Story Regrets

  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    I was looking over my old stories and thinking of all the mistakes I made and things that I would not do again. And then I got to thinking about all those mistakes I made and how I don't make them anymore. Obviously, those mistakes helped me grown.

    Share your mistakes. Specific story mistakes or common ones you used to make. Tell us how they changed your writing.
    September 5th, 2008 at 08:15am
  • ward-o

    ward-o (150)

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    Argh. What I really hated with ym early writing was the way-too-often pont of view changes. It gets confusing and shit and everything messes up so I stopped doing it now.

    Then the thing with the flashbacks. :cheese: I realize that when flashbacks are in italics. You could do flashbacks without using them, I've realized.

    I deleted my old stories, replaced them with new ones and ta-da.
    September 5th, 2008 at 08:19am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    I used to write the worst Mary Sues ever. And the worst original characters. I also glamorized my character in SIs. Now I stick to my strengths and tend not to write original characters. I also embrace the flaws of myself in my SIs and that tends to make the entire story.

    I had a My Chem story once where Mikey got raped and then a few days later he kissed Frankie, even though he was still tramautized from the rape! It's unrealistic and stupid. I would never do that again.

    I know that a lot of people actually really like the story Nevermore, but I hate the ending. I think it's too quick, too abrupt, and overdramatic. If I had to do it over, I probably would have changed the last few paragraphs.

    Also, one of my stories in a fandom a long time ago [I was twelve] was a blatant rip-off of another story. It was never posted anywhere, so there was no one to tell me what an idiot I was. I pretty much stole the plot and changed one or two things. Now I get inspired by all sorts of outside sources, but I understand the difference between plagiarism and inspiration. I mean, I've been plagiarized. So I'm glad I never posted that rip-off story I wrote a long time ago. [I didn't know what plagiarism was at the time.]
    September 5th, 2008 at 08:21am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    The Zero:
    Argh. What I really hated with ym early writing was the way-too-often pont of view changes. It gets confusing and shit and everything messes up so I stopped doing it now.
    I did that. Sometimes chaptered POV changes [like Chipped Black Nail Polish. Sometimes multiple changes in a chapter [the How We... series].

    I don't think I do it anymore at all...

    The closest [I believe] was in Shattered Dreams when I went from a third-person limited of Ryan to a third-person limited of Brendon. Which is the better way to do something like that, I think.

    Though I personally don't mind chaptered POV changes if they flow well.
    September 5th, 2008 at 08:24am
  • ward-o

    ward-o (150)

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    ^ Maybe. But mostly I did the whole:

    Girl POV

    I tripped and he helped me with my stuff and our hands touched.

    Boy POV

    She tripped and I helped her and our hands touched.


    Not that way, but you get the point. Just really pointless POV changes because I was basically bored with the story and had nothing else to write.

    And I just remembered another one. :XD I used to think the het stories where this OF band tours with another band that isn't fictional and they all fall in love with each other. :cheese:

    Yeah :think:

    I think my writing improved a lot by reading the right stories and going on the Things You Hate To See The Most In Stories thread and the Things You Love In Stories.
    September 5th, 2008 at 08:51am
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    I used to try to write interesting things, stories that others would like. Worst mistake ever. I'm happy now knowing that I write awkwardly and that it doesn't really matter anyway.
    :cute:

    As a real mistake, I used to put too many words in a story. One of my first serious stories, I think it was called The Beach House, had around 30,000 words but it could've easily fitted in less than 10,000. It was gigantic and incredibly ugly - though I'm still a bit fond of the subject.

    An other thing that I've done wrong was expecting to write a good story. I mean, I'm just 16, I'm not supposed to write good stuff until I'm in my 20s there's no point in stressing about it, or about getting published. And trusting my friends was an other huge mistake. Real friends should tell you when your story sucks. -_- But no, everyone told me it's great and interesting so I went on writing.

    I've also learned never to compare myself with someone else - once I read a good story and started to cry because I don't write like that, I don't do that anymore- and that I shouldn't try to write like my favorite authors - I tried magic realism once, epic fail. All in all, I think my worst mistake was to try to write instead of waiting for it to come to me slowly and not really care what people say about it.

    Or maybe just the fact that I didn't read enough two or three years ago. Not that I do nowadays.
    September 5th, 2008 at 10:40am
  • The Way

    The Way (1400)

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    Uhm, the usual cliche OOCness. I wanted to pound my head against the keyboard when I reread those :lmfao
    September 5th, 2008 at 03:52pm
  • silly ann murphy

    silly ann murphy (150)

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    Cliché.
    And Frank's addiction to Skittles. :shifty
    September 5th, 2008 at 05:33pm
  • pulmonary archery.

    pulmonary archery. (100)

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    My very first story back on quizilla was 30 chapters long, and during that time the couple in question met, got together, separated, got back together, had a child and got married. It all just went way too fast, and was seriously lacking on the character development side, which I now really try and work with, and have really improved on. I've had readers comment before on just how well I seem to know my characters, which is what I aim for.

    The storyline as a whole wasn't too bad, though. I surprised myself. It was just executed terribly.
    September 5th, 2008 at 05:56pm
  • What's in a name?

    What's in a name? (100)

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    Throwing in poems/lyrics in the story. Even though they were mine and written for the story it was terrible. But everyone told me it was fantastic though and that I was really good. It only occurred in one story however, back in 2005. What was real awful though was that I was as old as sixteen.

    In a way switching language was a bit of a mistake. Now I don’t write stories in my native language because I really don’t know how. It all just seems stupid to me no matter how I phrase it. I actually don’t even think in Swedish when I make up scenarios and so on. Anything prose or poem-like I think up in English and I’ve never had to think up stories and such in Swedish and then translate. I’m convinced, however, that I’d be an even better writer if I had stuck to my native language. But now I would never even dream of writing anything in Swedish, with the exception of academic writing.

    Another thing was that I really didn’t work enough on my characters. My fist original character in a fan-fictional story was very, very one-dimensional in my opinion. Actually, all my old characters were not very developed at all. The fact that I was nine when writing those we can ignore, right? I mean, a mistake is a mistake. x]

    That I explained things with too much detail as if I were writing an essay was another mistake of mine. My readers are not that stupid, they’ll get it even if everything is not told in words. Not every detail has to be included to make the picture clear. Really, I used too many similes in my opinion. My stories could have had a better balance between metaphors and similes.

    Then I went a tad overboard with adjectives sometimes. That was rather recently too. Not entire stories but I did write paragraph that, now when I read the story back, had just a bit too many adjectives thrown in there. Plenty of adjectives aren’t what’s required to make the writing beautiful. It’s not the quantity; it’s how they’re used. Though I must admit, I really do like adjectives.

    I’m not too fond of older dialogue either. It’s not a huge mistake but some of it is very theatre-play like and seems unnatural. No one would actually speak in such a way or carry such conversations. On the other hand, to simply transcribe spoken dialogues would make very little sense. We understand it when we speak to each other but written down it does confuse us greatly. There’s a balance that needs to be found and it took me some time to get it more or less right. Also I dislike the fact that every character talked essentially the same way. There was very little difference. Which, in real life, there generally is. Even though a group of people from the same area who are about the same age and are friends use a lot of the same kind of vocabulary how frequent the words are used vary. Also the way they will construct their sentences differ as well as other factors. And as the way someone talks is a trait telling something about that person I find it important to make some distinctions between the ways my characters speak.

    Yet another mistake was to put “he/she said” etcetera after almost everything the characters said. I figured that otherwise I’d become confusing. And if you’re too vague it does indeed become confusing but there are other ways of showing who says what.

    Oh, and let’s not forget about abbreviations. And while some are perfectly fine to use typing ‘okay’ instead of ‘ok’ isn’t that much trouble. Though only used when the story was in first person point of view I still consider it a mistake.

    Looks like I’ve made quite a few mistakes. And I’m sure there are even more I ought to own up to. But ten years worth of mistakes would be a drag to read about. So let’s just pretend this is it and that there’s nothing more to add. :coffee:
    September 5th, 2008 at 06:34pm
  • Siriano;

    Siriano; (100)

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    I really don't like the format I wrote From kairi, With Love in. It was cool, but it's kind of confusing. Yak
    September 5th, 2008 at 09:06pm
  • sjdhfk

    sjdhfk (150)

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    I used to write all my characters as Mary Sues.
    They were all generic models of me, too.
    I think the worst is where i'd write with no plot in mind, thinking it would just develop on its own... it never did. Sad
    September 6th, 2008 at 02:13am
  • HerFamousLastWords

    HerFamousLastWords (100)

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    I used to rush stories really badly, and I still do somewhat. It's a hard habit for me to overcome. I'll want to write everything out as soon as possible so I don't forget it, and the whole story will come out as rushed.

    There are some stories that I would like to go back and re-write, so that the characters and plot have more time to properly develop.
    September 6th, 2008 at 04:01am
  • CoolinaCUP

    CoolinaCUP (100)

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    I used to plan things too much before I wrote them and it all wound up really in-organic. Now, I'm trying to fix that by not planning too much, but then I think I get lost in scene.

    I also got too attatched to aspects of plots that didn't make any sense. I was afraid to cut things and change things, which is stupid. Again, I'm still trying to fix that.
    September 6th, 2008 at 06:13am
  • The Way

    The Way (1400)

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    I also abused adverbs. :XD
    September 6th, 2008 at 12:27pm
  • ward-o

    ward-o (150)

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    And commas! :cheese: If there was one thing I used to abuse, it was commas. :tehe:

    And SIs that were really just for the sake of me smooching with this hot rockstar. :XD Yeah, so not cool.
    September 6th, 2008 at 12:31pm
  • EmmieVengeance

    EmmieVengeance (110)

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    I used to treat my readers like children. Like over describing everything, things that were completely obvious! lol. Talk about point out the obvious! It's so annoying!

    I also used to write the worse ever Mary-Sues. Everyone loved her, all the time, even though she was a total bitch to everyone, and always had the worse up bringing. Most of the times my characters brought themselves up! But I was 13 at the time!

    All of my main characters were the same kind of people! No character development, like none! And to end the story I'd just kill off the main character, normally by suicide, completely and utterly out of the blue!
    Oh, the shame!
    September 6th, 2008 at 02:31pm
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    What's in a name?:
    In a way switching language was a bit of a mistake. Now I don’t write stories in my native language because I really don’t know how. It all just seems stupid to me no matter how I phrase it. I actually don’t even think in Swedish when I make up scenarios and so on. Anything prose or poem-like I think up in English and I’ve never had to think up stories and such in Swedish and then translate. I’m convinced, however, that I’d be an even better writer if I had stuck to my native language. But now I would never even dream of writing anything in Swedish, with the exception of academic writing.
    That happened to me too.
    And since my brain works in weird ways when it's under pressure I always get English or French words thrown into places where they shouldn't be.

    And I love my language... I try to make up for it by reading a lot, but I don't think I'd be able to write anything readable in Romanian now. And at least here, there's always been a fight to preserve the language because German and Hungarian were official languages and blah blah blah, I feel like a traitor.
    O_O
    September 6th, 2008 at 03:09pm
  • ChemicallyImbalanced

    ChemicallyImbalanced (1365)

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    When I first started writing, I used to use thesaurus.com to look up heaps of words to make it sound better.
    I think I've kind of learned that that only makes it more confusing for the reader, when you add in big words that no one else knows.
    :XD And that my vocabulary expands with age.
    September 6th, 2008 at 03:21pm
  • albaphetical

    albaphetical (100)

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    I used to be way too wordy.
    I actually still kind of am, but I've gotten better. :shifty Kind of.

    I also used to make Mary-Sues, badly written self-insertations...the works.
    I had a good voice, according to a couple people, but the elements of my story such as characters and plot were all bad.
    September 6th, 2008 at 06:32pm