Curious enough to throw out writing questions…

Until these past 6 months, I had never really taken my writing seriously. (Not that I am now, either! :D)

This community of writers and bloggers(you!) have been so fantastic to me and my writing self esteem. I feel happy when I write now, does that sound silly? It kind of read silly to me there!    I really must say thank you to each of you who has taken time to comment,  like, take the time to introduce themselves and encourage.  I would have never discovered this artistic outlet and I definitely don’t believe I would have ever nurtured my writing without you!

Big hugs* for you all!

 

So here are my questions if you will tolerate me on this ramble that I know is coming.  It is on writing styles.

Myself, I have been writing a lot of poetry.  I let the words chose me and don’t take time to plan out a structure other than syllable counts or whether a word rhymes to another or not.   I just let words flow.

In fact, I rarely could quote one of my poems back to you a week after I have written it, and in a few instances, I have been astonished to go back and read the things that I have written in the past 6 months. There have been moments that I can’t believe ‘I’ actually chose certain words with a dormant cleverness and wrote them.  I almost impress myself at times by it. ( I hate to use these words because it sounds so boastful and I’m trying to do anything but be egotistical.)

So with my comfort of writing poetry and short stories, it has tickled my brain to do more, and to push for more.

I have been toying around with writing a story that is in my head. It’s been there for sometime.

But I’m afraid.

I’m afraid I will ‘un-impress’ myself and lose this happy high that I get these days from creating and getting those trapped words out of my head into poetry. I’m afraid I will reach for something I have no right reaching for and ruin what I do have going for me.

I don’t know if I should write out an outline for my story?  Or if I should just do like I do with my poetry,and let the words flow and see where it takes me?  Or should I just leave it be and focus on poetry?

For those of you who have written novels, what are your suggestions and tips? How organized do I need to be? How do you keep yourself focused to keep going? I’m so use to penning a poem or short story in an hour, not sure if I could keep the midnight oil burning?  (I’m also afraid I don’t have what it takes to stay dedicated to something that will take months to finish.)

Yes, I know I will never know if I don’t give it a try. But I would like feed back and guidance from your experiences.

Yeah, okay, I’m done. I’m un-impressing myself with this ramble fest! 😀 I’m such a dork!

 

melanie

 

 

 

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35 comments

  1. jdoublep · August 8, 2016

    i think the most important thing is to get as much as as soon as possible. stephen king advises, “The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season.” i agree. if the first draft takes much longer, momentum rapidly dies. you’ll have years and years for rewrites. it’s always helped me to know where a story might end and then write toward that – but the past few stories i’ve penned the end changed!try many approaches. try an outline. try developing a set of characters and throwing them into a situation and see what happens. try a novel-in-stories. try writing just a scene here and there and linking them all together later. sounds like you have the idea ready…so just write and write and write! (and good luck)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael · August 8, 2016

    You’ll probably get a unique answer from every person that comments on this. Free flow and get it out of your head and on paper (screen) then edit and polish. Step away for a night at least and come back to it again…edit and polish. Repeat over time as needed. The great thing about WP is that you can release segments or chapters at a time and mix in other posts as you are working on your story. Like the comment before this one, you can skip around and release the story in a non-linear way. Then, you can connect the dots later. You don’t have to publish the entire story all at once. WP is your workshop. Good luck 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dont You Forget About Me · August 8, 2016

      Thank you! But this raises another question, does releasing parts of a story, let’s say here on WP, hurt it’s chances of being published as a whole later?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pitchforkin' · August 8, 2016

        It does unfortunately; publishers can be very picky about anything that’s been prepublished.

        But that’s a choice for you more than anyone. Me and my wife decided that I would print my novels online for free for the time being.

        As for writing… well, there’s a lot of great blogs out there to help you look at how to structure, a couple I looked at often:

        http://ryanlanz.com/
        http://quintessentialeditor.com/

        For styles; there’s loads of ways people write. I like chaos personally; sometimes create a big mess then fix it. I do keep character sheets with traits on them as a minimum for consistency; in some cases I’ll plan chapters out and even plan the chapters themselves to consider the journey I want them to take in the space of words I have.

        Your writing is excellent; you should be proud! Do give book writing a go, it’s great fun and horribly addictive when you start!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dont You Forget About Me · August 8, 2016

        Excellent! Thank you so much for this! I think I need these pushes for a sink or swim mentality,and you have all given so much to consider! I can’t even express how your kindness and direction are affecting me by clearing muddy waters! I will most certainly check out those blogs! Keep your fingers crossed for me! Thank you again for your kindness and knowledge ! hugs*

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dont You Forget About Me · August 8, 2016

      hugs* I appreciate your time and recommendations in opinion! I can’t express how it means so much to me!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. thedreamscapes · August 8, 2016

    Short answer, “Just do it!”

    Long answer:

    Isaac Asimov always had at least three different drafts going at a time. Nothing got neglected and it avoid writer’s block. No need for a Haiku to destroy the novel. Poems will happen as you work on it. The novel does not have to interfere with the poetry.

    I would suggest reading what “famous” novelists in the genera you wish to write a novel have to say about it. I have never succeeded in finishing a novel. Closest I have come is novellas with interludes of poetry. I post online, so I self publish.

    In further regards to posting online, if you want to go through a traditional publishing house, you can not post online first. Remember, Facebook saves everything you post even after you delete it, and maintains the right to use it for their advertising. If you want to self publish then you retain publishing rights and can do what you want. Copyright should always remain yours, or the publisher is scam. Copyright gives you around 1 to 3 dollar royalties. (Paperback to Hardback). Non-traditional publishing houses are starting to be willing to sell blogged stuff, but watch the fine print, and they don’t have the infrastructure of the old publishing houses to distribute. (there are types of rights but those are for periodicals, scientific, or specific work literature rights to keep this short, I know tool late.)

    As for you surprising yourself at cleverness in past writes: Sometimes we write on a subconscious level, and when in the zone, are in a trance/meditative like state, with inspiration coming from Alpha, and Theta brain waves. (or parts of the spirit realm if you believe in such, the Roman’s called such spirits a “Genius”.) These things are meant to be a high!

    If you already write every day, then this one more item to work on while writing.

    PS. Prozac can cure “writing” don’t touch the stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dont You Forget About Me · August 9, 2016

      🙂 I’ll steer clear of the prozac then!
      I did not know that about Facebook, but it doesn’t surprise me either! *hugs for you! You offered so much knowledge, I thank you for it!

      Like

  4. thedreamscapes · August 9, 2016

    …there are OTHER types of rights…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. cakeordeathsite · August 9, 2016

    I have never written anything longer than a longish short story so I can’t really give advice. I would be off the write when you are inspired school though. Kafka wrote his breakthrough story A Description of a Struggle in a single night and he wrote his stories and always incomplete novels in spurts. I know a lot of professional writers talk say inspiration has very little to do with it, it is all hard work but i wouldn’t necessary read their novels either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dont You Forget About Me · August 9, 2016

      If inspiration has little to do with it, then I’m not going to succeed! Unless I have someone who can keep me on point. I write purely for the happiness of creation. If I don’t feel it, I don’t write. I need to work on that. I need be more dedicated. I appreciate your advice, you’ve still written and understand the struggles, so thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Quintessential Editor · August 9, 2016

    First of all, I’m humbled I was recommended as a place to look at (thanks Pitchforkin!) Secondly, I really enjoyed reading about your passion for writing. You can tell when someone has the itch (in a good way). I believe everyone has a story trapped inside waiting to be told, this feeling you have is likely a signal. I would encourage you to take a leap of faith and see where it takes you.

    As for your questions, I can attempt to offer some advice. Just keep in mind, this is from one aspiring writer to another (I don’t claim to be an expert on penning novels).

    It’s important to understand, and you probably already know, no two writers are really identical when it comes to putting words down. I know for me, sometimes what worked yesterday, doesn’t work today. So I collect all the tools I can find, but only use them when needed. My blog is where I house those tools as I find them.

    With that being said, I do think it’s important to outline and plan for a novel – to an extent. I’ve had too many friends spend weeks (or longer) planning out their novel, but never actually writing it.

    I think this is because outlining requires you to think analytically (imposing rules and restrictions), and the act of writing requires you to think creatively. Think of the outline is two marks on a map, while the act of writing is the zig zagging path you take between those two points. All the outline does is ensure you get from Point A to Point B.

    For me, writing is very organic – especially when I’m feeling inspired. As I create, my characters sometimes veer off of the path, but as long as they continue toward the final destination, that’s fine. Sometimes those little side-jaunts really add to the depth of the story.

    A complete lack of outline can be an issue because eventually, often times when you are bleary-eyed and low on caffeine, you will realize, “I don’t know where/what they are doing next.” This, if unaddressed, becomes a huge problem for many writers (hence the one-gazillion posts on writer’s block on WordPress). It is at this point you should bust back into the outline. Don’t stress about those self-imposed writing word counts and take a couple days to map out content. Have fun with it and connect a few dots for your characters.

    If you don’t take it TOO seriously, try to find creative solutions to your problems (instead of falling into the pit of despair), and don’t impose unrealistic goals (i.e. if I don’t finish this book in X amount of time I will turn into a pumpkin) writing a novel is a joy.

    Well, you talked about rambling in your post – I will stop rambling now. I hope some of this helps. The biggest takeaway is that writing should be a joy. Don’t impose too many rules and don’t stress about it being perfect (that’s what revision is for). It’s a drag sometimes, sure, but overall it should bring you happiness and self-reward. Why else do it? Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dont You Forget About Me · August 9, 2016

      This is fantastic! All of it! Thank you! I go into this knowing none of us will be the same in writing, that’s what makes it so wonderful. But the core of it is you’re/we’re all writers in our own rights. I needed a base camp, where to start, and a collection of great ideas for what to do and watch for. What I’ve gotten as a result is immeasurable kindness. I crave the joy of writing now. Not the accolades, but the camaraderie. I adore you(and everyone else who had offered advice here) for taking time out of your blog to respond and answer with helpful direction. It really makes a difference and makes me smile to be given tools to help me find what works for me! *hugs
      I truly believe this will be helpful!
      Thank you again!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Quintessential Editor · August 9, 2016

        It’s no problem at all. An excited writer is contagious. That spark ignites a fire for everyone around them.

        One thing I would encourage you to do, down the road when things start to drag, is come back to this blog post. When you feel like you might be losing the battle, or inspiration is fleeting, come back and re-read your words. Think about the emotions you had when you wrote it. Excitement, fear, possibility, wonder. All of those things in this post are bottled up and reusable.

        This is going to sound super cheesy, so grab the grater – but each one of us, our words, hold special power and meaning. Those words capture the emotions we were feeling when we wrote them. Much like when you pull out a shoebox full of keepsakes and read an old hand-written note and you are transported back to that time and place.

        When I’m floundering, I flip back to page one of the current book I’m working on and re-read it. Not for content, but to latch back onto those emotions. Those feelings of determination, inspiration, and possibility. Like I said, it’s a cheesy tip, but it works for me.

        Again, best of luck to you as you embark on your quest!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dont You Forget About Me · August 9, 2016

        🙂 I can do that! I live, love and grate cheese daily! Thank you again for your kindness! Best of luck in your own quests!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. calensariel · August 9, 2016

    1. Realize that every first draft is probably going to be crap and that’s ok. From there you take the building blocks for your story.
    2. Don’t compare it to your poetry. They are two different critters.
    3. Try being a “pantser” first (writing by the seat of your pants) and if it doesn’t feel right to you, switch to working with an outline.

    I absolutely suggest buying “Outlining Your Novel” and “Structuring Your Novel” by K.M. Weiland. They’re wonderful. I read them just prior to NaNoWriMo in 2013 and wrote an entire novel (90,000 words) in 30 days. A lot of it is garbage. I wish she do another one called “Editing Your Novel” ’cause it’s still here waiting for that second draft to start! And if you have research to do, DO IT! I did a poor job of that and that’s the biggest issue with my manuscript. Good luck! And thanks so much for the follow. I look forward to see you around the blogs. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dont You Forget About Me · August 9, 2016

      Thank you so much! This is like gold! I can’t say thank you enough to express my appreciation of you taking time to offer helpful tips and advice. It really is fantastic! I’ll checkout Weiland’s outlines, they sound very useful. *hugs

      Like

  8. ends and beginnings blog · August 9, 2016

    My suggestion is let it go what’s the harm who would you hurt no one is killed or maimed. Have you read my poems? Sad stuff 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Janet Thomas · August 9, 2016

    I like everything about your post and the comments you received. The only thing I can add is to trust yourself and your talent. It will be hard to push through the fear and the doubt, but there is a small inside part of you that knows you can do this. As you write this inner writer will grow and become stronger. You – aka the inner writer that wants to do this – has already been wise enough to ask the question and thus find a wonderful cheer squad. Listen and trust, the inner writer won’t let you down.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dont You Forget About Me · August 9, 2016

      Thank you! That,listen and trust? It has always been hard to come by for me, especially when listening and trusting myself. So I know you are spot on in your advice with how that resonates.
      Big hugs* 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. zigzagstripes · August 9, 2016

    Do what feels right and you’ll be amazing. You’ll know what I mean when you write.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dont You Forget About Me · August 9, 2016

      🙂 I know you’re right!
      Why are we conditioned to do the opposite of what feels right and find ourselves struggling to upset those ideals? Is it self imposed, you think?

      Like

      • zigzagstripes · August 9, 2016

        Yep, I’m the same I probably worry too much about what people might want and like. A beautiful friend told me write what you like and she was right. I guess if it turns you on it will other like minded people, which is great! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dont You Forget About Me · August 9, 2016

        x

        Liked by 1 person

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