1. S S
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    S S Active Member

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    As of yet, untitled, sci-fi coming of age Novel: progess

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by S S, Sep 25, 2014.

    I am on chapter 3 of a new novel / novella. I seem to be getting through one chapter a night. The novel has a lot of new ideas in the genre of sci-fi, not yet, unless against my knowledge, explored. I don't want to share the tid-bits of my sci-fi world here just yet, so as not to fall victim to plagiarism before I ever release the text. I can imagine few things more horrifying than seeing your novel written in someone else's hand. I want the story to focus more on the characters and their lives growing up in the futuristic world rather than the ci-fi aspect of it itself. The fact that it is set in a fantasy world from the future will simply be another aspect to the story.

    I intend to keep on going with 3 chapters a week, but obviously some chapters will take longer to write than others, and some will already be written for the most part as I like to keep a notebook for spontaneous ideas relating to imagery, character development, dialogue and description.

    This is my fist time to take on a full blown writing project. I used to enjoy writing short stories, and my English teacher said that I had a knack for it, but that's just one opinion.

    Any advice for a first time writer is welcome below.

    Thank You,

    S.S.

    UPDATE: I am finished DRAFT ONE.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  2. DeviouSquirrel
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    DeviouSquirrel Member

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    I don't have advice beyond 'keep up the enthusiasm!' But good luck!!! I'm at the start of a newish project too, so I look forward to reading about how it goes ^.^

    Leah
     
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  3. S S
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    Received my first valid critique today. The first was far too friendly to me to be considered beneficial. Today's one was bordering on harsh (in my easily offended mind), but I did learn a lot and even rewrote some sections and had a look at some of the technological words I had created for better alternatives. Being a wordsmith is not my strong area. I will not be writing a further chapter tonight or tomorrow, but reviewing my work.
     
  4. S S
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    S S Active Member

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    On Chapter Five. Wrote a chapter earlier today and one last night. I have found it useful to have at hand both harsh and enthusiastic critiques. One side to give me valid advice. The other to comfort me (you can quote that when I'm rich and successful, LOL). I'm starting to approach the end of the introduction. Most of the relevant characters have been written in. It's time to put them to work in weaving the plot and exposing main themes. One of the main themes of Chapter Five will be Hypocrisy.
     
  5. S S
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    Chapter Five Complete and Chapter Six titled. I find that titling a chapter is almost as hard as writing it. The first thing a reader sees when starting a new chapter is its title, so I place some importance on the choice of title. They should be suspenseful and relate strongly to the content of the chapter, yet give nothing away. This is the first chapter that introduces no new important characters and the first to introduce a major plot point.
     
  6. S S
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    S S Active Member

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    Today I came up with the novel's title. That's pretty good for a day's work. The title is a pun, both sides of which show related meanings. I hope the readers will see this and grasp the real meaning. The title is also in a different language to the book, so I hope people don't think the book isn't written in English. That said, I simply can't use any other title; this one is too perfect due to the aforementioned reasons.
     
  7. S S
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    Had my first critique today that truly irked me. My sister said, "Isn't this a rip off of Hunger Games?" I asked what she meant and she pointed out that it's set in the future, things are corrupt and out of place and the world is very different. So basically, what she meant was sci-fi has been done. I don't think I'll be choosing a different genre.

    Also, she said that one of my character names, 'Fitz', was a name in 'Pretty Little Liars' and that people would think I stole the name from the show. * sigh *

    Furthermore, when I pointed out all the unique bits of detail about the world in the book, she said that it makes it too complicated. * sigh *
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2014
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  8. DeviouSquirrel
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    DeviouSquirrel Member

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    Remember critiques are there for your info and you get to decide if they're worth listening to. That one doesn't look like it's worth worrying about. :) And I like the name Fitz.
     
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  9. S S
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    I have started sketching some of my creations to get a better look at them and see if there's anything I missed while describing them. The images are rather crumby. I have one sketch of 'The Bone-Headed Whale': a monstrously large mammal of the sea, made vicious by generations of mutation. They use their heads, which are covered in bone, to smash into the containers at the bottom of the ocean where the characters in the novel live. They can hear movement from miles away, and they destroy most of the human-made probes in the sea. They are widespread, billions of them. They will never be defeated, only subdued.
     
  10. Alexa C. Morgan
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    Alexa C. Morgan Member

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    Billions of probes in the sea or billions of whales? :) If there are billions of whales, don't they run out of space/water? Regarding critiques and such. I think that at first must write everything, at once, until one ends. Then one has to take a break, for awhile, where no thoughts or comments or suggestions are allowed from anyone, especially from relatives or very close friends. Then you have to read what you wrote and re-edit as objectively as you can. Then you ask for someone else to read it. THen you make adjustments. There is a time for critiques and in my humble opinion, it is just delaying your writing process and adding doubts when you have to write as you feel like and go with the flow, build your world, build your characters, see them 'become alive' so to speak, evolve and perhaps die, I don't know... Premature critiques are obstructing in my view. And hurray for you, sci-fi terrifies me. I simply lack that superb imagination one must possess in order to create a whole future /world / I can barely find the right words to relate about things I know. I just know that if you write sci-fi, is a completely different story, as it has to be given specific definitions so that even in a future world, could be plausible. So if there are billion of whales, what do they eat, how do they live, and above all, is it the most important/crucial subject of your novel? Cos it appears is a damn terrible and utterly important conflict there - so I guess everything is centered around the humans/aliens/ fight for survival/supremacy? But then again, just write, the hell with all outsider comments, and after a while it will become clear to you if whatever you are writing makes sense. PS. Sorry for the long rant - I'm responding to all of the above entries, not just one. Another thing, every story ever written has been written by someone else before. That should not discourage you since your voice/view is unique. Like a snowflake :)
     
  11. S S
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    Billions of whales. There are already billions of seals in the ocean and the place is still mostly empty. I haven't thought about what they eat yet, but they probably eat everything, themselves if they get hungry and run out. That's actually an interesting question, and it leads me to want to change a minor detail in my plot. However, the whales aren't the main focus of the story.
     
  12. Alexa C. Morgan
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    unless is a humongous exoplanet covered 90% in water, after having billions of whales and seals, you eventually run out of space & food, and its a consume or be consumed crisis could be arising. Of course if their planet is 5x the size of our earth, then sure, there is enough space for billions :) Maybe there are only few hundred people living there. That would be interesting. :) good luck with your story!
     
  13. S S
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    I think it's important to remember how vast the ocean is. Mars and The Moon are 100% charted, but we've still only explored around 3% of our own oceans, 3%. There could, in theory, already be billions of huge creatures lurking in the deep that we don't know about, but that is rather unlikely. To the point, there is an over abundance of space for billions of whales in the oceans. Remember that there are 7 billion humans on land today, and they must all fit on a flat surface that only covers a quarter of the earth. Plus, we have just as many cars.
     
  14. TWErvin2
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    While those numbers are true, whales consume much more than humans do, and humans farm. If we were hunter/gatherers, then the number of humans that could be sustained would be much less. If there are billions of whales, that means that what they feed upon, squid or krill or whatever has to be in proportion to sustain the whales and other creatures. Now, maybe on a different world their metabolism can be different. If they were more reptilian or amphibian, and not warm-blooded, their metabolism would be slower and they would require less food/energy to maintain themselves.

    I am not saying it cannot work. I am pointing out, just as Alexa C Morgan is, things to consider as you move forward.
     
  15. S S
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    That's a good idea. I think I will make them reptilian. I must mention that they are not ordinary whales. They have mutated horrifically and they are the top of the food chain in the sea.
     
  16. S S
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    I've been thinking of book covers a little prematurely, but i just couldn't hold in my enthusiasm. Basically, I'm a little apprehensive about releasing my first piece of work; if it's good, I want everyone to read it, if it's not, I want people to look at the cover, and put it down. I want people to read the book based only on hearing positive reviews. Thus, the book cover needed to be good, but in an unappealing sort of way, lol. The title is a pun, but you'll only know how if you read the book.

    NOTE: I am awful at photoshop, and this is not a finished product, only a guide.[​IMG]
     
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  17. S S
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    Under a lot of September-stress from college at the moment. I have more modules than I can count on my fingers, and many essays to write in a language I have forgotten during my time off. I don't want this to seep into Chapter Seven of La Merde, so I'm going to take a break this evening. The book is bordering on morbidity as it is and I don't want to push it over the threshold to become a lament for humanity. It actually worked well for Chapter Six, the pressure of my life at the moment. The chapter featured mostly narrative from inside the MC's head and the place was dark, cloudy and tortured at the time (for this chapter). I may write some of the later grim scenes from the novel if my insomniac-workaholic state carries on to tomorrow.
     
  18. S S
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    P.S. I've deduced that I'm either becoming more competent or more deluded while writing this story, so I may consider increasing the number of people I ask critiques of.
     
  19. S S
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    I have tasked myself to produce, tonight, the grim tale of the villain's back-story. One of the things I love about writing is capturing your own views in the text, not forcing them on anyone, just placing them there, for consideration ;)

    I may be of the opinion that people are born evil, or I may be of the opinion that we are what the world makes us, I don't want to give the plot away. However, I don't think it would be giving too much away to tell you now that the backstory of a great villain is bound to be a sad one. The task is to make the reader understand the villain, whether it be by a mechanical comprehension of his / her psyche or by sympathy. There is always method in the madness.

    P.S. to get into the 'this is just wrong' mood, I'm going to write horrible, horrible things while listening to up-beat Kate Nash albums.
     
  20. S S
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    I'm a few pages into the villain's back-story. I must say, I started off weary, exhausted, thinking that I wouldn't come up with anything. But I feel what I've written so far ties excellently into the character. It feels like I am discovering why the character is the way he / she is sentence by sentence. My fingers, like a conscious tool, threading downwards, chiseling at a block of ice, not to create, but to reveal what must be, the only explanation, that was simply to complex to guess.
     
  21. S S
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    It's a rare feeling for me when it comes to writing, pride. I wrote something just as I intended to tonight. It made me both pleased-with and ashamed-of myself. It taught me something about the character I was writing as I wrote it, like a ghost rose from the page. (Now I just need some critiques to put me back in my place, lol)
     
  22. S S
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    I hope to be completed Chapter Seven by the end of today. Also, I've decided to rearrange to chapters a little, moving the first one forward a little so as not to reveal details until the middle of the story. I expect to be on 15,000 words by the day's end, 30% of the full length I expect the story to be.

    Chapter Seven is 'Clabs & Clacs', and it's intended to be a lighthearted break from the main plot.
     
  23. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Family. Ya gotta have 'em, eh?
     
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  24. S S
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    Apologies if I slur, I am away from my home keyboard and rather drunk at the moment. So one of my friends had a laughing fit when i described the story to them. I seem to have a problem getting the plot across in a summed up way, so I usually just describe the parameters of the sci-fi world I have created to try rouse the interest of those to whom I describe the story. Whoever I tell about 'the Bone-heading Whales' and the wacky laws of future earth and the underwater setting and the things that occur in the lives of the characters, just laugh and say that it sounds as though I have been writing disconnected bull. I don't know, maybe it's just that the story is primarily a drama and the technology just plays in the background that unsettles people. They see the detail about the world as random or unnecessary, but the task I'm trying to achieve is showing that these factors are all intrinsically linked. The events in the novel would seem unrelated, off the top of my head, and made up if they weren't played out in the sci-fi world of the novel. In short, the book is an exploration of the factors and problems of the world.
     
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  25. Alexa C. Morgan
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    Cheers. You should practice summing up or creating a synopsis of your novel. It will also give you, personally, a lot of insight onto your story, if is a complex one or a simple one. I would break down the action for each chapter and create one sentence, and if you cant one paragraph per/ and that would maybe give you a summary. Then you add descriptors and round up stuff and voila. Synopsis. With most literary agents / publishers you have to be able to tell your story under 2-3 minutes. And yah, cheers again.
     
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