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aawoods

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    Author, writer, reader, dog-person 
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  1. I thought this pretty solid advice! It's a bit of a rambly video and could have been done in a more condensed fashion, but her tips were a great place to start for a new writer. No complaints from me on this one. I suppose if I had to gripe, I'd say it's pretty common sense stuff. I did like her point about making sure you're learning from good people, since bad writing advice seems to perpetuate on the internet ad infinitum. We are obviously the good people here
  2. I agree with Michael, this was distractingly theatrical. Kind of ponderous and self-important, to be honest. I think telling writers to be "honest" is the same as saying that they need to find their "voice," which is a true statement but not altogether useful for the writer learning their craft. Those sort of meta-skills just come from repetition, practice, and listening to feedback, and isn't something one can just wake up and start doing. The one useful piece of advice in here is to read like a writer, not like a reader. I agree with that, where if you're serious about the writing
  3. Good points Michael! You’re totally right on the originality of ideas. I was speaking in terms of archetypal stories (eg the hero’s journey) which have been done, but of course can be remade into endless new varieties, both high concept and not. Perhaps the way to charitably interpret her blunt advice is to embrace the creative remaking of old ideas and don’t waste time trying to reinvent the wheel? Familiar yet different is, after all, the root of most high concept stories. I agree though, this video did feel like it had a very specific axe to grind. More of a rant than con
  4. Oh dear, I think this will show how cynical I've become... I'll agree with Kara and Joe that she's pretty unpleasant and shrill in her delivery. I wouldn't recommend this video for that reason alone. But, at the risk of being the debbie downer of the group, I wouldn't necessarily disagree with her points. In my previous pre-med career, I had a physician tell me that if a person can be talked out of being a doctor, then they should be, because they won't have the fortitude to make it. Alas, I would apply the same advice to writing as a profession. Now, if you're writing as a hobb
  5. In the context of NaNoWriMo, I find this video to be a useful kickstarter for new writers looking to figure out how they're going to start page one. I especially like the idea of "types of progress" whether it be through information, physical movement, etc. While I do think Sanderson's "Promise, Progress toward that promise, and Payoff" structure is quite a bit oversimplified... [SEE BELOW]
  6. So I'll admit, I'm kind of a Green brothers fan. I find their YouTube channel charming and escapist. I also unabashedly loved The Fault in our Stars. It's like a melodramatic Titanic for teenagers and I was there for it. That said, I agree with Joe that this video might do more harm than good when it comes to giving writers advice. It sounds like Hank is (as we've been hammering on so hard here) a panster. From the way he described his process, it sounds like he sort of wanders through the story and sees where his interest (and the characters) take him. He's right that novels take time, b
  7. If you can write an excellent heist story, I can all but guarantee that fame and fortune will come knocking on your door. Everyone, and I mean everyone loves a well-constructed caper. Oceans 11, The Italian Job, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Lies of Locke Lamora, Mistborn, etc. The list goes on and on. As consumers of fiction, we love the feeling of the story shifting beneath our feet, of being outsmarted but reveling in the fact that we could have figured it out if we'd only been clever enough. Everyone knows the joy of a good twist, or a great mystery, and heist novels are chock full of both.
  8. I second Kara and Joe in that this one is positive and kindly meant. I think it's a fine "absolute baseline beginner" video in the sense that it's motivational, with a sweet, sort of fluffy undertone. After all, no one wants to hear when they're first starting that "this industry is brutal as all hell, you should brace yourself for the worst or jump ship now." However, I also think Michael is right. Her advice is amateurish and too vague and soft to really be helpful. I also do not think that every idea is a good one - there are ideas that, when pursued, lead only to wasted manuscripts (I
  9. Sounds similar a certain Star Wars movie that was notoriously ill-received.... For the record, I agree that some plotting is inevitable. Even so-called "pansters" must have the general arc in mind, or at least the preexisting twists for a satisfying story, right? How else would Martin have planned the *SPOILERS AHEAD* Hodor scene, or the reveals of various character heritages, or the end-goal of Dany's descent into madness? As much as Martin, like King, talks about eschewing plot for natural character development, in some ways those characters are still on tracks that stem from their back
  10. There's some good in here....and some not-so-good. He's totally right that "the best writers are voracious readers", and no writer ever succeeds without getting REAL comfortable with rejection. You should, in fact, hone your writing with imitation exercises/short stories, have a routine, and pick the best possible ideas to work on. And every writer should strive to be a King, not a Martin, when it comes to productivity. But going where the story leads you? Now this is the real stinker because, sir or ma'am, that's risking a whole lot of time, words, and creative agony on the fac
  11. Is there a more classic story than man vs. nature? I think we all know how much fun a good survival story can be. It awakens our most basic instincts as human beings, as animals. Watching a character fight for their life against the terrifying vicissitudes of an inhospitable wilderness will get anyone's empathy-neurons firing. But only if done well. I don't know about you, but I've plodded through enough snooze-fest survivalist yarns to be suspicious of the genre. One can't just plant a dude in the wild and watch him survive. A writer can pour all the blood, guts, lions, and qu
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