What is it that you should be doing right now? Inking your comic? Writing your novel? Practicing piano? Working your job?
I’m willing to bet that there is at least one thing you’re procrastinating in order to read this post. While I appreciate it, you should consider if this indicative of a larger problem. If this is your first break, then by all means enjoy yourself and relax! However, if this is the millionth post you read while procrastinating, you may want to consider you are exhibiting some signs of poor self-discipline.
Being a beginner at anything can be extremely intimidating. Even if people are used to writing numerous texts or tweets or school essays, writing stories is a different ballpark (especially if you want to do it well). Whether it’s going to be your first time attempting to write a story, or you’re just about to take it seriously for the first time despite dabbling, it can be very easy to get discouraged. More experienced writers often can speak in jargon and blather on and on about showing vs. telling, metaphors, allusions, foreshadowing, and a whole other bunch of stuff. Frankly, even I tend to tackle very specific, technical aspects of writing. However, I acknowledge that for the newest of the new, this can be confusing at best.
Thus, for today’s post I’d like to talk to you new writers who are just getting started in your writing career/hobby/whatever you want to term it. I want to not only provide you some basic guidelines for starting your journey, but also show you how not to get discouraged. Let’s dive in and hopefully you’ll find some useful information within.
Weight loss is often a very popular New Year’s resolution, and one that a lot of people struggle with. Sure, those first few weeks go well. You’re eating your salads and soups, you’re drinking your water, etc. Of course, everyone is allowed a cheat day so you can eat that chocolate cake you’ve been saving, right? Only, suddenly the next day you’re sad and that cheat day becomes two cheat days. Soon, everything has spiraled out of control, and the goal of losing weight is lost to the abyss. Even if it wasn’t your New Year’s resolution, this is often how weight loss spirals into failure regardless.
Weight loss is hard. There’s no way around it. If it was easy, the anecdote above would be far less common. However, as someone who has lost an enormous amount of weight in my life, I can tell you that weight loss is possible. Given my own successes with it, I feel it might be helpful to some for me to share my tips regarding the subject. So, if this is something you’d be interested in, read on!
Buying a computer is really, really tough. Unless you do a lot of research and are familiar with a ton of computer concepts, you’re in for a really rough time. Even the most fastidious shoppers can be overwhelmed by the polarizing comments that are in most computer review sections. While for some people luck is with them and a powerful computer isn’t necessary, others can find themselves in a huge bind when they’ve purchased a machine that lasts for a very short lifespan. This is a significant problem as computers can often be a very expensive investment.
However, this is why I come to you today. As someone who takes this investment seriously, I’ve definitely picked up a few tricks of my own that I’d like to share. Before I start, I will clarify that I am not a computer expert. There are still a lot of things I don’t understand about computers, and if you’re looking for some hardcore unknown tips, you’ve come to the wrong place. However, for absolute beginners who are just starting their journey on taking their purchase seriously, this is definitely going to be the guide for you to get you started. Keep in mind, this article is going to be stinted towards PCs and not Macs (sorry Mac users L); however, some tips here can still apply.
If you spend any amount of time on the internet, you’ll know one thing is certain: there’s a lot of information on it. Whether it’s mainstream news sites or that fandom forum you hang out in, you’re being bombarded with information on a constant basis anytime you spend even a remote amount of time on the internet. Unfortunately, this brings about another truth: not all that information you see is trustworthy. With each passing year this becomes clearer and clearer, and as wiser people will tell you, it’s up to you to verify the information and the sources. Yet, few people actually explain how this is done. This is not to mention that many people miss discussing the subtle ways that information is manipulated, which is perhaps even more rampant when it comes to misinformation. As such, though I can only cover a few, I would like to give you some of my own tips in evaluating information you see for accuracy. My intent, here, is not to disparage anyone; rather, I only wish to equip everyone with better ideas of what they should look for.
With that said, these are my beginner’s tips for evaluating information.
Assuming you’re a serious writer, you are mostly likely actively trying to improve your writing. Whether it’s through tons of practice, writer’s workshops, or anything else, you’re striving to achieve masterpiece status (even if it’s a distant dream). Of course, anybody will tell you the best way to improve is to share your writing and get other’s opinions about it. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to find others for this purpose. Some people are simply just too shy, and, while you should work to improve that, it’s a sympathetic position to be in. In other cases, like my own, you simply just don’t know anybody who actively is willing/has time to read and comment on your pieces. Thus, you can often find yourself in a position where you have to critique your own writing. Given individual biases though, how does one do this effectively?
Today, I would like to give you my tips on just that. Hopefully, by following these, you can learn to evaluate your works more objectively and improve on them yourself.
Let’s just address the elephant in the room: not a whole lot of people like math. Particularly in the creative fields, it is often expressed that math is the bane of existence. It usually doesn’t matter whether someone is good or bad either; math is just seen as something that is the antithesis of creativity.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to subsequently find a ton of math and number errors in stories. Whether it be ages and dates not matching up or distances to locations not making sense, even the most popular stories tend to have these (franchises like Harry Potter included). While in most cases the error is fairly minor, you’d be wrong to think fans will never notice. As a story gains more popularity, these sorts of errors will stick out like a sore thumb. Sure, no one will probably call you out on it unless it causes a plot hole. BUT they will notice.
So, what should you do about it? Today I would like to share with you some of my tips for making sure you get your math and various numbers right. Some of these are going to apply for people bad at math, and some can be applicable regardless of your skill level. Either way, they are something to consider when writing any story.
While I am certainly no outstanding expert on RPG Maker, I have clocked in a few hundred hours between RPG Maker VX Ace and RPG Maker MV. I even have three completed games that you can view on my game studio site, Illimitable Galaxies. As such, I have overcome a lot of trials in regards to using the engine to create games. With both programs going on sale pretty often, I feel it’d be relevant for me to pass some of my personal tips for those just starting out the engine. Keep in mind, these tips really only apply to the two programs mentioned above; I have no idea how applicable my tips are for other entries into the RPG Maker series, such as RPG Maker XP. However, hopefully you will find the following tips helpful as you first learn the program and start your path into making a game.
As you may or may not know, as Writing Director of StArt Faire I review webcomics/indie comics every month for the magazine. I’ve got a number of them under my belt now, so you can definitely say I have experience being a critic. If you haven’t read any of those, you may have glanced at some of my reviews that are available here on the blog for other sorts of medium (games, TV, etc.).
However, despite having reviewed so many things, I realized I’ve yet to give proper tips for writing reviews. Thus, today I would very much like to rectify that. Now, being able to analyze whatever it is your reviewing is another matter entirely (and possibly a post for later). My tips for writing reviews are geared specifically for the writing portion of reviewing. That being said, hopefully you will find the following tips useful to your endeavors.