Sitting ducks

Pixar's advice

IO9 just put up a piece written by Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats that gives tips on how to write a story.

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what's interesting to you as an audience, not what's fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won't see what the story is actually about til you're at the end of it. Now rewrite.

#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You'll feel like you're losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#8: Finish your story, let go even if it's not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

#9: When you're stuck, make a list of what WOULDN'T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you've got to recognize it before you can use it.

#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you'll never share it with anyone.

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it's poison to the audience.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What's the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That's the heart of it.

#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don't succeed? Stack the odds against.

#17: No work is ever wasted. If it's not working, let go and move on - it'll come back around to be useful later.

#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d'you rearrange them into what you DO like?

#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can't just write ‘cool'. What would make YOU act that way?

#22: What's the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

I think I agree with them.

I also think certain professional writers could take notes from this lady.

Le source: http://io9.com/5916970/the-22-rules-of-storytelling-according-to-pixar

Sitting ducks

On writing

Sooo....

I think it's about time I started using this blog/shite/thingie whatever to evaluate some of the stuff I see around me and learn while writing.

That's right.

Writing.

I've been trying my hand at fanfiction for quite a while now, almost  a year to be exact. All my efforts have been poured in to one giant Torchwood/Doctor Who crossover miracle day fix it. It's called Mandala and has 144 pages,  57,000 words, 16 chapters, a prequel (counting 11.000 words) and right now, 1 reader: my co-writer/beta/editor/friend/muse Weis07. I've got 28 chapters planned out plotwise and then a sequel...and also a prequel to the sequel.

Things I've learned so far:

-Writing fiction is HARD (this I knew, but you know, now I've experienced it IRL)
-When I get tired or write to much in one go, words like they/their/they're and to/too start getting jumbled.
-It helps to write a backstory on a character before introducing them.
-character-charts are also good.
-Same goes for having a wordfile with all your plans and meta-information (13.000 words and counting)
-The more I write, the more clear my thoughts on certain storylines and plottwists become.
-It's fun to try and make sense of timey-wimey stuff. 
-Ianto is very fussy. I hardly ever feel like I've got him down.
-Jack is much easier.
-It helps to have the ending ready before I start writing, if only to keep things on the same track.
-Having a strict critic is a huge blessing (Weis, darling, if you read this, THANK YOU, the story is infinitely better than it ever would be had I written it alone)
-The waiting list to get on to Archive Of Our Own runs until fucking October (does anyone have an account there?)
-I should always carry around paper and pen, just in case I get bored.

I could probably go on for miles with this, but let's just leave it at this for now. I have no idea when to post it, or where for that matter. Mind you, this is not something I want to do for a living or whatever (I only write research reports and the like) it’s just me, improving my style and enjoying the fiction.

So basically, thought I’d start out with this and then next time, post a meta on Torchwood or something.

Cheerio

Sitting ducks

I'd rather read

Yeah, so, visiting this journal is not very rewarding I guess. My writing is beyond crappy, so I'm not going try and soil the internet with it (can't finish the stories, or get them in the right order you see, the plotbunnies are there, they just tend miss parts or have them in the wrong places).

But reading, oh, I love reading all those amazing stories written by those brilliant indiviuals who CAN express themselves through fiction. Don't expect any creative outburst, or even further messages placed here, I just comment in the nifty little boxes beneath a story, and skim Livejournal for jewels.

Oh, and for those familiar with Fanfiction.net, I'm known as Khajit there.


Cheerio