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Toss around ideas and brainstorm your story.

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago

I already decided what theme my story game is,Do you guys have any advice for me?

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago

Get the reader invested with memorable characters in interesting situations. The reader being invested is really the key element, as it is the deciding factor in the readers choice to continue reading or close it and go do something else.

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago

Thank you very much, I'll try to make good characters with interesting situations just like you said.

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago

Take your time. 

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago

Before you even start to write, read some books. Figure out what you liked or didn't like about each one to get a better sense of what works or doesn't work in your own writing. Meanwhile as a handy side-effect you'll be expanding your vocabulary and getting a more natural sense for things like punctuation and grammar.

 

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago

Couldn't agree more. Also, make sure to read Ground Zero to get a feel for how to do branching well, in interactive fiction.

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago

I already read some books,I read Rangers Apprentice,Harry Pother Series,Percy Jackson series,and The Hobbit.I plan on going back on them to see what worked and what not.I also plan on reading other peoples storys like JJJ-the banisher said to get a grip on them too.Thank you for your advice. 

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago
One key thing is: Suspense.

A strange amount of stories on CYS are lacking this element. A reader needs to want and hope for something to happen. This keeps things interested.


Here are some good examples about suspense from a article by John D. Brown:

Man goes out and turns on his sprinklers. They hiss to life. He scratches his bum, looks at the rising sun, goes back inside, and nothing more happens.

You want to pay me money for that one? Want to make it into a movie? It’s a story.

Yeah, it’s a story alright, you may say, but who cares?

Okay, so maybe while he’s scratching his bum, a guy with a gun slips in the back. The intruder points the gun at the man’s daughter who is standing by the toaster buttering her bread. She’s a teenager, dressed in cutoffs and hiking boots. The intruder says, “Your father is going to be coming back through that door any time now. You’re going to call him into the kitchen. We’re going to have a chat. You two didn’t finish the business we talked about.”

The girl only has a butter knife, but she grips it tighter, considers that only 13% of shots fired by cops in gunfights hit home. This was drilled into her by her firearms instructor. The guys who are trained only hit 13% of the time. It’s that low even though most gunfights start with the opponents standing only six feet away from each other–the distance between her and Gideon with his gun. That’s what happens when the adrenaline takes over. But Gideon doesn’t look like he’s full of adrenaline. He looks like a man going to a BBQ. So maybe he has a 40% chance with each bullet. That still gives her 60.

The front door opens. It distracts Gideon for just a moment. The barrel of his gun moves slightly to the left. . . ."


And...

When we talk about suspense, this is what I believe we’re talking about. And a key thing to remember is that the tension we’re after is NOT something that’s in the text. It’s something the text builds IN THE READER. So you may have massive explosions, deaths, chases, escapes, villains, and all the hordes of hell combine in your story, in the text, but that does not mean the story has dramatic tension. Because dramatic tension is a READER concept. You may have a relatively quite scene where a child is doing nothing more than swinging at a park, but because the reader knows the child molester has just arrived and the park is empty, the scene creates dramatic tension. The girl feels no tension. She’s just swinging away. But the reader’s tension goes through the roof. It’s all about what happens in the READER.

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago

Couldn't agree more. This whole post needs to be preserved somewhere for posterity.

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago

... Damn, write an article, Zikara...

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago

Yes. Yes, I do:

1. Do. Not. Rush. If you get a burst of inspiration and write a whole bunch in one night, fan-freaking-tastic, but don't set a deadline for yourself. Writing is an art and art is something you take your time with. Go back and re-read once in a while as you're writing, make sure you really -like- what you're creating and that every piece of the story fits. 

2. Don't you dare post right after you've written the last word. Take a break first. Then ...

3. Proof read. Take another break. Proof read -again-. Run it through a spell checker. Ask someone to check your work. Ask -another- person to check your work. Yes, I'm seriously suggesting you do -all- of these, but do at least two of the above.

 -_- You will think it's ready after just one of the above, and you. Will. Be. Wrong. You will never catch all of your own mistakes, especially just after writing a bunch of words, because your -brain- knows what you've written and it -will- trick your eyes into thinking everything is perfect because you're focusing on what it's suppose to say, not what is really there. That's why you've -got- to either take a break to adjust your perspective, use a program, or ask someone. (But it's best to do all three.)

4. Go back and actually -play- your game. Don't subject us to something you wouldn't play yourself. xD Besides, you can find errors that you wouldn't see otherwise. Also, when you play it, I suggest you do something you probably stopped doing somewhere around 7 years old or so: Pretend. Only, don't pretend you're a knight or a dinosaur, pretend this is not your story, pretend you're reading it for the very first time, and while you do, critique it like so:

Ask yourself if you like it, and why or why not, does it makes sense, does it flow nicely, is the gameplay convenient, are the characters likeable, relatable / understandable, does it feel like your choices are really affecting the world around you, so on and so forth.   

No, you'll never be objective about your own story because you're human, but -try- and you will be a better writer -and- beta reader for it.

5. Polish it. If you noticed an issue, fix it. If you notice something that is (unintentionally) inconvenient to the player, change it. Realize a character sucks? Remake them or scrap them. Don't be afraid to trim the fat of your own work and don't be afraid to ask for help doing it.

(If you don't notice or find a -single- issue in your -entire- story, either you're Jesus / some other god-type figure ... or you didn't actually get another writer to critique your work, in which case, do that now.)

6. Proof read. (Yes. Again. After you made those changes, you ought to make sure they turned out right.)

7. Relax. So, after all of the above, the writing, the proof-reading, the playing, the proof-reading again, the polishing, the oh-my-god-proof-reading-AGAIN ... relax. You've made a piece of art that is -your- creation and regardless of what anyone says once you post it, you put a lot of hard work into it and you should be proud of it. Congrats. All you need to do now is publish and kick back as everyone enjoys the fruit of your labors.

(P.S. Juuuuust be sure your tags, category, maturity level, and difficulty level are correct, too, mmkay, champ?) 

 

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago

Okay now there's another one that should be an article. Not that the users most in need of that kind of advice usually bother to look it up and read it...

In regards to spell checkers, there's actually an automatic one built into the editor. Even the basic editor I mean. It underlines misspelled words in red. It always amazes me how many people choose to completely ignore it.

 

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago

Eh. Alright, let me clarify: There are "spell-checkers" out there that also check grammar and punctuation. I'd advise using one of those. Also, I -never- write in the editor for extended periods of time because once it times out ... you're screwed when you try to save your work. I'm not the only one who doesn't like writing in the editor, either, so I suspect some of those writers do not utilize that feature of the editor properly.

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago

Oh no, I guarantee these people writing 'pages' that are just like three misspelled sentence fragments write directly into the editor. I was doing it last night. Once you go below a certain threshold there's not much point in the extra hassle of copy and pasting from a separate program.

And I've seen newbies complain about losing their work here before, sometimes it just doesn't occur to a person that the site might do that until it happens.

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago

Well, my advice isn't for those people, because ... I'm a medical professional, not a miracle worker. I heavily doubt I can help people who think a "page" is three crappily written, fragmented sentences. I'm offering this advice for people who, you know, are actually trying. xD (>_> You were trying, of course, but you were trying to be funny.)

Ehh, I've seen people who -aren't- newbs make that complaint--though arguably the complaint was a residual grievance concerning writing endeavors from their newbie days.

What Makes A Good Story?

6 years ago

I'll give my two biggest rules for writing that I try to follow. The first is valid, even when not writing a story.

1) Be clear with words and what you mean to say. You have to write with attention to how someone else will read it. You need to make sure the phrases and words clearly mean what you want them to. You do not want to confuse the reader with ambiguous words or phrasing. Pronouns need to clear to who they refer to. You do not want to have a character speaking, but have the reader think someone else is speaking. 

 

2) Show, don't tell. This rule has been hammered into my head from English class so many times that I think I say it in my sleep. Do not tell the reader that Bob is impatient and hot tempered. Show the reader by having Bob flip over a table because his food was taking too long at a restaurant. Writing like this gives your point across better as it shows to what degree Bob is impatient and hot tempered. He flipped a table, instead of barricading the doors and windows before lighting the place on fire.