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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The awkward moment...

...when you miss your blogs birthday ^^; It was on the 19th. Ooooops.
In other news, my blog hit 10,000 pageviews today. Yay!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Hi!

Yes, it's been over a month. Again. I'm sorry.
Life.

Anyway, I have started a new blog. It's more centred around my interests (considering sims 3 isn't that high on my agenda anymore) so it will be giving advice and tips on writing and things.

So, anyone who likes to write stories, whether it's on the sims site or your blog or your own novel work in progress, come and check it out!

It's called Scribblings of an Inkmouse.
^Clicky^

Thank you! ^_^

Thursday, 9 August 2012

A major panic, a confession, and a small furry creature

The title says I have a confession to make. And I do. Quite a few simmer have been making confessions recently, so I just thought I'd throw mine in there for good measure. But first, I need to tell you about the MAJOR PANIC I had yesterday.

You probably don't know this, because I haven't told you, but this month I'm doing Camp NaNoWriMo. For those who don't know, NaNoWriMo is a challenge where you have to write 50,000 words in one month.

So, I'd been doing pretty well in this challenge. I was ahead of schedule, excited about what I was writing, overcoming personal word count goals each day, when, suddenly, BAM.

I'd decided to download the full version of Scrivener (my writing software). Makes sense, seeing as my free trial had run out. After downloading it, I went back to my project. It was gone.
Gone. All 17,000 words.


I was horrified. All my hard word. Gone.
Fortunately my dad is a computer whizz and managed to restore it for me, but not all of it survived. I lost over 2,000 words. Better than 17,000, but that was still a heavy blow. I'm still recovering.

Okay, I had to get that off my chest. Anyway, onto the confession.

I've wanted to tell you for quite a while now, but I'm a chicken, so I just kind of avoided the subject for a while, while this poor blog floundered on the brink of extinction because I was scared to post in it. But all the recent confessions and a recent Mare's Nest post have told me that I am just being stupid, because this is nowhere near as dramatic as all the rest so I might as well go ahead and say it.

I haven't played Sims since at least last October. That's ten months ago, people.

Not as dramatic as you were expecting? Or maybe going ten months without Sims is unthinkable to you and and you have just done a spit take of your coffee all over your monitor.

I've been trying to hide it with old Sims pictures and things, but it's not really working. That's why I don't blog much anymore. I don't really know where I want it to go. I honestly don't have time to play Sims anymore, and it crashes so much I just can't be bothered. So now this blog is at a loose end.

Do I want it to mutate into some writing blog, which is my new focus of interest? Or continue to pretend to play Sims? :I I don't want to give up this blog completely, but at the same time I don't know what to do with it.

If I actually have any readers left (and my stats show I do - strangely regular despite the lack of posts, which has kind of made my day) then would anyone care to give their thoughts. Say what you like. You can even tell me to shut up and leave if you really feel you must.

There isn't really a sensible way to end this post, so here is a picture of a French marmot in the Alps.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Zombies in Europe

I lie, there are no zombies in Europe. I hope.

I haven't posted in forever :/ Exams, you know?
To relieve the tension, and as I'm sure there are others out there doing exams (those who aren't already on their summer holidays :( ) here are some nice exam answers for you:


And one reminiscent of the recent zombie sightings in Florida/Miami/other places

PS, one day, I will finish that Alphabet Challenged. Promise :)

Saturday, 19 May 2012

E is, at last, for Exposition

I've heard some people say you should have as little as possible exposition in your stories. I disagree.
Exposition is important, in that it reveals important information about characters and locations, without which would make the story very hard to understand.
But of course, you can write too much exposition. It's about striking a balance.

One reason readers tend to find too much exposition disruptive is that it tells rather then shows. It tells the reader what has happened, rather than allowing them to experience it. One way this can be solved is by incorporating the exposition into speech, or indicating it through a character's actions. Another is by, after introducing something unusual into the story, giving some brief relevant details about it. However, this method must not be over used, as then it will become boring.

The most important think you can remember about exposition is that it must be relevant, and or, it must be short and to the point. No one wants to trudge through pages and pages of writing about your main characters's lifestory unless it has an actual relevance to the plot (or if your character has a particularly interesting or unusual lifestory).

Sometimes, the best thing to do is to leave the backstory. You don't necessarily need to explain what the character is doing in a graveyard in the middle of the night - humans are curious. Not telling them will encourage them to keep reading until they find out.


Long time no post :I The only word I need to say is: exams

Sunday, 13 May 2012

D is for Dialogue

Yes, I know I said I'd post this yesterday, but I got home so late last night, there wasn't time :I

Onto the dialogue:

The first thing you must know about dialogue: It is not the same as how a person really speaks. It's supposed to mimic it. It's supposed to give the impression of real speech.

Dialogue shows character. If one of your characters is, say a successful banker from a wealthy background, they are not going to speak in the same way as a street urchin.
Where your character comes from is important in dialogue. Characters from the same place are likely to have the same accent, and use the same sayings.
On top of all that, the character's personality has a huge impact on what they say. If they are quite shy, they are likely to say little, if anything at all. In contrast, someone who is bossy will probably give orders, and then expect them to be done (and get upset if they aren't)

All dialogue must have a purpose. Your characters can't just have a random conversation halfway through a scene;  they've got to come to an agreement (or a disagreement) or discover something new about the other character. Sometimes dialogue can describe the setting, such as the weather, or give a little exposition (but only in small amounts). But overall, dialogue must always move the plot forward.

If your characters are having a very important conversation, and it's getting a little boring or repetitive, try getting your characters to do something during the conversation. In real life, people don't just sit down an talk. They lounge in their chair, get up and pace around the room, fiddle with their pencil, leave the room to continue the conversation somewhere else, yell at each other during a gunfight...characters do stuff.

But, of course, another very important thing about dialogue is: sometimes it not what a character does say, it's what they don't.

I hope this has given you a little insight on how to write dialogue :)

The next post will be E is for Exposition.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

C is for Characters

Characters are one of the most important things in a story. Without your characters, your reader has no one to root for.

You've got to make your reader care about your character. They don't have to like them, as in, want to be their best friend or anything. They've just got to be interested in them, and they've got to care what happens to them.

In order to start creating a character, you've got to know their role in the story.

The Protagonist
The protagonist is the lead character. They are the character your story will focus on. You can have more than one, but usually it is easier to have one particular character leading the story. This character will need to be pretty well rounded to be believable.

Major Characters
The major characters, like the protagonist, have a lot of 'screen time' in the story. They also need to be well developed, as they often have their own subplots. Major characters are characters like the protagonist's friend, or the antagonist (the villain of the story).

Minor Characters
Minor characters, believe it or not, have minor role in the story (le gasp). They tend to be characters like the shopkeeper your protagonist buys bread from in chapter two, or the mailman who brings your protagonist an unusual letter. These characters don't need to be that developed. For your minor characters to add interest to your story, give them one or two character traits, eg, impatient, suspicious, playful, depending on their specific role.


There are several ways to develop a character. Here are three.

1. Writers who like to plan hugely before even starting often use a character profile template to develop their characters, because it literally tells you everything you could ever know about your character. Here's an example.

2. Another way is getting a basic idea of your character, then writing and developing the character as you write.

3. The method I use is a mixture of both.
My version of a character template goes a little like this
Character's name:
Role in the story:
Primary goal (what they wish to achieve, like rescuing their kidnapped friend):
Underlying goals (such as emotional goals, what kind of person they want to be):
Motivation for these goals:
Family and friends:
Basic backstory:

So, not quite as detailed as the first method, but not as vague as just writing an hoping they develop properly.

However, the method that works for you is completely down to your preferred writing style. Do whatever suits you best. You may have a way of creating a character of your own.

Thanks for reading! D is for Dialogue won't be posted tomorrow, but I'll get it out the day after (I have a busy weekend coming up :) )