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Apr
10th
2015

Writer's Workshop: Analysis in Action · 6:35pm Apr 10th, 2015

So recently, I've rambled a lot about plot, character, theme, and framing. But I'm sure you may be wondering, "How can this actually help me? Do any real stories benefit from this sort of rigor?" And to that I say, let's look at a story and see how it works. For this demonstration, I've picked none other than the first Equestria Girls movie. Now, while it has some great ideas here and there, I think you'll agree that it's a bit flawed. Let's get down to the nitty-gritty and see why that

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Jun
23rd
2016

Writer's Workshop: This is Not a Film · 5:06pm Jun 23rd, 2016

These days, most people get their entertainment from audiovisual media: movies, TV shows, video games, anime, the occasional play. My master's thesis was about the methods by which writers change their writing style depending on the media they are working for. The truth is, audiovisual media and alphabetic media (like stories) use very different techniques to convey meaning. Using the movie ones for a novel, or vice versa, will just make it seem weird, like you don't really understand how

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May
16th
2019

Work in progress · 2:07am May 16th, 2019

This is just a note to anyone following my story, The Prince of Griffonstone. It's been over a week and I'm still working on the next chapter; the rough draft is about 80% done. To be honest, this story has evolved. It was originally supposed to be a one shot, romantic comedy and somewhere along the line became a detailed story about Griffonstone. Even my chapter based stories are usually 100% done in my head but we're in uncharted territory now and I'm writing this one in real time, which is

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Jul
18th
2017

Writer's Workshop Compendium · 9:48pm Jul 18th, 2017

Hey, all! Y'all know me; I'm an inchoate half-asser. So, uh... here's my half-assed attempt at my official Writer's Workshop Compendium!

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Writer's Workshop Compendium
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Jun
10th
2016

Writer's Workshop: The Laws of Details · 10:33pm Jun 10th, 2016

There are two different writers battling in our heads: the mad genius who wants to write a six-million word epic, and the lazy genius who wants to do as little work as possible. You can write like J. R. R. Tolkien, all full of flowery descriptions and thoughtful details, or you can be Ernest Hemingway, with as few words as you need to get your point across. Putting detail into your stories is certainly not an exact science, but there are a few rules and tricks you can keep in mind to

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Jan
23rd
2016

Writer's Workshop: The Con and the Gimmick · 6:23am Jan 23rd, 2016

This time, we're talking about something a little more esoteric. Though, at the same time, I suppose it's also fundamental to the storywriting process. We're gonna talk about what happens when you put two people in a scene and have them talk to each other. To do this, I'm gonna steal two theoretical models from two very different sources: first, from the RPG system called DramaSystem; the second, from a psychological process called "Transactional Analysis."

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Oct
28th
2015

Writer's Workshop: Here I Am, Facing My Nemesis · 11:42am Oct 28th, 2015

Well... one of my clients asked me the question. The question that haunts my nights and plagues my days. "If you hate -ing participial phrases so much, how can I actually fix it?" This is a really, really big question, which is why I usually default to either giving a specific way to solve it each time or saying, "Do it for yourself." But I've decided today is the day! I'm gonna try to explain as best as I can how to fix this problem once and for all! It's gonna be tough... not all of you will

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Feb
14th
2016

Writer's Workshop: Seven With One Blow! · 4:20am Feb 14th, 2016

One of my clients is writing a story where their main character is incredibly overpowered. I've cautioned them that I fear there won't be enough challenge for this character, that it'll all seem too easy. But, you might say, what if I want my character to be strong? I like to tell stories about talented adventurers, chosen heroes, people of great skill! And I say to that, you're absolutely fine. It just means you'll have to accommodate your story to reflect this power. Plenty of the greatest

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Oct
25th
2015

Writer's Workshop: The Hero's Journey · 3:39am Oct 25th, 2015

Hey all! You may have heard this term before to describe a story, or perhaps you've only heard that it's really important. The Hero's Journey is one of the most basic story concepts there is. I describe it as a rags-to-riches story, because that's exactly what it is. It's such a fundamental story method that nearly every culture has a story that follows it. Let's dig into what it entails.

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Nov
6th
2015

Writer's Workshop: Two Types of Ponies (Part 2) · 5:25am Nov 6th, 2015

All right, everyone. Hope you enjoyed the last post, because it's time to reveal what the big secret is. Lilly and Holly represent masculine and femi... wait, what's that? Georg totally blew my secret and revealed the answer in the last post? ...Oh.

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Jan
13th
2016

Writer's Workshop: The Art of Writing · 5:56pm Jan 13th, 2016

So, I had this really great workshop written up about "building up" stories versus "building down" stories, but then my computer bugged out, and I had to restart it. I lost everything. :raritydespair: So now I'm gonna do a completely different one instead! This one's been a long time coming, which is a shame, considering how important it is. Friends, let's talk about figurative language!

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Jan
7th
2017

Writer's Workshop: For the Bible Tells Me So · 4:43am Jan 7th, 2017

No, this isn't a post about the use of Biblical allegories (though I definitely need to do that some time). This is more about a story planning tool to help you keep track of all of the information in your story. I'm sure there are tons of different terms for it, but the one I've latched onto is the "story bible." Basically, a story bible is a compendium of all of the important facts about your story. Let's go over a few of the things you should have in it:

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Jul
8th
2016

Writer's Workshop: The Long and the Short of It · 2:30am Jul 8th, 2016

This'll be a companion piece to my other workshop I put out today. When you set out on a new story, do you plan ahead of time how long it's going to be? By this, I don't necessarily mean the number of chapters or the order of the plot points. I literally mean, how many words is your story going to be? When you eventually put pen to paper, you'll need to know how much you intend to write. If you don't do this, have you considered that you might be writing too much or too little? There's a tempo

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Feb
26th
2017

Writer's Workshop: Know Your Place · 10:47pm Feb 26th, 2017

Today, I'd like to talk about genre--what it means, how it applies to stories, and what you can do to improve your story's genre. A lot of this will be based off of Shawn Coyne's Story Grid, which you can find for free on his website if you're interested.


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Apr
8th
2017

Writer's Workshop: Nice-Guy Main Characters · 12:35am Apr 8th, 2017

Oh, sure, I could use a nice literary term like "cipher," but why not use the most inflammatory term I can think of? :rainbowlaugh: Let's talk about bland, faceless characters and how to give them the color and flair they need to be interesting characters.


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Mar
24th
2016

Writer's Workshop: Quirks and Quandaries · 3:23pm Mar 24th, 2016

In my review of "Look Before You Sleep," I claimed that most of the episode felt pretty same-y. Most of it boils down to a single idea: Applejack is brash and dirty, while Rarity is refined and clean. It just keeps banging on that same idea over and over again. To punctuate the idea, I coined "the dialogue game," where you simply replace whatever a character is saying with a statement of their character trait; in "Look Before You Sleep," that'd be "I'm messy!" and "I'm snooty!" over and over

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Apr
18th
2016

Writer's Workshop: A Simple Four-Part Story Model · 2:03pm Apr 18th, 2016

Quick update for you guys. I've been crazy busy recently, but I thought I'd share a simple model I created for one of my clients that can help you understand how stories work. It's a quick little thing that looks like this:

1. What is the problem?
2. What is the solution?
3. At the start of the story, why can't the characters do the solution?
4. At the end of the story, why can the characters do the solution?

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Feb
20th
2019

Clarion SFF writing workshop application deadline: March 1 · 12:19am Feb 20th, 2019

Most of you probably know that each year since 2013, I've promoted the Clarion SF&F writing workshop, and asked people to pledge money to help send someone from fimfiction to Clarion if they were accepted.

And every year since 2013, no one from fimfiction applied. So this year, I didn't ask people to pledge. But I'm confident that if somebody from fimfiction applies and gets accepted to Clarion, there will be great souls among us who will offer to help them pay for the workshop.

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Dec
3rd
2015

Writer's Workshop: Stage Directions for Floating Heads · 1:36am Dec 3rd, 2015

Hey, everypony! How are things? Crazy finale, huh? Anyways, here's another topic that's been fluttering about in my mind. I've talked about dialogue tags in the past, but let's go more in-depth and look at how to do them right.

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So, quick recap: a dialogue tag is that thing that follows a bit of dialogue to to tell you who said it and how they said it. Like this:

"Welcome to the club," said the doorman.

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Dec
3rd
2015

Writer's Workshop: Watson and Doyle · 8:56pm Dec 3rd, 2015

This Workshop ties pretty well to the last post I just talked about. It's also, admittedly, something I'm not very good at: establishing a narrator identity. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's talk about Watson and Doyle.

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Suppose you're watching a TV show, and all of a sudden, the characters get into a big argument and go their separate ways. You see this and ask, "Why did that happen?"

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Viewing 1 - 20 of 53 results
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