I think I’ve just won the most literal title of the day award, and it’s my first post of the morning. Hear that, rest of RPS? You might try to defeat me, but I will bland you out the park. I hope I don’t get stuck in a rut. Can someone out there recommend a newly written guide to some sort of writing? What? Bioware‘s Senior Writer David Gaider has just written a blogpost on how to write fanfiction? What I do is essentially fanfiction to the whole of PC gaming. That’ll do!
“Wrytw gud nao” “Storming the Sand Castle”, and contains five rules he’s come up with after judging a fanfiction contest set in the Dragon Age universe. Most people would balk at the task, but Gaider wanted to help the 400 plus entrants as much as possible: writing without feedback is like tightrope walking without a long drop. Unnecessary similes is rule #6, but he cut it because of rule #3.
3. DO pay attention to flow. In creative writing, flow is more important than language. Some writers will abuse a thesaurus so badly you half-expect to find it wandering dazed alongside the highway, dress in tatters and lipstick smeared across its face. They laden their prose with words they fancy because they think it makes their writing more poetic. It doesn’t. It makes your prose heavy, and while there might be some readers who appreciate that, it won’t make you a better writer. Be sparing with your language, and realize there isn’t a sentence so clever it shouldn’t be cut if it doesn’t assist your purpose– which is telling a story. Cut out all your extra that’s and but’s and adjectives and adverbs (I often need this advice, myself). Slaughter your word-babies mercilessly, for that pain will put you in the habit of not over-populating your prose to begin with.
Why did I quote rule #3 before even telling what rule #1 is? Because I’m following rule #5: Do the unexpected. There’s a lot of good narrative brainthinks, and just common sense writing tips from someone whose living it is to come up with this stuff. His writing muscle is strong.
That wonderfully cute Dragon Age image up there is by *sandra.