• Member Since 1st Aug, 2014
  • offline last seen Aug 20th, 2021


Discomfort is the feeling of horizons expanding against a closed mind.

More Blog Posts15

  • 84 weeks
    Visual Reference Guide

    From time to time various bits of imagery are sufficiently important warrant a physical representation, since MLP:FIM is primarily a visual medium, so I've created this listing to be updated as the need arises. Typically, this will include cutiemarks of characters in my stories as I publish them. Since this was growing larger than my main page needed, it's now here as projected.

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    0 comments · 67 views
  • 366 weeks
    CA: Theming

    A continuation of my Cumulative Advice for Writers blog, introducing one of the core elements of writing.

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    2 comments · 557 views
  • 367 weeks
    Still alive, still writing, and still kicking and screaming.

    Many may know I say that I write, and write, and write, but find I haven't published anything like the amount of stuff I've claimed to have written. Well, there's a reason for that, but I thought it was worth mentioning what it is I am actually working on, and what I'm working on is three stories at the same time; which can be

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    0 comments · 269 views
  • 367 weeks
    Outline: To Cure Deception

    Continuing on my work of providing examples for my Cumulative Advice blog, no advice is in need of examples more than Outlines. My previous outline posted for DotFR followed the format I call "Proof of Concept" being structured very much the same way a mathematical proof is. Different stories need different styles of

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    0 comments · 393 views
  • 369 weeks
    CA: Three Roles

    This extension of my Cumulative Advice for New Writers Blog helps distinguish and disambiguate three frequently used terms: Pre-Reader, Proof-Reader, and Editor. The goal of which is to help identify what each term means (through reference), so that when a writer is seeking help they know exactly what kind of help they

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    2 comments · 438 views

Cumulative Advice (Remastered) · 12:38pm Oct 19th, 2014

My cumulative advice for writers has been progressively expanding to an unmanageable point for a single blog post. It’s been taken down to undergo restructuring as to produce a more manageable format. This blog post will be the hub for all subsequent topics and advice. It is broken into sections with a link to the individual posts, while containing a short blurb about the topic in question. If you find a link that doesn't work yet, stay tuned, it will.

- Publishing
The art of publishing a story is well documented but not well explained. It’s also every author’s first mistake.
- Creating a Style
If you’re tired of hearing “just keep writing” here’s what they're really trying to say.
- The Three Roles (Pre-Reader, Proof-Reader, Editor)
The only word more abused is “canon”. These three roles are separate and distinct. Find out what they mean.
- Self Pre-Reading
If it sounds weird it probably is.
- Self Proofing
Narrative structure can get really messy, really quickly. Get started with the basics.
- Self Editing
Being Microsoft's paperclip is not a job anyone wants to do. Why yes, paperclip, I did mean "Learn the basics".

- Outlines
Your English teacher doesn’t hate you, she really is trying to help, and secretly wants you to ask about her book.
- Example Outline: Daughter of the First Reign (Caution: Spoilers!)
Everybody loves examples, but hate spoilers. Click if you’re the former but no the latter.
- Example Outline: To Cure Deception (Caution: Spoilers!)
Here we are again with more examples bathed in the blood of the innocent spoilers.
- Origin of Order
Itching to write a scene? Do it. You'll thank yourself later.

Elements of Storytelling
Theming and Thematic Consistency
Regardless of what a story is about it's gotta be about something. Make sure the audience can tell what.
- Narrative as Communication.
So you’ve got a really neat idea? Here’s what it takes to turn it into a story.
The Triangle Method
Because dichotomies so often turn out to be false.
- Character Development
Don't forget, people are going to be following these suckers around.
- Making a Character Wrong
More interesting, and fun, than it sounds.
- What We Don’t Know
Because being told why the thing, is more tedious than just doing the thing.

Special Topics
- The Proof of Concept
Its like math, but with a functional delinearization of narrative. Which, coincidentally, also sounds like math.
- The “Meta-” Sword
Its got two edges and they're both super sharp.
- The Hyper-Link
Before the wireless age a pun was just a humorous analogue. This one is about word associations.

Story Specific Explorations

Author's Note: Many of the comments are in reference to the old layout. Don't blame the poster because I radically reformatted this blog.

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Comments ( 14 )

I wish more people would read this and take it to heart.
(I know of one fellow who took two years to update his story.:twilightoops:)
This site is full of wonderfully creative people, but it's also teeming with bad writing habits as well.
The philosophy of actually finishing (and polishing) the story before releasing it is one I take to heart no matter how big the story is.
The idea of writing an outline of the story is also something I wish more writers would do.
I wish I could favorite blogs because this one needs more reads.

2545184 Thank you! It is also something I intend to update every time I have to stop myself and say "Hey... I've said this before." or where I find myself getting other excellent advice. You may have noticed the list of stories on my sidebar for which I've released nothing on. That's all the announcement they need at this point.

This blog was an excellent and very informative blog. I have made a lot of those mistakes. Now if I could find out how to do a good outline... *searches the net*

2548011 For what it's worth, the "lively debate thread" I linked earlier contains a lot of good suggestions (more than what I wrote) on the topic, and what I've written here is just a summary of some key contributions to that thread. You may find more helpful advice there, as well as a full walk-through of my process as I've explained it to Manaphy, and of course my unabridged comments.

(Yes, this big-ass blog post is generally abridged, and links will generally be provided to the source threads for even more advice though I don't claim to agree with all of the opinions on the linked thread.)

2548259 ...May I call you teach (teacher) from now on? Your explains our just simply brilliant.

2548370 I'm going to be one IRL so why not (I'm a math education major right now).

2549045 Alright, teach it is, teach. :ajsmug:

01: Never, ever, ever publish part of your work before the entire story is complete.

:rainbowkiss: Yes! Thank you!
You're my hero now.

Write an outline.
The importance of an outline can not be understated.

Um... I think you might want to look back at the actual meaning of that. :rainbowlaugh:

2584215 Glad you liked it. As for the second quote, I'm not sure what you're getting at, so a second look indicates 'verb (used with object)' definition from Dictionary.com.
Understated: verb (used with object), understated, understating.
1. to state or represent less strongly or strikingly than the facts would bear out; set forth in restrained, moderate, or weak terms: The casualty lists understate the extent of the disaster.

The statement "can not be understated" is from the explanatory context, not that it can't be (because anything can be understated) but rather that it should never be. It is to say the importance of the object is both paramount and self-evident (axiomatic).

Well, the ordinary phrase is 'cannot be overstated'... I guess I can see what you mean about 'can not be understated', heh, but it's a bit confusing.

01: Publishing
Never, ever, ever publish part of your work before the entire story is complete.


Okay, well I messed that up.

Seems the very common practice on fimfiction is to publish as you go.

I'm definitely going to be taking a very close look at all the advice here. Looks like some good stuff.

Comment posted by Narrative Style deleted Oct 21st, 2015

Yes, but my mistake was that I interpreted this as "it's okay to publish as you go in all types of stories". For serials that's fine. But I'm writing an epic. And an epic has very carefully interwoven plot threads which cannot be told well in a serial fashion. The whole thing sort of "gels" into place rather than being drafted, edited, and polished one chapter at a time.

2927240 As common a practice as it is, this system (like IRL publishing systems) is designed to benefit not doing so as to allow yourself more creative freedom, and editorial licence, with your work before it sees the public. While, at the same time, still allowing you to get that front page bump when you want it.

Professionals like GaryOak, and others, use that to the fullest to drop fully perfected feature bait at just the right time, and in just the right increments, to garner massive acclaim for some stories (which can draw transitory attention to other stories).

The reality is that even serials don't drop the second the author finishes them, even on set release schedule (especially on set release schedules). A good author will give themselves all the time they need to produce a great story.

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