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Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by Lady_Belligerent , Nov 2, 2022.

  1. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Previously Lady Belligerent, now RPF Queen/C&P Mgr star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    There’s no supervisor here to yell at us for talking! So join in and share what works for you, or if you are looking for solutions this is a great place to ask.

    Hey role players

    How many of you know what semantic satiation is? Did you know it happens in writing?

    https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/71855/why-does-word-sometimes-lose-all-meaning

    This is something I often think about, and struggle with, when I’m writing. It takes conscious effort to not fall into the habit of using the same words and phrases too much. I’ve read articles about how it “kills” the reader’s experience when you’re using the same words and phrases, and it does! I find myself checking out when I’m reading the same expressions and words over and over. Try it in your wiring, maybe going back once you’ve written your post and see if there’s a word you used multiple times. Then count how many times you’ve used that one word or phrase, you might be surprised. Replace those repeated words and phrases and it makes your writing more engaging for the readers.

    I catch my characters “narrowing her eyes” a lot, and I’m still trying to find the acceptable number of uses I can manage before it’s damned annoying. Sadly, it’s just once.

    My most overused words are smiled, gently, warmly, and sighed.

    What are your overused words? Share with us your thoughts and how you get past this common issue!
     
  2. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
    I tend to use the word 'but' much too often. It's one of the things I watch for when I'm reviewing the first draft and getting it polished for posting.
     
  3. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Previously Lady Belligerent, now RPF Queen/C&P Mgr star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Yes! ‘Like’ and ‘and’ are ones that catch me too. When I read through I always wonder what I was thinking.
     
  4. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Fan Art Manager & Curator star 7 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    'But' is definitely one that I've noticed for myself in the past. I have since made an active effort to restructure my sentences to avoid using it as much as possible.

    'And' is a tough one, though. You almost can't get around using it, especially since it's a common conjunction that connects two (or more) related sentences together. On the other hand, 'but' is used moreso to introduce a contradiction or exception. I feel like there are more ways to get around that one. Or maybe 'and' just doesn't bother me as much. :p
     
  5. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Previously Lady Belligerent, now RPF Queen/C&P Mgr star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Okay, so for “but”, depending on the use there’s yet or still. That one would send me to the thesaurus, I think. :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2022
  6. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    For ‘And’ there is always the broken path: Also, furthermore, in addition, not excluding, including, and etc.

    Do I often use these? Not as much, for far too superfluous and strained usage in the struggle for variety can lead one to the other end where the readers are too exhausted from referencing a thespian thesaurus for the eventuality of the predetermined predilections tendency towards vociferousness and sesquipedalia that this encourages. Which, if someone can render the whole thing constantly so, I fear a floccinaucinihilipilification, which for any suffering from Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia would be dreadful. Not to mention your own beginnings intent. That fear tends to limit me more than the other propels me to variegate my writing. Perhaps I need to work on it more.
     
  7. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Previously Lady Belligerent, now RPF Queen/C&P Mgr star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    [face_hypnotized]=D=

    #goals :p but, we all aren’t a sesquipedalian.[face_laugh]

    @Mitth_Fisto how many ways can you describe your character’s eyes without lapsing back to the same description?
     
  8. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    How doth I gaze at thee? Let me count the ways:
    1. Viridian pools sparkled with voracious intent in her simmering gaze.
    2. The tainted opals of his eyes, watery from emotion or drink gazed unfixed upon the counter, and the bottle.
    3. Her pupils slits narrowed at the others words, the black nearly vanished in the forest they were nestled.
    4. His blue eyes shone with hope and love as he saw the ship waiting for them.
    5. One eye opened wide as the other narrowed as he looked questioningly at the Jedi.
    6. Twin lipid pools of darkness stared dispassionately at them, through them, past them…
    7. His steel grey eyes hardened, focusing intently the lightsaber in his opponents hands.

    8. And etc. this will be become a ridiculous list very quickly, and I have not the drive to dry myself out with this task. Mostly it just is how many ways you can talk about colors, emotions, wetness/dryness, and compare them to things that are not eyes. So so many ways.
     
  9. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Previously Lady Belligerent, now RPF Queen/C&P Mgr star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Wow!! Thank you! Those are great! ^:)^
    So many of us all use the same terms to describe eyes, so I’m going to try and follow your example Mitth! All of those are really interesting to read and I didn’t check out on any of them.

    What’s another abused word or phrase?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2022
  10. Dagobahsystem

    Dagobahsystem Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Smiles darkly, from the shadows.

    Chuckles. Darkly. While lurking.
    In the shadows.

    Brilliant post, @Mitth_Fisto
    Well said and creative indeed.

    Excellent thread topic @Lady_Belligerent

    Writing creatively is fun and challenging and it is all too easy to fall back into hackneyed turns of phrase, as it were. :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2022
  11. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Previously Lady Belligerent, now RPF Queen/C&P Mgr star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Smiles and chuckles! I’ve seen both overly used. :)

    There are lots of good ways to express both of those, anyone want to give us a list?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2022
  12. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Previously Lady Belligerent, now RPF Queen/C&P Mgr star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Okay, I’ll do it: chortle, giggle, crow, roar shriek snicker, guffaw, titter, snicker. There’s more, but there so many options to use something besides the same words.

    I just caught myself using “her” multiple times in a sentence. It’s a process, but I'm determined to keep checking myself.
     
  13. Jar-Jar Binks

    Jar-Jar Binks Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Is this a vocabulary thread?

    Ever wonder what the first word was?

    Must have been word

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2022
  14. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Previously Lady Belligerent, now RPF Queen/C&P Mgr star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    @Jar-Jar Binks no, we are talking about ways to improve our writing for role playing. :)
     
  15. Jar-Jar Binks

    Jar-Jar Binks Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Oooops sorry to disturb your rythem folks.
     
  16. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Previously Lady Belligerent, now RPF Queen/C&P Mgr star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    You’re good! Maybe you’ll decide to try joining in again sometime. :p
     
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  17. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
    When I'm writing Kayn, the corner of his mouth sometimes twitches up, and occasionally down.
     
  18. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Previously Lady Belligerent, now RPF Queen/C&P Mgr star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Today I’ve been reading about writer’s block. Several articles list these reasons for WB: fear, perfectionism, self-criticism, or external pressure.

    I know I fall into self-criticism, and often write and delete, write and delete a few more times. That usually means a lot of time staring at a blank document for way too long.

    There are a lot of good suggestions on how to move past WB, what works for you?

    Talking things over with someone helps me. Also, setting aside what’s got me hung up and moving to something else for awhile helps too. I tend to return later feeling better about the issues that had bothered me earlier.
     
  19. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Fan Art Manager & Curator star 7 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    Perfectionism and self-criticism are definitely my writing banes. And as you said, it can hold me up for long periods of time—I think the longest stretch I've had recently was 6 days? I also have this block in my head that if I'm having trouble with one reply, I can't move past it until it's done. It's almost like I get stubborn, causing me to buckle down on that one reply. I know that's not the best outlook to have, and I'm trying hard to break out of that, but it contributes a lot to my frustration.

    I will say that watching a TV show or movie that reminds me of the scene or situation has helped me to overcome writer's block in the past. It allows me to get into the right mindset of the character and make connections that I can then put down on the page. Music sometimes helps, but I usually find that more of a distraction than anything. Talking it out with someone else and having an in-depth character discussion also helps me quite a bit.
     
  20. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Previously Lady Belligerent, now RPF Queen/C&P Mgr star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    I like the idea of getting inspiration from watching something! Good one, @HanSolo29.

    I saw several authors online mentioning taking a hike or getting outdoors to think. For me that could make it worse, unless I can get to a place where I’ll clearly be distracted. Otherwise I’d just be gnashing my teeth with every step over what I’m trying to get on the page.
     
  21. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fantastically Fiendish Fanfic Manager star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    Hello, everyone! I am a friendly (and fiendish[face_devil]) face visiting from the Fanfic section. I don't have experience writing RPF, but I figured it might be fun to swap writing thoughts and tips anyway. So here are some of mine:

    On the subject of semantic satiation, I must admit that I had never heard the term before, but I have definitely observed that phenomenon where a word repeated over and over can lose all meaning. Become nonsensical. Even feel like it is no longer a word. So it is useful to have a precise term to pair with that phenomenon.

    As far as words that I tend to use a lot, they would be things like "softly," gently", and "gingerly" because writing hurt/comfort stories is one of my guilty pleasures in life. In terms of character gestures, I would say my characters are prone to squeezing and clapping each other's shoulders, pinching the bridges of their noses when they are frustrated, massaging their temples when they are stressed, clenching their fists or jaws when they are angry, and furrowing their foreheads when they are confused. Also, their lips might thin and their eyebrows arch. Those are the major facial expressions my characters are capable of making. Or that I am capable of thinking to give them within the limited confines of my creativity[face_laugh]

    In terms of writer's block, for me, it tends to be a lack of inspiration either on a particular story or with writing in general, which I will tend to blame on my fickle and flighty muse. I am a mood writer (and a mood reader for that matter). I have to be in the right mood not only to write but to write that particular story.

    So most of my tips for beating writer's block are about giving myself a jolt of inspiration.

    Jolts of inspiration for me can be things like prompts and challenges. It can be holidays, the changing seasons, my travels, and my life experiences. It can be music. I have written stories inspired by song lyrics before, and sometimes I like to write while listening to music that fits the tone of the piece I am trying to write. So sad music for something tragic. Upbeat music for something happy.

    I also find that sometimes I just need to recharge my battery. To step away from my notebook or my computer screen. To take a shower, which tends to jumpstart my creativity. Or to eat. Because sometimes I can spend hours immersed in my writing without realizing it until I start to get hungry. My stomach crying out to me that it needs fuel.

    I also find it helpful to work on multiple projects and stories at a time so if one isn't working out for me, I can shift my focus and inspiration to another project or story without getting too frustrated.

    I also let ideas for my writing marinate for days, weeks, or even months. They can be in the back of my mind. Picking up extra flavor for when the time is right to write them.

    Sometimes I also just acknowledge that I'm not in the mood for writing on a particular day and that's okay since it is not my job. It's a hobby. I can take an off day. Or even an off week if I want to. Sometimes stepping away for awhile is the best cure for my writer's block.

    I think a lot depends on the individual writer what is the best cure for writer's block.
     
  22. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Previously Lady Belligerent, now RPF Queen/C&P Mgr star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    I can totally relate to the shower! For some reason that a good thinking space. :p

    Also, I do thrive when I have a list of posts, or combo replies, for games. I’ll start with what I’m most excited about and work my way through them.

    Welcome @devilinthedetails! Come visit anytime. :)
     
  23. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fantastically Fiendish Fanfic Manager star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    Thanks for the welcome, Lady B!

    I think of many of my greatest ideas in the shower. The trick is remembering them when I get out:p

    I always have a list of prompts and challenges I've accepted that I can work on given that I tend to horde prompts and challenges with all the self-restraint of a squirrel gathering acorns in the fall[face_laugh]

    So, really I have no excuse for lack of inspiration, but still lack of inspiration can vexingly strike...
     
  24. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Fan Art Manager & Curator star 7 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    Ooo... some great suggestions, @devilinthedetails, thank you for sharing them! :D

    You can add me to the list of people who do a lot of brainstorming in the shower. That's where I get a lot of my ideas. If I'm struggling with something, it works almost every time without fail. :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2022
  25. Tia

    Tia Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2022
    I don't get writer's block as I'm not a writer :p


    However, I do go through lulls when I don't think something is working, and can take me a day or two to get out of a 'funk'
    coming up with characters is one thing, keeping them fresh and interesting is something else.