Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Tips for New Writers

I'm sure many of the Dinklings will agree with me when I say that writing in the Ditto Story is a truly unique experience. However, this uniqueness can be confusing for those who are just starting. To help alleviate this confusion, here's some tips, courtesy of BERNINBUSH (though slightly edited for the current thread titles and such), and some advice from some of the other Dinklings. :) Hopefully, this will help anyone who wants to join our wonderful world!


1. Read the rules! (well duh...) Boo-kay the Bucket has posted the "hard-and-fast" guidelines at the top of the first page in the Inn Between thread. If you have any questions about anything, you can PM a Ditto Town mod and they'll be happy to explain.

2. Read as much as you can of the current story and the previous stories so you understand what's going on in Ditto Town. The previous stories are archived at http://www.katscornergraphics.com/ditto.html in a downloadable format. The Post Office, Sherriff's Department, and Library (Old mini characters census) threads contain short biographies of many of the characters that have appeared in all the stories (though you may want to use the links in the Character Index; otherwise, that would be quite a chore!). Look through all the information on this page, the Ditto Story Index, too. (It's not that long!)

3. Make a character of your own. The Ditto Census contains little questionnaires that help you think about what your character should be like. If you still don't know where to start, any of the experienced writers will help you. Needless to say, this is the DITTO TOWN story, so your character should either start out in Ditto Town or be planning to go there soon.

4. You don't need anyone's permission to post your first segment in the story, introducing your character. But make sure it doesn't conflict with anything that has already been posted. If you want your character to interact with someone else's character, contact the "owner" of that character by PM to discuss it with them. We all do this as a courtesy so that we don't interfere with someone else's planned story line. In fact, we often collaborate with one another in co-writing posts. You'll be amazed how the interaction between writers can often produce a segment that's better than the sum of what they could have done independently!

5. Don't get insulted if someone asks you to change something (especially if it relates to their character). Writing a collaborative story is a process of compromise and cooperation.

6. Don't forget to BE CREATIVE and HAVE FUN! :o)


Helpful advice:

shastastwin (Author of Chase, Greya, Ambrose, and many others): "Don't forget to develop your characters. Even in the midst of a magnificent, convoluted plot, your characters have to be more than two-dimensional cartoons. I know this from my own experiences and from what others have told me about my characters."

starkat (Author of the Ditto Rider/Katherine Grayson and Ryder Knight; one of the original Dinklings): When in doubt, ask! If no one answers, keep asking until someone does. :)

No matter what you may think about the level of your writing, jump right in. We were all beginners at one time. (You should see some of my early pieces!)

Above all, no matter what else, have FUN! Even if your plotline’s running solo for awhile, Ditto Story participation is about the love of writing and crossing paths with other characters.

Ryadian (Author of Phoenix Archer & co.): "Keep in mind that this is both your character's story, and a co-operative story. Go through the proper development of your characters and plotlines, but try to keep in touch with the other characters and plots in the story. It will make your experience far more enjoyable."

Note from Rya: Any additional advice for this page would be greatly appreciated. :)