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Advice Back in Time

Discussion in 'Creative Discussion' started by Teapot, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. Teapot

    Teapot Virtual Duck Enthusiast
    Staff Member Administrator

    A random question I just thought up:

    If you could go back in time to when you just started creating seriously (drawing, writing, spriting, etcetera), what advice would you give your former self? What would you tell other fledgling creators?

    Personally, although I am not a particularly prolific creator here, I do have some advice: Finish your work. Then keep creating. The reason for that is that, well, one of the most important skills you need when creating something is perseverance, and the ability to finish things. Sometimes, even works you might consider a lost cause can be really useful lessons - and others might still like them! (And in my case, being able to finish the projects I code is the difference between me keeping a job or not...)
    #1 Teapot, Apr 7, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
    Shiny Pyxis likes this.
  2. Shiny Pyxis

    Shiny Pyxis 2016 Singles Football

    To back-in-2008-2012 me: using black for outlines is perfectly fine! It makes your sprite easier to see against backgrounds and also easier to distinguish certain parts from each other (where clothes and skin meet, for example). Also, please study human anatomy more. And don't be afraid to experiment with scratch spriting!

    To in-general-past me: keep drawing! You might not think your art is good, and it probably isn't the best, but all artists started somewhere. Do you think your sprites would've improved that much if you didn't keep working on them year after year? The same can be said for non-sprite stuff. Keep drawing, don't give up, and remember, you're doing amazing. ^^
  3. (A lot of this is going to be geared towards writing, but I'm sure some of it can be applied elsewhere)

    Go in with a plan. The biggest problems I had when writing was I would have a good idea for a beginning and an ending, but not much else in between. This led to stagnant, boring work that no one would like to read, not even myself, and that makes it hard to reach the end. I have countless fics that I started and never finished because I didn't have plan going in. I'm ashamed of a lot of them because they all had potential, and I wasted it.

    So plan things out. Build a path. Build multiple paths! You never know what route you might enjoy taking more. While you don't need to hammer out every single step, it's good to at least have an idea where you are and where you're going the majority of the time. Use a flowchart to show the progress, both of the work as a whole and each individual bit. Good flow makes an easy read, which keeps people in. Take a look at anime, for an example. A good number of anime is 12-25 episodes. That's it. There's not much room for filler, usually, because they're trying to tell their story and give you as much as they can without overdoing it and without slowing down the pace. Look at how they pace everything, how everything just flows well, and before you know it, it's over. You can't do that without a plan.

    Don't just plan the story, plan the characters! Your characters have to be built up over the course of the plot as well! Use the time to develop them, to make them relatable in way or another, to allow them to grow as people. We can't be perfect, we have to have our flaws. At some point, everyone breaks. There's always going to be that time that you are broken down by the weight of whatever burden you carry, regardless of whether or not you know you're carrying it. But we grow because of it. We bounce back stronger than before. Positive character development is good, but so is negative character development. Much like some bad guys grow to become good people, even the most righteous and noble of us can fall down into darkness. Shake things up a bit!

    Don't overwork yourself. While sticking to a consistent writing plan can be good, remember that we humans are not perfect machines. We're going to have our days when we just can't write, and we'll also have days where the words flow endlessly. Don't beat yourself up if you can't keep to a schedule or something causes you to break it. It's fine, and you'll be fine. Pace yourself, take time to rest. Don't force yourself to do something when you're not feeling your best, because then your work won't be your best.
    Psycho Monkey and Shiny Pyxis like this.
  4. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    Ohai Psycho Monkey! What's today? January 8, 2009? What's that, you have this really awesome idea for a fic you just started writing? Awesome! Silly boy, you think this will only take a year or two to complete? Yes, yes, I know you're producing chapters endlessly now but that pace won't last forever ya know. Be prepared for this to become your life's work because come April 7, 2015 it still won't even be half way finished! :'D

    Don't let that deter you! Fight on! There will be all kinds of fantastic things that will derail your original plan but will make the work that much more awesome because the ideas will be newer! Hell, with some creative manipulation you can make it seem like it was part of the plan all along! Oh yeah, read everything future Sho said too.

    As for written Let's Plays on games, take notes! You won't be able to remember everything that happens in one session nor will you be able to play, write, and deal with life at the same time. Taking notes will also allow you to add good foreshadowing! Also take thorough notes. Broken phrases and random words do not a story make. Also try not to go overboard. Reproducing the entire game script doesn't exactly leave room for creative freedom either. :|
  5. 52Crossroads

    52Crossroads Formerly Gya

    for writing, id say to plan less. i used to get super wrapped up in these super detailed plots, with ridiculous amounts of backstory, and i could never get anywhere with them. i still do this sometimes, sadly. but when i just start with something simple and expand on it as i write, it feels much more natural and much more expressive.
    for more visual arts, id say something similar. just chill, little me. not everything you make is gonna be a masterpiece. sometimes you just have to do the techniques for practice. sometimes you just have to create something because you feel like being creative. its okay if its not perfect.

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