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Ryllandaras
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PostSubject: Writing Composition Tutorial   Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:41 pm

In my time, I've seen many terrible posters. I began RPing way back when Pluto was still considered a planet. Where's my cane? I need my cane.

Yes, there are posters with optimal habits and posters who are less experienced with optimal posting habits. We've seen them everywhere. At their passage we've all cringed or applauded, cursed or exalted. How do people like those crazy moderators have good grammar? Who cares about grammar?

Answer #1: We're role-players and moderators, but, unforunately not God - we're overqualified. Answer #2: We do, and so does anyone who wants to read a good series of events known as a Roleplay Thread. We'll also be evaluating you based on your post quality. That's what moderators do.

Having a clean, clear, and well-structured post is what tells us if you are worthy of being a Captain of the Gotei 13, Archangel of Merc-dom, Lieutenant of The Order, a Vizard of Kishimasuku, or an Arrancar of The Eternal.

Essentially it all equates to this: If you give us a shit-post, we'll give you a shit-position. Ain't no flippin' way around it, folks.

So, no more procrastination and lengthy discourse, let's get to the nitty-gritty, shall we?


PART #1 TO GOOD GRAMMAR: READING
I didn't learn how to write like I do by playing video games and sleeping the hours away in class or at home - granted, I was a Sega Genesis geek, but I was also a sucker for a good book or story. I don't think I can list all the authors I've read let alone the book titles, but I can tell you I own more than 70 top-notch legit Sci-Fi/Fantasy books. The Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre is most likely to teach you how to write out that, there, imagination of yourn right quick, y'here?

Seriously, though, If you read someone else's work, you can experience a different style than your own! I really can't imagine something better than a new style and a new point of view. The same goes for any area of social life: Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Baseball, JRR Tolkein became the most widely known author of this century, Stephen King taught english for 15 years before finally getting published. How many of us jumped at the opprtunity to play Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat? How many more of us surged toward the shelves to buy Halo and Dynasty Warriors? What was so special about Renaldo and Pele of Brazil? The Matrix was a major hit when the first movie came out because no one had done what they did and pulled it off so well.

What if you don't like reading? Chances are you haven't met the right author in the right genre, BUT for those of you who like Anime and Manga, read those subtitles and texts. They tend to do better than the average adult American. What if you love Roleplay? Find some good roleplayers and read their stuff.

Screw learning facts and textbook and school, read to learn how to express that imagination more efficiently. Increase your vocabulary, learn some catchy quotes or phrases, find a way to spice up your posts.

Yes, I've just told why, when we meet a group of idiots, we say: "Read a book, people!"


Last edited by Ryllandaras on Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:06 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Writing Composition Tutorial   Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:55 pm

PART #2 TO GOOD GRAMMAR: PARTS OF SPEECH
The standard paragraph that we all learn about in second Grade English begins with a Topic sentence, three support sentences, and a closing sentence. Throw those labels out the window, but keep the sentences in mind. Sentences make or break your post. You won't find many people in the RP world will take you seriously if you write a five-line history, personality, or appearance for a 200 year old character.

What if you write a whole bunch of sentences for that 200 year old character - like, 50 lines worth?

Length doesn't matter if people can't understand what you write. I guarantee that the audience is lost when they are required to decipher someone else's messages. It's perfectly reasonable as they are readers, not crpytologists. No one can appreciate what you write if you can't communicate it in a structured manner.

SENTENCE PARTS
This is pretty simple, so it'll be brief. Sentences consist of: Subject and Predicate. The Subject is the "Who" or "What" of a sentence while the Predicate is something about the Subject. For the next examples the subject will be bolded, and the predicate underlined
"Judy dances."
"Al and Kristine are married."
"The theatre is where auditions are held."
"Auditions are held in the theatre."
"You are in my way."

There are some cases where the subject is left out, because it is understood to be there rather than actually expressed. This is usually seen in sentences that are taken as commands or orders:

"Get out of here!"
The subject is absent, but it is understood that "you" would be there, and so whoever the command is directed to will respond accordingly.

Another usual case is when sentecnces start with words like "there." If you'll recall, Subject defines the "who" and the "what"; therefore "there" is not a subject word, but what it refers to is:
There were ten Shinigami surrounding the Arrancar King."

Now, sometimes you can actually have more than one subject:
"Hollows, Shinigami and Vizards are rei-based entities."




DIFFERENT TYPES OF WORDS
1) Nouns are the subject of a sentence or thought: Bush, Building, Zanpakutoh, Seireitei. It answers "Who" "What" "Where"

2) Verbs are actions: Go, Slice, Dice, Mince, Slash, Jump, Flourished Contrived, etc.

3) Adjectives are descriptive: Small, Large, Big, and Tall, Judicious, Authoritative, Awry.
Adjectives change nouns or verbs by describing, identifying, or quantifying them.
"Jay had a cupcake."
Yum, I wonder what kind.
"Jay had a vanilla cupcake with pink icing."
(Me: NOMS! *yoink*)

4) Adverbs are words that end in -ly. Highly, Slightly, Swimmingly, Flirtatiously, Flamboyantly. They modify other verbs to give them a new meaning:
"Ben grinned at the joke."
Sweet! now we wonder what's so funny and we think it's good stuff.

"Ben grinned evilly at the joke."
Now we've gone from funny ha-ha to oh-shit-someone's-in-trouble.
They can also indicate time, manner, place, cause or degree and answer questions such as "How", "when", "where", and "how much"

5) Pronouns ARE EXTREMELY FLIPPIN' USEFUL and no, they don't get paid. Are used to replace nouns to make. You should never ever have to use your character's name or another character's name more than a few times within a post. The only time you should use it is in order to give them specific distinction from the rest of the scene. They can indicate possession such as your, his, hers, its, theirs, ours.

Quote :
Adam sat and flipped a quarter. He never liked paper money much, but a shiny coin always caught his attention. Eve accused him of being ungodly because of that and ate the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Adam called her a ***** for getting them cast from their Garden in south New Jersey into a Junkyard in north New Jersey by their landlord and The Vicar of the local Church and its congreagation. None of them could blame him for that.

6) Prepositions merely introduces nouns, adjectives, and verbs with other portions of the sentence. The introduced subject is known as the Object of the Preposition. A prepositional phrase involves a preposition, its object, and any adjectives or verbs associated with that object and can behave like a noun, verb, or adverb.
"Lynn placed her book on the table with her water."
"Jay ran after the dog."
"Don't talk during the movie!"
"Jill was the only non-singer among the chorus dancers."
"Al stood between Ritchie and Jill."
"Bobby is going to be a movie star."
"Sheila leapt over Greg"

The most common prepositions are: "about," "above," "across," "after," "against," "along," "among," "around," "at," "before," "behind," "below," "beneath," "beside," "between," "beyond," "but," "by," "despite," "down," "during," "except," "for," "from," "in," "inside," "into," "like," "near," "of," "off," "on," "onto," "out," "outside," "over," "past," "since," "through," "throughout," "till," "to," "toward," "under," "underneath," "until," "up," "upon," "with," "within," and "without."

CONJUNCTIONS
Conj-Wha? Oh yes, yes indeed. Conjunctions are used to link words, phrases, and/or two short sentences. It can also indicate a relationship between two words, phrases, and/or short sentences
"Al sat down and Jill danced."
"Val and Mark tap danced together."
"Zack and Larry cut dancers when they saw who they wanted."

Some Conjunctions always appear in pairs:
Either; Or
"Either he goes, or I go!"
Both; And
"Both Sheila and Bobby were friends with Ritchie."
Neither; Nor
"Neither Sheila nor Jill liked Val."
Whether; Or
"Decide on whether you want dinner or dessert first."
Not Only; But Also
"Mike was not only a singer, but also a dancer."


Last edited by Ryllandaras on Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ryllandaras
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PostSubject: Re: Writing Composition Tutorial   Sat Oct 31, 2009 3:51 am

PART #3 TO GOOD GRAMMAR: PUNCTUATION
APOSTROPHE
Apostrophes are used when you indicate possession or take letters out to form one word. Here are some examples of when letters are removed:
It + is = It's (leave out the "i") or 'Tis
She + is = She's
He + is = He's
They + are = They're (leave out the "a")
We + are = We're
We + will = We'll (leave out "wi")
You + are = You're
You + have = You've (leave out the "ha")
I + am = I'm
I + will = I'll
I + have = I've
Will + not = Won't (replace "ill" with "o" and leave out the "o" of "not")
Should + not = Shouldn't
Shall + not = Shan't
Would + Not = Wouldn't (leave out the "o")
Should + not + have = Shouldn't have

Here are some examples when an apostrophe indicates possession:
The panther flexed its claws
The convertible's hood
The hat's feather
We have Kevin's weapon.

Apostrophe are not used with personal pronouns such as "his" "hers" "its" "ours" "yours" "theirs"


COMMA
A comma is usually used according to one's own style, and so I'll keep this brief:
Commas can be used before a Conjunction:
"We like pie, but we also like cake."

It can be used after an introductory phrase:
From east to west, no one has ever measured Seireitei."

It can be used to separate items in a series or list but the last item is separated with "and" and not a comma:
"We carried weapons, coats, barrels, food and tents."

It can be used to replace paretheses or include a phrase that would actually be an irelevant interruption:
The people of Rukongai, who are less spiritually gifted than those in Seireitei, live simple lives.[/u]

DON'T use a comma to separate subject and predicate.
WRONG: "Enrolling in Seireitei, will get you Kidou lessons."
RIGHT: "Enrolling in Seireitei will get you Kidou lessons."

DON'T use a comma to separate a verb from its object or preposition.
WRONG: "I'll send you a snapshot, of my dog."
RIGHT: "I'll send you a snapshot of my dog."

DON'T use a comma after a conjunction
WRONG: "The swordsmen were unskilled but, still put up a good fight."
RIGHT: "The swordsmen were unskilled, but still put up a good fight."

DON'T use a comma to set apart phrases that would not need to be put into parentheses
WRONG: "After lunch, we will spar."
RIGHT: "After lunch we will spar."

DON't use a comma to set off restrictive elements
WRONG: "The rings, on his right hand, were shiny."
Right: "The rings on his right hand were shiny."

If you wish to EMPHASIZE something that might be in parentheses, use dashes instead of commas
"Adam -- who was made from mud -- was the first man mentioned in the Bible."


SEMICOLON
The Semicolon is used to lnk two independent phrases or sentences that may not be joined by a Conjunction, but are still close in their meaning. This, like Commas and Conjunctions, helps prevent paragraphs from having choppy, short sentences.
"Abdominal exercises help lessen back pain. Posture is also important."
"Abdominal exercises help lessen back pain; posture is also very important."

DON't use a colon before a Conjunction
WRONG: "I know you like martinis; but we don't shake, we stir."
RIGHT: "I know you like martinis, but we don't shake, we stir."

DON'T use a semicolon to link two dissimilar phrases
WRONG: "Although training to obtain bankai takes a lot of time and hard work; the effort pays off in the long run."
RIGHT: "Although training to obtain bankai takes a lot of time and hard work, the effort pays off in the long run"

Rule of thumb: A good rule of thumb is to use a semicolon where you might use a period.


QUOTATION MARKS
Pretty straightforward. Begin and end anything your character says with the.

If your character is quoting another character, use quotation marks.

Use them to define the Title of something, such as "The Red Shoes"

Use them if you're referring to words that are specifically used as terms
"I know you like the word "unique" but you should really expand your vocabulary."

Commas and Periods always stay inside the quotation marks.

Colons and semicolons are always outside the quotation marks.
"He clearly states his opinion in the article "Of Human Bondage": he believes that television has enslaved and diminished an entire generation."


Last edited by Ryllandaras on Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:56 am; edited 2 times in total
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Ryllandaras
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PostSubject: Re: Writing Composition Tutorial   Sat Oct 31, 2009 3:52 am

PART #4 TO GOOD GRAMMAR: VOCABULARY
Yeah, that crazy deal. But, hey, who wants to see the same words over and over and over again? Who wants to see ten sentences in a row begun with the words: "He is." Throw some variety in there!

It's common knowledge that when we see something being done repeatedly we lose interest. We love seeing different things. We love novelty. We love something that's dynamic. We love contrast. Do you want to keep someone interested in what you have to share in your writing? Do you want to impress the moderators who will regulate what your rank will be?

Having a wide vocabulary and variety in how you start sentences is a good way to keep your RP partner's attention so that they'll react to what you actually wrote instead of what they want to think you wrote. Too many times have I seen RP partners assume they know what was written and get it just wrong enough that the posts wouldn't match up. Then the whole thread was just bedlam.

So to recap: Variety, Vocabulary, Versatility = Veritably Vine Vriting. Okay, bad alliteration joke, but, hey, you got it, now use it. Go team!
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