The Writing Craft

  • I'm putting this in Mildly Constructive vs. Tastes Less Gamey because it can be used to better one's roleplay.

    The purpose of this thread is to share links relating to writing that you think people might enjoy or that you've found personally helpful in the pursuit of such.

    Here's a few to start. These are all ones I've personally saved for reference.

    Part of why I include (and recommend!) screenwriting tips is because MU*ing is a very 'visual' format as well. We try to eschew metaposing and especially thoughtposing. Some of us use it to comedic effect or to help expand on what would be knowable, but certainly not to the extent one would find in a novel. You almost have to approach posing as you approach screenwriting: by focusing on what can be seen.

    I'll happily expand here as I find (and find merit in) more.

  • @Auspice What about the difference between Tone and Voice? That's always a good one.
    Tone and Voice in Writing

  • Check out the podcast, Writing Excuses: Hosted by a bunch of published speculative fiction authors, including Brandon Sanderson.

    Start with season 10.

    It's the best fiction writing resource I've ever come across. (Just my opinion, but it works for me.)

    I think the basics work for RP too, particularly if you're building a game from scratch, because that entails world-building. (Their most recent episode actually focuses on how to adapt fiction for games.)

  • One of the reasons I roleplay is to practice the description of motion and body language. To convey emotion through showing, rather than telling. To display an emotion through gesture and form rather than outright handing it to the reader.

    I've had some success with this. I've had people pick up on things through a character's body language (as written) without having to outright state what is being evoked. I always check in, 'Hey, she's sitting like that because...' 'He did that gesture as a...' since I figure hey, their character would know this, even if they didn't pick up on it. And often? People say they got it.

    Even better is when I've been threading something subtle through a scene and someone later goes, 'Oh shit! I just realized...'

    To me that's success. For as much love as I have for snarky asides and meta-jokes at my character's expensive, I love even more when my writing is immersive enough to draw the other player(s) in.

    All this to lead to this video:
    It's about camera direction and acting in regards to immersion (David Fincer, verily, is a god unto men), but it showcases, to me, just how vital that display of body language is. It's not enough to just show it in Fincher's world, but he wants to pull you in and sweep you up in the moment through the camera.

    I strive to do the same through words.

  • Because it got me excited and I wanted to share:

    A collection of Guillermo del Toro screenplays



  • Read a sample from the writing of a famous theorist you enjoy, and put the writing 'tic' in your work. I was a fan of Karl Marx in college, and I used is double - clause a lot.

    I.E: The Penguin looked askance from the young hooligan - he was used to such men coming up with such trifles - and moved his arm around the man's shoulder, preparing to bring him in on the real secret of Gotham City.

    It gives your writing a bit of flavor, that commonly repeated eccentricity, especially if you're unconsciously using the author's ideas in your work.

  • @chet

    I do this often with words. I'll get hung up on a word for a few days. I've seen authors do it for an entire book, which honestly can be kind of vexing (see Piers Anthony and the word occidental in Wielding a Red Sword).

    I use semicolons in my writing a lot. It's probably the thing that -- if someone were trying to seek me out -- would most notably flag me. In point of fact, it's what made me sort of giddy to play with a friend on a game because he uses them fairly liberally too. It was a moment of 'ah-ha! Someone else with this writing quirk!'

  • Do you know how to write a movie script? I see that here you have such good links that will help to do this.

    Where I could find the screenwriting tips? I think it will help me to create a script for my game that I plan to create.

  • @cogne1982 said in The Writing Craft:

    Do you know how to write a movie script? I see that here you have such good links that will help to do this.

    Where I could find the screenwriting tips? I think it will help me to create a script for my game that I plan to create.

    I've written a couple short film scripts. I can point to a few books and links, but I'm not yet completely awake. I'll see what I can stir up later on today. :)

    I do highly recommend formatting software (Final Draft for paid and CeltX for a free option) because that part is vital and hand-formatting a script is a PITA. Also finding your own 'method' for development is really important. Going from draft to script is a process; it's rare you just dive right in. A lot of people absolutely swear by Blake Snyder's 'Save the Cat' method ( and I have to say... it works. I've got two of the books (Save the Cat and Save the Cat Strikes Back).

    It uses a beat sheet:
    Here's Toy Story 3:
    (You can find other films applied to it. A lot of people will analyze movies using Snyder's method. Either as a challenge, as part of a class, or just for fun.)

    Personally, I will rough out the general idea of my script using the Snyder beats, then transfer them to index cards. From there, I start fleshing out the gaps. Index cards are another sort of 'standard' (aka commonly used, but not required). A lot of software (Final Draft, CeltX, Scrivener) offers virtual index cards. You can lay them down, move them around, etc. You aren't trapped with them in a static location on the page. You can visualize where they are. That way if you move a scene, you can actually physically move it.

    I actually plan out all my stories this way now, once they go past the outline stage. It's usually outline -> index card -> rough draft...

    Ahem. Anyway. I'll dig up some more concrete links later. I know I've got some good videos, too.

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