How to become a writer and write in English?

haipro2001 Mar 4, 2019.

  1. haipro2001
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    haipro2001 GBAtemp Regular

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    Jun 2, 2015
    Becaused I wanted to make RPG video games, I had spent nearly a decade learning to program software. However, I couldn't make my game. I realized it need a story. Although, I didn't want to let anybody write my game's story. So everyday I spent lots of time reading, for I thought that I could write better if I just read a lot.
    Now, as you can see, I'm not even able to write a good paragraph at all. I think I need a guide. I feel so lost.

    Can someone tell me where I should start, and what do I need to learn?
    Time and effort is no problem … but money is : ' (
     
    Last edited by haipro2001, Mar 4, 2019
  2. Quantumcat

    Quantumcat Dead and alive

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    Move to an English-speaking country and only speak English. Avoid talking to anyone in your native language any more than is strictly necessary. Depending how old you are you could become fluent within a few months or a year, after a year or two you should be good enough that you can tell what sounds good to your ear. Then you'll be able to write your game on English and have a good shot at being able to accurately convey the emotions and feelings you want to convey.

    Just learning on your own by reading or taking classes, you'll be able to make yourself understood in an English-speaking country and have basic conversations but you'll never be able to write in a way that doesn't sound like it is from a non-native speaker, or conveys the feelings accurately.

    If your game is really good you should be able to find someone willing to translate it for you, if you write it in your native language (you could write a draft in English and have your translator read the version in your language to make sure of exactly what you want to say, and correct your draft).

    PS for what it's worth your English sounded fine, the only thing I would change is "had spent"->"spent" or "have spent" depending if you wanted to say the learning has finished or is still going.
     
    Last edited by Quantumcat, Mar 4, 2019
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  3. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    Writing is like any other hobby, sport or job: you get better at it by doing. Sure, there are techniques that'll help you, but these are no substitute.

    I've got some books on how to write, but these are (probably all) only in Dutch. I'm fairly sure that your local library has some books on writing as well, as writers often like to write on...well...writing. :P


    Oh, and...you missed it, but humble bundle ran a book bundle that included one about writing for video games. That probably helps you out more than just trying to "learn to write" in general. I'll see if I can find the title again later...
     
  4. x65943

    x65943 Dr. Rabbi Prince X, Sr., Ed. D.

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    Join a predominantly english speaking discord server and start practicing

    Best way to practice is by use

    When you make some good anglophone friends start using the voice chat function
     
  5. Longshot56

    Longshot56 Advanced Member

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    You Chinese? Never, ever, ever use Chinese. Goes for anything. Or, pay someone. I'll do it for you for free, but learning English is a valuable skill
     
  6. haipro2001
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    haipro2001 GBAtemp Regular

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    Jun 2, 2015
    Thanks for your answers. I've been using English a lot. I practice it on online chat rooms everyday. Though I easily get high grades on multiple-choice grammar test, it's really hard for me to write sentences in English without thinking a lot.
    I just don't know how to write something long. Most books I found are only about structure of an essay, which doesn't help me much.
    No no, I'm not Chinese.
    And I'm just an indie developer trying to build some open-source story-rich RPG games for fun.
    I'm glad you said you could help though I don't have any project yet. I want to take atleast the worldbuilding part so I'm still learning about it. I hope I can come up with some good idea soon :D
     
  7. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    Hmm...it's a personal opinion, but I think that online chat rooms or multiple choice grammar test won't help you much outside from grasping the basics of a language. And a crowded chatroom actually punishes people who want to write long sentences (eg: if I had written this sentence in a chat room, the part I'd be replying to would be already be pushed off the screen). You'll probably be better of reading books (any book is fine...even a comic book if reading isn't fluent enough yet).

    And I'll be honest: if English isn't your native language, it's A LOT harder to get the knack for it. I mean...I'm Dutch myself, but even though I've been spoonfed English through film/television since I was young(1), actually conversing in English through forums also took quite a while to get anywhere decent(2).

    But to get back at writing: does it really have to be in English? As my nickname suggests, I love writing. But while I can make myself understandable in French, it's just...not fun. Depending on the subject, writing isn't an easy thing to do even in your native language. And if you do not just want to write anything but an actual game, then I would certainly advice to just write it in your native language and then translate it (or have it translated or corrected). That way you can focus on what's important rather than dabbling into what is, in the end, a distraction from your goal (a tangential objective at best).


    Oh...speaking of which: that book I talked about earlier is this one. I haven't read it so can't comment on it, but I feel that reading that will help you more than something like Renate Dorrestein's "het geheim van de schrijver"(3) or Nathalie Goldman's "Writing down the bones". These are good books for sitting down and scribbling down a page of text, but I honestly don't know if that approach works on video game writing projects.


    @Longshot56 : just out of curiosity: why not Chinese? If that would have been his mother tongue, it would've made much more sense.



    (1): we don't use dubbing here, so it's perfectly normal for us to read subtitles
    (2): I've been doing it since...erm...2004-2005'ish. So yeah...you're looking at about 14 years of practice. But if it's a comfort: I've written map reviews after about a year, after someone told me my writing style was better than most of his fellow Americans
    (3): which is afaik never translated outside Dutch
     
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  8. Youkai

    Youkai Demon

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    I'd actually suggest writing the story in your native language first as it should be much easier.
    After you got the whole story and are happy with it try to translate it as good as possible and maybe ask people for help if you have trouble.

    Why would you want to start the whole thing in a foreign language that you are not fluent in while it is already hard enough to create a good story in your own language ?

    P.S. Asking natives is not always the best choice ^^V
    I was working in western England for a month and they were telling me "I though you were here to learn english?" ... they were kind of surprised to learn that my english wasn't that bad actually, still I thought up some nice questions for these people and none of them could actually give me a correct answer XD
    one of the questions was that if you say "the red Apple" do you need to say normal "the" or the one you would use when the next word starts with a i u e o because red is only a filler word in this case.
    They didn't even know you had to say "the" different when the next word starts with a i u e or o and told me "you can da as you like better". Most Natives don't know the rules of their own language ata all.
     
    Last edited by Youkai, Mar 5, 2019
  9. Longshot56

    Longshot56 Advanced Member

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    A. Idk his mother language, there is no flag on his profile.
    B. I use Chinese as a metaphor because as a native English, it's the hardest languages for me to learn, you can replace Chinese with French, German, Hebrew, Russian etc.
     
    Last edited by Longshot56, Mar 5, 2019
  10. VinsCool

    VinsCool Cattus Incerta Tacitusque

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    Practice, a lot.
    That goes with anything.

    You wouldn't believe it, but my English was really poor a couple of years ago, and now it could easily pass about anywhere.
     
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  11. elizabethprice
    This message by elizabethprice has been removed from public view by DinohScene, Jul 5, 2019, Reason: Spam.
    Jul 5, 2019
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