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Old 01-02-2007, 09:18 AM
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I've been writing since I was 13 (I'm 27 now). I've been writing with intent to publish since I was 18. I've been writing seriously (3-4 hours a day, 6 on weekends) for about 5 years.

My question: I have a story that I've been building on since I was 15 or so. I knew then that I was not good enough to tackle it. So I did character sketches, some geography stuff, some researching and the like. Then, when I was 18 or 19, I started writing it. I got about 50 pages into it and realized that opver the years, the story had gotten FAR too complex for me to handle if I wanted it to be a good book.

So, since then, for about 9 years, I've been adding ideas to it and more sketches and research. I have a notebook of about 150 pages with notes, ideas, characters and plot designs. But everytime I have thought about trying to start on it again, I decide not to. The story is just too large (in size and content) to even think about at times. I have sort of promised myself that I will not start writing this book until I am published (if that ever happens).

Is this a wise decision or what? Opinions, thoughts?...

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Old 01-02-2007, 11:54 AM
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Well, you are taking this the opposite way. We write to get published, not get published to write! [No generalization intended]

Even if you wrote tens of novels, your ambition to write this story won't disappear, or make the process any easier for that matter. You are going to spend a lot of time and effort writing it, and that won't change.

I advise you to start writing this specific story. Don't be thwarted by the enormity of the content nor the hardships you're going to experience-- those are things you have to meet eventually.

From what you mentioned, I think you have adequately researched the background and body of this story, nothing left but to start writing. Organize your time, draw mind maps, set plot points for yourself. The more you accomplish, the more you would be enticed to continue. [And it won't kill any characters if you take breaks every now and then]

Sometimes, too much is just wrong. Revise your notes and omit the things you think are unnecessary, which make your writing only harder.

If you feel the need to work on something else before writing this story, then that's another case. Do whatever you think will put your mind at ease!
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:20 PM
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I agree with Cordatus i have a story that i also thought was too complex but when i started to sit down and write everything it began to come clear. You write what you think and what your ambition. I say continue and dont let the complexity get you down.
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:51 PM
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There is no right or wrong answer, of course. If you want to start this now then do it. If you want to put it off, put it off. If you want to write, and even publish, something else first, then do that. It's your story, you own it, you're the boss, and you decide what works best for you.

As far as this story is concerned, I would make the following suggestion.

Write it.

You've invested more than enough time gathering what you need to be able to start the story, so you don't need to wait any longer, if that's what you choose to do. You say it's too long: then shorten it. Too complex: then simplify it. But keep in mind that what you are writing, when you do begin, is not the finished story, but the first draft. No matter how large or small, no matter how complex or simple, it's a draft, that's all. Before you send it out to agents or publishers, you're going to take the draft and revise it. You may end up changing it very little during revision, or you might end up making huge changes. Either is fine. The chances are, it will not look the way you currently imagine it will be. Not by the time it's finished and polished. It might be larger than expected, or shorter, or somewhere between the two. It might be even more complex than you imagine, or more simple, or again somewhere between. But it will, more than likely, be the right length and complexity. You'll have written it, put it away for a while, come back to it, and revised it until it's ready to send out. That's the story you're actually going to write, not the one you describe above, too large in size and content. Sure, the draft might be rough, might need a lot of work, but the final story will be something else.

But first you have to write it. Get the draft written. Then you can decide what needs doing to it.

If you want to begin now, just do it. If you want to put it off, do so. When you're ready, write the draft without worrying too much about the size and content. You can change that in the final version.

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:44 AM
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I agree will all of the above...the problem with fiction and novels in particular is that they are born out of the imagination and the imagination is non-limited, by that i mean the longer you leave the more ideas you'll have. This can either be a good thing, or if you have tonnes of stuff already, you are just adding to the complexity.


Let me ask you a question...if not now when?

If you are waiting for some publishing acclaim before you write this, and you openly admit that that might not happen, then this masterpiece will never see paper. I doubt very much that JK Rowling (i'm sorry to use her as an example, everybody does) would have had the success she has if she had waited to be published, before writing the HP series.


Who knows this book might be the one thatpropels you out of the darkness and into the glorious light of stardom!
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:15 AM
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Interesting thread.

I agree that you can approach writing in many ways, and no one way is definitive, but there has to come a time when you hit the keyboard and start.

For myself, I had an idea for a beginning and simply started writing (Tarquin Jenkins, my adolescent time travelling teen). Little planning, no plot, just a character or two. Not the best method, but I did start writing, and I am up to twelve thousand words so far. These adventures are in my head, and I seem to feed off them for new ideas, or for re-working ideas. For me, writing screeds of ideas in draft, bouncing them off WB members and fleshing them out is so exciting.

I think what I am trying to say rather badly is you should set off immediately on your writing journey. You can always go back and change things - run with your ideas, see where they lead you. For my style of writing this particular book, using WB is invaluable. I recommend you find someone, or several people who are willing to give feed back on your ideas. Not necessarily on your syle, but on your plotting, and your characters. A second pair of eyes is worth a hundred of your own ideas.

I won't embarrass the staff member at WB who is providing invaluable help with Tarquin Jenkins, but you know who you are!

Tarakan
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Old 01-03-2007, 05:43 AM
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Thanks for the input guys! Just to give you a better idea, here were some of my concerns. If anyone knows anything to dissuade me from these worries, please let me know:

- Other than this book, I have two others that I am actively working on. By introducing this monster into the writing world, I'm afarid I may get flooded.

- Even if I write this now and it goes great, I wonder how any agency or publisher might accept it; a writer with no history sending in a manuscript that, at present, is going to easily break 1,000 pages. Wouldn't they simply shake their heads and send it back?

Anyway, I dind't want to be so chatty as to actually include the story's synopsis on this thread, but if anyone is curious about it, I'll do so. Maybe by seeing the scope of the project, it would be easier to understand my hesitant attitude.

Again, thanks!
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:08 AM
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Other than this book, I have two others that I am actively working on. By introducing this monster into the writing world, I'm afarid I may get flooded.
Just work on one book. If you write three at the same time, you'll go nowhere.

It's your decision. If this story is the one you're most passionate about, then go ahead and write it.

Even if I write this now and it goes great, I wonder how any agency or publisher might accept it; a writer with no history sending in a manuscript that, at present, is going to easily break 1,000 pages. Wouldn't they simply shake their heads and send it back?
The number of pages does not matter. They will only 'shake their heads and send it back' when the MS is poorly written and if the writing style is not distinguished.

You need not worry about this now, just write. When you finish with this story [and no matter when], you have to edit it to perfection. Then you can submit it to publishers.

I repeat, if your writing is perfect, your style distinguished, and your idea unique, publishers will accept it, even if you have no history. How on earth will they run their business if it was otherwise?
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:11 AM
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Spot on Cordatus.

If you are hesitant beacuse you fear rejection after pouring yourself into your work it is perfectly normal. You will have to get over it. Believe in yourself.

Tarakan
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