Merlyn Pyndragon
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Joined 06-30-12, id: 852850, Profile Updated: 09-16-13


...Why can't I ever think of what to put for these things? (*Sigh*) Even online I'm a very uninteresting person.

Okay, so I've deleted my menial stories but I don't think I can delete an account so I'll just leave this here. I've got stories on Fanfiction if you're remotely interested which you're probably not. But if you are, my fanfic profile is under the same user name. I mostly write about BBC's Merlin, but I have some stuff for Heroes, Ranger's Apprentice, and a OneShot for Assassin's Creed.

Okay, so seeing as my profile is incredibly short and redundant and you're probably wondering why you've read this far because it's as enlightening as a potato, I'll give some tips as to how you can overcome writer blocks and/or get smacked in the face by inspiration.

1. Listen to music – It may be your preference, but I recommend anything that doesn't have lyrics that you can understand, such as a Bulgarian choir (unless you're from Bulgaria, in which case, it doesn't matter). I find that listening to songs like those from Two Steps from Hell, Future World Music, Thomas Bergersen, Immediate Music and the like really get the creative juices working.

2. Read a book – If you like a certain character, you may want to expand his/her adventures yourself (and post it in FanFiction) or simply create a person similar to that character, changed enough so that you wouldn't be accused of plagiarism. From there, you can create your own little world for your character to run around in, which could be done by looking at the genre of the story that inspired you in the first place.

3. Stuck? Build the bridge later – Sometimes you reach a certain point and you simply can't get any further. If you have an idea of something that happens later in the story, leave where you are stuck and write about that. I use the bridge metaphor in saying that you have a sturdy bank on either side of the river, which you know is there and can be settled. Establish the grounds on both sides and then continue. Only when the need is dire should you return to build the bridge to cross the river. It may be a bumpy, wobbly rope contraption, but you can fix that later when ideas start to grow. After all, you don't want to be put off a perfectly good story just because of one stupid point that doesn't come when called.

4. Write something else – Sometimes you start to think too hard about one story, and soon you just get too sick with it to carry on. Turn to something else to write, or, even, do a different activity entirely. Inspiration can strike at the oddest of times; I was naming a minor character for one story and was immediately inspired for a new and completely different story, which I'm planning right now.

5. Isolate yourself – Go for a drive, a walk, a doze in the park, anything that puts your mind at ease and your body in solitude. Forcing yourself to think may not be the best way to overcome a block or find a new plot line. Our brains are muscles – they need to be exercised, but they also need rest. Keep your brain healthy. Drink lots of water, don't smoke and eat lots of avocados (blah :P).

That's all I can think of at the moment. I may post more when I think of them.

How about some tips I learned to write a good read?

1. Synonyms, synonyms, synonyms – Don't use the same boring old words over and over again. Readers who notice may get irritated. It's bad enough for a person to say the same words time and time again. I once knew a guy who used 'initially' every chance he got, even when it was unnecessary.

2. Don't use said! – This falls into the above category but I can't emphasize it enough. 'Said is dead,' as my grade 6 teacher drilled into our pubescent and mediocre minds six years ago. Of course, you can use it a few times in a conversation, but not always. People like me notice these things and may eventually get miniature storm clouds overhead in vexation. Your characters have personality! Their situations have personality! Give it to them!

3. Avoid clichés – 'Heard a pin drop.' 'Bull in a china shop.' 'Sharp as a tack.' 'Can't judge a book by its cover.' Urrrg. Granted, I use the occasional cliché myself (“Hypocrite!” you scream), but I do my best to avoid them. Using fresh similes, metaphors, and the like keeps people interested and intrigued. Wouldn't you agree?

4. Grammar – For all that is good and green in this world, spell 'believe' right! Put commas where appropriate and don't forget where to add periods. If English isn't your first tongue, then you have an excuse because this language is so weird. Still, you can get a beta reader (I would beta, but I don't meet the requirements yet), which is beneficial to you, is it not? Find a beta who knows what s/he's doing and you may just be discovering that where to put those semicolons the easiest thing in the world (oh look, I just used a cliché xp).

Aaaand I'm out of ideas. Cheers!

– Merlyn