Forum:Writing Advice

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Note: This topic has been unedited for 1747 days. It is considered archived - the discussion is over. Do not add to unless it really needs a response.

I've been here since 2005, and I want to be a better writer. I have stuck to it, and sometimes I write funny stuff, and in other cases it is funny but needs improvement, and in some other cases it is almost pure rubbish and gets huffed, etc. I cannot afford to buy books on writing as I am on disability and suffer from schizoaffective disorder and other illnesses. Does anyone know of any good writing resources on the web for free. Maybe one that can analyze my writing for free and give me feedback on how to improve it? I tried writing a book to help me get off disability, but it is turning out to be one big mess and I read Stephen King's "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft" but it didn't seem to help much and was mostly stories about how he broke into writing, and advice like avoid adverbs and have your characters use action instead of describing them. Communication, English, Grammar, and writing was never my strong suits, but I want to improve so badly. Thanks to all whom have helped me with my writing since 2005, this is a great web site for that. --Lt. Sir Orion Blastar (talk) 19:33, November 6, 2009 (UTC)

Well hanging around here does help in my view where you will come across a range of writing styles and approaches to an article. I can only suggest that besides Stephen King you can look at other writers for inspiration. Or try a creative writing course ? I don't know personally as I haven't done that myself. There is no rush by the way. Some writers can take years to get to a place where they feel confident with their work and others may just burn out along the way. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ® (Orate). 20:31, November 6, 2009 (UTC)
Most of what I wrote was for college or technical manuals. Humor, fiction, and other types of writing are quite different. I got Stephen King's book because he is a successful writer with always having a popular book. But like most stuff I read about writing it doesn't help me that much. I mean it is a good book and all, but I need something different and something better. If I could afford a creative writing course I would, a community college is nearby, but I am in a lot of medical debt and cannot afford to take out any more loans or pay too much money, so I am looking for free web sites, free ebooks, free Wiki sites, etc that can help me on my journey to be a better writer. --Lt. Sir Orion Blastar (talk) 21:10, November 6, 2009 (UTC)
I consider HTBFANJS an excellent guide. --Pleb SYNDROME CUN medicate (butt poop!!!!) 21:23, November 6, 2009 (UTC)
As with any art, copying is excellent practice. Do different level parodies on texts you like, or just change a few sentences to see what happens, and so forth. I once read The Godfather in a few hours, speedreading, jumping chapters and even pages, but gaining an idea of the style and tempo. The next I did was write a short parody of it, worked great. And there's the book Story and Discourse that gives excellent practical advice and examples. -- Style Oranssiviiva Guide 21:38, November 6, 2009 (UTC)
Uh I have read HTBFANJS and I still have problems writing. It could be my Schizoaffective Disorder acting up making my wording confusing to others, causing a "Word Salad" effect. Getting too technical and other stuff. But generally the HTBFANJS wasn't enough to make me a better writer. Reading other people's works isn't getting the job done either. I think I might need professional writing help. --Lt. Sir Orion Blastar (talk) 03:24, November 7, 2009 (UTC)
Have you considered a comedic technical manual? Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 22:14, November 6, 2009 (UTC)
I didn't know that such a thing existed. Where can I get one for free and if not for free how much does one cost? --Lt. Sir Orion Blastar (talk) 03:24, November 7, 2009 (UTC)
That's not what I meant. You said "Most of what I wrote was for college or technical manuals", so you're two-thirds there. You've already got a subject that you know and you've already written about it. Now you just have to make it funny. Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 06:09, November 7, 2009 (UTC)
If you want help with some nuts-and-bolts stuff, read The Elements of Style, seen here for free on the internet. If you were to take any college-level English course right now, you would probably be reading either that book or a book that repeats the things in it. It's old enough to be in the public domain and so seems a smidge dated in spots, but is definitely worth a read.
As for writing comedy, the only thing I can suggest is to do what I did: read HTBFANJS a bunch of times over a month or two while reading and voting regularly on VFH. The voting is important because it forces you to develop and express your opinion on what is and isn't funny. HTBFANJS will provide a starting point while copying the things you like on VFH will add punchline potential to the things you do. I personally did all that while watching the Colbert Report, and a combination of those three influences are accountable for a ton of my writing. All my early articles are me ripping off a mixture of Stephen Colbert, Modusoperandi, e|m|c, herrdoktor, mordillo, and ljlego. - T.L.B. Baloon WotM, UotM, FPrize, AotM, ANotM, PLS, UN:HS, GUN 04:31, Nov 7
Speaking of HerrDoktor, what happened to him? Necropaxx (T) {~} Saturday, 05:01, Nov 7 2009
He's on the beach. Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 06:09, November 7, 2009 (UTC)
I thought he's in the beach. in rememberanz of all teh siggies 09:40 November 7
Read Procopius' and/or Hardwick Fundlebuggy's work. That's about as good as the writing gets on this site. --Sir DJ ~ Irreverent Icons-flag-au Noobaward Wotm Unbooks mousepad GUN 10:37, November 7, 2009 (UTC)
I don't appreciate your promoting of people who used Uncyclopedia like a one-night stand. So they toss it and leave it. And I pull up quick to retrieve it. But yeah, DJ is right. Those two pretty much gutted the site. Everything else is just sloppy seconds now. --Hotadmin4u69 [TALK] 04:04 Nov 9 2009
They give the rest of us people to look up to, knowing that we'll always be dismal failures. Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 05:13, November 9, 2009 (UTC)
The plot thickens once you find out who they're sockpuppets of. DUN DUN DUNNN! --Hotadmin4u69 [TALK] 05:37 Nov 9 2009

In my opinion...

Studying authors is the best way, and you take different things from each of them. My personal favorite, in terms of humor, is David Sedaris. Where the Wild Colins Are - LET THE WILD RUMPUS START! 05:40, November 9, 2009 (UTC)

The Comedy Muse

IMHO, sometimes you can go through a dry spell for months or more at a time where nothing seems funny and you can't think of anything funny. I just try to ride it out and wait for it to go away, like depression. I believe there is something like a muse that causes things to suddenly pop into your head like it wasn't you who thought of it, and you instinctively know that if you say it outloud, everyone in the room will burst into laughter (or post it to uncyclopedia where it will be instantly edited to include aliens, Chuck Norris, or kittens, unfortunately). But it seems humor is one of those rare things that can't be learned, like cracking your knuckles or adding numbers in your head. --Extra Ordinary 06:02, March 4, 2010 (UTC)

Ummmm, how did this guy go back in time to when this thread was still active??? --nldr 16:16, November 9, 2009 (UTC)

I know I'm an old man but...

I seem to recall when I was younger there were these amazing things called libraries where people could go and look at books for free. And on top of that there were also librarians who worked there who knew how to find books on almost any topic. And I also seem to recall that I went to one of these and looked in the non-fiction in roughly the 808 area according to this odd thing called dewey decimal system and there are these books on how to write there. And also I recall reading through a few of these for some hints, and then just started writing stuff down that amused me. After a while I got the hang of it and now know a bit about writing. But the only way to learn how to write is to do it, maybe do it badly, but work on it and get better. (And don't pay for a course - they are generally a waste of money.)                               Puppy's talk page00:40, June 5, 2009 21:18, 4/03/2010

Where are all these time-travellers coming from??? --nldr 21:19, November 9, 2009 (UTC)
I recall blahblahblah, blahblah, my mother, blah your mother, blahblah, facial.com, blahblahblah. I am a professional rope-sucker, who also works as a pillow-biter on the side. Gay butts drive me bat-shit nuts. Love it!!! Live it!!! Brroowww!!! Suck gerbils lithium style orphan Jim look at my fungus!!! The preceding unsigned comment was added by 69.41.138.10 (talk • contribs)
Thank you for your input. It was extremely valuable, however I believe that the remainder of this forum should include input from people who have more intelligence than salty water.                               Puppy's talk page00:40, June 5, 2009 23:15, 6/03/2010
I don't know. Salty water sets a mighty high standard. Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 02:10, March 7, 2010 (UTC)

Writing is easy, you dummies.

C'mon, really? If Sarah Palin can get her caribou cookbook published (unfortunately, it did not have pop-up pictures like I anticipated) you can figure it out. Also, don't take the old guys advice on going to the library, it's full of bums sleeping off their lithium and lysol bender from the previous evening. My advice is to take it slow. Baby steps. Practice your ABC's starting with crayons, then pencils, then indelible ink. Aren't sure what indelible ink is? Try filling out your renewal info at the DMV with a crayon and they can point you to a Staples near you where a squeaky voiced teen with braces will spend 45-65 minutes looking around the store for indelible ink pens. Or you could just skip the DMV and go to Staples. Fuck it, just go to Staples Center and catch a Lakers game, they are doing great this year! Not one single date rape was reported this season! --Nastyn8 01:56, March 5, 2010 (UTC)nastyn8

Wow!! This forum is just a station for people going back in time!! Whatever next??? --nldr 02:00, November 9, 2009 (UTC)
Wow!! Don't ever accuse me of time-travel again, or I will come back to the future and stick you with the payments on an old Delorean, or just stick you with John Delorean's cocaine bill, wichever one matures to fidelity first. Probably his coke bill, made payable to "Uncle" Escobar@WellsFargo.com. Have fun committing suicide!--Nastyn8 21:14, March 5, 2010 (UTC)nastyn8

It occurs to me

that you're not having any trouble at all expressing yourself here on this forum. Your sentences are grammatical, they have no more usage errors than the average writer, and they convey all the information to me that you want me to have.

So, you know what? You can write. I think your problem is a little more specific - like, you're having trouble figuring out what to write about, and you're having trouble figuring out what would be funny to other people.

And the only advice I can give you is: keep doing what you're doing. Write stuff, get feedback, consider the feedback. Practice is how you get to Carnegie Hall. There's no magic piece of advice that's going to make you a comedic genius overnight. Tinymasaru.gifpillow talk 21:26, March 5, 2010 (UTC)

Also, always try to reply to people's problems four months after they ask for advice. That's always a winning strategy. Tinymasaru.gifpillow talk 21:27, March 5, 2010 (UTC)
Also, I AM A TIME TRAVELLER. Just in case you dizzint rizzead the otherizzy pizzosts. Four months to you is like yesterday to me, meaning that I was too shitfaced to remember either one of the two. Fuckin-A where is my MOTHERFUCKIN BI-POLAR PILL???? I seriously need my meds. Is Chris 'Big Black' Boykin still alive? My mom wants to fuck him.

--Nastyn8 21:47, March 5, 2010 (UTC)nastyn8

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