WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Tips & Advice

Tips & Advice What works for you? Share your experience!


Anybody can learn to write.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-09-2012, 03:03 PM
Domenic (Offline)
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 467
Thanks: 24
Thanks 84
Default Anybody can learn to write.


When it comes to writing we hear of Natural Talent. Yes some have this, but it is also true, “Anybody can learn to write.” It just takes a little longer.
Sam Clemmens was not a natural born writer. As a reporter in Virginia City Nevada this skinny, broke man could not write. He went o San Francisco, and was taken under the wing of an un-named person he spent one year with. He surfaced as Mark Twain. He never spoke of that lost year, but as Mark Twain, he was a great writer.
Any body can learn to write. Is there a Key to learning? Where does one start? The members of this forum have many keys. They will take you under their wings…they will teach you…but you mist listen to them.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-09-2012, 10:39 PM
Dravenheart (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanks 2
Default

So, let me see if I get this. Sam Clemmens was a poor man who couldn't write. He spent a year with a person who no one knows the name of. After he reemerged, he went under an assumed name, and refused to speak of that year at all. And was suddenly a great writer. Right? It sounds to me like he killed the guy, stole his work, and changed his name to hide. What? We'd be really suspicious if this same thing went down today.

But seriously. Yeah, anyone can learn to write if they have the right teacher. It's like playing music. Some people are born with natural talent, and some are taught how to play. Some are born with natural talent, but still need to be polished. It just takes devotion, discipline, and determination.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Dravenheart For This Useful Post:
  #3  
Old 12-10-2012, 12:55 AM
opprobrium's Avatar
opprobrium (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13
Thanks: 0
Thanks 5
Default

Everyone can learn to write, but not everyone will be passionate about it. Passion can be forced, but only to a point.
__________________
Self publish and succeed. Write your next story instead of endlessly marketing your current one. Read Kristine Kathryn Rusch's blog, and Dean Wesley Smith's blog. Learn the business of publishing. Become a professional writer. Don't sign bad contracts. Don't hire an agent. Make enough money to quit your day job. Yes, it sure is possible.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-10-2012, 06:15 AM
Webgoji's Avatar
Webgoji (Offline)
The Next Bard
Official Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Kansas
Posts: 402
Thanks: 64
Thanks 67
Default

It's kind of like the difference between Mozart and Beethoven. Mozart was a natural, Beethoven had to really, really work at ever piece. Just look at their rough drafts. You can't read Beethoven's original notes and such, but Mozart had two or three edits and done.

I would assume many writers are like this. Some have it almost naturally, others take 20 rewrites before something is readable. (I fit the later myself.)
__________________
Creating a kinder, gentler world by flinging poo.

Check out my Blog at:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Webgoji For This Useful Post:
kennyc (12-12-2012)
  #5  
Old 12-10-2012, 11:56 AM
opprobrium's Avatar
opprobrium (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13
Thanks: 0
Thanks 5
Default

Ah, but if you over edit, you run the chance of losing your voice. Let a beta reader decide if you need to edit again, not the nagging voice at the back of your head.
__________________
Self publish and succeed. Write your next story instead of endlessly marketing your current one. Read Kristine Kathryn Rusch's blog, and Dean Wesley Smith's blog. Learn the business of publishing. Become a professional writer. Don't sign bad contracts. Don't hire an agent. Make enough money to quit your day job. Yes, it sure is possible.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to opprobrium For This Useful Post:
Gaines (12-10-2012), Webgoji (12-10-2012)
  #6  
Old 12-10-2012, 12:26 PM
Webgoji's Avatar
Webgoji (Offline)
The Next Bard
Official Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Kansas
Posts: 402
Thanks: 64
Thanks 67
Default

Originally Posted by opprobrium View Post
Ah, but if you over edit, you run the chance of losing your voice. Let a beta reader decide if you need to edit again, not the nagging voice at the back of your head.
And that is very true.

Unfortunately, beta readers are like bigfoot to me. Other writers tell me they've seen them and there are a few grainy pictures of them, but I can't find any proof they actually exist.

For The Seraphim Protocol, I had 6 beta readers lined up and got zero feedback. I never even got an "It sucks" back (at least I got 1 of those with my first book). I'm considering joining Critters for my next book, Advent Overkill. If I understand the way it works, it will eventually have to get a critique.

http://www.critters.org/
__________________
Creating a kinder, gentler world by flinging poo.

Check out my Blog at:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-10-2012, 02:25 PM
opprobrium's Avatar
opprobrium (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13
Thanks: 0
Thanks 5
Default

Originally Posted by Webgoji View Post
And that is very true.

Unfortunately, beta readers are like bigfoot to me. Other writers tell me they've seen them and there are a few grainy pictures of them, but I can't find any proof they actually exist.

For The Seraphim Protocol, I had 6 beta readers lined up and got zero feedback. I never even got an "It sucks" back (at least I got 1 of those with my first book). I'm considering joining Critters for my next book, Advent Overkill. If I understand the way it works, it will eventually have to get a critique.

http://www.critters.org/
A beta reader is literally just anyone else who reads your story. The people of this forum could be your beta readers. Try not to go with family or friends, though. Most likely, they won't be as brutally honest as you need.

Just make sure the beta readers know you expect feedback.
__________________
Self publish and succeed. Write your next story instead of endlessly marketing your current one. Read Kristine Kathryn Rusch's blog, and Dean Wesley Smith's blog. Learn the business of publishing. Become a professional writer. Don't sign bad contracts. Don't hire an agent. Make enough money to quit your day job. Yes, it sure is possible.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-11-2012, 03:00 AM
Devon's Avatar
Devon (Offline)
Guard Dog and Playful Pup
Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: In the ether of my imagination
Posts: 10,834
Thanks: 904
Thanks 1,694
Default

Unfortunately, beta readers are like bigfoot to me. Other writers tell me they've seen them and there are a few grainy pictures of them, but I can't find any proof they actually exist.
Hahahahaha! I don't know why, but this struck me really funny.
__________________
Twenty-year-old Marisa discovers her life is all a lie:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Twisty mind candy:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Devon For This Useful Post:
kennyc (12-12-2012)
  #9  
Old 12-11-2012, 07:26 AM
Webgoji's Avatar
Webgoji (Offline)
The Next Bard
Official Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Kansas
Posts: 402
Thanks: 64
Thanks 67
Default

Originally Posted by opprobrium View Post
A beta reader is literally just anyone else who reads your story. The people of this forum could be your beta readers. Try not to go with family or friends, though. Most likely, they won't be as brutally honest as you need.

Just make sure the beta readers know you expect feedback.
Please don't take this wrong, but I'm lurking this forum to see how the feedback goes.

I don't go to family and friends for feedback. Frankly, they like stuff like The Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey. The Seraphim Protocol is too much for them; literally they can't get through the first "rough" scene in it (Chapter 3).

I've gone through forums and find that I spend a tremendous amount of time providing critiques for other writers; time that could have been spent writing. But there is no return, just them ignoring emails of me asking how they are doing on reading my work.

Again, we'll see about this forum, but I've had to write in a vacuum for years and will be surprised if that changes any time soon.

Okay, grumpiness over. Time for better things!
__________________
Creating a kinder, gentler world by flinging poo.

Check out my Blog at:

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 12-11-2012, 10:23 AM
Gaines's Avatar
Gaines (Offline)
Samuel Johnson, obviously!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Tidepool
Posts: 6,942
Thanks: 1,454
Thanks 864
Default

Webg..submit your work for publication. you'll get feedback one way or another. As far as proofreading goes read it out loud to yourself and don't skip or add a word to your text while doing so.
__________________
"Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy." Fitzgerald
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-11-2012, 10:39 AM
Devon's Avatar
Devon (Offline)
Guard Dog and Playful Pup
Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: In the ether of my imagination
Posts: 10,834
Thanks: 904
Thanks 1,694
Default

Man! If I had more time, I'd seriously be happy to look over your project. I've been trained to evaluate mss, and I'm also an editor, but I have a huge project of my own currently on my plate that needs to go out into the big, fat, ugly world in the fall of next year.

Otherwise, hell yes, I would take a look as a beta, and I'd give you detailed feedback on it, like I've done with countless others.

Edit: And wow, I think we've successfully derailed the original intent of this thread, which was . . . what again?
__________________
Twenty-year-old Marisa discovers her life is all a lie:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Twisty mind candy:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-11-2012, 05:36 PM
AnyaKimlun's Avatar
AnyaKimlun (Offline)
Samuel Johnson, obviously!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: North East Scotland
Posts: 6,943
Thanks: 2,739
Thanks 1,456
Default

I took to telling stories like a duck to water; creating imaginative, dynamic characters is the easiest thing on the planet to me but I did need to learn the basics of writing.

Storytelling ability I think is inbuilt or born from nurture as a child/life experience but writing can be learned.

I had no idea I wanted to write until I wrote a novel by accident and had a load of fun doing it.

My writing has improved and I have rewritten that first book about ten times. Future stories will need less rewriting but part of it is my lack of planning.

If I had listened to my beta readers I would have stopped three drafts back. I have comments from a lady from a review site, an acquisitions editor and several agents that describe my first three chapters as gripping, well written with good imaginative characters. (they object to me setting another world fantasy in modern day rather than futuristic or historical).

Beta readers have been an issue because they have read my story in a night and forgotten they needed to be looking for faults.

Last edited by AnyaKimlun; 12-11-2012 at 05:38 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-11-2012, 11:01 PM
Mike C's Avatar
Mike C (Offline)
Legend
Official Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 9,117
Thanks: 99
Thanks 1,572
Send a message via MSN to Mike C
Default

Originally Posted by Domenic View Post
When it comes to writing we hear of Natural Talent. Yes some have this, but it is also true, “Anybody can learn to write.” It just takes a little longer.
No they can't. You can 'learn to write', ie you can become literate, but if you don't have innate talent (as Twain most obviously did) you might as well never try anything more complicated than a shopping list.

If all it takes is a bit of practice, why aren't we all writing bet-sellers?
__________________
لا شيء يدوم‎
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-12-2012, 04:18 AM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,394
Thanks: 441
Thanks 1,526
Default

Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
No they can't. You can 'learn to write', ie you can become literate, but if you don't have innate talent (as Twain most obviously did) you might as well never try anything more complicated than a shopping list.

If all it takes is a bit of practice, why aren't we all writing bet-sellers?
I've come across this argument on writing sites umpteen times. I've looked into it and from what I've seen, people aren't really born with talent -- it's not innate in that sense -- but the type of learning that takes place in the formative years, approx. 1-8, can't really be duplicated as an adult. So the outcome is the same -- some people have more talent than others and some don't seem to have much at all.

Regardless of when talent is attained, it's the pipe dream of every hack and struggling newbie that if you just work hard enough you can overcome a lack of it. It's something they can hold on to until they reach the point when it finally dawns on them that they don't have what it takes. A lot depends on a person's ability to self-evaluate, and some people are awful at that -- note American Idol etc. The level of self-delusion can be amazing.

Last edited by JoeMatt; 12-12-2012 at 05:11 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-12-2012, 04:37 AM
kennyc's Avatar
kennyc (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 751
Thanks: 224
Thanks 93
Default

Originally Posted by Webgoji View Post
Please don't take this wrong, but I'm lurking this forum to see how the feedback goes.

I don't go to family and friends for feedback. Frankly, they like stuff like The Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey. The Seraphim Protocol is too much for them; literally they can't get through the first "rough" scene in it (Chapter 3).

I've gone through forums and find that I spend a tremendous amount of time providing critiques for other writers; time that could have been spent writing. But there is no return, just them ignoring emails of me asking how they are doing on reading my work.

Again, we'll see about this forum, but I've had to write in a vacuum for years and will be surprised if that changes any time soon.

Okay, grumpiness over. Time for better things!

I tend to agree with this. The best feedback/advice/input/help I've received in several decades I've been writing was from an in-person crit group of serious writers The Northern Colorado Writers Workshop (many groups are fluff). I've had little success with prose feedback in on-line forums such as this or even individually by email. Poetry is slightly different -- probably because it is short -- I've receive much valuable input in on-line poetry forums.

Like you, all my prose success (whether fiction or non) has been very much in a vacuum -- writing, letting it sit, revisiting, revising...submitting...sometimes revising to editorial direction.
__________________
Kenny A. Chaffin

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

Last edited by kennyc; 12-12-2012 at 09:17 AM..
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to kennyc For This Useful Post:
Webgoji (12-12-2012)
  #16  
Old 12-12-2012, 07:07 AM
kennyc's Avatar
kennyc (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 751
Thanks: 224
Thanks 93
Default

And to get back to the O.P.

Stephen King's
"Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully - in Ten Minutes"


https://www.msu.edu/~jdowell/135/King_Everything.html
__________________
Kenny A. Chaffin

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-12-2012, 09:13 AM
Domenic (Offline)
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 467
Thanks: 24
Thanks 84
Default

Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
No they can't. You can 'learn to write', ie you can become literate, but if you don't have innate talent (as Twain most obviously did) you might as well never try anything more complicated than a shopping list.

If all it takes is a bit of practice, why aren't we all writing bet-sellers?
Each year I go to Virgina City, and read everything Sam Clemens wrote befoer he became Mart Twain. The man had no talent. After spending a year with the un-known person, he was a great writer. He learned how to write in that one year. before he had anything published, he made a living sitting on a stage, telling stories. Talent can be learned. It has been proven in many fields.
I will never give up on anybody who wants to be a writer...they can do it. It takes hard work to write a good story, and have your book in the right hands at the right time.
it goes back to, "Winners never quit, and quiters never win."
Anybody can become a good writer...if they work hard, long, and never give up.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Domenic For This Useful Post:
kennyc (12-12-2012)
  #18  
Old 12-12-2012, 09:58 AM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,394
Thanks: 441
Thanks 1,526
Default

Whatever you have to believe.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-12-2012, 11:07 AM
Domenic (Offline)
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 467
Thanks: 24
Thanks 84
Default

Originally Posted by JoeMatt View Post
Whatever you have to believe.
I don't see any of your work on the forum. Have you have given up?
If people believe they can't do something, they not only block their own path, they try to block others also.
If that is your situation, why are you on a writers forum?

Last edited by Domenic; 12-12-2012 at 11:38 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-12-2012, 11:20 AM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,394
Thanks: 441
Thanks 1,526
Default

You must not have looked very hard.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12-12-2012, 11:37 AM
Domenic (Offline)
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 467
Thanks: 24
Thanks 84
Default

Originally Posted by JoeMatt View Post
You must not have looked very hard.
Yes I have. I looked in all the sections, and found nothing. I also read all your comments.
Your comments are toward the negative side. You don’t seem to find anything right with anyone. I’m sure under all the anger there was once a nice person.
You should spend more time writing, and less time telling people its all B--l S--T.
There a women, and young people on forums...you should curb expression like that.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12-12-2012, 11:48 AM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,394
Thanks: 441
Thanks 1,526
Default

Another internet amateur psychologist. My comments aren't always peaches and cream -- but I'm not in the least "angry." Thanks for the diagnosis though.

I've posted at least a dozen complete short stories here in the Members Only forum and probably as many poems. I've also written many critiques here and on other forums. That's how I help and encourage other writers -- so you're barking up the wrong tree, pal.

Last edited by JoeMatt; 12-12-2012 at 11:51 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 12-12-2012, 12:24 PM
Domenic (Offline)
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 467
Thanks: 24
Thanks 84
Default

Originally Posted by JoeMatt View Post
Another internet amateur psychologist. My comments aren't always peaches and cream -- but I'm not in the least "angry." Thanks for the diagnosis though.

I've posted at least a dozen complete short stories here in the Members Only forum and probably as many poems. I've also written many critiques here and on other forums. That's how I help and encourage other writers -- so you're barking up the wrong tree, pal.
I read, "To Friends and Former Lovers." Good writing...is it a true story? No I' not an amateur psychologist, nor am I your pal.
It doesn't take a psychologist to see anger in peoples comments. As to your helping new writers; your comments make that a sad joke...you should read them.
I'll give you the last word, because we have nothing more to talk about.

Last edited by Domenic; 12-12-2012 at 05:40 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 12-12-2012, 12:30 PM
AnyaKimlun's Avatar
AnyaKimlun (Offline)
Samuel Johnson, obviously!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: North East Scotland
Posts: 6,943
Thanks: 2,739
Thanks 1,456
Default

There is plenty of Joe's writing about the site and he has plenty of talent.

The thing is with your theory about Mark Twain is that you cannot see what was going on inside his head. All you have to base your hypothesis on is his writing ability. You stated he made a living on stage telling stories - have you read any reviews of his performances ? To be able to orally deliver a story requires an understanding and talent relating to the medium and indicates the basic ability was there in him.


I was thirty-three before I first started writing, Sitting in front of the TV one day I doodled a picture of a short, dark prince called Jonathan. Underneath Jonathan I started to write - with no intention of doing anything more than entertaining myself for an evening. One month later I had the first draft of a YA fantasy novel it was written in third person past tense and was about this small, dark prince told from the point of view of his dead father. It read like a seventies porn movie without the sex.

Ten rewrites later and the prince became 6ft11, blond dreadlocks and one eye. He is also called Angus. It is written in first-person present tense and works. The writing and my ability to tell the story has altered beyond easy comparison.

The talent to create the characters and form the story has always been in my head however getting it out on paper needed to be learned.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 12-12-2012, 12:39 PM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,394
Thanks: 441
Thanks 1,526
Default

Originally Posted by Domenic View Post
I read, "To Friends and Former Lovers." Good writing...it a true story? No I' not an amateur psychologist, nor am I your pal.
It doesn't take a psychologist to see anger in peoples comments. As to your helping new writers; your comments make that a sad joke...you should read them.
I'll give you the last word, because we have nothing more to talk about.
I'm glad you thought the writing was good. I was just about to give up writing -- but I've decided to keep trying. Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 12-12-2012, 12:59 PM
kennyc's Avatar
kennyc (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 751
Thanks: 224
Thanks 93
Default

Originally Posted by JoeMatt View Post
I'm glad you thought the writing was good. I was just about to give up writing -- but I've decided to keep trying. Thanks!

Whew! Close call!
__________________
Kenny A. Chaffin

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to kennyc For This Useful Post:
JoeMatt (12-12-2012)
  #27  
Old 12-12-2012, 01:05 PM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,394
Thanks: 441
Thanks 1,526
Default

Originally Posted by AnyaKimlun View Post

The thing is with your theory about Mark Twain is that you cannot see what was going on inside his head. All you have to base your hypothesis on is his writing ability. You stated he made a living on stage telling stories - have you read any reviews of his performances ? To be able to orally deliver a story requires an understanding and talent relating to the medium and indicates the basic ability was there in him.
I don't even know it that's true. I understood he needed a job and went to work for a newspaper as a reporter -- then he started writing essays and stories. I wasn't aware that he was some kind of story teller prior to that. I thought that came after he started writing.

Regardless, you're right about Twain -- and that speaks to what I was saying earlier. While people aren't literally born with writing talent -- there are things we're exposed to in early development that can foster it. Who knows what that was in Twain's case. But I think it's a huge overstatement to suggest that early learning that leads to talent isn't essential and that you can simply overcome it if you "never give up."

And rather than not succeeding for lack of trying, some people just realize they've reached the point of diminishing return -- and that their time might be better spent doing something else. There's no shame in that. At some point never giving up crosses over into self-delusion.

Last edited by JoeMatt; 12-12-2012 at 01:09 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 12-12-2012, 01:10 PM
kennyc's Avatar
kennyc (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 751
Thanks: 224
Thanks 93
Default

Originally Posted by JoeMatt View Post
I don't even know it that's true. I understood he needed a job and went to work for a newspaper as a reporter -- then he started writing essays and stories. I wasn't aware that he was some kind of story teller prior to that. I thought that came after he started writing.
....

Here's a chronology of important events. His public lectures started after a trip to Hawaii as a newspaper reporter.

http://www.shmoop.com/mark-twain/timeline.html

My understanding is that he disliked the lectures and preferred writing, but the lectures made the money for him.
__________________
Kenny A. Chaffin

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 12-12-2012, 01:15 PM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,394
Thanks: 441
Thanks 1,526
Default

That's more like what I thought. I know that he invested a ton of money in typesetting machine that was never workable. He lost nearly everything -- and rather than declare bankruptcy, he went on an extensive tour to earn enough to pay his creditors. I seem to remember he got sick on that tour and never really recovered fully.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 12-12-2012, 02:11 PM
opprobrium's Avatar
opprobrium (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13
Thanks: 0
Thanks 5
Default

Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
No they can't. You can 'learn to write', ie you can become literate, but if you don't have innate talent (as Twain most obviously did) you might as well never try anything more complicated than a shopping list.

If all it takes is a bit of practice, why aren't we all writing bet-sellers?
I suggest you read this post.

If you call a student talented, it’s an excuse for them to not work as hard. “It’s easy for them.”

If you say they don’t have talent, you allow them to not try at all, or think something is impossible to do and then quit.

In my opinion, talent is a deadly word to attach or even mention in front of any child.

Now, let’s look at writing. James Lee Burke, Stephen King, Nora Roberts and others at the top of the lists are the most talented writers we have working. Many readers don’t have a taste for a certain writer’s work, but doesn’t matter. The bestsellers are talented storytellers who sell millions of copies every time they put out a new book. The evidence is in the sales.

I’ll take myself at this moment as an example. Compared to a beginning writer, I have a vast talent for writing. Compared to King or Nora, not so much.

My talent AT THE MOMENT is a measure of my ability and craft. Right now.

And it depends on who I am being compared to.

But the key is that I am not permanently FIXED at this talent level. I can keep learning, practicing, working hard, and get better.

I can become more “talented.”

And, of course, that measurement of my talent is also completely subjective to who is doing the looking. One new writer might think I’m talented, some other writer might wonder why I even get published at all, let alone make my living at it.
Not everyone is a best selling author because not everyone wants to work that hard. Not everyone has the time to work that hard. Not everyone wants to write. And not everyone has the same passion for writing.
__________________
Self publish and succeed. Write your next story instead of endlessly marketing your current one. Read Kristine Kathryn Rusch's blog, and Dean Wesley Smith's blog. Learn the business of publishing. Become a professional writer. Don't sign bad contracts. Don't hire an agent. Make enough money to quit your day job. Yes, it sure is possible.

Last edited by opprobrium; 12-12-2012 at 02:16 PM..
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Tips & Advice


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
to write Nacia Poetry 0 05-10-2012 04:51 AM
Need feedback please. Lmc71775 Poetry 12 07-16-2010 02:40 PM
Write Fun Right Now Lmc71775 Poetry 5 07-10-2010 11:51 AM
Why people write ? Carpe Diem Writers' Cafe 91 11-27-2008 01:15 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:26 AM.

vBulletin, Copyright © 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.