Hullo, greetings and salutations! We may or may not have met yet. My name is Robert Quick. I haven’t been here for very long (a little more than a year) and I wasn’t a part of the original Ficlets when it was around. My introduction to Ficly was through Wil Wheaton’s podcast Radio Free Burrito (which you should check out!). Three things you should know about me:
1) I love science-fiction and fantasy (though I prefer well crafted ANYTHING over sci-fi schlock)
2) I am color-blind- though a friend codified it better by calling it color confused
3) My goal is to hone my writing for novels or to be a part of a group that creates stories and worlds for games.
Nearly all great art comes from a direct interpretation of reality. I am a failed artist (drawing), but the advice I got from all of my art buddies and my art books was always the same- draw what you see. As writers we should do the same, except with words.
Whether in conversations that happen around us (Guy complaining on his phone in the supermarket, kids teasing each other, or the sappy sweetness of a new couple freshly in love), or something we see (sunset that spread colors and turned trees into silhouettes, two sea gulls playing over rolling waves, or the infinite depths of space above us full of stars), it is good for us to try to describe the scene in our own words. It gives us valuable practice.
While I think that using movies to practice may be valuable too, you might run into the same problem that I ran into when using magazines as models for my drawings- they ended up looking flat and lifeless.
Many people feel that dialogue is the hardest part of writing because it is hard to make the words sound convincing. Yet conversations happen all around us.
My advice is to carry a small notebook with you whenever possible so you can jot down notes on anything that strikes you. Writing descriptions down while they are fresh create an association in the brain but they also give you a hard copy in case you forget exactly what made the waitress at the table next to you so unfriendly.
We are observers. We are recorders. We are entertainers.
Observere, Record, Entertain.
Get out there and log some experiences, it will give your writing legitimacy and make your stories shine!