1. The Working man
    Offline

    The Working man New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0

    Calling all writers.

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by The Working man, Oct 13, 2010.

    Hello people.

    I've come along to try and find out the process's writers go through to write a fiction.

    In the early part of my school years I would receive much praise for my creative writing but any compliments I received were promptly squashed by my inability to learn spelling, grammar or punctuation. This contributed to the fast decline intrest in anything academic so as some one who never took education as seriously as I now wish I had and left with next to no qualifications to become a solder in the infantry I now feel I have missed out on so much.

    I've never read a novel my self. Yes, you hear correctly I am yet to have read a novel, and it is something I intend to rectify. I have recently began listening to BBC Radio 4 through the day while I'm at work and have found the stories they run a vessel of which I can escape.

    Before I began listening to BBC Radio 4 I would spend hours making up stories in my head purely for my own entertainment. I sometimes tell my wife these stories when we go to bed in the evening. She tells me I have a wonderfully way of describing places, people and emotions. Whether or not it is good enough to put in to print only time will tell.

    So there's me, my embarrassing back ground and reasons for joining this forum. I can only hope I won't meet to much resistance from you other members in my quest to becoming a writer.

    Thank you for taking the time to, well you know.
     
  2. nastyjman
    Online

    nastyjman Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    136
    Location:
    NYC
    No resistance, friend! To begin your quest, you definitely need to pick up a novel -- just to see how rhythm, style, words and grammar coalesce into life.
     
  3. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Hello Working Man, Welcome to the Writing Forums.

    I won't sugar coat it. If you want to be a writer, you first need to be a reader, and you will have to put in the effort to learn spelling and grammar. You cannot understand narrative structure and plot and character development without seeing it in action, and spelling ad grammar are fundamental tools of the trade,

    Please read How to Use the Review Room before you post there. Posting your own writing for people to comment on should not be among the very first things you do here. It is worth taking the time to see what other people have done to improve their writing, and see if some of it applies to your writing as well. That is part of why we require members to review other members' work before posting their own for review. On the other hand, there are no restrictions, other than content and copyright rules, on showcasing your work in your member blog.

    Also, be aware that posting a piece of writing on any public site, including this one, will greatly diminish your chances of selling it for publication. Removing the writing later does not alter that fact - once posted, it is irreversibly considered published. So do not post anything more than a small excerpt of any piece you are planning to submit for publication.

    If you haven't explored the site yet, you should probably do so soon. Newcomers often gravitate to the Lounge, the Word Games, or the Review Room, but there is much more to be discovered if you poke in the corners. Remember to check out our FAQ as well, and be sure to read through the forum rules, too, to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Respect for one another is our principal mandate.

    As for the Review Room, new joiners often wonder why we do things a bit differently on this site than on other writing sites. We emphasize constructive critique as a vital writing skill. Training your eye by reviewing other people's work helps you improve your own writing even before you present it for others to see. Therefore, we ask members to review other people's writing before posting work of their own. The Review Room forums on this site, therefore, are true workshops, not just a bulletin board for displaying your work (and on that note, please only post each item for review in one Review Room forum). Also, please use the same thread for all revisions and additional excerpts from the same piece of writing. See this post, Why Write Reviews Before Posting My Work? for more information.

    And while you're looking around, don't forget to check out the RPG forum for improvisational fiction. Also try our Weekly Short Story Contest and Weekly Poetry Contest. They actually run more than one week apiece, but any member may enter, and all members are urged to vote for their favorites.

    Enjoy your stay here, and have fun!
     
  4. Naiyn
    Offline

    Naiyn Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Welcome, Working Man. Nothing about your background to be embarrassed about, and you'll find plenty of helpful tips and encouragment here.
     
  5. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Have you got digital yet? Radio 7 is really good as well. I am so excited I am moving house and can finally get it on my radio instead of just on the computer.

    Nice to meet you

    -Charlotte
     
  6. Lee Shelly
    Offline

    Lee Shelly Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, Working Man! Novels are a lot of fun, you should really pick one up and read it =) If you're not ready for a novel, have you ever read a collection of short stories? Also very fun, and easy to read one smaller bit at a time. Welcome to the forums, I hope you like it here!
     
  7. Eunoia
    Offline

    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    England
    Welcome. :)
    BBC Radio 4 is good. Since you've never read a novel before, perhaps read short stories to start off with, you might find it easier. You must be a reader to be a writer really. Good luck. :)
     
  8. Melzaar the Almighty
    Offline

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    UK
    Hey there and welcome. :D I second all those things about reading, I think you'll do fine. :D
     
  9. Des_Maca
    Offline

    Des_Maca Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Short stories are great idea. You should listen to the responses in this thread.
     
  10. Manav
    Offline

    Manav Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Imphal, India
    Hi Working Man,

    Here's some of my experience, which I guess is my way of welcoming you here.

    SPnG (Spelling, punctuation and grammar): I was so bad at it that those who read my stories had to plough through tones and tones of SPnG errors to finally get to the story. That was just one years ago. Now, people who critique my stories mentioned it as an aside, a small issue, rather than the main problem of my writing. As a non-native English speaker I had to crossed many grammatical and usage hurdles too. So, you are better off than me.

    Reading: It's easier said than done when you haven't had a habit of reading from a young age. Trust me, I know. I started reading avidly when I was 30. Reading a novel from the first chapter to the last was a daunting task, specially when you feel you might never be able to write up to the level of the published author. But you know what, after a few novels I really enjoyed, I actually began looking forward to going back from work and reading a novel. Soon, I was able to appreciate the style and the techniques writers employ to write their story. That helped improve my writing greatly.

    Hope this will serve as an encouragement. Welcome to Writing Forums.
     
  11. Islander
    Offline

    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sweden
    Welcome, Working Man.

    I respect people who have to work to get somewhere. As for myself, I've always been able to spell and write grammatically without effort, and therefore, I see it as nothing special. It's nothing I'm proud of. But I've had to work hard in other areas, and it's those I can be proud of.

    You are also lucky that spelling and grammar are the only areas you have trouble with (yet your first post here is very well written). It's something you can learn with hard work, and get help with from spellcheckers, friends and professional proofreaders. Things like storytelling and descriptions are harder to learn if they don't come naturally, and they ultimately hinge on you and you alone.

    Don't doubt for a moment that you have the potential to become a writer.
     
  12. The Working man
    Offline

    The Working man New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you so much for all the kind welcomes and advise.

    Today I have been to our local library and taken out Still Life by Louise Penny and an audio version of The Brutal Telling also by written Louise Penny. I intend to read Still life and listen to The brutal truth while I work through the day on my mp3 player. I got the two books from the same author because I'm going to be reading and listening to them both simultaneously I didn't want to over confuse my self to much by introducing not only to story lines and plots but also two different writing styles at the same time.

    Do you think this is a good idea or could be one bite to much of the chocolate fudge cake?
     
  13. Eunoia
    Offline

    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    England
    Uhm, so you'll be reading 'Still Life' whilst listening to 'The Brutal Telling' at the same time? That's a bad idea, unless I've understood you incorrectly.. :p I'd suggest listening to the audio version of 'The Brutal Telling' and then reading the book 'Still Life' so you already have a rough idea of her style, although it may differ in the two books.
     
  14. The Working man
    Offline

    The Working man New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    So I should hold tight on reading the book until I've listened to the audio book?
     
  15. Eunoia
    Offline

    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    England
    Well, it might be better since you're used to listening to stories. Although, it would also work well the other way (read first, then listen) because then you can see what it's like listening to it after you read it. So, it doesn't really matter either way.
     
  16. navyypurple
    Offline

    navyypurple Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Grinnell, IA
    Welcome, Working Man! I also struggle with grammar, punctuation and spelling. Spell-check is my best friend, and sometimes I rewrite sentences over and over until they make sense in my head. In college found formal courses in writing to focus too much on such mechanics, so I shied away from them. I found the most useful thing for me to do was sit down and write every day. I journaled from a very young age, and was able to hone in my creativity from there. If you think up stories and tell them to your family, why not jot them down? Punctuation can wait, and you can always ask a friend to proofread.

    As to the reading, I would recommend audio books if you are overwhelmed by the thought of starting out cold-turkey. It's a great way to experience the structure of writing without having to force yourself to sit down and read, since you can listen in your car, while working out, while working on other projects, etc. My massage therapist grew up with a learning disability, and she swears by audio books. Good luck!
     
  17. The Working man
    Offline

    The Working man New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you. I supposingly have learning difficulties. How much truth is in this I'm not entirely sure of but I'm not one for shying away from something because an individual or teaching faculty tells me its not possible.

    You mention you keeping a journal, I have for some time been a very active member of a number of forums ranging from a professional tiling forum to my own bodybuilding forum. This involves a small amount of writing of such all be it factual and not creative.
     
  18. navyypurple
    Offline

    navyypurple Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Grinnell, IA
    That's a great way to start, but maybe try to do something with a little more creative edge. I have struggled to write much of anything in the last few years, due to a busy schedule, but I have committed to try to blog on this forum if not daily, several times a week. Mostly, I think it will be nonfiction, but my favorite writing style is creative nonfiction :D
     
  19. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    wm...
    my best advice is to follow the advice cog gave you on the first page of this thread...

    i have to add that listening to audio books is not really going to help you learn how to write... to do that, you must see the written words on the page, not just hear the story being told... it's the only way you'll learn the technical aspects such as grammar and punctuation, spelling and such, plus how sentences are put together, how they're assembled into paragraphs and so on... listening at this point, imo, is just a waste of time you should be spending reading...

    welcome to the forums!

    love and hugs, maia
     
  20. The Working man
    Offline

    The Working man New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know that an am not intending to substitute reading for audio books. Its only I work alone for 8 or more hours a day in a manual job. I have always listened to music until recently. I thought It would be nice to 'be read to' while I work that's is all.

    In light of this information do you still think listening as well as reading will be detrimental to my writing enlightenment?
     
  21. Trilby
    Offline

    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,098
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    NE England
    Of course reading a book is more beneficial to a writer than listening to an audio book.

    But audio books have there place. Substituting music tapes with story tapes must be an advantage.

    I've read somewhere that Stephen King listens to them when out walking.

    Apart from all that, what is wrong with listening to them just for the pleasure of it.

    Edit; Oooops Almost forgot, Hello and welcome to the forums.
     
  22. The Working man
    Offline

    The Working man New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry to bump my 'Welcome post' but I must say I'm half way through my 1st audio book, The brutal truth By Louise Penny and I love it! The story is nothing original. A poor mans Poirot with a Canadian connection and a small team of assistants added to the mix to prevent screams of plagiarism from the broadsheets but enjoyable non the less.
     
  23. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Glad you enjoying it I have never read any of her work may check it out although I have a ridiculously long list of books to read.
     
  24. Islander
    Offline

    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sweden
    Absolutely not. The time you spend listening to audio books is not time you would have spent reading anyway.

    Even watching movies with an active mind may make you a better writer. The basics of storytelling, exposition, characterisation, and so on, are the same in different media.
     
  25. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    it shouldn't be, as long as you're also reading actual books, too...
     

Share This Page