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Thread: Who here has tried writing a book?

  1. #11
    Senior Member Makers!*'s Avatar
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    GOOD!

    Best of luck to ya, sincerely. It's tough.
    "Long live the weeds and the wilderness!"

  2. #12
    Formerly PiccoloNamek Lunar Delta's Avatar
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    Since around December 2004 I have been doing an immense amount of writing and world building in my head based on a simple scenario I came up with after watching an anime. Now, I have a full-fledged story with a decent plot, (possibly) interesting characters, a detailed timeline, lots of drawings, notes, scripts, etc. The whole thing is completely planned out from start to finish. The problem is I just don't know how to actually write it. It's actually really distressing having all of that pent up inside and no way to get it out. My name "Lunar Delta" and the symbol that is my avatar are probably the only elements from the story that will ever see the light of day.

    There are certain types of writing that I am good at. If I were asked to write about this world and its story (think something like Dune Encyclopedia, only with more prose) I could probably do that. I just have the same problem Ptah does: I just don't think I am capable of writing a good narrative.
    Last edited by Lunar Delta; 02-13-2014 at 07:46 AM.
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  3. #13
    BeyondUrLatestAdCampaigns ciphersort's Avatar
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    I've started a few, but with each attempt after banging out a few pages and deciding to look over what I had created I was all like... tldr.

  4. #14
    Senior Member skip's Avatar
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    I've written several but I've never tried to get anything published.
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that a problem.

  5. #15
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus'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.
    You should, but when people think of being a writer--as in vocationally, the only game in town for fiction is novels. What about short stories you say? You say you read them all the time? Sure, but when was the last time you bought one? When was the last time you bought an anthology of short stories? Or a magazine of short stories? Now compare that to the frequency of purchasing a novel. I'll help make this less depressing: we'll include borrowing from a library as purchasing.

    Ok, how about this: what is the estimated ratio of times you went looking for short stories to the times you went looking for a novel? I bet most of your short story anthologies were selected as a substitute for a novel purchase--a happy accident. Years of data show that short stories don't sell nearly as well as novels, and novel sales are, as a group, miserable. The only thing worse than trying to market an anthology of short stories is trying to market a single short story--and the only thing worse than that is trying to market poetry.

    Short stories are definitely the way to start though. It's just tough to accept that you should start acquiring the skills for what will sell by working on things that won't sell. Well, they won't sell without pictures anyway... though the comic book market is a whole different flavor of soul crushing despair.

    I can't even bring myself to go to the local annual Comic Con anymore because it looks so bleak. Not because of how few people are there, but because of how many dreamers are there with products they can't sell. Tons of art--nobody has a shit to give, and it all just makes it that much harder to find the real gems that will blow your mind.

    Same thing in prose writing really. It's all a horrifying nightmare whether you're thinking about it casually or seriously--and the nightmare is several orders of magnitude larger if you are a serious introvert because not only do you have to have chops, but you have to be able to corral and recruit various human resources like editors and patient test readers whose feedback you trust, and then once you've written the damn thing, you still have to market it. And the odds are, it won't sell.

    Of course, I'm a lunatic, so I'll keep trying. Personally, I'm flabbergasted at how many shitty novels get produced. And I don't mean I'm flabbergasted that there are shitty novels--I'm utterly amazed at how many people can manage to pound out that many pages of reasonably coherent drivel and get it to market. It's pretty impressive to me really. I can do essays, short stories, and research papers. Novels elude me.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

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  6. #16
    Homo siderius Sistamatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post

    Of course, I'm a lunatic, so I'll keep trying. Personally, I'm flabbergasted at how many shitty novels get produced. And I don't mean I'm flabbergasted that there are shitty novels--I'm utterly amazed at how many people can manage to pound out that many pages of reasonably coherent drivel and get it to market. It's pretty impressive to me really.
    This is a hilarious expletive laden diatribe on the frustration the "shit volcano" of crappy writing brings to the people who have to wade through all that shit for a living, and why writers should be worried about it.

    http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014...-is-a-problem/

  7. #17
    Senior Member Makers!*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    You should, but when people think of being a writer--as in vocationally, the only game in town for fiction is novels. What about short stories you say? You say you read them all the time? Sure, but when was the last time you bought one? When was the last time you bought an anthology of short stories? Or a magazine of short stories? Now compare that to the frequency of purchasing a novel. I'll help make this less depressing: we'll include borrowing from a library as purchasing.

    Ok, how about this: what is the estimated ratio of times you went looking for short stories to the times you went looking for a novel? I bet most of your short story anthologies were selected as a substitute for a novel purchase--a happy accident. Years of data show that short stories don't sell nearly as well as novels, and novel sales are, as a group, miserable. The only thing worse than trying to market an anthology of short stories is trying to market a single short story--and the only thing worse than that is trying to market poetry.

    Short stories are definitely the way to start though. It's just tough to accept that you should start acquiring the skills for what will sell by working on things that won't sell. Well, they won't sell without pictures anyway... though the comic book market is a whole different flavor of soul crushing despair.

    I can't even bring myself to go to the local annual Comic Con anymore because it looks so bleak. Not because of how few people are there, but because of how many dreamers are there with products they can't sell. Tons of art--nobody has a shit to give, and it all just makes it that much harder to find the real gems that will blow your mind.

    Same thing in prose writing really. It's all a horrifying nightmare whether you're thinking about it casually or seriously--and the nightmare is several orders of magnitude larger if you are a serious introvert because not only do you have to have chops, but you have to be able to corral and recruit various human resources like editors and patient test readers whose feedback you trust, and then once you've written the damn thing, you still have to market it. And the odds are, it won't sell.

    Of course, I'm a lunatic, so I'll keep trying. Personally, I'm flabbergasted at how many shitty novels get produced. And I don't mean I'm flabbergasted that there are shitty novels--I'm utterly amazed at how many people can manage to pound out that many pages of reasonably coherent drivel and get it to market. It's pretty impressive to me really. I can do essays, short stories, and research papers. Novels elude me.
    I own ten collections of short stories, but it's also my job to study this stuff—being an English student and all. So, I'm not in disagreement with you that books get pushed quicker then story collections. In fact, I know that's the case. The literary world, like any other, is rife with elbow rubbing, who-you-know type of games. In large part due to the flood of Creative Writing students, who've dropped 60 grand on a degree and expect somthing out of it. I'm not exactly bashing the route they take. You can learn alot through a formal education. But the downside is that there are truly gifted writers who don't have the money or connections, and so get lost in the wake.
    "Long live the weeds and the wilderness!"

  8. #18
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    Writing short stories was the route to becoming a science fiction writer back in the day. Is this still true? Perhaps I'm going about it the wrong way. Makers!*, I commit to writing a few short stories after this draft is done while I'm letting the novel age. I see your point.

  9. #19
    Homo siderius Sistamatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starjots View Post
    Writing short stories was the route to becoming a science fiction writer back in the day. Is this still true? Perhaps I'm going about it the wrong way. Makers!*, I commit to writing a few short stories after this draft is done while I'm letting the novel age. I see your point.
    There are many contests out there for short stories of all genres. A lot of people enter, and if you win you get attention from people who know people. Often they'll have a celebrity author who does tie breakers or who looks at the top ten stories selected by the other judges. Often the judges are publishers looking for people with chops, so in this way, they can be a foot in the door. A fuckton of people enter the best ones, so it is still a moonshot.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by ciphersort View Post
    I've started a few, but with each attempt after banging out a few pages and deciding to look over what I had created I was all like... tldr.
    I always pitied my dad who inhaled a stack of paperbacks every week. He seemed to be wasting so much literary potential. Little did I know that reading turns out to be way more rewarding when you're lazy as fuck.

    Somebody's gotta write em, though. Kudos- a whole thread of you crazy fuckers ought to produce at least one thing that gets published. Or is it mostly self publishing these days?
    Last edited by flurps; 02-13-2014 at 09:32 AM.

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