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...But, while I have sympathy with your wish for a grammatically correct style, and understanding for your rants to the extent that "own style" is not an excuse for false grammar and spelling, especially not to the extent basic spell checking programs would catch them, I also concede, that there may be people, that feel the urge to put ideas "on paper" in English, simply because they want to share them with a wider or international "audience", thus using a more universal language, which is not their own....


Yes, you're right. Most of the stories I've seen on writing forums are experimental however, there is such a thing as experimenting with style and experimenting with style while being ignorant of grammar rules. It's the last that is extremely frustrating to wade through (and what I often encounter).

The point being that writing sites (if this is what we are, indeed, talking about and not just 'blogs' or personal sites) are a place where one is [usually] expected to improve their skills. If you post an experimental piece, that should be stated somewhere in the message. Most of the 'bad' writing I've seen comes from people who have never realized that writing actually requires skill. Winterfox's analogy of the spelunker who explores caves without the basic equipment is a perfect example of the person new to writing. I've seen many examples of people who decide to put pen to paper without the proper tools. The result is 99% disasterous. And, the necessary tools are: a working knowledge of the rules of grammar and having a basic sense of style. The way we write and speak today is not a good style in which to write a story that takes place in 17th century England. And frankly, I've seen a lot of people who attempt writing such an historical piece without ever reading anything from that particular time period. [Edit: btw, the word 'style' does not necessarily mean or pertain to historical writing, or 'how' we write. 'Style' also means grammatically correct. I wanted to clear that up before any ensuing confusion.]

I've stated numerous times on this board that writing does not exist in a vacuum. One cannot break rules if they do not know what they are in the first place. And that is exactly what 'taking literary license' means. So, from a critiquing point of view, it is most frustrating to spend time giving advice to a new writer who hasn't bothered doing their homework. Equally frustrating are those who receive feedback, employ the advice 'verbatim' and repost it within a half hour's time. That tells me they have not considered how that advice might affect their story, their style and their voice.

For the casual reader this may sound 'snobby'. It might be. However, if you are serious about the craft of writing, it's important to learn how a story is designed. What are the elements that make Mark Twain or Edgar Allen Poe's work better than the average 'joe schmoe'? If writing were easy, everyone would excel at it.

So, while I agree with you that experimental pieces often times fill an urge to get something on paper, most people who claim their work is 'experimental' have not taken the time to learn the rules of grammar.

@@to Elliot, et al. You guys aren't going to believe this but I recently went through my 'favorites' list and somehow deleted my writing links. Aarg! I spent the better part of this afternoon trying to a) find it on my computer - perhaps as a back-up file and b) reconstruct it. I do have a list of sites that I sent to another forum member, which I have saved in my homepage here at the forum. I will post that sometime tomorrow. I just didn't want you all to think I was weaseling out on you. LOL


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Writing is always far more about the story than the spelling; Kiya is right <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Edit: As long as your story is still readable/comprehensible!

It can be a real problem if the sense is lost though - as in 'Rogue/Rouge and 'A Lot/Allot' etc - where the actual meaning expressed is quite different to the intent. Most of us tend to be far more indulgent of writers who are writing in a second or third language too, for obvious reasons.

Someone whose first (And often only) language is English should certainly not be making such elementary mistakes.

Further, some characters who are narrating their own adventures will think as they speak, which means using odd words or "droppin' the reggallar spellin'" just to make the point that this is the way the character themselves thinks.

"This is MY style" is not a good reason for poor English in a native writer - "This is the CHARACTER's style" is always a good reason, especially if you are writing in first person perspective.

As for 'Organise/Organize', 'Colour/Color', 'Defence/Defense' and other words that seem to have multiple correct forms - blame the Americans! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" /> Seriously, English and American English have several notable spelling differences, and as most of us will see both forms of spelling it can get very confusing as to which should be used. As a general rule, the more phonetically correct version will be the American spelling - but for the Web, either will really do <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Hope this helps clear up any confusion <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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Wow! Excellent post Faralas!

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However, if you are serious about the craft of writing, it's important to learn how a story is designed. What are the elements that make Mark Twain or Edgar Allen Poe's work better than the average 'joe schmoe'? If writing were easy, everyone would excel at it.


In a superb post, I still want to highlight this as a point that is very important for all of us to remember. I know how right Faralas is here, because I used to do the 'bull at a fence' approach myself - and it ain't pretty...

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@@to Elliot, et al. You guys aren't going to believe this but I recently went through my 'favorites' list and somehow deleted my writing links. Aarg! I spent the better part of this afternoon trying to a) find it on my computer - perhaps as a back-up file and b) reconstruct it. I do have a list of sites that I sent to another forum member, which I have saved in my homepage here at the forum. I will post that sometime tomorrow. I just didn't want you all to think I was weaseling out on you. LOL


S'always the way <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I've lost count of the number of times I have trimmed my bookmarks down only to find I need stuff a week later! Don't worry about it <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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But, while I have sympathy with your wish for a grammatically correct style, and understanding for your rants to the extent that "own style" is not an excuse for false grammar and spelling, especially not to the extent basic spell checking programs would catch them, I also concede, that there may be people, that feel the urge to put ideas "on paper" in English, simply because they want to share them with a wider or international "audience", thus using a more universal language, which is not their own. (<- this is an eaxample of a German originated, long, long sentence <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> - I apologise! - or is it apologize?)


If you really want to know, the above sentence is a run-on. Just saying.

I'll point out that a wider audience comes with a price: if you make mistakes, you will be called out for it, whatever language you choose to write in. If you aren't proficient with the language, then for the love of Eru, get a proofreader/beta-reader. Another entry on a community I frequent illustrates this very well, and seems appropriate, all things considered:

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I'm German myself and I've been writing Fan Fiction in English for a while now. I know a whole lot of other Germans who do, too, and everyone of them has their grammar and spelling checked before anything gets posted. I'm guessing this is an age thing. I suppose you are more likely to not have a beta reader if you are a 16-year-old fan girl...
Personally, I don't have any patience with people who start their stories with "English is not my native language so please bear with me." because imo it's just a bad excuse for not getting yourself a beta-reader.

But it's the exact same thing with people whose first language is not German and who try to put some German into their stories. I can't count how often I've read stories whose authors obviously used Babelfish to translate from English into German.

{snip}

The thing is, there's enough Germans in any fandoms. How much does it take to just ask if there's someone who can help with language and/or landscape? Everyone expects that from people whose first language is not English. But if you talk to an author whose first language is not German but tried to write in German anyway and got it totally wrong, the usual answer you get is: "Oh, I don't care...whatever."

So what I mean is: Since everybody expects "us" to ask for a beta-reader, "we" expect the same from everybody else, too.

Because whenever a discussion like that turns up in German fandom, one of the first things you hear is how utterly disrespectful to other people's culture and language the "I don't care." answer is.

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Hmmm... Winterfox is right too...

I'm going to run back to 'Writer's Intent' here, I think <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Anyone who wishes to be a serious writer should be judged on that level; anyone who is just having a bit of fun should be judged a whole lot less harshly.

That sounds good to me <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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Faralas said:

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The way we write and speak today is not a good style in which to write a story that takes place in 17th century England. And frankly, I've seen a lot of people who attempt writing such an historical piece without ever reading anything from that particular time period. [Edit: btw, the word 'style' does not necessarily mean or pertain to historical writing, or 'how' we write. 'Style' also means grammatically correct. I wanted to clear that up before any ensuing confusion.]


Wordy McWord. If I see "okay" or "cool" or "alright" in a piece with a medieval setting one more time...

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I've stated numerous times on this board that writing does not exist in a vacuum. One cannot break rules if they do not know what they are in the first place. And that is exactly what 'taking literary license' means. So, from a critiquing point of view, it is most frustrating to spend time giving advice to a new writer who hasn't bothered doing their homework. Equally frustrating are those who receive feedback, employ the advice 'verbatim' and repost it within a half hour's time. That tells me they have not considered how that advice might affect their story, their style and their voice.


I've run into a few authors who mean well, and try to follow a beta's or a reivewer's advice to the letter, but the result is often... misguided. There was a girl writing Harry Potter fanfiction who wrote up a profile of her character. People chimed in and commented that the character was horribly, horribly Mary Sueish. The girl tried to give her character flaws, but for every flaw she put in and for every Sueish quality she removed, she put in three more Sueish traits. Ah, what the heck, if you're morbidly curious, see the fiasco for yourself, complete with author-whining and freak-out. It's almost a textbook example of what not to do.

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Every writer needs a strong vision for who their character is to be. Even a character who has many 'Mary Sue' traits can be written well and interestingly by the right writer.

The important thing to remember, IMO, is that everyone who reads your story will have a different opinion of it, simply because we all look for different things in a story.

My usual guideline is whether or not I would want to read the story I am thinking of writing. Chances are, if you like your story, someone else will too <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

But the trick with that one is to be honest with yourself. It's hard to look at your own work with a critical eye, but it's something we all, as writers, must learn to do.

If you hate your own finished story, either keep it around as a reminder of what NOT to do, or delete it straight. But don't post it. Ever.


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Just so you kow...i am not critising anyone...especially people who English is not their first language.
However, there are very many commonly mis-spelled words, and maybe information in this thread can help some people. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Now you know the diffrence between their, there and they're, a lot is two words etc. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I have heard that English is the hardest language to learn, and maybe as i speak it, i take that for granted.

But, maybe everyone's English teacher was not as good as my own. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

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Carrie said:

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I have heard that English is the hardest language to learn, and maybe as i speak it, i take that for granted.

But, maybe everyone's English teacher was not as good as my own. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />


I think it's an easy language to learn, but hard to master. Certainly a damn mite easier than, say, Japanese. *shudders*

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Every writer needs a strong vision for who their character is to be. Even a character who has many 'Mary Sue' traits can be written well and interestingly by the right writer.


Depends mostly on the reader than writer; there's an audience for everything. However, I acknowledge that a few Sueish traits do not make the character a Sue. But that's another whole can of worms. One very important thing I keep in mind is that someone's wish-fulfilling fantasy -- the Mary Sue -- is beloved by no one else but the author. The more you are infatuated with your own character, chances are, the less everyone else will like the character.

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But the trick with that one is to be honest with yourself. It's hard to look at your own work with a critical eye, but it's something we all, as writers, must learn to do.


Definitely. Analytical detachment is a mode any remotely serious author should be able to enter (I might even go as far as any author who posts his/her work for public consumption). Or get a beta-reader who can do it for you.

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One very important thing I keep in mind is that someone's wish-fulfilling fantasy -- the Mary Sue -- is beloved by no one else but the author. The more you are infatuated with your own character, chances are, the less everyone else will like the character.


I think this one comes back to keeping a proper sense of distance between you and your character. If the character is nothing but a projection of one's own wish fulfilment, it is certainly not likely to appeal to others. Dreams are very personal things, after all.


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Elliot:
If the character is nothing but a projection of one's own wish fulfilment, it is certainly not likely to appeal to others. Dreams are very personal things, after all.

Hm, but the reader's dream is personal, too. So, couldn't both match then in certain cases?
Example:
I personally start to get aggravated if I meet a certain female type in novels => the one fixed on men in a devote fashion - or the one fighting down her emotions and pretending to be indifferent. Why? the outcome is predictable, and as a reader I like to be surprised. Looking at the bestseller statistics I see these 2 types very often. So, these types seem to fit a lot of dreams. Take Marion Zimmer Bradley e.g.: her books are full of cliches, paper dolls. Even those from the Darkover cycle, where a bit of matrilinearism or independence is propagated => the outcome is always the same. And she is very successful; meaning: she has a lot of female readers. Dream matches dream. So, these readers react totally different than I do.

Another example: I like adult books where the child view is transported in a convincing and believable manner. Example: Alice Seybold, Gudrun Pausewang. No, it does not match my dream, but I was intrigued in which consistant manner this view was written. And I'm sure, a lot of readers would not touch these books, because they wish for other dreamworlds.

So, if a dream is written in a manner surprising me - where I can't already guess what will happen in 30 pages; where I don't know what the protagonist is going to say or do; where I don't start yawning, because the main char always reacts in the same manner => does it matter if the author's dream matches mine?

Reading and writing is done for various reasons - I don't think, rules will fit all possibilities.
Kiya


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Kiya: Which is why I said there's an audience for everything, from shallow Harlquin tripe, teenage fantasies, to... everything else in the spectrum.

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Correct, there's an audience for everything, even Mary Sues. So, why not leave it up to the reader if she/he likes it?
Maybe the following should be included into this thread:

What does the author want to achieve? which are her/his goals?
Educate?
Share imagination?
Send a message of whatever kind?
Entertain?
Describe a world and its inhabitants?
Show the development of a single char or group?
Humour? Suspense? Love? History with facts or simply free imagination? Tragic? Technic?
Win a literature prize? (Gee, how many of them did I have to buy and saw them rotting in the shelves <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/delight.gif" alt="" /> )
Which audience to target? Age, gender, genre preference

I read this thread with interest, but I really missed the audience. And I think, they play a very important role - for those authors wanting to show their work in public, of course (publish or post) - they play no role at all for those simply going into interaction with themselves (private writing).

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Kiya said:

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Correct, there's an audience for everything, even Mary Sues.


Or fetish sex that ranges from necrophilia, rape fantasies (read: bodice-ripper, only scarier), bizarre Star Wars/My Little Pony crossover, incest, Gorean cult... Ah, the things you find cruising the dark side of the 'Net.

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What does the author want to achieve? which are her/his goals?
Educate?


This is, IMO, the last thing one should aim for. Trying to educate someone via fiction (assuming that's what we're talking about -- non-fiction/essays are another matter entirely) usually ends up with the author looking helplessly pretentious or arrogant.

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Win a literature prize? (Gee, how many of them did I have to buy and saw them rotting in the shelves <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/delight.gif" alt="" /> )


*smiles grimly* Same as above, usually. Anyone who sets out to try and win a literary prize is often quite deluded.

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Which audience to target? Age, gender, genre preference


That's certainly relevant; fantasy targeted at adults is going to be quite different from one targeted at teens, and I don't just mean "mature" themes/sexual contents. (Though I, for one, avoid the "Young Adult" shelf like the plague, incidentally.)

Personally, when writing, I have no purpose beyond this: tell a story. No message, no theme, no goal in particular. I want to bring characters to life and make them real and human, and then I let them do what they want. If I put what I've written for public consumption, then obviously, I do that with a wish for improvement in mind.

More misspellings:

Duel/dual -- a duel is a fight. "Dual" means two. *slappity slap*

Dessert/desert -- a dessert is something sweet; you do not trudge through a dessert unless you're an ant, and normally nobody puts sand, pyramids, or camels into a dessert.

Message/massage -- you use a message for communication. A massage is something else entirely.

Sentence/sentance -- "sentance" does not mean anything!

Trust/thrust -- need I explain?

Thrusted/casted -- no, sorry, the past tense of "thrust" is thrust, and the past tense of "cast" is also cast.

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Correct, there's an audience for everything, even Mary Sues. So, why not leave it up to the reader if she/he likes it?
Maybe the following should be included into this thread:

What does the author want to achieve? which are her/his goals?
Educate?
Share imagination?
Send a message of whatever kind?
Entertain?
Describe a world and its inhabitants?
Show the development of a single char or group?
Humour? Suspense? Love? History with facts or simply free imagination? Tragic? Technic?
Win a literature prize? (Gee, how many of them did I have to buy and saw them rotting in the shelves <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/delight.gif" alt="" /> )
Which audience to target? Age, gender, genre preference

I read this thread with interest, but I really missed the audience. And I think, they play a very important role - for those authors wanting to show their work in public, of course (publish or post) - they play no role at all for those simply going into interaction with themselves (private writing).


In this thread we've spent a lot of attention on technique and often times it does seem the audience has been omitted. However, that isn't and shouldn't be the case when crafting a piece of fiction. My approach to story design is probably common although the individual steps may differ in sequence. If I come across an idea which I consider a 'gem', I begin its development by writing general character outlines, construct several settings to see which one fits best, consider the best tone and decide what form of delivery (short story, novella, novel, play, screenplay, creative non-fiction, etc.) best suits the idea. The next step involved (if the story is still viable and something I want to work with) is to list the research I need to do as an author and within that research is where I consider the target audience. As I've stated, writing does not exist in a vacuum (at least, not for me). <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> This may sound daunting but it's not all that time consuming. Depending on the idea, I can complete the initial tasks within 2-3 days before I begin any research. The other approach I've taken, but (hasn't served me as well) is to begin writing and not stop until I've breathed some life into the storyline, a character or its setting. So, for me, it's a creative process - even though this process may seem more scientific in approach. It still requires imagination.

The audience is always there, Kiya - at least it is while I'm crafting the story. However, its face changes frequently for me during the construction. And there are times when I am in touch with a faceless audience. That, to me, is scary. And those are the pieces I post on a writing forum or ask my fellow authors for an opinion.

As to audience. Well, developing your own takes years and breaking into publication is very, very competitive. Let's face it, most of the fiction on the market are plotlines that have been updated and rehashed to suit a given genre. It's rare to find a 'new' story in the fiction department. I think the most compelling and unique novel for a first-time author was Janet Fitch's "White Oleander". I am not at all familiar with fanfiction, its websites, stories or characters, so you all will have to bear with me. That's not to say I don't 'like' it -- I wouldn't know out of 'ignorance' on my part. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> I am an eclectic writer and reader -- maybe 'fickle' is a better description. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> I go wherever my tastes suit me at the time. My home library is filled with everything from 'Police Procedurals' to the complete works of e. e. cummings, with a heavy emphasis on fantasy, somewhere in the middle. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

If you're a freelancer (as some of us are) and you need to put food on the table, then audience is probably going to be your first priority. If you write Christian non-fiction, you still have homework to do when considering where to publish. Sometimes freelancers take the same article and rewrite it for specific publications. If the idea is good, an author can get a lot of mileage out of it. So, writing for an audience is a double-edged sword. Authors are sometimes jeered for placing too much emphasis on a particular audience or not enough. The 'happy medium' is a hard balance to strike.

So, it's really not a matter of 'leaving it up to the reader' so much as the author actually targeting a certain audience. If you, as a professional writer, can afford the luxury of a whimsical approach, then by all means - do so. However, once a piece is posted on a message board such as this - or any public forum on the internet, it is considered by many print publishers to be 'published'. Therefore, taking that into consideration, the author already has lost without even getting out of the gate. I know it doesn't sound fair, but that's the rules of the trade.

More flotsom for the swill. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />


Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" />





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Hmmm... Winterfox is right too...

I'm going to run back to 'Writer's Intent' here, I think <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Anyone who wishes to be a serious writer should be judged on that level; anyone who is just having a bit of fun should be judged a whole lot less harshly.

That sounds good to me <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


I think I'm seeing the 'problem' here. This forum that Larian has set up is definitely a 'fun' site. Although I must confess that I take this particular thread in a serious vein. And since writing is my profession, I feel more compelled to lend any 'expertise' that I may have to anyone who truly wishes to improve their prose. If writing for 'fun' is the purpose of this thread, then my comments must seem very harsh and scientific. So, you're right where 'intent' comes into play, Elliot. I hadn't really considered it from that point of view until now.



Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" />


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I've run into a few authors who mean well, and try to follow a beta's or a reivewer's advice to the letter, but the result is often... misguided. There was a girl writing Harry Potter fanfiction who wrote up a profile of her character. People chimed in and commented that the character was horribly, horribly Mary Sueish. The girl tried to give her character flaws, but for every flaw she put in and for every Sueish quality she removed, she put in three more Sueish traits. Ah, what the heck, if you're morbidly curious, see the fiasco for yourself, complete with author-whining and freak-out. It's almost a textbook example of what not to do.


Okay, I bit, but I wasn't able to get to the url, WF. I even checked the properties on the url and found none. Is it my computer? (Been having troubles lately.) Or is it the link? My morbid curiosity has been piqued. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />


Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" /> *loves looking at train wrecks*


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I've run into a few authors who mean well, and try to follow a beta's or a reivewer's advice to the letter, but the result is often... misguided. There was a girl writing Harry Potter fanfiction who wrote up a profile of her character. People chimed in and commented that the character was horribly, horribly Mary Sueish. The girl tried to give her character flaws, but for every flaw she put in and for every Sueish quality she removed, she put in three more Sueish traits. Ah, what the heck, if you're morbidly curious, see the fiasco for yourself, complete with author-whining and freak-out. It's almost a textbook example of what not to do.


Okay, I bit, but I wasn't able to get to the url, WF. I even checked the properties on the url and found none. Is it my computer? (Been having troubles lately.) Or is it the link? My morbid curiosity has been piqued. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />


Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" /> *loves looking at train wrecks*



I can't follow the link either, Faralas, so it isn't just you.

Shame, as I think Winterfox's example sounds quite instructive.


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Kiya...

I thought I'd covered target audience somewhere, but I'm blowed if I can find it now, so probably not. I'll just agree with you instead, as it's definitely something a writer has to make some kind of decision on before they begin writing <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />.

***

The age, gender, and general outlook of the reader will always play a part in whether they enjoy a story or not, and because of that any story has a 'natural' audience, whatever the intentions of the writer may be.

There are crossover hits (Such as the ubiquitous Harry Potter) but in general an author is well advised to decide on the kind of person they are writing for rather than just typing away and leaving his/her readers to chance.

I'd say the age classifications are the main ones:

Children: No sex or serious violence, no romance, no seriously complicated plotting. Children do not see the point of adult relationships and many are scared or upset by extreme violence. There is also the 'parent factor' - in that most parents object to such things in children's books, whatever their child may think. Swearing is also out for this reason. Stories with children, young teenagers, or animals as leads and emphasising true friendship will do well.

Any Age: Mild swearing, mild violence plus romance are all allowed. Graphic sex and violence are still out. This roughly equates to 'Parental Guidance' in terms of British cinema classifications (One up from 'kid' for everyone else <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />)

Young Adult: Read 'teenagers'. This is all the stuff that teenagers relate to, like first love, friendship, teenage angst and trying to find out where you fit into a world that doesn't seem to care about you. This is a very narrow genre, and very unpopular amongst non-teenage readers for obvious reasons. Such stories will always involve teenage leads, and usually centre around schools or colleges.

Adult: Anything goes, basically. Too extreme violence or really graphic sex will tend to lose a lot of the mainstream audience though.

Within each age classification there are many sub-genres of course. Far too many to even attempt to list, in fact.

As a general rule though, male readers like to know what the hero(ine) is thinking and appreciate violence; female readers like to know what the hero(ine) is feeling and appreciate romance and intrigue. This is not always true of individuals, of course, but is useful as a general rule of thumb. Both sexes like a well thought out and well plotted story.


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Here are a few of the links that I have found helpful. First and foremost, is Strunks Elements of Style which, fortunately, is located at another great site called "Bartleby" (well-known for its source of quotations).

The following sites are ones that I have used over the past 6-7 years and have helped me hone my fiction writing skills. I may have lost my favorite writing links, but luckily, I had sent this list to another forum member and saved it in my messages. Being a packrat sometimes pays off. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />

Hope these are of some help to the writers here.

Writer's Digest

Hobgoblin.net This has a great page. Under the title in the home page click on writer's resources. There are a ton of great sites listed there. You may want to check them out. (Some may be duplicates of the ones I've listed here).

Common English Errors

Publisher's Weekly The trade publication for writers, editors and publishers. A great way to keep up with the industry and trends.

Copyright & Fair Use Here is the US Copyright website that takes you to the Fair Use Page. Fair use means (in the event you're not familiar with the term) what and how much of the author's work you can copy/post for public use.

Suite 101 A site where you can post your own work and lists various aspects of writing as a profession. I.e., if you want to freelance, there are articles on how to get started doing that. If you want to do technical writing, you can find info on that...

Webster.net This page describes what the difference is between an 'active' voice and a 'passive' voice. Important if you want your work to stand out from the others.

RefDesk.com This site has a ton of information used as reference material. Dictionaries, thesaurus's, quotation sites, facts and figures, etc. All of this info is at your fingertips. Great site even if you're not a writer.

Phrase Finder A thesaurus that finds whole phrases as opposed to one word. This may be a subscription only site. It's been a while, so I can't remember.

Writer's BBS This is a decent website for giving and receiving feedback on your work. I used to hang out here ages ago (back in 1998 - 2001). This is the site where I 'learned' the craft of writing. But it's changed a lot since I was there. Writer's from all walks of life hang out here. Multi-published (fairly well known authors) to newbies to the craft. You might like it.

Storymania A place where you can post your work and receive feedback. Another great website.

Writer Buddy This is a great site if you want to find a critique partner or just want to practice your writing skills. There are alot of great people who hang out at this site.


Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" />


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