Writing?

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Writing?

Postby Hentzau » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:18 pm UTC

Is there anyone here who knows the ins and outs of writing a novel? For the first time in my life, I feel compelled to try writing one,and I wonder how much time it takes the average writer to do it with a "full life" also running. A year, two perhaps?
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Re: Writing?

Postby mikhail » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:01 pm UTC

I can't give any first hand advise, but most authors will have something on their websites. Purely because I recalled reading him answer this before, here's Michael Stackpole's:
Short answer: For a 100,000 word novel it takes approximately 200 hours.

Longer answer: I work fairly fast — there are writers (like Stephen King) who work faster than I do and others (most) who work at a much more thoughtful pace. When you get paid as little as I do to do the books, writing slowly is not an option. I work 3-6 hours a day, depending upon the book and other factors. The month it takes to do a book is usually spread out over a couple of months, but I get bored quickly, so finishing the book fast is important. (The fastest book I’ve written was “Assumption of Risk.” It was done in 28 days which were spread out over a 36 day period.)


You'll need to plan out the storyline - a treatment is probably the easiest starting point. Then you'll want to write a couple of chapters, get an agent and give them these chapters to give to potential publishers. I don't know the process, but again, try a bunch of author's sites for FAQs. They get this all the time.
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Re: Writing?

Postby eightysevendegrees » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:40 pm UTC

mikhail wrote:You'll need to plan out the storyline - a treatment is probably the easiest starting point. Then you'll want to write a couple of chapters, get an agent and give them these chapters to give to potential publishers. I don't know the process, but again, try a bunch of author's sites for FAQs. They get this all the time.


That will work for some people, but this advice doesn't apply to everyone. I certainly don't plan out my storylines.

I've recently signed a contract for my first novel and I have a meeting with my editor in a little over a week to go through the first proofs. To get from signing a contract to the book being in print, you'll be looking at most of a year.

To actually write a book... that depends entirely on the writer. With me, the total time of writing the novel was probably about three months for a 110 000 word novel. But I started writing it about three years ago. That doesn't mean I was just sitting around for the other 33 months. There was an awful lot of editing, poking at drafts, reordering of sections, cutting bits out because they slowed down the flow of the plot, adding in back story for characters who turned out to be more important than I expected, and so on. Writing the story was the fun and easy part (for me). Getting it into something that a publisher would even consider was the hard part.

What mikhail says is one possible way of writing a book. Some people work out the plot beforehand and write a synopsis and a few initial chapters. A lot don't. I personally don't ever have more than a vague plot worked out before I start writing. As for what he says about getting an agent based on a story treatment, I think he's wrong (but it might be easier for new authors in the States). A lot of agents, at least here in the UK, I don't know about elsewhere, won't look at a submission unless you already have the entire thing finished, edited and ready to go. They don't want to put time into trying to sell a piece of writing that may or may not get finished some time. If you're trying to get your first book published, your chances are probably well over a hundred times higher if you've finished the entire thing.

That said, it still won't be easy. I may be about to publish my first novel, but it's not the first novel I've written. I've written and submitted other manuscripts and received polite letters of the "insert author's name here" variety telling me my work wasn't quite what they were looking for. Most publishers and agents are swamped with submissions. Many places won't even looked beyond the cover letter a lot of the time. You have to make sure the cover letter and synopsis are perfect. You have to send exactly what the editors ask for. And you have to keep trying.

I have over thirty rejection letters for Child of the Hive. Some of those came back by return of post after I sent the manuscript out.

Don't expect to get your first attempt at a novel published, at least not without a lot of drafts.

That said, I don't want to sound discouraging. I love writing and I think I would keep on writing novels even if this contract falls through and no publisher even glances at my work ever again. I think creating a novel is an incredibly rewarding experience. Don't fret about publishing right now. Just start writing and see what happens. Whether you need to plan out every detail or make it up as you go or some combination of the two is entirely up to you. Start writing, try different approaches and see what works for you. There's no right answer as to how you should go about it and there's no right answer as to how long it will take.
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Re: Writing?

Postby greycloud » Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:09 pm UTC

My Grandad is a published author, mostly non-fiction, so I've always had an upbringing with writing. His first proper fiction novel was released this year, and it took him about a year to write, or so? It really depends, though. It's very hard to get writing published, even if its by a recognised author - in the end, he had his published by a fan paying a company to do it.

Personally, I've been 'writing' a book for the last 6 years, and I've only got 5 chapters set down, which'll probably be changed or re-written yet again. It's a difficult process, but if you're writing just for fun and not to get published then it's a lot more rewarding. I've grown really attached to my characters - I know every detail of my story inside out - it's just writing it in a structured order which I struggle with. Even my set chapters are each just written in short-story style.

I would definitely recommend just writing as you want to, not neccessarily getting tied down to one book, or even one story. And reading and re-reading your work over and over and over. :)
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Re: Writing?

Postby 0range » Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:31 pm UTC

What sort of writing experience do you have? I think that's the biggest unknown, if you want to estimate how long it will take you.

I'm sure there are examples of people with no previous experience churning out a novel, and I'm sure some of them were quite good, but the rest of us mortals usually fail miserably if the first big undertaking is a novel.(at least I did).

Good luck!
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Re: Writing?

Postby TheAmazingRando » Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:18 am UTC

I've never published anything, but I've written what I would consider a complete novel (though I'm only about halfway through the second draft of it).
People write 50,000 words in a month for NaNoWriMo. This is a pretty exhausting speed if you have other responsibilities. What it teaches you, though, is that the most important thing about writing a novel and actually finishing it is to force yourself to write. You won't always feel inspired. Sometimes you'll crawl through every sentence. But when you look back on it, the stuff that came naturally is nearly indistinguishable in quality than the stuff you had to force out, and when there is a difference, the stuff you labored on is usually better.

If you don't force yourself to follow deadlines, it can be very difficult to force yourself to write when you don't want to. If you're writing casually, whenever the mood strikes you, there's a good chance that you'll never finish.

Don't get too caught up with revising as you go. A well polished half a novel isn't nearly as rewarding as a sloppy, but complete, novel, and it's easier to revise the completed copy than it is to start up again and finish the story after doing nothing but revisions.
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Re: Writing?

Postby eightysevendegrees » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:19 pm UTC

I have one word of caution against greycloud's comment. He suggests not tying yourself down to one story. Fair enough. However, this can lead to the situation where you get half way through a book and get a wonderful new idea. So you start writing that new idea, get half way through a new book and then get another wonderful new idea. Before you know it, you've got dozens of half written stories but nothing finished.

It can be annoying at times when plot just isn't cooperating, but you have to make yourself finish what you start. The shiny new bursts of inspiration will always look more appealing than the piece you've been going at for a few weeks. You have to force them to wait. If they're that good, you'll still want to write them in a couple of months. If you don't want to write them when you've finished the current work, then they weren't as shiny as they first appeared and you'd have got bored of them anyway.

No matter what your style is or how you write, that's my most important piece of advice: get to the end.
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Re: Writing?

Postby Jesse » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:53 pm UTC

Absolutely, if you want to write a full novel, the only way to reach that in any kind of decent timeframe is to just write that.

I'm guilty of having a story I've been working on for two years without writing anything. But this month I forced myself to do somethign about it and now I have a concrete story, and a group of fantastic characters. I'm not far into writing the story yet, just isolated scenes, but I've done more in the past month than I had in two years, because I forced myself to ignore everything else.
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Re: Writing?

Postby Hentzau » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:26 am UTC

I've always been one for a good existential and/or postmodernist novel; the idea in my head is for something along those lines. Really I'm in the market for a hobby more than anything else, but if it turns out I can write well then so much the better.

So far I have a vgue plot outline, list of settings and a few sketch characters, all written on the back of random office scrap. The printers give you a nice little one side message about how your printing budget is coming and exhort you to think before you print - along with every item you print. I figure it's added another sapling to my arborial death toll already this year, but it makes a nice change from using old TPS reports for idle doodlings.
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Re: Writing?

Postby eightysevendegrees » Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:45 pm UTC

As hobbies go, writing is an awesome one. It has multiple benefits, some of my favourites being: it's free, you don't have to rely on anyone else to do it, and even when you can't write, you can still think about plotting and characters, making it an ultimately portable hobby.
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Re: Writing?

Postby nightlina » Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:35 pm UTC

I went through a bit of a crazy writing phase while I was in highschool. We were asked to submit a 4-part story for english and everyone else probably averaged around 4000 words while mine was past 20,000 and was really only an introduction to something much bigger. I also had a lot of other stories on the go at the same time, one of which going beyond the 40,000 word mark.

I found for me, planning out the story and chapters first worked best, as I could get everything into dot point form and rearrange/tidy it before I even began writing. This way when it actually came time to write I was much more focused and less inclined to get distracted by the story and end up waffling. I was also able to research scenes before I started writing, which improved my descriptions and accuracy.

I also agree with what other people have written in that you need to work with the aim of reaching the end. Once again, dot points helped me achieve this, as I could write out all my dotpoints during a quick flash of inspiration and then it wasn't so hard to force myself to keep writing on those days when I wasn't feeling as creative.

A good author who helped me to get into these habits was Sara Douglass - she has a fair few good articles up online. Hopefully this link will take you to the ones I'm thinking of (it's been a few years since I originally read it). http://www.saradouglass.com/write.html
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Re: Writing?

Postby Mzyxptlk » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:55 pm UTC

nightlina wrote:A good author who helped me to get into these habits was Sara Douglass - she has a fair few good articles up online. Hopefully this link will take you to the ones I'm thinking of (it's been a few years since I originally read it). http://www.saradouglass.com/write.html

That was extremely helpful, thanks for posting that.
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Re: Writing?

Postby nightlina » Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:54 am UTC

Mzyxptlk wrote:
nightlina wrote:A good author who helped me to get into these habits was Sara Douglass - she has a fair few good articles up online. Hopefully this link will take you to the ones I'm thinking of (it's been a few years since I originally read it). http://www.saradouglass.com/write.html

That was extremely helpful, thanks for posting that.


Glad to help :D She used to run an online forum which was fantastic and probably helped a heap of writers get their work published. Unfortunately she closed it down a few years ago.
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Re: Writing?

Postby Altercator » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:27 am UTC

nightlina wrote:I found for me, planning out the story and chapters first worked best, as I could get everything into dot point form and rearrange/tidy it before I even began writing. This way when it actually came time to write I was much more focused and less inclined to get distracted by the story and end up waffling. I was also able to research scenes before I started writing, which improved my descriptions and accuracy.

I also agree with what other people have written in that you need to work with the aim of reaching the end. Once again, dot points helped me achieve this, as I could write out all my dotpoints during a quick flash of inspiration and then it wasn't so hard to force myself to keep writing on those days when I wasn't feeling as creative.



Would it be possible to dotpoint scenes like action sequences, romanctic moments, climactic endings and all other important scenes, like they're keywords in an essay and rearrange them into a novel?

What's left is filling in the blanks between those key scenes, right?
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Re: Writing?

Postby nightlina » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:31 am UTC

@Altercator - that's pretty much what I mean. I should really hunt down some of my old dot points and their corresponding stories so you can see what I mean.

The dot points just outline the major events, how they link together and any important elements to the scene that have to be included. It's a good way to quickly look at your story and see if something is in the right place or even necessary. I also used it to judge where a chapter would start and finish and would give myself a rough wordcount to work to (for example 5000 words per chapter).

Once I had the dotpoints worked out and ordered then I would "fill in the gaps" with the story. I'm sure this approach wouldn't work very well for some people but, for me, I tend to start waffling and really lose focus without those guiding dot points.

Something I'd also do was to write up a character chart - for example the character's full name, their parents, their attitudes, their likes, dislikes, hair colour, eye colour, what they look for in friends, etc, etc. It made a good little reference for when I was writing as well as helping me to spawn even more ideas and develop their backstory a LOT more. (For example, why don't they like that food? Why did their parents call them that? Why don't they trust redheads? etc, etc).

Once again, I'd suggest reading the articles at the site I linked because that's where I got a lot of these ideas from. And I should point out that I was always an awful essay writer, even with my dot points. :P
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Re: Writing?

Postby Altercator » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:54 pm UTC

It shouldn't matter which type of notebooks (or napkins) to write on, right?

I mean, Moleskine books, they're great and all, but a little too pricey. But my bigger worry is that I might run out of space to jot down my ideas, notes, key scenes etc. and have to spend more to get a new notebook.

My only option is to makeshift a pocket organiser into a notebook, 'cos it has binders and protective covering, throw away the insides, and replace them all with blank refills.

What about you?


Anyway, thanks for the reply and the Sara Douglass heads-up.
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Re: Writing?

Postby greycloud » Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:55 pm UTC

I really don't think it matters what you write with, but try and keep it organised. I've made the mistake of keeping all of my work in completely different places... and I don't just mean different places in the same house.

I like the dot-point idea, but it usually doesn't work for me. With the method I'm doing at the moment, it works because it's set up like lots of short stories, without the need for all the 'filling' parts, because I usually struggle with those.
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Re: Writing?

Postby nightlina » Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:52 pm UTC

@ greycloud - I struggled with the filling in parts, too, which is why I started the dot-point method. But I think it depends on how you like to write - I have a friend who positively hates having to write out dotpoints and THEN start writing her story - she likes to just get on with it.. But she has a phenomenal memory and drive (both of which I definitely lack) so not only can she remember exactly what's going on in her story, she'll just keep writing it and writing it until it's done.

As for note books... I have a few pretty boring notebooks (one of them has lovehearts all over it.. I think someone gave it to me) and they get used for everything - from writing story notes to what dreams I've had... and so on. Organisation is probably very important, but I'm bad at it :P

I'd definitely suggest hand writing your notes, though - I find I lose inspiration really quickly when I'm typing things into the computer and will rarely open the document to read over my notes again. Flicking through a book FILLED with scribbles and ideas is so much nicer and much more inspirational.

Something you might want to do, Altercator, is to type out the points once you have them finalised and keep them all together that way, then when it comes time to write you can just open that chapter with your dotpoints and start typing... It might work for you, although (once again) it might just be a little too boxed in for me.

I'm very chaotic in general - the dotpoints are my closest thing to order ;)
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Re: Writing?

Postby greycloud » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:38 am UTC

nightlina wrote:@ greycloud - I struggled with the filling in parts, too, which is why I started the dot-point method. But I think it depends on how you like to write - I have a friend who positively hates having to write out dotpoints and THEN start writing her story - she likes to just get on with it.. But she has a phenomenal memory and drive (both of which I definitely lack) so not only can she remember exactly what's going on in her story, she'll just keep writing it and writing it until it's done.


I'm pretty much like that too. I do dot-points for fun, rather then to organise things. I've tried writing an overall plot, but even that gets too detailed and its quicker just to write it straight from memory.

nightlina wrote:I'd definitely suggest hand writing your notes, though - I find I lose inspiration really quickly when I'm typing things into the computer and will rarely open the document to read over my notes again. Flicking through a book FILLED with scribbles and ideas is so much nicer and much more inspirational.

Something you might want to do, Altercator, is to type out the points once you have them finalised and keep them all together that way, then when it comes time to write you can just open that chapter with your dotpoints and start typing... It might work for you, although (once again) it might just be a little too boxed in for me.


I usually like writing on the computer, but I was brought up to type writing on a screen from a very young age (back when computers had black screens and green writing :O). I can do either, whichever I feel better with at the time. Even if your typing, though, I'd suggest re-typing them up, not just altering the originals, as this can be a very important stage to editting them. :)
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Re: Writing?

Postby Altercator » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:33 am UTC

greycloud wrote:I usually like writing on the computer, but I was brought up to type writing on a screen from a very young age (back when computers had black screens and green writing :O). I can do either, whichever I feel better with at the time. Even if your typing, though, I'd suggest re-typing them up, not just altering the originals, as this can be a very important stage to editting them. :)


In other words, write or type, just go ahead with what you're comfortable with, right?
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Re: Writing?

Postby greycloud » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:43 am UTC

Definitely. They both offer some great ups and downs. Writing may be more inspirational and better at forcing you to re-read, but it sometimes make it too tempting to not add because of lack of space, and organisation gets hard.
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Re: Writing?

Postby thatguy » Fri Dec 05, 2008 4:17 am UTC

My friend and I conned our councilor into letting us write/shoot a short film next quarter (so... starting January I think.)
I'm really looking forward to writing some sort of fiction, even through the the idea is a mockumentary. We have a good premise (taking our sense of humor and going on for 10-15 minutes), but no plot to speak of.
Keep your fingers crossed.

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Re: Writing?

Postby nightlina » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:54 am UTC

thatguy wrote:My friend and I conned our councilor into letting us write/shoot a short film next quarter (so... starting January I think.)
I'm really looking forward to writing some sort of fiction, even through the the idea is a mockumentary. We have a good premise (taking our sense of humor and going on for 10-15 minutes), but no plot to speak of.
Keep your fingers crossed.


I got pretty keen on animation and film for a bit and started writing up all my stories as film scripts (completely confused my english teachers, but came in handy when I got out of school and did an animation course and was writing scripts all the time :P)

As for your mockumentary - I've seen a few of these that worked really well. Study a few documentaries and really pay attention to their structure, the filming style, etc. As for a plot... We had a good one which was filmed on campus and had something to do with the students rebelling... It was pretty good :) Throw around some random News titles and see what you come up with, for example:

"School production goes horribly wrong as students turn on audience"
"Chicken posing as student is finally found out"
"No more summer! Environmentalists determined to chain themselves to the sun to halt its progress"

And so on. These are pretty weak - I'm sure you'll think of something much better. :) Looking through a newspaper and misinterpreting the headlines can be just as good.
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Re: Writing?

Postby Surgery » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:49 am UTC

So, these dot-points ... is that the same thing as an outline? Or am I missing something?
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Re: Writing?

Postby Jesse » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:03 am UTC

ALso, there's some decent writing software out there. I like yWriter3 for all my organisational needs.
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Re: Writing?

Postby nightlina » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:09 am UTC

Surgery wrote:So, these dot-points ... is that the same thing as an outline? Or am I missing something?


er.. yeah, the dotpoints would also be your outline. You outline your story using dotpoints... If that makes sense.

The idea of the dotpoints is so that your outline is kept as brief and tidy as possible. You want to be able to rearrange, edit, add, delete your dotpoints as needed.

Jesse wrote:ALso, there's some decent writing software out there. I like yWriter3 for all my organisational needs.


I hadn't heard of this - I'll have to look into it :) Organising is something I really need to get better at...
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Re: Writing?

Postby Jorpho » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:24 am UTC

Do you think having a support group is a good idea?

It seems to me like it's the best way to keep yourself convinced that you should keep on going and that you weren't completely bonkers when you came up with the idea that you could possibly write a novel.
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Re: Writing?

Postby GhostWolfe » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:44 am UTC

Jesse wrote:ALso, there's some decent writing software out there. I like yWriter3 for all my organisational needs.
I downloaded yWriter4 today and installed it on my flash drive. It's pretty damn awesome. I'm impressed.

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Re: Writing?

Postby eightysevendegrees » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:10 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:Do you think having a support group is a good idea?

I think some sort of group is good. You're less likely to give up half-way through if you know someone else wants to know what happens next. Plus, there are times during the editing process when you've read your work so many times that you can't tell if it's perfect, the worst drivel ever written or anywhere in between. Someone else's opinion is a great help.
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Re: Writing?

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:03 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:Do you think having a support group is a good idea?

It seems to me like it's the best way to keep yourself convinced that you should keep on going and that you weren't completely bonkers when you came up with the idea that you could possibly write a novel.


If this thread or a new one becomes a .. I dunno.. xkcd Writer's Guild Support Group, I'll totally sticky it.

mmm..sticky.

wait, ew.
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Re: Writing?

Postby nightlina » Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:06 am UTC

Yeah, like with anything in life a 'support group' (also known as friends you force into reading your work) is great :) A friend of mine and I used to write lots together and we'd always be proofing each others stories and bouncing ideas off one another. It can be really good for helping you develop and also steer clear of getting into any bad habits such as writing a really predictable character or writing characters that are just clones of yourself.

But it can also depend on how you like to work - I'm sure some people like to keep it all much more private and focussed, so each to their own I guess.

And yay for sticky :) I'm happy to be a support group - I haven't been part of a writing forum for years.
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Re: Writing?

Postby Jorpho » Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:51 am UTC

Eh. It's different when you have to meet with people in real life.
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Re: Writing?

Postby greycloud » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:44 pm UTC

Having support from friends and family who read it for you are great, but can sometimes get a little annoying... I get a little dependant and pressuring i.e. "Have you read it yet?", "How far are you in it?"... I don't mean to be...

Also, when you have someone who's not a very skilled writer, or has done one piece badly or just not at all to your taste, then it's difficult repaying the debt.

Does anyone here use Scribophile? It's a good website for posting bits of poetry and stories which you want critique on. Unlike most, it's all writing based, and you can only post more peices of work if you review (i.e. +50 words comment) someone else's.
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Re: Writing?

Postby thatguy » Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:48 am UTC

That yWriter program is effing amazing.
Thank you Jesse.

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Re: Writing a book

Postby Sharlos » Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:20 am UTC

I like writing too, never gotten around to finishing anything beyond a few chapters, but some advice.

Write about what your familiar with, if you read a lot of fantasy or sci-fi thats a good start.

Once your finished write something else, (or a sequel).

You should probabbly get someone you don't know too well imo, friends aren't very good at constructive criticism.
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Re: Writing a book

Postby poxic » Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:41 am UTC

Writing is like anything else -- practise makes perfect (or at least better). Start small, maybe, such as short stories submitted to websites in whatever genres/subjects/fandoms you fancy. You will likely not be paid for this, but it'll be good practise. Pay attention to the comments that people leave on your story, though don't let them get to you. What gets people's attention? What do people like or dislike? It's cool when half of the comments love the same thing that the other half hate -- that could mean you're onto something. :wink:

If you write for a website or zine, always see if there are editors or beta readers available. They usually have helpful comments that force you to think through what you're doing. If you start submitting to print magazines, you'll work with paid editors who might be more brusque and quicker to reject a piece, so learn from the write-edit-rewrite process every chance you get.

Once you've been published at least a few times in print or on a well-established site (one that pays), you can start shopping a novel around to various publishing houses. If you can demonstrate that you already have a market for your work, you'll be picked up sooner.

Above all, keep polishing your craft. Read books about writing by other authors, ones whose own style you like. Join a writing club, where people get together monthly or so and critique each others' work. Take a class with a local author who interests you (many authors supplement their income by teaching at community colleges).

I've done some of this and decided it's not for me right now. Maybe it will appeal to me again in the future. Until then, I occasionally do beta reading for a web journal because it's good for me. (Aiii yi yi yi, some of the writing I've seen... and helped to improve. :D )
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Re: Writing a book

Postby Bassoon » Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:59 pm UTC

I personally find that when you call yourself an x genre writer, it stifles your creativity. Rather than confine yourself to a certain genre, why not let yourself write and see where the story goes? That way, you can use hindsight to define which genre that book fell into, rather than trying to write a book idea into a certain genre, which may or may not be very conductive to the book's quality.
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Re: Writing a book

Postby Spinoza » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:28 pm UTC

Just write; and write; and write; and write.

Publishing will come. Writing is more important.
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Re: Writing a book

Postby eightysevendegrees » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:39 pm UTC

poxic wrote:Start small, maybe, such as short stories submitted to websites in whatever genres/subjects/fandoms you fancy. You will likely not be paid for this, but it'll be good practise.


I would disagree with this. Writing short stories is very different from writing a novel. It takes a very different approach. There are plenty of professional writers who will write either short stories or novels but who claim to be unable to write the other.

My advice would be to just start. If you have an idea, start writing it. You haven't picked a particular genre but that doesn't matter. Just choose one to write in for now. It's incredibly unlikely that your first novel will be of publishable quality so you don't have to worry about getting tied to a specific genre just yet.

I would recommend getting as many people as possible to read it and comment. Family and friends are good. Random strangers is better because they're less likely to be nice just to make you feel better. Writing professionals are best of all. The more people who can give you feedback, the more you'll learn about your writing style, what works and what doesn't.

Don't worry about how to get published yet. That's a challenge for another day. Right now, you've got enough of a challenge ahead with writing it.
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Re: Writing a book

Postby peter-lebt » Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:31 pm UTC

yes, a novel is different from a shortstory.

but: if you cannot manage to write a 20 or 40 pages coherent text - then chances are high you will never be able to complete a novel ... ;)

just try! and find as many people as possible to comment on it. Both of my brothers have done so when they were young - and the experience has told one of them never write again and the other not really to become a writer - but producing texts for web pages ...

just try! nothing else will help you ;) :)

have fun!
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