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Tip #1: Write about what you know. If you're writing a love story in which the main female character is dumped by her boyfriend, think about what you have been through in your own personal experience, and think about how she might react. Does your character have a strong personality? Are they normally quite likeable? Do they have a weak personality, and they let people push them around? Or do they have a personality that is mysterious, and unpredictable? Once you have established a main character, only you, the author, can predict how they will react to a certain problem.

Tip #2: When beginning a story, and a chapter, it often helps to start the story/chapter in the middle of an action, because then you immediately grasp the reader's attention.

Tip #3: When writing a summary, you might want to include a very short excerpt from your story. That way, you get the reader intrigued. In a real, published book, the first thing that a person sees is the cover, second the title, and third, the back of the book, where the summary is usually located. But unless your work is already published (in which case, you probably don't need to read this), you don't have a cover for your stories, and the first thing the reader sees is the title, and then the summary. In order to capture the reader's attention, make your summary brief, and don't give too much away; you want to keep the reader wanting more.

Tip #4: Write about what is important to you. If you're writing about breaking up with a boyfriend, and that is something that has never happened to you, or is not important to you, then you can't write to your full potential because your heart isn't into it.

Tip #5: Your plot always has to be moving and getting somewhere. You don't want your story to hit a stand-still. You need a means of how your characters move forward in your plot, and you, the author, always need to know what route your plot will follow. You don't need to know all the details; just the basic plot line.

Tip#6: In your fictitious world, you need your limitations. Your characters are not invincible, and they can't live forever (unless their elves :-D). They don't breathe fire and they can't create force fields. Although many authors here I'm sure, myself included, wish that writing was that easy, it's not. You need to stick to the limitations that you give yourself (when writing an original story), or the limitations given you (when writing a story on fanfiction). If not, then your story doesn't make any sense. The rules that you created for your world in the beginning is how they MUST stay.

Tip#7: Description. This is a big one. You have to remember that the world you are trying to create through the use of words is one that most of the rest of the population may have trouble picturing, so describe, describe, describe. It doesn't have to be so filled with so much detail that the plot virtually doesn't exist, and all you're doing is setting the scene throughout the whole book - remember, the story must be going somewhere - but detail is still important, and it does set the scene, making it easier for the reader to picture what you as the author are trying to portray through your writing.

Tip#8: This has a little to do with the description thing. When you want to write something, and you struggle with describing stuff, get your ideas down on paper (or computer) first, and then add the description in afterwards. Now, for some people, they can just add it in as they go along. But if you are the kind of person who has so many ideas bouncing around in your head that you can't make heads or tails of it, you need to follow this tip, for your own sake as a writer. You need to make sure that you get your ideas down before you actually write anything substantial. That way, you will already have the ideas down when you start writing, and you don't need to worry about forgetting them.

Tip #9: This one was told to me by my friend of mine on fanfiction, whose penname is OnMyKnees. I learned this from her, because she gave me advice about my story, The Darkest Night. When writing in first person (third person, too, but mostly first person) you want to stick to one character. If you want to put it from another character's point of view, then write in third person, so your audience can relate more and connect more to your main character.

Tip #10: This one and the next were told to me by Direlda, here on dA. First of all, read as many books by as many different authors as you can. Find one or more authors whose style you like, and then try to imitate their way of wording things. Now, some may say this is plagiarism, but it's not. In fact, I myself have had to do exercises in school where I had to imitate an author's style of writing. this kind of exercise is good because it allows you to realize the difference between your own style and the style of your favorite authors. But that doesn't mean that when writing original stories/poetry, you should think, "How would so-and-so write this?" Of course, you have to add some of yourself to the mix. But doing some imitating exercises can not only help you see different ways of describing things, it can also enhance your vocabulary tremendously. The reason I am where I am is because the first novel I ever read was by C.S. Lewis. If anyone has read any of his books, then they know that his style of writing is very old English, and he has an extensive vocabulary used. (There are a lot words he uses that I don't understand; it's good to have a dictionary on hand, as well).

Tip #11: Practice (I can't believe I didn't think of this myself!). This is important. One can never improve if one does not practice. Dont' be discouraged if you think you're writing isn't good enough. It always starts out like that. (you should read some of my work from years ago. It was bad. And when I say bad, I mean bad). As they say, practise makes perfect, and it's absolutely true. If you don't think that you can self-edit enough to improve (which is a part of practice), then ask a few people to be your "editors" - people you can rely upon to edit your writing, find out where they think you can improve, and tell you where your strong suit is.

Tip #12: This is a kind of continuation of the previous tip. Just as you appreciate someone else's criticism, others will appreciate yours (not all, mind you). This is important because - not only will it help them - but you may find out that you are doing some of the same things they are doing that need improvement. Often, it's easier to find fault in someone else's work than with your own, so if you see them doing something that doesn't seem quite right, and you're doing the same thing, it will help you realize where your mistakes are much more readily. (Oh, and try to be polite when giving criticism. So many people don't realize they're being rude until someone gets all PO'd at them.) And, above all, when critiquing someone's work, always find at least one area where you think they are doing well. It tells them their strong suit, and also gives them a chance to improve other areas.

Tip #13: This was suggested to me by ~pralinkova-princezna. You need to have motivation. If you love writing poetry, but hate essays, it's going to be a lot harder for you to write an essay, than it will be to write a poem about the same topic. It has to do with what you're passionate about. Also, as a part of this, you need to be aware of who you're writing for, and why you're writing. If you have no purpose, then there's really no point. Even if you're only purpose is just for the pure pleasure of it, and just because you love to do it, then that's good. But unless you really know why you write, the motivation is less likely to be there.
These are a series of writing tips that I have picked up over the past few years. Some I found in a book, others I learned the hard way - by mistakes. I hope that these help you achieve your literary goals. And if you have any that you think would be good to add, let me know, and I'll add them.

Edit: Added a few more, with some help from Direlda. :D

Edit: If you're looking for more help, I recommend Gail Carson Levine's book, "Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly". I think it's less than $10 to buy. I'm not advertising, but I own the book, and I've found it helpful

~Bey:boing:nd-the-Pages~
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:iconyokubo-kuro:
yokubo-kuro Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014  Student General Artist
These tips really helped me. Thank you for creating this.
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome. :)
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:iconhoneyducess:
HoneyDucess Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
Great tips, I'm glad to find any tips to help me write. Though the most difficult part for me is always coming up with a title for stories... Would you be able to suggest something?
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I usually take something from the story itself that describes what's happening. So if you had a story about a shape-shifting girl who transforms into a phoenix, I might call it Phoenix Rising. That's a poor example, but it's the only one I have at the moment. Nine times out of ten, though, I write much of the story before I give it a title.
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:iconhoneyducess:
HoneyDucess Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
Then... The story involves travelling to another world through a mirror. (ripping of one of the Alice books, much?) So it could be called Beyond the Mirror, or something like that?
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
In that particular case, because it is so close to Alice in Wonderland, I would avoid something like that because it sounds too close to Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass. But that's the general idea. You could also try naming the story after the major plot/conflict.
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:iconhoneyducess:
HoneyDucess Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
It's actually just the travel through mirrors that is similar to that book, though... Is that wwhat it's called in English? I've only ever heard the Swedish title, see, so I didn't know. I'll try to find a better name, then.
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Good luck! :)
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:iconunknownvizard:
unknownvizard Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much for the tips! They're very useful!
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome. :D That's the hope (that they're useful). :) And thanks for the :+fav: :)
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:icondemonrei9991:
demonrei9991 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2012
good tips, sadly i've never had a boyfriend, but i've been rejected before
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I know what you mean, and thanks. The experiences you draw on don't have to be identical to what you're writing about, but the emotional part of it needs to be similar. So if you even got rejected from a college you really wanted to go to, for example, drawing on that feeling and applying it to what you're writing is a great tool.
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:icondemonrei9991:
demonrei9991 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2012
ah, that sounds good, but sadly, i am often very unfeeling or very emotional. it all depends on the day
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
:shrug: It all depends on the person, I guess. Otherwise, I'd suggest research.
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:icondemonrei9991:
demonrei9991 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2012
i love research :3
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:iconloupup:
LouPup Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2011
Thank you so much for this!!

Do you think its alright if I copy a few of these down into my book? I keep a book on story writing tip ideas I pick up from places, some a things I've found on the internet or dA (like this) and some a just random things people say that I turn into a tip.
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
No problem. :) And go for it; they're there to share. Besides, I got most of them from a book in high school, the name of which I don't remember. If you're looking for more tips, I recommend "Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly" by Gail Carson Levine. I'm not advertising; I just think it's a helpful, easy read for aspiring writers. :)
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:iconloupup:
LouPup Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2011
Thanks and I will see what the book is like.
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome. :)
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:iconharborjack:
HarborJack Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've always wanted to make a title with another header under it like "Lord of the Rings:The Two Towers" kinda deal because I've written the first story and is working on the second but I'm not sure what the second title of the book under the main one would be. Like... I dont want to write The Light Flickered and then its The Light Flickered 2 because that would be sorta lame.
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
If I were you, I would think of a significant character, event, or place that is involved in the story, and I would include that as the secondary title. For example, if your story was about perhaps the death of a loved one, you could do "The Light Flickered: When the Candle Went Out", or something like that, the candle being a metaphor for death. Another option, instead of the extended title, is to mimic the original. So if the first story is "The Light Flickered" the second could be "The Candle Went Out".

I hope that makes sense, and helps. :)
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:iconharborjack:
HarborJack Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Now that I think about it. All these years I have been writing this story, I never really made sense of the title and why I named the book The Light Flickered.

I'm not sure it really goes with what I have molded this book into after all this time.

I also liked the suggestions you gave. Perhaps maybe you can help me come up with a better title?
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Sure. Is the story of dA? If not, what is it about?
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:iconharborjack:
HarborJack Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It is about people around the world being tested for a certain alien strand in their makeup which gives them abilities that any normal person just.. couldn't do naturally. Like being able to see through/walk through things, gather a ball of pure energy from any living source, lifting things with their minds and each power varies from person to person so they aren't all the same. There is only three of these alien people who are really important to the story line.

They are being harvested by one of the victims of the testing(he is one of the three) to make a master race of beings but is planing on ruining the "normal" peoples lives by splitting the earth into different planets with their own deities(or alien gods if you will)

But then there is people who are trying to stop it. Like some characters who work for the CIA and others around the world in the government type facilities.

That is pretty much all I can say without rambling and giving you a giant text wall. Because this stretches out into two or maybe even three books which there is a ton of characters(there is like.. no real main character due to the fact that almost every single character has a giant role to play.)
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Well, if I were you, I'd take the term that these alien/superhuman beings are being called, and I'd play with that. So, for example, if you called them Abnormals, like in the Sci-Fi show, "Sanctuary", then I would use titles like "Rise of the Abnormals" or "The Abnormal Solution", etc. Sort of like how they did with the Planet of the Apes movies, except without apes.

I hope that helps. And it sounds like an interesting and convoluted story (convoluted in a good way). Let me know if it gets published, or if you put it on dA; sounds definitely like something I'd want to read. :)
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:iconharborjack:
HarborJack Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That sounds like a good idea, I will just work with that until something comes around.

Plus, I can always send chapters via note to you... I dont put it on DA because it never got positive reviews. I've been told it "was too hard to read, so it sucked" actual words...
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I also have an email posted under my profile picture. Just make sure to put your dA name in the subject line. I can't promise if you do send me something that I will answer promptly; I've got a lot of classes going on this semester. But if you do want some help, I will try.

Well, it really depends on your target audience. dA is largely populated by only mostly literate 13 and 14 year-olds. But wordiness is something that can be taken care of through careful revision.
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(1 Reply)
:iconrosie6000:
rosie6000 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for taking the time to share your knowelege! I enjoy writing but i'm not very good at it. SO thank you for the tips!:)
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome. :D I'm glad they help, even if they are just basic tips. :)
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:iconechocave:
Echocave Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmmmm I like this it'll help out a bit Im trying to write a story rite now and the few people who read it like it but the title; I NEED A BETTER TITLE. But titles r not my specailty so the title sucks.
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
What's the story about?
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:iconechocave:
Echocave Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wolves that are messengers of the gods of life and death a messenger of the wind goddess meets a messenger of the poison god and they begin to warm up to one another
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Are wind and poison opposites in your story? And is this supposed to be a first in a series, or is it a single story?
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:iconechocave:
Echocave Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
single story and ya poison and wind are opposites.
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Play around with these aspects to your story, and the plot, and try and come up with a title that you can sum up in a few words (preferably no more than 3-5; people today have short attention spans)
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:iconechocave:
Echocave Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
true,
I'll try to come up with something
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Good luck. :)
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(1 Reply)
:iconanimefan1998:
animefan1998 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2010
The one about limitations really helped me. Thanks so much for writing this!
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
No problem. :D It's there to help. :)
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:icontsuki-mitsu:
Tsuki-Mitsu Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
these are amazing, they have really helped me to understand what to do and also that im doing some things right! it makes me wanna write more - very inspirational! thanks!
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome. :D I'm glad it helped. :)
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:iconsupermariposa:
supermariposa Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009
Thankyou so much for this! :D I always have so many ideas whizzing round in my head and have always struggled trying to write a story beginning to end in totally linear perfect sentences, this has shown me that there's much easier and, in fact, more productive ways of doing it.

One really simple thing: In Tip 6: 'Unless their elves' should use a 'they're'. Just me being the grammar freak I am. :XD:

Again thanks!
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Oh, hey, yeah; thanks for catching that. And being a grammar freak is actually a good thing, in one sense at least. It means that there will be fewer typos, and less mechanics to correct when you're going through your stories/other writing.

And no problem. I wrote it to help people out. Sometimes, you know you're doing something wrong, but you just can't put it into words, though words may be your trade, and it helps to have a different perspective. Feel free to redistribute the tips, and though giving credit would be nice, it's not necessary. The important thing is that people are using it. :)

Out of curiosity, did you find this while browsing, or in someone's favourites?

Oh, and thanks for the :+fav: :D
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:iconsupermariposa:
supermariposa Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009
Indeed! Heh, whenever I'm typing something and that red squiggly line comes up I can't ignore it, even to finish a sentence,:D I have to go back and make it perfect!

Well I've used them when critiquing my friends work and she was most grateful! They really helped her and she says she'll have a look at them. And I totally agree, it's always good to get an outside view on your work, even if its just reading through tips and seeing how you can apply them :XD: Everything helps!

Oh I found this in the resources gallery of *dAWriterStrike I've been looking around for ways to improve my skills before posting up any writing on this relatively new account. :XD: It's coming in very handy!
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
That's great that you were able to help your friend out! :D

Wow, from there? But they'd only just added it when you did. Things move fast. ;)
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:iconsupermariposa:
supermariposa Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009
really? That's pretty cool. I was just a browsing and it caught my eye :D
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Cool. :D
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:iconcibbwin:
Cibbwin Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
I don't know if I completely agree with "writing what you know."

One of my favorite musicians, Kate Bush, was 17 or 18 when she first hit the music scene back in 1978. One of the main reasons I admire her so much is that she wrote about things much bigger than her own meagre experiences.

I mean, at 20 she was detailing an infant's misgivings about breathing in fallout from a recent nuclear explosion, and at 22 she was writing about Viet Cong soldiers and their inner turmoil as they battled American invaders. At 29 she wrote a song, "Heads We're Dancing," in which a girl dances with a charming stranger all night, only to discover the following morning that he was Adolf Hitler.

I am definitley a big supporter of removing yourself from your body and writing about something that has never happened to you and (most likely) never will.

The only problem is that very few of us are very good at that.
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:iconbeyond-the-pages:
Beyond-the-Pages Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Aside from the Adolf Hitler thing, those things she was writing about - the Viet Cong and such - were things that were going on around her at the time, what with the Vietnam War. And it might be closer to home than you are aware; she might have had family in Germany during WWII, and she might have known someone who had family in Japan when they bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Needless to say, her life was not without war, even if it wasn't directly in front of her. So, in that sense, she was writing about what she knew, if not as well as someone who had actually been through it directly.

Also, these tips are generally meant for beginners; people who haven't been writing a lot, or for very long. I probably should have made that clearer in the artists comments, but that was essentially it.

However, despite our differences in opinion on the matter, I do appreciate your disagreeing with me; it's quite refreshing. :)
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:iconcibbwin:
Cibbwin Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
You make a good point, actually. She was born only five or six years after World War II ended, and she was around fifteen when the Vietnam War ended.

Oh, your tips are wonderful. Don't change any of them, please! I just figured "She seems like someone with intelligence and someone who appreciates friendly critique."

And you are welcome. I know it can be a bit tiring to always hear praise. Sometimes I crave a little criticism, too.
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