#1 Posted by NekuSakuraba (7240 posts) -
#2 Posted by Rudyftw (554 posts) -

Clever titles that have nothing to do with Ashton Kutcher or Shakespeare.

#3 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1763 posts) -

I don't even have to read any of your stuff to tell you the answers; write more and submit for peer review. Those two things will always make you better.

But more specifically; don't try so hard to be funny.

#4 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4392 posts) -

If you're not opposed to buying and/or borrowing some books then here

#5 Posted by NekuSakuraba (7240 posts) -

@Rudyftw said:

Clever titles that have nothing to do with Ashton Kutcher or Shakespeare.

@SoldierG654342 said:

I don't even have to read any of your stuff to tell you the answers; write more and submit for peer review.

But more specifically, don't try so hard to be funny.

Ha, anything else besides the bad titles?

#6 Posted by SMTDante89 (2564 posts) -

Make fewer mistakes. But seriously, just keep writing. Maybe let a few other people that you know will give constructive criticism read over it to see if everything looks alright (not necessarily close friends because they may go "Oh yeah, this looks good." just because you're friends and they don't want to make your work seem bad). And be sure to look over it yourself when you're finished to see if it all sounds right to you.

#7 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1763 posts) -

@NekuSakuraba: With the exception of the review, what you posted is all casual writing. There's no real criticism I can give you about a blog post; it's a fucking blog, do what you want.

I'll give the review a thorough read and get back to you. Because I genuinely enjoy doing this type of thing.

#8 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10898 posts) -

Practice, practice, practice! Always be writing!

Look over your stuff for mistakes. Have friends look over stuff for mistakes. Proofread, in other words!

And trust me, I know what I'm talking about. I'm writing a novel.

Moderator
#9 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

Keep writing, and trust yourself.

#10 Posted by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -

As I'm sure it will be said many times, just keep doing it and you will improve. As bad as my writing is now it was god dam atrocious when I started posting online, and now it's somewhat passable. It got better for me by writing constantly, most of the posts that make up that post count next to my name were paragraphs/pages and not sentences, and it started when I decided I wanted to write reviews over at Anime Vice. Sadly shortly after starting to really get into it Whiskey killed the site and that passion kind of died with it, but I did get a desire to improve my writing and I noticed that if you want to be taken seriously when trying to argue any point online it helps if people can read it.

#11 Posted by coakroach (2490 posts) -

Write the same way you talk.

Actually no, write the way someone way smarter than you would talk.

#12 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

Use more semicolons.
 
Use at least four semicolons in each paragraph but strive for six semicolons if you really want to push yourself.

#13 Posted by AjayRaz (12424 posts) -
@TaliciaDragonsong said:
Keep writing, and trust yourself.
yup. this is it. 
#14 Posted by Ravensmash (13 posts) -

I don't know if you regularly do, but reading novels etc. is beneficial too.

I found that when I read a lot of books (not so much anymore), my vocabulary improved and writing tended to flow better.

#15 Posted by IBurningStar (2164 posts) -

Write more. That is probably the best piece of advice anyone can give you. You have to write a lot to find your voice. The more you do it, the more you will become comfortable and sort of find your own style and all the subtleties that make your writing unique.
 
 It helps me to write like I am just talking to you. I don't try to be funny or sound extremely smart, because I'll most likely come off as trying too hard and basically make an ass of myself. If you don't have a joke or anything clever to say, don't force it, keep moving. 
 
I then reread anything I write before submitting it for public viewing. And the reason I do that is so I can fix any mistakes or pick up on words that I might have used a bit too often. Like, I said "just" in nearly every sentence of this post, so when I noticed it I went back and changed it. I just didn't want to use the word that many damn times.

#16 Posted by ajamafalous (11959 posts) -
@SoldierG654342 said:

don't try so hard to be funny.

#17 Edited by MentalDisruption (1622 posts) -

Like everyone else is saying, practice. You're doing the right thing by exposing your writing to people who will read it. Just keep doing that. That being said, I read the all of them except the review on isaac. Since blog posts don't really have any rules, I'll treat them as opinion pieces. I found it a little hard to stay interested in what your point was. Granted that might be because I'm watching the walking dead right now, so I'll revisit them later and edit this if that changes. I understood what you were trying to say in the three, it made sense, but I felt like you never really brought it all around to a satisfying point for the reader. It just kept going and going and going without bringing everything together. Also as a general rule, keep in mind that word choice can make things all the better.

Keep at it. Just by posting these and looking for help you've proven that deep down you have what it takes. Read more, write more, and learn how to use more subtle humor.

#18 Posted by allworkandlowpay (874 posts) -

Cut 10 percent of your words. Let it sit for a half an hour, go back, and see if you can cut 10 percent more. Don't stop until you can't cut any more.

#19 Posted by Daneian (1228 posts) -

Figure out what you want to accomplish with each piece and organize it into a logical structure. Knowing whats relevant to your topic will keep things concise, on track and save a lot of time from rewrites and becoming distracted by asides. Read other articles and analyze them from this perspective. See how their paragraphs flow into each other as an exercise- how they go from talking about story, to character to gameplay etc. Don't worry about finding a voice until you are comfortable with the basics.

#20 Posted by mosespippy (4113 posts) -

After reading just 2 paragraphs of the first article I can tell you that you need to learn the proper uses of a comma and a semi colon. I've added notes to the paragraphs to show you what I mean.

Games are fairly expensive,* aren't they? Not all of us can afford $60 every time a new game comes out,* so this is what this is for **- I'm going to help you, yes,* you, find games that are relatively cheap ($10 or less) that will keep you busy for a good amount of time.
 
The first is something I have recently been playing, The Binding of Isaac. It's a mix of rogue likes, zelda and even a bit of bullet hell thrown in there. The game is created by Edmund Mcmillen of Super Meat Boy fame,** he made Binding of Isaac in 120 days! That's pretty awesome if you ask me. The game starts off when Isaac's mother tries to sacrifice him and he jumps down to the basement where, for some reason, there is a shit load of scary stuff down there so you have to fight your way out and defeat your own mother.
* = Comma splice. You shouldn't put a comma here. 
**= Put a semi colon here instead of a hyphen or comma. 
 
Looking through the text some more I see more mistakes such as single digit numbers not being spelled out and proper names like Zelda not being capitalized.  
 
Since I didn't read through the content (hockey is on so I'm not going to right now) I can't really say anything about the content. Copy is what I find easiest to edit as I can spot the tiny formatting mistakes at a glance.
Online
#21 Posted by Ursus_Veritas (383 posts) -

Your actual writing is pretty decent - like others have mentioned, you don't have to try to be funny with your titles all the time. It's something I do for my reviews on here, and I always hate it, even if I can't stop myself doing it! - but the only thing I really noticed was the overall focus of your post on the Binding of Isaac. It starts off being a personal blog, sort of becomes more informative/review-esque in the middle and floats back to the blog-style for the last few paragraphs. It wasn't posted as a Blog by the looks of it, just a thread in the forum, but the weird focus threw me off a bit. Stick to one style for a piece of writing rather than mixing it up - a blog allows for more personal experiences and opinions, and a bit more of a casual tone, whilst I feel a review should feel a little more formal and bit a less personal (opinionated, yes, because that's the point of critical discourse). 
 
As others have said, just keep at it. Keep writing and you'll grow to spot your own strengths and weaknesses, but remember you will never catch every mistake you make. Proof reading it yourself before - and after! - posting is essential any way, for both spell checking and seeing if you think you've got your intentions and ideas across, but let other people read it! An extra pair of eyes helps, they might notice something that you didn't, be it spelling/grammar issues or even if they don't understand the way you've worded a particular sentence. Don't just be satisfied after the first draft - there's always something you could improve or add to make a piece better!

#22 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6296 posts) -

1,000 words a day. They can literally be about anything. ANYTHING. The important part is that you're writing. Reading is a big part of it too, because that's who you learn from the most: your favorite authors. I'm not talking about going through every literary classic that's ever been just for the sake of reading about it, I'm talking about reading things that you enjoy and could see yourself writing about in the future. If you read War and Peace just for the sake of being able to say you did, you won't get anything out of it, and it'd be a waste of time (a lot of fucking time...).

When you're starting out it's easy to get discouraged because you'll probably sound like a watered-down version of your inspirations. This is a completely natural and essential step in developing your own unique voice, so just keep pushing and eventually you'll find a voice you're comfortable with. When your daily 1,000 words stop feeling like work and you find that you actually want to write (you may already be at this point, I don't know you) you're doing it right.

Don't take this to heart, but just from reading your titles, I can tell you've been heavily influenced by the sarcastic prose of the GB staff. They're fine writers and all, but bare in mind that they're writing for a very specific audience. Humor is perfectly fine to have in your writing, but there's a fine line between disinterested sarcasm and douchey cynicism (COUGH ALEX COUGH COUGH COUGH I HAVE A BAD COLD YOU'LL HAVE TO EXCUSE ME).

Another thing I've found helpful is using the same voice for online conversations/posts/blogs and my papers/projects. I have a pretty conversational tone in my writing. While I consider my vocabulary to be more varied than the average dude's, I don't go out of my way to use "big words" when the simpler stuff does just fine. You don't seem to have any problems with overusing big words, but I've seen it happen plenty of times by new writers who just want the approval of their peers. The way I write papers is hardly any different than the way I approach a post here, minus profanities and drug references.

I'll leave you with just one book reccommendation: On Writing: A Memoir on the Craft by Stephen King. King is my favorite author of all time and if you're a fan of his work you'd be doing yourself a disservice not checking it out (kind of like how I continue to do so by not reading The Stand) as it contains some great insight on breaking in as a writer and continuing to improve. It's not a self-help book so much as it is a "Hey, I know writing is a bitch to get into and make money off of, and this book won't do it for you, but I can pass on some pointers to help the industry not kick your ass as much as it potentially and probably will."

I hope this all helps dude, and good luck on the path. Remember everyone is constantly learning and don't get discouraged.

#23 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@LordXavierBritish said:
Use more semicolons.  Use at least four semicolons in each paragraph but strive for six semicolons if you really want to push yourself.
This; semicolons are the new period; they show that you're a high-minded intellectual and stuff; if you don't use semicolons, people will think you're fucking stupid.
#24 Edited by chrismafuchris (1088 posts) -

Reading is the best way to improve your writing; head down to your local library and check some stuff out. Here's some books that really helped me as a writer:

The Physician by Noah Gordon

Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane

Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov

We by Evgenii Ivanovich Zamiatin

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Cien Años de Soledad by Gabriel García Márquez

Slaughterhouse-​Five by Kurt Vonnegut

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kessy

American Gods by Neil Gaimen

Amerika by Franz Kafka

The Satanic Verses: A Novel by Salman Rushie

Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner

You should give them a spin.

Also, practice makes perfect, so write as much as you can. If you try and be as conversational with your writing as possible, you'd probably be in good shape.

#25 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@Everyones_A_Critic said:
I'll leave you with just one book reccommendation: On Writing: A Memoir on the Craft by Stephen King.
You want Neku's blogs to end with some bullshit plot twist, like he only likes The Binding of Isaac because aliens are holding his dreams hostage :P?
#26 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6296 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Everyones_A_Critic said:
I'll leave you with just one book reccommendation: On Writing: A Memoir on the Craft by Stephen King.
You want Neku's blogs to end with some bullshit plot twist, like he only likes The Binding of Isaac because aliens are holding his dreams hostage :P?

Yup. And then a skeleton popped out.

#27 Edited by Dany (7887 posts) -

Do not use words like don't can't they're or got, get.

Do not incorporate a parenthesis for your own thought, it is needless IMO, use commas.

Do not ask a question to immediately answer and NO exclamation marks

Titles are the hardest thing. Be catchy, grab your reader but NO cliches. Opening sentences should also grab your reader. Do not say what you are going to say. Just say it.

#28 Posted by Bruce (5264 posts) -

@NekuSakuraba:

Read a lot of varied books. That's seriously the best way to learn.

#29 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@NekuSakuraba:

Read more, write more, repeat.

@LordXavierBritish said:

Use more semicolons. Use at least four semicolons in each paragraph but strive for six semicolons if you really want to push yourself.

I see u trollin'

#30 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

pretty much write more. it's really the only way. 
 
also proof read your work. delete things that you don't like and read again.

#31 Posted by dudeglove (7755 posts) -

I started writing reviews on opinion sites around about your age. I don't do that any more. I prefer to keep the stupid shit to blog form. But if I hadn't typed all that crap out from an early age, I wouldn't be where I am at now. Someone actually plagiarized me at one point (I think). Read stuff too. Doesn't have to be the complete works of Shakespeare. Look up the editorials of newspapers like WSJ or NYT. The fun ones. Like this guy

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/category/steven-strogatz/

Charlie Brooker often writes about games over at The Guardian, but he's funny on most topics. I'd love to see him interview/be interviewed by Giant Bomb. Plus they are one of the few mainstream newspapers to actually devote actual space to video games.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/games

#32 Posted by Termite (2398 posts) -

@mosespippy: I think the first em dash he uses is completely defensible. A semicolon in that position would look extremely awkward and out of place. It would make more sense to put a semicolon there if he was writing a formal paper, of course, but he's not. The dash makes the introduction snappier and matches the tone he is going for.

#33 Posted by billy_batson (20 posts) -

Do it better.
BB

#34 Posted by Beyond_the_infinite (102 posts) -

Go buy an AP style book take some journalism classes and write about something more important than video games.

#35 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

Write more and understand that your first draft is never gold.

#36 Posted by Swoxx (2993 posts) -

We all love and believe in you Neku, now let's sing kumbaya.

#37 Posted by NekuSakuraba (7240 posts) -

Thanks for all the help guys.

A quick question, what is the rule on multiple question marks if you are asking multiple questions in one sentence, like this for example - Even if we were to filter the topics we wanted to view, what is the point? Why don't we just go to the dedicated websites and discuss the subject there?

#38 Posted by Ramone (2961 posts) -

@LordXavierBritish said:

Use more semicolons. Use at least four semicolons in each paragraph but strive for six semicolons if you really want to push yourself.

No one on the planet know how to use semicolons. They are a dark art which I want no part of.

#39 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

Just write more and often, respond to topic more, write more reviews etc

#40 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6296 posts) -

@NekuSakuraba said:

Thanks for all the help guys.

A quick question, what is the rule on multiple question marks if you are asking multiple questions in one sentence, like this for example - Even if we were to filter the topics we wanted to view, what is the point? Why don't we just go to the dedicated websites and discuss the subject there?

You want to say "What would be the point?" remember your tenses, haha. Other than that I don't see anything wrong with the way you just wrote it.

Oh, and feel free to use contractions and simple language. If anyone attacks you because you talk like the average fucking person and not some scientific jerk-off then they aren't worth your time to proofread your work. Write the way you feel comfortable, if that's in a dialect that isn't exactly "formal", then go ahead. Creativity is only hindered by these bullshit rules.

#41 Posted by Contro (2040 posts) -

@NekuSakuraba:

Reading other peoples work more analytically,

#42 Edited by kmdrkul (3476 posts) -

@NekuSakuraba said:

Hey guys, I've written a few blogs here on Giant bomb and I was wondering how I could improve upon my writing. Here are some examples -

Binding of Isaac

Prices of DLC

To change or not to change?

Dude, where's my truck?

Any tips on how to improve are much appreciated.

Thanks.

Whether you're writing a 3-page essay, 50-page dissertation, 500-word news story, or a personal blog, never.ever. start off with a question. Also, you ask way too many rhetorical questions within the body of your blogs. I understand that it's somewhat conversational, but if you want to make quality points, say what you want to say with authority and skip the rhetorical jargon before it.

I also noticed that you try to say more than one thing in just one sentence a lot. That type of writing always reminds me of that ditzy blond girl from high school who would talk at the speed of sound and not know when to properly end a sentence. Here is a quote from one of your blogs:

Some people might claim - Fifa needs it to update the roster or Call of Duty needs more weapons and maps but isn't that what DLC is for? (besides charging $40 for skins, tsk tsk Epic games!) adding minor changes for a small price? there is no arguing that they make more money by charging $60 a year for the game but we can only hope they will wait a little longer next time!

Okay, not sure if you meant this to be multiple sentences or something else, but it looks like you just tried to say something, ask something, ask something else, then yell something all in the same sentence. It's convoluted and unfocused, but most of all it's just a chore to read.

Hope this helps. Too many people told you to read more books or have other people critique your work.

#43 Posted by CastroCasper (1301 posts) -

Just write and write and write. Everyday if you can. Even if you don't post it online, just write in a notebook. Anything from short stories to game reviews can only help your writing process. Maybe try writing everyday, and posting one article a week online. That way you can see a change in your writing overtime, and you won't have a million blogs, just 52-ish.

#44 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6296 posts) -

Oh, and another thing: write what you know. This doesn't really apply to any of the samples you provided, but if you ever delve into fiction, write only what you have had personal experience with. If you don't think you've done anything exciting enough to warrant a piece, write it anyway, trust me. I just handed in a three page sample to my creative writing professor that centers around two kids sitting in the cab of a truck doing nothing. You can get a good story out of anything, just make sure you're adept in the subject matter.

#45 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -

Learn how to use grammar, stop putting in effort to be funny and read more. Good stuff too.