Story Writing Advice

This is a page for authors to write down some tips for other people to pick up on and hopefully encourage a new story from new authors. These are just the opinions of the authors, and hopefully can help increasing the already top quality of the stories on this site. This is not a place to bash current authors, constructive advice only.

  • Get the basics right first: Many stories that I’ve read on the internet in all my years of story reading, one of the biggest problems I see that can can change a good story to a bad story is bad english. I remember (by archived email) when I first started out (publishing the stories), I was complimented for the basics, especially compared to some others at the time. This does improve with practice, but if you’re unsure ask someone to read it for you (erm, TG I guess).
  • Have an Idea: This helps you know what you want your story to contain. Is it a poll between two celebrities? Is it a revenge piece? Is the gunge tank the feature? This is what separates the better stories, in that a little plot can improve a story drastically.
  • Choose your audience: Links to above slightly, but this is more who you’re writing to. Is your story sexual? Is your story action packed? Do you feature comedy, or are you serious? Remember that this can often help with the process on deciding whether your story reads right once finished.
  • Have a mix of styles (description, speech + action): Ok, I’m often guilty with this one, but it’s something that helps in stories. Make sure you can cover the different aspects of the story, rather than it being just a block of description, or a transcript. Keep the story flowing, as well as creating the picture of what is happening.
  • Have a Goal: Many of the stories I’ve not completed are mostly due to having an idea, but not a clue as to where it’s going (and often getting bored of it halfway through). Having a goal will help you finish a story to it’s completion, allowing you to present it to the world. It’s said that professional authors will write the ending of a story first, so that they know where they’re going.
  • Don’t be put off by feedback (or sometimes, lack of it): Ok, so now you’ve wrote your story, and no one has commented, or there’s bad comments. Don’t worry, keep up the writing, you will improve and there is often someone out there who has read your story, but is simply too shy to make a comment (serial lurker right here).
  • Variety is the Spice of life: So you’ve written your first story, had great feedback and want to try again. One thing I’d suggest is worth doing, is something different. If you wrote about a dunk tank the first time, try writing about a gunge tank. If you wrote a story where they hated the gunge, write one where they love it. Try a different style of writing, which can only help you improve.

On top of this advice, I’ve got some tips you could use in writing:

  • The first suggestion I was given from Ironknuckles is to take a video, and write a story of that video. Basically describe the gunging as you can see it, describe the story of what happens, and just use it as a starting point. It’s research of various gunge types, and it helps improve your describing techniques. Please see The Holo Room: Part one for my attempt.
  • Copy someone else’s idea, and twist it as your own. This may be controversial, as it is simply plagiarism, but I find it helps with the ideas you can generate. The “Industrial Zone” gunge tank that often pops up in my stories is based of a gunge tank originally written by Ironknuckles (look up the story at ECG, it’s top notch). He has told me that he’s honoured that I consider it so highly (might be due to being one of the first stories I read). While not original, if you can put your own twist on it, you can often create your own brilliant story (I won’t mention any other stories I’ve taken ideas from). Remember it’s a good idea to pay homage to where the idea came from.
  • Take part in the site-wide stories. The Grand Prix that’s just been and is nearly done, the CSWL, these provide the structure and the idea, and you just have to fill in the description.

These are my tips. I invite any author to submit their own tips, and hopefully we can see some new authors showing off their own stories in future.

 

3 Responses to Story Writing Advice

  1. pml89 says:

    Since I know most people will probably miss this page addition, this comment is to draw attention to it.

    Like

  2. otherguy23 says:

    Lots of good advice. One thing I would say it is much harder reading on a computer screen than a book so I like to keep the paragraphs as short as possible. It’s kinda a personal thing but I think it makes it much easier to read.

    Like

  3. Iron-K says:

    I’m definitely very honored that you took inspiration from my stories, and this looks like great advice 🙂 In addition to the basics, I would say that the most important writing advice I was ever given was by Silvermane when I showed him scraps of what was to become the first IZ story – it was to keep writing and finish the story first and *then* go back to polish, not to touch up scenes over and over, because that way you’ll never finish!

    And I’m familiar with the copying, as well 🙂 The entire Industrial Zone series is basically The Crystal Maze with furries and gunge (although that was actually an accident – it started off as a load of individual scenes and the format of the show around them came later). And most of the games in it are wholesale copies of some of the classics I grew up with on UK TV – with only a little exaggeration 😉

    Like

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