Because Starbase 118 is a group comprised of many people throughout the world, it is natural to assume that there is plenty of conversation between the characters we write for. This dialogue actually makes up a lot of the writing we do, which is why it can be so important to learn how to write dialogue realistically and respectfully. Most players know that it isn’t good to back another player into a corner by writing dialogue a certain way, but those same players might not know just how to approach dialogue to avoid such, while providing an interesting addition to the overall plot.
There are plenty of ways that you can go about improving your writing, but sometimes there is just so much information coming at you that you might not retain the knowledge that you gain, or you might simply be confused on which aspects are most important. Well, just like any other professional in the field, it is vital for people who write as a hobby or for a living to have a toolbox full of tips and tricks appropriate to their trade. Since our trade is writing, having a writer’s toolbox is the best way to retain and use methods that will help make your writing better regardless of what character you write.
So where does one go to find a toolbox such as this? One filled with everything that you need to tweak your writing in order to make it better? One of the most recommended toolboxes comes from a man named Roy Peter Clark, the author of ‘Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer’. He offers a somewhat condensed version of the book on his blog, with a short and sweet compilation of 50 Writing Tools: A Quick List. Within this list, which he encourages readers to print and save to keep it on hand, he includes tips to help with basic writing, the ‘special effects’, planning things out, and the creation of useful habits.
No matter how good you write, there is always somewhere to improve. Keep this list on hand so that you can have your own specialized toolbox ready to go when you need it.
Sometimes we take a look at our last sim only to realize that it totally lacks all things creative. We all face this from time to time, especially if we are under stresses and pressures from our daily lives. Perhaps it is this reason that prompted Kathy Kennedy and Dennis Jerz to compile this very helpful list of Ten Tips for Creative Writers.
That’s how some of us feel when we start writing a sim. From overcoming the obstacle of writer’s block, to dealing with the technicalities of writing itself, simming with Starbase 118 is not always the most simple task to complete. Then again, that’s what we love to do, otherwise we wouldn’t be here, right?
One of the biggest problems facing us every day as Starbase 118 writers is finding new and different ways of showing our character’s reactions to whatever might be going on around them. There are many different ways to show these reactions, including a specific set of words known as interjections. An interjection, put simply, is just a part of speech that can be used to display emotions through text, and we already see them throughout sims on every single ship in the fleet.
Still, we find ourselves repeating the same interjections over and over again because they become part of the way we write. However, with so many interjection choices, there is plenty of variation that can exist, if you know just what words to use.
Perhaps that is the reason that Mark Nicol over at Daily Writing Tips compiled and created a pretty inclusive list of one hundred different interjections that look small, but can pack a big punch. Even those with only three letters, such as Aha!, Ack!, Yuk!, or Wow! can have a huge and dynamic effect to your writing. This is why we encourage you to take a look at the list of 100 Mostly Small But Expressive Interjections. Not only will you be able to gain some insight on these expressions and how best to put them to use, but you will also be able to create diversity in your sims; an effect that we really all love.
Writing, especially for a Starbase 118 character that you build and create on your own, is not always easy. Sure, there are plenty of times where you have the inspiration to shoot down the ‘villains’ of your writing – the little voices telling you its not good enough – so that you can come out on top with a sim to be proud of. At the same time, there are more times where you might sit down to write only to find that you feel as if you are ice skating up a hill. It is in these moments, where you lack inspiration, drive, and creativity to come up with much of anything.
Because other members often depend on your sims to jump start or continue their own, however, it is important that we arm all of our officers with the tools that they need to overcome the villains of writing so that the story can continue. It’s never fun to carry a plot on your own, and it is always far more interesting when officers join together and make fun happen. To do this consistently, our writers employ a variety of strategies. But sometimes, you might still be at a loss for words, literally.
That’s when you must wage war on the voices, the writer’s block, and anything else that stands between you and another epic addition to the story that we weave from day to day.