Author Topic: writing a story - updated  (Read 1371 times)

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Offline typingwithpaws

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writing a story - updated
« on: February 13, 2012, 12:35:18 am »
as i mentioned in my introductory i think i am writing a book, with 20,000 words in it is beginning to look like something.

but i have a couple of questions....since i didn't take "English writing" class at school hehe.

1st person or 3rd? lots of books are written in 3rd and sound great, but words flow so much better from my fingers in 1st person (or at least, i think so)
i spent considerable time converting the first 10,000 words from 1st person to 3rd person a couple of days ago, but it just didnt sound right to me.

what are your opinions on this?

Also, while writing in 1st person, is it a good habit to LIMIT the 'I, Me and My' a bit?  what are some good work arounds if so?

i can post a chapter if you want me to but posting the whole thing would be a bit monotonous methinks  :D

thanks for the help,
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 03:04:03 am by typingwithpaws »
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: writing a story - for dummies.
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 11:54:00 am »
I am not a professional, but I tend to like more of a narrative style of writing.
Then mix in 1st person for each character along with it.

Nothing wrong with 2'd person to draw the reader into one of the characters if
that's what your wanting..

I am sure you will get more suggestions as there are some good
writers here.

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Offline Metalhead_Mockingbird

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Re: writing a story - for dummies.
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 02:31:33 pm »
1st person or 3rd? lots of books are written in 3rd and sound great, but words flow so much better from my fingers in 1st person (or at least, i think so)
i spent considerable time converting the first 10,000 words from 1st person to 3rd person a couple of days ago, but it just didnt sound right to me.

what are your opinions on this?

Me personally, I tend to write in 3rd person, as it tends to let someone get to know everything thats going on, from the fire that quietly crackled in the corner of the room, to the peeling wallpaper and the kicked in door. I started out in first person, but eventually canned that quickly enough, switching over to 3rd person, and its turned out much better for me.

However, it does take quite a bit of practice to get down what you like. I might recommend picking a plot sequence and writing it out in both 1st and 3rd person writing, then let it sit in your thoughts for a while. There is no 'better' opition, as both have their personal ups and downs to the two.

Also, while writing in 1st person, is it a good habit to LIMIT the 'I, Me and My' a bit?
Honestly, as long as it doesn't get in the away of the flow of the writing, it should be fine.

i can post a chapter if you want me to but posting the whole thing would be a bit monotonous methinks.
Eh, go ahead and do it- just make sure to paragraph it, as furtopia's background doesn't like walls of text to much.
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Offline typingwithpaws

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Re: writing a story - for dummies.
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 10:14:09 pm »
Both good ideas, I've been telling the story from the characters point of view. Currently I've got my characters telling their respective stories, writing a book, within the book.
every now and then I have been withdrawing the. characters from their writing and continuing with their current life. narrating this part in 3rd person, while they ate writing their book in 1st. writing this post on my phone which is playing up. ill post. some sections of the story when i get home from work.

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Offline typingwithpaws

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Re: writing a story - for dummies.
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 05:11:15 am »
first off this is raw material, un-filled and none of the names are set in concrete but i like them where they are  :)

“Come get it” yelled Vixen from somewhere near the kitchen.
Both BlackWind and his father, Geoff, made their way to the table and sat down, BlackWind next to Vixen and his father slightly further down the table.
The 40 year old man still hadn’t quite warmed up to the idea of having two wild animals sitting and dining at his table, but he was still polite about it.

“Looks good Vixen” said Geoff.
“Let’s hope I’ve mastered keeping hairs out of it this time.” She smiled and lent over to grab a small square of steak. Because Vixen lacked fingers of any sort, unlike BlackWind, they always brought kebab meat so that it did not need to be cut into smaller pieces. It made dinner a little more pleasant for all, especially Geoff. Watching a fox tare into a large slab of meat, cooked or not, was a creepy sight for anyone.

“I think you’ve outdone yourself this time, so much for ‘simple meat and 3 veg’. What have you been marinating this meat in Vix?” asked BlackWind.
“Honey and port with a little sugar” Vixen replied between mouthfuls.
“I hope you didn’t get the port and red cordial mixed up again like last Friday” joked Geoff.
“Anything big planned for tomorrow you two?” he continued.

“I know I’m gonna be doing some more work on this book we’ve been writing, i get the same buzz out of it as I used to get while reading a really good novel” said BlackWind. “But i think it’s time for you to do another chapter Vix” he smiled.
“Are you going to get it published?” asked Geoff

“that depends if it’s any good, people have to believe it, since it sounds to the average person like a science fiction fantasy story, even if it is real.” Said Vixen, finishing her meal.
“Would be a good thing for both of you i think. A relief of pressure yes?” said Geoff, before shovelling the last few blobs of mashed tubers into his mouth.

“Yeah, i think it might be” answered BlackWind. “Did i hear you mention yesterday that you wanted to go waterskiing again?”
“Yes i did, we haven’t been since you err...grew fur.” He said, mumbling the last couple of words.
“It’s ok dad, i’m happy with who i have become, even if it is a lot different to how i planned spending my life, and yeah i reckon i can still drive the boat for you” Said Blackwind.
“Great, I’ve been dying to go barefooting again, it’s been too long. And i may have a surprise for you and Vixen when we get there” Geoff said with a small smile.

It was this kind of attitude that BlackWind liked to see from his father, it erased years from his age and made him appear like a teenager again, a comment he knew would embarrass him, so he held his tongue, although his tail could not be. It twitched slightly, “thankfully he hasn’t learned to interpret that kind of body language yet” thought Blackwind.

an example of my 3rd person part, i have the 2 characters (names are all changable at this point) BlackWind and Vixen telling the story of their past in 1st person with intermediate breaks that switches to 3rd person as above and tells of the present.

here is an example of Vixen telling of her story

There was a horrible screeching noise as the wall moved away from where i was sleeping.
Now wide awake, i sprinted to a new hiding place before the forklift revealed me by removing the container away from the wall of the ship.

Skittering on the steel floor I found a gap in between the containers and began to catch my breath. Not only had the sound startled me but i had forgotten what i looked like during my sleep and was just coming to grips with myself again.
“How do i get off this thing?” i said to herself and began searching for a way off the ship.

There was a container placed 10 meters away with the door ajar, I quickly darted inside, the smell of rotting vegetables stinging my overly sensitive nostrils.
Hiding at the back of the container, it was only a short wait before the screeching noise occurred again and the container shook as the big diesel forklift picked it up and rumbled off toward the dock with it.

Placing the container down and returning for another load, I could voices outside.
“...that’s what i heard anyway, we’ve gotta check all the containers for that crazy animal in case it managed to get on board.”
“pffft, what a load of rubbish, ‘smart’ foxes. More like dumb security guards.”
“Don’t check in here, don’t check in here, don’t check in here” i thought.
But they did check in here, shinning a very bright torch in my direction, lighting up my green eyes like headlights on a car.

lets hope it dosent show up as a "wall of text"
give me all you have, pick holes in it, what am i doing wrong, constructive criticism people  :D


« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 05:15:38 am by typingwithpaws »
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: writing a story - for dummies.
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2012, 01:00:59 pm »
Using the 3rd person or a Narrator works well along with 1st person.

Telling the story from the 1st persons point of view works well too.. Especially
when your wanting the reader to see the story through the characters eyes.

I think both ways work well in telling a story.  Personally I think the 1st
person style would be better suited for short stories.

Your writing style looks good either way.

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Offline typingwithpaws

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Re: writing a story - for dummies.
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2012, 06:41:33 am »
hit 45000 words and climbing, it's taking better shape to. some nice people on IRC have been offering advice  :D
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Offline typingwithpaws

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Re: writing a story - for dummies.
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2012, 03:07:14 am »
glowie has encouraged me to post a bit of my story for your casual reading interests and comments. so here we go... behold the wall of text, full of gramatical errors yet to be corrected. (the copy/paste function somehow removed all my double spacing so i just hit alternating {enter} and {down} keys to try and make it easier to read)

{chapter 8, changes}
I always enjoyed the walk home; i only lived 2 kilometres down the street so it was not a very long walk, but it helped me calm my thoughts.

As i passed my old school i heard some muffled voices, feeling the need to investigate i snuck through the hole in the fence that me and my friends used to use and made my way

toward the direction of the noises, making sure i stayed in the shadows. There were too many reports of gangs in the area to go snooping around at night in the open.

As i peered around the corner of a building i spied 3 large boys tormenting a younger boy, the older boys looked to be in grade 10 and the younger probably in grade 7 or 8.

The little boy had a look of pure fear on his face as the older guys loomed over him, demanding that he hand over his bag and wallet. The 3 were obviously drunk, i noted, somehow able
to smell the liquor on their breath even from my distance.

It was probably a foolish thing to do but i did it anyway.

“HEY! Leave that kid alone!” i yelled out, stepping out from behind the corner of the building.

“Huh?” murmured one of the boys as he turned to face me. “Why should we? And anyway, what is a foxy little thing like you doing out so late at night?” he said, slurring his words.

The rest of the group turned to face their new adversary, leaving the little boy to quietly shuffle away.

“Great” i thought to myself, the kid got away but now I’ve gotta deal with them.

The 3 guys wandered over into my direction and i walked forward to confront them in the street light which illuminated a 10 meter round area of grass beside the school building.

“You should because if you don’t I’m gonna break your nose, and it’s never too late for a stroll home from work, but it would be much better if you three scumbags weren’t out here
stinking up the atmosphere.” What a damn stupid thing to say. I don’t know what came over me as i began to half crouch and assume my well practiced martial arts stance, preparing
myself for the fight that i hope would not come.

“ah look fellas, the little girl wants to have a fight, let’s not disappoint her, but take it easy, they look better without bruises.” burbled the leader of the group.

A long low growl escaped from my mouth at that comment, i never knew i was capable of making such a noise, and i sure didn’t command my body to do so. Wasting no more time on
the thought i continued to calm my mind, finding peace in the moment, and waited for the first strike.

All 3 of the boys charged forward at once, first out front and fierce faces present, quicker than anyone could have predicted i ducked under the first 2 punches then twisted around and
stood up behind them, kicking one of them in the back as hard as i could, the other suffered a punch to the leg and stumbled over and took out the third gang member.

It didn’t take long for them to recover and begin to stand up, but before i allowed this to happen I lashed out in attack. My palm rocketed toward the leaders face, at the last second
swerving; i felt soft cartilage give under the force of the attack, followed by a ‘crunch’ as his nose broke.

Withdrawing quickly i attacked a second time and issued another member of their trio a black eye with a very hard punch.

The third guy, who was still un-marked, backed away, staggering as he tripped over his comrades for a second time. The other two looked at each other, blood streaming from the
leaders nose.

“Let’s get the heck out of here! That damsel is crazy!” screamed the leader, the other offered a quick nod in agreement, and they both turned tail and ran for the hole in the fence.

Not letting my guard down for a further 30 seconds i allowed my heart to return to its normal tempo before standing back upright.

“Well that was exhilarating.” I said to myself

“Thank you!” was the reply.

Turning around i saw the young boy who was being picked on moments earlier jogging towards me.

“What are you doing out here so late at night?” I asked.

“i was checking on the school pet rabbit and was about to start walking home before those people chased me to this spot.” He replied, sounding shaken up.

“i didn’t know the school had a pet rabbit.” I exclaimed, remembering nothing from the previous year about school pets.

“He lives in a hole under the dunnies, i always come out and feed him a carrot at night.”

“Well in future i would suggest you leave a carrot for him during the day. There are too many idiots who walk the streets this late at night, especially on a Saturday.” I suggested,
“Where do you live?” I continued.

“3 houses down from the school.” the boy replied.

“I’ll walk you home then, I’m heading that way anyhow.”

“Thank you......” began the boy, pausing, searching for something.

“Sophie” i replied, “My name is Sophie.”

“Thanks Sophie, I would have been in a lot of trouble if you hadn’t showed up” Smiled the boy as they began to walk toward the hole in the fence.

10 minutes later we reached the boys house and i rang the doorbell, his mother answered the door and looked at me with a puzzled expression, the boy told his mum everything that had
happened and when he was done she turned to me and said “thank you so much, i don’t know how to repay you for looking after my son.”

“It was nothing” i replied, knowing full well that it wasn’t really, but it was still a generic response.

She invited me inside for a cup of tea but i politely declined and turned to leave.

“You know, you have beautiful red hair” said the woman as i reached the gate.

“Thanks” i replied “but there must be a trick of the light because i have dark blonde hair”

“Oh no dear it’s defiantly red” came the response.

Puzzled i walked back into the porch light and grabbed a lock of hair only to discover that she was correct, it WAS red.

Startled i let go of my hair and began to jog to the gate, saying goodbye to the lady before running the last few hundred meters to my house.

Fumbling with the keys i unlocked the front door and closed it behind me a little harder than i intended.

“Hello dear” was the greeting coming from the kitchen where my mum was busy washing up.

She poked her head out from the kitchen door and gasped, “What on earth have you done to your hair!” she shrieked.

I didn’t like it when mum freaked out at something that i had done to appearance of my own accord, i would normally have to ask her permission just to get my hair cut. She worried
about so much and didn’t often show much love for me. That was probably because it was all used up on my step dad John. He was a nice enough person and had earned the title of
‘dad’ because he was always helpful when i asked for it, and he had done so since he had married my mum 15 years ago. But he never deliberately went out of his way to assist me
without me first asking for it, something i imagined a real dad would do.

“Nothing mum i promise, i only noticed it had changed red about 5 minutes ago!”

“Hogwash! go and take a shower and hope that colour comes out little miss!”

“But mum i sware...”


Chastised and feeling bad about my predicament i went to the bathroom and began undressing.

“What is wrong with my fingernails?” i thought to myself as i eyed them off before stepping into the shower.

They had grown longer and started to turn a dark colour.

“Must be some of that dirt from the school ground” i figured to myself and focused on scrubbing my hair with all of the soap i could get my hands on. More hair came out than colour; i
scrubbed until my scalp hurt but to no avail, this red hair was here to stay. Feeling nervous about what had happened to me i got out of the shower and dried myself off, i had forgotten
to shave my legs again, even though i had done it that morning they were already sprouting fine little bits of fuzz.

The bite mark on my arm just looked like a minor scratch now and would pass scrutiny from my parents easily enough so i got changed into my pyjamas and tip toed down stairs into my
room, greeting our dog Chloe who came bounding up to greet me. Settling into bed i let my thoughts wander on the events of the past day and how i was going to fix my hair colour
before dad saw it.

With that last thought i dozed off.

That night was not pleasant; i was wracked with nightmares and various aches and pains that seemed to spread throughout my entire body. Eventually i found that i could not sleep on
my back any longer because something was pressing hard against my lower spine and making it unbearable.

After what felt like four hours of tossing and turning i finally fell back to sleep.

Sunlight streamed through the window from between the gaps in the curtains.

Mum opened the door to my bedroom and called out for me to get out of bed as i had slept in far too long.

I woke with a start, blinking to clear the disorientation from my eyes, everything looked different, like someone had dulled some of the brighter colours in the visible spectrum.

I lifted my head up of the pillow to look at my mother; the only reply i got was an ear piercing scream before she ran back up the stairs.

I tried covering my ears with my hands to block out the noise only to realise that they were nowhere to be found.

 “My ears! Where are they?” i franticly thought to myself. It was then i looked at my hands, or rather, my paws.

This time i was the one screaming.

Coming to grip with my fragile mind i re-opened my eyes and quickly got out of bed. Standing up in front of the mirror looking back at me was the unmistakable body of a red fox.

I must have fainted because i cannot remember anything else that happened until i came to.

Lying on the floor, i rolled my head over and came face to face with the business end of dad’s shotgun. Shocked, i managed to say “don choot! Don choot!” crossing my eyes to look at
my muzzle.

Dad looked at me puzzled and lowered his weapon slightly but keeping it at the ready.

“Who are you!?” dad yelled.

“i’m yhur doughtr, Sophie!” i spat out through my elongated lips, fumbling with the words.

“Oh really” said dad, “then tell me. What is MY birthday?”

“tree dayz frum now! Wednesday! December 19th 1967!” i replied, starting to figure out how to speak a little more clearly though my muzzle.

Dad gasped; there were only 3 people in the world that knew his birth date, that was mum, me and himself.

Lowering the gun he staggered back to where mum was standing by the door and stammered.

“wha, what happened to you Sophie?” pure shock emanating from both their faces.

“ idea” i stuttered back.

I rolled over onto my hands and knees, which were now 4 legs and 4 paws, then proceeded to stand up on 2 legs. It was impossible to stand with my heels touching the ground so i

stood on my toes.

Mum and dad’s eyes widened, seeing the un-natural site before them.

“i feel fine!” i said in a louder voice than i intended to. No sooner had i finished that short sentence when something brushed my side, looking down i gave a yelp of surprise.

I had a tail, i could feel it moving, connected to my tailbone and reacting to my emotions. It immediately dropped down and stayed there, stiff as a board when i noticed it, replicating
how the rest of me felt.

“w...w...we have to ring an ambulance right away!” said mum, half squeaking, half mouthing.

“I think i’m way past the help of the ambo’s!” I replied angrily.

“Maybe this is some big messed up dream” queried dad, all the colour had drained from his face.

“If it is a dream, then why are we all aware of it!?” i replied, still reeling from the implications.

“I’m going back to bed right now, and you better be gone when i wake up again or next time I’m afraid i might pull the trigger in shock.”

“You can’t kick her out john!” yelled mum

“Don’t worry honey, this has all got to be a dream, we’ll wake up in a couple of hours and all will be fine.”

Looking at me, “for all our sakes i hope it is a dream!” he said.

“Me too” i murmured “me too.”

With that both mum and dad left the room and i could hear them walking all the way up the stairs and into their bedroom.

When the house had fallen silent again i turned to face the mirror again.

Red fur covered most of my body with the exception of my belly, chest and under my chin. On my chest the hair was longer, like some sort of V-necked tuft.

Looking down at my legs there was short black hair from the tip of the ankle joint. Same with my arms, “or front legs” i thought.

My arms were roughly in the same orientation as they were before but i found that when i stretched them outwards they were not able to extend as far as before.

My legs were all different too. They looked much like a dogs hind legs but the joints were wrong. I had more degrees of rotation in the joints than a dog. When a dog stood up it always
had trouble because of the various muscles pulling and their bone structure did not allow the movement to take place, causing them to teeter and totter all over the place. But i lacked
these problems for some unknown reason and this allowed me to stand comfortably with my legs nearly completely straight.

I lifted one leg and looked at my paw.

The pads of my paws were roughly like that of a dog but had more triangular sections. ”just like the fox at work” i recalled. Quickly replacing my leg before I fell over i looked at my

The paws where my hands were located were something special. They were shaped lust like my hands were, although covered in fur. I had full use of my fingers and thumbs, my
fingernails had turned into blunt claws that protruded from the tip of each finger. I could feel them anchored deep within my fingers, not like the weak fingernails I was used to.

My tail was also bright red but flecked with a white tip, but most interestingly, I had retained my bright green eyes. Despite the slight changes to my vision this pleased me because it
was one of the only visible signs that it was still me inside.

My ears had also migrated to the top of my head and stood perked up, swivelling in the direction of any noise I heard, like they had a mid of their own. I could feel the muscles twitching
along with them to allow them to cup any incoming sounds.

Opening my jaw slightly I examined my teeth, there were four pointy fangs and some oddly shaped molars, nothing strange there unless you were accustomed to staring at your own flat
toothed smile. They were a replica of the teeth you would see when a canine yawned at you.

All in all I looked like a slightly oversized fox, standing on its hind legs.

Dad thought it was a dream, I wanted to believe that too but this was no dream, there was too much detail, too much feeling.

I began to examine my other features, senses. Smells, I could smell last night’s cooking hanging in the air, I could smell the sheets of my bed, and I could smell the clean air outside and
the flowers through my slightly ajar window.

Sounds, anything that took my fancy my ear swivelled to listen to, I could hear the cars outside on the road easy enough, I could hear the birds in the trees easily too, but I could also
hear my mum and dad sleeping, their BREATHING. I used to have trouble at the best of time hearing their muffled voices when they were having a heated argument. But now I could hear
their breathing!

my vision seemed clearer too, everything had a sharper clarity, like someone had just changed from VHS to Bluray disk while watching a movie, parting the curtains and peering out I
could make out the cracks in the paint on the weatherboard house across the street, but I could not tell the exact colour, it appeared white, but I knew it was a very light blue house
since we had been living across the road from it for several years.

I took a few steps around the room, trying to adjust to my new posture and leg configuration, my tail made walking like this a lot easier to balance I soon found out.

« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 03:10:08 am by typingwithpaws »
"Nothing will ever surpass the beauty and elegance of a bad idea"