WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Writing Help & Issues

Writing Help & Issues You name it, we solve it! Ask your questions here.


Where to Begin With Writing?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 06-24-2007, 03:03 PM
Daryl MacDonald (Offline)
Copyist
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 59
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Where to Begin With Writing?


Hey all.

I'm new to writing, and I'm wondering what the first step is. I've read lots of books and the most interesting topic for me is fantasy. I think this is because the potential for the imagination is unlimited, and you can do so much with that. That being said, I've begun writing a story called Bond of Darkness, I've posted 2 chapters on here already and plan on posting 3 more. It began as a doodling on my notepad one day as I was bored. It began with only one character and now I'm attempting to turn it into a novel. I'm very inexperienced and have never attempted fantasy writing. Most of what I'm used to writing is essays etc and small journalistic pieces which I never really thought were very good. So I ask for help and advice. Where do I begin? The chapters I've posted on here have received precious few thumbs up. I have been getting advice but it seems as though the advice tears apart most of my story. To take all the advice would be to write a completely new story. So I plan to begin again, by writing up a plan, if anyone has any advice for me on this, please let me know. Thanks in advance.

Daryl.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-24-2007, 05:19 PM
Crystalwizard's Avatar
Crystalwizard (Offline)
Dedicated Writer
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 204
Thanks: 0
Thanks 12
Default

The first step is to start putting words on paper. The second step is to continue putting words on paper.

you can worry about things like editing, or making the story flow or fixing plot holes and everything else later. After you get the words on paper.

For me, I start describing something. Maybe the room I'm in, or what someone's doing.

Also, you said:

>The chapters I've posted on here have received precious few thumbs up. I have been getting advice but it seems as though the advice tears apart most of my story. To take all the advice would be to write a completely new story.


remember that other people's opinions are what you are getting when you post something on any online site. And other people's opinions are worth only as much as you want them to be. Take from the comments the advice you feel makes your story better and completely ignore everything else.

Once you have the story finished, and you are to the polishing stage, then you need to worry a little harder about crits. But even then, take what makes the story stronger IN YOUR OPINION and ignore everything else.

Once you have it polished and you find someone that'll print it, you'll get an editor. THEN you worry about making changes so the editor's happy IF you want him/her to publish your work.

worry about that, then. don't worry about it now. don't start over either. write the story your way and ignore 'helpful' comments that don't make the story work in your own opinion.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-24-2007, 05:47 PM
sarcazmo's Avatar
sarcazmo (Offline)
I Am My Own Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 102
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

Hi honey, start with what's being published, find out what's big, find the marketing niche, get a hook...then write.

Not.

For me, I start with my heart...goodness knows if you're more clever than me, you can start with what would sell.

Not great advice, but I'm practical and I'm no critic.

Meanwhile, I'm on an wireless router with bugs and flies and they love my writing right about now, flying into my 15" screen (on my deck in the summer).

Arf.

I'm such a joker.

Good luck, have fun, write about what you know. Though the folks here are lovely, they're not your entire audience, darlin'.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-25-2007, 01:09 AM
starpanda's Avatar
starpanda (Offline)
Heartbreaking Writer of Staggering Genius
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 1,078
Thanks: 0
Thanks 4
Default

Hi Daryl,

As one of those who you may think...didn't give you a thumbs up...from what I have read of 'Bonds of Darkness', it's a very good start, especially your redraft of the first chapter, which is excellent.

My advice to you is this. If you want to write fantasy, then write fantasy. Writing what you know and love is going to be more successful than trying to write something you know little and couldn't care less about.

Fantasy is incredible popular at the moment, which is a double edged sword. It means that there is more of a market for you to sell your work, but on the downside...everybody is doing it. So the market may be bigger, but you are having to compete with more writers to get read. The only way you can do this is to make sure yours is different to everybody else's.

Originally posted by Sarcazmo
Though the folks here are lovely, they're not your entire audience, darlin'.
Sarcazmo is right, at the end of the day...who am I? Just a person that's offering advice...you don't have to take it...but I wouldn't give up trying to do what you want to do. You have potential Daryl, who knows, even great potential, just keep doing what your doing and take advice where you see fit, read alot and write more.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-26-2007, 09:19 PM
wpenrose's Avatar
wpenrose (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Send a message via Yahoo to wpenrose
Default

Just a few tips from someone who's been at it for 10 years.

1. Write every day. Write something. If nothing is coming out, copy passages from writers you admire, and learn from them.

2. Read a lot, at least an hour for every hour you spend writing.

3. Join a critique group (you already have!). Don't be bullied into changing your work based on a single opinion you don't agree with. But if three or four people say the same thing, take it seriously.

4. Read advice from successful writers, but don't overdo it. To start with, read Stephen King's 'On Writing".

5. Choose an audience before starting to write something, even if it's just one person who represents your ideal reader.

6. Whether you meticulously plan, or outline, or just wing it, it is a personal characteristic, not a learned skill. Most folks are good at one approach and can't do the other.

7. Expect to write a lot before you get published, but don't wait until someone says you are 'ready' before trying.

Dangerous Bill
__________________
Dangerous Bill
Now 140% more dangerous!

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-26-2007, 09:38 PM
darthwader's Avatar
darthwader (Offline)
Unintentionally Awesome
Loyal Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: You know that country, Australia? Well I'm from the south.
Posts: 1,757
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

Just write and write, paying no heed to how good your work is.

You'll learn more from writing one bad novel than attending a dozen writing courses (although courses help)

And remember that what you are writing now is the draft, not the finished piece. You'll likely rewrite what you've written at least two or three times, refining it with each attempt.
__________________
"Hey, I don't tell you how to tell me what to do, so don't tell me how to do what you tell me to do." - Bender Bending Rodriguez
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-27-2007, 04:50 AM
gary_wagner
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

It depends on how long of a piece of writing you want to do. If you want to do a novel, I reccomend that you don't just start writing chapter one and make it up as you go along. You really need to know the complete flow and plot line of what you are going to write otherwise you will end up with a tangled up rambling mess.

You don't necessarily have to outline and do extensive planning, but some planning is needed. Identifying your main characters is also important. Try writing a short profile of each character - who they are, where they came from, what makes them tick.

Rather than jumping into a novel in your first attempt at writing, you might want to try writing some short stories - something 2,000 to 3,000 words in length. That will give you a change to develop your flow techniques and have something you can write from start to finish and get some feedback on before you get many chapters deep into a novel.

That, my opinion, anyway. I haven't had my stuff published and probably won't even try until I retire 15 - 20 years from now, so I don't speak from published experience but you have to be realistic about being published. Out of 10,000 writers, one or two will have something published on a regular basis and very few of them will ever have a novel published.

That's not to discourage you. If you like to write and like to have people read and enjoy your work, you should write. If your only goal is to be published, you have a long hard road, and about a million other people ahead of you.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-14-2007, 02:42 AM
JadedAlex (Offline)
Profusive Denizen
Official Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 282
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

Daryl,
wpenrose and Darthwader have it right! Read everything!! Then, read some more!! And when you are finally sick and tired of reading everything, go have a shower, grab a tall stiff whiskey and read the bottle!! When you're done reading the bottle, read the newspapers!! Choose your own way of writing!! Write till your hands hurt! Stop, go to bed! Rest! Get up and write more!! Write until your brain is empty! Do this till you have a rough story then polish, polish, polish! Good, clean prose! Straight to the point because no one likes slogging through endless pages of drivel! When you have your story to the point where you can't express the story any better, You're done!!!! Congratulations, you're an author!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-19-2007, 05:03 AM
suzyq's Avatar
suzyq (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

Daryl, I'd have to agree with Dangerous Bill wholeheartedly on this one.

I just want to add one further comment. Some people find if they haven't finished writing the book and they submit their work one chapter at a time for critiquing, that this actually stifles the completion of the book. They feel too much time is spent trying to perfect earlier chapters rather than finishing the book. Maybe this is you? If it is, might help to stop submitting your work until you've finished a first draft and done a light edit of the whole novel.
__________________
Suzy Q

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-08-2007, 07:44 AM
Daryl MacDonald (Offline)
Copyist
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 59
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by suzyq View Post
Daryl, I'd have to agree with Dangerous Bill wholeheartedly on this one.

I just want to add one further comment. Some people find if they haven't finished writing the book and they submit their work one chapter at a time for critiquing, that this actually stifles the completion of the book. They feel too much time is spent trying to perfect earlier chapters rather than finishing the book. Maybe this is you? If it is, might help to stop submitting your work until you've finished a first draft and done a light edit of the whole novel.
It is!! Thanks, Suzyq, you are right. I get stifled with writing because I have this thing built into my head that there is an exact 'right' way to write and an exact 'wrong' way, it doesn't matter if you get most right, as long as you get a few bits and pieces wrong, you haven't got anything good enough for publication. I suppose I'm far too perfectionist. I know very little about the mechanics of writing (my fault for spending too much of my time in school daydreaming) and I guess knowing that I know, in fact, nothing stifles me too. If there is a right way, and a wrong way I need to learn exactly what it is. If there isn't, that means I need to accept that my work cannot be perfect and I have to keep writing to improve. Thanks, everyone, for all your advice, I really appreicate the help. Writing is one of the greatest experiences I've been through, and I really want to honour that by becoming as good as I have the ability to be, and writing the kind of stories that'll inspire other people to write too. Thanks again.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-15-2007, 04:06 AM
JBStone's Avatar
JBStone (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 791
Thanks: 21
Thanks 50
Default

If you post part of a novel on a forum before the novel is completed, I see no good coming from it. Either one of two things can happen: 1) You get positive reviews, and it makes you complacient (you've already made the reader happy...no need to finish that stupid book you've been struggling with...), or 2) You get negative reviews, and suddenly find yourself with a bleak outlook on your story, and not wanting to finish. And if you don't want to finish, you will not finish.

Places like this are excellent for learning from the experiences of others, and, if you like, critiques of your work. But I believe you shouldn't--for your own good--post a novel, a chapter, an excerpt, so much as a sentance of your writing until it has been completed. Otherwise, the responses might warp your perspective on the work that hasn't even been fully told yet.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-15-2007, 04:42 AM
JBStone's Avatar
JBStone (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 791
Thanks: 21
Thanks 50
Default

Duh. I just noticed that you had actually posted in response to everyone just above me. I missed that the first time. Well, I will amend some of my words, then.

I'm glad you see that chasing perfection in your writing is kinda pointless. Nobody's perfect. I just started reading "Odd Thomas" by Dean Koontz the other day, and while the story is pretty good, I immediately found flaws in it. For instance, he takes the approach of painting a complete picture for his reader when it comes to what a character is wearing...until you want to puke.

He's good, obviously, but leaves almost nothing to the reader's imagination. Rather than saying "She looked like a pink candystriper," he says instead "She wore pink sneakers, white socks, pink skirt, pink shirt."

The point of it is that even the most popular, successful, rich authors have flaws. You are going to see yours magnified, of course.

My advice to you is write as much as you can. If you can't writer every single day, write every day that your schedule will permit. Personally, I'll write every day, even if I only have the time for ten or fifteen minutes worth of writing. I'll add a paragraph or two, then be on with my day, if my time is short.

And reading is the absolute most important part. If you don't read, you won't write. Stephen King once said that writing is not like riding a bicycle, where you never forget how to do it no matter what; it's more like bodybuilding, where you will lose it if you don't use it. Well, if writing is tantamount to lifting weights, then reading is the same as stretching. You simply will not be able to do the first without the second.

Read, read, read. THEN, write, write, write.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-23-2007, 08:28 AM
obsessedwriter (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

Originally Posted by Daryl MacDonald View Post
Hey all.

I'm new to writing, and I'm wondering what the first step is. I've read lots of books and the most interesting topic for me is fantasy. I think this is because the potential for the imagination is unlimited, and you can do so much with that. That being said, I've begun writing a story called Bond of Darkness, I've posted 2 chapters on here already and plan on posting 3 more. It began as a doodling on my notepad one day as I was bored. It began with only one character and now I'm attempting to turn it into a novel. I'm very inexperienced and have never attempted fantasy writing. Most of what I'm used to writing is essays etc and small journalistic pieces which I never really thought were very good. So I ask for help and advice. Where do I begin? The chapters I've posted on here have received precious few thumbs up. I have been getting advice but it seems as though the advice tears apart most of my story. To take all the advice would be to write a completely new story. So I plan to begin again, by writing up a plan, if anyone has any advice for me on this, please let me know. Thanks in advance.

Daryl.
I have to agree - it may too early to seek input. Write it first then worry about the editing process later.
__________________
Chris C
Author: Obsessed: Diary of a Freelance Writer
Available at :
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Writing Help & Issues


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Prose For Beginners ronoxQ Tips & Advice 4 01-20-2008 05:12 PM
Tired of Writing the Story alia43 Writing Help & Issues 16 05-30-2007 07:58 AM
I think what I am doing is called outline writing? I am not sure? EndlessPoss. Writing Help & Issues 1 05-22-2007 04:34 AM
Literary Mama Jay Writing Markets 0 06-10-2006 05:24 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:49 PM.

vBulletin, Copyright 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.