What are the big NOs of writing

Questions, skill improvement, and respectful critique involving game writing.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
JayBlue
Regular
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:10 pm
Location: Space
Contact:

What are the big NOs of writing

#1 Post by JayBlue » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:03 pm

What are the things in a story that should be avoided? I'm not talking about tropes. I'm talking about:

What shouldn't be done in writing.
What is considered bad writing.
What people do not want to see in a story.
What makes a story boring.

And any other bad things that I and others should know about.
If an Owl hoots in a forest, does it make a sound?

User avatar
Mammon
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 712
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:09 pm
Completed: Pervert&Yandere, Stalker&Yandere
Projects: Roses Of The Thorn Prince
Contact:

Re: What are the big NOs of writing

#2 Post by Mammon » Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:17 am

It's not what's a no in writing, rather than what you can't do. One person might say that you shouldn't just dive headfirst into the plot from the very first scene without easing into the characters, while someone else might say that the beginning shouldn't be too slow in order to keep the reader enthralled. Neither is wrong, both are subjectively right. Writer 1 might be good at building enjoyable characters and doing the more casual slice-of-life scenes, while writer 2 is better at high-paced stuff and wants to get to the plot right away because their characters are simple but speaking for themselves.

Don't look at the NO's of writing, look at what you think won't work at least in your preference or with your writing style.
There are of course a few no's of writing, but they speak for themselves: Correct spelling and grammar, for example.
ImageImageImage

Want some CC sprites?

User avatar
AshenhartKrie
Veteran
Posts: 482
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:02 pm
Tumblr: ashenhartkrie
Location: Buttsville
Contact:

Re: What are the big NOs of writing

#3 Post by AshenhartKrie » Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:23 am

Every single one of those questions is completely subjective. For example, many people consider 'purple prose' to be bad writing, but I'm a fan of over the top and lavish descriptions when done well (see: tolkien, cecillia dart-thornton).
Another person may say that character drive stories are boring but for someone else that's the best thing they've read.

There aren't really... dos/donts when it comes to writing styles or writing. every single person is going to have a completely different opinion.

tired. grumpy. queer
*uses he/him pronouns*

User avatar
Kokoro Hane
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1121
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:51 pm
Completed: 30 Kilowatt Hours Left, The Only One Girl { First Quarter }, An Encounter ~In The Rain~, A Piece of Sweetness, Hot Scientific Clock, Since When Did I Have a Combat Butler?!, one. digit. off, Synchronized Clocks, Piece By Piece, + 2 RPGs
Projects: RE/COUNT RE:VERSE
Organization: Tofu Sheets Visual
Deviantart: kokoro-hane
itch: tofu-sheets-visual
Contact:

Re: What are the big NOs of writing

#4 Post by Kokoro Hane » Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:25 am

I second Mammon and AshenhartKrie! What makes an enjoyable story really is subjective, both to the writer and to the reader. One person may think something is real crap writing while others may think it's the greatest masterpeice since sliced bread. What you should focus on is how YOU wish to present the story, how YOU enjoy a story to be presented. If you focus too much on the technical, you'll come up with really bland and calculated results. Don't strive for perfection, write with your heart... as cheesy as that sounds. Write because you enjoy it, trust me... if the writer has fun with their work, it shows! So to me, the biggest "No" in writing aside from the obvious correct spelling and grammar etc. is... don't write what you don't enjoy! Don't try to appease a certain group, you can't make everyone happy as we all have different tastes. Write what you wish you'd like to see more of, if you got an idea in your head--go for it! How we develop our characters and pace our stories really is subjective and sometimes depends on the story itself, too. And besides, the more you write, the better you'll get developing your technique~
PROJECTS:
Since When Did I Have a Combat Butler?![COMPLETE][NaNoRenO2020+]
Hot Scientific Clock [COMPLETE][BxG]
Journey of The Scroll [COMPLETE][RPG][v.2]
Crystal Captor: Memory Chronicle Finale [COMPLETE][RPG][#1 in So Bad It's Good jam '17]
The Only One Girl [WiP][Up.5/20/2017][1stQ ver. released]

But dear God, You're the only North Star I would follow this far
Owl City "Galaxies"

gekiganwing
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 2464
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:38 pm
Contact:

Re: What are the big NOs of writing

#5 Post by gekiganwing » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:27 pm

JayBlue wrote:
Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:03 pm
What makes a story boring.
As I've said elsewhere, it's difficult to write a story in which the protagonist rarely or never loses. It's interesting to watch characters fight against themselves, or (super)natural forces, or a person. I think it can be boring if a character does not have to work or struggle. If they don't learn or grow by overcoming obstacles, then how can the reader find the character to be compelling?

The opposite problem is stories in which the protagonist keeps losing, and has almost no hope of winning. I think that it can be boring if the character constantly fails to live up to their potential. If they don't learn from their mistakes, or grow by overcoming their weaknesses, then how can the reader think they're compelling?

I think it's *possible* to write a story in which the protag is nigh-invincible or very fallible. It just seems like a major challenge.

User avatar
Katy133
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 702
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:21 pm
Completed: Eight Sweets, The Heart of Tales, [redacted] Life, Must Love Jaws, A Tune at the End of the World, Three Guys That Paint, The Journey of Ignorance, Portal 2.5.
Projects: The Butler Detective
Tumblr: katy-133
Deviantart: Katy133
Soundcloud: Katy133
itch: katy133
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: What are the big NOs of writing

#6 Post by Katy133 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:11 pm

A great book all about this is "How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them" by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman. It's funny AND helpful!
ImageImage

My Website, which lists my visual novels.
Become a patron on my Patreon!

User avatar
TheJerminator15
Regular
Posts: 161
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:37 pm
Completed: A Sedentary Fist
Projects: Manipulation, Switch Swap, Unnamed Project
itch: jamsandwich
Location: England
Contact:

Re: What are the big NOs of writing

#7 Post by TheJerminator15 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:24 pm

As others have said, the problem with these questions in general is that the answers for this are completely subjective. I'd say to first try and reflect on what you personally view regarding each of these questions, and then use that information to further expand upon your writing.

The problem with asking dos or donts for writing is once again, it's heavily embedded with subjectivity. Even writing conventions widely accepted have examples of them beign broken in popular or acclaimed series. The focus should be less on adhering to a convention and on the execution in my opinion, you can break every widely accepted convention in the rule as long as the execution is well done.
My Current Writing Project: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=37699
Manipulation Teaser Demo: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzJ4E ... zV6TWVaclk

User avatar
Scribbles
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 636
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:15 pm
Completed: Pinewood Island, As We Know It
Projects: In Blood
Organization: Jaime Scribbles Games
Deviantart: breakfastdoodles
itch: scribbles
Location: Ohio
Contact:

Re: What are the big NOs of writing

#8 Post by Scribbles » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:16 am

I feel like everyone covered it, but I also wanted to recommend 'On Writing' by Stephen King, I thought it had a lot of good advice in it. Honestly the more you look into the more you will see conflicting advice. The best way to get better at writing is to keep writing and reading.
Image - Image -Image

User avatar
Katy133
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 702
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:21 pm
Completed: Eight Sweets, The Heart of Tales, [redacted] Life, Must Love Jaws, A Tune at the End of the World, Three Guys That Paint, The Journey of Ignorance, Portal 2.5.
Projects: The Butler Detective
Tumblr: katy-133
Deviantart: Katy133
Soundcloud: Katy133
itch: katy133
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: What are the big NOs of writing

#9 Post by Katy133 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:32 pm

Also read "The Disaster Artist" by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell. It's basically a book about the filmmaking of the (in)famous 2003 film, The Room. The story behind it (read: the film's troubled production) is so interesting, there's a film adaptation of it coming out in a few months.

I also recommend seeing the 2003 film, or clips of it. The film is sometimes used as a case study on how not to do storytelling.
ImageImage

My Website, which lists my visual novels.
Become a patron on my Patreon!

User avatar
Hazel
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:10 am
Projects: Wreath of Roses, BookSLEEPer, Girlfriend Material
Tumblr: zincalloygames
itch: zincalloy
Contact:

Re: What are the big NOs of writing

#10 Post by Hazel » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:00 am

The only hard rule I could think of is "don't write something you hate". Write what you love, the rest comes naturally with time and experience. For every choice you make, you lose some readers and gain others.
Image Image

BookSLEEPer (writer) * Girlfriend Material (writer/programmer)

User avatar
Katy133
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 702
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:21 pm
Completed: Eight Sweets, The Heart of Tales, [redacted] Life, Must Love Jaws, A Tune at the End of the World, Three Guys That Paint, The Journey of Ignorance, Portal 2.5.
Projects: The Butler Detective
Tumblr: katy-133
Deviantart: Katy133
Soundcloud: Katy133
itch: katy133
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: What are the big NOs of writing

#11 Post by Katy133 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:05 pm

Hazel wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:00 am
The only hard rule I could think of is "don't write something you hate". Write what you love, the rest comes naturally with time and experience. For every choice you make, you lose some readers and gain others.
^^^ I absolutely agree with this. As the expression goes, "a story written without joy will be read without joy."
ImageImage

My Website, which lists my visual novels.
Become a patron on my Patreon!

User avatar
YossarianIII
Veteran
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:26 pm
Completed: Guns & Lovers; SRRT!; Kill Your Refrigerator; Banality Man; Beretta Mondatta
Projects: Brooklyn Idol
Organization: KONOL Games
Contact:

Re: What are the big NOs of writing

#12 Post by YossarianIII » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:11 pm

I think the advice "Omit needless words" from The Elements of Style is pretty good universal advice. Like, this is going to sound dumb, but I think the best way to make a story not-boring is to just... not be boring? To just be constantly aware of what each part of the story is doing and not just write things for the sake of increasing the word count?

Katy133 wrote:
Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:32 pm
Also read "The Disaster Artist" by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell. It's basically a book about the filmmaking of the (in)famous 2003 film, The Room. The story behind it (read: the film's troubled production) is so interesting, there's a film adaptation of it coming out in a few months.

I also recommend seeing the 2003 film, or clips of it. The film is sometimes used as a case study on how not to do storytelling.
^^^This. It's basically a college seminar in how not to write.


Image Image Image

User avatar
Hazel
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:10 am
Projects: Wreath of Roses, BookSLEEPer, Girlfriend Material
Tumblr: zincalloygames
itch: zincalloy
Contact:

Re: What are the big NOs of writing

#13 Post by Hazel » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:54 am

Well, but what qualifies as a "needless word" varies by context. A lot of people take that advice as an idea bout writing spare, minimalistic, utilitarian prose. Where the words are there to convey the plot, not to decorate it. This is certainly a valid approach and a popular one, and it'll gain you a lot of readers. More to the point, it's a very efficient style for writing games. There's still room for more ornate, decorative writing, although I think working that into game writing would be a tremendous challenge.
Image Image

BookSLEEPer (writer) * Girlfriend Material (writer/programmer)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users