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Getting started...

Discussion in 'Author's Roundtable' started by Lurknir, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. Lurknir

    Lurknir There's only one hell, the one we live in now.

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    Hello, I'm new here and I'm a little nervous about posting a fanfic. I'm not a great writer at all.
    My story takes place after Alduin has been defeated but the Civil War is still in progress. During that time the Dragonborn has moved on and the Jarl of Riften passed away from illness and was replaced by an Argonian named Mujarin. This causes an uproar among the Nords, the Dunmer and supporters of the Stormcloak because they don't want a lizard on the throne. Mujarin makes a deal with the Imperials where he gets to keep his title as long as he lets them garrison troops in the Rift.
    The story focuses on Mujarin and the challenges he faces as a Jarl and what he really wants from his position. There is adventure, a lot of fighting. romance and betrayal in the story.
    I'm just wondering you guys think about it? And do you have tips for me getting started?
    Thank you :)
     
  2. ultimatedovahkiin

    ultimatedovahkiin Now's not the time for fear. That comes later.

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    Don't be nervous about posting a story, every story posted on here is accepted even if it's not a great writer. Besides even if you start out as a bad writer, as you continue your story you improve and the story gets better and better. What your planning here is actually pretty interesting, I can see how that would work out to a good story. Just a question, do you plan to have a story to this like everything leads up to one certain point, or do you just plan to have different chapters (each one connected of course) that tell their own stories? If you need clarification on that just ask and I'll improve the question. Tips for getting started, well the basics of course is make characters decide what will happen in each chapter, obvious stuff like that. Some things you can do when starting a new story, not required but highly recommended is make two or three (third is optional I'll explain why in a minute) separate documents using Microsoft Word or Wordpad or even Notepad and make one document dedicated to characters. Lay it out sort of like this (this is just how I do it)

    Name:

    Insert name here

    Race:

    (Argonian, Redguard, Nord, etc.)

    Family:

    (If the character has any family members they go here along with their relations to that person ex. Mom, Dad, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, Brother, Sister, Son, Daughter, Niece, or Nephew)

    Friends & Enemies
    (example)

    David enemy

    Julia friend

    Relationships

    Bob husband

    Phil boyfriend

    Tina girlfriend

    or

    Mary wife

    Backstory

    Plans for Character

    ---------------------------

    So in other words make character cards. I just gave you layout use that if you would like.

    For the next document, you will have a list of numbers starting at one, or Prologue if you have one, and going through the last chapter or Epilogue if you have one. Have a colon next to each number so it looks like this, 1: or Chapter 1:

    Next to each colon just write down little ideas for what you want to happen in each chapter this will help you remember ideas you have and it will get the story laid out and keep it organized.

    For the final and optional document, just make it a list of ideas you have that you haven't decided what chapter you want them to be in yet. Use bullets if you want to be more organized, if not just use commas or slashes. This one is optional because you can easily do this at the end of the layout document (a.k.a. document 2) but doing it in a third document helps keep it more organized and the layout document more clean. I don't use a third document, and I probably should, but I'm just suggesting it in case you want to be more organized.

    My final suggestion to you, and this is the strongest thing I can recommend is that instead of typing out each chapter in the comment box on the forums, you use a word processing document like MW or Wordpad. Not Notepad. That thing is not good for writing stories because each line is endless (I think, I've never tried to reach the end of a line but I know they go far) and then you have to go through and hit enter whenever you want to end a line and it can just be a mess in so many ways. Notepad is good for any of the three documents I recommended, not as good for the first one though, but it is horrible for writing stories.

    Reasons to use a word processing document is because you can take breaks while writing a chapter but if you do it on the forums you have to do it in one sitting. Even though the forums saves your drafts in the comment box, so many things can go wrong. You could lose internet, someone might make a post you need to go reply to thus causing you to have to erase all your writing so far in that comment box, and this hasn't happened for a long while but in the now rare chance forum servers go down you won't be able to come back to your writing for a while. Next, all your work is saved so if you lose your thread or something like that happens (I don't know why you would lose your thread, but whatever) then it is still all there. This is useful also because if you wanna go post your story on other sites like fanfiction.com then it is all saved on your computer but if it is saved on the forums and can be a hassle to copy and paste all of your work to a document and then go and upload it to the website. Using a document, it is already all right there and you don't have to go do that. Documents also allow you to write ahead so you can write all of your ideas and then if you have a writer's block for the next chapter or you are busy (or lazy) the reader's won't suffer because you can upload an already written chapter.

    Before you ask how I know all this, I've been writing stories for this site for a year and a half. I've learned a few things. ;)

    That's about everything I can think of for now, good luck with your story, I will definitely read it!
     
  3. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Don't be afraid to post your fanfic on this forum. Most people here are really nice and even if they do critique your writing, it will only be for your benefit. There are some great writers on here and any wisdom they can pass onto you is gold. So take it as a compliment when they read and comment on your writing.

    Apart from that, it's not overly complicated. You write, you post. Enjoy it.
     
  4. imaginepageant

    imaginepageant Slytherin Alumni

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    Post it! I second everything shadowkitty said. If you feel you could improve in particular areas, ask for critique and advice on those areas, so you can get the feedback you need. The very best way to improve your skill in writing is to write, so write!

    Your idea sounds very different, which is a great thing. I would only recommend that you have a very good reason that Mujarin becomes Jarl over Laila's heirs and Maven Black-Briar, since, depending on which side of the civil war holds Riften, they would have a better claim to the Jarlship.



    Just a tip: go Format, and click Word Wrap. That will make lines wrap like any other program. If Word Wrap is unchecked, the lines will go on forever.

    In terms of word processing programs, I highly recommend Scrivener. I honestly couldn't write without it now. yWriter is a more stripped-down version, but it's free. Single-document programs like Microsoft Word or Wordpad are fine for short pieces, but terrible for long-form fiction.
     
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  5. Lurknir

    Lurknir There's only one hell, the one we live in now.

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    Thank you for the advice guys, I really appreciate it.
    I plan to write it in chapters to separate certain parts and to help it flow a bit more easily.[/quote]
     

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