The Yandere Darkling's Rant/Guide to Fiction Writing

#1
Okay, so why did The Yandere Darkling make this again? Meh, Maybe it was to organize everything that's been accumulated.

This is a complete guide on almost everything The Yandere Darkling has researched on fiction writing, all in short explanations. (Compete with links for reference.)


•Three Act Structure, The Creation of Stories and Characters:
Develop your story, do some world-buildingplan some things out! If you’re one of those people that start a story and have no idea where it’ll lead, The Yandere Darkling wishes you luck! (Because--- been there, done that, and re-written the same story TONS of times. It was fun, and you can learn a lot, but sometimes things never ended up finished!)


•MC: (who is your story about?)
I'm not going to go and say you need to know everything about your MC, but you should at least have a feel of where he came from and who he is. Here's just a couple of questions to ask yourself: What is his back-story? What did he go through before your story began? What kind of family did/does he have? The more you know about your MC, the easier it will be to enter his/her/its personality!

If your MC is not the same as your POV character, you might want to consider figuring out the details for the POV character too.


•Prologues, beginnings and backstory:
What was the first domino, event or piece of plot that causes your MC to go on his/her/its adventure? This first domino could very well happen before the MC was even born!

Credit to Kina for an awesome Rant on prologues. The rant can explain things better than The Yandere Darkling ever could.
(Treat readers like mushrooms!)


•POV's and Tenses:
-Objective Omniscient POV (Camera Narrator: Entirely show. The Narrator does not voice opinion. Emotions are displayed through body language alone, but can easily jump into Limited Third POV if need be.)
-Subjective Omniscient POV (The narrator that head-hops, has an opinion and knows all.)
-Limited Third POV(Same as First, but without saying 'I'. Switching POV comes easier and honestly, The Yandere Darkling likes third limited for all of it's juicy advantages it has.)
-First POV (Is the perspective you want if you have an opinionated character that talks to herself/himself/itself. Be aware, that if you swap POV in first person perspective, you have to make the inner voice different or all your characters will sound the same. It's like having another writing style altogether!)

"Careful with your tenses!" <--The Yandere Darkling has been told this repeatedly. Multiple tenses lead to a jarring experience!
Personal favorite combinations of POVs and Tenses:
-First Person, Present Tense: is a favorite for experiencing what the POV character is experiencing.
-Third Person, Past Tense: is a favorite for the variety of characters we can learn about in their POVs. You can set up a huge plot that the MC doesn't know anything about, but the reader does. (The Yandere Darkling's favorite published novels are written in Third Person, Past Tense.)

Second Person is unique and not used often, but The Yandere Darkling thinks it would be interesting in Choose Your Own Adventures, Mysteries, horror and Erotica.


•Atmosphere, Show, Don't Tell and Filtering:
This is a subject that can be Ranted on and on for hours, but The Yandere Darkling will try and keep it simple:
-For atmosphere, describe things actively! Don't just tell us the things located around a room or tell us your MC has blue hair. Have someone touch or move that thing, have wind flutter the blue hair in all directions. Describe anything and everything as if part of an action scene!
Also, guess what? There are Five Senses. Should I say that again? THERE ARE FIVE SENSES! I'll list them off for you: Taste - Touch - Smell - Sight - Sound. Try to use ALL of them!
-Info dumps aren’t memorable. You want your readers to know all this dumped info? Well, chances are they’re not going to remember any of it unless you show it to them.
-Now emotions... can you describe someone angry or annoyed, without using the words ‘angry’ or ‘annoyed’? What do you feel when you get angry or annoyed? Something to think about.
-Filter words are a subtle way of telling. Especially when used too often. There is almost ALWAYS a better action or description out there to replace it.


•Tone and Voice:
Tone is like the attitude of your writing. Mostly displayed through POV (the opinionated mind of our narrator or POV character). Don’t just describe things, describe things in the way your POV character (or narrator) sees it!


•'ly' Words:
Simply said: Words that end in 'ly' aren't necessary. One ‘ly’ word every few hundred words is fine, but more than that is pushing it.


•Precision Verbs
Take a look, Precision Verbs are things you WANT to use to paint that picture in your reader's heads.


•Passive voice, Psychic Distance and To Be Verbs:
The passive voice distances the readers from your story. It has a place in fiction writing, but it should be avoided in specific areas... like action scenes! (To Be verbs are a main suspect in creating the dreaded passive voice.)


•Rants you can chuckle at and learn from:
-To the Aspiring Writers
-Fiction Writers Can’t Be One-Trick Ponies


•Punctuation in Dialogue:
“So you don’t know how to use punctuation around dialogue?” The Yandere Darkling face-palms.
‘Using single quotes is legit somewhere, but The Yandere Darkling personally sticks with “double quotations”.’
“There are no commas or exclamations after the quotation marks!”, (Unless someone is “Quoting/repeating” someone else)---> ““To be or not to be”."
(((-a dash –or hyphen– makes me think I have to rush in and say that first word quic-
-like I’m cutting off the previous person talking.)))

Keep in mind that your characters shouldn't speak in full complete sentences all the time, unless you want your characters to sound fictional--- That is, unless they're nobility or something and talk 'proper' or like a robot all the time.


•Weak Words and Pleonasms:
*The Yandere Darkling shudders* and encourages everyone to look up “weak words in creative writing”.
Most of the time, these words add no extra meaning (or can easily be replaced) within narration: Had, went, just, probably, actually, totally, usually, started, began and only.
There are no doubt more, like those filter words, to be verbs, cliches… the list goes on and on!


•Lessons on Youtube
Brandon Sandersan
Jenna Moreci
Jackal Editing
ShaelinWrites


•Links on how to rid of Writer's Block(advice):http://www.how-to-write-a-novel.net/creative-writing-tips.htmlhttp://goinswriter.com/how-to-overcome-writers-block/
http://www.wakeupcloud.com/eliminate-writers-block/


•The Yandere Darkling has been recommended these books(haven't looked at them yet):
Techniques of a Selling Writer
The Emotion Thesaurus
Romance Writer's Phrase Book
Fanstst fiction formula


Bobbie-C's Classrooms (RRL's PenDragon Group)


•How to get Attention (or Views):
Honestly, the only thing The Yandere Darkling finds that works is to get involved. Help others, become part of groups, slave away to keep your story up to speed. A good advertisement helps a bit too, if you can find places to do so. Be careful though, there's a fine line between 'advertising' and 'spamming'.


•Last Piece of advise: (what has worked for The Yandere Darkling)
Find someone as ambitious as you. Offer to trade proofreading jobs, and talk/debate/argue about writing and writing rules. Show each other how it's done. Practice on each others stories!


If you have any questions, concerns, comments or need something expanded on, explained, corrected or even if you want to add something. Please mention it below! (-and let me know if there are any broken links!)

RE: The Yandere Darkling's Rant/Guide to Fiction Writing

#2
Just a question.

Suppose my work, which is a 1st person POV in past tense. If I don't use filter words/to be/pleonasms...the MC would sound like a really obtuse and verbose snobbish prick. We as people use them every single time. Imagine someone fighting and using really short sentences to explain stuff to his partner. I doubt people would not be using these while in those conditions.

Did I mention people sound like robots and snobs if they don't use simple words? You can, of course, use them if it is a Third Person or the character has an established backstory of being really erudite and verbose. Won't work on 99% of MCs in RRL.

My question is...do people think of foregoing all the to be/filter and other 'banned' words and verbs IRL? So, why should they do it in fiction? Unless the plan is to make the characters sound outlandish? Won't probably be a problem if it was third person, I guess.

Every character has a different way of thinking, vocab. Get in their head. Will an old sailor not use to-be verbs and filter words? Will a toddlers vocab and thinking have enough words to supplement all the 'banned' stuff? Will a teenager be explaining without using words like 'probably, maybe' etc etc? Will a young, impulsive male MC trying to get laid speak/narrate in the same way as an old woman bored out her senses, ranting on about life?

Let me speak something about another type of 'Filter'. The Filter that forms when you choose a character as a narrator. The things they see/hear and do are filtered though their perspectives. So how is it going to differ in case of language? Filter words might be cut in lot of cases, but s it going to mess with a character's characterization?

The rest of your post is however, extremely good. Kudos for that.

This is not a rant/complaint. I am just trying to ask questions and understand why 'to-be' words and filters are painted so evil.

RE: The Yandere Darkling's Rant/Guide to Fiction Writing

#3
@Chiisutofupuru:
Please, for the love of all that is good, stop referring to yourself in third person. It makes me want to abuse my super-mod powers, and then you'd be gone and I'd be in trouble.

@Durrendal:
I've written this several times before throughout the site. There are no such things as "banned" words. Every tense in English exists for a purpose. A masterful writer uses all of them in the right combination to perfectly create the effect she/she wishes the reader to experience.
"Filter words" are not evil/bad things that novice writers accidentally use and master writers learn to eliminate. Filter words are neutral things that novice writers accidentally use and master writers learn to use on purpose.

In addition to that, for dialogue, anything goes, as long as it's consistent. Slang, grammatical errors, filter words, whatever, as long as it sounds like the way the character would speak, and the character doesn't suddenly switch speech patterns in the middle of the story.

RE: The Yandere Darkling's Rant/Guide to Fiction Writing

#4
It's not so much the use of filter words that is bad, but improper use of them. Many authors tend to get caught up in using them too much and a few, not enough. Each and every piece of writing, every tool and language convention has its place. It's up to the author to utilize them in a correct manner, however. It's not so much that each and every one of those things on the list is bad, but the way that they are executed and/or used is often done poorly.

Quote:@Chiisutofupuru:
Please, for the love of all that is good, stop referring to yourself in third person. It makes me want to abuse my super-mod powers, and then you'd be gone and I'd be in trouble.

lol, the 3rd person role play thing has been annoying, but I just kinda ignore it. @Yandere, why do you do that anyways?

RE: The Yandere Darkling's Rant/Guide to Fiction Writing

#6
02/09/2016 21:32:11j0nn0 Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:@Chiisutofupuru:
Please, for the love of all that is good, stop referring to yourself in third person. It makes me want to abuse my super-mod powers, and then you'd be gone and I'd be in trouble.

lol,  the 3rd person role play thing has been annoying, but I just kinda ignore it. @Yandere, why do you do that anyways?

Haha, I'll try and eliminate some of it.
I have only excuses to answer that question.


Quote:It's not so much the use of filter words that is bad, but improper use of them. Many authors tend to get caught up in using them too much and a few, not enough. Each and every piece of writing, every tool and language convention has its place. It's up to the author to utilize them in a correct manner, however. It's not so much that each and every one of those things on the list is bad, but the way that they are executed and/or used is often done poorly.

You know what you're talking about :D

I debated on raging about the combination of words: "could be heard" and "could be seen", but my intention may have been misunderstood.
(When I see that combination of words, I close the tab. UNLESS the story already captured my interest.)

RE: The Yandere Darkling's Rant/Guide to Fiction Writing

#7
My concern is somewhere else.

Firstly, why do we see some words as filter while others are not? To look is filter but not to gaze, to stare, to watch etc even though they mean the same(almost) thing? From my limited knowledge, I think that it is because, the words like 'to gaze' are relatively much less used than 'to look'. What is uncommon garners attention. Attention enough to override the distance between the reader and character perspective it creates.

So then, now here is my question. If these words are so common that they became 'filter words'...isn't it the same reason they should be used all the more? Normal people would narrate using the words they usually use. Do we really use all the alternatives of the filter words in our daily lives? I hope not. So even if this might be useful for a 3rd Person Narration, but what about a teen First person POV? even if it is narration, to be using alternate words and going lengths to curtail usage of so many commonly used words...sounds unnatural, doesn't it?

Add to it the pet peeve of some characters to understate or overstate, their narration would carry flavours of the word choice, instead of the stronger verbs they might use weak ones to understate, eh?

Another point, the filter words and some other things seem to be creating a problem. As I said, it might be because they are used too much due to them being too common. That also means this is a very common speech pattern that can't be attributed to a specific character or people. However, if we use alternatives or ways to circumvent usage of these words, it would create a specific pattern. A pattern that will repeat itself again and again over all the characters, making the narration...toneless and voiceless. Worse part is that the pattern will be noticeable because the words and methods used are uncommon compared to the devilish filter words and to-be.

RE: The Yandere Darkling's Rant/Guide to Fiction Writing

#8
The basics around filter words isn't exactly to replace specific words because they are overused (they can be replaced to avoid word repetition and to be more specific), but instead to look at what the POV character is looking at rather than looking at the POV character looking at something.
(Did that make sense?)


I had an argument with my PR once about a line similar to this:
Quote:Bob watched as the car in front of his spun out of control and roll several times...

(Ignore the terribleness of the line)
Now, why are we, the readers, watching Bob watch this car crash happen? Why not simply have the readers watch the car crash and then show us the reaction of Bob afterward?

That is what I believe the practice of targeting these 'filter words' are all about.


As for using 'to gaze' vs 'to look', that's getting into precision verb territory. (Keep forgetting that word, it just came to me now... again.) *Added precision verbs to the list*

RE: The Yandere Darkling's Rant/Guide to Fiction Writing

#9
02/10/2016 06:24:44Chiisutofupuru Wrote: [ -> ]The basics around filter words isn't exactly to replace specific words because they are overused (they can be replaced to avoid word repetition and to be more specific), but instead to look at what the POV character is looking at rather than looking at the POV character looking at something.
(Did that make sense?)


I had an argument with my PR once about a line similar to this:
Quote:Bob watched as the car in front of his spun out of control and roll several times...

(Ignore the terribleness of the line)
Now, why are we, the readers, watching Bob watch this car crash happen? Why not simply have the readers watch the car crash and then show us the reaction of Bob afterward?

That is what I believe the practice of targeting these 'filter words' are all about.


As for using 'to gaze' vs 'to look', that's getting into precision verb territory. (Keep forgetting that word, it just came to me now... again.)


This is quite insightful! Im having problems concerning repetetive words like look, noyiced and see. This has given me some insight on how to avoid those repetitive words next time, tnxs for the help chiisu