Captain Kiel's Rules Of Writing

by Kiel_Farren

<< All Articles | Print

Welcome to Captain Kiel's Rules of Writing - "Ho tu ahvoid horiblle speeling ehroars / other mistakes!"

... In all seriousness, this guide is mostly intended for new and young writers who need advice on how to create and publish a refined story, but even if you have created your own epic already, I readily welcome you aboard and hope I can still pass on some useful tips to you. So, here we go!

---

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. (Addendum: Yes, it can help you grow as a writer to take on time-challenges, and I do feel that leaving your comfort zone is incredibly helpful in a writer's growth, but I very highly recommend getting the basics down first and having at least one good game under your belt.)

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 spelling and grammar 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 three of the above. (Pro tip: If the editor's spell-check / whatever spell-checker you're utilizing does not recognize a word, google it.)

 Yes, this sounds extreme. Yes, you'll think it's ready after just one of the above, and. You. Will. Be. Wrong. You'll 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 to correct you, or ask someone. (It's really best to do all three, though.)

4. Actually play your game. Don't subject us to something you wouldn't play yourself. Besides, you can find errors that you wouldn't see otherwise. Also, when you play it, I strongly suggest you do something you probably stopped doing somewhere around seven years old or so: pretend. No, don't pretend that 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. Ask yourself "Does it makes sense?" "Does it flow nicely or is it awkward?" "Is the gameplay convenient? Inconvenient? Why?" "Are the characters likeable, relatable / understandable?" "Does it feel like your choices are really affecting the world around you?" and so on.

No, you'll never be totally 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. I mean it. After you made those changes, you ought to make sure they turned out right.)

7. Relax. 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. You should be very proud. 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 when you publish it, mmmkay, champ? Good luck!)