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Fantasy Art Tutorials in the FARP Section

Writing a Story, Painting a Masterpiece

By :-) Jessica Ng

I'm an amateur artist; so don't expect too much of me. But just because I'm an amateur, don't think that what I have to say is not worth a few minutes of your time.

I do write somewhat but I did not say I was a writer, why is that? A writer, in my opinion is an artist whose words paint the picture. And every 'painting' drawn or written tells a story.

May this article benefit you in some way, artists of the written word, and mayhaps artist of the other arts.

 

It's not 'WHAT' but rather 'HOW.'

It's not what you write about; it's how you write it. Anybody could take a best selling fiction story, an outstanding plot and rip it to shreds by 'just stating' the facts or just telling someone about it, no emotion whatsoever. When writing a story, invoke passion, lust, hatred, terror, or whatever emotion you wish to convey in writing your words. Allow yourself to feel the emotion as you write. If it doesn't move you the way you want it to move your reader, it needs work; it isn't quite there yet.

Still, if it doesn't move you, don't slash it just yet. It could be that your mind has repeatedly rehearsed it until it's been memorized, there is no element of 'surprise'. You know what's going to happen. The fun is gone. Take a break, do something else, occupy your mind with something else. Or if you're up to it, take it to someone for a second opinion, someone you can trust; take it so far to a third opinion if you want a better scope on your work.

 

Seeking a second opinion.

When asking for a second opinion, ask them to be honest. Praise is all well and good at times, but you don't want politeness here, you want to know more about your work. Ask them what they thought about it, what they felt while reading it, the good points and the bad, and perhaps how to better your work. If you handle criticism well, go so far as ask them to brutally attack it like an enemy they must defeat, and to defeat an enemy they must note it's strong points, and it's weak points showing no mercy.

Take criticism with an open mind and don't see it as criticism aimed to hurt you but criticism aimed to help you. Likewise, try not to take praise as just politeness, but as kind words from one, who means them, from someone who sees and appreciates your hard work. I know it's not easy for some, it's difficult enough for me to remember that, but try to keep that in mind for there is truth in those words.

 

Plot.

Your purpose of writing your masterpiece. It doesn't matter how stupid or dumb the plot is, some of the stupidest plots can be used as the funniest comedies. But a suggestion might I pose, choose a plot that interests you, the more passionate or meaningful the plot is to you, the better. For if you find your own plot boring, how will you convince your readers that it isn't?

Also, don't restrict yourself with chains so tight that they choke you, if your muse has a different idea than the one you started with, don't discard it just yet. Plots are subjected to change, choose one you think would suit your masterpiece, but try not to constantly change your plot as you write until you have forgotten what your plot is and cannot even understand the plot in your finished work.

 

Characters.

It doesn't matter if it's a human, an animal, a spirit, or even a rock you choose for a character. When introducing or using a character in a story, try to keep in mind that it is a character. With a character comes personality, even the 'lack' of personality is 'personality' as odd as that may sound.

Humans as well as about almost every character I have come across have feelings, some may feel more strongly than others, and some more aloof.

Also, when writing words, thoughts, actions, or anything else of a character, try to put yourself into that character's place. As a 'rock' for example, you might want to express solidity, coldness perhaps, stability, remoteness. Try to work that into your work let your reader get to know your characters, even if it is a rock or whatever characters you choose to use. That is the 'color' of your 'painting'.

 

Ending.

An Ending varies from cliffhanger, 'happily ever after,' to the slam of a door and on. Choose an ending that fits the plot, the story. If you intend to take it further with a cliffhanger, and can work it smoothly into your masterpiece, so smooth that it fits, then by all means do so. There are no 'Endings,' only beginnings, and guides. The ending you give your readers, is just a fork in the road where you cease to guide them and both of you go your own way. Perhaps you'll 'meet' them again and walk down another trail.

Not the End, but a Fork in the Road. May we meet again, thank you for reading.


FARP Article Guestbook

DateNameComment 
18 Aug 200845 Rammy the ramser
beter than the other tedious long crap by the gaylords of writing. u roked my sox off.LOL14
20 Aug 2008:-) Jessica Ng
*lolsnerk* are you serious? Hm, well I’m not sure if I’m to familiar with much of the "other tedious long crap" (by the "gaylords" of writing? lol ow) but I think I really need to redo this one, or trash it. No wait, make that I Do need to trash it (full stop) and then decide to write another one / a new one from scratch or retreat back into the silence and the darkness lol.

I’m really surprised that I’m actually getting comments on it in my inbox these days though. It’s more like -- "Wow (o.o) um, thanks." -- but in a good way, or at least not necessarily in a bad way (I might have just been left confused for some, heh).
Thanks guys for even reading and/or taking the time to comment -- even if you just jumped down to the bottom to leave a comment without reading all of it, which I wouldn’t be too surprised if someone did (I think I might be more surprised that people might have or still be reading this article in Full / to the end). ^^;
7 Sep 200845 Anon.
Hey i read all of it ;P It’s very helpful 2
9 Oct 2008:-) Caitlin E Wesch
That article was really helpful! You are a good writer, and I hope to read YOUR fiction sometime. !!! 1 *hugs you* (You: Stop hugging me, weirdo!) *stops* Anyway, if you ever want to read my story, it’s on a site called quizilla.com. Search for "suicide lollipop." I hope you like it, if you even read it. You are a much better writer than me, anyway. 11
12 Jan 200945 Anon.
LOL at the ANONS who are pretending to be Paolini =P and this article is good.
18 Oct 200945 Anon.
’Perhaps you’ll ’meet’ them again and walk down another trail. ’

This so made me play Chrono Cross and feel fired up for writing again, hehe.
22 Dec 2009:-) Vicki "Kiddalee" Nemeth
Even for people who already know this stuff, this article is inspirational. I found it years ago and keep returning for encouragement. Maybe you feel that it doesn’t showcase your current skill, but the content and style are still useful in their own right.
10 Feb 2010:-) Donovan James Grey
I may just have gone insane, but I came across a particular line in this guide, and it was so odd I had to stop and ponder it.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a human, an animal, a spirit, or even a rock you choose for a character. When introducing or using a character in a story, try to keep in mind that it is a character.

A rock? seriously? How could you make a character out of a rock?
so i thought about it, and thought...for a good ten or fifteen minutes.

Then I sat down and made a character...out of a rock. The story ended up as something that is completely outside my norms for writing - which is a very, very good thing. I’m pretty sure I swore I’d never write something like it, but it just happened.

I uploaded it today, and will update here when it becomes published if anyone is interested in one persons attempt to make a character out of a rock. So thank you Jessica, for the idea.

My name is Donovan Grey, and I am addicted to imagination.
26 Jul 2010:-) Kim last_lines Koning
Great article! I am a the opposite of you. I am a writer with some artistic talent. These are really great tips for any form of the story, whether it be the words or the picture. Thanks for sharing.
7 Jan 201145 Anon.
Very interesting...
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