Some Ways YOU can Improve Your Writing!

Hello, once again! I have returned from the other side of my room to write another post, and this time I will be doing something I am most likely unqualified to do.

Have you ever struggled writing? Can’t get through the painful process of editing and revising, or do you ever get writer’s block? Maybe you have an awesome idea, but you just cannot get it down on paper. While I cannot hope to address every problem we face as writer’s, these past few months and my tenure on this blog have allowed me to alleviate the meticulous cycle of getting words on a blank piece of paper and having them look presentable.

What are some ways to look for mistakes while editing?

First and foremost, I could just tell you to install Grammarly and get done with it. It will look for some errors and make suggestions for fixes, and also explain why you need that comma or why your choice of words may not be as effective. There’s a premium version that is infinitely more powerful, but the free version is more than helpful. You can install it as an extension for your browser, for Word, and even as its own application. However, you will need an Internet connection, which may or may not be detrimental.

Also, pro (but not really) tip: DO NOT solely use Word’s grammar check, and ESPECIALLY NOT WordPress’ (heh).

One thing I need to add is to not only look at Grammarly for applications that assist you in editing. Another one that compliments it very well is the Hemingway Editor, which is also free of charge unless you desire to use the desktop app. Chopping down on unnecessary words and making your sentences concise is something to strive for, and this app indicates just that. Are some of your sentences hard to read? Hemingway will tell you that, but it’s up to you in figuring out how to do that.

Another way to alleviate this process is to read your writing aloud. You will find words that are missing, words that are misplaced, and words that just sit there awkwardly. Look for proper verb tense as well, and ensure that you understand everything that is on your paper. If you have trouble following along with your own work, then others will inevitably get lost. Along with this, saying words aloud can help you write more effectively to achieve the same benefit while writing and before editing.

I have a great idea; where do I begin to write?

Let’s pretend you have a great idea for some sort of story, or blog post, or essay. You have the outline in your head: this is Point A, which will lead to Point B, which will all culminate in Point C. The problem is how these points will connect in a fluid and meaningful way.

Having a plan is only one step of the journey, but one piece of advice is to just write. Thinking an idea to death is one way to just disappoint yourself after you start, while overplanning may prove to be a burden if you get new ideas that may not fit in as seamlessly. (This is a great way to combat writer’s block!) If the latter case is true, you may have to stick to your current plans and abandon a good idea. Ambition is a great thing while writing, but you can only have so much content before you overstay your welcome.

(Knowing that the rest of this article does not address writer’s block, another way to combat it is to go out for a walk, and also to just go out in the world and not focus on your ideas. Who knows, maybe you’ll get an epiphany in an unexpected place?)

There have been countless times where I have seen people (as well as myself) make excellent pieces, but they ramble on after their point is proven. Avoiding this is key, as beating a dead horse will just bore everyone. Trimming down on ideas is a key to writing, and can furthermore lead to a better understanding of what you are going to write. This also holds true to ideas that seem to have merit but stick out like a sore thumb. (ex. a horror themed chapter in an adventure novel) These could work, but make sure you always evaluate consistency.

As I stated above, just writing is the best place to start. Hooking your audience early on with whatever is relevant to your piece (ex. the theme of your novel, represented by some symbolism) is a great way to generate interest, and you want whatever is introduced to carry on and develop throughout your piece. Don’t just have an amazing introduction and then backtrack, as people can and will lose interest partway through your piece.

This carries on to my final point: do not fluctuate in quality. Always revise and edit, and revisit earlier parts of your piece. There may be something that you have set up that you forgot about, and it is easier to alleviate this sooner rather than later when changing your piece could throw everything off-balance. This especially holds true to pacing, which I can discuss in a future post as I have quite a bit to say about that.

Although I said that was my final point, make sure you read constantly! Creativity is a beautiful thing, but focus and purpose are what makes it special. Always analyze how things in a novel or movie or whatever work, and why something is good or bad. What is detrimental, and what is an aid? This can work with mediums that are beyond words on a sheet, but the craftsmanship of writing is still present in a speech or even a video game. (This is from experience. I read 1984 two and a half years ago and that elevated my mark in English quite a bit)

***

Of course, I am no expert. Take my advice as you will, and tell me if you liked this post! I would be happy to make more articles in this vein, especially on topics with a more specific and fine-tuned approach. Keep reading and writing, and make sure you take pleasure in it! Out of everything, feeling obliged to do something will not yield the best results.

And no, I did not feel obliged to make this post. 🙂

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How to Fix Your Problems (April Fools!)

Hello everyone, and welcome back to a special post on stadarooni!

As you may notice by the odd title, this post will not have anything to do with storytelling, reviewing, or analyzing. Matter of fact, I’m afraid my compassion for such has dwindled down to a level so low that I do not know why I’m writing this. Regardless, this post will be the first in a string of events where I give you complete wisdom. I have lived many years, and I’m tired of keeping these secrets to myself. I may be bold with such an ambiguously intentioned title that generalizes ‘problems,’ but I have cracked the code.

Before I tell you, some announcements.

As my compassion for everything I knew has vanished, the purpose of this blog will be taking a bright new step towards a more beneficial direction. Tomorrow, I will be ripping out the three major categories and replacing them with the following:

  • Progressive Fashion. I believe fashion these days is too narrow in its scope: it’s what appeals to beauty. Artists have twisted this to the point where many of us do not even know what beauty means anymore. However, I am going to change that forever. You heard it here first, folks. I will rewrite fashion and make it a new medium for true art, where a dress can be just as impactful as a romantic comedy. I will make fashion into what it needs to be to appeal to a much broader audience, but I will not forget the big people. Once every year, you can expect the ‘stadarooni fashion show’ where contestants out-beauty each other in a striking story of heartbreak, drama, and insecurity. Make sure you bring popcorn because it will elevate your mind to a whole new level.
  • Budget Travel. I will be showcasing the places you cannot miss. Why travel along the coasts of the Mediterranean or go on a safari in northern Kenya? There are better alternatives that will make you appreciate the pleasure of voyaging to a new extreme. The answer is simple: your very home! Why waste money on a trip to Hawaii or Fiji when you can simply dump a heap of dirt into your bathtub, turn on the tap, and close your eyes? The human mind is full of illusions, and you should take advantage of this. If you separate your mind from your body, you can be anywhere. The best part: it’s free! Just imagine lying in a heap of snow, encasing yourself in a tomb of… Nevermind. Dream on.
  • Lastly, next-generation poetry. Not poetry you can understand, but words that sound nice together. I think. He said. She said. Instant poetry, because it rhymes. It’s art, and that is objectively true. No need to be bigger and bolder: it’s right there. You can expect these kinds of posts to dominate the blog from here on out, with the above two coming on a weekly basis. Poetry is the heart of human emotion, but I will make you all love it. Just like Twilight, as long as there’s three people and love involved, you will automatically like it. A thousand scientists told me this, so that will be the subject of each poetry post here. 24/7, 365 days a year. If you have any complaints, you would be arguing with mainstream appeal, also known as fact. So please, don’t.

 

So, you may have forgotten what the question on hand was, and so have I. Instead, here’s a bombshell on myself. I have never revealed my identity, or at least I do not believe I have. What does the name ‘stadarooni’ even signify? Think about it for a few seconds. Stad is the Dutch word for city, and ‘arooni’ is pretty close to pepperoni. Pepper. That’s right, I’m a city girl. My main pastime is kissing boys. All the boys. But let’s not get started on why.

If you’ve made it to the end, congratulations. So, how do you fix your problems? Throughout my long and tiring life, I have finally found the answer. It is in fact right in front of you, and when you find it out you will be overcome with joy. I do not think you will be able to handle it, so beware of any unfortunate consequences that lie ahead.

In order to fix your problems…

You need to find…

…….

……

…..

….

..

.

…………………………………………………………………………………………

Um…

Oh yes.

That’s it.

Of course.

It’s…

.

The solution.

:3

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April Fools, just in case I have to say it. 🙂

How to Calculate Probability

Surprise! As you may have already noticed, I am not stadarooni, but a new author to this blog. Rather than posting something that would correspond with the rest of the blog, I have chosen to write about something a bit different from the traditional post found on this blog. I will share with you how to identify the probability of something happening or in other words how many ways something can be done. I will try my best to not sound like a textbook!

The math behind it is quite simple, for example, let’s say we want to find out how many possible four digit codes we can make using numbers 0 to 9, we need to allocate four positions to assign with the number of possibilities to claim that position. So since it’s a four digit code we have four empty positions. For each position we assign the number of possibilities, in this case, there are ten possibilities since there is a total of ten digits. So in a mathematical form it would like this _ – _ – _ – _ (Each blank space represents a digit of the four digit code), and then we fill it with this 10 – 10 – 10 – 10 (Each blank is filled with the number of possibilities). Now we multiply each filled position, which in this case gives us 10,000. That means there are 10,000 possible four digit codes we can produce, or more specifically there is a 1 in 10,000 (0.01%) chance that we will get a certain code.

So now that we know how to calculate this, let’s calculate something a bit more interesting, say the probability of the forecast in fall. We know that it could be either sunny, cloudy, or rainy (assuming that whatever the weather is, it would remain the same all day). So we know we need to allocate seven positions for the week and fill each one with a number of possibilities, which in this case is three. So mathematically it would look like this 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 (Each spot is allocated with the number of possibilities). Then we do what we did before, which is multiply all of them together. We get a total of 2,187 possible weather patterns over the week (and thanks to technology, we can estimate which exact pattern it will be).

I find that extremely interesting, but there’s still something missing. What if we want to identify how many possibilities there are for let’s say the number of ways five people can stand in a line. We can’t use the same method as before because you can’t have the same person in more than one spot at a time, so we have to slightly change the math we use.

To do this, we start the same way. Since we are dealing with five people, we allocate five spots to be filled with each person and fill them with the number of possibilities. In the first position, we know it can be anyone, so it remains five. But in the next position we know that we will have one less person to choose from, because they are in the first position. This means that the number of possibilities reduces to four. So if we continue the same method, the math would look like this 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 (Each spot is allocated with how many people still need a spot in the line). We then multiply it together and get 120, meaning there are 120 different ways for five people to stand in a line.

Ok now let’s do something you yourself can calculate before we move on to something more challenging, like how many different combinations of clothes you can wear until you run out of new combinations. I will let you, the reader fill this one in as you go, and at the end, I will do my own just for the sake of example. So first you need to know how many clothes you have, and what type of clothing they are. You need to know the number of hats, shirts, sweaters, pants, shoes, and socks you have. If you’re interested in finding out, go count them now. If you happen to not have one of those types of clothing, just input one (since it will always be the same). Ok, now we know for the sake of this example that there are six types of clothing, so we allocate six spots. Mathematically this looks something like this _ – _ – _ – _ – _ – _ (Each empty spot represents a type of clothing). Now input the spots with the number of clothes you have, then multiply them together. For me the input looks something like this 3 – 9 – 4 – 5 – 2 – 12 which ends up being 12,960. That means assuming I wear one combination a day, I could go 12,960 days or 35 years until I come back to the same combination (and my wardrobe is pretty small!)

Alright, now that we know the uses of identifying probability, we come to the finale. Let’s calculate something that’s way more difficult. Let’s say we want to find out how many even six-digit numerals containing numbers 0 to 9 we can produce that have no repeating numbers in the numeral. We know the first number can’t be zero because that would be considered a five-digit numeral, the last digit has to be even and that digits cannot repeat throughout the six digit numeral. Mathematically it looks like this 8 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 (The last number has to be even, so there are four possible numbers, then we know the first number can’t be zero and since numbers can’t repeat and we’ve already assigned one of the numbers to the last spot, there are eight numbers we can still assign. Then the spots in-between the first and last we assign with numbers that still haven’t been used, and since we know 0 hasn’t been used on the first spot there will still be eight possibilities on the second spot). If we multiply these together we get a total of 53,760. As if that’s not already enough, we aren’t done!

Now we need to calculate what might happen if 0 were to be assigned to the last digit. That means that the first number would have nine possibilities because we know it can’t be zero since numbers can’t repeat. Everything else is the same, though. Mathematically it would look like this 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 1 (Since we are calculating just for the combinations that contain zero at the end, the last spot only has the one possibility. Due to that the first spot has nine possibilities since we cannot repeat any numbers). If we multiply these together we get a total of 15,120 combinations that will contain zero at the end. To finish this massive question off, we add both numbers together to finally get a grand total of 68,880 possible six-digit numerals!

Here are a few interesting facts that I calculated using this method.

  • If a class has 30 kids and you line them up, there are 265 nonillions (30 zeroes) ways to line them up.
  • There are an infinite number of different weather patterns over the course of a year since the number is so big it doesn’t have a name for it.
  • Using average furniture per home, there are 3,628,800 ways to organize a room in your house, and 21,772,800 ways to organize your home.

Hopefully, I didn’t sound too much like a textbook, and that you learned something new or found it interesting. Please feel free to leave a comment with any interesting things you find using this method, or if you have a different method. Thanks for reading this abnormal blog post, and continue to enjoy stadarooni!

Good day.

Why Fandom is Awesome

With day one of the 25 Days of Stadarooni upon us, we come to our first entrée. This will be more of a bite-sized showcase of appreciation, and nothing too critical or deep. Instead, we will be looking at answering the title: why are fandoms awesome, with such dedicated and hard-working people? Why is it that a single work of art can bring so many together to create amazing things? Perhaps this may seem like juxtaposition to the last post before yesterday’s announcement, but fans themselves create their own following.

Above, you can take a look at the 501st Legion, a dedicated fan organization that makes appearances in bulky Stormtrooper armour to fulfill an authentic experience of having the Empire at one of your own very events. Accuracy is one of their aims, and they make appearances completely free of charge, showing how their immense love for Star Wars outweighs all else with fans doing work for fans. They welcome new members and do plenty of charity work to further everyone’s aims. Their work has even landed them a spot in the official Star Wars canon by their titular name, and you may recognize them as ‘Vader’s Fist’ in various sources such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the original two Battlefront games, and Revenge of the Sith.

Other examples of devotion exist such as the community on Pottermore, or theonering.net. Perhaps a message board or any community site may not seem like much, but they form a culture that cannot be broken. Role-playing, cosplaying, and even lets-plays are a few of many ways in which people show their love of these works.

One last success story I want to point out is Rooster Teeth. If you have not heard of them, they are a production company based out of Texas, responsible for the hugely successful and long-running Red vs. Blue. (I would be surprised if you have heard of the latter and not the former, however) They have moved on to making plenty of videos showcasing a plethora of video games, a few shows, (such as the American-anime RWBY) and even a feature-length film. They are a company that went from zero to hero (heh) and they themselves represent why fandoms are so awesome. It is an insanity to think that a few friends who made a comedy series that stems off of their love for Halo have led on to create a highly successful web-series recognized by millions and continue to find achievement and growth since their inception. If you ever want to see where fandom can lead one, look no further.

fans
From the 405th.

With that, the first day of Stadarooni has come to its close. The chocolate has been unwrapped for your taking, and more delicacies small and large, narrative or analysis or milk or dark are on their way, and this is just the beginning to a much richer experience as well.

Enjoy. 🙂