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35 votes
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Explaining made up card game

Does the reader need to know the rules to understand the story? For example, is there any point where a character "bluffs" and the reader must understand the rules to recognize that he is making the "...
wetcircuit's user avatar
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34 votes
Accepted

Is it smart to reserve one's best ideas or to utilise them early in their writing career?

Use your best ideas. Write them as well as you can. Yes, your writing will improve with experience. And your ideas will also improve with experience. If you reserve your "best ideas" until you're a ...
Dale Hartley Emery's user avatar
29 votes

How to derive a first sentence from a story?

This is an odd question, but not for the reason you likely think I say that. Let me explain. It doesn't matter how good your opening line is, if it isn't completely in line (or in tune) with the rest ...
Fayth85's user avatar
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25 votes
Accepted

Should I focus on ideas which the market enjoys, or ideas which I enjoy?

From your either-or phrasing, I understand that you're asking whether you should write something that appears "hot", but that you personally find utterly boring. How then do you propose to write such ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
25 votes

If I wouldn't want to read the story, is writing it still a good idea?

Why to abandon an idea In considering the question of whether or not you should write an idea you don’t like, my instinct would be no. If you don’t like it, it will show in the writing. If you are ...
GGx's user avatar
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21 votes

Explaining made up card game

The question largely depends on whether the game and its particular rules are important to the story or not. Take, for example, Quidditch, from the Harry Potter series. The game constitutes a major ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Should a writer be a good reader?

Storytelling is a skill Storytelling is not only a skill, it's a multi-faceted skill, a whole family of skills. To describe a scene, to set a mood, to foreshadow things to come later on, to develop ...
Jedediah's user avatar
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13 votes

How to derive a first sentence from a story?

While there is no one single way, here's a practical approach. You need to be capable of answering a few crucial questions about your work: What is the work's overall feel and style? What, about the ...
Standback's user avatar
  • 28.3k
12 votes

Is it smart to reserve one's best ideas or to utilise them early in their writing career?

Use your good ideas. Just don't give away the rights to your creation. Make sure that you can re-use your story and elements. I've seen countless stories about people who made a wonderful classic ...
TOOGAM's user avatar
  • 495
12 votes

How to derive a storyline from a beginning?

Every writer has their own way. In a very general sense you either write as a discovery or write with a plan. It seems like you have a good idea. Write it. Since you haven't discovered your next step ...
Erdrik Ironrose's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

How do I include a powerful theme in my story without making it blatantly obvious?

No one can really answer that. Because what works for you may not work for me, and that may or may not work for the next one in line. It's personal, and different people need to go about it ...
Fayth85's user avatar
  • 5,421
12 votes

Should I take breaks, or focus harder?

I have a leather-bound notebook with the words, ‘Quickly become feral’ embossed on it to remind me that that’s what works in progress do, because I’m an advocate of Annie Dillard’s advice: “A work ...
GGx's user avatar
  • 9,923
12 votes

Should I focus on ideas which the market enjoys, or ideas which I enjoy?

Write what you enjoy. Even professional authors have written first books they couldn't sell, and even when famous wouldn't sell without rewriting them from page 1. It is difficult to sell a first ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
11 votes
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How to derive a storyline from a beginning?

You have an inciting incident and a protagonist. I think something is off about one of them. Your protagonist is under-developed, or your inciting incident is under-developed. In a typical story, ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
11 votes
Accepted

What software/techniques do people use to gather ideas?

Use a wiki Many people are using a wiki when they are creating their worlds, as can be seen by this answer to the question What software is available for keeping and organising notes about your world? ...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 5,686
11 votes

If I wouldn't want to read the story, is writing it still a good idea?

It's often a good idea to note your ideas down the moment you have them and then look at them at a later point. This makes sure that you have an interest in it that lasts long enough to actually get ...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 5,686
11 votes
Accepted

Enjoying my writing vs. maintaining writing habit

Not all advice is equally helpful to all writers. Some pieces of advice aren't even equally helpful to the same writer during different stages of the writing process. Like using a satnav, always ...
Anna A. Fitzgerald's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

What really is considered as plagiarism?

In short: Everything you just listed is completely fine. There's nothing wrong with taking a specific plot point in a book and then having your own unique spin on it. Nobody can plagiarize you for ...
Sister Student's user avatar
10 votes

Is it possible for an aggressive character to become sensitive?

First of all, let's be clear: "aggressive and angry" is not "emotionless." He's either one or the other. Second, "a bad man redeemed by the love of a good woman" can fall very easily into cliché. Try ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
10 votes

How to derive a first sentence from a story?

Avoid beginning your draft with the first sentence. I know that sounds unintuitive to the point of madness, but I speak from experience. Even when I begin the drafting process with a clear idea of ...
J.H. Cowel's user avatar
10 votes

What software/techniques do people use to gather ideas?

Wiki and Flash are all well and good, but here's an answer for lazy people, like me. I use OneNote. It's already on your Windows, and it requires 0 level of tech-savvy. I am a Wikipedia editor, so it'...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
10 votes

Has the idea for my story already been taken?

The answer to "Has this story idea already been done?" is always yes, regardless of what the idea actually is. Everything's already been done. In your particular case, the one example I can ...
F1Krazy's user avatar
  • 10.8k
9 votes

How do I finish my projects?

Here is an idea. First, I warn you I am a 'discovery' writer, and it sounds to me like you should be too, but your write yourself into corners. A discovery writer (like Stephen King) begins with ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
9 votes

What software/techniques do people use to gather ideas?

TL;DR Anything from Microsoft Paint, to general FlowChart designing programs will work (you should probably start with a flowchart regardless, but that's just me). Everything else in this answer is ...
Fayth85's user avatar
  • 5,421
8 votes

How to derive a storyline from a beginning?

A story is about one or more characters. These need not be human, and they need not necessarily even be living beings (a story about an AI's struggle for equality could make an interesting sci-fi ...
user's user avatar
  • 3,754

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