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December 9, 2012
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for those who ask advice about writing (a couple of things)

:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012   Writer
No, this isn't another bitch-out thread.

say you get the piece of advice you are looking for. it came in the form of a link or a google search or an answer here or in a workshop or book about technique (the list can go on but you get my drift).....

here's my question:

how often do you actually implement the piece of advice in your stories/poems?

do you read the advice and hope it has been absorbed into your brain through memory-related osmosis or do you make a real concerted effort to make a positive change happen?

i wonder if advice that is given here from one writer to another, not taking anything other than desire to improve into account, that the "another" writer is actually using the advice they're given. each piece we write should be better than the last in some way, it doesn't have to be a jump from "See Spot Run" to "Moby Dick", but something. you know how to write dialogue a little better, a little more believable. you understand the mistakes you were making with POV. you finally were able to conquer your love for adverbs by using better descriptives. something.

we should be learning from each story we write. we should be able to compare a story written two years ago with one written last week and be able to see a bump in quality. otherwise, this:

EVEN THE BEST ADVICE IS USELESS WHEN IT GOES UNUSED.

What is a piece of advice you were given that you ACTUALLY USED and saw an improvement in your work?

Mine was from a deviant here, about paragraphing and POV. The next piece of advice I am going to use is about improving revisions from Trey Parker.

Your turn, please.
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Devious Comments

:iconalternatemew:
AlternateMew Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
With anything written, it's a lot easier to incorporate advice than in something drawn/painted/etc. So yes. Even though the advice I get I look up or find on TV Tropes, I still try to use it the best I can, doing editing whenever necessary to make a story better. Granted I don't write publicly much. Even if I should.
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:icontoxic--sunrise:
toxic--sunrise Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
Probably the straighten out the plot advice from you on the only Screamprompt I've completed to date. It's being applied to my novel in progress, and working rather well. I've gone from confusing to plot wrenches. Short stories, however, I'm still sinking. Mainly because I don't write definitive plots for them.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012   Writer
use my plot arc for your short stories (it's in the Workshopping the Rasp journal at the bottom over at my page). it will work for a short story from 1000 words on up. i use them every time. it is guaranteed.
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:icontoxic--sunrise:
toxic--sunrise Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
I'll have to give that a look when I finally get home. Thank you :heart:
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012   Writer
cool. if you have questions, please get in touch.
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:iconrazor13:
Razor13 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Depending on what the piece of advice is and if I have asked for it or not I use the advice. As soon as possible. Or I do some research on the advice and see what more people think. Often I get advice because I search it out. I won't search it if I won't use it. And if it just gets pushed on me it's a 50-50 shot as to if I will use the advice or not. I am not as easy about advice being forced on me.
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:iconthe-grey-one:
The-Grey-One Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
What I do is I figure out whether the person is genuinely trying to be helpful or if they have some other less pleasant reason for saying something(Some people have given me harsh and undeserved criticisms because I've left constructive ones on their work. Their only aim is "payback".). When it's the former I evaluate whether or not I agree by rereading my writing and if needed, writing sample paragraphs with and without the improvement to see the difference.

Most of my critique lately has come from myself. The more I write and the more often I do it, the more I start to see patterns my word choice and sentence structure. That is, I rely on habitual words even when another word might have been a better fit to that particular scene. I'm also trying to vary my sentence structure a little so that at least it isn't so obvious.
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:iconsimplebend:
SimpleBend Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Hobbyist
Oldest one on the book: Show, don't tell. I didn't understand it like I thought I did, until I met this amazing teacher who rephrased it for me: Create and atmosphere, but don't say anything. It was really earth-shattering. I realized that I didn't have to explain myself, and let the reader make his own interpretation. I was doing the contrary but I hadn't noticed until he told me that... And that's it.
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:iconhurricaneclaw:
Hurricaneclaw Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This one time someone told me the pacing in my stories sucked. So now I'm trying to make it better.

Do self critiques count? Because the structures in my sentences are the same each time, I've noticed. :P Meh. Nobody's perfeeeect
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012   Writer
did they tell you how it "sucked"? i don't like it when people hit and run like that.

sure, self-critiques count. be glad you can critique yourself.

and nobody's perfect, duh. we're not meant to be. we're human. we can't be perfect but we can at least be better with each attempt.
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:iconhurricaneclaw:
Hurricaneclaw Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, a bit. Just a quick 'it goes by pretty quickly in some places'. Once I read it over it was pretty obvious anyways.

I like critiquing stuff. The editing stage is my favourite. :dummy:
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012   Writer
i wished i liked editing more. that is where it starts to feel more like work as opposed to fun. maybe i'll get it together someday.
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:iconhurricaneclaw:
Hurricaneclaw Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really? I don't like the actual writing as much, it feels kinda boring. Editing is the fun deleting and rewriting and laughing at your own crap.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012   Writer
yeah, like i told neuro, i prefer cooking to cleaning up afterwards. same thing here.

and what is this "crap" you speak of ;-)
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:iconhurricaneclaw:
Hurricaneclaw Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cleaning up is fun as long as you sing loudly :dummy:

Oh, just about 90% of the words. But I replace them with better crap, so it's ok.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012   Writer
i don't like the word crap as it pertains to writing. i don't like people to joke about it, either, but that is my problem to deal with. if i started getting too logical, the sarcasm being used on me turns inward on the user and gets too real. it's not worth it.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
how can you not love editing

this needs to be a guide or some shit, I dunno
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012   Writer
it just feels like work much in the same sense i love cooking but hate cleaning the dirty dishes. same diff to me.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
oh word.

I actually like cleaning as long as I don't do it right after cooking.
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:iconcirprius:
Cirprius Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
For me the biggest piece of advice I got was to work on my transitions. I still have that problem, but after looking at a writing I did last year I realized that it is not nearly as bad. Things are more smoother, and it reads less jumpy. Now I just need to work on vocabulary.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012   Writer
:thumbsup:
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:iconglassperegrine:
GlassPeregrine Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012
I take all advice with a grain of salt. I test it out, and if it doesn't work, I shelve it just in case it'll help with a later story. I've run across precious little helpful (advice and people) here on dA, but what I have found, I've been able to use. Your 3-part workshop, for instance, has been the best "advice" I've found here and have been able to actually implement across the board, both for my short stories and for my novel work. My sister and I get together to compare notes a lot, as well, and I'm thankful that she has a thing for brutal honesty. It helps that she rips apart my manuscripts and hands me pages of notes and changes. I get elated whenever I get a page back without changes. I also have several other colleagues who help me in this way.

Point being, there is no such thing as universal advice. Some points work well for some projects, and others not so much.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012   Writer
sounds good all around.

i just wonder when people see writing advice that they might be curious about trying, if they actually try it. i can understand it might be hard to want to break old habits/patterns but in the spirit of improving, it has to be done. not all changes have to be huge; i wonder if that is a thing that gives them the fear.
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:iconglassperegrine:
GlassPeregrine Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012
More often than not, I believe it is. You would think that human nature would allow us all to adapt to changes with ease. Of course, in today's society, literacy has essentially been taken for granted. And it is in our complacency that the fear lies. People fear being removed from where they feel most comfortable. Then again, there's also those who don't think they need to change in order to accomplish something, and don't realize that by asking for advice, they're really asking for people to tell them how to change.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Professional General Artist
Probably the best advice I ever received was the suggestion that I needed to plan more. I was really resistant to accepting that, because I thought it would take the sense of surprise out of developing the story, but after getting frustrated over unfinished projects, etc. I decided to let go of my assumptions about myself and my work and finally give it a try. It hasn't fixed everything, but it improved one particular thing I had problems with. I can't believe how many years I went writing stories with no idea how they'd end.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012   Writer
how do you plan?
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
Well, mainly I don't sit down and start seriously writing the story until I know how it ends and have the bulk of the story, the scenes I wants, mapped out in my head. Once I have that I write a rough outline. I did a detailed chapter outline for the last novel I wrote, but I ultimately didn't like doing that, since 1) it took some of the fun out of figuring out certain details and 2) I wasn't able in the process of writing it to pinpoint problems in the structure of the plotting. The result is that I kinda burned out on some points and will have to do a lot of recon work to fix the story.

Right now, I am playing with the Snowflake Method on my current novel in hopes that it will help me figure out the logistics of the climax, which have troubled me from the beginning. The resolution is not an issue, it's the details surrounding it. I'm also trying to see the whole thing in a more clear, succinct way, since it's a rather long, complex story. Dunno, I'm about halfway through the process. The single line summary and paragraph synopsis were very difficult for me, but they did help clarify a bit.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012   Writer
have you tried my plot arc sheet? it takes the guesswork out of where the story will go leaving plenty of wiggle room for the "fun of figuring out certain details". for real. i can't remember if i've sent it to you or not but if you want it, let me know. i have one for short stories and one for novels.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
I haven't, though I recall you mentioning it. Is it anything like a Freytag analysis?

You are welcome to link it. Any help is good.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012   Writer
it is something i constructed using Blake Snyder's screenwriting techniques in Save the Cat. watch your notes.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thanks so much!

The short story sheet does look like a Freytag analysis, with the one portion added between falling action and resolution. I sorta use the idea for short stories. The novel sheet is new to me. I'm not sure how I feel about the breakdown, but I think I'll play with it and see how well it fits. I'll be in chat tonight and maybe detail my issues.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012   Writer
word. see you tonight.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Professional General Artist
Also, I don't implement all advice, but I do carefully consider all criticism and advice given. Sometimes I do think there's an issue of the reader not getting what the piece is or wanting it to be something that conforms to their own taste or presumptions. But you can't yourself rush to that assumption and need to really think about what's being said. Someone not getting a piece may well be your fault, not theirs.
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:iconalysataladay:
AlysaTaladay Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I am far more likely to implement advice on writing than I am advice on art. I receive very little advice on either, but I am very likely to make changes, or at least take changes into consideration (if it's something big that would take more time), when someone suggests them on my writing. I actually find it hard to hear/see other people's advice and not act on it, because it makes me extremely self-conscious. I find myself weighing pros and cons, and deciding how or if I should go about it. For example: [link] I was asked to lengthen a chapter, and I already have an idea in mind of how to go about it. Whether I do is dependent upon other people's reactions, since that is the first of several people to make that comment. On the other hand: I was asked to foreshadow more of things to come. The whole chapter is nothing but foreshadowing, but the writer has a point: no one can tell. I must also take into account their point of view: that they are not necessarily into the kind of story I am trying to tell. - On that same piece, I received several bits of technical advice, and took action on them almost straight away.
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:iconbeccajs:
BeccaJS Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012   Writer
- Don't overkill with adjectives
- Sometimes less is more.
- Show, don't tell (this should be stamped on every "writers" forehead!)
- Consider your audience- who are you writing this for? (And if it is for yourself, then why the fuck are you posting it on-line? nobody cares about your feels!)
- Don't use so many words ending "-ing" in poetry (thanks `salshep)
- Your opening paragraph/stanza needs to draw the reader in- treat it with care.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012   Writer
and have you implemented these pieces of advice? that is the point of the thread, not just a list.
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:iconbeccajs:
BeccaJS Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012   Writer
Try replying to forum threads with just your phone and a newborn on you and you won't always give the best response :)

I have implemented all of these- once you're told something so ridiculously obvious- it's sticks in your mind like having a shower daily because someone pointed out you smell.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012   Writer
nice analogy!
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:iconnikitadarkstar:
NikitaDarkstar Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
To be honest it really depends on the advice itself. If it's something that seems to make sense or is explained in a way so it makes sense I'm much more likely to make an actual effort in using it, otherwise I make a mental note of it and move on.

Some advice I've gotten (not just from DA) that I actually have put into use:

- Characters that make sense. Not just when it comes to power-level, but overall anything odd and unusual needs to have an explanation. "It's magic" doesn't cut it, even in a fantasy setting.

- Be VERY careful with the super-emo characters with dark pasts, they get ridiculous and unbelievable at a speed roughly equal to the speed of light.

- If you can, use a friend to help you find any obvious plot holes.

- Spread out your descriptions. They're a good tool, but no one will want to read three paragraphs of solid description.

- Proper punctuation. This one is basic but I still struggle with it and often have issues placing my full stops and commas properly.
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:iconcoramyrth:
Coramyrth Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I've never asked for advice around here, though I may someday.
I'm currently trying to write with less adverbs, though I've been doing that for some time. Still, I don't think my writing is as adverb free as it should be. (not that I'm writing at the moment - uni leaves me far too tired, I just can't get in the mood. But that's my own issue).
I got once an advice about starting sentences in flash fiction... Well, not really an advice, just someone pointing out I should start with something more... Attractive and not so ordinary. I'll try to keep that in mind next time I write. Whenever that may be... I hope soon.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012   Writer
did you see the prompt at my group that was to write a story using no adverbs?
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:iconcoramyrth:
Coramyrth Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yesss. Still plan on doing it someday.
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:iconjamberry-song:
jamberry-song Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Professional General Artist
I both consciously look for things to fix, as well as incorporating the advice into my mind by thinking about it often.

Some of the advice has been counter-productive; I could name a few getLITers who left very unhelpful comments indeed that translated into stagnation for me ("It's too long" on a long poem. Well obviously the long poem was intended to be long, so how is that helping? Or asking what something means, then piling on aberration for it.) But I'll refrain from naming names.

People who left really helpful comments usually did so by asking more questions, and that in itself helps. I have incorporated that not only into helping me with my own work, but by getting people to question their work. Questions are a cure for almost anything -- from writers block to rounding out plotwork. I'm sad to say a lot of helpful people have left this site over the years.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012   Writer
you didn't know that "it's too long" with no indication by the critiquer of how they felt it was too long was a troll move?

I'm sad to say a lot of helpful people have left this site over the years.
I'm happy to say that the ones that are here and helpful are still here and there's room for more.
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:iconjamberry-song:
jamberry-song Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Professional General Artist
I don't know "troll". I don't know why anyone would do something like that.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012   Writer
why? because people are shitheads when they don't have anyone to answer to.
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I am sure that everybody hangs off your every word here, so don't worried, you're a big man around here.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Professional Writer
I lolled.
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012   Writer
Me too.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012   Writer
Whatever, cupcake.
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