by Northern Chill

     Opening Remarks:  Ok, after much thinking, musing and other procrastinating, I've decided to post a writing tutorial of sorts ( well, it's more like some thoughts) offering my suggestions on the art of story writing.  Before you yawn and say ' But ArgoForg has already done this....! ', you're absolutely right.  This is just my thoughts from my perspective and experience writing a fairly wide range of transformation tales.  There won't be any fancy examples, ramblings, etc....nothing but me talking.

         Still awake?

         Ok, let's begin........

         Point 1:  A good idea does not necessarily make a good story - We've all probably sat back, saw or read or something that might draw our interest and think ' Hey, that would make a cool story! '.  Trouble is, the distance between an idea and a finished story is quite long with many bumps along the way.

         All stories have three basic parts: the beginning ( or ' hook'), the plot and the ending.  Every author will sit down with an idea on what he wants for the story and the basic tone the story takes.  Ahh, but then comes the hard part: the first three or four lines of the tale.  How do you get the reader ( which is the author at that point) immersed into the story?  There's a variety of ways but the way chosen sets the tone for the story.

         Some time later, you've finished your story but it just doesn't seem as good as the idea you started with.  Does this mean you should hit the DELETE button and flush the story into an electronic garbage can?  Not necessarily....read it over more than once.  Is your dialogue good?  Do the characters sound like you wanted?  If so, file it and move onto your next story.  Never fall into a trap where you constantly go back and try to fix and tinker with your tale over and over.

         Point 2:  Read your story back to yourself before posting to the world - You've just finished your first story and you're pretty pleased.  First instinct - share it with the world : submit it to LTBSA, post it to Yahoo groups, email it to friends and so on.

          Hold on.

          Before you go and take that step, reread your story back to yourself.  Run Spellcheck on your story ( unless you've won Spelling Bees all your life, there might be a typo or two.), check to make sure your paragraphs are spaced, your punctuation is ok and everything looks ok.  A general thumb I use: If it looks awkward/odd to me, it'll probably look that way to a reader.

          Keep in mind a couple of things:
            1) Feedback can vary from author to author a lot in this genre but remember this: You're writing for the person you see in the mirror every morning : YOURSELF.  Don't try and write stories to make others happy - you'll hate yourself in the long run.

            2) Just like riding a bike, you get better the more you write.  A pretty simple notion but true nevertheless.  You get more comfortable with writing certain situations, figuring out the best way to reach  a story's climax and so on.


          Point 3:   Details, details, details and more details -  This is something I strongly believe in so if I wax poetically, forgive me.....

           When a reader reads any story, his mind is  trying to imagine visually what your words are saying.  In essence, all stories start out like a blank artist's canvas and the words fill in the numbers to give the picture.

           ( By the way, if you think I just insinuated that writing is fairly easy, scroll down....I talk about that too)

            If you have a person walking into a room, encounters villain, is transformed after struggle ( long/short) and story is resolved, you have a tale that is interesting as watching paint dry.

            For some authors, that's their style.  More power to them.

            Myself, I add descriptions about everything- people's hair color, contents of a room, etc.  Make it so the reader can close his/her eyes and picture themselves there.  It makes a story more enjoyable for all those concerned.

           Point 4:  Think, stupid! -  Look, if you're going to write a story where the characters act like the people you see in a cheesy 80's horror flick, you don't have to worry about this part so skip to point 5.

           Otherwise, treat your characters like they have something between their ears.  If a woman is suddenly locked inside a building or caught in a predicament, she's not going to wait for a villain to saunter along and casually change her into a love doll.  She's probably going to put up a fight and try to get away- write about it.  Likewise, a villain should anticipate problems and have reasonable plans to fall back on in case of a screw-up.

            You might want to get to the transformation part of your story as fast as possible. If so, make it a trip where the signs of reason aren't ignored along the way.

            Point 5:  Anyone can write! - I'd love to say that there is some special inherent talent with people who write in this genre....

            Really, I would......

            But I can't.

            There is no special trick....no cosmic force.  Anyone who can read this can write a story.  There has to be just one thing necessary and only one thing....

             You have to want to!!!

             Pretty simple, eh?  Think about it, though: how many times have you heard someone say ' Ya know, I'd like to write but.... ( which is then followed by some excuse) ' ?  Now, before you think I'm ragging on non writers, this also applies to writers as well.

              If you don't feel like writing, you won't.  You can summon up all the reasons in the world but, from my experiences, it all comes to a desire to type the words and pargraphs.  If they aren't flowing, turn your attention back to that naughty site you just visited and leave the writing alone for now.

              If you've made it this far, you're probably thinking " This is all a bunch of hot air....how does this help me write? "

              I guess the main thing I'd say is that everyone has their own style of creation.  I'm not going to tell you how to write good dialogue, how long a good transformation scene should be and so on.  All I've done here is post a few points I'd like to make that might help a new writer start down the road of creativity.

              Where that road takes you is entirely up to you.......


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