Writer’s Workshop

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10 Tips for Novice Creative Writers

From "Bill Mullins' Weblog"We’re blown-away by this great, easily-readable resource (on a site called “Jerz’s Literacy Weblog”) which provides a primer for novice writers on how to write great fiction. The tutorial gives just enough information to be useful and educational, without going into so much detail as to force the reader to really hunker-down for a creative writing course. From Writing Meaningful Dialogue to Creating Conflict and Tension, you’ll get the information you need in a succinct and clear manner. Take a look today and find ways to polish your writing, or if you’re new to creative writing, get a jump-start on making sure your sims are of top-notch quality!


Online creative writing courses

If you’d like to increase your writing skills, you can check out a few online courses we’ve found that may be of use to you. The first is by The University of Utah Department of English, called Introduction to Creative Writing. You can click on the course name and begin registration as an “other user,” and start the course immediately. The “Open University,” a free, online compilation of college-like courses also offers two programs that take between 8 and 12 hours to complete: “Writing what you know” and “Start writing fiction.” While we can’t claim that the quality on any of these courses is great, we expect that they’re a good place to start if you’re looking for quality ways to make your writing more engaging and realistic! (Photo by Colin and Sarah Northway.)


29 Ways to Stay Creative

It’s not easy to keep up an every-day writing pace, even when you’re participating in a collaborative story like ours. Sometimes, the creative well can run dry! But take heart, because this list of 29 Ways to Stay Creative can help you get back on track with some simple ideas. If you’re looking for other ideas, our “Inspiration” and “Simming Tips” side-bar blocks cycle through random items every time you reload the page, so be sure to check them out each time you return to the Community News! (Link via Lifehacker, photo by Rennett Stowe.)


Screenwriters and Star Trek

What can screenwriters learn from Star Trek? How about creating intrigue, characters who we care about, and expressing respect for the audience!

What can we simmers learn from screenwriters? Check out Simon J. Michael’s article How to Write a Screenplay – 20 Lessons from Star Trek to find out.


10 ways to get new ideas for your roleplaying story

Coming up with new ideas for your character in your roleplaying game can be a challenge. Whether you’re the GM of the game, or just a player, you’ll need to be creative and think up some interesting ideas about what your character does, or what could happen to your character.

As players of roleplaying games, we can get writers block, or simply often struggle to come up with interesting ideas for your posts. Here are some tips for what to do when you can’t think of anything to write, and they might help you come up with something creative.


How to punctuate a sentence

As internet writers, it’s important that we refresh our grammar skills from time-to-time, as our writing is how others know us. Think of grammar as the clothes you wear in the writing world: if yours is sloppy, people will have a hard time taking you seriously. This handy guide on Lifehack can help you review the rules of punctuation and ensure that your writing is conveying exactly what you want it to convey.


10 grammar mistakes that make you look stupid

062908 - grammar error - cold stone signAs a writer, your ability to convey yourself meaningfully and correctly is one of the most important skills you can have. And as a fiction writer, keeping your reader immersed in the story is an important part of getting the feedback and response that you’re looking for. We should all make every effort to ensure that our writer isn’t distracting our reader from getting involved and entranced by the story we’re telling. Check out this list of 10 grammar mistakes that are simple to correct and ensure that your writing looks professional!


Janet Fitch’s 10 rules for writers

Janet Fitch, author of “White Oleander” and “Paint it Black,” has written 10 rules for writers that can be of great reference for simmers. Check it out, especially, number 10:

Torture your protagonist.
The writer is both a sadist and a masochist. We create people we love, and then we torture them. The more we love them, and the more cleverly we torture them along the lines of their greatest vulnerability and fear, the better the story. Sometimes we try to protect them from getting booboos that are too big. Don’t. This is your protagonist, not your kid.


A syllabus for novice science fiction fans

If you don’t consider yourself a real expert on science fiction, you may find this syllabus and book list from blog io9 to be of great use to you on getting “up-to-speed” on the foundations of this genre. Don’t forget to check your local library for copies of this works, before spending money on them!

While you’re at it, you can also catch up on Star Trek information on our Cadets area of the site.


Commonly Misheard Expressions to Avoid in Your Writing

The blog Lifehacker has come up with a great list of commonly misheard expressions that people often confuse while writing. Take a look, and see if you’re an offender — if so, be sure to fix these in your sims!


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We are a Star Trek roleplaying game

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