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Thread: Who here has tried writing a book?

  1. #1
    Aporia Dysphoria Dirac's Avatar
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    Who here has tried writing a book?

    I'm planning to get the first draft of my novel finished before my PhD starts. Any other wannabe writers around? Is this project doomed to failure?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    I finished my first draft last April in about three months, let it go fallow until a few months ago. Half-way through second draft which keeps the characters and themes but scraps most of the original writing. Don't see why it would be doomed. Actually paying off beyond satisfaction is a longer shot no doubt.

  3. #3
    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    They always say "write what you know" - so I want to author a book about my struggles with OCD. But I feel that I'm still a long way from enough of a recovery/management to be in a position for that memoir to be helpful. So I'm just taking notes as I go - some mental, others written - so one day, I'll have the content I need.

    As for fiction, I'm trying to write a screenplay (as referenced in another thread). Finding the motivation to push on it is tough, especially when there are so many other areas of my life where I want to use my time, if I can find the motivation, and get around the avoidance.

    The project isn't doomed to failure - it's all a matter of you making time to do it, putting in the work, and making it a priority. So I'd just pose this question: Do you want to write a book, more than you want to accomplish other things? Are you willing to make it a priority?
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

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    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Yes, for a few years there I worked on plotting out and developing the setting, characters and other such things for a fantasy trilogy. I have it all mapped out. Every character, every event, every arc, all the thematic elements and beat-notes ... everything (a few folders full of over a hundred design documents, as such). I stopped when I realized that actually writing the narrative of it is where I lack skills, and so I stopped. If I had the resources and if I thought it would go anywhere, I'd hire a ghost-writer to execute the actual narrative of it.

    Honestly, it is quite painful to reflect on. I have the story itself complete and fully elaborated (down to the scene-by-scene notes). I just don't have it serialized out into a readable format (ie, the narrative itself).

    On the other forum, I once posted some of my early attempts to write out the beginning scenes... during which I realized my lack of sufficient ability, so I stopped.

  5. #5
    Homo siderius Sistamatic's Avatar
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    I am writing one with my neighbor. We spend Thursday afternoons working on it. It's written, and we are editing and revising. We just finished our first editing/revising pass and we are about to start on a second, with several revisions we've agreed will make it flow better.

    As an aside, it has taken a while for us to learn to write together. He's an ISFP, and quite sensitive about criticism...but we've worked through all that. (Basically I just kept raising one eyebrow every time he got butt-hurt til he became accustomed to the idea that I was just going to say what I think and I expected him to do the same.)

    We make a good team. I need his emotional IQ to write the kind of characters who tend to do illogical things. He needs me to pull him back when he starts trying to beat the audience over the head with the heart bleeding emotion of it all when something bad happens to a character.

    I recommend this book for learning the practical considerations in turning a series of events into a readable story: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

    We are going to have to push this damned baby bird out of the nest one day. Fucking scary.

    I have a friend in Canada who happens to be a book publicist with an amazing blog. This article she wrote recently is really good, and has useful info whether you intend to self publish or not:

    http://www.beverlybambury.com/2014/0...t-in-self.html

  6. #6
    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    In terms of "write what you know", I've got a whole area of my brain devoted to religious studies, mythology and different kinds of animism and magic. I've got a couple chapters written of a book about warring tribes of insane, multiverse-hopping sorcerers. I've also considered turning my personal Bible stories into a book proposal. Basically, I don't have the time to really focus on it and have a full time job and a social life. Or rather I have the time if I were to prioritize DOING it but I haven't done so thus far.
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

    "When you write about shooting Polemarch in the head, that's more like a first-person view, like you're there looking down the sight of the gun." --Utisz

    David Wong, regarding Chicago
    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

  7. #7
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    When I was younger I went to the parents house for a few weeks (they were living elsewhere), to be alone, and to see whether I could churn out a books-worth of prose if i had no other distractions. I just wanted to know whether I was actually capable of it or whether I was all talk. I did, which answered my question, and then I decided to discard it.

    Recently I just finished putting together a manual for some algorithms i wrote, which took about two months (with one month off work), and then a bit more time for 2 read-throughs looking for errors, because that shit be painful. Its about 300 pages. Christ. Not exactly fiction writing, but reintroduced me to the hard slog that is writing in reality again. Just sit down. Write section. Re-read. Cut and edit and re-write. Repeat x10. Repeat that times number of bits in book.

    That being said, i'm debating about whether to try fiction again now....i'm bored, and I always wanted to in some respect...

  8. #8
    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    I'm converting a screenplay I wrote into a novel. It is a really slow process, but incredibly rewarding. I'd rather take forever to write it and just enjoy the whole process than push hard to make sure it gets finished. Thoughts of finishing seem to inhibit creativity...so I just try to write it for its own sake.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Makers!*'s Avatar
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    Why does everyone start with novels.. what about short stories? You should really start with short stories.

    And no, I'm not a writer. I'm just sayin.

  10. #10
    Homo siderius Sistamatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makers!* View Post
    Why does everyone start with novels.. what about short stories? You should really start with short stories.

    And no, I'm not a writer. I'm just sayin.
    I'd wager most of us wannabe novelists have big piles of short stories on our hard drives... just sayin

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