November 2023's Writer Support Thread

Strunk & White’s the Elements of Style!


Well, I’ve just started editing my first complete project, and currently what I’m doing is making a ‘reverse outline,’ which is essentially just going back and producing an outline of the work as it is. I’m finding this helpful for getting a “zoomed out” look at my overall structure, and I’m optimistic it will help me figure out where things need to be trimmed or reordered or paced differently in a way just looking at individual chapter files may not.

It is really easy to get lost in the weeds of a complete work, particularly a big one, and so finding a way to get the forest view is really quite nice, even if also time-consuming.

But hey, what do I know—this is my first time getting this far.


I read “revenge outline” and wondered briefly what story that is :sweat_smile:


The need for one is revenge on myself for not having a large-scale outline before starting the project, I’m sure. ^^;


Passed 11000 words for A Familiar Magic tonight now trying to create twelve minor characters whose role is to take part in this magic event just to show the player and the young witch what event they will take part in next year.

They need to be interesting but at the same time expendable to the plot as they won’t be seen past this event scene.

I’ve got a fine line to walk with this planning.


Best of luck to you! That is quite a number of characters to make pop!


Thanks and I’ve just realised that technically I will also have to create twelve Familiars as well :expressionless:

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Just a boring celebration

Well… planning my next chapter has been going pretty well but has had a spanner thrown in the works thanks to general household wintry illness :weary: wishing good health and energy for all in this northern hemisphere wintertime!


A classic choice. This is a great recommendation.

I would add watching Brandon Sanderson’s lectures on fantasy writing---- even if you are not writing a fantasy. They span about a decade and are free on Youtube. I binged a whole year in one week and followed along with the exercises.

This is what I do. Just put boots to the ground and walk. I pull up the working game and the notepad side by side and get plugging away. I take specific paths to areas of concern to see how they look. I often fiddle with punctuation and wording---- or check for consistencies---- or lack there of. I’m always finding something.

I am moving along my big chapter 3---- shoveling-up the old story---- holding onto the good stuff----- and adding what is missing. Having been converted into a writing survivalist, I will use any tactics that work to keep the machine moving. It is really nice to read what others do to organize---- or how their process works.

I have dorky maps and poorly sketched scenes of all the major areas in my story---- so I know where I’m going----- and where buildings or natural structures are located. Then I set loose my characters to do what they will---- but have a few goals for each to give them a little direction.


I find the prospect of plotting a murder mystery / thriller / crime fiction to be rather overwhelming, if not completely impossible. (possibly connected to how I find writing character motivations very difficult)
But half the story ideas I have, especially the ones that feels like they should be a traditional novels and not IF, are some sort of horror or supernatural crime noir. :sweat_smile:

Feels like different parts of my brain have very different ideas of what I should be doing.


Not sure if we’re past the excerpt sharing this month but here’s something from what I’m working on. I gave myself permission to indulge for a few paragraphs.

Rocking black masts against a clear blue sky, like shadows up to the heavens.

There are crew with wings, not metaphorical, but real, feathery and wide, soaring in the thermals rising from the hot black wood of the Lady Void.

Dandy transforms herself into a great bird, a pelican at home in the ocean air, while Pon watches with amusement from midway up the ratlines. This is a place where few can bother him.

One of the few who can bother him is a woman with wings where arms ought to grow. She is a harpy, her voice like tinkling windchimes but her claws as sharp as Pon’s.

“Nefflyre,” she says, introducing herself.

Those tinkling windchimes are half as old as I am.


Glad to see everyone still kicking. I come to this thread every now and then to feed off of your guys’ energy and boy, do I admire the passion and work ethic here. Let us all make it to the end of our WIPs and look back with a proud smile. Maybe make a celebration thread or something.

Anyways, don’t look too far ahead. Just focus on what you have to do now.


Lord almighty, this month has kicked my ASS. I’m so tired. I can’t even remember what the last thing I posted here was, so I have no idea how to compare where I am to where I’ve been.

I just… wish I had made more progress in the last 5 months. But I think everyone does, yknow? Like, it’s just a fact of life, when you love a project, you wish it was magically done already and you could hold it in your hands.

What even am I supposed to be doing right now. TAT I could finish writing the new section I’m working on… or I could make the Jpgs for the glossary-words, and get those implemented. I dunno. Both require a lot of time and energy to get right. Both are valuable… but which one is worth the limited time I have right now?

(to be fair, I’m using that limited time rn to make this post too, soooooo)


If it’s any consolation, I feel your pain so much right now. I’ve just been inching along in my own WIP for the past few months, and only just recently started to (maybe) approach a possible update.


I feel ya. Do you make portraits for all your Characters?


I’d recommend considering completing your copy first; the art is important, but finishing your draft even more so.


Question - do you use a particular method for this? I have a tool bookmarked for eventual use but as much as I go crazy for maps in real life, I struggle to sit down and create one even with that. A blank page is a fun opportunity when I write, and a vaguely-worded threat when I’m trying to draw :joy:


I wonder if this is just a lull but I’ve not written much the past few days either. Despite setting myself a target of 1000 words a day. I know what I want to write I just haven’t felt like it lately. I’m making myself sit down a bit later to do some writing tonight.