1. md77
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    md77 New Member

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    Considering sharing the beginning of my novel

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by md77, Jan 4, 2009.

    So I’ve been working on a novel for the past month, at first I was just brainstorming idea’s, focusing on what I could do, how character’s would progress, that type of thing. I actually haven’t read much novel’s in my life, I mostly enjoy reading poems and then giving an analysis on whatever poem in question.

    The story I’ve began to write is actually turning it better than I had thought, but I need constructive criticism as I’m always quite bias on my own work.
    But I don’t know what the repercussions of submitting it would be.
     
  2. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    Well for one you have to give reviews of other people's work before you can send any of your own here. I think publishers also count putting stuff on these forums as publishing, but you can get them deleted to avoid that. I also don't think that really anyone would try to steal your work here either as most of us believe in creating our own work. As for not reading that many novels, i can say that I didn't when I started out either, but I had a lot more story influences from movies and video games. It's extremely hard writing it. I wish you good luck.
     
  3. md77
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    md77 New Member

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    Thanks, I think I'll do that.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    also, i can't help noting that there are so many goofs in your post that if your writing in the novel is of the same quality, the repercussions of posting excerpts will first of all be suggestions that you improve your basic skills and/or that you proofread and edit your work before posting it...

    as for the publishing thing mentioned above, that would only be a problem if you posted an entire work, or significantly large parts of it that it would no longer be marketable, due to people being able to read it here for free...
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This is absolutely NOT true. Sure, you can usually get your writing removed, but published is published - you cannot undo it.

    Once it is up on the Internet, you have no control over who may copy or archive it. This site requires membership to view the body of posts in the Review Room area, but all anyone needs to provide is an email address.

    So even if the work has been removed, it may be considered published, and there may indeed be many copies circulating.
     
  6. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    But what are the chances that someone would want to copy your work especially most of the time when people post it here, it's in the terrible unedited phase.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There are people who go around archiving web sites, often without the knowledge of the site owner.

    Aside from that, whether or not you are caught is only part of the issue. And if you are caught, count on being blacklisted.
     
  8. zorell
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    zorell Contributing Member

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    See that's a problem.

    What if you weren't planning to publish it when you first shared it? Your naivety bans you from publishing that piece?
     
  9. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Agreed

    Which is why some writers, like myself, when posting to our blogs only put up "snippets." Snippets are small sections of a chapter, anywhere from 1-2 scenes to half a chapter. I tend to take the sections that aren't the most critical to do that with...and if I have an entire chapter that gives away too much of the plot (or has something that hooks you in further) I tend to skip that chapter...
     
  10. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Which is why you do snippets

    You're absolutely correct, Cog, which is why I tell people only to post snippets. Whether its here, or on my main blog, it's only a 'snippet.' that way no one can say i have published it..
     
  11. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    The very best thing to do, if you were wanting critiquing is to join a novelist critiquing group...for example Sci-fi novelists has their own list...they are private, require a full-fledged membership (password given to enter and I mena given by site owners not making your own, along with a yearly dues.) Posting on sites like that isn't cosidered "publishing" by the publishers who have been interviewed on the site.

    Depending on what field your novel is...you can find one..

    http://www.writersdigest.com/article/?p_ArticleId=5628
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    nil, to none... and virtually no chance they'd be able to get it published by a paying venue...
     
  13. DavidGil
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    DavidGil Senior Member

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    There's something else others haven't mentioned. If you post your work, you run the risk of having it shot down or the feedback being what you didn't want. So upon hearing said feedback, you might decide to scrap the novel or rewrite it completely. Personally, I think there's a lot of novels that may have been started and then stopped because they were shown too early. Best to be on the safe side and show the novel when it's ready.

    If you must receive feedback though, I'd suggest showing it privately to people you trust. That's what I'm doing with my novel, once I've got the chapters ready that I want to show.
     
  14. Show
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    Well, here is a question, is there anything wrong with just sharing your ideas? I shared a few very early chapters of the novel with friends, but they have themselves been almost completely scrapped from the story, and we're not even at the final version yet. But I do think sharing at least general ideas is a good thing. You know, telling people what it is about, but withholding the actual manuscript beyond snippets. Is that considered to be any form of publishing? (Probably a stupid question but hey, might as well cover my bases)
     
  15. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    authors use snippets a lot

    If you go over the Baen's bar, the online webpage for Baen publishing...you'll find under the HONORVERSE section that David Weber has been posting, or his editor has for him not quite sure who the poster is TBH, snippets of his novel "Storm of the Shadows" which doesn't even hit the market until March. None of it is enough to "publish" the book but is enough to get the reader hooked...

    which is the SECOND reason for using snippets ;)
     
  16. Show
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    I definitely want to hook the reader. But I also want to see how my story's plot will go over with people. So I think running some summaries by friends helps me to know if I am going in the right direction. Since the next is not getting published at all, it's not considered a form of publishing, right? It won't hamper publishing since it's not anything actual from the manuscript?
     
  17. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I don't know

    you'd have to ask someone more expert in publishing law then I...but I'd be very careful whom I let see it...I only let two people see my 'scripts when working..therefore if someone leaked it...I would know who it was..
     
  18. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    captain kate are you allowed to triple post? And to the thread starter I wasn't suggessting that you post your entire thing and then just get it deleted, because I personally think it's too much of a risk. What I was saying though about posting those snippets and then deleting them I still agree on that it's just that publishers do count them as being edited, but if you delete it here and there are no other copies around the net they will never know that it was.
     
  19. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I wouldn't put it past them to search

    I wouldn't put it past a publisher to do archive searches either...when money's involved companies will do lots of keep from having to put it out...
     
  20. Show
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    Again though, I didn't show anybody the script. I just gave them a rundown of what it's about to see if the idea has any staying power. They recieved nothing from the actual manuscript. The little snippets I did give out months back have been so altered. So since I gave none of the actual script out, I don't see how it can be considered as having been published. But I am just double checking.
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ideas can't be copyrighted and have no value... only a developed work can be copyrighted and sold... thus, ideas can't be considered to be 'published' no matter what you do with them...

    and even if someone took one of your ideas and wrote their own story/book/whatever, it wouldn't be anything like your own, so normally it's nothing to worry about...

    the exception is if it's such an original, never-done concept that you don't want to risk having another writer beat you to the finish line and get theirs published/produced first, so yours won't be marketable...
     
  22. Show
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    I think there are very few remaining ideas that fall into the latter category. Almost everything has been done to some point before, and I am sure my novel idea has as well.
     
  23. ManicParroT
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    ManicParroT Contributing Member

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    One of the things to bear in mind is that when you see writers like George R R Martin posting chapters of their work online, they've already cleared it with their publishers - and they usually have the clout to do so, or they have publishers who are unusually open to the idea. Same goes for the guys over at Baen Books, and Cory Doctorow. They aren't posting it, and then going and finding publishers and having to deal with the mess - they've already got publishers who've agreed.
     

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