1. teeekilicious18
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    teeekilicious18 Member

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    Can I have some writing advice ?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by teeekilicious18, Jan 10, 2014.

    I want to be a freelance writer, as in writing short/long stories for novels and write-visualize poem.. That sells... How do I do that? I have a friend who is a family of writers and she could help me pitch in working with her dad who has his own publishing company. Though it will happen when I've finished my diploma finals. But the only problem is that when without her, I have to struggle. I love writing and I'm pretty sure everyone struggles. I started writing since I was grade 9 and started writing professionally when I start my diploma. Anyways, I just need an advice on how can I do this freelance writing that I said above without my friend? Cause I thought freelance writing has to be independent as well. Any great advice?
     
  2. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    You might try reading some helpful books on the subject. My personal favorite is Stephen King's On Writing which is a must-read for any fiction writer.

    I'm afraid the rest of the books I could recommend are all on the subject of writing itself. (such as Browne & King's Self-Editing for Fiction Writers which is a very useful book)

    But there's a reason why I'm talking about writing as opposed to publishing. There is no kind way to say this... Every writer whether freelance, traditional, self-published etc. needs to go through A VERY LONG process of learning the craft. There's a reason why there are very few professional writers in their twenties.

    If I'm wrong, I apologize, but from your writing style and comments I get the impression that you are relatively young (i.e. under forty). If this is the case, I would spend some time writing like crazy to hone your craft. Why? Because nothing will get you noticed (and picked up) faster than being able to consistently turn out good writing and great stories.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    To begin with, "freelance" means that you are not hired by a specific publication to write for them on a full time basis, such as a newspaper reporter. Novelists are, by definition, freelance writers. So are writers of short fictional pieces and many reporters (those who work for newspapers on a part-time basis are also called "stringers"). But I have to ask if you know what you want to write? "Short/long stories for novels and write-visualize poem" doesn't really tell us anything (I'm not even sure what a "write-visualize" poem is, let alone how one would publish it).

    What do you mean by "started writing professionally"? Do you mean that someone paid you for something you had written? What kind of writing was it? Because (and please forgive me for being blunt) it would have to have been of much higher quality than your paragraph above. You say that when you write without your friend's help, you struggle. Does she edit your writing as you go? Does she point out the errors in grammar, for example? If so, then the first thing you need to do is improve your grammar skills. It's not difficult, and it will be well worth the effort.

    Writing is a business, one in which there are many more potential writers than actual ones. It's a business in which the gatekeepers - those who decide whose work gets published and whose doesn't - look for reasons to reject before they look for reasons to accept. That means your submissions have to be perfect before you even think about submitting them. The good news is that if you have a passion for writing, that will impel you to do what you need to do in order to acquire the necessary skills.
     
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  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Work on your grammar. That is my advice. Your OP was riddled with grave errors. That's tough love, but it is meant to be love. :)
     
  5. teeekilicious18
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    teeekilicious18 Member

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    yeah thank you :D I am turning 20 this May. I am still learning and observing how the real world works. I will also be working part-time to support my writing. :/
     
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  6. teeekilicious18
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    teeekilicious18 Member

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    I meant like writing seriously sorry.
     
  7. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well you sound like you have a positive attitude. Hang onto that. You're going to need it :)

    Don't let the grumpy, complaining, critical, chronic "no" people get you down.
     
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  8. teeekilicious18
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    teeekilicious18 Member

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    Is my grammar really that bad :( yes, I have lots of people pinpointing out my grammar. ALMOST ALL THE TIME when I can't even tell myself what is the mistake? :s the good news is that, I am reading again :) People also told me that I have low comprehension skills (this is why I stopped reading), but I just love writing, (again cause,it help me to express myself) but I will read because I like the way the words are crafted. It's never too late to read again right? It's never to late to learn English back from the basic too right?
     
  9. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    And that right there, is why you have a chance. I know very few people in their twenties who know this, or care. You are absolutely right. It is NEVER too late to learn.
     
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  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Of course it's never too late. I can see you are posting from Indonesia, so I assume English is not your first language. English grammar can be quite a chore to learn when it's a second language because it's rather inconsistent when compared to other languages. Keep reading and writing, and when someone corrects your grammar, ask them why it's not correct. ;)
     
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  11. teeekilicious18
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    teeekilicious18 Member

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    yay thank you guys!
     
  12. teeekilicious18
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    teeekilicious18 Member

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    Eh wait, wait, what should I do when I'm done with my diploma? Meaning I'm done with school. (I can't really afford to get degree :( oh no) What's the first step to get my idea or me going? Other than to keep on reading and writing. Just the first step :D
     
  13. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    My advice? Ditch your friend.

    I say that because you seem to be scared of struggling, or at least unhappy with the idea of doing so. Well... sorry, Charlie, but all authors struggle. Fact of life. Ray Bradbury talked about the "snowstorm of rejection letters" he received when starting out. None of the Greats (or Goods, or even the So-Sos) will tell you they had an easy ride. As the saying goes: Those who never risk never drink champagne. Props to wondering how to do it on your own, of course, but don't let anyone tell you that doing it on your own (or probably even with your friend's help) will be without struggle.

    This is more a general statement than one directed at you and you alone: Stop believing there's an easy way. Stop believing working at a publishing company will suddenly turn your writing around. Writing and publishing are different beasts. Many who work in publishing never see their own creative work in print. Go write, and struggle, and struggle to write, and take comfort in the knowledge that with every rejection and misstep you're following a long line of authors who made it... and a long line of authors who didn't.

    Struggling isn't the problem, my friend. Believing there's an easy way, however, is.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  14. teeekilicious18
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    teeekilicious18 Member

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    Woah, no one has ever told me to struggle, trust me when I fail, people usually look down on me (irl people) :( thank you so much! *hug*
     
  15. teeekilicious18
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    teeekilicious18 Member

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    Thank you all for making me stronger and sharing the advice. I am now proud to say that "I'm not afraid to fail".
     
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  16. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    You mentioned that your friend's father has a publishing company. Perhaps you could get a job there in a clerical or secretarial function. Once there, you could get to know some of the editors, who might be able to give you some guidance. Does your school have anyone who helps graduating students get jobs?

    In the meantime, you should read extensively, all kinds of writing - fiction, nonfiction, advocacy, the works. You need to widen your knowledge base (so you'll know what kind of writing you really want to do) and to see how professional writing is done. At this point I wouldn't worry so much about the specific techniques of writing stories. Better to focus on the basics.

    Best of luck.
     
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  17. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    People who look down on you for failing need to be reminded of all the times they failed. There is nothing wrong with failing.

    Sidebar: I'm a philosophy person. My favorite philosopher (to the horror of my peers) is Bruce Lee. He said the following: “Don't fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”

    I won't (and I'm certain no one on this forum will) ever look down on you when you struggle. Failure is a reminder you're still trying. Writers know too well what it means to struggle toward a goal. When you need help, talk to us and the other writers in your life, and we'll do our best to lift you up.
     
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  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, sorry to say, it really is... which is why you have people pointing out mistakes you make 'almost all the time'...

    and if you can't tell what is wrong with what you write, that means you definitely need to upgrade your knowledge of basic english grammar, as well as your writing skills...

    if your comprehension levels are low, that will be an additional problem to overcome, since to become a good writer, you first must be a good reader... and that includes having decent comprehension, so you can distinguish what's good from what isn't, when you read it...

    bottom line:
    you're right!... it's never too late to learn english from the bottom up... and with your determination to succeed, there's no good reason why you can't improve... i applaud you for being honest enough with yourself and others, to accept reality and not let anything stop you from doing what's necessary to reach your goal...

    i mentor many would-be writers like yourself, so if i can be of any help to you along the way, just drop me a line any time...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  19. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    @teeekilicious18 - I'm just wondering, if English is not your first language, is there some particular reason you want to write using it? Could you maybe do your writing in your own language, where you feel familiar and comfortable? Translations are always possible afterwards, if you've written something like a novel or a collection of short stories.
     
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  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Advice is not a countable noun, so you ask for "advice", not "an advice" or "advices."

    That's free advice, and worth every penny.
     
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  21. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    First question: What is it about you that makes you more qualified to write novels, short stories, and poetry than every other person in your school district who share your enthusiasm and background? Did you train harder? Do you know more about the process of writing fiction for the printed word than the others? Are you in some way quicker to learn new things? When it comes to poetry, do you know the difference between a male and female line ending? A trochee from an iamb?

    Let's say you felt this way about painting, or writing scripts for stage film or TV. What steps would you have taken to prepare yourself? Have you done the equivalent for this profession?

    I ask because when you say that your grammar sucks, it also appears that by depending on/expecting others to fix it instead of working to perfect your own skills, you want to be a writer but you're not taking steps to become one.

    So that being the case, and as a sort of aptitude test, I propose a bit of study to learn the basics of the field. If you find it torture and have to drive yourself to do it, you've learned something important and saved a lot of wasted time (not to mention saving some editors the time it would take to reject the work ;). If you find it like being backstage at the theater, and fascinating—if it energizes you, you've learned something even more important.

    For the poetry side of it, something easy: read this excerpt to Stephen Fry's, The Ode Less Traveled. You should find it fascinating if poetry is for you. And if it's not, what you learn about language is useful when writing fiction. It's something every writer should know because it relates to the ease with which the reader scans the lines.

    If that seems interesting, and you're serious about becoming a writer, spending a few dollars and a bit of time on learning your profession isn't unreasonable. So spend less than the cost of a decent meal eaten out on Deb Dixon's, GMC: Goal Motivation & Conflict. It's an easy, warm read, and covers all the basic nuts-and-bolts issues of the compositional techniques and specialized knowledge of writing fiction for the printed word. There are better books, but this one is really good for the beginner, and will give you a feel for the questions you need to ask.

    And as for grammar, you might start here. It's free. A copy of Elements of Style will do a lot more. Add a point a week to your skill set and in a year you have it nailed. But don't just read it, use it till it feels natural. You might also want to pick up a copy of Eats, Shoots & Leaves. It won't teach yoy grammar, but it will explain why it matters, and, it's a fun read.

    You have the desire. Now you need the tools, the knowledge of how to use them, and what to use them on, because in your years of schooling you, like everyone, learned a general skill called writing, a useful and handy tool for business and in life. It's a sturdy dray horse, useful for carting things from here to there. What you need is Pegasus, useful for reaching the sky, and taking your reader with you.
     
  22. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi, you have a writing style of non English speaking person. Is English your first language? I don't get the connection of why you stopped reading because someone told you you have low comprehension skills. I would suggest exactly the opposite.
     
  23. teeekilicious18
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    teeekilicious18 Member

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    Again, thank you everyone! :) here's the story:
    I am going to be done with school and there's so many reasons why I felt like I'm serious about becoming a writer. I take a graphic design course for diploma, felt like I took a wrong lane, but the teachers there, told me that, "you could be anything in any creative industries from graphic design" this is why I barely know a lot about writing and it's really rare to find "creative writing" courses or school where I'm from. I'm devastated that I couldn't afford to apply for a Creative Writing degree at a university abroad whatsoever... English is not my 2nd language. The good thing is that, I'm also doing an English as a second language course to fix my English at the same time I'm schooling, learning from the VERY basic English grammar. Literally basic and honestly, moving on to the next level takes monthS for me... So yes, I'm still learning. And I stop reading cause I have low comprehension skills because it's seriously hard for me to understand as in I'm really a slow learner but I'm still learning how to take effort and I'm also reading again like I said. But if I can't have a job as a freelance writer, or write a novels YET, what jobs should I take that still involved with writing when I graduate and get my diploma certificate?(while I'm still practicing my writing) :/ Idk where to go...
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  24. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    @teeekilicious18 You're young enough, with a pliable enough brain, that if you want to be a writer, that is what you will be. You will meet countless naysayers along the way. Take note, they will be good characters for some of your stories.
     
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  25. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    Have you written anything? Do you have anything worth writing about? I get the feeling that you are more concerned about creating a financial career than actually giving us something substantial. You failed to give me a reason to help you.
     

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