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AngmarsKing701
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(10-24-2014, 03:45 PM)
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From First Strike (RIP): The purpose of this thread is for writers to help writers, so keep it positive. Jackassery won't be tolerated.

Truer words have never been written. Pour one out for our fallen lord.

============================================
FirstStrike had lots of good advice, which I've copied here:

So, how do you start out?

Self-Publishing
1. Write the damn book. This sounds asinine, I know, but many writers never actually finish their book. If you want to self-publish you'll need to force yourself to sit down and actually write it.

2.Okay, so you finished the book. Fuck yeah! Now what? You have several options at this point.
-- Jump straight into edits. Go back over the entire novel and fix up grammar/spelling errors, plot holes, and general inconsistencies in your writing.
-- Join a website, such as http://critiquecircle.com and submit your work for critiquing. This will get you valuable feedback from other, more experienced writers, which can help you advance as a writer. It's also free.
-- Invest several thousand dollars into an professional editor who will do most everything for you.

3. Editing is done, woohoo! Time to pub-- not quite. Now, it's time to get some beta readers. The point behind this is to release your book to a small, concentrated group of readers that are a fan of your genre. There's tons of them on the internet, but you can easily find them in places like http://librarything.com or http://goodreads.com. These readers will then give you feedback on the novel and if you're satisfied with the results, you can consider the manuscript finished. This means that you need to stop editing it. No, really. Stop editing. Some people can't ever get past the editing phase. If the results are unsatisfactory, then of course, you would go back to the drawing board.

4. Marketing. Yes, you want to start this before the book comes out. Contact bloggers to arrange blog tours, reviews, interviews, etc. You're going to want to get hype out on sites, prepare a press release and distribute it using a free or paid service like http://prweb.com or http://send2press.com. The more hype you generate before the book comes out, the greater your sales will be.

5. Now, if you're up to this point - the manuscript is done. Congratulations, you've passed a milestone that many writers never achieve. So, now it's time to get your cover ready. This is one of the most important parts of the book. If your cover looks like shit, everyone will assume your book is shit too. If you have the skills to do a cover yourself you'll be able to save a lot of money; if not, then prepare to fork out some cash for a professional artist. http://h3.abload.de/img/roncover_smallt9dv2.jpg, for example, cost me $500.00. That may be a bit steep for some of you, though. There are artists that will do it for cheaper, but the quality and talent tends to vary greatly. I recommend going to sites like http://deviantart.com in order to find an artist that matches your style and budget.

6. Once the cover is done you'll need a catchy blurb that will appear on the back cover (if doing paperback) or on the sites that you plan on listing the novel in ebook format. This, for many authors, is one of the hardest parts of writing; they need to somehow compose a 200 - 400 word blurb about their book that makes it sound exciting and unique from other books in their genre. It can take a lot of tweaking to get this right, so I recommend you head back to sites like http://critiquecircle.com to get some help and feedback on this.

7. The manuscript is complete, the book cover is done, and you have the blurb just the way you want it. Rock on. It's time to put it all together at the site of your choice. There are many options available, but I'll list a few here. I recommend researching each to see the costs/benefits and which will suit you best.
http://lulu.com
http://createspace.com
https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin" target="_blank
http://bn.com/pubit" target="_blank
http://www.smashwords.com
http://draft2digital.com from Elfforkusu: So... for those of you who don't know about d2d, it's basically exactly like SmashWords, but in an alternate universe where SmashWords didn't suck.


I'm only listing the most popular ones here which have no real upfront costs and will get your book(s) out to the widest audience. 95%, or more, of your sales will be on Amazon. For paperback, you'll need to buy a proof copy, but otherwise there's no cost you at all from either Lulu or CreateSpace.

8. Pricing your novel is now the last part you need to worry about. If you're listing it in ebook format, the pricing should depend on the length. However, you do need to take into consideration the fact that you're likely an unknown author that nobody has ever heard of. I listed my book at an initial price point of $0.99, for example, and then raised it up to $2.99 (it's still selling at that) and this is a 114,000 word novel. A lot of people frown on $0.99 novels, as they have a certain stigma of being terribly written books filled with grammar and spelling errors, up to the point of being unreadable. So, take that into consideration.

9. The book is listed and you're now ready for people to start buying it. Now what? Well, if you did the marketing that I recommended earlier they should already be homing in on it and buying it. If not, then you're going to want to go into marketing overload and get as many bloggers and reviewers on board. Also, if you can somehow get onto a radio show do that; radio sells books more than anything else for some reason. Make use of social media, such as twitter, facebook, etc. You want to gain followers.

Important: Some authors go around to various communities and spam their books. This will not sell your books. You're much better off mingling with the people in the community and getting to know them. Odds are they'll take an interest in you and your book(s) naturally.

Try not to hover over the refresh button that tracks your sales. You might not even get any in the first week. There are people that sell just a few copies of their novel after it's been released; don't be surprised if this happens to you. Some people get addicted to this and depressed when they're not suddenly selling thousands of copies of their books. Remember, you're a drop in the bucket in the book world. You need to build a name for yourself. How do you do that? Keep writing and releasing books. The more books you have out, the more likely someone will find and read them. If they like what they read then they'll probably buy your other books too. So, keep that in mind.

This is a process that never really ends. You need to keep writing and marketing. Publishing agencies have entire teams that do the above, yet as a self-published writer you're basically electing to do all of this yourself. It's a lot of work, but it can greatly pay off in the end if you dedicate yourself to it and, of course, are a good author.

So, let's say you want to go the traditional route. Here's what you can expect.

<b>Traditional Publishing</b>
1. Write the damn book. Seriously, this step never changes.

2. Edit the book extensively. You want the book in a completed state before you ever query an agent or editor. Send them your best work; this is your first, and possibly, only impression you'll get to make.

3. Research, research, research. Find agents/editors that specialize in the genre you are writing in and make sure you're adhering to the guidelines laid out on their site by your query. Compile a list of contacts and make sure it's accurate. Do not call a Mr a Mrs, or spell their name wrong. They hate that. For some examples of how bad writers fuck up, check out http://slushpilehell.tumblr.com/. The shit you're reading on there is from actual queries.

4. Got your list? Good. Write your query. This, much like the blurb, needs to be written in a way that will make the reader want to actually open your book. You're selling your book here. The whole thing is generally about as long, 200 - 500 words, but it's the first sentence that's most important. Draw your reader in with something that sets your book apart from the slush; and then have the query critiqued before you send it out. You want this to be perfect.

5. Querying agents/editors is a time consuming process. You want to tailor each query towards that specific agent/editor. I'm not going to tell you how to do this as there is literally thousands of articles available at your fingertips with a simple google search that will tell you exactly how to write a query letter. Adding just a touch of personalization goes a long way with them. I advise you to do about 25 at a time to gauge the response to your query. If you get no requests for even a partial of your manuscript then you may want to tweak the query and try the next batch.

6. Rejection. It's going to happen. You might even pass 100 rejections and be no further than you were previously. Remember, the people you're querying have to think that they can make money off your book. If they don't think it'll sell then no matter how good the book is, you probably will end up with a rejection letter (or in some cases no response at all).

7. The waiting game. When waiting for agents/editors to respond don't constantly email them. If they have a specific period on their website, which most do, that states when it's OK to check on the status of your query then wait until that time has come lest you invoke their fury. Don't call them at their office, follow them home, or drug their cupcakes. It's not going to get your book published. Some people wait up to a year, or in some rare cases, even longer for a response.

8. Okay, so 2 years of your life have passed by and you finally get an offer from an agent. Time to fucking celebrate. But, wait - your book still hasn't actually sold. It's now up to the agent to find a publisher that will buy your book and cut you a fat royalty check. Sometimes they fail, and then you end up starting the process over. If that's the case, return to step #5. Or, step #2 in case you feel that you need to further improve the book to get it to sell.

What if you don't make it? What if you can't get an agent/publisher? Well, your only other option is to self-publish, or become an Indie author as we're called now. There used to be a stigma over self-publishing, that it was just a dumping ground for crappy books. This is no longer the case; in fact, it's become much more respected thanks to authors stepping up to the plate and improving their game. There's many fantastic Indie books out there, and some authors have had great success with their novels and are sitting on fat royalty checks with all the middlemen cut out. This is, of course, not the norm. But, it can certainly happen.

Editing: A professional editor can take you a long way. Here's a list of some respectable editors that I recommend (for those who have the budget).
http://victoryediting.com/
http://redadeptpublishing.com/editing-services/
http://penandpress.com/home.php
http://www.documentdriven.com/
http://www.tristipinkston.com/p/author-services.html


=================================



The published authors of GAF. This list is likely incomplete, so if you're published please let me know and I'll add you here. We are basically all proof that it can be done.

aidan (Hugo Award Winning Author & Editor)
A Dribble of Ink


cosmicblizzard
and

Elfforkusu


Fidelis Hodie


H.Protagonist


whatevermort
and several others. See his full list here.


plasticine



toddhunter




xandaca


super-heated plasma



Hop


UCBooties published first story (Irreconcilable Divergence under the name Michael T Wells) in the following anthology:


Soulfire's Author Dashboard

HK Lune is the NeoGAF user who has contributed to:

Also available from these locations

AngmarsKing701 (me)

The Knight's Journal I
The Knight's Journal II
the 1st six books of the 2017 Novella Writing Challenge

For those who are published or looking to get published, one of the key tasks is marketing, and H.Pro provides some sites and I've added a bit of info:

Sites

Awesomegang - They've been really cool for a free site. They also have an inexpensive ad campaign where for $10 they run your book on their site and tweet links to your book.

Goodreads - definitely a must have these days. One of the central places readers go for discussion about the books they're interested in reading.

What Are You Reading GAF thread (this changes monthly) - Maklershed was kind enough to add all GAF works to the OP

Pretty-Hot - Another free sight. Got a few tweets from them.

Amazon Author Central - Just a profile that links up with the book listing, but putting a face to writing helps.

Personal
Facebook - The place where family and friends cannot escape their duty. :D

Twitter - Probably one of the best vehicles for getting the word out.



Tips & Tricks to getting started

The snowflake method of character creation (thanks, show me your skeleton):
Funny how much you 'learn' about your characters just by thinking about them for more than ten seconds and filling in the old snowflake method sheet of:
description
short summary
motivation
goal
conflict
epiphany
long summary

Finally, for those looking for a highly recommended podcast, try out writing excuses. Cyan has been recommending this for years! And fredrancour provided a summary of it here.


Another view of how to cut through the fear and get your novel written. Full blog here.

Last edited by AngmarsKing701; 08-04-2017 at 09:47 PM. Reason: adding info based on request (Chuck Wendig's blog)
show me your skeleton
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(10-24-2014, 05:14 PM)
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elaborating on from my mention of the snowflake method (seriously good, really got me looking at what little plot i had and thinking it through), each character has a sheet like this:
name
obvious.
description
physical description for visual aid.
short summary
a short, one/two sentence summary of the character's storyline in the novel.
motivation
what does s/he want abstractly?
goal
what does s/he want concretely?
conflict
what prevents the character from reaching their goal?
epiphany
what will s/he learn or how will s/he change?
long summary
a paragraph summary of the character's storyline.

i found this was really good to get some new plot points and possible character details. i found i was 'doodling' my characters out, thinking of them in new ways. for example, i had a robot gangster that was going to be pretty incidental to the story but now through this i've fleshed him out a considerable amount. will this come out in the story? maybe not but it opens up possibilities. of course, you can always come back to each character and chip away at them as the story continues but now i like to well prepared before i even start writing proper.
Dawg
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(10-24-2014, 05:38 PM)
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I know some people see me as NeoGAF's meme doge.

But, one day.... one day I'll publish my book.

And everyone shall see me for the genius I truly am.
Napoleonthechimp
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(10-24-2014, 05:40 PM)
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I'm going to keep a close eye on this thread as I'm looking to get back into screenwriting at some point. I've got a 4 episode mini-series that I'm looking to put together.
HeartlessNobody213
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(10-24-2014, 05:41 PM)
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Thanks for this thread. Will read all of the OP later.
Relix
he's Virgin Tight™
(10-24-2014, 05:42 PM)
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Don't we already have a Writing OT?

EDIT: Oooh it was locked. Wut?
EDIT2: Aah, banned OP I guess.
Cyan
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(10-24-2014, 05:43 PM)
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Was there a particular reason for making a new thread? I mean, I guess it's all right, especially since the old OP was a self-promoting jerk who really only made the thread to advertise his personal site, then pretended he'd made it because everyone else had asked him to. (Still annoyed about that? Still annoyed about that.)

P.S. I've only been evangelizing Writing Excuses for years. :P
Protein
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(10-24-2014, 05:45 PM)
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Amazing thread. Would have killed for a thread like this ages ago. Sadly, I hardly write anymore because my carpal tunnel has grown more and typing for long periods of time aggravates my condition, even with breaks between writing sessions. I wish there was a keyboard designed to alleviate this condition. Surgery is not an option because I can't afford it ):
Last edited by Protein; 10-24-2014 at 05:47 PM.
Ashes
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(10-24-2014, 05:51 PM)
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Originally Posted by Cyan

P.S. I've only been evangelizing Writing Excuses for years. :P

in before Cyan's Writing Excuses evangelis-

Dammit!
Blargonaut
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(10-24-2014, 05:53 PM)
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Originally Posted by Dawg

I know some people see me as NeoGAF's meme doge.

But, one day.... one day I'll publish my book.

And everyone shall see me for the genius I truly am.

You and me both, kinsman.

You and me both.
Relix
he's Virgin Tight™
(10-24-2014, 05:53 PM)
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Man all my writing is so visual... I might pair up with an artist and do a webcomic or something. I have like this huge set of different ideas I could work with but my drawing skills are null. Like,... i write ugly stick characters. I'll get on it if I ever find a good artist *hint hint*
Jackben
(10-24-2014, 05:58 PM)
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Why are there two Writing-GAF threads? Is this one mostly for people trying to get their work published?
Blargonaut
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(10-24-2014, 05:58 PM)
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Originally Posted by Relix

Man all my writing is so visual... I might pair up with an artist and do a webcomic or something. I have like this huge set of different ideas I could work with but my drawing skills are null. Like,... i write ugly stick characters. I'll get on it if I ever find a good artist *hint hint*

If you want, describe your characters and I'll try and mock up a quick sketch for you (besides the other 19323293829323112 things I have to catch up with like Inktober and NaNo) ;)

Originally Posted by Jackben

Why are there two Writing-GAF threads? Is this one mostly for people trying to get their work published?

I'm guessing it was because the OP of the first thread was banned some time ago and left it unable to be updated :o
show me your skeleton
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(10-24-2014, 06:00 PM)
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Originally Posted by Relix

Man all my writing is so visual... I might pair up with an artist and do a webcomic or something. I have like this huge set of different ideas I could work with but my drawing skills are null. Like,... i write ugly stick characters. I'll get on it if I ever find a good artist *hint hint*

that would be the dream for me too. would love to do a comic/graphic novel thing.
Forkball
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(10-24-2014, 06:02 PM)
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I'm still stuck on step one.
Relix
he's Virgin Tight™
(10-24-2014, 06:04 PM)
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Originally Posted by Blargonaut

If you want, describe your characters and I'll try and mock up a quick sketch for you (besides the other 19323293829323112 things I have to catch up with like Inktober and NaNo) ;)


I'm guessing it was because the OP of the first thread was banned some time ago and left it unable to be updated :o

I'll get on that when I get home ;). Still stuck at ol' boring work.

Originally Posted by show me your skeleton

that would be the dream for me too. would love to do a comic/graphic novel thing.

Yeah that has been my aim for like... wow, 10 years or so. I want to do it, at least perhaps a few chapters or something sometime.
AngmarsKing701
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(10-24-2014, 06:15 PM)
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Originally Posted by Cyan

Was there a particular reason for making a new thread? I mean, I guess it's all right, especially since the old OP was a self-promoting jerk who really only made the thread to advertise his personal site, then pretended he'd made it because everyone else had asked him to. (Still annoyed about that? Still annoyed about that.)

P.S. I've only been evangelizing Writing Excuses for years. :P

Updated!

Originally Posted by Jackben

Why are there two Writing-GAF threads? Is this one mostly for people trying to get their work published?

Originally Posted by Blargonaut

If you want, describe your characters and I'll try and mock up a quick sketch for you (besides the other 19323293829323112 things I have to catch up with like Inktober and NaNo) ;)



I'm guessing it was because the OP of the first thread was banned some time ago and left it unable to be updated :o

Bingo. There had been regular requests that the OP be updated and of course we couldn't do that. Occasionally someone would say "we should really get a new thread going" and I finally bit the bullet.

I apologize if the "hey here are GAFfers with published books" is offensive to some. If that's something you all want me to yank, let me know. I do think it's nice for someone who wants to learn about publishing to know that certain folks are active in this thread who have been through this all before.
Jackben
(10-24-2014, 06:19 PM)
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No that's cool, it's inspiring to see GAF members who have actually gotten their work published. I was just confused for a minute. Subscribed to this one as the successor.

Thanks for the update, AngmarsKing.
360pages
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(10-24-2014, 06:19 PM)
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Nah, don't yank them. I think they serve as inspiration to people here. I know I can get something done if I just push myself and write I might be able to get something out.

And I'm not offended by them getting free advertisement, I mean they posted here anyway. So it's all good.
Cloud Strife
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(10-24-2014, 06:21 PM)
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Subbed. First novel is at 70 pages, feels good to finally write!
Delio
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(10-24-2014, 06:23 PM)
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Nah I wouldnt take down the work of other gaffers. Why not highlight our members.
Collete
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(10-24-2014, 06:36 PM)
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Subscribed to this thread.
I technically finished writing on my first book but it hasn't been through the editing wringer just yet, which will probably happen shortly after NanoWriMo is over.

With Nano on it's way I'm getting increasingly nervous of trying to figure out the next plot of my upcoming book.
So far I can't think of anything that's worth writing about so I'm a bit anxious about next week.
AngmarsKing701
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(10-24-2014, 06:36 PM)
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Originally Posted by Jackben

No that's cool, it's inspiring to see GAF members who have actually gotten their work published. I was just confused for a minute. Subscribed to this one as the successor.

Thanks for the update, AngmarsKing.

Originally Posted by 360pages

Nah, don't yank them. I think they serve as inspiration to people here. I know I can get something done if I just push myself and write I might be able to get something out.

And I'm not offended by them getting free advertisement, I mean they posted here anyway. So it's all good.

Originally Posted by Delio

Nah I wouldnt take down the work of other gaffers. Why not highlight our members.

Thanks, all. I'll leave them up.
Mike M
Nick N
(10-24-2014, 06:40 PM)
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So wait, this became OT2?
AngmarsKing701
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(10-24-2014, 06:41 PM)
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Originally Posted by Mike M

So wait, this became OT2?

Essentially yes. I think First Strike's was called a "Mega thread" and didn't have the OT designation on it, though.
Ashes
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(10-24-2014, 06:44 PM)
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Originally Posted by Mike M

So wait, this became OT2?

Well 3, if you count the original writing thread that got usurped by 1ststrike's one.
There was probably a reason given, but I can't recall it. He just decided that we needed one, I guess. Dunno.
cosmicblizzard
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(10-24-2014, 07:07 PM)
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Hey, new thread. Gotta subscribe to this one.

Progress update: third book is coming along nicely (even if it's getting to be MORE fucked up than I had planned). On the other hand, editing for the second one is going super slow. My copy editor has only finished 2 chapters. Don't think I'll be able to get it out before the end of the year like I planned. Thinking about finding another editor. Might ask my mom's professor friend if she knows any.

Either way, with my current rate of progress, my third book might actually be complete before the second one is even out. Might end up releasing them within months of each other.

Originally Posted by Cyan

Was there a particular reason for making a new thread? I mean, I guess it's all right, especially since the old OP was a self-promoting jerk who really only made the thread to advertise his personal site, then pretended he'd made it because everyone else had asked him to. (Still annoyed about that? Still annoyed about that.)

P.S. I've only been evangelizing Writing Excuses for years. :P

Oh, is that why he got banned?

Originally Posted by Relix

Man all my writing is so visual... I might pair up with an artist and do a webcomic or something. I have like this huge set of different ideas I could work with but my drawing skills are null. Like,... i write ugly stick characters. I'll get on it if I ever find a good artist *hint hint*

I'm kind of the same, but I went the novel route anyway. There's plenty of successful stuff out there that you would think could only work in visual mediums, yet is fine as text.

That being said, I would absolutely LOVE to write graphic novels/video games/whatever. I'd trade pretty much any skill but writing for the ability to draw.
Last edited by cosmicblizzard; 10-24-2014 at 07:29 PM.
Soka
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(10-24-2014, 07:13 PM)
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I've published a handful of writings - all peer-reviewed, scientific writing, so I'm in a whole different world from you guys. I mention my history because I quite enjoy the writing process and therefore think this thread is pretty interesting. I'll keep an eye on it.

Also, my dad used to own a publishing company. They published something like 60-70 books, almost all hardback, short-story, science-fiction collections. I read quite a few and really enjoyed them. Has any Gaffer published a short-story collection? Didn't see any in the OP.
ronito
Banned
(10-24-2014, 07:17 PM)
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I think I'll write a story about how we had another thread.
Cyan
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(10-24-2014, 07:26 PM)
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Originally Posted by cosmicblizzard

Oh, is that why he got banned?

No, that was unrelated. It is why I edited his post to remove the dozens of links to his own site.
Cyan
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(10-24-2014, 07:30 PM)
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Oh, and speaking of spamming links: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=909548

The NaNo thread for this year, if anyone hasn't seen it yet. :P
Soulfire
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(10-24-2014, 07:33 PM)
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Great OP. I'm going to try and be more active in this thread and not such a lurker. I took a break from writing this month, so hopefully I'm all rested and read to go for NaNo, though I've never completed in all my attempts, and I really don't think I will this year either. We'll see, positive attitude.
timetokill
I call 'em "death hugs"
(10-24-2014, 08:41 PM)
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'Scribed!
Freeza Under The Shower
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(10-24-2014, 10:46 PM)
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Originally Posted by ronito

I think I'll write a story about how we had another thread.

haven't you done enough damage to the world with your nefarious confessions thread already, sinner?

aka subscribed for round twothree-ishymishymashymoe.

btw: why does everyone hate "It was a dark and stormy night" so much? I know it's not much of a first line, but why the hate for it?
It was used in a Star Trek TNG episode (the 'casino' episode) and Picard's response to it is pretty priceless, but how did this single line become the epitaph of Bad Writing (tm)?
Last edited by Freeza Under The Shower; 10-24-2014 at 10:49 PM.
toddhunter
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(10-24-2014, 11:09 PM)
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Originally Posted by Cyan

Oh, and speaking of spamming links: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=909548

The NaNo thread for this year, if anyone hasn't seen it yet. :P

For bonus points, a highlighted link each (updated fortnightish?) to the creative writing challenge http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=908192 would be handy too.

Originally Posted by ronito

I think I'll write a story about how we had another thread.

I'd watch the movie version.

Originally Posted by Zeitgeister

btw: why does everyone hate "It was a dark and stormy night" so much? I know it's not much of a first line, but why the hate for it?
It was used in a Star Trek TNG episode (the 'casino' episode) and Picard's response to it is pretty priceless, but how did this single line become the epitaph of Bad Writing (tm)?

Very few nights are not dark.
HORRORSHØW
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(10-24-2014, 11:26 PM)
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Originally Posted by AngmarsKing701

So, how do you start out?
1. Write the damn book.

this is the biggest hurdle for me.
Feebastic
Junior Member
(10-24-2014, 11:32 PM)
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Subbed. Making my first foray into long-form story writing with this coming NaNoWriMo, and now aiming to work either writing, publishing or editing. OP is very useful so far, it's appreciated.
Cyan
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(10-24-2014, 11:34 PM)
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Originally Posted by toddhunter

For bonus points, a highlighted link each (updated fortnightish?) to the creative writing challenge http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=908192 would be handy too.

Good idea. We can do that when the challenges restart after NaNo. :)
Timu
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(10-24-2014, 11:44 PM)
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Originally Posted by Grimløck

this is the biggest hurdle for me.

That's the easy part for me, the hardest part is getting it published to be sold on sites!!!
Freeza Under The Shower
Member
(10-24-2014, 11:45 PM)
Freeza Under The Shower's Avatar

Originally Posted by toddhunter

Very few nights are not dark.

then what about:
"For the night is dark, and full of terrors."

not denying your point, but trying to get to what 'bad' is, exactly.
Rawket Lawnchair
(10-24-2014, 11:46 PM)
Rawket Lawnchair's Avatar
Good idea and great topic, subscribing the hell out of it.

I have something in the works.
AngmarsKing701
Member
(10-24-2014, 11:52 PM)
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Originally Posted by Grimløck

this is the biggest hurdle for me.

What is blocking you? A story to tell, characters to live it?
Dante Morgan
Banned
(10-24-2014, 11:56 PM)
Subbing. I plan on writing my own novel eventually, but for now I'm writing Fanfiction as a way to improve my writing. The thing I'm struggling with the most right now is actually sitting down and getting to work.

Once I get in the groove, I can easily crank out ten pages in two or three days. Problem is that getting in that state of mind can take anywhere from an hour to a year.
HORRORSHØW
Member
(10-24-2014, 11:59 PM)
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Originally Posted by AngmarsKing701

What is blocking you? A story to tell, characters to live it?

i feel like what i write is clichéd and not good enough. i'm a technically-sound writer with a background in literary criticism but i feel like i'm lacking creatively, more so the longer the project is. that's why i usually stick to poetry for my creative outlet; its brevity allows me to avoid the pitfalls i make when i try to write narrative prose.
AngmarsKing701
Member
(10-25-2014, 01:02 AM)
AngmarsKing701's Avatar

Originally Posted by Grimløck

i feel like what i write is clichéd and not good enough. i'm a technically-sound writer with a background in literary criticism but i feel like i'm lacking creatively, more so the longer the project is. that's why i usually stick to poetry for my creative outlet; its brevity allows me to avoid the pitfalls i make when i try to write narrative prose.

Ever try to tackle what you're trying to do in book form with poetry ala Idylls of the King?

Maybe your format is poetry, but that doesn't mean the story can't be book-length.
Letterbomb
Banned
(10-25-2014, 01:17 AM)
The way the first post is set up makes it seem like you should always try for a literary agent/publisher first, and then self-publish if no bites. is that right, or am I making false inferences? Do we have a general pros and cons list for either approach?

Probably the biggest hurdle for me right now is world building. When I sit down and start figuring out this and that, I quickly start to realize that this universe I'm building is extremely similar to another one already out there. It makes me feel unoriginal and uncreative, and that takes out the motivation to continue with that world idea. I start tweaking things here and there, and pretty soon the result is completely different from the original concept.

World building in general is a rather daunting task. What checklist of sorts exist for me to compare mine to in making sure it's complete? I don't want to write my story without my world being built. What are the essentials? At what point can I deem my world build enough to start writing? Probably more important, what elements are necessary to give the reader an easier time believing and immersing themselves into that world in the first place?

I can scribble land structures on a piece of paper and start naming continents and countries, but then I quickly start thinking, "Well this is too random now." I can carefully plug in different shapes and sizes, but then I quickly start thinking, "Well this is too structured now." I seem to always have a reason to be displeased with my result whenever I try to make progress, and I think that's the biggest challenge for me as of right now. What can I do to overcome this?
toddhunter
Member
(10-25-2014, 01:43 AM)
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Originally Posted by Zeitgeister

then what about:
"For the night is dark, and full of terrors."

not denying your point, but trying to get to what 'bad' is, exactly.

Well the "full of terrors" bit probably isn't George's shining moment.

The full quote:

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

I don't think it really matters what people think is "bad", but you could construct a fair argument to suggest this is a little over the top.

At what point can I deem my world build enough to start writing?

Just before the point that stops you from writing :) You don't have to do world building if that isn't your "thing". Just write and the world will take care of itself. It might take a few short stories, a re-write or a third novel exploring it, but you will work it out as you go along if you keep going.
Last edited by toddhunter; 10-25-2014 at 01:50 AM.
MidnightCowboy
Member
(10-25-2014, 02:38 AM)
MidnightCowboy's Avatar
I've been on a short story roll. It's crazy how accurate the advice to read more helps with writing. Read like five Raymond Carver short stories and haven't looked back.
AngmarsKing701
Member
(10-25-2014, 02:40 AM)
AngmarsKing701's Avatar

Originally Posted by Letterbomb

The way the first post is set up makes it seem like you should always try for a literary agent/publisher first, and then self-publish if no bites. is that right, or am I making false inferences? Do we have a general pros and cons list for either approach?

Let's see if I can tackle these one at a time. This is all my opinion, by the way.

For this one, it really depends on you. Regardless of what the internet tells you, there is no right way. You can read opinions from those who believe that if you're not traditionally published then you're not a real writer. You can read opinions from those who believe traditional publishing is a monopoly meant to drive prices up and everyone should self-publish. I can say this: publishing is a business and there is simply no way that traditional publishing can possibly invest in all of the good writing available in the world. So independent publishing provides a path to publication that many writers simply would never get if traditional publishing were the only method.

Probably the biggest hurdle for me right now is world building. When I sit down and start figuring out this and that, I quickly start to realize that this universe I'm building is extremely similar to another one already out there. It makes me feel unoriginal and uncreative, and that takes out the motivation to continue with that world idea. I start tweaking things here and there, and pretty soon the result is completely different from the original concept.

World building in general is a rather daunting task. What checklist of sorts exist for me to compare mine to in making sure it's complete? I don't want to write my story without my world being built. What are the essentials? At what point can I deem my world build enough to start writing? Probably more important, what elements are necessary to give the reader an easier time believing and immersing themselves into that world in the first place?

I can scribble land structures on a piece of paper and start naming continents and countries, but then I quickly start thinking, "Well this is too random now." I can carefully plug in different shapes and sizes, but then I quickly start thinking, "Well this is too structured now." I seem to always have a reason to be displeased with my result whenever I try to make progress, and I think that's the biggest challenge for me as of right now. What can I do to overcome this?

I'm going to toot my horn here a bit. Sorry. I wrote a blog addressing this very issue. It's on my site here. Bottom line: don't start with the world building. Start with your characters. Let the world grow around them.
Dresden
Member
(10-25-2014, 02:42 AM)
Dresden's Avatar
Whoa, James Smythe is a poster here. Was recced some of his books a while back, should get to reading them soonish.

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