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I suppose the very first thing I should cover here is the difference between writing the plot and writing the story. Despite having similar names those two words mean different things, the plot is the sequence of events in chronological order, while the story is quite literally how the story is told.

For example if you want to explain the plot of Final Fantasy VII, you should really go Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII-Final Fantasy VII-Advent Children-Dirge of Cerberus. Whereas as we know the way the story's told is VII-Advent Children-Dirge of Cerberus-Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII.

The point is, there's this thing I like to call "Writing the plot as opposed to writing the story" basically what it means is...Actually it's easier just to show you an example, so here is how writing the plot looks:

And then Makoto said "I love you" and kissed Shiro on the lips, before both fell to the ground and made out.

See the scene above has no depth to it, there's nothing to really pull you in and all in all it's just bland and boring, so now let's write a story:

Makoto's dark brown eyes shimmered in the pale moonlight as she looked at the man before her "Shiro..." she said calmly, and yet with an apprehensive tone "I...I love you" she finally admitted both to herself and to Shiro, before leaning forwards and slowly kissing him.

See what a difference that makes? It not only adds depth to the scene but it pulls you in, and makes it more interesting while not only telling you about the characters and where they are, but I digress.

The next point I want to cover is to do with paragraphing, I'm sure you've noticed I do it a lot...Some would even say too much, but it works, a massive wall of text is not only less likely to be read by people, it's also more likely to cause eye strain, I'm not asking for perfect grammar and sentence structure like starting a new paragraph everytime a new line of dialogue is made, but smaller chunks of words are easier for the reader to digest, which is a good thing.

I suppose I should talk about the Mask itself, one thing that should be noted is that there's at least three or four different interpretations of the Mask to choose from, such as the original Comic, the two movies the Cartoon and the comics influenced by the movie/cartoon.

One key thing that's present in most depictions is the idea that it warps the person who wears it psyche, for example the A-typical mask wearer is a shrinking violet who becomes a loud, crazy party girl, but as every person is unique, so too should be every mask wearer.

I sort of covered this last time, but I'll try and be clearer by using examples. Let's take two popular characters with similar dispositions, Hinata Hyuuga from Naruto and Orihime Inoue from Bleach. For starters Hinata has a number of family issues to play around with, picture a daddies girl from hell if you will, you don't have to make the crush on Naruto her key character trait.

Meanwhile for Orihime, you've got a plethora of weird ideas and gags to mess with, consider the time she said she wanted to be a killer death robot when she grew up, you could have her be the most wacky and crazy Mask wearer we've ever seen, with once again the love aspect being played down.

I can't really talk about jokes considering we all have different taste in jokes and gags and if you try to force a joke you aren't comfortable with, the awkwardness will show in your writing, so I guess my best advice is to just go with the flow when you're trying to be funny, think of what makes you laugh and try to work it in somehow so that it feels natural.

There's not much more I can say except have fun and do what you want to do, in my experience trying to write a story which you aren't fully invested in is pointless, whether it's Mask stories or original content you shouldn't try to force yourself into writing, let it come naturally and you'll find yourself in the flow of things, and able to write much more then you thought you could.
I was never really satisfied with the original guide I did, it was too much of an attack on the movie and didn't really help enough, now I'm going to amend that.
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:iconjuanipmo:
JuaniPMO Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013  Student Filmographer
Mister. You saved my life :squee::squee::squee::squee::squee::squee:
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:iconirysgundam005:
IrysGundam005 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2012
I was going to post this on the previous "How to Write Mask Stories", but I think it would be better if I posted it here.

You remember my Mask of Sigyn idea? Lately, I introduce it into a Mask RP that me and my friend NukeDawg where doing for time-to-time. Although the RP is no longer up -taken down due to personal reasons- I found myself enjoying the Sigyn Mask. Allows me to due the multiple Mask idea, without happening to strain myself over how to introduce a second mask without causing all kinds of problems and headaches. *Thinks for a second* Well, different problems and headaches than the ones your probably thinking of.

However, something just recently came up concerning that idea. If both the Sigyn Mask wearer and the Loki Mask wearer are on the same side (and possibly lovers to boot), then how do I create an opposing party who is able to counter a pair of indivituals with god-like powers (the Sigyn Mask's powers are rought the same as the Loki Mask's, my justification being that as a goddess, reality warping and superhuman abilities are natural to Sigyn. That, and her own powers have never been defined, so there is room for interpritation)? It's' easier when the Loki Mask wearer is alone, sense it's just one person. However, add in the Sigyn Mask wearer, and things just got complicated in a hurry.

Suggestions?
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:iconjesphox11:
Jesphox11 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Oh there's ways to have someone pose a threat to the Mask [link] [link] You can create a character who's already powerful, even without using a Mask I mean, if the Mask were to pick a fight with say Gunleon [link] Gunleon would probably win, you can make the enemy intelligent enough to defeat the Mask using skill and planning, or you could go with another powerful artefact giving someone else power to rival the Mask, in keeping with Norse mythology, Gungnir or something.
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:iconirysgundam005:
IrysGundam005 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2012
Mm, I'll keep the Gungnir idea in mind.

Now, something else I wanted to bring up. You recall me putting forth that Sigyn Mask causes whomever wears to become strongely attracted to whomever is wearer the Loki Mask, correct? Any cleaver suggestions on how to play around with that? There is the obivious idea of a married couple using them to rekindle their old magic, and I do have a few ideas looming around, but I would like to hear anything you could bring to the table.
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:iconjesphox11:
Jesphox11 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Perhaps it winds up in the hands of someone who hates the current Mask wearer, and they have to try and overcome their obvious attraction to them so they can fight
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:iconirysgundam005:
IrysGundam005 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
Okay, I'm back with one more thing concerning doing Mask stories. And that is, of all things, titles.

Yes, I do realize this is kinda trivial, but bear with me. I really don't know how to make good titles concerning these kinds of stories. Most of the time, whenver I do Mask RPs with my friend NukeDawg, the RP is always titled "The Mask Returns" or "Rised of the Masked Ones". And I use them, all the time, and it's very repedative doing so.

So I was wondering, if you had any advice concerning Mask RPs/Story titles?
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:iconjesphox11:
Jesphox11 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Hnn...Well you could always go with something which tells you about the content of the story (Emerald Faced Chaos), you could make a pun/refference (Big Trouble in Little Toronto) or something ironic (Just Another Day)
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:iconirysgundam005:
IrysGundam005 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2012
Okay, I'm back again. This time, concerning something that happened in the original comics.

When it was Kellaway's turn to put on the Mask and become Big Head, the arm injury he suffered healed. However, whenever he took off the Mask, his arm was back in it's sling.

So, question. What happened there? Did the Mask heal Kellaway fully and the sling was merely in order to avoid unwanted attention? Or was his arm only healed while he wore the Mask?
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:iconjesphox11:
Jesphox11 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I think it was just a cover story, I seem to remember him taking his arm out of the sling a few times without wearing the Mask, and if we go by Kathy's hole in the chest healing up when she took off the Mask in the next couple of issues.
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:iconirysgundam005:
IrysGundam005 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2012
Mm. You know, that actually gives me the idea for something. I'll have to run it by Nuke and see what he thinks. Just to note though; a women with a strong enough will CAN potentinally resist the attractive effect of the Sigyn Mask (I had an idea for that a while ago).
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:icontimelordparadox:
TimeLordParadox Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
Nice summery, I've been writing Mask stories for a couple of years now and I agree with pretty much everything you've said.

I find it a little annoying when, in some Mask Fan fictions I've read, most just seems to assume the Mask turns the wearer into the same yellow suited character as Stanley's mask and even uses the same catchphrases when each 'Masked' character should be as unique as the person wearing it.
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:iconjesphox11:
Jesphox11 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It's probably my biggest pet peeve with the fan fics, well that and the writing styles where they just write the plot.
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:icontimelordparadox:
TimeLordParadox Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
Oh yeah I see what you mean. It's not just with Mask fan fics either. Some fan fictions I've read have plenty of plot, just not enough depth or 'soul' as I call it to keep me interested and I find myself either skipping along it or just not reading it. While some I've read have a lot of depth and soul but just don't go anywhere with it.

When I write fan fictions I try to find a balance of them both, but I admit I sometimes think I go overboard on the depth but whenever I look through it to cut it down I keep thinking 'I can't get rid of that I need it' so it pretty much all stays in :D

I've written quite a few Mask fan fictions on Fanfiction.net, but I'm thinking of publishing some of them on DeviantART as well.
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:iconjesphox11:
Jesphox11 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, it's why I tend to not read fan fics much ever since I began writing myself, I don't mean to toot my own horn, but when I see mistakes and errors that even I could catch in a quick once over, I close the tab in a heartbeat.

I myself just try to tell the story in such a way that it becomes easy (Hopefully) for the reader to picture, my father once said that you should aim for painting a mental picture using the words as a base, or something along those lines.

I am familliar with your work, well truth be told I read the Resident Evil and part of the Mario fics, they were very well written from what I saw.
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:icontimelordparadox:
TimeLordParadox Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
I used to read quiet a lot of fan fictions myself as well before I decided to join in the writing game. These days I can usually forgive a few gramatical errors or spelling mistakes as long as the story is good and the characters are solidly written and true to their identities. The only time I'll stop reading a fan fiction out right is when I think a character does or says too many things that doesn't sound true to him/her.

My writing style is mostly inspired by J.K. Rowling and Clive Cussler books, so I try to paint a picture of what's going on around the characters but at the same time I try to get into the characters head, figure out his/her point of view on something and write that to add more depth to a character.

I agree with what your father said, you can use words as a base but at the same time you can't do all the work. You have to let the readers imagination take over as well. Was your father a writer as well btw?

Thanks, they're all on going works atm and I'm finding it harder to find time to sit down and continue writing them, but I'll get through them eventually.
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:iconjesphox11:
Jesphox11 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Eh, fair enough, I can see what you mean, the hassle of trying to keep characters true to themselves all the time is why I prefer to work on original content, well that and full creative control of the story, but I digress.

I can't really say I have a direct inspiration for writing style, I guess it's mostly myself, I just write whatever comes into my head first.

No, my dad was actually a managing director for a number of different businesses before he retired a few years back.

Good, I look forward to what you have planned for them, especially in the way of other potential wearers.
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:icontimelordparadox:
TimeLordParadox Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
Don't get me wrong, plenty of fan fiction writers manage to keep the characters... well in character and though I like a little experimentation with characters its just when you read it and you get the feeling the writer is writing for the wrong character if you know what I mean. But mind you I rarely come across stories like that and most authors have enough respect for said character to keep them in check.

My older fan fictions when I first started out used to be just plot and plot I didn't have a writing style until I got into proper novels and books, then I learned how to add depth and soul to my writing.

Well your dad has got some good writing advice.

Thanks, I hope you enjoy what I have in store.
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:icontimelordparadox:
TimeLordParadox Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
Reading back at some of what I've written in this thread I've just realised it makes me sound like I don't read other peoples fiction at all or that I see it as inferior.

I just want to clear up I do read other peoples fan fiction whether Mask fan fiction or not and I do not consider my writing style superior to anyones, in fact I think I go overboard on detail sometimes;). I'm just often very busy with other stuff these days.

Just wanted to clear that up.
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:iconmegaspinosaur:
MegaSpinosaur Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012   Writer
Great way to give out advice about Mask stories.

So far, I'm working on the second chapter of Team Mask. I'm intending to have Saku (Sakura's Mask identity) sing karaoke to try and impress Naruto. I've got the concept down, but I can't come up with a song for her to sing.

Any suggestions?
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:iconjesphox11:
Jesphox11 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Love songs aren't really my specialty, I'm more into rock and heavy metal best I can come up with is something by the Barenaked Ladies [link] [link] These two being their most famous songs/love songs
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:iconsonicteam21:
SONICTEAM21 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012  Student General Artist
You have no idea how much that helped me dude:) Thanks a bunch for posting this!:333
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