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Warning! Unfinished Page
Please don't contribute unfinished pages. We get a lot of these, and almost none of them are EVER finished in a timely manner. Your unfinished page has been deleted. I'd suggest you post unfinished pages on your own computer in a notepad or other text document, or if it isn't your own computer that you're using, to save the text onso you can access it later. Posting an unfinished page again will result in a block.
Additionally, I'm noticing a number of mechanical issues (punctuation and awkward wording mainly) as well as some plot issues that should be worked on before uploading the finished story. EmpyrealInvective (talk) 15:35, April 29, 2020 (UTC)
Your story has been deleted because it doesn't meet the wiki's quality standards. If you feel that it did meet the standards, please state your case on Deletion Appeal. Make sure you follow the instructions to the letter there, or your appeal will be automatically denied.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REUPLOAD YOUR PASTA. If you upload it again, you'll receive a 1-day ban from editing, as per the rules.
For additional help, submit your story to the Writer's Workshop for feedback.
There were frequent capitalization (improper capitalization of dialogue tags), punctuation (improper punctuation usage in dialogue), formatting (multiple speakers on the same paragraph as well as paragraphs lacking full break spaces), awkward wording, and plot issues (the largest being that the story is passively told, lacks effective description, and over-relies on tropes) which resulted in your story failing to meet our quality standards. As I pointed out issues in the original unfinished draft, I'm going to suggest you take your next story to the writer's workshop for feedback if you're looking for a more in-depth breakdown of the things that need to be worked on. EmpyrealInvective (talk) 13:14, May 27, 2020 (UTC)
You can use whatever grammar software works best for you. The big thing is to make sure you're properly proof-reading and revising your story to clean up the issues before posting. I pointed out some issues you repeated previously to give you a reference point of things to be on the lookout for when writing. Sorry for the delay, my internet's been out since Friday (still is, but I managed to get onto campus to work on a few things). EmpyrealInvective (talk) 20:07, June 21, 2020 (UTC)
- You can also take your story to the writer's workshop (link in the deletion message) if you're looking for feedback. They would be able to point out most mechanical issues present in your writing and you can use that information to avoid making those mistakes in the future. Have a good one. EmpyrealInvective (talk) 19:33, June 22, 2020 (UTC)
- Here's a copy of your story. I would suggest saving a file someone (not only for safe-keeping, but also for reviewing/editing purposes). As for using the writer's workshop, the link included above leads to the forum where it provides steps and guidelines for submitting your story for review. EmpyrealInvective (talk) 18:50, June 23, 2020 (UTC)
Re: Writer's Workshop
Here is another copy of your story (also linked above). To post to the Writer's Workshop, you'd go to that link and click the box under "Start a Discussion" (That will be the title to your post) and copy/paste your story into the box below it titled "Post a new message to the writer's workshop". Finally, here's the guidelines to using the writer's workshop. Hope that helps. EmpyrealInvective (talk) 19:20, July 14, 2020 (UTC)
Soul Eater Sally
I got your question, and I'm going to be very honest with you. Soul Eater Sally as a concept is a problem in general, and so I think your focus is in the wrong place here. You're essentially trying to improve upon something that can't be improved upon, in my opinion, because it has so much wrong with it. If it were me, I wouldn't be hanging on to this character.
One of the biggest problems is where you're coming from with your development. You're not afraid of Soul Eater Sally. Nowhere in her paragraph's worth of a bio is anything that scares you. That's a problem. If your villain isn't disturbing to you, it won't be to anyone else. I strongly advise you to move away from, "I'm creating this really cool villain" and head toward "This character I created is legitimately frightening to me."
Once you hit on an idea that gets you there, let it develop naturally. Don't impose your will on it. Your description of Sally consists of a whole bunch of stuff you forced together because it seemed interesting to you. It's clear you didn't take the time to ask "What would make sense here," and let the character more or less fill themselves out.
I strongly suggest hunting down some character development writing exercises. There are even resources out there about how to create good villains and write strong horror stories. You can find these very easily, either in article, blog, or video form. All it takes is a simple Google search.
If, at the end of the day, you're really married to your Sally character, then consider that creepypasta may not be where she belongs. As I've said before, characters like the one you're currently describing are much better suited to comics or cartoons. If you just can't bring yourself to reconcieve your villain, it may be worth pursuing one of these avenues instead of creepypasta.
I really hope this helps you. I don't mean to constantly beat up on this work that you're clearly very passionate about. It's great to have passion, but it's another thing to develop the skills you'll need to pursue and execute it strongly. Best of luck.
ETA: Just to be clear, everything above is one single person's opinion and should be regarded as such.
Re: Re: Soul Eater Sally
I think you're starting in the wrong place by insisting on making a character. Honestly, the days of creepypasta breakout characters are past. That's why something like that is better suited to a completely different medium, in my opinion.
I think a stronger place to start would be with a situation. Situations can be built into stories.
Let's try an exercise:
You're scared of being alone. Okay, let's work with that. Imagine yourself completely alone and scared. Where are you? Why are you scared? How did you get into that situation? What's the absolute worst, scariest thing that could happen as a result of being alone where you are? Try doing just a freewrite for fifteen minutes based on this scenario, or something else inspired by your fears. See where it goes. Don't say "no" to any thought that comes. Being willing to explore is crucial to creativity.
Once your freewrite is complete, read over it. Look for ways you can fill in the story model we talked about earlier. What jumps out at you that could fill the following slots: protagonist, goal, obstacle, outcome? Then, looking at that model, if it necessitates a villain, you can create one that is tailored specifically to that story.
Even the most iconic (good) creepypasta characters started out fitting perfectly into a specific story. In my opinion, it's easier, more beneficial, and honestly more fun to start from the story angle and fill in with a villain than the other way around. After this exercise, you may find that you feel very differently and that's okay. I just urge you to try it first, maybe a couple of times.
I also want to address something else here. The last thing I want to come from all of this is that you doubt yourself and become overreliant on the opinions and directions of others, especially where your art is concerned. That's not a good way of thinking. Adivce can hurt sometimes, sure. It happens, but ultimately, it's just advice, and when it comes to art, you can only ever get someone else's subjective opinion. It's not like any of this is a science with clearly defined steps. Ultimately, you have to do you.
If you take absolutely nothing else from this conversation, I hope it's that exploration is key and imposing your will on anything, be it character or story, will kill it. If you want to stick with Sally, fine, but let her decide who and what she is. Start with a single kernel (something you like best about her, like maybe her look, maybe her murder, etc.) and see what she fills in naturally, instead of piling idea after idea onto her. Let yourself ask questions: "What traits does a person need to have in order to think/do this thing? What personal qualities does she have if it makes sense for her to look a certain way?" I think you will be pleasantly surprised where this takes you. If you want practice, try doing it with something other than Sally first. Then, maybe on your third or fourth try, use Sally.
I hope this helps.
ETA: Oh, and yes. Reading as much as you can get your hands on---of anything, not just creepypastas---is only going to be a good thing. I suggest checking out the "Recommended Reading" list here on the site or... ahem... any of my stories, perhaps? ;-) Seriously, though, no pressure. Just reading, reading, reading, and doing it critically is the key. As you're reading ask, "Do I like this? Why? What did the author do that was good? How could this have been better?"
Honor What's True
I've changed the subject heading because this is clearly bigger than any one project for you. They key with writing, and with creation in general is to honor what's true. This takes practice, but the more you try to let things flow, the easier it will become. Don't try to make your creations "like" something else. Let them be what they are.
Not every story needs a villain. Not every villain fits neatly in one story. Not every story or villian you create will stay self-contained. Sometimes, something that you thought would be only one story splits up into two completely separate one, etc. Be open to any and all possibilities. Hyperfocusing on one thing or trying to nail down a specific set of steps or order of operations could lead you to miss something important.
Forget about what's going to be good. Forget about critics. Forget about everything except what you're creating. Don't overthink the process. Just set a timer and type. Don't stop typing until the timer goes off. What you write won't make sense. It doesn't have to. Sorting it out comes later. Polish comes later. You can't have those later steps without this crucial first one.
If you know you have low self-esteem and you have a poor relationship with criticism, now is the time to challenge it. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what I say or what anyone else says. The value of what you're doing doesn't come from outside of you. There is value in simply doing the thing, regardless of the outcome.
Re: Re: Honor What's True
Part of this work is going to be that you have to start answering these questions for yourself. All of your questions suggest that you want a pain-staking, step-by-step process to follow to produce exactly what you're trying to create, and I just can't give you that. Such a process guide doesn't exist, and anyone who describes one is telling you what works for them. At this point, I have described the process I'm suggesting as best I can. You have to put aside your worrying about "getting it right" and just do something. Anything. Right or wrong doesn't matter. You will learn and gain experience either way. Don't get it right. Get it written.
This is where realistic expectations come in: you will not have a finished product for several drafts. You are not going to sit down, brainstorm, and bang out a complete, perfect story in the space of an hour. None of us do. Don't expect that. The process is slow and messy. You will pour ideas onto the page. The majority of them won't stick. The ones that do will have to be molded and developed into a story. Then that story will have to be developed further. Then that developed story will have to be rewritten however many times it takes. And even after all of that, it may still suck. And that's okay, because all of that time and effort you spent on it means you learned something.
"Honor what's true" means not forcing things. Pick a starting place and just go from there, forgetting everything else you've been holding onto. Sally has pink eyelids. Try asking why? Is it makeup? If it is, why that color? Let these questions lead you down a rabbit hole and don't try to force them to go in any particular direction. You may end up with a very different concept from where you started. Sally could morph before your eyes into a middle-aged ex hippie named Caroline with a massive chip on her shoulder and a taste for human flesh. The point is to just let yourself explore.
I can't say it any more plainly than that. If you're confused, then what you need to do is step away from all of this for a day or two, relax, and then come back to it.
Re: I'm Back
You should actually hope you get things wrong, because mistakes give us the best opportunity to learn.
Your scenario sounds pretty frightening. Try building on it until you have something like a complete story. Then go back over it and see how you can make it stronger. Fill in details, think about it from a realistic perspective. Would the patient know the injection made their heart slow down? How might they describe that feeling if they don't have any knowledge of medicine? Find other places like this where you can fill things in and smooth things over.
Do you see how the process is one of layering? The first step is always to just get something---anything---on the page. But the real work is to then go back in and think about it critically for as long as it takes to make something good. You should do this with all writing, no matter what it is.
And get used to the pain of changing or outright scrapping something you care about. It's something we all have to do, without exception, so if you make friends with it now, you'll be much better off. If you find yourself keeping something because "you really want to" regardless of whether it makes sense for the story, then you should rethink that decision and envision how things might look if you pull the plug on that idea. For example, you can't come up with a reason for Sally to have eyes like she does. Give her different eyes that have a clear and specific reason for being the way they are and see what happens. Don't be afraid to let everything else change because of this decision. This is what writing is.
To be a really good writer, you often have to give up control. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but it's true.