Getting Into Character: A Guide to Writing the Best Story Ever

I'm going to try to include loads of examples, tips, quizzes, and maybe even pictures to make this fun. If you need some pointers on writing, or are just curious, read on!

Chapter 1

Basically, the Basics

This chapter will cover the basics of writing a story. By the way, the section titles are spelled and formatted to be witty, I'm doing it on purpose to make a point.

Part One: Titles, Titles, Titles

How to wryte a title (Original Story. Please Read!!)

Titles are, of course, an important part of your story. But what goes into a good title? Let's look.

Imagine for a moment you're at the library or your favorite bookstore, browsing the shelves. Which of these titles is most likely going to catch your eye?

-The Hunger Games
-The Hunger Games (An original story)
-the hunger games
-The hugner gammes
-The Hunger Games (Please Read!!)

Did you pick the top one? If so, you're correct! It looks the most polished and professional. But let's take a look at the other ones for a moment.

What's wrong with "The Hunger Games (An original story)"? The "An original story" part is completely unnecessary. It can be a major turn-off to see "(An original story)" at the end of the title, because it makes the reader wonder just how professional your writing is. Your best bet is just omitting the "(An original story)" all together.

On to mistake #2, "The hunger games". The problem with this one is pretty obvious: the lack of capitalization! Like with "The Hunger Games (An original story)", this is a major turn-off to your readers. Proper grammar will make your entire story flow better, and will make it more appealing.

Mistake #3: "the hugner gammes". I shouldn't even have to point out all the issues with this title. Proper spelling and capitalization are going to make your story THAT MUCH more attractive to readers. However, it is possible to make this mistake completely on accident. If you see a story with a title like "the hugner gammes", maybe something you could do is ask the author if they meant "The Hunger Games". It is entirely possible that they simply did not notice their mistake.

Mistake #4: This one annoys me to no end. It is not only unprofessional, but it sounds needy as well. If you really want people to check out your story, your bet bet is not "The Hunger Games (Please Read!!)", but "The Hunger Games". This way, you sound professional instead of needy. If you really want a certain person to read it, message them asking if they've read it or if they would consider reading it. That way, you sound more polite and professional, like you know what you're doing.

What are we gonna name this thing?

Okay, I think we've all been in that spot before. You have a BRILLIANT story idea, but you either can't come up with a title, or you're just not sure about the title you've given it. This is perfectly normal. This is where you employ... dramatic intro music trumpet fanfare thing A WORKING TITLE!

A working title is an unfinished title, something that you'll probably change as you go along writing the story. Plenty of writers use a working title when they're writing a manuscript. It doesn't have to be good, just something to work until you figure out something better.

If you're having trouble coming up with a final title, feel free to message me about it. I'd be glad (if I have time) to read your story and maybe help you come up with title ideas. Of course, you wouldn't have to just message me. You could message another friend, or even try to come up with a title with someone via email. The possibilities are endless! (No they're not.) (I know, I'm being... what's the word... I think it's clever? Not sure...) (Idiot.) (You just insulted yourself.) (STOP FIGHTING WITH YOURSELF! PEOPLE ARE LOOKING!) (Oh, hi there!)

Part 2: Grammar Nazis, Correct or Cranky?

Okay, I think we all know that one person who's constantly on you about grammar (or maybe, if you're me, you are that person). But are they really wrong? Think about it. Would Harry Potter have been nearly as good if every other paragraph had spelling errors, comma faults, or other, similar grammatical errors? Of course not!

Those red, squiggly things. What's up with them?

Well, it may be hard to hear this, but the red, squiggly lines are officially known as the "Red Squiggles of Doom". If you see them in your writing, it means your writing has angered the gods and you'll most likely die within a week. Okay, not really. It just means you've made a spelling error. No death.

If you do see a Red Squiggle of Doom, you should just go back and check the word, and if you can't quite figure out what's wrong with it, you can right-click on the word and a list of spelling suggestions will come up. Click on one of those, and it will fix the misspelled word.

But what if you're using a word from a book, movie, or TV show that isn't in the dictionary? It can be a real downer if you just tried to write 'Whovian', 'Gallifrey', or 'Raxacoricofallipitorius' and the red appears. Don't sweat it, the line most likely means the dictionary simply doesn't recognize 'dalek' as a word. You can fix this by Googling the word to make sure you spelled it correctly, then right-clicking the word and left-clicking "Add to Dictionary". Then, there you go! Your computer now recognizes 'Ood' as a real word!

Your, You're, and Youre... Wait, That's a Different Grammar Thing

Now, I could spend several hours typing up a lecture on there, they're, and their, or your and you're, and so on, but I'm lazy, so I'll let Nightmares/Daydreams do it for me: (P.S. I didn't ask before using this, so don't tell her, okay? :P) (P.P.S. Skip the first section. I'm not to character development yet.)

Part 3: Let's Go Tagging!

Okay, tags don't bug me nearly as much as other stuff, but I thought they still deserved a mention.

Some people tag their usernames in the tags (I am one of those people. Sometimes). I am neutral on doing this, because, while I don't really think it NEEDS to be done, it may help people find your stuff more easily.

Some people, instead of using their username, come up with a cute, creative little tag to make the tagged creation their own. I've seen ones like 'noo-not-the-tags!!' and 'cato-killed-all-the-tags'. These are fun and all, but sometimes it just bugs me that the subject the creation in question pertains to is not tagged. The entire point of tags is to make your story/quiz more easy to find. That's why it bugs me when people tag something with somewhere along the lines of 'stupid-tags' or 'tags-are-pointless'. (This also bugs me when people do similar things with their chapter titles, but more on that later.)

Whoo! Chapter One is Over! We Can Go Home Now!

Quiet you!

But yes, this is the end of Section One. I'll probably do section two on making characters. Sorry if this was too terribly boring, I tried to make it fun.


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