This is terrible advice. Unless you want your protagonists to come across like complete and total idiots then they shouldn't be failing at every possible juncture.
Originally Posted by Slurpee
Deus ex machina is hardly the primary problem with Twilight.
2. Impressive failure: Problem->Solution->Problem. Just like normal humans, characters fail, win, and fail even more. This is a great way for an audience to give sympathy and connect with the character. Example: Life in General
3. Remember this: Suspense can only happen when the Reader DOESN'T know what will happen next. What’s the use of reading the story when you already know what’s going to happen.
4. Deus Ex Machina
This is when the writer is totally stuck or has done something insanely stupid and doesn’t know how to fix it. So they come up with something to fix the situation. Example: In Naruto, Sasuke pulls off a No One Could Survive That by summoning, mind-controlling, and teleporting a massive snake when he's completely out of chakra. Said technique is difficult because of the huge amount of chakra required.
a. Not to mention he pulled this all off in the time it took for an explosion that would completely level a city to reach him. After the explosion had already started. When it started just a few feet from him. Great Snake Escape, indeed.
b. Stephanie Meyer's Twilight. Seriously, the whole ENTIRE BOOK SERIES.
"This particular blunder is known as deus ex machina, which is French for 'Are you fucking kidding me?-“How NOT to Write a Novel”
Over-emotional or emotionless characters often suck, but they do not need to. There are almost no bad ideas in writing, only ideas done badly. A good writer can make an over-emotional or emotionless character really good.
5. Check your freaking grammar. Won’t take more than 5 minutes.
6. SPELLING. IT’S WHAT WE WENT TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FOR. CHECK IT.
7. Mary Sue, Gary Stu, Mystery Stew. Just please, avoid it at all costs.” A Mary Sue is a female character that is so perfect that she is annoying. The name originated in a very short Star Trek story that mocked the sort of female characters who showed up in fanfiction. It usually refers to original female characters put into fanfiction, but can refer to any character. The male equivalent is Gary Stu”. – Urban Dictionary
8. You are not original. A vast majority of ideas stem from other ideas. A story should try to have originality in it but remember, a story is driven by conflict and characters, and not I’M ORIGINAL CUZ MY CHARACTER CAN FLY AND SEE IN THE DARK. YAAAY!
9. Read a book older than yourself, and a real challenge, your parents.
10. Don’t get criticism, get GOOD criticism. Ask everyone, even your freaking cat/goldfish/turtle/imaginary friend. If you only ask your peers or parents or a specific group you will get biased feedback.
11. Sit down and write. If you can’t write about what you’ve been working on then just make a list of random words. This is assuming you actually remembered or cared to bring a pencil to school for once.
12. The internet. The only person who has not heard of this must be deaf or live in a third world country. But even in a third world country they use cell phones. Use the internet if you’re stuck or need help.
13. Read your story out loud to yourself. I know, it’s embarrassing, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and maybe more paranoid.
14. The Amazing Bastard: A Bad guy that actually wins. Those are real, now write about it.
15. Write about what you know and care about. If you don’t know about anything it look at #13, the Internet. If you don’t care about anything get some therapy
16. Stay organized. I keep all my drawings/writings in a laundry basket. When I have a writers/artists block or total brain fart I use whatever’s in the basket.
17. SAVE EVERYTHING. Mom keeps that kindergarten picture that you drew for a reason.
19. Buy a Dictionary/Thesaurus. There are mini ones that cost literally fewer than 3 dollars. If not, then download a spell check app or something on your cell phone.
20. Please don’t bore yourself/me/us/the world. If you don’t like what you’re writing, chances are that maybe someone else doesn’t and you’d be better off watching reruns of Family Guy.
21. WHY ARE YOU SO EMOTIONAL OH MY GAWD. JUST STOP BEING SO EMOTIONAL. Over emotional writing sucks, so do over emotional characters, and characters without emotion
Is this sarcasm? All men and women do not adhere to gender roles and stereotypes.
22. TAKE IT LIKE A MAN. Sometimes the advice you may get on your writing will HURT, but you need to stop and think about what the person is saying is right/wrong/justified or just plain stupid
23. Sentence structure. As Americans our grammar sucks more than a vacuum cleaner. Make sure you don’t sound repetitive or unintelligent. That’s why you should read your story out loud.
24. The Gay Person: If you will have a gay person in any story please do not make it a stereotypical gay person. Everyone is different.
25. Men and women talk and act differently. It’s amazing we don’t breathe differently either. Try to take that into account when writing a story. Example: Men try to solve problems, women try to talk about them
That is terrible advice. Depending on the nature of your story planning is vital. When you don't plan you end up with trainwrecks of endings like Lost or Battlestar Galactica.
26. Lack of detail is very bad for a story. So is too much detail. We want to know what the main character’s room looks like but we don’t want to know what color their underpants are.
27. Remember this: The more characters, the longer the story. If you wrote about some guy in Chapter 11 who got stuck in a well and it’s now Chapter 24 you’re going to have to get him out somehow.
28. Using foreshadowing is ok. The reader doesn’t want to know what’s going to ha ppen; they want to figure it out on their own. Just don’t tell them too much
29. Unnecessary words are unnecessary.
30. Plot arc: The events that happen that involve the characters. Character arc: the emotions the character goes through while going through the plot arc
31. Write quick and dirty. WHO NEEDS PLANNING? Do this when stuck and revise later.
We say people "chimed in" and yet people are not actually wind chimes. There is nothing wrong with colorful language if done well.
32. The Middle is always the hardest part of a story. Come up with ten different ways the story could go and then choose one. Be careful, you might just end up in a Deus Ex Machina, #4 so plan carefully!
33. Whining is for babies and people who make horrible excuses. If you don’t like where you are at with your writing, work harder.
34. Don’t go in over your head. Make planning simple. A story has a beginning, middle, and end. To start your story you need at least an idea for a beginning and an end. The Vikings are a great example!
a. Rape, Pillage, Kill
b. He came, he saw, he conquered
c. Eat, Sleep, Be Merry
d. Wake up, survive the day, go back to sleep
35. ANGST. It’s what runs stories and many teenage minds. It can be great in a story but use wisely.
36. Ask questions. For the daring ask smart questions. Like Why, When, Who, What, WHAT IF? This can help you think more in the story and help the reader think.
37. People fall in love and fall off chairs. Characters don’t always fall in love in the beginning of a story, or the middle of a story.
38. If you don’t know what a word means then maybe your reader won’t. If Google mistakes the word you’re trying to define as a type of fruit then you shouldn’t use that word.
39. Always keep a pencil or a sheet of paper with you. Even if you won’t write on it you can use it as a tissue.
40. Just like there are many types of gum stuck under the desks in school there are many types of people. They conflict and they get along. Even the Bible is chock full of fighting and blood. Write about it.
41. Please, do the world a favor and help decline the amount of books about teenagers doing teenage things. Please, I’m sure future librarians will thank you.
42. HAVE FUN.
43. A story literally needs only 3 people to get started. The Ally, the Protagonist, and the Antagonist. Maybe just two, the Protagonist and Antagonist.
44. MY STORY WILL CHANGE THE WORLD. You know what changes the world too? Natural disasters. I’m not saying you can’t become the next Shakespeare, just think realistically.
45. “I like to eat fish”, she chirped. People don’t chirp they are not baby chickens. Use the word said.
I hate Naruto with a passion, but in fairness Naruto is a mentally deficient child. Having silly and vague life goals for him is entirely good writing. Childish people, surprise surprise, think like children.
46. MY GOAL IN LIFE IS TO BECOME HOKAGE! BELIEVE IT! Yeah, and then what happens after? Be careful if the main character has a “life goal”. The story can easily go off track, go on forever or become too short this way.
Writing in accent if done poorly is, at best, annoying, and at worst offensive. Unless you are very good I suggest just mentioning in the prose that the character has a accent and not actually trying to represent it textually in their dialogue.
47. People have accents. How else do foreigners get arrested so easily? Put it in the story.
No one wants to read about how the hero had to file his taxes before going out to confront the Mafia boss who killed his wife, just like no one wants to read about the police reports Chris Tucker had to file after he and Jackie Chan had their adventure in Rush Hour.
48. That Seriously Didn’t Just Happen, Right? Something horrible can happen suddenly when it seems too calm or when it’s already horrible enough. Example: Darth Vader as Luke Skywalker’s father.
49. Your parent(s) don’t just collect books they collect taxes. People have money problems in life, make it happen!
Killing a character for the sake of killing character does not make you a good writer.
51. Sex –scenes. Unless you’re writing another dirty girl novel you can buy at CVS for 5 bucks, keep those to a minimum.
52. Parental Advisory: I have noticed that when people make stories with the main character as a teenager, sometimes the parents have as much role in their lives as a spoon.
53. Based On a True Story: Oh please not another one! This is not The Lifetime Movie Network
54. LYING IS OK, AS LONG AS YOU DON’T GET CAUGHT. People lie. Characters lie. Blankets lie on the floor. Use lying to trip up your reader.
55. Know your audience. If you’re making a story for a group of 3rd graders don’t use words like cornea. If you’re writing a poem for grandmothers in a nursing home don’t use the word assisted living.
56. Coincidences are great plot devices. There is nothing wrong with using them, just don’t make them as common as your log-ins to Facebook.
57. If you want an awesome idea of what NOT to write and what NOT to put into a story Google My Immortal. You could also Google Worst Fanfic Ever and get the same thing. I’m not even joking. This story is famous for how horrible it is and should be seen as humor, not dark fantasy. The strange thing is the author was 100% serious about writing this story. Now that’s just scary.
58. THE FATE OF THE UNIVERSE IS IN YOUR HANDS. I am seeing this type of plot more often recently. Fantasy is a very cool genre, but the prophecy thing is quite hard to maintain. If this keeps up the fate of the universe should be in my hands as often as a remote control.
59. There are many types of Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Horror, Romance, It never ends! It shouldn’t be hard to find a starting topic.
60. The definition of plot is not ‘stuff happens, end of story’. Your plot is the meat of the story. If the meat tastes bad, no one is going to eat it. Re write your plot until it tastes good!
61. Go back to English class and reread all the literary elements. If you don’t know what that means then pay attention during class
62. Types of Conflicts: man vs. man, man vs. self, man vs. nature, man vs. machine, man vs. god, god vs. everyone.
63. Someone dies.
Good writers borrow, great writers steal. The difference between a great writer and a plagiarist is that the former adds their own touches to what they have stolen and make it their own, while the latter simply regurgitates what they stole exactly as they found it.
64. Go on the internet and steal a story from some random person on some random website. (Plagiarism is not cool. Don’t be stupid)
65. Borrowing without asking: I’m not saying steal, I’m saying borrow. Really. Watch a movie and choose a character you like. Keep on changing it until it is a completely different person. Great for character creation practice.
Writing about something controversial for the purpose of writing about something controversial is a terrible idea.
66. Sometimes stereotypes are ok. Don’t use them a lot though. Example: The Friend Next Door
67. Where The Hell Are We, Anyway? Keep track of the setting and time line in a story. You can’t enter at Mc Donald’s in the afternoon, order some food, and then next say you’re leaving a bank at night
68. Take a normal event in life and make it extraordinary
69. Revise your writing. You don’t want to a horrible repeat of looking stupid in the middle of a presentation, right?
70. Choose a controversial topic
Again - edginess for the sake of edginess is terrible, terrible, writing.
71. Survival Kit: Music, paper, pen, pencil, a drink, and some quiet time.
72. Take someone you hate and turn them into a character. The catch is, they can’t die in the story.
73. Read books for writing tips. I’m sure professionals know a lot more than I do, and with less sarcasm too
74. Everybody makes mistakes. Don’t beat yourself over a bad story, and just keep trying.
75. Join an online community. You can get more feedback on your writing and learn a lot more things than ever before
76. Main character dies. Who needs happy endings anyway?
This is also terrible advice. Profanities are a wonderful, wonderful, part of language. "Fuck" carries a meaning other words do not. there is a certain intensity and irreverence in profanities that are not found in other words - that is why we have them. Further more, people curse. Some people curse a lot. Your characters' dialogue should reflect their personalities. If it is in someone's character to curse a lot, then it is poor writing for them to not be cursing a lot.
77. Does he like RAINBOWS? Your main character has quirks, likes, and dislikes. Don’t overuse them and don’t suddenly toss them out the window.
78. The Kid Next Door: Don’t mention minor character unless you have to or they will make some kind of appearance.
79. F!CK YOU! Cussing is just a stupid shortcut for jack@sses that can’t f!cking expresses themselves. Use it when your characters are EXTREMELY FRUSTRATED. Just not all the time. That’s just weird.
Easier to understand does not necessarily mean better.
80. Shorter sentences are easier to understand.
Not everyone gets over grief.
81. Write the title at the end of the story. Keep a list of names while writing the draft.
82. Never, ever, ever, ever, EVER, write one draft.
83. I Feel like I’ve Read This Somewhere Before. Don’t ever let this happen to your reader.
84. Main Points of Plot: The Beginning, the Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, the End.
85. When bad stuff happens, people get through it somehow. The Five Stages of Grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance
I honestly disagree a lot. Most people don't change, ever. People mellow or get worse in their eccentricities, but very few people ever really change. And plenty of good stories reflect this.
86. Your character has needs. So does your girlfriend, but that’s a different story.
87. What keeps an action story interesting? THE EXPLOSIONS OF COURSE! Keep the story moving, if it’s going too slow, shake things up a bit.
88. Goals. People have them and so do soccer fields. Your characters should have goals, they need to grow and hopefully learn over time.
Again, edginess for the sake of edginess.
89. For the technologically handicapped, backup your files. At some point you will have to type your story if you use just pencil and paper. So get a USB port and save it on there
90. Type correctly while texting. Try and get in the habit or else next time you start writing for anything at all you might start misspelling your own name
91. Take a walk. Sometimes to help jog your memory or to come with new ideas, take a walk
92. Create an Anti-Hero. Example: Light Yagami from Death Note
93. BACKSTABBER!!! You trust someone and then they turn their backs on you! Oh that little… Why not include that in the story too?
94. Be careful of the comma monster. He’s real and he makes your sentences look like they have many legs.
95. Accidental Innuendo: sometimes you can make your sentences sound sexual on accident. Or just sexually awkward. Example: During the Metapod Fight in the beginning episodes of Pokémon, Ash said: MAXIMUM HARDNESS, METAPOD.
96. Too much of a Good Thing: Too much humor is a bad thing.
97. Sturgeon’s Law: 90% of everything is crud. 90% of what you’re going to create is going to be complete and utter crap but the 10% is worth it. Be that 10%, that people want to read
98. Sometimes life is weirder than fiction. Fiction has its limits but life doesn’t that’s what makes it strange. That’s why you should probably avoid the True Life Story plot.
“Thus, God can work with the most mind-bending coincidences, far-fetched plot devices, and perverse dramatic ironies, never giving a moment's thought to whether or not his audience will buy it. You do not have that luxury.”— How NOT to Write a Novel
99. Switching POV: Do this so many times that maybe even you’ll start to forget who the main character is anymore
100. Create your own. Let’s just hope it’s not too stupid.