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Writing-GAF: Writing, Publishing, Selling |OT|

zulux21

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If you would like some resources and/or support, we have a WritingGAF discord chat (quote to reveal link) where there's a few of us who hang out together to talk about our projects and bounce back ideas / feedback with each other.

I do think the GAF NaNo thread will be up sometime in October :>

Good luck this year, WritingGAF!!!!
Anyone in the discord anime fans :p? I, uh, really don't think most of my ideas for my story will bounce off well on non anime fans, but I can never be sure. Though thinking about it despite clearly being inspired by anime I do have a habit of trying to destroy any anime trope, so it actually might not be nearly as anime like as I would think it would be lol.

In other thoughts, anyone else in this thread cite songs in their rough drafts, as in, if this gets adapted ideally this song would play here?

or am I the only weirdo that has a couple of scenes loosely built around some songs lol?
 

YesNOnoNOYes

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Anyone in the discord anime fans :p? I, uh, really don't think most of my ideas for my story will bounce off well of non anime fans, but I can never be sure. Though thinking about it despite clearly being inspired by anime I do have a habit of trying to destroy any anime trope, so it actually might not be nearly as anime like as I would think it would be lol.

In other thoughts, anyone else in this thread cite songs in their rough drafts, as in, if this gets adapted ideally this song would play here?

or am I the only weirdo that has a couple of scenes loosely built around some songs lol?
im pretty sure a few of us watches anime.... :>
 

zulux21

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im pretty sure a few of us watches anime.... :>
alright, I already use discord for pokemon go, so what's another channel lol.

I make no promises ever remembering anything, but I might show up from time to time to talk shop.

I mean while I still have a ton of ideas for my main story, and a huge outline for it. The fact is I have other ideas that won't fit in it at all, and I am always more than happy to throw ideas out to other people. I am unlikely to ever finish my main story let alone do a different story so if I can ever help anyone else I just will :p
 

Kid Ying

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Wow. Didn't knew that there were a thread like this on gaf. I'm a aspiring writer myself and i'm writing one right now.

I'm very far from what i want in terms of production, since i have to work in my computer and spend hours and hours doing, i don't usually got the gal to stand more hours to write. I produce 5 to 10 pages maximum a week and it makes me go insane, cause i feel like i will never end this while doing only this.

I've wanted to write for a long time, so i feel happy doing it though, It's much more tedious than i thought it would be though. It's of romantical nature, but since my favorite books are thrillers and mysteries, i think my style is a bit more strange than the usual in those books. I'm a big anime fan too, but i don't feel like that it inspired my writing. The presentation i use though it certainly did.

I think the worst part is that the ideas are much easier to flow than it is to write them. Sometimes you need to have a hook, or you don't even know how to work them in the story. It grinds my gears.
 

zulux21

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Wow. Didn't knew that there were a thread like this on gaf. I'm a aspiring writer myself and i'm writing one right now.

I'm very far from what i want in terms of production, since i have to work in my computer and spend hours and hours doing, i don't usually got the gal to stand more hours to write. I produce 5 to 10 pages maximum a week and it makes me go insane, cause i feel like i will never end this while doing only this.

I've wanted to write for a long time, so i feel happy doing it though, It's much more tedious than i thought it would be though. It's of romantical nature, but since my favorite books are thrillers and mysteries, i think my style is a bit more strange than the usual in those books. I'm a big anime fan too, but i don't feel like that it inspired my writing. The presentation i use though it certainly did.

I think the worst part is that the ideas are much easier to flow than it is to write them. Sometimes you need to have a hook, or you don't even know how to work them in the story. It grinds my gears.
that is 5-10 pages a week more than others (though I am curious if those are book size pages or microsoft word size pages as a book has around 250 words per page while word has around 650 words per page on average (at least for my writing) so 7.5 pages of that would actually be closer to 20 pages of a book on average :p)

as for actually writing, for me my writing is an adventure. I have check points I want to reach, but my style is to have my characters so well defined in my head that I just let them play out the scenes without me myself being sure what they are going to do >.> I mean don't get me wrong I try to plan out from point A to point B. but rarely do I get there the way I expected lol. It's a matter of understanding that not all ideas will work, and if you have to force them, odds are you shouldn't be using that idea. Everyone is different though. I know plenty of people I have talked to have looked at me like I am crazy when I say while writing I don't know what my characters will do, I can just take guesses before hand based on knowing their personalities quite well :p

but anyways, just keep at it. writing even a little will inch you closer to your end goal. A major part of succeeding at creating a story is merely creating one to start with. (says the person with zero success :p)
 

Kid Ying

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that is 5-10 pages a week more than others (though I am curious if those are book size pages or microsoft word size pages as a book has around 250 words per page while word has around 650 words per page on average (at least for my writing) so 7.5 pages of that would actually be closer to 20 pages of a book on average :p)

as for actually writing, for me my writing is an adventure. I have check points I want to reach, but my style is to have my characters so well defined in my head that I just let them play out the scenes without me myself being sure what they are going to do >.> I mean don't get me wrong I try to plan out from point A to point B. but rarely do I get there the way I expected lol. It's a matter of understanding that not all ideas will work, and if you have to force them, odds are you shouldn't be using that idea. Everyone is different though. I know plenty of people I have talked to have looked at me like I am crazy when I say while writing I don't know what my characters will do, I can just take guesses before hand based on knowing their personalities quite well :p

but anyways, just keep at it. writing even a little will inch you closer to your end goal. A major part of succeeding at creating a story is merely creating one to start with. (says the person with zero success :p)
I've heard of plenty of writers that say that, i don't think it's crazy. It Just never happened to me. Although i can't say that i've got a tight grip on whats happening every time, i can safely say that i've got both the personalities and the destiny of the characters well defined, so i've never felt "loose" with them.

Also, thank you for the tips! One of my biggest fears is how subtle things are. I think the characters are well defined, but are they well defined to me or well defined to everyone? That's one of the things i usually ask myself, and that's where the ideas come, to show more traits about their personalities by putting them in strange situations or having different dialogues inserted here and there. It's sometimes dodgy to insert those ideas, but i think it's for the sake of the whole story.

I don't want to end the book and people say "well, that end got pulled out of his ass", although i want to surprise people, i don't want that kind of surprise.
 

zulux21

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I don't want to end the book and people say "well, that end got pulled out of his ass", although i want to surprise people, i don't want that kind of surprise.
yeah, not just books, but all stories in general need at least a strong start and a strong finish.

if you don't have a strong start getting people interested will be hard.

if you have a bad finish though you can ruin any good you had previously. I mean I think How I Met Your Mother is a pretty good example of this. While airing there were a ton of fans that praised the show (unlike other popular shows like two and a half men or big bang theory) after the last season everything got turned sour and many people have had the show retroactively ruined for them (personally I am more the type to still enjoy the good and ignore the bad end, but most people aren't)

I mean obviously people should strive for a complete project that is good from start to finish, but to me the most important parts are the start and finish by far. A few stumbles in the middle and that good start will likely get the reader to continue to see if you can recover. A bad finish though... you never get to recover, and it can hurt any readers interest in your future projects as well as their interest to recommend it to their friends.

I mean a surprise is nice and all, but so is a nice wrap up. So many things are left open ended anymore that when I get a story that wraps up nicely it just feels good lol. (granted I don't actually read many books, thus maybe books are more likely to have a clear defined ending, I consume my stories in many other forms)
 

zulux21

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I'm gonna need all the luck I can get since this year will be tougher than last year for me!
I need to sit down an expand my mood playlists. so that I don't waste time in November finding the right inspiration music lol.
 

zulux21

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I can still get distracted even listening to music, lol. Having a youtube channel makes it tougher too.
In general I have just a playlist of songs I enjoy to write to. but for certain scenes I like to have themed music going (aka epic battle music ect)

and then for the rare scenes I actually put a single song on repeat for hours.

so far there are scenes heavily influenced by the following songs in my story.

Greg Laswell - Comes and Goes - used to inspire a wedding scene.

Aeris's (Aerith's) Theme - Final Fantasy 7 - a characters backstory.

Talking To Myself - Linkin Park - a transformation scene removing that character from the story for a bit as they turned into someone else.

granted the last one I didn't have playing straight for hours, just a few times as the scene was already in my head well enough that I didn't really motivation for it, just helped with a bit of the scene that was lacking focus.

Neogaf is far more of a distraction for me, but I am good at multitasking and write fast, thus even when posting on here i can still make good progress if I know what I am doing, and I can still run story stuff in my head while talking on here for the most part. I am not actually sure how many words per minute i can type, but it's at least 75, and I know at times when I have been in a grove it's been well over 100. Makes my 300 word goals a little sad as it typically takes me like 15 minutes to type 600 words (aka the amount I am usually around per day with my 300 word goal) which is only 40 words per minute during that forced writing.
 

Kid Ying

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I think depending of the music i can get a bit distracted, but internet is much worse on this. Having to type on the computer doesn't help. LOL

Music did help me sometimes, but i can't remember an exact instance. I usually listen to depressed stuff though, so it may be good some day that i want to tell how the characters are sad.
 

FlowersisBritish

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If we're talking about music, I usually put some lofi hip hop and in general stuff without words as background music. Helps me nail my tone. I should probably find some music and make a nano playlist. That might be fun.
 

zulux21

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If we're talking about music, I usually put some lofi hip hop and in general stuff without words as background music. Helps me nail my tone. I should probably find some music and make a nano playlist. That might be fun.
Might I suggest some Nujabes? I don't really enjoy hip hop in general, but he has a lot of fun beats in the Samurai Champloo anime and I know plenty of people enjoy his work in general.
 
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Alright, draft like fucking five of this thing. Sorry I keep posting it over and over.

BP6 is the sixth pawn in the black army. He's a chess piece. The problem is, he fucking hates chess. He'd rather spend his time at Darbie's strip club, snorting sugar or getting black-out drunk on cheap soda, because if there's one thing BP6 hates more than chess, it's being a pawn.

But in Toyland, you are what you are. You follow the rules on your box.

That is, until one drunken stupor when BP6 stumbles upon a secret G.I. John weapon—one that doesn't shoot plastic bullets but spits real fire. Now the rules don't matter. Now he can escape his cardboard castle for good and find a new home. He no longer has to be some stupid pawn in a stupid game of chess.

He can be whatever he wants!

However, first he needs to find another candy dealer. These difficult decisions are not to be made while sober.

Of course it doesn't take long for every soldier, robot, monster, and stuffed animal in Toyland to want BP6 dead. He's got a weapon that actually works. It's just a shame that one of those soldiers is his best friend who thinks all of this is his fault and the monsters are mad-scientist creations hell bent on making sure everyone follows the rules on their boxes or else.

Well, there's also a terrorist named Frank, but let's be real, no one expects him to accomplish anything.

Toyland is a dark comedy/action adventure mashup, a Toy Story meets Grand Theft Auto. It measures 66,000 words.
Hopefully closer. I dialed it back a version because I suppose I don't need every character/plot thread in this thing. WK2 can be a nice surprise. Hell, so can Frank, but he's so fun to shit on that I kind of want him in here for that. Poor Frank :(
 
Jul 6, 2011
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Alright, draft like fucking five of this thing. Sorry I keep posting it over and over.



Hopefully closer. I dialed it back a version because I suppose I don't need every character/plot thread in this thing. WK2 can be a nice surprise. Hell, so can Frank, but he's so fun to shit on that I kind of want him in here for that. Poor Frank :(
Looks good. "He can be whatever he wants" or "now he can make his own rules"?
 

FlowersisBritish

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Might I suggest some Nujabes? I don't really enjoy hip hop in general, but he has a lot of fun beats in the Samurai Champloo anime and I know plenty of people enjoy his work in general.
I actually do love me some Nujabes! Since we're revealing our tastes in music I'd counter recommend DJ Okawari You'll probably recognize a few tracks as him and Nujabes teamed up all the time. Other in the weird dark electronica circle (Oh god, my music is so hipstery...) I'm slowly getting back into Kidkanevil who is weeeeeird sometimes and Bonobo because I adore a lot of his stuff (Btw, I ADORE this song, one of my favorite songs ever). His new album is great for writing!

Alright, draft like fucking five of this thing. Sorry I keep posting it over and over.
"Decisions" reads a little weird to me same with "And the monsters of mad scientist..." I still accidently associate that and the friend as a running list sort of thing. Maybe try a "and on the otherside of things" or something?

Also, I know you love Frank, but that last line is a really weak way to end it because I have no idea who Frank is, his relationship to the story, or any context why no one expects anything from him. If you're hell-bent on it, I'd recommend "There's also that nutjob Frank" or something. Just give me a bit more context as to who he is in the story annd why I shouldn't expect anything from him.

Otherwise, reads a lot better!
 
Jul 28, 2014
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I actually do love me some Nujabes! Since we're revealing our tastes in music I'd counter recommend DJ Okawari You'll probably recognize a few tracks as him and Nujabes teamed up all the time. Other in the weird dark electronica circle (Oh god, my music is so hipstery...) I'm slowly getting back into Kidkanevil who is weeeeeird sometimes and Bonobo because I adore a lot of his stuff (Btw, I ADORE this song, one of my favorite songs ever). His new album is great for writing!



"Decisions" reads a little weird to me same with "And the monsters of mad scientist..." I still accidently associate that and the friend as a running list sort of thing. Maybe try a "and on the otherside of things" or something?

Also, I know you love Frank, but that last line is a really weak way to end it because I have no idea who Frank is, his relationship to the story, or any context why no one expects anything from him. If you're hell-bent on it, I'd recommend "There's also that nutjob Frank" or something. Just give me a bit more context as to who he is in the story annd why I shouldn't expect anything from him.

Otherwise, reads a lot better!
Yeah. The Frank bit should probably go.

One of the things BP6 has on everyone else is he knows they're all toys. Everyone else doesn't get it. Wonder if that should be the zinger at the end in some form or another.
 

zulux21

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hmmmm just realized in the last 9 days I am just a touch off a nano pace. 13404 words in 9 days or 1489.333 words per day on average, or 44680 words over 30 days.


a good chunk of that was one day though that I was trying to make up for last week lol.

but good to know I can do that pace over 9 days when not trying. Granted if I included all the outlining I have been doing as well it would be almost exactly nano pace.

now to continue writing until I get tired, as even if I am likely to fail finishing my book this month, I can at the very least trigger the last arc of the book @_@ One more chapter... that is all I need... (which is what i said going into the last 3 chapters but I think I actually mean it this time lol)
 
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While I have a main character that is being introduced to magical stuff (and amusingly i have my main cast loosely based upon the personalities of the zodiac but it doesn't play a major role in my story aside from the unique source of power for my main character being named Libra. I doubt any of the other characters will have their zodiac influence mentioned anywhere besides a trivia book somewhere as it's just one of those things I am using to help define my characters or if I ever publish and get popular I am sure someone will find this post lol.) I also know well enough that the main character being introduced into all the magical stuff and then becoming heavily involved in it is done to death (at least within Japanese media but I am pretty sure it's fairly common in other media as well) Thus if you can have them already involved and keep it interesting I think that would be the better way. The new to magic stuff is just a crutch to allow you to use the main character to teach the world to the reader (in general) and if it wasn't such an important thing for certain events in my story I would likely try to do away with it myself, but since I actively want my main character to be weak in general, and it's the explanation of a number of things, I have decided to just leave the new to magic main character that way.

personally if you are stuck and can't finish it, and you are questioning why one of the characters would do something, it might just be best to do the rewrite. Worst case you are at least writing and you might forge a better path (or even figure out how to finish your original path) best case everything clicks the way you want. A character not being motivated to do what you want it a pretty big problem.

I mean I don't know if it will work with you, but when I am stuck somewhere I just jump ahead to the next point I know what i want to have happen, and usually as I am writing that out I start to figure out what my characters need to do in order to get there.
I thought the worse case is me spending another three years on here saying how I can't write. I mean I did try to move onto something else and I just got stuck there too. A famous author I spoke to a while ago said I need to get a critique partner. Where do I find one of those?
 

zulux21

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I thought the worse case is me spending another three years on here saying how I can't write. I mean I did try to move onto something else and I just got stuck there too. A famous author I spoke to a while ago said I need to get a critique partner. Where do I find one of those?
Fair enough, I did figure my worst case wasn't worst case enough but wasn't motivated enough to make it worse lol.

As for a critique partner, a close friend is likely a good start, but if you don't have one that would be a decent source of actual critique (as a lot of friends aren't good enough friends to tell you they didn't like your work :/) you can also search for someone within writing communities. From what I understand though it's typically a give and take relationship, usually with both writers reading each others work and critiquing it.

you have to find someone you trust though, as logically if your work is nearly complete you run the risk of someone stealing your work and claiming it as their own, but I can't imagine that is super common among most writing circles.

Someone else I imagine will be a far more knowledgeable of the topic. I'm still quite in my rough draft state, and the only person who has seriously read any of my story is my wife, and even then she read the original alpha draft which has since been replaced with a new draft. Thus I haven't seriously tried to get others to critique my writing outside of throwing out some of the ideas here and there and seeing how people feel about it.

hopefully this rambling makes sense... as I just woke up lol.
 
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I highly recommend finding a writing group. Talk to people, look for one online, sign up for a class, it doesn't matter how, just get one. It's so much easier to write when you're getting a constant stream of feedback/have soft deadlines.
 

Valdfellgar

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Fair enough, I did figure my worst case wasn't worst case enough but wasn't motivated enough to make it worse lol.

As for a critique partner, a close friend is likely a good start, but if you don't have one that would be a decent source of actual critique (as a lot of friends aren't good enough friends to tell you they didn't like your work :/) you can also search for someone within writing communities. From what I understand though it's typically a give and take relationship, usually with both writers reading each others work and critiquing it.

you have to find someone you trust though, as logically if your work is nearly complete you run the risk of someone stealing your work and claiming it as their own, but I can't imagine that is super common among most writing circles.


Someone else I imagine will be a far more knowledgeable of the topic. I'm still quite in my rough draft state, and the only person who has seriously read any of my story is my wife, and even then she read the original alpha draft which has since been replaced with a new draft. Thus I haven't seriously tried to get others to critique my writing outside of throwing out some of the ideas here and there and seeing how people feel about it.

hopefully this rambling makes sense... as I just woke up lol.
Yeah it's not terribly common, not understanding your style though is the bigger issue. In film school we split into rather large groups, like 6-8 people a group, shared our pages for the week or month, whatever, and everyone hammered with feedback. But often times that feedback was borderline useless. Every person had a different style, focus, and outside of a pseudo agreement that anything vaguely 'artsy' was the pinnacle of quality you were likely to get feedback that totally did more damage than help. I know my first revisions were complete garbage because I was trying to incorporate feedback from everyone and all it did was make a muddied mess, even if I ignored the blatantly awful feedback. It's just too many different voices pulling away from whatever I'd originally wanted to say and the style it was set in.

Since it was a group however, you could find a few comments or other classmates to really get what you were trying to do and help refine that. I think if you're having trouble writing then Midnight Cowboy's idea of a Writing Group is a better way to go than straight to a critique partner. If you latch onto the first critique partner you can find you might end up with feedback that just makes you feel worse about your writing and strays you away from your own voice. (Or even worse, you find someone who's own writing you can't respect and that puts you in a super awkward situation.)

So I agree, find a group, help critique their stuff alongside seeking feedback for yours. Always keep in mind that not every suggestion or change is a good one, and could do more harm than good to your work. Learn to weed through what'll help refine your writing and what won't. It'll probably be during all this group work you'll come across a writer or two who gets you and your style. At that point you could maybe develop that relationship into a critique partner dynamic. This is probably the best way to get you, Nipples, feeling like you CAN write. I'm sure you can, I think everyone has the potential to, it's just about refining style, developing work ethic, and keeping your self-esteem in check.

You'll have to be prepared for a few people perhaps really digging deep, out of a misguided 'tough love' mentality, or because they've got a chip on their shoulder. But it's a learning process to figure out when someone is providing you with helpful feedback and when it's not worth fretting over. I hope this helps. I go through funks too and it's often my Wife or my family that has to pick up the pieces and put me back together when I'm feeling down on my work lol.
 

zulux21

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(Or even worse, you find someone who's own writing you can't respect and that puts you in a super awkward situation.)
I fear when I finally get the point of working with others to improve my work this will be my situation (with others not respecting my work)

my actual writing structure/confirming to standards is very poor (it's gotten better but it's still not great). Though I have faith that a lot of my ideas are really interesting and some are even well done lol. So it will really depend on what is important to the other person. Well written stuff, or good ideas lol.

but yeah i have watched people rip to hard into some of my friends work. I tend to be softer in a way, but since I often get stuck focusing on details that are missing I tend to ask a lot of questions about why things are certain ways lol.
 

Valdfellgar

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I fear when I finally get the point of working with others to improve my work this will be my situation (with others not respecting my work)

my actual writing structure/confirming to standards is very poor (it's gotten better but it's still not great). Though I have faith that a lot of my ideas are really interesting and some are even well done lol. So it will really depend on what is important to the other person. Well written stuff, or good ideas lol.

but yeah i have watched people rip to hard into some of my friends work. I tend to be softer in a way, but since I often get stuck focusing on details that are missing I tend to ask a lot of questions about why things are certain ways lol.
It's something a lot of people don't understand. To most people their opinion is law, meaning everything is either good or bad. But it's really just a spectrum of what connects, or doesn't, with you and others.

It's why you can have dozens, or hundreds, of agents pass on your work (or something like Harry Potter) and then you find the rest person who gets it and goes "Yes! This is good!" It's also why so much stuff we might consider 'crap' still gets made.

I think, in some ways it has almost nothing to do with talent in the end. Talent is just a baseline minimum bare you have to 'pass' in order to be on the right plane in order to find people who'll connect with your work.

It's frustrating, and while you can always remind yourself to take opinions with a grain of salt, it still stings like hell when someone tears into your stuff.

Like I recently had a few Beta Readers check out my novel, and it really ranged. Two gave great to moderately useful feedback, and one guy just didn't get it. Most of his early notes were talking down to me as if I didn't know the basics of writing. Later on he suddenly had a change of tune and asked me to be a critique partner, as if he suddenly respect my writing. But then when the story didn't go in the direction he predicted/liked, he suddenly retracted interest in seeing what I thought of his stuff.
 

zulux21

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It's something a lot of people don't understand. To most people their opinion is law, meaning everything is either good or bad. But it's really just a spectrum of what connects, or doesn't, with you and others.

It's why you can have dozens, or hundreds, of agents pass on your work (or something like Harry Potter) and then you find the rest person who gets it and goes "Yes! This is good!" It's also why so much stuff we might consider 'crap' still gets made.

I think, in some ways it has almost nothing to do with talent in the end. Talent is just a baseline minimum bare you have to 'pass' in order to be on the right plane in order to find people who'll connect with your work.

It's frustrating, and while you can always remind yourself to take opinions with a grain of salt, it still stings like hell when someone tears into your stuff.

Like I recently had a few Beta Readers check out my novel, and it really ranged. Two gave great to moderately useful feedback, and one guy just didn't get it. Most of his early notes were talking down to me as if I didn't know the basics of writing. Later on he suddenly had a change of tune and asked me to be a critique partner, as if he suddenly respect my writing. But then when the story didn't go in the direction he predicted/liked, he suddenly retracted interest in seeing what I thought of his stuff.
It's part of the reason why when I go for beta readers I will likely start with a pool of anime/manga fans. At it's heart my story is anime inspired (in fact when I started it 14 years ago it was a pretty strong rip off of naruto + Yugioh), but while through the drafts I have drifted farther and farther from it's anime roots I still feel it would appeal to people who enjoy anime stuff more than people who don't. Obviously I will eventually have to test it with people who aren't into anime, but at least early on I want to control my group a bit to try to hit people who might understand what i am trying to create.

and I mean, even if I have drifted away from the anime roots, I do tend to favor Japanese cliches for character types instead of western ones. Though I have toned down the Yandare and Tsundare characters to a far more normal level than most Japanese things do that I don't even know that those characters are obvious they are based off those types anymore lol. Plus having my main character be 21 years old or so instantly means it doesn't fit in properly with japanese or young adult :p
 

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For years I’ve wanted to participate in NanoWrimo, and for years I would regret not having the courage and dedication to actually do so. I feel that if I can push myself to particpate this year, it will be my biggest chance to break beyond the barriers I’ve erected upon myself.

But I’ve also read a few comments about people planning out their stories in advance....isn’t the spirit of NanoWrimo generally to improvise the story, to craft something during a tight deadline? I don’t know if planning things out in advance would be my best option, or just go gung-ho on day one and see where my words take me.

And if I were to go the improv route, I was wondering if it’s better for me to just plan out whatever premise comes into my head at the time, or perhaps use a random plot generator. Rarely do I find myself talented enough to conceive something fresh and original...most of my ideas tend to be spun off from other things (“I want to write something like Bleach, only way better”, for example).
 

zulux21

Member
Oct 24, 2011
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For years I’ve wanted to participate in NanoWrimo, and for years I would regret not having the courage and dedication to actually do so. I feel that if I can push myself to particpate this year, it will be my biggest chance to break beyond the barriers I’ve erected upon myself.

But I’ve also read a few comments about people planning out their stories in advance....isn’t the spirit of NanoWrimo generally to improvise the story, to craft something during a tight deadline? I don’t know if planning things out in advance would be my best option, or just go gung-ho on day one and see where my words take me.

And if I were to go the improv route, I was wondering if it’s better for me to just plan out whatever premise comes into my head at the time, or perhaps use a random plot generator. Rarely do I find myself talented enough to conceive something fresh and original...most of my ideas tend to be spun off from other things (“I want to write something like Bleach, only way better”, for example).
the point of nano is simply to get yourself to write 50k words in a month.

some people take it to merely start at the start and finish a novel in that time.
others just use it as a way to push themselves to work on a project.

for me I don't officially do nano as I am just constantly working on my story. but it doesn't hurt to try to time a major thing in my story to nano and push myself. Last year it was book 2 (I think) this year it will be book 4.

There is no way in hell I can do book 4 on the fly though. The first part sure, but given the second half is logic puzzle focused combined with strong diplomatic encounters I need to make sure I have the basis of that stuff before I even start writing it. Just like with the current stuff I am working on I am taking it slow and outlining stuff in detail as I really don't feel you can make a mystery merely on the fly. it takes some planning. so before I start I at least wanted to make sure I knew the motive, the method, the back story of the attacker, and who has been effected at the start.

If you are just doing something for fun though obviously the improv route can be a lot of fun. If you don't need the story to go to a certain place eventually just improving can result in interesting adventures you normally wouldn't have planned out (it can also be garbage but so can everything)
 

kevin1025

Banned
Jul 17, 2012
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For years I’ve wanted to participate in NanoWrimo, and for years I would regret not having the courage and dedication to actually do so. I feel that if I can push myself to particpate this year, it will be my biggest chance to break beyond the barriers I’ve erected upon myself.

But I’ve also read a few comments about people planning out their stories in advance....isn’t the spirit of NanoWrimo generally to improvise the story, to craft something during a tight deadline? I don’t know if planning things out in advance would be my best option, or just go gung-ho on day one and see where my words take me.

And if I were to go the improv route, I was wondering if it’s better for me to just plan out whatever premise comes into my head at the time, or perhaps use a random plot generator. Rarely do I find myself talented enough to conceive something fresh and original...most of my ideas tend to be spun off from other things (“I want to write something like Bleach, only way better”, for example).
As zulux21 said above: as long as you hit 50,000 words, it's all up to you how you do it. It can be spontaneous, planned a ton, anything you want! As long as you create something, then you're on your way.

It all comes down to what kind of writer you are. If you need a ton of outlines, spend a little time in October setting up some notes so that Nanowrimo can be structured out for you. But if you like writing off the cuff, just having the idea in your head could be more than enough!

I hope you join in this year, though!
 

fredrancour

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Jun 11, 2009
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For years I’ve wanted to participate in NanoWrimo, and for years I would regret not having the courage and dedication to actually do so. I feel that if I can push myself to particpate this year, it will be my biggest chance to break beyond the barriers I’ve erected upon myself.

But I’ve also read a few comments about people planning out their stories in advance....isn’t the spirit of NanoWrimo generally to improvise the story, to craft something during a tight deadline? I don’t know if planning things out in advance would be my best option, or just go gung-ho on day one and see where my words take me.

And if I were to go the improv route, I was wondering if it’s better for me to just plan out whatever premise comes into my head at the time, or perhaps use a random plot generator. Rarely do I find myself talented enough to conceive something fresh and original...most of my ideas tend to be spun off from other things (“I want to write something like Bleach, only way better”, for example).

The point of nano is to turn off your Internal Heckler and just create raw content. putting in work is the only purpose. As long as you do not begin the text of the work early, put in as much or as little work as feels natural to you.

i've made 3 attempts at it and the one that I got furthest on was the one with the most planning, but that just appears to be how I work.

and lack of wholly-original ideas is ok. My nano attempt 1 was pretty much " im gonna write a superhero in a high fantasy setting" with no plot signposts or anything and it's mercifully lost to history. my nano attempt 2 was derivative in the extreme and was basically "I love malazan and black company books, fantasy epic time. screw that cross-genre nonsense from last time i tried this." attempt 3 was "i love murakami. let's throw magical realism at every emotion i've had in the last year." the themes of nano 17 for me are gonna be lovecraft and the magnus archives with maybe side-doses of silent hill or Fine Structure. there is no such thing as too derivative. just put in work. heck, if anything, time spent immersed in your concepts of choice increases the rate of idea generation. a month of writing "bleach but better" might be what you need to identify five more specific ways that battle manga are messing up.
 

SOLDIER

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The conventional wisdom is that there are two types of writers (or maybe two archetypes with people falling somewhere between the two extremes). There are planners, who plan out everything in advance: plot, characters, every detail of worldbuilding, how it ends, how it begins, how it middles. And there are discovery writers, who maybe start with a basic premise and then discover the characters and events and world as they go along.

NaNo is not about forcing everyone to be a discovery writer. What it is about is the sense of camaraderie and all-in-it-togetherness that is fostered by everyone starting at once and shooting for a crazy goal.

It's totally fine to plan things in advance as much or as little as you want. It's not fine to start writing the actual words before November 1.

If you're uncertain whether you're a planner or a discovery writer, I'd encourage you to do some planning in advance and see how that feels to you, if it feels like you're getting more excited and ready or if it feels like you're sucking the fun out of it. And you can plan more or stop planning accordingly.
I honestly don’t know which approach suits me more. I’ve tried a few times to plan out a story in advance, jotting down character personalities, factions, future twists and events, etc. But I worry that I’ll over-obsess about those details without ever actually writing the story. On some occasions I would waste whole days trying to decide on a character’s NAME (I’m very terrible with character names....I once heard about an author who just calls his characters “A, B, C, etc” during early drafts, so maybe I can similarly sidestep that problem).

I figured that just writing what came to me with Nano’s tight deadline would help me better to “discover” just what kind of writer I could be, or preferred to be. If there are better methods or exercises that help bring that out, I’d love to hear about them.
 
Jul 28, 2014
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Ah, the dreaded time to nudge agents who have my manuscript.

Generally never feels like a good sign. Technically I should wait on the one since they got a 6 to 12 week time span, which is fucking nuts but whatever. I'll let em have it.
 

FlowersisBritish

fleurs n'est pas britannique
May 13, 2014
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Bah! I am paying too much attention to the pretentious writers from my college who graduated from the Creative Writing program! One of them posted on FB "Share with me your favorite paragraph of prose!" which maybe it's cause I'm cranky, but I think that's dumb because I've grown to think pretty prose is kind of overrated. I've grown to like simpler prose that really hits you with context. But again, I'm mostly being cranky and have way too much a complex about measuring my success versus that of people in that program.
 
Jul 28, 2014
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Bah! I am paying too much attention to the pretentious writers from my college who graduated from the Creative Writing program! One of them posted on FB "Share with me your favorite paragraph of prose!" which maybe it's cause I'm cranky, but I think that's dumb because I've grown to think pretty prose is kind of overrated. I've grown to like simpler prose that really hits you with context. But again, I'm mostly being cranky and have way too much a complex about measuring my success versus that of people in that program.
I learned pretty quickly that purple prose is mostly bad when I did my first round of editing on my first book. What an overwritten mess that was.

A pretty sentence that takes too long to find the point is still a shitty sentence.

So yeah. I'm with you.
 

FlowersisBritish

fleurs n'est pas britannique
May 13, 2014
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So I just double checked a place where one of my short stories was supposed to be published and I think it might have shut down which sucks cause 1) I was really looking forward to that physical copy and 2) I finally have to play the "Whose rights does this story belong to" dance :/

I learned pretty quickly that purple prose is mostly bad when I did my first round of editing on my first book. What an overwritten mess that was.

A pretty sentence that takes too long to find the point is still a shitty sentence.

So yeah. I'm with you.
To be fair, the writing isn't bad and they were from published works and such but all of them are sooooo long and all read with the same tone like the author is imparting such beautiful insight into the world and your just supposed to nod and try to not let a tear roll down your eye from the beauty. And I read through all of them and had no idea what the story was about, who the characters were or what even brought about the topic. Which i guess you don't need them to admire good prose I guess but then I looked at what I wanted to put down (but didn't) and it boiled down to a rather simple line where the daughter is glad the toy version of her mother is safe because that means (in that childish logic of children) her real mother is safe and fuck man that teared me up. No fancy big speech, just a child going "there-there everything's alright now" to what is essentially a sand castle.

Btw The Summer Book is really good go read it!
 

zulux21

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I think the most honestly personal thing I've written for a gaf challenge was the story about the girl being pressured to write literary fiction and just wanting to do her own fantasy thing that she enjoyed but feeling massively insecure about it and also wanting to impress people.

I simultaneously am impressed (and maybe made a little jealous) by actual high-quality prose, annoyed by pretentious jerks who aim for high-quality prose and land in purple but think they're hot shit anyway, bothered by people who think anything other than literary fiction is worthless, and irritated by people who go full on reactionary and argue that there's no place in genre fiction for good prose.

Damn that was a good paragraph I am the best.
*makes a mental note to look up what Prose is as well as the color purple in relation to it lol*
 

Valdfellgar

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*makes a mental note to look up what Prose is as well as the color purple in relation to it lol*
I'll save you the trouble: Purple Prose is just overly written sentences that, in the effort to produce flair, instead come off so butchered and bruised. I guess my above sentence might count, but it's really any prose that gets too flowery with the usage of adjectives, adverbs or metaphors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_prose

As the wiki entry states, there's no actual, definitive definition (lol like there ever would be in such a subjective medium) so it's pretty much always up to the reader for their tolerance of flowery prose.
 

Timu

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Sep 8, 2013
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I just finished my outline for this year's Nano...I'm now finally ready! Wish I did this sooner as this was really hard to do. I literally had to make stuff up as I went along and made numerous changes that I didn't even expect.

There is one subplot that is completely ridiculous though, lol.
 

FlowersisBritish

fleurs n'est pas britannique
May 13, 2014
3,776
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Maine
I think the most honestly personal thing I've written for a gaf challenge was the story about the girl being pressured to write literary fiction and just wanting to do her own fantasy thing that she enjoyed but feeling massively insecure about it and also wanting to impress people.

I simultaneously am impressed (and maybe made a little jealous) by actual high-quality prose, annoyed by pretentious jerks who aim for high-quality prose and land in purple but think they're hot shit anyway, bothered by people who think anything other than literary fiction is worthless, and irritated by people who go full on reactionary and argue that there's no place in genre fiction for good prose.

Damn that was a good paragraph I am the best.
Yeah, that was pretty much the creative writing program at my college. I only ever took one creative writing class there, and while it was a very good experience emotionally (The teacher gave me the first bit of positive reinforcement I think I ever got), I honestly think I got better by writing in the challenges so much and just picking up on the subtleties of other people's styles and trying out the things I found impressive.Though there is this little narcissistic part of me that kind of wants to do a hard side by side comparison between my writing and some of the creative writing people's to see if these comparisons are justified or I'm just too full of myself.

God I really need a rejection letter. I've been too in my head lately and need some depressing news soon to bring me down a peg.

Edit: Speak of the devil, just got that rejection letter!
 

Valdfellgar

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So, while starting my queries for my first novel, I've noticed a number of agents seeking specifically Literary Fiction, a soft spot between, or Genre fiction. Coming from a screenwriting background I knew what Genre fiction was, but I'd never heard of Literary till now.

(For those who don't know the exact definition): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_fiction

I kinda suspect my work is the soft spot between, underlying political or social message, but still focused on offering a genre based tale (In my case: Sci-fi/Thriller).

But I guess I'm curious now where everyone else places their own writing? Do you think you're staunchly genre, middle ground, or aiming for something poignant/dangerously close to pompous?

I personally used to be near pure genre when I started writing and worked my efforts toward screenwriting. But I found, basically in the last couple years as things have been getting heated in the U.S., that I really now want to instill some kind of message or greater meaning into my work.

I don't think there's anything wrong with just genre fiction, but my goals have changed thanks to the countries' political climate, and hitting my thirties.
 
Jul 28, 2014
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The first three chapters have turned into a full-on request, so that's cool! Agent did have a plot-related question for me that I had to answer, which has me a little nervous. For one, I thought some of those rules were pretty clearly defined in the book, but it might not be until chapters four or on.

Either way she still wanted the rest.

Fingers crossed and all that shit.
 
Jul 6, 2011
17,812
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brianjlang.wordpress.com
The first three chapters have turned into a full-on request, so that's cool! Agent did have a plot-related question for me that I had to answer, which has me a little nervous. For one, I thought some of those rules were pretty clearly defined in the book, but it might not be until chapters four or on.

Either way she still wanted the rest.

Fingers crossed and all that shit.
Is this for Toyland?
 

FlowersisBritish

fleurs n'est pas britannique
May 13, 2014
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But I guess I'm curious now where everyone else places their own writing? Do you think you're staunchly genre, middle ground, or aiming for something poignant/dangerously close to pompous?

Most of the stuff I send out is literary mostly because that's usually where my strongest stories are and I read a lot of literary fiction so I know pretty well how my stuff compares and what's expected of the genre. But that's just the stuff I polish up. I also write a decent amount of horror and fantasy stuff in my free time because it's fun. Honestly, I think there is a huge value in trying to write a few times in every genre. Each one has different needs of its prose and tropes and it's just fun to try new stuff. Who wants to be in a box, man? Look at Brad Pitt; he hates boxes!
 

Valdfellgar

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I think it's important to note that, while categorizations may vary depending on who you ask, a political or social message or theme is almost certainly not enough to qualify your work as leaning literary. Most of the time when people talk about fiction that's midway between genre and literary, they mean that it has genre trappings (i.e. a scifi or fantasy setting) and/or plot types while also focusing on stylized, complex prose or sometimes characters. They're almost always talking about prose.

Good genre fiction will generally contain deeper themes, social commentary, or examinations of the human condition without being considered literary.
I wasn't saying it was nor was I saying genre fiction couldn't contain those elements. Of course they can and do. I did do some reading up on what can be and isn't considered Literary Fiction. But I was trying to keep things simple, without being long winded, hence why I also linked the Wikipedia entry so people could get a full idea. Perhaps I oversimplified it.

I don't feel my work is solely semi-literary because it has political and social themes/messages, but because it also hits some of the other marks on the list. Such as significant character introspection, some slow pacing, etc.
 

zulux21

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Oct 24, 2011
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But I guess I'm curious now where everyone else places their own writing? Do you think you're staunchly genre, middle ground, or aiming for something poignant/dangerously close to pompous?
I don't actually understand the question :p My knowledge of actual proper writing terminology is quite weak in general.

I mean I can't even tell you what genre my main story is in general. I mean it's fantasy at heart, but I also have a lot of focus on government hierarchies/historical fiction, as well as a heavy sci fi basis due to the history of the world. I at times have it be fun character interactions to at times be more horror or pain/drama focused to at times romance focused.

I am not afraid to touch on themes of racism or doing things against people's will ect.

so uh... middle ground I guess lol?
 

Valdfellgar

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I don't actually understand the question :p My knowledge of actual proper writing terminology is quite weak in general.

I mean I can't even tell you what genre my main story is in general. I mean it's fantasy at heart, but I also have a lot of focus on government hierarchies/historical fiction, as well as a heavy sci fi basis due to the history of the world. I at times have it be fun character interactions to at times be more horror or pain/drama focused to at times romance focused.

I am not afraid to touch on themes of racism or doing things against people's will ect.

so uh... middle ground I guess lol?
I'll try to elaborate. Literary Fiction is as wikipedia kinda describes above. The article itself notes that many disagree/have found the lines blurred between what is considered Genre Fiction and Literary. So when I asked what people think their writing is, I guess I more meant how agents/critiques might label your work, less what you choose to set out to write. Basically when looking back on your work how does it come across to you?

That elaboration out of the way, it does sound like your book is catching a lot of stuff. It would sound to me, based off your description, your book is fantasy, with elements of sci-fi/horror, etc. What you've described kinda reminds me of that SukaSuka anime from last season, at least elements wise. I think most people would label SukaSuka as Fantasy/Sci-fi with elements of Drama, etc. so maybe that's what yours is? A combo between Sci-fi/Fantasy. I wouldn't personally consider the historical/government stuff a genre tag itself, or the horror/drama you're talking about, if I've been understanding your influences correctly. I think they're likely more elements than true genre tags.

It's all labels anyway, and I don't think a big deal outside of marketing/selling your work. I think most fiction doesn't tend to conform to one specific genre anyway.