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Writer's Circle is a place to work with your fellow writers to improve your skills, get advice, get help and to provide more opportunities for writing at Gay Authors.

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Writing Club
  1. What's new in this club
  2. If there is anything I've learned in my time researching writing techniques and how different authors tackled their writing styles, it's this very simple concept that seemed to always come back to the forefront. The idea that if you set something up, you need to have at least one payoff for it. This is broader than just if you have a beginning you need to have an ending, or if you show a gun in the first act you need to use it by the third act. Every element you introduce into your story should be put in there with a payoff in mind. I think using this kind of thinking has helped me get through more writers block than anything else over the years. A setup in the way I see things is any element you introduce into a story. Lets say we have a character. He's in his mid twenties, an alcoholic, working a dead end job, and is just having a rough time at life in general. There is a lot in what I just said that set up things that I can pay off later in the story. That pay off doesn't have to happen in the characters future either. That payoff can come in the form of backstory, characters from his past, how his apartment looks, whatever. Any element that is birthed from the details you initially provided with that description pays off your set ups. Maybe we learn why he's already an alcoholic, or how he feels about being one, maybe he really wants to change his life but he's been stuck in such a rut he doesn't see a way out of it. You can further pay off that idea by showing his apartment strewn with empty bottles that he hasn't bothered to throw out, late bills piling up on his table that he doesn't want to look at, maybe angry people banging on his door that he owes money too. Not only are those descriptive elements payoffs, they are potential plot threads you can expound upon in the story. Each payoff to the initial setups can cascade into being their own setups and organically grow into a plot. By asking what the character really wants to be if he wasn't in this situation, you can have a payoff of opportunity for him to start changing his living conditions. Maybe he has this guy he really wants to date, but he doesn't want to drag him into the slovenly depressed lifestyle he finds himself in. Maybe him wanting to actually make something of himself encourages him to reach out to people who can support him into a new life. You can build a whole lot of hi-jinks into this, making it as dramatic or even as comedic as possible. Maybe he's got this friend who he asked to help him stop drinking, and that friend has taken his new duty in life to a damn near comical degree, crusading against every bottle that should dare touch his hand or mouth. He pops out of nowhere like a ninja to deal devastating death to Budweiser cans everywhere. Or maybe it's family who is trying to give him a second chance and it gets really dramatic cause he starts slipping back into drinking after something stressful in the story happens. I find this way of thinking about things really helps to bust through writers block. When you're stuck just ask yourself 'what have I set up in the story so far? what kind of payoff can I employ from the elements I already have to push this story into a direction I want.' Once you start thinking about it and asking questions about the elements you've introduced into the story, ideas will start to popcorn up for you pretty quick, at least in my experience they do. It's all about asking questions of your story elements and using improvisation to find the answers to those questions that'll lead to the continuation and ultimate conclusion of your story. Do you use this kind of method in your writing? Would you use it if you haven't before? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
  3. Creative Dialogue: "You must be mad, coming here like this." The captain stalked to his desk and leaned over it. His piercing gaze struck me and turned my icy determination to water. "I dare you to say that again."
  4. Use the following words in a story: dodge help deep bodyguard strawberry wind
  5. I managed to get one written, finally! https://gayauthors.org/story/valkyrie/promptingsfromvalhalla/39
  6. Creative What If: There's an old tree I fell asleep under. I dreamed about the family who picnicked under it 50 years ago, and the family who will picnic under it in 50 years time.
  7. First Line: He'd never forgotten those teenage years
  8. English Grammar is a fickle and temperamental beast. I have a tumultuous relationship with it to put it lightly. Usually what I end up doing is writing out the story, then I let it sit for an hour or so before I go back and read it out loud as it is written. I usually can spot weird tense usage and other grammatical hiccups when I do that. Reading it out loud as it is written also removes your mental filter of what you think you wrote in comparison to what you actually wrote.
  9. There's just a little over a week to go before the submission deadline. How's everyone's stories coming along?
  10. Creative Scene: It is fast approaching the holidays, and you are a solider stationed overseas. You haven't had any contact with family or friends for about a month due to logistical obstacles. What will you do to help you through the coming weeks?
  11. Creative Dialogue: "What's in that bag and why are you hiding it there?" My already racing heart tried to leap out of my throat. I tried to say something, anything, but gibberish fell past my lips. "I asked you a question." He punctuated the words with a poke to my chest
  12. I own this entire course on DVD. Definitely interesting.
  13. Gosh, I have dozens of stories collecting visual dust in my computer. One I wish I could finish, probably has the most potential of anything I've ever written. I've got about 100,000 words with pages and pages of notes along with pieces of the story to work in somehow. Almost got David McLeod from here to work on it with me but... I guess life got in the way.
  14. The two words are closely related. To my mind, ENVISION indicates more imagination than VISION, which indicates something more concrete. Although VISION can also indicate imagination. Harry talked in terms so concrete that his audience clearly understood his vision. Harry envisioned the concept so clearly he had no trouble describing it to those who would need to share that vision. Clear as mud?
  15. An interesting question. This made me analyze my own writing - and I didn't like the outcome. IMHO, (generally) in writing, porn will describe graphically. Erotica will describe generally. Romance will describe emotionally. I would add, at least for me, for the majority of erotica I have read, I often skip the sex scenes. They rarely add to the story - if it's a story you're after and not sex scenes. I choose to believe there are classier ways to advance a plot. (And now I am left with a whole lot or rewriting to do!). Even in erotica, I'm looking for the emotional connection and romance - not only between characters but between them and me too.
  16. Word List. Use the following words in a story: Zombie, Jack-o-Lantern, Monkey and Easter Ham
  17. First Line: Spider threads caught at his face, as sign that no-one had been there yet.
  18. I read somewhere that gay online stories started with gay internet porn, then writers developed a plot and storylines, and so became what you might label erotic gay stories. Published gay themed literature always existed, with or without sex scenes. So how do you qualify when including sex in a story, what is pornographic and what is simply erotic, where is the difference? Where is the line drawn? My own interpretation is very simple, but I would be interested in what other writers, and readers think. For myself it is a simply question of detail, which is best demonstrated by example. Herbie lay melancholy on his back with his hands behind his head as his long hot prick stand straight up from his small grouping of dark black pubes. His head was turned and his eyes were obviously on the young boy. “Feel me,” he ordered with a deep unfamiliar voice. The stomach hand slid down until it was massaging the solid pole. The fingers looked inadequate as they slid up from the bottom to the top and then back to the bottom in easy motions. Timmy’s face turned downward as he watched his handwork. The words highlighted in bold are pornographic the scene is part of an erotic story. Were the scene to be rewritten. Herbie lay melancholy on his back with his hands behind his head and his erection standing up proud. His head was turned and his eyes were obviously on the young boy. “Feel me,” he ordered with a deep unfamiliar voice. The other's hand moved down until it rested wrapped around the target. The fingers looked inadequate as they slid up and down in easy motions. Timmy’s face turned downward as he watched his handwork. The edited version is sexual, erotic, but not in any way pornographic. Do you agree, or do you have a different interpretation? I haven't written graphic sex scenes and hence the topic for discussion.
  19. I am only really talking here about the way that I envision the two words in my own mind... In my mind envision is a verb whilst vision is a noun. Admittedly, dictionary.com does say that vision could be used as a verb, but (a) they define it as having the meaning to envision (or to picture mentally), and (b) the example they give only uses it in its infinitive form: "She tried to vision herself in a past century." Any attempt to conjugate that verb (I vision, you vision, he visions, etc) just wouldn't sound right to me. I would either have used envision, or possibly something much simpler (such as see), if I were to have used that dictionary.com example. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/vision (Just my 2 cents)
  20. No. With envision you would be dealing with ideas or concepts which are or at least may be possible. With vision you you are only dealing with belief. A magician can envision a new illusion and create it, what the audience sees is the vision part. Mere belief doesn't make something concrete. When you are creating characters, scenes, and plots for a story, this is envisioning. When you have it on the page, it is concrete. However, if you start thinking what you have written actually exists in the real world, it is vision. Go back and read the definition again. The key difference hinges on belief.
  21. Wouldn't this be the other way around. Envision is the imaginary dog, vision is the real world?
  22. You can envision walking your dog when you get home. In contrast, the invisible dog only you can see would be the use of vision.
  23. "Listen," Your soon to be ex boyfriend says in what he thinks is a calming tone, "I didn't mean to crash the space ship alright? That asteroid came out of nowhere. Lets just find some supplies and see what we can do about repairing the hull, please?" Trapped on an uncharted habitable planet with your air head of a lover and pilot, your task is to try to survive long enough in this blasted alien world to get off it in one piece. Figuring out how to do this without throttling the man next to you is an entirely different matter.
  24. A person can envision something even if they know it is simply a construct, not something that is actually true. A vision is usually of something that actually or can exist in nature or the physical world. Sci-fi writers have to envision their world and build it for others to envision it even though it is all speculation, albeit it might be based somewhat on science.
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