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Is the phrase "Once upon a time..."
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Monthly Writing Prompt
For this month's writing prompt write a scene using the following sentence to start;

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?

Writing Tip
Our monthly writing tips are written by our very own TerishD. You can read more in Terish's Blog located in "The Abstractions" area of the forum.

Look Back

When not able to write ahead, it helps to look back. In my case I had written a paragraph ahead of the story. What I needed to do was add a section of exposition (talking) presenting some facts. In going back, I realized that I could insert a section where a 'tour' of the surroundings could be done. This allowed for character interaction, story development, and other things that enabled me to present the facts in an entertaining manner.

One should not face a writer's block with the mentality of bursting through it. I have found in my own experience that a writer's block is usually due to my mind indicating that it has a problem in 'channeling' the story. One reason might be a re-imagining of certain story points. Another reason however is that there is a problem in where you are at in the story, so you need to look back and find out the problem with the 'journey' that prevents the tale from advancing.

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 My two cents worth and possible challenge!

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Number of posts : 147
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PostSubject: My two cents worth and possible challenge!   June 2nd 2009, 1:03 pm

The biggest division between novice and pro writers IMO can easily be seen in description and choices of adjectives. A beginner will over exert themselves making everything flowery. I read some story pieces here and other sites and adjectives were used 3-4 times a sentence. And the choice of adjective was poor tbh, which stems more from a lack of vocabulary than being a poor standard of writer. A pro writer however will simply tell it as they see it, probably putting more effort in finding perfect nouns and verbs, and fewer - albeit well chosen - adjectives.

One particular piece I saw described a city in an adjective before mentioning the name of the city, which I thought would've been more effective describing it after the noun, with a bit more detail. It was almost like the writer had already mentioned and described the city before that moment, when it was the first anybody had heard of it.

A good exercise to overcome this would be to write a 500-1000 word scene without the use of adjectives to see what you could come up with.
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PostSubject: Re: My two cents worth and possible challenge!   June 2nd 2009, 2:52 pm

Rules are as follows:

It can be about anything you want. It's a test on how well you can write about a location, a person, and feelings without resorting to adjectives to describe them, as most nouns and well placed verbs can do it for you. This will only strengthen your writing skills in the end, not hinder them.

There has to be a reason for the scene. Maybe you're coming home from work and upon entering you notice something is not quite right, or maybe you're visiting a place that you haven't been to in years and it has changed for better or worse.

Ok, so adjectives can creep into your writing without even knowing or unintentionally, like saying it was a cold night, or it was a dusty table, cold and dusty being adjectives in those cases - for these we allow as long as they're kept to a minimum as they're not an attempt to flower the description, they are simple, blunt adjectives.

An example of why too many flowery words are a bad thing, and why little, if not none, can make for more powerful writing:

The glorious sun beamed radiant rays upon the beautiful citadel

The sun illuminated the city

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PostSubject: Re: My two cents worth and possible challenge!   September 23rd 2009, 6:21 pm

So you are saying that the first sentence as opposed to the second in your example is bad?

To be honest I would rather read the first sentence in any body of work. It seems the author of the first put a little more work into describing the essence of the sun's rays. While the second sentence just says that they were there.

Easy reading is damn hard writing! I love you

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PostSubject: Re: My two cents worth and possible challenge!   December 31st 2009, 11:49 am

sometimes simple things are very effective but some other times, a bit more description is needed to give us that little extra lift of our feet

(my opinion)
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PostSubject: Reply   December 31st 2009, 12:39 pm

It is all a matter of taste. In my experience however, those that take the concern to write with carefully chosen detailed description do not last long as writers. They burn themselves out seeking to make every word, phrase, sentence perfect. While I like description, I agree that moving the story along is important. Getting bogged down with details often prevents a job from being done, although not handling the details can make it not done properly. It takes a mix.

Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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