1. littleparisdress
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    littleparisdress Member

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    Books and Dreams and Wordcounts

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by littleparisdress, Jun 29, 2009.

    Hi

    Sorry I'm asking so many questions lately. I have a few more questions to ask.

    1. Are there any books that you have read that influence the way you write? Is this a bad thing?

    2. Are there any books that give you a great idea, and that you dream to be like?

    3. After some research I have discovered that my so called 'novel' is not that long. I was wondering if I could compare some word counts? Please give me the genre of your book, if it has parts/etc. and your word count so far, as well as if you are in the middle of your story, if you are doing a series of novels or etc.

    Thankyou. Your answers are much appreciated.

    littleparisdress...:):):):p
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  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no, to the first question... it can be a bad thing, if one copies the style of another writer, instead of developing one's own...

    no... i've been a voracious, non-stop reader of all the classics and most contemporary works, since earliest childhood and never had to get my ideas from another book, just my own imagination, or from the world around me... and i've never wanted to be like anyone else, writer or not...

    first of all, knowing what members of writing sites are writing should never influence what you are doing, imo... write your own story/book, the way it needs to be written!...

    if you need to compare it with something, check out successfully published books by respected authors, not others like yourself, who are just learning and have yet to be published and recognized as fine writers worth emulating...

    as for size, most publishers want 80-100k for first novels from new, unknown writers...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  3. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    1. No, this is not a bad thing. Emulating other writers' styles is, IMO, a necessary part of finding your own personal style. For instance after reading Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf, my writing began to focus heavily on stream of consciousness and introspection, after reading Hemingway and Bret Easton Ellis, I pared my writing down and focussed on different things, following their tradition. Eventually though, the styles you pick up from other authors are assimilated into your own voice as you work out what works for you, and throw away what doesnt.
    2. There are plenty of great ideas that I've read about in other people's fiction, and I guess the way those authors think about problems and conflicts influences how I create ideas for novels, but I wouldn't really say they give me ideas. And of course, doesn't every writer dream to be like one of the greats?
    3. Maia already answered fully.
     
  4. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Reading bad writing is one thing that has influenced my writing. I read three of the Sookie Stackhouse books, after enjoying the True Blood tv show last year, and was greatly disappointed in the writing. I find myself saying, I wouldn't do that, I'd do this, or I'd write it like that. Reading stuff I don't like makes me hone in my preference for what I want to read, and hope that other's would like it too. By avoiding the things I don't like, I create my own style that I feel is better than theirs. (Arrogant much?) :D

    I don't have any books off the top of my head that has inspired anything I've written. I get bits of inspiration from everywhere, movies, books, music, people around me, so it is hard to pin-point any one source.


    For me a novel feels complete somewhere between 80k and 150k words when it is an interesting novel, as far as what I read. When I am writing I am for 100k, but allow myself a20k on either side.

    What I am currently working on I am in chapter 4 at 23,700 words. Each chapter is roughly 6k words long. I am not sure how many chapters I am going to need to get the job done. I already have chapter 5 getting ready to start, and know that there will probably be at least 5 more chapters, maybe 10. Some may be longer or shorter, but the average will come out to around 80k words...maybe a 100 if I end up with close to 20 chapters.

    How long your story needs to be is up to your story. How much do you need to share with the audience to get your story across? If you are looking into publishing it, then you will need to be flexible enough to change the word length to fit the publisher.
     
  5. littleparisdress
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    littleparisdress Member

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    Reply

    I get what you're saying, but all I wanted was to compare roughly with what everyone else was doing. Say you were writing a horror book, and I was writing a horror book, then I'd like to know if you thought it was better to do a series, chapters, parts... etc. (example)
    And I am not trying to get it to influenmce my own writing because I wouldn't have to know how you write, just your ideas as suggestions...
    But thanks anyway.

    So, thanks for your answers! Now I know that my novels are called novellas after researching - but thanks anyway. Looking forward to reading more answers...

    littleparisdress
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  6. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    As far as influencing goes, I try to pick up style pointers from any books by the following authors:

    Dennis L. McKiernan, Donita K. Paul, Tamora Pierce and Christopher Paolini.

    Although, I feel more connected to Dennis because the first time I ever read a book by him ("The Dragonstone") I realized that he and I write in a similar archaeic style, so I love reading his books more so than the other authors.

    I don't think of it as a bad thing. As long as you eventually craft your own style from those influences, it doesn't really matter.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    In a sense, I am influenced by every book I have ever read, That includes not only the best books, but the worst ones as well. They help me learn what to avoid.

    It includes nonfiction as well as fiction. Textbooks should be written for clarity. Of course, many are not, and figuring out why is also part of the learning experience. Some textbooks are fascinating, even when the subject matter may be hard to sell.

    Read everything, but pay attention to the quality and clarity at all times. If you get to a rough patch in an otherwise great book, think about how you might rewrite that part to make it better.
     

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