying to add something original.

    Can anyone help me with this dilemma?

  7. #277
    Falling, but Rising Again Renewal's Avatar
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    Default Re: How can i go about this story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Srebak View Post
    The second half of my fan-made season 2 would focus on the remaining 3rd member of the team, who now must deal with issues back on Earth. Now this is actually where my issues start, as i have two possible scenarios to work with; in one, the remaining member of the trio discovers that he's the heir to a kingdom of highly evolved humanoid canines, and the story would mainly be about him adjusting to life as a royal while still protecting his new home. In the other scenario, the remaining member of the trio instead becomes the leader of his own motley crew of superheroes and must defend his city home from a looming evil.

    The problems i have are as follows:

    Idea 1: I want the character to be portrayed as a leader with great potential but little to no self-confidence, yet i frequently end up imagining him making decisions that lead to disaster.
    This one doesn't sound like too much trouble to resolve. Though it depends on his character and skillset (Does he delegate, or is he a control freak? Is he confident about his present skillset, and only doubts his leadership? Or does he have crises of self-confidence every so often? Does he even want to be a leader?), they key is to simply make him learn from those disasters. After a mission go bad, show him doing his best to prevent such a disaster from happening again. In fact, make him him do his best to mitigate the damage for bad decisions--if they're out in the field and his plan goes awry, show him doing his damnedest to get everyone out safely. Failure is a fundamental part of every character's growth--so long as they don't stagnate and wallow in that failure.

    Idea 2: I want the the character to be portrayed as one of the more serious and mature members of the team (in hopes of drawing some irony, considering how cocky he was in the first season), yet i keep ending up imagining him saying and doing things that are just stupid and immature.
    This depends entirely on his prior characterization. If he was a goofball, then you can play up the conflict between his two drives: be a mature leader, or be the prankster he was before? Moreover, this also depends on why he needs to be more serious and mature. Is it just to set a good example for his team? Or is it because he's naturally serious? Either way, try to set out reasons and motivations for him being serious, and stick with it.

    And he doesn't need to be a one note character. Even if he's predominantly serious, he can still let off a good joke or two once in a while.

    In both ideas, i have 5 of the same problems:

    1. I keep imagining the main female lead just being a co-dependent love interest who always supports the main character and is basically just his arm candy. You know that that's just being sexist and anti-feminist.
    You need to get inside her head. What was her characterization from the first season, her goals and motivations, her hang-ups and flaws? Unless the finale perfectly wrapped up all those problems, they should still persist, even in the new situation. Show her acting on those desires, instead of just following the hero's.

    2. I want a villain from the first season to be reformed and be a hero in my season 2, but my mind keeps making me think of new ways for this character to betray the others. I wanted a complete reform, not a facade.
    Then play that up for internal drama. Explore why this ex-villain wants to be a hero, and why they were a villain in the first place. Have them waver back and forth over this decision, trying to balance those drives. And to really solidify this reform, you need to crystallize it with some catalyst: given them a reason to not just be a hero, but stay a hero. A love interest, something to protect, a threat or enemy so repulsive they can't be evil, etc.

    3. I want the group to be a close knit band that looks out for one another, enjoys each other's company and gives the impression that, when the battles are all over, they'd still be friends to the end. However, in my mind, i'm continuously haunted by the idea that these characters don't like each other or respect each other and would gladly go their separate ways when the opportunity comes.
    Then like with the villain, play it for drama and introspection and character development. Very few friendships have idyllic beginnings after all. Make their team something temporary and transient at the beginning--an alliance of convenience. Then, as the story develops, give them reasons not to leave: relationships, friendships, shared experiences in battle and in fun.

    4. In the original first season of the show, it was implied that the 3rd member of the trio was the one who caused the accident that gave the group their powers (and subsequently created one of the main villains). I wanted to write a way that confirms that that was, in fact, not the case, since if it was, then basically any heroics that the 3rd member of the trio did was just him stopping what he started, not very heroic.
    This one confuses me a bit. Why would stopping what he's start not be heroic? He could have foisted the job of fixing the problems off on someone else--but still he took responsibility. That's a very classic theme that runs through many heroic tales.

    5. In the original first season of the show, the heroes were on the fence with public opinion; some people thought that they were heroes, but others believed the mayor (who was one of the show's main villains) who had nothing but negative sentiments about them. I want to change that, but i'm in a pickle on the subject; if i make it too good for them, the idea leads to saccharine-ness and corny dialogue, but if i make it too realistic, it becomes all of the negative aspects of Marvel comics that i was hoping to avoid.?
    I'd need more details to better help you, but here are three broad scenarios.

    1.) Keep a general air of mistrust from the public, but make sure you include characters who the heroes help out and are thus grateful in return. Thus, while there's still mistrust, by focusing on characters who do believe in the heroes, you're showing real positive change in the populace.
    2.) Expose the mayor. The negativity should abate without an authority figure spouting it all the time. It immediately alleviates the mistrust, but keeps the conflict a viable plot hook: just because the root of the negative sentiments was a villain doesn't mean he was wrong.
    3.) Have the heroes earn their respect at the end of the story. So while the mistrust persists, the climax should be definitive proof that they mean well. You get your ultimate goal, without making the body of the story too positive.

    Hoped these rambling ideas helped a bit ^_^.

  8. #278

    Default Re: How can i go about this story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Renewal View Post
    This one doesn't sound like too much trouble to resolve. Though it depends on his character and skillset (Does he delegate, or is he a control freak? Is he confident about his present skillset, and only doubts his leadership? Or does he have crises of self-confidence every so often? Does he even want to be a leader?), they key is to simply make him learn from those disasters. After a mission go bad, show him doing his best to prevent such a disaster from happening again. In fact, make him him do his best to mitigate the damage for bad decisions--if they're out in the field and his plan goes awry, show him doing his damnedest to get everyone out safely. Failure is a fundamental part of every character's growth--so long as they don't stagnate and wallow in that failure.
    In the actual show, this character was somewhat of a follower who always tried to cling to the other older members of the team. He was a scientific prodigy, but every time he tried an experiment or attempted to build something, it ended badly. I'm told that it's his lack resources that hinder him, but still

    Quote Originally Posted by Renewal View Post
    Idea 2: I want the the character to be portrayed as one of the more serious and mature members of the team (in hopes of drawing some irony, considering how cocky he was in the first season), yet i keep ending up imagining him saying and doing things that are just stupid and immature.
    This depends entirely on his prior characterization. If he was a goofball, then you can play up the conflict between his two drives: be a mature leader, or be the prankster he was before? Moreover, this also depends on why he needs to be more serious and mature. Is it just to set a good example for his team? Or is it because he's naturally serious? Either way, try to set out reasons and motivations for him being serious, and stick with it.

    And he doesn't need to be a one note character. Even if he's predominantly serious, he can still let off a good joke or two once in a while.
    In the actual show, this character was kind of a wild child that at least two of the main cast thought was annoying, he was the youngest after all. He wasn't particularly a "Take charge" kind of person and seemed pretty content with being the kid of the group. I guess i was leaning towards him wanting to be serious because he doesn't to mess-up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Renewal View Post
    In both ideas, i have 5 of the same problems:

    1. I keep imagining the main female lead just being a co-dependent love interest who always supports the main character and is basically just his arm candy. You know that that's just being sexist and anti-feminist.
    You need to get inside her head. What was her characterization from the first season, her goals and motivations, her hang-ups and flaws? Unless the finale perfectly wrapped up all those problems, they should still persist, even in the new situation. Show her acting on those desires, instead of just following the hero's.
    In the actual show, this character only had two appearances and in both, she was more of a damsel-in-distress type of character who needed to be rescued and was always polite to everyone. The most action she got to do was to use her healing abilities on the main heroes when they were injured. Also, in both of her appearances, she kissed the youngest member of the team (hence my desire to make them a real couple). At the moment, the only thing i've changed about her character is her abilities; i've given her telepathy, telekinesis and the ability to fire energy blasts, and that's pretty much it. Like i said, it feels like she's only there to be the generic love interest and arm candy, and I really do think that she should be a strong female character.


    Quote Originally Posted by Renewal View Post
    2. I want a villain from the first season to be reformed and be a hero in my season 2, but my mind keeps making me think of new ways for this character to betray the others. I wanted a complete reform, not a facade.
    Then play that up for internal drama. Explore why this ex-villain wants to be a hero, and why they were a villain in the first place. Have them waver back and forth over this decision, trying to balance those drives. And to really solidify this reform, you need to crystallize it with some catalyst: given them a reason to not just be a hero, but stay a hero. A love interest, something to protect, a threat or enemy so repulsive they can't be evil, etc.
    In the actual show, this villainess was created by one of the show's main villains and was made to be pure evil. By the season finale, she was destroyed, but my idea was to have this story arc's main villains revive her. The catch is that when this happens, something about her changes, now she can never be the villain she used to be. She forms a big sister/little sister bond with the main female lead, but not only does this idea seem somewhat saccharine, it also leaves my mind open to ways where the former villainess could stab the rest of the group in the back. I think this all started when i saw a scene from "Toy Story 3", which showed just how sadistic and cruel the main villain was.

    Quote Originally Posted by Renewal View Post
    3. I want the group to be a close knit band that looks out for one another, enjoys each other's company and gives the impression that, when the battles are all over, they'd still be friends to the end. However, in my mind, i'm continuously haunted by the idea that these characters don't like each other or respect each other and would gladly go their separate ways when the opportunity comes.
    Then like with the villain, play it for drama and introspection and character development. Very few friendships have idyllic beginnings after all. Make their team something temporary and transient at the beginning--an alliance of convenience. Then, as the story develops, give them reasons not to leave: relationships, friendships, shared experiences in battle and in fun.
    I don't know what to say about that

  9. #279
    Falling, but Rising Again Renewal's Avatar
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    Default Re: How can i go about this story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Srebak View Post
    In the actual show, this character was somewhat of a follower who always tried to cling to the other older members of the team. He was a scientific prodigy, but every time he tried an experiment or attempted to build something, it ended badly. I'm told that it's his lack resources that hinder him, but still

    In the actual show, this character was kind of a wild child that at least two of the main cast thought was annoying, he was the youngest after all. He wasn't particularly a "Take charge" kind of person and seemed pretty content with being the kid of the group. I guess i was leaning towards him wanting to be serious because he doesn't to mess-up.
    It sounds like this character doesn't even want to be a leader, or that he's just leading out of necessity. I think a reasonable character arc would be for him to grow into the leader role, instead of just assuming it from the start. So he starts out by only offering advice and cooperating with others instead of just taking charge, then taking on more and more of the leader's duties simply because he's the most experienced member of the team. And you can show him the necessity of growing past his childishness, and have him debate if it's worth it, or if he's doing a good job. Again, you can still show him having a goofy side, but also show that he learns when to set it aside.

    In the actual show, this character only had two appearances and in both, she was more of a damsel-in-distress type of character who needed to be rescued and was always polite to everyone. The most action she got to do was to use her healing abilities on the main heroes when they were injured. Also, in both of her appearances, she kissed the youngest member of the team (hence my desire to make them a real couple). At the moment, the only thing i've changed about her character is her abilities; i've given her telepathy, telekinesis and the ability to fire energy blasts, and that's pretty much it. Like i said, it feels like she's only there to be the generic love interest and arm candy, and I really do think that she should be a strong female character.
    Then it sounds like she was a fairly flat character to begin with. What was her backstory in the original? If there's not much there, you can create one of your own, and make up a fitting motivation while you're at it. You could also make her more knowledgeable than the hero, give her an active role as a guide or planner instead of just passive support.

    In the actual show, this villainess was created by one of the show's main villains and was made to be pure evil. By the season finale, she was destroyed, but my idea was to have this story arc's main villains revive her. The catch is that when this happens, something about her changes, now she can never be the villain she used to be. She forms a big sister/little sister bond with the main female lead, but not only does this idea seem somewhat saccharine, it also leaves my mind open to ways where the former villainess could stab the rest of the group in the back. I think this all started when i saw a scene from "Toy Story 3", which showed just how sadistic and cruel the main villain was.
    How was she created the first time around? I think you'll need to clearly define the differences between her original being and her resurrected self, to show that there's a fundamental difference between the two states. And considering she's a being who was originally made to be pure evil, I think a bond of any sort wouldn't be too saccharine. In fact, you could make such a bond the deciding fact in her turn to good; where before she doubted she could actually cut it as a hero, giving her a connection with the heroine would give her a reason to at least keep trying.

  10. #280

    Default Re: How can i go about this story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Renewal View Post
    It sounds like this character doesn't even want to be a leader, or that he's just leading out of necessity. I think a reasonable character arc would be for him to grow into the leader role, instead of just assuming it from the start. So he starts out by only offering advice and cooperating with others instead of just taking charge, then taking on more and more of the leader's duties simply because he's the most experienced member of the team. And you can show him the necessity of growing past his childishness, and have him debate if it's worth it, or if he's doing a good job. Again, you can still show him having a goofy side, but also show that he learns when to set it aside.
    Uh, funny thing, i was hoping to actually sidestep the whole "I have a lot to learn" scenario, as it, and other scenarios like it, has always left a bad taste in my mind. For example; saying that a character has matured or grown up implies that they were immature before and that just makes me feel bad for them

    Quote Originally Posted by Renewal View Post
    In the actual show, this character only had two appearances and in both, she was more of a damsel-in-distress type of character who needed to be rescued and was always polite to everyone. The most action she got to do was to use her healing abilities on the main heroes when they were injured. Also, in both of her appearances, she kissed the youngest member of the team (hence my desire to make them a real couple). At the moment, the only thing i've changed about her character is her abilities; i've given her telepathy, telekinesis and the ability to fire energy blasts, and that's pretty much it. Like i said, it feels like she's only there to be the generic love interest and arm candy, and I really do think that she should be a strong female character.
    Then it sounds like she was a fairly flat character to begin with. What was her backstory in the original? If there's not much there, you can create one of your own, and make up a fitting motivation while you're at it. You could also make her more knowledgeable than the hero, give her an active role as a guide or planner instead of just passive support.
    Her backstory in the real show was that her family was exposed to mysterious chemical (which was a major plot point in the show) which mutated them all into strange creatures. She was the most humanoid of the bunch and was the only one gifted with special powers; her healing ability. Like i said, i wanted to give her more powers, and i also wanted for her drive in the story arc to be to save her family, who were captured by the story arc's main villains. But even with all of that, she still ends up becoming to sexist and anti-feminist. At the moment, i did make her a strategist on the team, and its healer, but it apparently isn't enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Renewal View Post
    In the actual show, this villainess was created by one of the show's main villains and was made to be pure evil. By the season finale, she was destroyed, but my idea was to have this story arc's main villains revive her. The catch is that when this happens, something about her changes, now she can never be the villain she used to be. She forms a big sister/little sister bond with the main female lead, but not only does this idea seem somewhat saccharine, it also leaves my mind open to ways where the former villainess could stab the rest of the group in the back. I think this all started when i saw a scene from "Toy Story 3", which showed just how sadistic and cruel the main villain was.
    How was she created the first time around? I think you'll need to clearly define the differences between her original being and her resurrected self, to show that there's a fundamental difference between the two states. And considering she's a being who was originally made to be pure evil, I think a bond of any sort wouldn't be too saccharine. In fact, you could make such a bond the deciding fact in her turn to good; where before she doubted she could actually cut it as a hero, giving her a connection with the heroine would give her a reason to at least keep trying.
    The first time she was created, the Mad scientist used the mysterious chemical i mentioned and lightning to create a being of pure energy and evil. The second time, i honestly hadn't put much thought into; i guess she could have been reconstituted via her initial energy (I'm not a scientist)


    By the way, just so you know, the team i had in mind consists of: a 13-year old boy with Ice elemental powers (the third in the original team and the current leader of this team), a 13-year old girl with healing powers, telekinesis, telepathy and energy manipulation (the one i can't seem make into a strong female lead), an autonomous android that once served as one of the real show's main villain's henchmen, the energy being who was once bad but is now good (the one i keep thinking will betraying the others), a blue mutated Timber wolf with a human-like I.Q., and a mutated Falcon and Rat who have a comedy duo back-and-forth at times.

  11. #281
    Waffles. Pain Split's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Writing Questions

    I was thinking of writing this Pokémon fic (and even wrote up a rough draft for the first chapter). It included a Vulpix getting abandoned by her Trainer on a blizzardy mountain range, and eventually giving up on life out there, a Cubone's mother dying from exhaustion in a barren desert, and finally that same Cubone going insane, ripping out his mother's skeleton, and finally dying alongside his mother's corpse.
    Now, a couple things I was wondering pertaining to this:
    Firstly, how would the readers react to this, and would it get good or bad reception? I want people to like my writing.
    Secondly, how would I have to rate it? The Cubone's side of the story is taken entirely in his perspective, so the story itself inherits Cubone's insanity. He perceives that ripping out his mother's skeleton is just a twisted mental image, so that's what the story says, but it will also have some implications that it really did happen.
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  12. #282
    Less cute in person Beth Pavell's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Writing Questions

    Firstly, don't worry about what your readers will think. Put it out of your mind completely. Focus on writing a story that's good in itself, not one that's popular. My immediate thought is to be sure that you're going somewhere with it - in a one-shot darkness for its own sake might come off ok, but in a multi-chaptered work I'd probably be thinking "Why am I reading about misery with no plot?"

    As for rating, well, I would suppose it would depend on how graphic it is - not my call though, one of the mods would clarify that.
    The Long Walk
    For Joshua Cook, it's a long walk away from his dull life to the Pokémon League. But does he really want to be the very best? A coming-of-age story of adventure, friendship and growing up in the world of Pokémon.


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  13. #283
    Waffles. Pain Split's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Writing Questions

    I wasn't planning on changing my story to make it more popular, I was just wondering what others would think of it. I want to know if people would like my writing the way I want it.
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  14. #284
    whatever Mako's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Writing Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by User_Name View Post
    I wasn't planning on changing my story to make it more popular, I was just wondering what others would think of it. I want to know if people would like my writing the way I want it.
    This is a common - and reasonable - worry. You could try asking people to look over your writing before you release it.

  15. #285
    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: General Writing Questions

    Yeah, get someone to proof it before posting and consider their advice, but at the end of the day, it's your story you are telling. Do it as you see fit and be confident that people will enjoy it :)

    Coming Soon...

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