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Author: Gator8386 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 3278  
Subject: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/2/2002 2:26 PM
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I have, a legal thriller.

I've had the plot in my head for years, spent a lot of time thinking about characters, but I just can't do it. Made different outlines, discussed it with friends of a literary bent (who agree it's a great plot), started it a dozen times, it just goes nowhere. I know how the book begins and how it ends, but filling the pages in between with stuff that people would actually be interested in reading is beyond me.

I was an English major in college, wrote a short story in creative writing that floored everyone, but it looks like that one story is all I've got (okay, maybe I've got two or three good stories in me).

I am in awe of anyone who could write even a third-rate novel, if I could write even a third-rate novel it would be the highlight of my life. I can't begin to comprehend writing a first-rate novel, the talent those people have is mind-staggering.

Writing something that people will PAY TO READ is a tremendous accomplishment. I figure when I retire (hopefully young), I will devote all my time for 15 years to writing a novel that, in my wildest hopes, will be considered mediocre, and if I can accomplish that I'll be the happiest of men.
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Author: TangerineKeith Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 895 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/2/2002 3:27 PM
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I have tried writing a fantasy novel.

The most exciting part was preparing the outline of the plot and developing the characters. Once that was done most of the thrill of accomplishment was gone for me.

The mass of detail required to complete a novel is just too overwhelming. For example, my hero might climb to the top of a hill and see the for the first time the walls and spires of a great city in the distance. I know what it looks like in my head but filling in the background is just too tiresome. So I leave a [Describe City] and move on to the next exciting bit of action!

One day perhaps there will be a computer program that can generate such detail - I might then complete my novel.

As you say, it is a tremendous accomplishment to write a novel and I did not realise how difficult until I had tried it myself.
TK

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Author: jh21045 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 897 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/2/2002 4:47 PM
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I've had the plot in my head for years, spent a lot of time thinking about characters, but I just can't do it. Made different outlines, discussed it with friends of a literary bent (who agree it's a great plot), started it a dozen times, it just goes nowhere. I know how the book begins and how it ends, but filling the pages in between with stuff that people would actually be interested in reading is beyond me.

A book I've seen recommended by some of the pros is Story by Robert McKee. Supposed to be very helpful, even though geared primarily toward screenwriting.

I'm jealous of you in one respect, and that is in having a story that you believe in enough to try to novelize it. This has alway been my major hurdle. One thing that may help you is breaking the novel into smaller chunks of related stories or episodes, and writing them. Each of the smaller novel "parts" would have its own climax and finale etc, its own tone.


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Author: TangerineKeith Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 898 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/2/2002 6:29 PM
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There's a Fool board that discusses things to do with writers:

Aspiring Writers
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=114755

TK


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Author: ROKO2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 901 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/2/2002 9:09 PM
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I only have the opening line.....
"It was a dark and stormy night..."
And then I get writer's block. ;~)

my appologies..

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Author: Thuvia Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 902 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 9:57 AM
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What floored me the one time I tried to write a short story was how the characters got away from me. I had definite ideas of what I wanted them to say, but they insisted on going in different directions. I felt as if I was in a Twilight Zone episode.

Thuvia

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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 905 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 10:23 AM
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Gator, have you taken any writing classes? It might a good way to just focus your energies on your book for a few hours a week.

6

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Author: SRHCB Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 906 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 10:43 AM
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Screenplays are easier to write, and sell.

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Author: markoose Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 907 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 1:42 PM
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I wrote two novels several years ago. The longer one took me about 11 months to write.

It's a lonely process, actually. A radio will keep you company.

I shopped both of them around for a while to publishing houses and agents. Nothing. I eventually gave up. I realized they were right.

It's very very tough to get to published. One reason? Everybody thinks they're a writer; however, everybody is NOT a writer. Be prepared for mounds of rejection letters.

I'm not trying to discourage anybody.

My mother is now a published children's author, with her 3rd book coming out soon. It took her 8 years to finally get her first one accepted. 8 years.


Good luck.

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Author: Sharps97 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 908 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 1:43 PM
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Well, I'll add something here. I know that right now my biggest problem with writing my massive 'epic' so to speak (SCI-FI) is that I don't really have an audience to write for, and no way to really get some feedback on the story. I think that having some type, any type, of audience would really provide an enormous amount of motivation to bring any project to completion. At least when you get some feedback, the details that are so easily dismissed suddenly seem so very important again (because you really want the audience to see what you are seeing).

Ah, what one would give to have a safe environment with which to freely exchange stories...

Any how, here's one thing that I am 'trying' to do to break up my 'story'. I've decided to break it into "seasons" each season representing a certain chunk of time (generally) and each season having some type of theme. Then I can break each season down into episodes, with each episode being the equivalent of a short (or very short in some cases) story. It should help with focus and allow me to easily work on the necessary details over time because a short story is much more manageable than a huge one all compiled together. Perhaps the last stage would be to combine everything into larger units (like each season would be a novel/book).

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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 909 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 1:45 PM
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You know, I just read Orson Scott Cards Ender series, and in the foreword to Children of The Mind he thanks an aol or yahoo or something chat room where writers submit and critique each other's work. I'm sure there's more than one such place out there, and if not, go make one!

6

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Author: Sharps97 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 910 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 1:47 PM
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This board seems to have quite a bit of activity (at least compared to another one I've seen). The biggest thing is to ensure protection (copyright issues, etc.) I think that is the biggest difficulty with setting some system up. At least the Fool (I think) archives this information, perhaps they could expand on that with some type of service for writers...

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Author: SRHCB Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 911 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 1:53 PM
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Check out the Aspiring Writers Board mentioned in an earlier Post on this Thread. I hadn't been aware of it previously, but it looks really halpful.

(By the way, although she would rather be writing about food, Poster ChocoKitty actually is a patent/copyright attorney.)

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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 912 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 2:25 PM
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Try ezboard.com because they allow for privacy, but I'm not sure about file storage which you would also need.

6

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Author: mapletree3 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 913 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 7:08 PM
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Ah, what one would give to have a safe environment with which to freely exchange stories...

We should do this....

-mapletree

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Author: UhuraY2K Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 914 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 7:20 PM
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Hey, Gator.

I have to confess, back in the day I had two short stories published in "Ellery Queen" Magazine. For good and for bad, they were both accepted, and one was nominated by P.D. James for an award. I have never received a rejection letter. Unfortunately, that also gave me a 15+ year bout of serious writer's block. I'm back at it now, actually working on two manuscripts, one historical and very loosely based on my family's history, the other quasi-horror. Of the two, the horror seems to be the more commercially viable, the historical (my real love) is pretty much for me...

Which brings it back to part of your question. Write a book you'd like to read. Don't plan on devoting fifteen years somewhere down the line composing the great American epic. Write a paragraph a night. Write a sentence. Don't spend too much time making it look pretty; that's why word processors were invented. Don't stress out over the logistics. Something doesn't make sense, you can go back and change it later. Don't worry that you're writing too little. The words will add up eventually. Do know when to quit. If I had a dime for every extra word I've ever had to cut from some manuscript or the other, I wouldn't need the stock market. Even if you don't publish it, and chances are you won't (sorry, but my day job is editing other people's writing), you'll at least have something. Don't take rejection letters personally.

Hope this helps.

Uhura :o)

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Author: khalou Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 915 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 8:17 PM
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Gator,

Tell the story.

Just push through and tell the story. Don't be in a hurry to do so, lots of your 'draft' will be complete. But, once it's there from beginning to end, you can fine tune to your heart's content. You can describe some things better once you know how they fit in to the story and characters- also, you can include clues and references to something that's coming that'll fit in later. "She came to a place that reminded her of [something from her past- link it to her brother somehow]." See? If the 'place' isn't there right now, you can work on it later. Much better, because you will know how this part of the story eventually played out after it's been told. Keep pushing and leave yourself notes on what to work on later.

Just write the story once through. It might take awhile, but the end product will be infinitely easier to deal with than what you have now.

Hope that helps. :o)

k



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Author: khalou Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 916 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 8:22 PM
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Ah, what one would give to have a safe environment with which to freely exchange stories...

We should do this....

-mapletree


http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=17199528&bid=115951

:o)

k


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Author: 5000fingers Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 917 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 10:19 PM
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I got half-way through a thriller genre novel about virtual reality way back before anybody knew about it. I hated it. It was too cliched, and I was too proud to finish it anyways (after all, much genre fiction operated safely in the realm of cliche, so I shouldn't have been such a snob about it).

But I have written several extended musical works, which are the composer's equivalent of the novel-vs.-short story issue. And I know exactly how you feel about completing a novel as a life goal. I ran a marathon in the same light, and I still feel that it was one of the coolest things that I've ever done. And the great thing about writing novels these days is that the way online self-publishing is working, you could actually sell your novel to whatever market you can create for it. Even if that is just a family-and-friends type of thing, it would still be tremendously gratifying.

If you've written good (I mean really good) short stories, you've accomplished something more difficult than writing a novel, in my view. It's harder to write a good string quartet than a good symphony. Look at Steven King. All you have to do to write half-way decent fiction is to write a lot and not care too much that it's not great. Writing a thousand words in a day is easy. Just do that for a few months and you'll have a first draft. If you finish the first draft, revising it will be a piece of cake.

Like whoever-it-was-who-said-it said it, 90% of success is showing up.

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Author: mapletree3 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 918 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 10:28 PM
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If you've written good (I mean really good) short stories, you've accomplished something more difficult than writing a novel, in my view. It's harder to write a good string quartet than a good symphony. Look at Steven King. All you have to do to write half-way decent fiction is to write a lot and not care too much that it's not great. Writing a thousand words in a day is easy. Just do that for a few months and you'll have a first draft. If you finish the first draft, revising it will be a piece of cake.

Actually, King writes really great short stories!

-mapletree

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Author: Sharps97 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 919 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 10:31 PM
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Hmmm...

... wonders if I should test the waters somewhere with some story fragments ...

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Author: khalou Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 920 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/3/2002 10:54 PM
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Hmmm...

... wonders if I should test the waters somewhere with some story fragments ...


Go for it!

http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=17199528&bid=115951

k

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Author: jesever Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 921 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 9:50 AM
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Ah, what one would give to have a safe environment with which to freely exchange stories...


You might want to check out the newsgroup alt.fiction.original.

The group has changed a little bit, but people post their stories and critique one another's work. It's sort of safe, but if people don't like something, they will tell you, in no uncertain terms!!

J

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Author: Oscroft Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 922 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 10:19 AM
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Hi Gator and others,

I've had similar aspirations myself (I've got a handful of unfinished short stories lying around), but my efforts fall down badly on two counts - "the middle bit" and characterisation. The former probably seems to be the biggest hurdle for aspiring writers, but I actually think characterisation is the biggest failing of poor writers.

Writing short stories may help with the "middle bit" problem, though as others have suggested, a good short story can probably be as hard or harder to write than a novel. Still, at least with a short story you can finish it more quickly and move on, learning from the experience, and putting aside bad results without the same emotional attachments you might have to a bad novel.

But creating convincing characters is very hard, whatever the length of the story. The reason? I think it's probably because creating a convincing character requires you to put yourself in someone else's mind, and that is usually very difficult indeed. If you try to create someone who is very different from yourself (and you have to, if you want a convincing cast), it is all too easy to end up with a wooden stereotype rather than a believable character.

Stephen King has been mentioned in this thread, and I think a mark of his success is that he can create good characters - characters that are very dissimilar from his own personality. In fact, I think one of the best books for an aspring writer to read (essential reading, I'd say, even), is his "On Writing"...

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0671024256

I like to think that maybe one day I'll produce a short story good enough for others to read. But, if I'm honest, I have to say it is unlikely :-)

Best regards,
Alan




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Author: Sharps97 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 923 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 11:33 AM
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But creating convincing characters is very hard, whatever the length of the story. The reason? I think it's probably because creating a convincing character requires you to put yourself in someone else's mind, and that is usually very difficult indeed. If you try to create someone who is very different from yourself (and you have to, if you want a convincing cast), it is all too easy to end up with a wooden stereotype rather than a believable character.

That is an interesting challenge. I think that even if you can come up with characters in your mind that interact well, it may still be difficult to convey that on paper. And if you have a lot of main characters to worry about, it gets to be difficult to give them all enough 'play' time. I've got at least 7 primary characters for my story, and then a bunch of secondary ones on top of that.

I thought that some things might be missing from the draft of my first 'episode', and now I think I might be on the right track. Keep up the good advice.

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Author: growlbear Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 924 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 11:40 AM
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>You know, I just read Orson Scott Cards Ender series, and in the foreword to Children of The Mind he thanks an aol or yahoo or something chat room where writers submit and critique each other's work. I'm sure there's more than one such place out there, and if not, go make one!<


I do not remember the web address, but Mr. Card has a website that has that sort of participation. It'd be a good idea to have a website where people could post their writing & have critiques e-mailed to them.

Alex
Metro-Detroit

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Author: TangerineKeith Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 926 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 12:55 PM
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What floored me the one time I tried to write a short story was how the characters got away from me. I had definite ideas of what I wanted them to say, but they insisted on going in different directions. I felt as if I was in a Twilight Zone episode.

Thuvia
========

They certainly do that but this is generally for the good. I think they develop and draw on resources and riches from our subconscious mind. Let them go and see how it works out.

It's a free country - in the country of the mind!

Keith

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Author: Thuvia Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 927 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 12:59 PM
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If you've written good (I mean really good) short stories, you've accomplished something more difficult than writing a novel, in my view.

You're right. My dream would be to write short shorts like Saki (H.H. Munro). What an exquisite writer. "His socks compelled one's attention without losing one's respect."

One of his uncompleted shorts (he was killed in WWI) was an obstinate Eve refusing to eat the apple. Just delightful.

Thuvia

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Author: AGlupOfWax Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 929 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 1:06 PM
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How to write like Tom Robbins:

http://home.earthlink.net/~dare2b/robbins.htm

...Finally, Tom briefly explained how he wrote his books. He treats writing like a nine-to-five job, writing eight hours a day, Monday through Friday. No writing allowed on weekends. He gets up in the morning, makes himself breakfast, lights a cigar, and sits at his typewriter.
When he starts a novel, it works like this. First he writes a sentence. Then he rewrites it again and again, examining each word, making sure of its perfection, finely honing each phrase until it reverberates with the subtle texture of the infinite. Sometimes it takes hours. Sometimes an entire day is devoted to one sentence, which gets marked on and expanded upon in every possible direction until he is satisfied. Then, and only then, does he add a period.
...


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Author: TangerineKeith Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 930 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 1:06 PM
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Hi Sharps97,

Ah, what one would give to have a safe environment with which to freely exchange stories...

There are Writers Circles which circulate and criticise each others' work. I've been involved in a number of them over the years.

It seems self-evident, but the success of the group depends on the willingness of the people involved to listen to criticism. Criticism can hurt at the time but given a short period of reflection I have come to see there is nearly always some value in every comment. Some people in a group, however, take any hint of criticism as a personal assault, and resort to a prolonged defence of every word.

It may be that the Aspiring Writers board could help you find a group.
There are various organisations on the web for writers - not least:

Writers Write:
http://www.writerswrite.com

The misc.writing UseNet newsgroup
http://www.scalar.com/mw/


Keith




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Author: TangerineKeith Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 931 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 1:16 PM
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Ah, what one would give to have a safe environment with which to freely exchange stories...

We should do this....

-mapletree


There is such a board at Fool UK where people can post stories and receive comments on them:

Storyboard
http://boards.fool.co.uk/Messages.asp?bid=50972

After an initial surge of enthusiasm it has now gone dormant, and it was also apparent that people were reluctant to give any real criticism. So people tended to be "damned with faint praise".

But there's no reason why a similar board couldn't be opened here if anyone wanted to request it.


Keith



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Author: TangerineKeith Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 932 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 1:20 PM
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Ah, what one would give to have a safe environment with which to freely exchange stories...

We should do this....

-mapletree

There is such a board at Fool UK where people can post stories and receive comments on them:

Storyboard
http://boards.fool.co.uk/Messages.asp?bid=50972

After an initial surge of enthusiasm it has now gone dormant, and it was also apparent that people were reluctant to give any real criticism. So people tended to be "damned with faint praise".

But there's no reason why a similar board couldn't be opened here if anyone wanted to request it.


The drawbacks of not reading the whole thread before posting!
There is a board already, as others ponted out!
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=115951

Keith


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Author: growlbear Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 933 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 2:24 PM
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One of the best lines I've ever heard belongs to Saki (I may mangle this...):

"She was a good cook, as cooks go. And as good cooks go, she went."

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Author: mapletree3 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 934 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 2:58 PM
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I've been thinking about this more.

khalou, the board you opened is great, but the Fool boards are inherently more appropriate for extremely short writing. And I don't feel comfortable broadcasting my writing to the entire world. What we need is a closed forum - the difficulty is keeping it going, I've belonged to them in the past and while everybody wanted to submit material, no-one wanted to take the time to critique!

I think I'm at the point in my writing efforts where I am willing to put more time into editing - of my own stuff, and others. Especially others, as that's a skill I'd like to have for my professional development.

I'm willing to set up such a forum and guarantee a review (by me) of at least one item per week, if the interest is out there. I envision a small community where we can discuss writing ideas, encourage each other, receive and give feedback in a safe setting. Fiction and non-fiction, beginners and published writers. This would be off the Fool boards, format to be determined. Please e-mail me or respond if you are interested.

-mapletree

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Author: Sharps97 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 935 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 3:10 PM
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And I don't feel comfortable broadcasting my writing to the entire world.

This is the big one for me. I need a sense of security and trust, and that isn't something that is easy to build. My story (even if it is the worst thing you've ever read) means a lot to me personally, its been with me for a long while. I don't mind valid criticism, but I'm simply concerned about losing control over it or someone 'stealing' it in some form or another. I don't have a job, and don't have the funds to formally copyright something evertime I have to edit a line or do a major overhaul of a draft. Nor do I have the funds to pursue something legally if the need ever arise...

I'm willing to set up such a forum and guarantee a review (by me) of at least one item per week, if the interest is out there.

I think that some interest exists, at least tentatively. I'd be curious as to reading various material and trying to help and get a feel for what types of criticisms exist for others' stories too.

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Author: khalou Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 936 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 3:23 PM
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I don't have a job, and don't have the funds to formally copyright something evertime I have to edit a line or do a major overhaul of a draft. Nor do I have the funds to pursue something legally if the need ever arise...

Isn't it true that TMF is a kind of 'protection' against anyone stealing yer stuff? It's dated and held in a databank for all time. I write songs as well and after recording them, I send them registered mail to myself and don't open the envelope. It's a cheap way to 'copyright' it.

I'm willing to set up such a forum and guarantee a review (by me) of at least one item per week, if the interest is out there.

I think that some interest exists, at least tentatively. I'd be curious as to reading various material and trying to help and get a feel for what types of criticisms exist for others' stories too.

I would be interested. And my hat's off to ya for offering to do something like this.

k



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Author: jesever Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 937 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 4:54 PM
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I don't have a job, and don't have the funds to formally copyright something evertime I have to edit a line or do a major overhaul of a draft. Nor do I have the funds to pursue something legally if the need ever arise...


It costs nothing to copyright a work--once it's in any kind of "fixed, tangible form" the work is copyrighted. You might want to check this out for details:
http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html#wccc

The only fees required are to REGISTER a copyright with the US Copyright Office. The fee is $30 for most types of registrations.

Yes, it would cost you money if you wanted to pursue something legally, and of course, copyright violations do occur. But that could happen if you actually published a book or published your work in a magazine or elsewhere. If your work is on the Net somewhere, at least you have a "footprint" if the work was to be stolen. I have submitted several stories on alt.fiction.original, and (as far as I know) none of them have ever been stolen (knock wood).

J

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Author: jh21045 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 938 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 4:58 PM
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I have submitted several stories on alt.fiction.original, and (as far as I know) none of them have ever been stolen


That's you? Dude, I've been making a living off you! Been meaning to thank you. You write good stuff. Thanks again.

Take care,

William Goldman


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Author: jesever Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 939 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 5:16 PM
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That's you? Dude, I've been making a living off you! Been meaning to thank you. You write good stuff. Thanks again.

Take care,

William Goldman


Glad you like it! I do it for love, not money. If I have just one admirer, like yourself, it makes it all worthwhile!!

J

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Author: Oscroft Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 940 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/4/2002 6:02 PM
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Hi Fools,

I haven't checked the US Fool's conditions, but the UK Fool's conditions state...

"The Motley Fool does not own the information you post on our discussion boards. However, you agree that The Motley Fool shall have an unlimited license to republish anything that you post in our areas."

I'm sure this is meant in the best possible way, but I'd be wary of publishing any stories on discussion boards myself, even ones as honourable as the Fool's.

Best,
Alan


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Author: patchrose One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 947 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/7/2002 10:07 AM
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Writing a novel takes the same kind of discipline as exercising every day. In other words, it really hurts,and it ain't much fun. But boy, don't it feel good to see those rippling muscles! And doesn't it feel good to look at a high stack of written pages. As the old saying goes, I hate writing, but I love having written.

Take comfort in knowing that not every author is Stephen King (he writes about 5K words a day, the freak.)

Hemingway wrote only 500 words a DAY. And he'd count them. I can picture him, his white beard unkempt, standing in his shack in the mountains of Spain, hopping from one foot to another because he wanted to stop writing but he only had 435 words!

I try to write 500 words a day. That is not hard at all. It's about one page. Sometimes they aren't even good words, but they are words. And there's nothing wrong with writing (put description here) and coming back to it later.

Not that I am a published author (yet). But using this method I have completed 2 manuscripts in five years and have two more half finished. You can do it, too! Just begin!

One last thing that helps me: I have a quotation posted on my PC:

GENIUS BEGINS GREAT WORKS;
LABOR ALONE FINISHES THEM.

Good luck!

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Author: LudditeAndroid Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 948 of 3278
Subject: Re: Anyone ever try to write a novel? Date: 6/7/2002 12:37 PM
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I think I'm the opposite of you, Gator.

I wrote two novellas when I was 14, one as just a practice run; it was dreadfully bad and I knew it but I just wanted the practice. The other was a dark satire, more seriously written but not good enough to publish. Since then I start one new novel every 3 years or so, but I never finish. I've finished 2 novels already, and it didn't give me any closure. The only part of the writing I like is the process. I never want to finish the novels because the process is too interesting to give up on.

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