Anonymous asked: “Hi Lizard! I’ve always wanted to write a book, but whenever I try to write, all my stories feel the same, and all my characters feel flat. I quickly quit stories, also, losing my interest on them in a matter of hours. Could you give me some advice so that I won’t have to sell my soul to the dark overlords in order to write a single paragraph?”
Writing is a process. No book is ever going to be just a matter of sitting down and writing it out in one shot. It’s drafting, redrafting, intense editing, often huge various changes along the way and ultimately then you get somewhere. Someone can take ten years to write a book.
Weekend!! 💖🎉 I hope everyone is having a splendid day ^^ Eat enough, drink water, be safe, and study/work hard!
「Quick tip: Get up and drink a glass of water when you’re starting to feel tired of studying. 💦 」
Hey there. You have helped me so much, and I love your answers! Could you help me, yet again: when do I use IN vs INTO? Like, "she walked in the bar" or "she walked into the bar"?
Hi, I’m glad I can help!
“In” is usually used when the subject is already inside a building/car/whatever (for example, when you say “she walked in the bar”, I picture a girl pacing inside a bar), whereas “into” is usually used to show entrance (when you say “she walked into the bar”, I picture a girl actually entering a bar). “I climbed into the car” – entrance – vs. “I danced in the car” – she dances while already inside the car.
I hope this helps! If you need anything else, please feel free to ask. - @authors-haven
I’ve just read your post on how to write combat, but I was wondering: I do Ju-Jitsu & there’s a lot of throws with technical names, how are you suppose to write them without either sounding like your talking to a 5yo, or with names that people don’t understand? For example: • Ron did a butterfly throw on his attacker. • Ron caught the punch and bent the attacker over, he wrapped his leg over the straight arm and as he stepped over with his second leg, he slammed the man’s head into the floor.
Writing Specific Fighting Techniques.
Sorry for the delay! There’s a few ways you can go about this, depending on what purpose the combat serves within the story. Here’s the key points though:
Are the names of techniques actually bad?
If the style of combat is a major foundation for the story, (say if you’re writing about an MMA fighter as she struggles to get back into the ring again after a serious injury), then sometimes it’s good to give the names of techniques (while explaining them, of course.) In this case the reader expects to learn things, because there’s not much else going on outside of the progression of skill and the interwoven emotional battle.
In all other cases though, it’s usually better to leave technical names out.
If the fight scene is long, then simplify things.
It always gives me a little frustrated tingle in my gut whenever I have to simplify techniques for the sake of reader understandably, but it’ll help your story in the long run. Sometimes it’s better just to say:
Ron caught the punch and threw his attacker down, slamming the man’s face into the floor.
Does the reader know what the throw actually required to pull off? Nope. Could a Ju Jitsu fighter read it and know which technique was being used? They could make a logical guess, but still, probably not.
But an ordinary reader can easily get through a full page of this writing style and still visualize what’s happening, even if they miss the little details – the weight shifts, the subtle movements, the specific placement of feet and hands – and that’s more important overall. You’re writing a story, not a How To pamphlet.
For every detail you keep, augment it with sensations, feelings, and emotions.
If your main character pinned their head into someone’s neck, do they smell the attacker’s sweat? If they grab the attacker’s wrist, does the person’s silky shirt slip a bit under their skin? If they shove their elbow into their attacker’s side, do they hit a soft spot or a bone that cracks? When they instinctively throw a dangerous move on their sparing partner, do they regret it? If their attacker is heavily injured, do they slow or soften their moves, or go for a knockout?
Fleshing out a scene with these immersive components can help your description of the moves themselves feel less like that atrocious How To pamphlet, and more like a fight that’s actively happening.
Concepts are good for authenticity.
If you’re writing a character who’s supposed to know these moves front and back, it might feel like simplifying everything down the bare minimum means you lose the feeling that the character is actually highly skilled.
To add back in this authenticity, try including details (perhaps during something no-suspense, like sparing) with the reasoning behind them. What goes into disrupting someone’s balance and why would you want to do that? How do you use the force of your whole body to move someone, instead of just your arm muscles? What has to fall into place before specific moves can be pulled off? What risks come with certain techniques?
Showing that the character knows these sorts of key concepts will help prove that they have the skill they claim to know, even if the writing of the techniques is simplistic.