So you want to be a writer? Dreams or delusions?

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CageSage
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Re: So you want to be a writer? Dreams or delusions?

Postby CageSage » Wed, 14 Mar 2018 1:23 pm

this was excellent - I'll be following this one.

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Rkcapps
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Re: So you want to be a writer? Dreams or delusions?

Postby Rkcapps » Wed, 14 Mar 2018 3:17 pm

and you led me to her yesterday! Thanks!

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Rath Darkblade
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Re: So you want to be a writer? Dreams or delusions?

Postby Rath Darkblade » Wed, 14 Mar 2018 9:29 pm

*******WARNING: RANT********

Bah. I've done many of these things - even this one:

How many are willing to let go of that first novel, take it as a learning experience, and move on? Write until they finish a truly good book?

5%.


Yes, I wrote a 200-odd-page novel, set in the late Anglo-Saxon/Viking era (part-time, naturally). I did my research... I edited and re-edited it, even throwing away chapters at a time. I even asked a professional for maps, and waited while they were drawn. The mere thought that an early version was lost, years ago, nearly sent me into the depths of despairing panic; and the fact that it was found, backed up on a floppy disk (I told you that this was years ago), was enough to raise me back up on wings of euphoria. Hallelujah, the angels sang! The primordial novel was FOUND! Now it could be written!

..............except that, by the time it was finished, well... I wouldn't dream of submitting it for publication because, well, it sucked. Sigh. Gutted. :( Put it aside and started afresh on less ambitious projects, like short stories.

There were three things that were saved:

1. the knowledge I gained during my research;
2. the 'incidental' knowledge (i.e. bits of trivia to use in future stories);
3. the knowledge of what not to do.

(And, I would add, my dignity - because submitting it would have resulted in either a massive critique, or - which is worse - no reply at all). I've had more than my fair share of those. :|

So, that's my little story, and the reason why I'm about as embittered about it as a lemon, lime & bitters... ;)
There is nothing wrong with nepotism, so long as you keep it all in the family. (Winston Churchill)

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Rkcapps
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Re: So you want to be a writer? Dreams or delusions?

Postby Rkcapps » Wed, 14 Mar 2018 10:20 pm

And yet...take heart, you are not alone in not keeping that first novel. I've done that too (maybe without doing the research, but remember research isn't writing). It's cluttering my computer somewhere and I wrote my memoir twice first before I wrote the one published. I was using one finger on my ipad in hospital. It wasn't until I had someone (nicely) in publishing (as a favour) tell me I needed to engage the reader. Make a reader connect with my hopes and dreams (obviously not helpful for fiction). Then I've lost count of how many times I've written my fantasy. The story constantly changes. I do remember I tossed the first half once. Then I rewrote and tossed away 80% of it. That doesn't include all the chapters I've written and trashed. Why I trashed 2 just last night!

There's so much to learn. I just listened to an author who said 14 years of the equivalent study time of a doctor. Some of us are on different timelines on the amount of time we can devote to that chunk of time.

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Rath Darkblade
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Re: So you want to be a writer? Dreams or delusions?

Postby Rath Darkblade » Wed, 14 Mar 2018 11:25 pm

There certainly is much to learn. I cut my teeth on fan-fiction and song parodies to start with - I think my first few years were similar to what Verdi called his "galley slave" period. ;) Just as he was honing his craft by churning out an opera a year for the seemingly insatiable Milanese audiences, so I was learning my craft by crafting harmless (and officially sanctioned, I may add) fan-fiction, and thus learning about setting, character, dialogue etc. All the basic building blocks, in fact, which are what - to a carpenter - would be his hammer and saw. ;) Rudimentary tools, but enough to get started!

That was about 15 years ago or so, I hasten to add. Ever since then, I haven't touched fan-fiction (although I still write song parodies from time to time, because I enjoy it). :)

As for trashing chapters... yes. I try not to trash chapters completely, because they can still be picked apart for good bits - but the chapter that I trashed was not worth it. I'm not sure what I thought of when I wrote that. *shrug*

But as I said (above), I'm only as bitter as a lemon, lime and bitters - which is only slightly bitter. ;)
There is nothing wrong with nepotism, so long as you keep it all in the family. (Winston Churchill)

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mstary1
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Re: So you want to be a writer? Dreams or delusions?

Postby mstary1 » Sun, 18 Mar 2018 9:52 am

Ah yes, my first novel sits quietly in a windows folder, where it sits forgotten. Having learnt so
much writing my second novel, I feel I may be able to revisit it down the track and rescue it. But for now, it's
a terrible piece of work. Told, not showed, too much backstory, overflowing with useless information.

But for now, the dream is still alive with the second. Especially with it being professionally edited and proof read. :D

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Rkcapps
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Re: So you want to be a writer? Dreams or delusions?

Postby Rkcapps » Sun, 18 Mar 2018 1:03 pm

The learning never stops :)


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