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/lit/ - Literature / Fanfic / Poetry

M-my hands are w-writing on their own~!
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Captchas didn't work. Sticking to janitors while we try to think of something else.

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Writing literature takes a lot of finesse, understanding, and most importantly, knowledge of what makes a good story. Characters, settings, and background, as well as the events within your story, are what make up any piece of literature. I'd like to discuss all these things, share what we know and what we think makes good ones…..and bad ones, and discuss them, with any luck we may all become better writers because of it.

So to get things started off, I'd like to discuss what makes a good character. Definition, first of all but of course you have to make sure that personality gets known. Even if you have them fully defined in your head, you have to make sure that definition is reflected in everything they do. Personally, I find that the minute details and inconsequential actions a character does, defines them more than anything else. Although their dialogue plays a heavy role too. Its sort of like the whole "Han shot first" business, having not shot first would change his character. What are your opinions?
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Warning, tl;dr.

The way I construct a character largely depends on whether or not I have an audience, and what type of audience I may be writing for. For personal stories or roleplay characters I usually give my characters months of thought, trying to get to know them personally to quote Conlan. I like to have every detail in place before I put them into writing, but that in and of itself is a process. When I finally write out these characters I will literally dump my brain out onto the page, writing every tiny little detail I have imagined. Then, over the course of the week, I will reread the text each day, sometimes more than once, and selectively omit details that are superfluous. The text slowly sees itself whittled down from Tolkien-esque information overload to a more concise and easy-to-read mass that tells readers what they need to know.

I find it's helpful sometimes to shear these details down to the barest minimums, as in three or four word descriptions or one-word traits, and write them down on a notecard or in a separate document. As you write your story, bring up this card or document and check for consistency. Is your character still behaving in a way consistent with their original character? Ask yourself why (or why not). Is it because of actual character development or because you changed your mind about how you want that character to behave? If you're finding that you lack consistency, you should step back from your work and re-evaluate your character. The problem with the idea that you know your character so well is the fact that you can sometimes assume that these inconsistencies are simply part of the character. Sometimes they are, but a lot of the time they aren't, and it can make for a somewhat confusing character. It's okay to have gaps where you're not really sure where you or your character stand[s], that can leave room for development, but glaring inconsistencies can ruin a character.

If I'm writing for an audience who will ideally project themselves onto the character I prefer to leave things more vague so that the reader will have an easier time projecting themselves onto the character. If you flesh out a character too much they become just that— a character. They become less of a reader avatar and more of a person. You will see this sort of vague "archtyping" in a lot of high fantasy novels, especially older ones aimed strongly at men. The character will often be more of a template.

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>>198 I'm really impressed, thats more of a system than I've ever had, and it seems like it works well. Theres some really good advice there, and I can attest to how well writing out your characters on flash cards works.
Your system does bring a question to my mind though. You seem to write with other people in mind. I find it a bit constricting to do that however. Inspiration comes to me much easier if I don't have to think about weather or not whoever will be reading it will like it. Do you think there is an actual difference or do you think I'm just finicky.


>You seem to write with other people in mind.
Sometimes. A lot of the time I don't, I have a lot of stories that I write purely for my enjoyment. When it comes to these I allow myself a little more leeway and my plot/characters become more flexible or amorphous. Oftentimes my personal work will be so chock full of inconsistency after new inspiration strikes that I will completely shift the story into new territory if I like my later ideas better.

>Do you think there is an actual difference
Conventions, or even having a system can make a world of difference as far as cohesion goes. I think that if you want to get something done quickly and without much room for deviation I suggest writing as if you have an audience— even if you don't. Again, I like to get to the point with my work, I prefer never to overwrite, so I can be stiff sometimes. That said, you're not being finicky at all in my opinion!

If there's anything else I can offer my advice on I'd love to hear it. I'd also like to know more about other people's processes.

I ♥ /lit/.


>>205 That makes a lot of sense, I suppose why I prefer to write for myself is because first off, I know my audience very well and I consider anyone else who enjoys it a bonus. Your post does make me realize something though; I should probably have some sort of actual system for writing. I'm a novice writer, with little actual experience. The reason I know what I know is because as ashamed I am to say it, I spend more time studying writing than I do actually writing myself. Which I suppose isn't necessarily bad, but I don't get the things we're talking about down to habit and I don't know my own writing style as well. All of that being said, I'm hoping this thread stays near the top of the /lit/ board; because studying good works is one thing, but active conversation and opinion on them is something else entirely.
Oh and I appreciate your opinion a lot, and as I come across things on my "adventures" as a writer, I'll definitely consult you, anon.
If you can't tell, I ♥♥♥♥♥♥ /lit/ as well.


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>I spend more time studying writing than I do actually writing
I promise you, you aren't alone. I spent years studying writing and the processes thereof, which is how I developed the system I like to use now. Habit is great sometimes, but it can suffocate you creatively if you get too stuck in your ways. This is another thing you can see in the works of famous writers (Anne Rice is probably the best example). Subject matter, content, style— it's great to know where you stand on these things, but some writers just won't write anything else, so lacking systematic discipline can sometimes be good for you.

How long have you been writing? Regardless of the answer, I want to tell you not to worry too much about knowing your style just yet. It can take years to find a style you're really comfortable with. I still change my writing style every now and then based on who I'm reading or if I'm writing with someone else, and I've been writing for most of my life.

Always happy to help, good luck on your adventures in writing. Hope to learn a bit from you too when you come up with something new, and you will. I'll try to keep this thread bumped with relevant additions.

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Would poetry be considered literature? Anyway, here is a poem I wrote. Constructive criticism please. Also please tell me what you think it means, I want to know how it comes across.

Hell is not quite as warm
As I thought it'd be
In fact its quite cold
And very, very lonely
You could even say
That the Sun's lazy, gentle rays
Aren't what causes Earth's warmth
Each and every day

But the smiling faces of those
Who walk upon the ground
Cause the planets hospitable
Heat to endless abound
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I like it.
it has flow, and brevity.
keep writing. (:


I think this is so beautiful, and, just… skfkgkh.

It has a lovely rhyme to it, and upon reading it I was just struck by the need to comment.

I've never commented on Uboachan before, so damn you.


Oh wow, I completely forgot about this thread, may have to post something again here soon. Also, thanks for the praise lovely people. ;D


Not a poem, though nonetheless is meant to flow the same. Wrote it impromptu while listening to Debussy.

taken tiny as a reed
splendid steel
flustered seagull
assorted dumpling march
jumping on one heel
how does a lake feel
encouraged storm thunder scorn delivered underwhelming bristled horn
cast, casted
last, outlasted
fasting spline
function remastered
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And this is just something I did in order to say "fuck you" to people who write line upon line without saying one god damned thing.

tyrannous beauty's reprieve
a solipsist flower
in shackles settle
your narcissist power

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A second-person exploration piece that I did for my Writer's Craft course. I hope you enjoy it.

Picture unrelated.



in my writer's craft course i wrote a thing about hamsters and penises and i got a 90%
i let a hamster slowly starve to near-death before feeding it a tiny ball of chocolate and then it died.
the teacher thought it was hilarious.


I don't even have an Ipod, how can I relate? And why would I wish to touch the source of my alarm?


I would like jewels which I can pull out of the room description to cause my death plz. Needs more Shadowgate.


I don't have an ipod either, but i can relate to this story. A bit to good actually. GREAT WORK, KEEP IT UP!

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This is a collection of Rare and BANNED books. (and some other interesting stuff too)
Note: Reading these books could make you extremely smart, OR get you into trouble.
Having said that, the good stuff is at this link.


Enjoy anons


Uh Legit?


there are some very silly titles in that collection… not really what i was thinking when i read and saw the image for "banned" books

not sure if legit or not.


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not sure if the silly names or that they were banned is funniest


Because when I think Maya Angelou, I think subversive.

Bwa ha ha ha!

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You wake up in a sterile, windowless hospital ward. It is brightly lit by a fluorescent light and beside it is a ceiling fan. You look down and see that your entire body is enveloped by bandages; almost like a cocoon, you are covered from head to toe, but your limbs are still free to move. You attempt to move your right arm but it does not respond. With an extreme force of will, you raise your arm an inch above the bed sheet, only to let it crash back down a moment later as a wall of pain breaches your consciousness and momentarily turns the world into colours. Stars streak across your vision while you promise yourself not to do something like that again. For now, you take the time to observe the room you are in (without twisting your neck; that action appears to be impossible in your current state).

There is little to say about it: its walls have been painted entirely in white and the square tiles are a light grey. Your bed sheets are also white. The metal frame of the bed is light blue. Beside your bed is a stand holding up a bag of intravenous drip, attached by a thin, clear tube to your left arm. Opposite of you is the door out of the tiny, barren room. It is of a beige colour.

As you try to grasp your predicament, your mind slowly begins to drift into the sea of the past. Memories begin to play across your vision like an overlay of film. Images of people running about like ants around a destroyed anthill oscillate in and out of existence. A warm, orange glow spreads upon the walls of the room, flickering, as if there is a flame in the room. You close your eyes, hoping to rid yourself of the hallucinations. However, you rapidly descend into unconsciousness…


It is dark - not impenetrably dark, for the full moon is casting its silver light through the closed windows that you stand beside. The room you are in is filled with damp newspapers. The aroma of gasoline permeates the air. A trickle of sweat rolls down your forehead as you tighten your grip on your hostage. You have your arm across his chest, restraining him, and your knife near his face.

"P-please, let me go, I-I'll do anything," whispers the old man.

You scrape your knife across the skin of his neck as you tell him, "Shut it."

You look opposite to you and all you see is the glint of the handgun. That is what you focus on as a third voice calmly commands: "Let go of him, drop the knife, and raise your hands slowly into the air." You stand still, reflecting the cop's cold exterior.

"I don't think so," you reply, as you adjust the grip on your victim. You free up your right hand and reach into your pocket to find a detonator, which you take out deliberately and show to the police officer. You let the moonlight illuminate it. "I think you should reconsider your position." You can faintly see the officer scowl and grit his teeth. He holsters his weapon and shows his hands.

"Now, now," he says. "Let's not make any rash decisions here. You'll blow yourself up too." There is a brief pause, during which you smirk.

"I'm counting on it."

You press the button on the detonator.
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The door is shaking so hard that you feel as though it will disintegrate at any moment. Its vibrations wrack the entire room; the stand from which your bag of IV drip hangs is rattling, as is your bed's frame. The entire room trembles in fear, like a child cowering underneath its sheets, hiding from a dark terror behind a closet door. You can make out a distant howling of wind through the sound of the quake; oh, how you wish that it is only as simple as a tornado in the middle of an earthquake. But deep in the dark recesses of your soul, you know that what is outside of the door is far more malevolent than a mere show of violence on nature's behalf. As the unrelenting shaking grows, it slowly invades those recesses of your soul, destroying the barriers between them and your consciousness, bringing the most primal and animalistic nightmares forth; and still, you cannot scream, for help or out of pure trepidation.

With the force of a giant's punch, the door slams open. Silently, you watch in horror as you gaze out of the frame into a black abyss dotted with glistening lights reminiscent of light shining across the backs of a million carapaces. The howling is like the death rattles of a god. Every fibre of your being resonates with the disharmonious music. The storm in is full force now; all of the air feels as though it is being sucked into the fathomless darkness by a whirlwind. Your instinct is to run away, hide in a corner, and screw shut your eyes, but you are fixated upon the fissure of reality. You thrash about in your bed, making muffled croaks, ignoring the spasms of pain that shoot through your limbs and torso, all the while watching that aberrant gap in the wall, as though an abomination would crawl out of it. Your fear is almost palpable.

Finally, as if to collect your terror in a pail, it comes. It first appears as a dark speck moving across the pinpricks of light in the background of the unholy vista. Then, you see it flying toward you; the gallows. The obsidian structure smashes into the floor, shattering into innumerable fragments, which collect by themselves and coalesces once more into that unbearable sight - the gallows. Reflecting upon its hard surface is a conflagration devouring an apartment. Out of thin air, a rope appears above the gallows and ties itself to the hanging arm. The other end stretches towards you and wraps around your neck, wrestling you from beneath your sheets, pulling you to the gallows. You fight to Post too long. Click here to view the full text.


You cannot tell whether the howling is from the outside or your own voice as you struggle and choke, swinging from the gallows. You claw at the rope around your neck, ignoring the pain that wracks your body. But there is no escape.

There is no escape, not for a criminal like you. There is no escape, not for a failure like you. There is no escape, not for filth like you. There is no escape, not from the despair that strangles you. There is no escape, not from the punishment you sought to cheat with a painless death. There is no escape, not from the suffering eternal. There is no escape.

When the nurses come in to check your status, they open the door and scream. They find you hanging from the ceiling fan, strung up by your IV drip's cord.

You are dead.


I approve thoroughly and whole heartedly

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is this a farce


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mfw the person who wrote this also liked and followed me on jottify

Also, I liked the wordplay in your work. It was interesting and although I'm not very fond of erotica, it was amusing and kept me engaged lol

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owow, cool story bro!


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Psst, post this in /lit/ and you'll probably get responses if it's a legit story. I'll read it and let you know what I think of it later. It's pretty long and I'm busy at the moment, soooo yeah.


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I agree


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that is… not an appropriate response to /lit/ posts and i think you need to re-evaluate why you came here in the first place. :p

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Looking for advice.

I'm going to write a first person story taking place in a mental ward; the tone is meant to be distopian, but not flat out depressing. I've got the basic outline of the story, but the problem is I don't know how to start. I'm thinking of opening with a dream to introduce the patient's view of himself/build character, or should I begin sometime in the afternoon to show introduce how a typical afternoon would go? Just give me some ideas, please?
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if that is an honest suggestion, they wouldn't let him in.
When I went to a mental hospital they had everything on lock down. Only visitors for patients could enter.



>>38 that was half serious and half insult. It's a habit.


>>26 Well first you need to realize what your story is focused on. Are you focusing on the mental ward itself or this specific patient? If the patient consider this, are you writing it from the patients warped perspective? Or are you writing it as if we were looking through their eyes. How long are you going to make it? If its a short story then focus on the characters interactions with the world around him. If its a bit longer build the character a bit. Don't even neglect building the character completely though, because then its difficult to sympathize with them.

Most importantly though, if you are just writing this for fun, then just write whatever you want to write. Just have fun and let your thoughts flow on to the page, screen, papyrus, stone tablet, ect.


delicious mediums.
medium makes the message.

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Opening the Book
I first came to Uboachan shortly after completing the game and experiencing almost everything that the game had to offer. I wandered the boards, enjoying the posts and posting myself. But eventually, I felt like contributing to the board with my own brand of content. I write, so I wanted to breathe a new kind of life into Yume Nikki with the narrative that never was, but potentially could have been. Thus, Opening the Book was born and I first shared it here with the folks of Uboachan.

Then one day, the opened book closed and I moved on to other works on my writing site. Since then, Uboachan's gained a new board and I'm nearing the completion of my first full-length novel. So here I am, recreating the old thread that used to house Opening the Book. Why? Because I plan to reopen this closed book. The story has yet to see a proper conclusion I've realized. The other effects and events of Yume Nikki have yet to be explained or written. Once I finish my novel in a few chapters, I'm going to revisit this story, proofreading and updating with new content. I hope you all look forward to it!

Synopsis and Table of Contents:

As of posting this, the story has 13 chapters, complete with a good and bad end for you to choose from.

I will post again in the future when I have begun work on Opening the Book - Extra Effects. Just felt like sharing that I plan to build upon this work with you pleasant folks. See you guys then. ;D


You! I'm the one who read your pensive nonsense LIKE A BOSS from way back whenever.

Re: the good ending: I like moments like Mado laughing at a joking comment even as she's sobbing (we've all been there) & a certain character's disd in for TV dramas. I also like what happened with aunt Kaede, and I wonder if her real-life ordeals have a story or journal of their own.


You know, that's an interesting concept, if Aunt Kaede kept a journal of her own. It would shine a little bit of light on why she was so understanding of Madotsuki's dream diary.

Also, glad you enjoyed. :D I need to retcon a little bit of the Good End so I can fit in why the extra effect tie into the actual story. It'll be fun.


Good stuff.


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>Poniko chapter

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