The Beginner Writer's Kit

The following is a list of links to pages that are especially relevant to novice writers - these pages will help one avoid common mistakes and overcome frequent challenges that new writers often face.

Common Beginner Writing Mistakes
Mistakes that beginners (and sometimes people who aren't beginners) frequently make.

What People Need To Know About The Creative Process
A few common misconceptions people have about the creative process cleared up.

A Proper Punctuation Primer
It's often hard to understand what's a story is trying to say if the punctuation is off. Here's a guide to doing it properly.

How To Use Paragraph Breaks Properly
Huge textwalls put people off of a story, and improper paragraphs can make it harder to parse what's going on. So here's how and where you should be making paragraph breaks.

Commonly Misspelled Words & Mangled Phrases
Some oft-misspelled or misused words and phrases.

How To Write Well - A Quick Guide
Some tips on what to detail and when, what kind of words to use (or not), and how to avoid confusing and frustrating your audience.

"Does My Character Work Okay?" - How To Tell For Yourself!
Never take a Mary Sue test again - ask yourself these ten simple questions instead!

"Help! I Need Ideas For My Story/Setting/Character!" - How To Get Ideas For Yourself!
What you can do when you're in desperate need of an idea!

"Is This A Good Idea For My Story/Setting/Character?" - How To Answer This For Yourself!
Many times, you can find the answer by just asking yourself the right questions - so here are the critical questions you should be asking yourself if you're not sure about something.

"How Can/Should I Do This Thing With My Story/Setting/Character?" - How Figure It Out For Yourself!
You can often solve this type of question yourself pretty easily. Here's how!

"Help! I'm Worried That My Idea Is Too Cliche!" - What To Do When This Happens
Worried that one of your ideas might be too cliche? Here are some tips to help you out.

Where & How Writers Need To Do The Math
Yes, there are some times when being a writer requires you to crunch some numbers. Here's what you need to know.

Setting Rules & Limitations In Your World: Why & How You Need To Do This
Every science fiction and fantasy setting needs rules and limitations - otherwise, the story will become incoherent and uninteresting.

Critical Details For Writers To Keep Track Of
These details are very important for you to keep track of, lest you end up creating plotholes and inconsistencies.

On Creating, Building, & Keeping Suspense
Every story needs a bit of suspense - it's what gets people hooked and interested. Here's how you create and keep it.

Plot & Story Development Questions
It's important to start hammering out the vital details of the plot from the very beginning, so here are some questions to ask yourself to help you do that.

Things You Need To Do In Your Science Fiction Or Fantasy Story
A few things you need to do to make your science fiction or fantasy story work.

"Is This A Good Name For My Character?" - How To Pick Good Names For Your Characters
How to pick fitting names for your characters.

Tips For Writing Fanfiction With An OC Protagonist
There's nothing wrong with writing fanfiction starring your OC - but there are a lot of ways to do it wrong. Here's how you can do it right.

Reasons Your Character Might Be Boring
Some common traps to avoid if you don't want your character to end up completely boring.

Tips To Keep Your Characters In Perspective & Make The Right Impressions With Them
It's easy to end up losing objectivity where our characters are concerned, or to accidentally end up doing things that give people an entirely impression of our characters. Here's how you can avoid these problems.

On Giving Your Characters Flaws & Weaknesses
The basics of giving your characters good flaws and weaknesses - while clearing up a few misconceptions on what good weaknesses are.

So You Want To Have An Attractive Character?
How to write an attractive character while avoiding some of the pitfalls that make many would-be attractive characters end up being total turnoffs.

Tips To Create Better OC Relatives of Canon Characters
Planning to write a fanfiction starring an original character? Here are some tips.

Simple Tips To Put Yourself In The Shoes Of Characters Who Aren't You
It's vital to be able to write different kinds of characters, just for the simple fact that your story will probably contain more than one. If you're having trouble with it, here are some things you can do to fix the problem.

Describing Your Character: Tips & Advice
There's a tricky balance in describing your characters well - you don't want too much, but you don't want too little, either. Here are some tips and guidelines to help you keep it in balance.

Writing Better Prompts, Starters, & Beginnings: A Few Pointers
The beginning is one of the most important parts of your story - without a good beginning, people won't bother to find out what happens next. Here are some tips to help you write good ones.

Stuff You Should Cut From Your Story
Not everything belongs left in a story. Here's what you should leave out or remove.

Verbal Cliches To Stay Away From
Some oft-used words and turns of phrase you might want to avoid.

Alexis Feynman's Guide To Writing Better Summaries
A bad summary - or worse, no summary at all - will keep a lot of people from even clicking on your story in the first place. Here's how you can write good ones.

Dealing With Criticism & Negative Reviews
Negativity is inevitable. Here's how you can deal with it when it happens - and even turn it to your advantage.

How To Recognize Bad Creative Mentors
If you're going to find someone to help you in your creative endeavors, it's important to find someone who is actually good - so here are some signs that those you're working with or considering might not be.

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