• Member Since 4th Nov, 2012
  • offline last seen Feb 18th, 2014


More Blog Posts25

  • 551 weeks
    Getting off the ride

    As most of you probably realized from the title, I am indeed getting off the ride. With the exception of Starswirl Academy, I will be making no further pony content. No short stories, no long stories, no quests, nothing. I enjoyed my time as a fan of the show, but I'm moving on to other things.

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    29 comments · 1,005 views
  • 561 weeks
    Every time I hear this I want to strangle someone

    For a good portion of my time as a pony fanfic writer (woah, doesn't that sound prestigious?) I was a reviewer as well. I still review some things, and still take questions from aspiring writers. One of the questions I hear, especially from newer writers, is thus:

    "Is it okay if I..."


    "But what if—"

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    3 comments · 655 views
  • 569 weeks
    Arguing on the Internet

    I've decided to make this post not about writing specifically (though you can certainly apply this to writing) and instead focus on something else that you may find useful:

    How (I think) you should argue on the internet.

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    5 comments · 635 views
  • 575 weeks
    Looking back and some thoughts on dialogue

    Greetings this fine Sunday morning. There are a couple things I want to talk about in this post. The first being a little self-reflection and the second being about something a bit more educational: dialogue.

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    2 comments · 606 views
  • 576 weeks
    Writing Sex Scenes

    You want to give clop a shot, but don't have any idea where to start? Sure, writing a story is one thing, but getting really into the hot and heavy, especially when it isn't your thing, can be confusing or otherwise difficult. Fortunately, you follow my blog and here I'll give my thoughts on writing sex.

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    6 comments · 986 views

Looking back and some thoughts on dialogue · 6:00am Jun 9th, 2013

Greetings this fine Sunday morning. There are a couple things I want to talk about in this post. The first being a little self-reflection and the second being about something a bit more educational: dialogue.

I was just going through all my blog posts, reading through all the little thoughts I had, trying to figure myself and reflecting on the events that were happening during each post. With Beating Her Heat/Purpledom, there was a lot of frustration and even sometimes anger. With Apples, it was mostly nervousness at the start, then something of an emotional detachment until the big summary post at the end, where I kinda defended myself but also admitted to mistakes. I was also very proud of myself for not saying anything about the Purpledom chapter 2 release until at least a day after it happened. It's almost never a good idea to engage in discussion about something personal and important without giving yourself some time to cool.

I also decided I should do more posts about my thoughts/advice with writing. Not just for you readers, but also for myself, so I can have times where I look back at where I was. It's very interesting to see changes over time, especially subtle things like growth in writing. I do not know if I will actually do more, but I'll at least put more thought to it. Typically, the subjects I rattle on about come and go with spurts of inspiration.

Now, onto dialogue. Shift your brains in to a different gear, cause I'm going to get a little more technical now.

Not long ago, I read this post about dialogue (or, more specifically, how most people screw it up). I agreed with everything I saw, even if I wasn't the biggest fan of the posts's author's voice. Personally, getting past #4 was the most difficult and important for me, but you may have trouble with one of the others.

Here's the basic list if you don't want to have to read that link:
#1: These voices are all clones — No one is unique
#2: Long lines of linear dialogue — Your dialogue is all strictly relevant, plot-forward, and clear
#3: Everyone's so damn proper
#4: You're really sure of that, aren't you? —Your characters are benefiting from your knowledge as the author
#5: Expository dialogue is expository — Your dialogue touches on things only for the benefit of the reader (especially in ways where the character's wouldn't note it)
#6: Why is everyone being so nice?

Anyways, after going through everything, my first thought was: "These aren't really dialogue problems at their core. They're character problems." For #1: your voices are all clones because you neglected to develop that part of your character. You don't know how your character is supposed to talk, what his or her quirks are, so you just default to something neutral and simple. Don't skip this step when making a character! Think up exactly how they talk in your head (or out loud) before you go having them spew out lines and lines of dialogue. There isn't a wrong or right way to do this... any sort of manner of speaking can work if you find a place for it. Just don't forget about it.

If #2 is giving you trouble, then you're forgetting to put your characters in the conversation as opposed to a couple of robots exchanging information. When people chat, they might start a conversation with literal knowledge or statements ("How's the weather?" "How's work?") but they sure as hell don't talk about only that all the time. It's also incredibly boring to read. Think about what your characters think and care about, and add those to their dialogue. People have opinions and love to share them (like me!).

If #3 is an issue, then, like #1, you neglected to develop a speaking type for your character, but there's something else compounded onto that: you try to enforce written English rules on spoken English. Written English has a million different rules and a clear method for pretty much every situation. Spoken English has one rule: the other person should be able to understand it. Note the should: comprehension isn't always required! Do you see the monumental difference there? Don't try to treat them the same! Mess around with it. Tweak it. Don't limit yourself.

If #4 is a problem... ehhh... I can't really say much besides this: Make sure you're in your characters' heads when they speak, and be sure to have them fully developed. That allows you to come at the information presented in the story from a different point of view, which in turns makes it easier to figure out these characters' reactions.

#5 is more of an annoyance than anything. You can work with conversations that have bits of this, but it hurts the suspension of disbelief and can make for bland conversations. People don't just blurt things out, conversation is much more subtle. A lot of the times, if someone is unsure of something, they won't outright ask it. They'll dance around the topic until the speaker gives away either a confirmation or rejection of the supposed knowledge. Such is how dialogue should work, only you, as the reader, don't get a stake in the conversation. You have to figure things out from the characters' statements on your own. As a writer, don't tell any more than you absolutely have to. Also! Don't force exposition that won't fit into dialogue into dialogue.

#6 comes from your own hesitance as a person to make your characters say and do cruel things. It also comes from forgetting that there is a very wide range of cruelty, from something as simple as a sneer shot at someone's back, to outright destroying the human race. People don't always get along, and you need to make sure your characters are developed in your head well enough that you'll know which ones will click and which ones won't. If they won't click... follow through with it! You're a writer, for god's sake. You need to be heartless.

Notice how many times I used the words 'develop' and 'character'? Because that is the core issue. You should be spending days, if not weeks or months developing your characters. Analyzing them, doing mock conversations with them, throwing them into strange situations, shoving them this way and that, putting them under duress—everything! Making a full character is not quick, and typically not easy. Do not get impatient with it, but also enjoy yourself along the way.

That's all for today, folks.

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Comments ( 2 )

Thanks for the lesson.:derpytongue2:

Well, at least I think I 'm doing just fine on character development. Lol

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