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These are some very basic things for new writers. If you see somebody that could benefit from this, send them a link! :D

1. Use correct punctuation, spelling, and grammar everywhere, not just in your writing.
I see a lot of writers that text-talk in conversations, leave out punctuation, don't capitalize words, etc. Even if you're just shooting a message to a friend on Facebook remember those rules! Not only does this create good habits, but I find that it leads to better and more intelligent conversations

2. Learn those tricky rules like "laid/lay" and "effect/affect".
A lot of people slack off on these. Personally, I have to look up things like this all the time because I just don't remember. They're annoying, but learning the differences can help you out in your writing and in real life. Also, the difference between "good" and "well" is a must-know! I hear this used incorrectly every single day.

3. Paragraphs and when to use them.
Obviously your writing will be divided into paragraphs. Some people abuse this, some people don't use it nearly enough. If you're not sure when to use them, pick up a book and read just one chapter. Pay attention to how much information is put into a paragraph and ask yourself why the author chose to start a new one where they did. Also! Use a new paragraph every time a different person starts speaking. I thought everybody knew this, but I see it a lot. You cannot have two characters speaking in one paragraph. No. New person? Hit enter.

4. He said she said we said they said....
Make sure to include some action in your conversations. If two people are talking back and forth, what else are they doing? Drinking tea? Walking down a sidewalk? Check out this lesson to learn how to fluff up your conversations and make them more important to the story: fav.me/d5gxdnw

5. Don't overestimate the internet.
I see a lot of writers get discouraged with the attention their work receives, especially on DA. Even I am a bit let down that my stories don't get much traffic. However, you have to keep in mind the nature of the internet. Pictures and art are easy- you click on them, look at them, and you're done. Think about a writing thumbnail on the website. The only thing the person can see is the title and the first sentence. If that doesn't grab their attention, they move on. Not every first sentence can really be an attention grabber. The best way to get your work seen is to add it to groups and ask people to read it. Also, check out fanfiction.net and fictionpress.com.

6. Research!
A lot of people don't put any research into their writing, which lowers the quality substantially. Imagine you were reading a story set in Feudal Japan and the characters were wearing jeans and driving cars. Obviously this is an extreme case, but you want to make your story believable! If you're going to write about a character who is a firefighter, do research on firefighters. Ask yourself, "If a real firefighter read this, would he find it believable or would he sit there going 'yeah right'?"

7. Proofread, for the love of monkeys.
Just trust me and do this: when you finish writing your chapter, get up and walk away from it. Do something else for at least thirty minutes. Now go back and read it to yourself nice and slow. I see so many mistakes that I know the authors would have picked up on if they'd reread their story. If you reread it right away, you'll probably miss a lot of these. You will probably still miss some mistakes. If you can, go back in a week and reread it again. Just because a piece is "finished" and up on the internet doesn't mean you can't go back and improve it for future readers.

8. Use dictionaries and thesauruses. 
If you aren't sure of the meaning of a word, take a minute and look it up. It could save you from some embarrassing situations. Also, look up synonyms for simple words like "run" and "said" and "looked". Don't cram your story full of big giant words that you don't understand. Just try to get some variation. 

9. Avoid painful cliches. 
Don't describe eyes as "glittering orbs." Don't describe the way your character's hair flows in the wind and reflects the sunlight ten different times. Don't name your handsome hunk "Damien". I could go on for hours, but its best you check out some of the great resources on DA that are all about writing cliches.

10. Ask for constructive criticism and feedback.
Nothing irks me more than when somebody puts up a piece of writing and says "I know it sucks, don't try to tell me how to fix it." You cannot improve if you don't keep an open mind! Most critiquers will be gentle. Allow them to help you!

And the Golden Rule: Read books!
“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ― Stephen King




Just a few simple tips to help out the writers of DA. Even if you know them all, it's a good refresher!

If you found this helpful, Check out my other writers guides and lessons here! I will be doing more in the future, so feel free to watch me too! <3

Please help support me as a writer! If you enjoy my writers guides, all I ask is that you take a moment to read some of my own work. I'd love to hear what you think about it!

Demonika Ch. 1                I suppose I should have known from the start that the girl I found sitting in a dark, damp alley that night so long ago was a demon. Perhaps I was too young to put two and two together, or maybe I was too angry at my parents to care. I had only been ten for a few days, if I recall correctly, and I had just gotten into an awful fight with my father. I had looked to my mother for help but, to my dismay, she took my father’s side. They were both strictly against me going into magic.
                Ten was an important age for me; it was an important age for any youngster who desired a future in the magic arts. There was a yearly event attended by every magic loving ten-year-old around. Skilled mages arrived at the event in dramatic manners, appearing out of thin air or emerging from colums of fire, to speak with the children and find an apprentice. I had yearned to be one of th
Bad Luck Ch. 1       Half of the day had passed and Zane still lounged in his bed, staring at the ceiling between long, slow blinks. He was in a terrible mood. The source of his foul mood was the cell phone that blinked innocently beside him or, perhaps more accurately, the voicemail it had recited some hours ago. Another singer and their frail excuses for quitting the band. It was enough to drive anybody mad, really.
       For most problems, Zane simply turned to his guitar for consolation, but this problem couldn’t be solved by music. So instead he continued to lay in his bed and contemplate the unfairness of it.
       Zane had been playing guitar since he was old enough to strum. His lessons had started at age five and ended at ten, when his parents decided they’d had enough of his obsession with music and his time would be better spent on studies. Through the help of his ever supportive godfather, Zane still managed to lea
Arlyn of the Ocean                My childhood summers were filled with the salty air and sea shells of the Gulf, my favorite place to relax and play. I vividly remember the cold ocean water splashing at my ankles and the taste of the popsicles we ate between bouts of play. I collected hundreds of sea shells and made magnificent sand castles, dug holes as deep as I was tall and even caught a few fish. What I remember most of all, though, was Arlyn.
                The first summer I spent with my aunt was an entirely new experience; I had never seen the beach or played in salt water before. She coaxed me gently toward the water, armed with an array of floaties and toys. I followed her cautiously, reassured by her claims that I wasn’t meaty enough to interest any of the ocean’s monsters. I figured she had to be right; I weighed next to nothing as a scrawny, awkward ten-yea
Tyler's Fight       As fast as he was running, he should have expected to trip. When he did it startled him, and he tried to protect his face as he went down on the rough gravel. He hit the ground hard, but managed to roll and dissipate some of the force. It didn’t take long for his pursuers to catch up.
       “We told you running was pointless, slut.” Josh, the group’s leader, kicked Tyler hard in the shin as he struggled to get up. Tyler didn’t see Raine with the group, for which he was glad. He gritted his teeth and stood.
       “Why won’t you just leave me alone? I want nothing to do with you or Raine,” he begged, his heart pounding. He stepped back and winced at the pain in his leg. He really wasn’t made for physical confrontation. 
       “You never should have touched her in the first place.” Josh spat on Tyler’s shoes and turned his b
FamilyMommy chases pills
with whiskey, beer, and wine.

Daddy finds his happiness
in a snow white cocaine line.

Sissy slams the door
and goes to find another life.

That leaves me alone,
canvas skin and red pen knife.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconthe13throse:
the13throse Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for this. 
On the topic of research...
One of my series (Save and Quit?), is loosely based off of "Wreck-It Ralph", and features video game characters and enemies in everyday life outside of their games. One of the more important characters is a Xenomorph from the "Alien" franchise. "Her" species is rather confusing and strange, so in order to avoid writing her doing something completely out of reason for her species (besides speaking...that one was necessary.Ritsuko Akizuki Emote - Embarassed ), I researched her species, along with fan-theories and the like. Even after researching...there was still a lot left unexplained, so some of her design, behavior, and especially anatomy was made up. I still try to keep it believable, though!

Sorry, just...sharing an experience.Sweat Drop revamp 
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:iconlancethegallade1500:
And the most helpful tip to improve one's writing – write, for the love of God. One will never learn to be a good writer until they actually post a story. Posting stories is not only how one can learn how writing works, but is also how one opens the floodgates to feedback, which can give more advice on how to improve your writing. Knowing how to handle feedback is at least the second most useful trait of any writer. If you are a good enough writer, you can use cliches, make your OCs shallow, or change a canon character's personality. All the proofreading in the world can't help a bad story. Making it conform to the rules of the world will.
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:iconfehnwrites:
Fehnwrites Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Absolutely. Writing is the hardest part of writing, but it's the part that matters.
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:iconlancethegallade1500:
LancetheGallade1500 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015
Of course, correct grammar and avoiding clichés couldn't hurt, either. :iconwinkyface:

Instead of saying "I know it sucks, don't try to tell me how to fix it," perhaps one should say, "I know it sucks, so tell me how to make it suck less!"

Oh, and one of the most helpful tips for a writer that I can think of is for them to make an outline for their story. It's very helpful to know what one's doing before they start doing it, as they may not know how to link what they've written to what they've thought of next. A personal recommendation would be the one present in Robert McKee's Story, as it's great for incorporating messages into one's story, but there are a large number of equally effective outlines out there.
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:iconoichidan:
oichidan Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Student Writer
Thanks!
I'd love to add one more: Be sure to read and read your story again, to see what have you done in that story
HehehClap La la la la La la la la 

Anyway, this is useful, definitely! :D
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:iconragemoon:
Ragemoon Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Only rule I'd add to yours is this:

Read your work out loud. You will find mistakes that you did not believe you would find just because you read your story out loud. You sometimes even find missed punctuation!
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:iconfehnwrites:
Fehnwrites Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very true! I didn't think to add that because I have a very hard time reading anything out loud... Always have. My tongue can't keep up with my brain and I get all jumbled x.x
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:iconragemoon:
Ragemoon Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It helps me find missing punctuation. :) So I do use that to find them.
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:icondead-rotten-bitch:
dead-rotten-bitch Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer

Would you, perhaps, be willing to maybe read and critique some of my work?

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:iconfehnwrites:
Fehnwrites Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think I can scratch up a bit of spare time. :3 Anything in particular?
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:icondead-rotten-bitch:
dead-rotten-bitch Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer

Really? :glomp: thank you thank you so so much! :dance:

fav.me/d6q0fk8 << this here is probably my best piece of prose in my whole gallery (at least I like to think so). Even so, the dialogue is still downright awful… :-(

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:iconsleazinator:
Sleazinator Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013   General Artist
This is a really good tutorial ,but I want to say a few things. For #3, two people talking in the same paragraph can be confusing. A few days ago, I read this fanfiction that had two characters talking in the same paragraph so I had to read it twice just to know who was talking. For #6, I actually try to do research beforehand do my stories can be a little realistic. For #7, I think I should do that with everything. For #8, I`ve learned to not use words that I d` know the meaning of. For #9, this reminds me of something I read on Wattpad, www.wattpad.com/23790852-what-… Still, I really like this.
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:iconfehnwrites:
Fehnwrites Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm a bit confused? I think you might have misread a bit. #3 said that you should not have two characters speaking in the same paragraph. (As in, I completely agree with you!) And any time is a good time to do research :D
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:iconsleazinator:
Sleazinator Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013   General Artist
No, I didn`t. We said similar things. I think so, too.
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:iconmaclafel7:
Maclafel7 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you.  Thank you so much for making this!!
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:iconfehnwrites:
Fehnwrites Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No problem, I hope it helps! I have a few other guides that might be useful too if you haven't already seen them :3
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:iconmaclafel7:
Maclafel7 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, I requested them all for my group, :iconlit-tutorial:
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:icondoobadoob:
doobadoob Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Student Writer

I agree with that last one. I try writing murder-mystery like Agatha Christie but I hadn't read any books like that before. I failed when I started. After reading Murder on The Orient Express in a day (I'm a really quick reader) my writing for that genre improved. :)

 

By the way, 'affect' is used as a verb i.e. The river affects the bank. 'Effect' is used as a noun i.e. That was the effect.

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:iconhefeigal:
hefeigal Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think I love you. :la:

This tutorial is fantastic! I admit, even though I've been writing for several years, I might stumble on some of these points. Thanks again! :D
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:iconteaneko13:
teaneko13 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Fantastic tips..I have to admit, I am sometimes too lazy to do any research, and I rarely proofread because of the same factor XD Thank you so much for reminding me about these things I tend to neglect. Again, this is a wonderful set of tips, and very useful for any writers. Thank you for sharing :)
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:icon1deathgod:
1deathgod Featured By Owner May 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I can't agree more with you, especially on the research part. The best writing in the world can't make up for a lack of research. The people who are reading your work might actually know something about your subject or setting, and they might even be an expert on it. It just makes you look the fool if you try to write about what you don't know.

I'm off my soapbox now.^^; Sorry about that. Very well done.
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:iconsingingflames:
SingingFlames Featured By Owner May 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Excellent tips and something more writers (especially on the internet) should pay attention to. I'm a huge fan of number seven. One of my hugest pet peeves is when I see a piece and the author states that it's 3 A.M. and he/she just finished it. Really? You're posting it now? After I finish a piece, I step away from it and let it sit at least a day before I look at it again (usually longer, it just depends if I have a time I need to finish it by). I see so many more mistakes this way, than I would if I merely proofread it right away.

I also love number six. I mainly write fan fiction (well, that's what I post anyway - none of my original work is finished) and I research constantly for it. One time I looked up ports in Canada and Greenland for a story. Just recently, I researched layouts for power plants just so my setting would be accurate (and I got complimented on it). Research is so important to any writing work. It ruins a story for me if the author includes something that I know is impossible. :no:

All your tips are excellent and should be listened to by any author. Well done and thanks for sharing! :D
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:iconmirz-alt:
mirz-alt Featured By Owner May 14, 2013   General Artist
Use a new paragraph every time a different person starts speaking. I thought everybody knew this, but I see it a lot. You cannot have two characters speaking in one paragraph. No. New person? Hit enter.

Sadly, people DO know this and don't do it purposely. They like the way their writing looks on the page in neat, tidy blocks. (I won't call them paragraphs because grammatically they are not--even though people claim they are.) It is also used as a cheat. People are scared off by long stories. Writers fake-it-out by shoving everything into one paragraph to give the illusion the story is shorter than it is to trick readers into reading.

Honestly, I love all your points, but this one (and the one about editing) are the two that drive me the most mad. So many good writers I simply cannot and will not read anymore because I find it too difficult and tiresome because of these issue.

One other thing about paragraphing, I find this is also the result of RP. I am writing a series of articles explaining that RP writing is not the same as general fiction writing. People seem to confuse that and that is the reason we have a lot of the issues in writing we do now that you didn't see that much of 10 years ago.

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:icontempest-projects:
Tempest-PROjects Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Student Writer
I think some of my biggest problems here are including actions during conversation. I just sort of keep it going on and on, I try to include action but I usually don't.
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:iconfehnwrites:
Fehnwrites Featured By Owner May 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sometimes I find that when I'm writing, I'm very eager to get to a certain part so I end up rushing one to get to it and ruining the part I rushed. It might help if you write the dialogue and go back later to add the actions. Also, the second part of this: [link] might help
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:icontempest-projects:
Tempest-PROjects Featured By Owner May 7, 2013  Student Writer
Yeah. I know exactly how you feel. You're aching to write this one part and you just write a bunch of hurried dialogue and you get to the part and you just sort of sit there like "damn-it!"
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:iconfehnwrites:
Fehnwrites Featured By Owner May 8, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aaaaaaaaaalll the time.
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:icontempest-projects:
Tempest-PROjects Featured By Owner May 8, 2013  Student Writer
fianlly someone knows my pain XD
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:iconramani-rayne:
Ramani-Rayne Featured By Owner May 5, 2013
When proofreading, definitely read it aloud if you can. Works wonders for spotting missing/doubled words.
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:iconfehnwrites:
Fehnwrites Featured By Owner May 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That does help me sometimes, but I am so terrible at reading aloud. I trip all over my words and stutter and stumble... Ah, the nightmares from school reading... yikes. Honestly I think I just read so fast that my eyes get three lines ahead of my mouth and I get all tangled up D: It's a good suggestion for others though! I was also told once that reading backwards helps, though that only works for spelling errors and not grammar. Seeing as we have spellcheck on nearly everything these days, it's not quite as necessary.
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:iconramani-rayne:
Ramani-Rayne Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013
True, although it may help spotting the wrong 'there" or "whether" or the like. (There/they're/their, whether/weather).
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:iconparadisekisses:
paradisekisses Featured By Owner May 4, 2013
Sounds like quite a bit of the information my creative fiction writing teacher told our class, especially reading. Then someone in class said they really didn't like to read. I wish more people followed your advice. I do all of your steps, but there were some authors I had to read who did not believe in creating new paragraphs when someone was speaking...most annoying thing ever. Too bad Joseph Conrad did that in most of "Heart of Darkness" since it made it quite confusing at times.
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:iconfehnwrites:
Fehnwrites Featured By Owner May 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I wish I had creative fiction writing... I just had standard English classes where we learned about Shakespeare and bad poetry and read corny novels that were entirely uninteresting. I'm honestly not surprised so few people enjoy reading =/

I've never found too many errors in published books, but I notice that fanfiction writers or beginning fiction writers on websites like this one tend to make the paragraph mistakes.

Thanks for the feedback!
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:iconparadisekisses:
paradisekisses Featured By Owner May 6, 2013
Well the community college I go to at the moment has 3 creative writing classes: poetry, fiction writing, and play writing. I began to appreciate Shakespeare more in college after we got past the plays they generally taught you in high school like "Romeo and Juliet". Too be honest I've never really liked poetry, and in my English literature class this semester that's what I've had to read.

I haven't found much in the way of errors in published books either, just some odd writing techniques that I don't particularly care for. Of course that could all be based on personal preference.
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:iconfehnwrites:
Fehnwrites Featured By Owner May 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I was never really a fan of poetry either. I like the straight to the point kind of stuff, but when they're talking about blossoming flowers and petals falling from trees, they can't expect me to know that the poem is talking about reaching your life's potential and dying or something.. arg. Hidden meanings in stuff like that just make me crazy xD

I was actually very disappointed recently in a book that I read by Holly Black (called White Cat). She's a mass published award winning author and there were so many punctuation and grammar mistakes in that book it made me want to chuck it at a wall. The very first sentence in the book was grammatically incorrect AND an incomplete sentence! (and it wasn't just the writing style!) Aside from that I haven't found too many errors in published books, but I know that you mean by the style. I once read a book written in present/future tense and it was...ugh.
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:iconparadisekisses:
paradisekisses Featured By Owner May 13, 2013
That's like William Blake and some of the others who a lot about nature. I understood John Donne more, and at least he switched up his subject to some degree. It's funny, I tend to understand poetry relatively well, but I don't particularly enjoy it.

I've found I don't read a lot of newer books, generally the cut off is the 1960s or so (except for books like Harry Potter and Game of Thrones mainly), as they don't seem to have the same "something" that older literature has. Of course in most aspects, including art, I tend not to like newer things.
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:iconbellista:
Bellista Featured By Owner May 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice. I will definitley use this in my second novel, i disregarded most of these....
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:iconfehnwrites:
Fehnwrites Featured By Owner May 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Best of luck to you! They're good tips to remember ^^
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:icondragonboy387:
DragonBoy387 Featured By Owner May 4, 2013  Student Writer
number one.
thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank you. it feels sometimes that NOBODY on the internet gets that one important rule. It drives me crazy sometimes...
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:iconfehnwrites:
Fehnwrites Featured By Owner May 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I knooowww. I could go on for days about how much this annoys me, but I'll spare you xD
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:iconvoadorchama:
VoadorChama Featured By Owner May 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ugh, I wish I could send this to nearly every person on FanFiction.net. I agree with you wholeheartedly on all of these tips; believe it or not, I've tried to persuade people to follow this advice. Rule number one, especially. Thanks. I'll probably link this to a few certain someone's that I know....
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:iconfehnwrites:
Fehnwrites Featured By Owner May 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks so much! Link away <3 Spread the good habits!
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:iconvoadorchama:
VoadorChama Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:squee:
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:iconalphakantspell:
AlphaKantSpell Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013   Writer
Ah, wonderful advice. Even though I've been writing for years, it's nice to re-read the basics.
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:iconidontfearyou:
idontfearyou Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Student General Artist
Hmm.. What about planning? I don't like planning. ._.
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:iconfehnwrites:
Fehnwrites Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Lots of authors have different things to say about planning, so I think it depends on the person. Some think you can't write without planning no matter what. Personally, I don't do any amount of planning at all. I get an idea in my head, anything from a conversation between two characters to a fantasy world, and I just sit down and start writing. It all comes out just fine. Of course, I have to go back and edit a few things to fit with the story better, but I've never had a problem with a story because I didn't plan. ^^ I hope that helps
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:iconidontfearyou:
idontfearyou Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Student General Artist
I love you. @o@
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:iconfehnwrites:
Fehnwrites Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:iconfoxblushplz: aww thank you <3
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:iconidontfearyou:
idontfearyou Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Student General Artist
Chur welcome :3
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:iconpsychokay:
PsychoKay Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Student General Artist
I'll continue to write the way I do (I already follow a few of these steps) and improve from what I just learned. Thank you for the advice. :)
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