The Keys to Writing
Firstly I’d like to point out that this was first written as a review to help an up an coming writer I thought had a lot of potential and I thought it was so good I saved a copy, now I’m turning it into a Tutorial to help others on the way!
Well, you know two magic words to devising a plot to your fiction, but what about fleshing it out? There is nothing in the world I hate more than Scripting, unless it’s a humour fiction. Scripting is for those who can’t be bothered putting a ‘he said’ on the end and it really doesn’t give any idea to what is happening. The goal of the writer is to paint a picture of what they see with words. The better you can describe what you see, the more enjoyable it is to read. For example
Mary-Sue: Go Flamie
Gary-Stu: Go Bubblish
Mary-Sue: Flamie, use Firespin
Gary-Stu: You can’t beat me! Use Bubble, Bubblish! Knock its lights out!
The attacks hit each other and exploded.
Mary-Sue: Fine Tackle attack and then a tail whip
Gary-Stu: Dodge it
Oh for gawds sake! That was painful just writing it and so boring to read! That is the epitome of laziness!
But, I’m going to help you fix that problem. Firstly open your Word Document, I use Microsoft Word open in Web View, via View-> Web Layout. I write in size ten Tahoma because I know that if I can fill three lines I can at least have a decent picture of what’s happening.
Writing is divided into three keys: Description, Action and Emotion. If you know how to use these it can make the world so much easier.
Description: This is the most important! Describe everything, every little action, item, person! The idea of writing is to get people to see what you see, like a little movie in your head. The best way is to describe.
Don't say: “Well than, come inside” he said and held the door open for them.
Say, “Well then!” Professor Oak exclaimed brightly, opening the large wood panelled door wide open giving a clear view of his quaint living quarters. Leaning in eagerly they could see plush couches of red velvet and a Wurmple woven mats laid carefully on the smooth wood. But at the top of the stair’s they saw a door left curiously ajar, with the red carapace face of a Kingler bubbling at them.
See, that works heaps better! I managed to fill four lines, and I always make myself fill at least three per paragraph and one per line of dialogue. Use as many adjectives as possible and use the five senses to help. I mean, you don’t have to say the Kingler looked mighty tasty, or you could if you were feeling a little peckish, but you could it gurgled happily with the faint briny smell of the ocean seemed to float around it.
Wait we don’t even know what our characters look like. I could just go ahead and say Jace has brownish black hair in a ponytail and brown eyes or I could do it subtly.
The glare of the morning sun beat down on the small but busy town of Pallet. Already people were bustling about their daily chores but none more anxious than a very short 13 year old girl, shifting pacing anxiously outside an immense white wash building known throughout town simply as The Lab.
She paused her pacing in front of the door, roughly shoving back a strand of her long browny black hair that was always escaping her customary ponytail and into her muddy brown eyes. The sky would fall and Spoink would fly before her hair came out of that ponytail, she even slept with it in. She was the total tomboy her younger brother claimed her to be, dressed in her favourite, daggy blue shorts and Hawaiian shirt at least four sizes too big, so long it almost covered her scabby knees and elbows.
Whoa! See that! Out of about a dozen words I stretched it out to two paragraphs simply by making little comments that also gives a bit of a clue to her personality! You just have to see it clear enough to describe it!
Action: Keep in mind that no matter what's happening, something is always moving, your character, your scenery, even their eyes are skitting from person to person.
This is the moment I’ve been waiting for my whole life” Jace beamed and chose the last Pokeball.
“Wonderful” proclaimed Professor Oak “Go and enjoy your journey. Oh, I almost forgot take these five extra Pokeballs so you can start building your collection”
“Thankyou very much” Adam said.
“Yeah, thanks heaps” Jace added.
“Me too, see you soon” Ashlee told him.
“We’ll call you as soon as we get to Viridian city” said Adam and the three turned and started walking out.
Or it could be:
Jace stared with barely check anticipation at the last, polished Pokeball, gleaming almost enchanted on the sterilized silver table.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole life,” she said breathlessly, picking it up in both hands and admired it as it sat with its button lenses winking at her sitting in her cupped fingers. “It’s perfect.”
“Wonderful!” exclaimed Professor Oak with obvious relief there hadn’t been any fights, which was happened so regularly he should have also taken up a sports refereeing course those many years ago at University. Still smiling warmly he fished three plastic packets from the deep white pockets of his lab coat already prepared. Inside each were five compressed Pokeballs for the trainers to be. “I almost forgot! Take these, they’ll come in handy on the road to Viridian.”
Three greedy hands snatched them away lickity split and he chuckled to himself.
“Thankyou very much!”
“Yeah, thanks heaps!”
The voices chorused with foolish grins. This is what he loved most about his job, you couldn’t get such innocent appreciation anywhere else.
And once again I’ve managed make you see the picture much clearly in your head. Try to drag everything out as much as possible. I always keep my rule in mind, three lines per paragraph and one and a half lines per dialogue. It forces you to describe what you see in your head.
Emotion: This is the last one and basically encompasses all adverbs, as in 'said unhappily, thought slyly.' It gives an insight into the characters personality because it’s how they react to different things. So one character may 'shimmied enthusiastically through the branches, with his less cheerful companion lumbered half way up, folding his arms stubbornly refusing to go any further.'
You don't always have to say 'he thought' you can imply it through your writing. As in ' he rolled his eyes in exasperation.
So what it really comes down to is, something happens, and describing what your character thinks of it.
And voila, short and sweet, I hope it helps