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Practicing my fantasy writing

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by B Follins, May 12, 2020.

  1. B Follins

    B Follins Acolyte

    Question for all. I am a practicing fantasy writer. I have just began a short story. Judging from the short passage below, should I keep writing? Comments are appreciated.

    John is a reckless space mercenary captain who is drunk half of the time, but is competent at what he does.

    John woke up at the control panel with a massive headache. He realized, after looking around, that his ship has crashed, again,

    "I guess I was a little too drunk last night," he thought to himself, trying to activate the powerless panel.

    "Meh, the crew can have this fixed in an hour," he said out loud, as he clumsily exited the cockpit.

    His legs wobbled, like they had a mind of their own, and he had a headache, made worse after he noticed a part of his ship was missing.

    "Now this might be a problem," he muttered.

    John checked his gun and pocket watch, and jumped down to the soft ground. He looked around and saw only trees. As previously, he let luck guide him in a random direction. He would eventually find something, good or bad.

    John wandered through the woods for a long time, and eventually found a cabin.

    It was getting dark, so he decided to let himself into the small building.

    The cabin had an odd smell to it. The air was dry, and everything was covered in a thick layer of dust.

    Without thinking twice, he decided to sleep a little on the bed. Whoever lived there probably would mind, but John didn't mind being yelled at, at all.
  2. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    grammar could use some work, and a bit more thought to the circumstances - like his crew. But not bad for an initial effort.

    the way to become good at writing is to write. A lot. keep at it.
  3. Lynea

    Lynea Sage

    I agree with the above. It's okay to be new at writing. My advice is, you don't need the approval of others in order to keep writing. At some point, having approval plays a part in getting published but not with sharing your ideas.
  4. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Maester

    The answer to this questions always is: if you enjoy it, then yes, keep writing.

    If you read about any of the famous authors, they all wrote lots. It's the only way to get better at writing.

    As for the piece, try showing more of what the captain is feeling, seeing and smelling instead of telling me. How does his headache feel. Is it a throbbing in the back of his skull? Perhaps he has trouble focusing his vision or gets nauseous when he opens his eyes. Maybe there's a puddle of vomit somewhere in a corner he smells.

    And instead of going with "too drunk last night", you could go with something like "I shouldn't have drunk that second bottle of scotch / vodka / perfume last night". Same with how he exited the cockpit. Show him stumbling into something or wobbling on his legs.

    Doing this will tell the reader more about the captain and let them fill in the holes. Of course he drank too much if he had a second bottle of whatever. But not just that, it also tells the reader that the captain probably is a regular drinker if it's just the second bottle that's the issue. And the type of liquor can give a hint at his background. Whiskey? Then he might be kind of British upperclass. Vodka? perhaps more adventurous or maybe eastern european. Perfume? Then there's probably a drinking problem.

    Do this with the different lines of the story to draw the reader closer to it.
  5. Agreed, if you are enjoying the process of writing, then keep at it.

    We could give you oodles of advice on how to do this or that, but my suggestion would be to finish your story to it's conclusion and remember it's just a first, very rough draft. When new writers get bogged down in the "is it good enough or not" too early in their process, they never finish the story which is, as almost anyone here would tell you, the hardest part of writing.

    Writers and would-be writers and hopefuls and dreamers. We start projects all the time, but far fewer end up completed. The simple key is in getting the words down and following through. I have never read a first draft of any story that I thought was ready for the world to read or for publication, but that's more than ok because there will be a time and place to shape what you create into that polished gem — but it is a lot of work.

    I'll add that all the advice up above, or that will inevitably follow below, is sound and will potentially help you to write better stories, but since you've just taken the plunge, yes, my advice is to just keep going and finish what you've started.
  6. Lynea

    Lynea Sage

    I would also like to say this: I think the story could start with showing John getting drunk and crashing into the woods. It would make a nice hook. Also, you could describe the forest setting with more detail. The transition from ship to trees is pretty sudden and underdeveloped.

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