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Submitted on
November 8, 2012
Submitted with Writer


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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:

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 and

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:
oichidan Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
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
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!
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
Ragemoon Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It helps me find missing punctuation. :) So I do use that to find them.
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?

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?
dead-rotten-bitch Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer

Really? :glomp: thank you thank you so so much! :dance: << 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… :-(

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,… Still, I really like this.
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
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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