1. thewhirled
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    thewhirled New Member

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    Hello writing community

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by thewhirled, Jul 16, 2014.

    Hi there all you wonderful, creative people.
    I wanted to join an active writing community to learn more about the craft, to get some critique on my own work as well as critique others. I know honest, constructive critiques are like gold and I'd like to finally get some. I've written for years but only have gotten critiques a handful of times. They are pretty cool. I'm having a LOT of trouble getting started on writing a novel, I have a couple ideas for a while now but can't seem to get started. The whole process of writing a coherent story, the structure and everything, is really hard for me. I just write more stream of consciousness and use whatever comes out. But i need more direction...
    Anyways, I hope to learn a lot from you folk! See ya around!
     
  2. Amanda_Geisler
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    Amanda_Geisler Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Hi,
    Welcome to the forum, there is a new member guide located here if you haven't already found it http://www.writingforums.org/threads/new-member-quick-start-guide.132102/

    A lot of the writing process is about disciplining your mind to stay active for a certain amount of time when you write, and that takes a good year or two to perfect, even then it is still difficult to keep your mind on the task. There's nothing wrong with your first draft just being a spill of all the thoughts and ideas that you are spitting out, it's what you do with it afterwards that's important, I have a 5 stage polishing process in place for my projects and my first draft is whatever tumbles out of my head onto the page, I haven't tested my 5 stage process yet but I won't be able to until I finish the three novel project.

    Don't be afraid to ask questions, on here you will always get lots of advice.

    Amanda
     
  3. thewhirled
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    thewhirled New Member

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    Thanks so much! I'm intrigued by your process, maybe I'll set up something like that. I'm excited by the wealth of information on here and I hope I learn some valuable lessons! =)
     
  4. Amanda_Geisler
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    Amanda_Geisler Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Your more than welcome to adopt my process if it works for you. I created this process because it breaks down the process of drafting and polishing so it doesn't feel so daunting.

    1st Draft- Basic Storyline is Down on Paper This is just me writing things down, getting the novel up to the expected word count with the plot line all intact, I only go back and change things during this process if I hit a wall in my writing
    2nd Draft- Basic Edit and Plot Reconstruction In this one I would go over all of the plot lines in the book and make changes if I need to checking for inconsistencies in information and changing something if it is not phrased well, I would also give it a basic edit of any spotted errors during my reconstructing
    3rd Draft- Basic Edit and Character Reconstruction This is dedicated mostly to my characters, making sure they aren't flat and help to fix any character inconsistencies, maybe I didn't describe how a character looks. I also do another basic edit on my run through
    4th Draft- SPaG Edit I will go through a couple of times and really focus on the spelling, punctuation and grammar and for me my tense problems, trying to make sure that there are as few errors as possible, this usually requires going through it about three times, I will also be watching out for any thing that should have been corrected earlier in the process.
    5th Draft- Structural Edit I will go through and make sure that all of my text is justified, that I have all page numbers/headers and footers as the same on all except for the title page. I will also go through and check paragraph structure, making sure that they are structured the way they should be.

    I have a novel sitting at Draft 2 at the moment and it's sequel sitting at Draft 1 and it will move onto Draft 2 as soon as I can get myself to finish it, then the third and final book of that series will be hitting the 1st draft stage. It takes a lot of work to polish the manuscript, more work then in takes to write it, So with each of these stages you take a break for maybe a few weeks in between to separate yourself from the project again, otherwise it is difficult to make objective decisions.
     
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  5. Artist369
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    Artist369 Active Member

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    Welcome welcome. I'm new too and hope to get some constructive criticism. Wishing you luck in all your endeavors!
     
  6. thewhirled
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    thewhirled New Member

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    What a thorough system! Seems very professional, I will start using it in baby steps. Thank you so much for sharing it! Taking a few weeks off in between edits is a really great tip too.
    I think my problem is that first edit, unfortunately... I haven't ever written any great works with huge structure to it, a couple of very short stories and lots of introductions, but when I try to write that first "storyline", the outline for everything that is to happen... I literally cannot do it. I dont know if that takes more practice, but I usually just have it in my head and as I write the story progresses... This has a large failure rate though. It's my one big struggle right now.... I'm hoping to get over it by doing a lot more reading (something I've been lacking lately!)
     
  7. thewhirled
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    thewhirled New Member

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    Howdy and thank you! Unfortunately we can't start new topics for criticism right away, but after a couple weeks we can. =)
     
  8. Amanda_Geisler
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    Amanda_Geisler Contributing Member Reviewer

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    It might just be that you haven't figured out your writing process for novels yet. Try giving yourself a little more room to get creative, don't try to plot out everything before you start that might not be your process. I'm not talking about leaving it all up to your head, maybe just have a few main parts of the story written down and leave the rest up to your imagination when you're in the moment.
    It takes all writers at least a few months to find their process, sometimes it can take a lot longer then that, it took me about 3 years to find my process for novels. It's just a matter of trying different ways of writing novels and then altering the process until it suits you. After that writing gets a lot easier.
     
  9. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Welcome to the forum! :) Amanda already kindly posted the New Member Guide, but indeed that should contain everything you need to know in a nutshell. :)

    Have fun!
     

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