The following is a small collection of guides written by experienced forum members through the years that are sure to improve your writing skill, no matter whether you're a beginner or an ace. If you're looking to improve your writing, be sure to read through all of this carefully and take notes - it will all come in extremely useful to enhance your skills!
• Plagiarism WILL NOT be tolerated. Plagiarism - stealing/copying other peoples work or ideas and passing them off as your own - is not acceptable, and measures will be taken against anyone who plagiarises others' work.
• Criticism is a part of life, and is a part of the forum - you must learn to take it on the chin. That being said, all criticism posted throughout the forum should be of a constructive nature - don't just bash someone elses work - instead, give a civilised reply about what is wrong with the piece, and offer help and advice on how the piece could be improved.
• Imagine working for hours on a piece. Now imagine posting it. Now, imagine nobody replying to your topic - no feedback whatsoever. It isn't nice to have all of your work go unnoticed, is it? The moral of this little story is - be an active member of the writing community! If you see a piece someone has worked on, read it, and reply. Leave your opinion, discuss the piece - don't leave it to other people to give feedback. Get involved!
• Don't advertise your piece around the forum, trying to get others to read it at every opportunity. If you want to leave feedback in someone's topic, then feel free to do so - but don't then say anything along the lines of "now check out my story", whether it's through a direct link or simple name-drop. It won't be tolerated - if you want to advertise your piece, put a link in your signature!
• Before you hastily hit the new topic button in an effort to publish your first little piece to the forum, read other pieces first! You will learn a lot just by reading other stories on the forum, many of which are excellently written by talented writers. As well as this, you will be able to see the reaction to these pieces, and perhaps gauge what the reaction to your piece will be like.
• Be original! Remember, there's nothing wrong with a GTA fanfic - but don't just travel down the worn out path that others have followed. Spice up your characters; bring the world to life. Entertain the reader - nobody wants to read the same thing over and over.
• Write properly! Sure, scripts may be easy to write and skim through, but nobody wants to read a bunch of pointless dialogue. Unless you truly are writing a screenplay, don't write your story out in dialogue - structure it correctly and use good description throughout the narrative.
• Think your story through. Does it have a plot? Is it actually going somewhere? Sure, you can ramble on for 50 chapters about random things, but to entertain the reader you must develop a plot that is interesting to follow. Make the reader WANT to be reading on, and finding out what happens next.
Below are links to the different guides that members of the writing community have created and added over time. Think you've got something handy that could go up here, too? Feel free to PM it in and we'll see whether it'll be a good addition. Until then, click the links below to be taken directly to your preferred guide!
• Bedrock Guidelines for All, by Brassknuckles
• Guide for Beginning Writers, by Wingman
• General Guidelines, by saltinespike
• Summary of Guides
• 10 Great Ways to Jumpstart Your Creativity, from 'Dumblittleman'