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22

Nerdy gobbledygook isn't actually nerdy gobbledygook - they're actually saying things using technical words, acronyms, and abbreviations. It's very similar to medical speech in that way. You'll only sound like a tryhard if you're sticking pseudo technical made up words in that don't actually mean or say anything. The first step is to figure out what ...


18

It's too easy to get blindly hung up on mantras. If you look at the great authors, they break the rules all the time. With that said, there isn't a predetermined time when it's okay to tell rather than show. You have to decide on the fly which method provides the clearest picture to the reader. Conveying a clear picture is an optimal goal. The reason they ...


15

It has to be OK to 'tell' at some point, because everything comes back to the fact that you are telling a story. At the same time, fiction is powerful precisely because it creates a world and characters to whom the reader relates and uses those to help the reader see through another's eyes and imagine another's world. Telling the reader too much moves you ...


15

If how the character is dressed is important to the story, then you should certainly describe it. If not, then don't bring it up. Give as much detail as is relevant. If, for example, you picture Mr Jones as always being immaculately dressed in a formal business suit and carrying a walking stick, I'd mention that, at least once up front. Or at the other ...


14

In your example, what's wrong is: Too much detailed description. We don't need to know how Bardolph was standing, and it takes so long to read it that we lose the excitement. You just described 2 seconds in 2 paragraphs. Not enough feelings. describe how the characters are feeling: fear as they duck a blade, desperation as they lunge, surging confidence as ...


13

A common mistake when people first try to work on setting or "space" is simply to add more description. This is usually the wrong thing to do, since lots of unfocused description is just clutter. What you need to do add descriptive notes that also contribute to other elements of the story. Having a small number of details that contribute to the overall ...


12

You almost certainly want to avoid a shopping list of details about the park. You're not describing the wind and the trees and the building and... You're describing one unified moment in space and time. You want to focus on what the reader needs to know for the story to make sense (he needs to know the scene is in a park, and not in out of space; if there's ...


12

The biggest risk you have by describing the physical appearance of your character later on in your story is that your readers' mental image is shattered when you describe your character in detail. This can be quite jarring. The only way you're going to know for sure is when you ask someone to review your novel. Perhaps once you're ready you could ask them ...


11

Your friend is right. Don't describe things that aren't important for the story. However, keep in mind that things can be important for a variety of different reasons. You may want to describe to establish: Setting. This is obvious, and it's what most people think of. Character: Peter's apartment was full of empty pizza boxes crusted with dried cheese. ...


11

Combat scenes need to be written in a way to engage the reader. They should be more fast paced and emotional. You're not going to want to be describing every little bit of detail like you would in a slower-paced scene. The character isn't focused on the scenery or what's going on around him, he's focused on the fight. Sentences will be shorter and more ...


10

1) Read drug literature, if you get your head right around Naked Lunch, the Illuminatus Trilogy and some of Philip K. Dick's wackier work they should tell you more or less everything you need to know. Burroughs is particularly useful because he wrote even though he was out of his head on drugs, not because he was out of his head on drugs. The Illuminatus ...


9

Details. Out of context, fragmented details. Blood on carpet. How shall I clean it? My little brother cries like a cat Broken window. Daddy will be angry. Damaged school building. Today, we can stay up late. Clothes are torn apart. I need to thread a needle. Et cetera.


9

You have a scene already, right? John walks into the room, says something to Mary, Mary responds. Now, close your eyes and put yourself into the room. Engage all your senses — one at a time, if this is unfamiliar work for you. Start asking yourself these kinds of questions: What does the room look like? How big is it? How does it connect to the ...


9

I've read a lot of novels in my life and I cannot remember one, that uses bold for emphasizing. But maybe that's just my memory problem. I prefer italic, but honestly, that is a matter of taste and totally up to the writer. I prefer italic words, because they stand out without shouting at the reader. One bold word on a page is attracting the eye. It's ...


9

I think that you should define your main characters, and especially the love interest, only as much as absolutely necessary. If it is important that the protagonist is male, write that he is male. If not, keep this ambiguous. If it is important that the love interest is thin, write that she is. If not, keep this ambiguous. Why? Because you want as many ...


8

I like this idea, actually. I'd straighten it up just a little: She was tired, like a bug crawling and skipping off and on the height of a wall together with something else that wasn’t exactly the opposite of the sort of idea, sort of laughing but not really meaning it particularly because when it was time to throw the street under the most medium lightning ...


8

This is what I learned the hard way. The rules are there to support you in getting from A to B and do a decent job regardless of skill level. Following a set of tried and trusted rules allows you as the author room to concentrate on the aspects of a story that you find interesting. Following rules is like a less restrictive form of re-telling an established ...


8

Show don’t tell is not about the way you structure a description of some action. It is about allowing the reader to reach their own conclusions. For example, if you want your reader to understand that a particular character is an evil person, you can tell them: He was an evil, evil man. … or you can show them: He plunged the knife into her neck. ...


7

I'm just rewriting. You need more narration and action tags: She stood in front of his desk for a full minute before he noticed her. When he looked up at last, his only greeting was a raised eyebrow. “Uhm...excuse me, are you Dr. Aide?” "Speak up. You're muttering." She cleared her throat twice. "Are you Dr. Aide?" “Yes.” “My...my name is Luna, I a ...


7

You are using adverbs and to tell us how the characters are acting and feeling. Instead consider showing us their body language. Help me hear them speak. Let me see for myself that Luna is nervous and Dr. Aide is worn out, jaded, or whatever it is that he is. From a grammar perspective (although those questions are best asked on English.SE), a sentance ...


7

Doing research is part of being a writer. So, don't know what that pavilion is called? Find out. Look online, look around the thing to see if there's a plaque that may give you a hint, heck, you could even ask some people in the area, like cafe workers. That said, you don't necessarily need to know what it is: ...spotted a large wooden platform ...


7

...it looks rude? I have never heard of italics being called "rude." Your friend is full of it. Both your examples are perfect exactly as they are. The first one is a brief interior monologue, set off by formatting. The second uses italics for emphasis. Single quotes (or single inverted commas) are, as you correctly stated, used for nested quoted material ...


7

Abuse of adjectives and adverbs is the hallmark sign of pulp writing, showing the author has a poor grasp of the language. You usually use adjectives and adverbs when you try to make given noun or verb, respectively, more precise, more descriptive. This is fine when there is no better way to achieve this goal, but in a lot of cases there is a better way. ...


7

Rules are there to be broken, and here you break this rule masterfully. Yes, that is "telly", but being surrounded by entirely "showy" parts, assuring the reader that you were diligent with the descriptions, you suddenly discard the looks and throw the impression instead; it's jarring - as it should be. It draws the reader's focus, marks the information as ...


7

Short version: Carefully. Long Version: It is definitely true that any kind of fantasy/sci if setting that departs in its construction significantly from the shabby parade of commitment phobic half-truths we call reality will require some explanation to, and understanding from, that most ferociously temperamental creature known as the reader. The best ...


7

The best answer would be depends on the story. One of my favourite writers, Stephen King, does leave a very little info about the characters in their story. I remember, that in his book On Writing, he said, that Carrie was originally described only as shy girl, always having wearied off sweater on. If you keep vague description about the characters, you ...


7

For color-to-name converter, a quick Google search gives me this link: http://chir.ag/projects/name-that-color/#C0C0C0 In which you can just pick a color from the color wheel to see its name. Perhaps the color you want is "Mercury" But, as Phillipp said, you might better explain the color in words more frequently used, instead of using some rather ...


7

One of the characteristics of the kind of prose you are referring to is a very dull and dry approach, there is often quite unnecessary pompous savant words and an obtuse language, there is also a general miasma of boredomness and triteness, a sure way to spot the culprits in an entirely wholesome and objective way is the length of the sentences used which ...


6

I think the important thing is to keep the combat interesting (as trite as that sounds). Something like: Alonso dropped down on his right knee, swinging his dagger upwards, just like the Italian maestros. Bardolph stepped back fractionally, uncannily anticipating the thrust. Bardolph snarled and slammed his fist into Alonso's face. Staggering back, ...


6

When I thought about this topic, I came to the conclusion: There are people who like combat scenes, and there are people who don't. That's it. I love these scenes and I know many people who skim these exact scenes I like. So the easy answer: Know your audience and then write them like other do ;) Even easier: You don't like them, then don't write them. ...



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