1. punchthedamnkeys
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    punchthedamnkeys Member

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    how did you start as a writer, and how did you progress?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by punchthedamnkeys, Mar 1, 2014.

    first off, what do you guys write? poems, short stories, novels, screenplays?

    do you participate in any writer's meet ups?

    who'd you share your work with?

    how do you ensure your writing is progressing?

    have you (or currently) taken any writing courses/programs?

    how do you get your stuff out there?

    i'd like to write novels and screenplays. my most "prominent" work, if you could call it that, is 35 pages of my first attempt at a novel. i see a writer in me, and feel like i got a story in me to write... that's the main reason i want to write. however, i don't really have much credentials to show for it. at least for now.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Stories and the occasional poem. Short works suit my lifestyle better.

    Nope.

    Some friends and my girlfriend.

    Through practice and constant reading.

    I took a poetry course my sophomore year in college and then a short story course my junior year. They were fun, though not all students were there to learn or improve.

    By submitting to magazines. There will be lots of rejections, but that's the just part of the process.

    Just as an FYI, writers don't use the number of pages to talk about the length of a piece. We use the word count because the number of pages depends on the font size, formatting, etc.
     
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  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    first off, what do you guys write? poems, short stories, novels, screenplays?

    Novels.

    do you participate in any writer's meet ups?

    Sometimes, but they are more a social event than conferences or stuff like that. Some writers share their path to success, but mostly it's just to meet up with others.

    who'd you share your work with?

    My mom and a few trusted beta-readers.

    how do you ensure your writing is progressing?

    By reading a lot, both novels and how-to-books, writing basically every day and revising my work until I'm happy with it. Edit: and the feedback I receive too, of course, I learn a lot from that.

    have you (or currently) taken any writing courses/programs?

    No.

    how do you get your stuff out there?

    I submit my work (I live in Sweden, where the standard procedure is that the author submits directly to the publishers.) I had my first novel published last fall. The Paperback edition will be out this summer. I also blog about my writing process.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  4. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    First off, what do you guys write? poems, short stories, novels, screenplays?

    I started off writing the first paragraph or so of novels when I was 7-12, because I wasn't at all ready for completing them, obviously. I wrote my first completed work (a short story) when I was 14, and then completed my third project (a novel) at 18 years of age. Now I've written another novel and have several in the works, and I also write short stories, poems, and hymns when I can.

    Do you participate in any writer's meet ups?

    I did about two years ago, just the once. I live in a very small town, and so there were only two people there, and they weren't particularly helpful. I've never done it again - Writing Forums is my writers' meet up now! :D

    Who'd you share your work with?

    My close family, who are better at critiquing and being honest than people think, and other people who vary, depending on the work I want them to read.

    How do you ensure your writing is progressing?

    Writing often is great, and it doesn't have to be fiction - it can be a letter to someone, doing your homework, or writing in a diary. I also think it's good to look over your past work, just to see if you cringe. Then look at your work now. Do you cringe a little less? If so, you're progressing.

    Have you (or currently) taken any writing courses/programs?


    I'm currently doing a Creative Writing degree. It's interesting, but if I could choose again, I wouldn't do it. For a degree that supposedly focuses mainly on creative writing, it sure does focus on unnecessary stuff. But I will admit that the writing challenges really do push you e.g. Last week I had to write for 5 minutes on each subject: garden furniture, Marilyn Monroe, the centre of the earth, eagles, and fireworks. Then they asked us to incorporate each one of those elements into a poem with it being directly about one of those elements. Tough stuff, but extremely gratifying!

    How do you get your stuff out there?

    I have a blog I use only occasionally, and I'm about to be published through my internationally renowned university magazine, Lampeter Review, which is just about as difficult to get into as a normal publisher. I also submit to agents and publishers, but only when I know I'm ready. Otherwise, it's a fruitless exercise.

    :)
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    first off, what do you guys write? poems, short stories, novels, screenplays?
    do you participate in any writer's meet ups
    ?
    I struggle with poems - but I like them. Mainly I write novels or short stories, I even wrote two screenplays - 1 horror, 1 horror/fantasy. I've never participated in a writers meet up. I tend to write rather offbeat stuff and keep thinking I'll be the odd one out in a group.

    who'd you share your work with?
    I shared one of my novels with my mother but she kept saying it was great but...who'd read it? I was about 17 and that was the last she seen of my work. In fact I've never showed anybody my stuff until I joined this site.


    how do you ensure your writing is progressing?
    Very difficult. Getting honest, worthwhile feedback is definitely helpful so is being honest with yourself. I know my grammar needs work and I need to work at depth, fleshing things out, getting genuine feeling into a piece. Keeping humble is important too, because the second you get arrogant is the second you stop learning.

    have you (or currently) taken any writing courses/programs?
    No. I would like too, though.

    how do you get your stuff out there?
    So far I haven't. But just recently I've been browsing some on-line magazines to perhaps send my pieces to.

    i'd like to write novels and screenplays. my most "prominent" work, if you could call it that, is 35 pages of my first attempt at a novel. i see a writer in me, and feel like i got a story in me to write... that's the main reason i want to write. however, i don't really have much credentials to show for it. at least for now.
    Don't let credentials stop you. They may help, but first and foremost your writing will vouch for you.
     
  6. Michael Collins
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    Michael Collins Contributing Member

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    first off, what do you guys write? poems, short stories, novels, screenplays?

    Short stories, I've tried writing some poems, but I don't get what really makes a poem a poem.

    do you participate in any writer's meet ups?


    No.

    who'd you share your work with?

    Just my partner, never even shared anything here yet.

    how do you ensure your writing is progressing?

    I just keep writing, even if I don't see much progress.

    have you (or currently) taken any writing courses/programs?

    No.

    how do you get your stuff out there?

    I don't. Being published is not my priority, I just want to learn to write a decent story.

    Good luck with your writing.
     
  7. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    First off, what do you guys write? poems, short stories, novels, screenplays?

    Poems (including song lyrics) and novels. Tried a screenplay when I was in high school. Wish I could find the MS to see how bad it is.

    I also write essays (when I have to!) and persuasive nonfiction.


    Do you participate in any writer's meet ups?

    No, but it might be fun.

    Who'd you share your work with?

    With whomever will read it! I currently have an old (1980s) draft novel in revision and I'm posting it on my writer's blog. I fill in with some older poems when the next revision chapter isn't ready. Funny, but the poems get the more immediate and positive reaction. Maybe because they can be read and taken in in a small bite?

    Also funny, but it's easier to get total strangers from all over the world to read my stuff on WeirdPretzel than it is to get my friends and family to click on the automatic link on Facebook and come to the blog and read. Just as well, perhaps-- some of the material in the WIR might astonish my friends, and not always in a favorable way.

    How do you ensure your writing is progressing?

    Bought a small laptop with a good battery and work on my novel(s) whenever I can. Think about my characters and possible scenes when I'm doing routine physical labor.

    Have you (or currently) taken any writing courses/programs?

    Took a college level class on poetry writing a few years ago. Private tutorial, which sounds great but wasn't. The tutor my programme director procured for me wrote no poetry, only novels. We were always butting heads and misunderstanding one another. More recently, took a fiction writing course. Teacher was very good, but after the first two or three meetings I was the only one who did the homework or submitted anything. So the class was disbanded. :(

    How do you get your stuff out there?

    See above, re: writer's blog. I'm keeping my WIP off it. I may make an e-book out of it, depending on how people like the way the WIR comes out.

    I'd like to write novels and screenplays. my most "prominent" work, if you could call it that, is 35 pages of my first attempt at a novel. i see a writer in me, and feel like i got a story in me to write... that's the main reason i want to write. however, i don't really have much credentials to show for it. at least for now.

    As far as credentials go, I'd say the best qualification is having a good story in you and being able to write it so people want to read it. I'm no authority on the matter, so others may want to weigh in.
     
  8. PurpleZombieAttack
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    PurpleZombieAttack New Member

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    First off, what do you guys write? Poems, short stories, novels, screenplays?
    Novels, although I can only manage to finish short stories. I need more motivation, to be honest.
    Do you participate in any writer's meet ups?
    There are none within a reasonable distance, so no.
    Who'd you share your work with?
    I post some of it online, although I usually just share little excerpts with my friends and girlfriend.
    How do you ensure your writing is progressing?
    I don't. I just get side-tracked and wish I had more motivation, as I've mentioned before. XD
    Have you (or are you currently) taken any writing courses/programs?
    No; once again, I'm lacking in opportunity.
    How do you get your stuff out there?
    I'm thinking of self-publishing once I finish my current novel. I do intend to do so. Somehow.
     
  9. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    first off, what do you guys write? poems, short stories, novels, screenplays?

    I've dabbled in them all, though have yet to complete a novel or screen play. Mostly short stories and children's now, I was big into poetry for a while but haven't written any in quite some time, and my main project for the last year and a half has been a memoir.

    do you participate in any writer's meet ups?

    Not since my school years.

    who'd you share your work with?

    My husband, mother, and occasionally a former high school English teacher of mine whom I've become friends with in adulthood.

    how do you ensure your writing is progressing?

    Practice! And setting goals for myself. Procrastination has always been an enemy and I really have to make a conscious effort to put in real time on occassion.

    have you (or currently) taken any writing courses/programs?

    I went to a fine arts magnet school as a child, started in art, then became apart of the humanities program. My high school didn't offer anything other than basic AP and Honors English related classes and in college I took a few creative writing based electives. That's it, unfortunately.

    how do you get your stuff out there?

    I haven't tried yet since, until recent years, creative writing was only a lifelong hobby I never thought to seriously pursue. WF is a wonderful place to build skills and learn how to go about the submission process...that's why I joined. While I'd love to be a published author one day, right now I'm focused on skill building and growth. It's okay to dream big but you have to face reality to make them eventually come true.

    i'd like to write novels and screenplays. my most "prominent" work, if you could call it that, is 35 pages of my first attempt at a novel. i see a writer in me, and feel like i got a story in me to write... that's the main reason i want to write. however, i don't really have much credentials to show for it. at least for now.

    We all start somewhere and the bottom at least leaves no place to fall! As long as you're motivated, put in the effort, and have patience, I see no reason you can't be successful someday.
     
  10. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    first off, what do you guys write? poems, short stories, novels, screenplays?
    Novels. SF, Thriller, Erotica.

    do you participate in any writer's meet ups?
    No.

    who'd you share your work with?
    No one.

    how do you ensure your writing is progressing?
    Comparing to my preferred writers. Forums like this. Sales performance and feedback.

    have you (or currently) taken any writing courses/programs?
    No. I have read books and articles of writing.

    how do you get your stuff out there?
    Small independent publisher > Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, various others.
     
  11. Foxe
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    Foxe Active Member

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    first off, what do you guys write? poems, short stories, novels, screenplays?
    I started writing stories based on video games I played -- I recall I was a 14-15 year old living in Italy, playing Rome Total War and writing stories about my games. I never really gave any thought to "being a writer"-- I just wrote.
    When I got older, I noticed I was quite skilled at writing, and realized the power of the written word. So I started to consciously improve my craft.
    My published stuff has been political and foreign affairs articles and, opinion pieces. I'm proud of those!

    Creatively, I write short stories and poetry -- working up the skill and courage to take on a bigger project like a novella or novel.
    I once wrote a script and it was chosen for a theatre festival. I got to direct it as well -- and people seemed to have liked it -- so scripts are something else I can say I write.

    do you participate in any writer's meet ups?
    Sort of. In my group of friends, we have several writers and we get together and share our stuff. We intend on starting a larger film project in the next few days, actually.

    who'd you share your work with?
    Friends, family, curious individuals. I've got a website for my photography, I'm considering adding a writing section to get people to come back more often, and share some of my poetry, musings and snippets of stories.

    how do you ensure your writing is progressing?
    Feedback, reader reaction, my own judgment.

    have you (or currently) taken any writing courses/programs?
    No. I have read books and articles on writing. There are a lot of resources online you can use to complement your own conscious efforts to improve your writing (like teaching yourself an instrument).

    how do you get your stuff out there?
    I haven't (yet). But I hope to work with friends to get some film projects going in the coming months. When I feel better about the quality of my writing, and when I write a full story, I'd like to pass them along to some small publishing companies. Inshallah, I get to that level!
     
  12. AsherianCommand
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    AsherianCommand Active Member

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    Poems, Short Stories, Novels, I think almost all parts of writing should be addressed.
    Sadly no, I am not that organized. I wish I could
    Anyone willing to listen and who is going to critique.
    I try new things and keep reading and take criticism.
    Yes I have, I have a bunch of courses, writing classes and reading classes.
    I post it online. I do a lot of different things.
     
  13. Remus Penn
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    Remus Penn Member

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    First off, what do you guys write? poems, short stories, novels, screenplays?

    I mostly write novels. It's hard for me to write short stories because ideas, plot developments, and character attributes flow into my brain when I start a story. I can only write poetry on February 29th on a full moon when the planets are aligned perfectly, and I've only ever written 1 screenplay.

    Do you participate in any writer's meet ups?

    [Hollow laugh] I wish.

    Who'd you share your work with?

    My best friend and my mom. Also my Creative Writing teacher, sometimes.

    How do you ensure your writing is progressing?

    I dunno. It's not really a conscious thing. I just get better and better as the years go on.

    Have you (or currently) taken any writing courses/programs?

    I'm in a Creative Writing class started by the newly-graduated daughter of the administrator of a spin-off homeschool co-op I go to on Mondays. Does that count? Oh, and I've applied to go to a prestigious artsy summer camp, but I have yet to receive my reply.

    How do you get your stuff out there?

    I'm assuming you mean publicity or whatever. To be honest, I haven't yet. I'm almost done editing a novel, though, and I'm going to get that published. But for now, I usually just post stuff online.
     
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  14. quietclone
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    quietclone New Member

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    first off, what do you guys write? poems, short stories, novels, screenplays?
    Mostly novels and short stories now. I wrote quite a few screenplays when I was younger and would perform them with stuffed animals, though, but I'm no good at poetry.

    do you participate in any writer's meet ups?
    Once, in 2012.

    who'd you share your work with?
    Usually nobody. On the rare occasion I do, it's a fanfiction that I publish anonymously on a website and then never send the link to anyone. For original works, I just keep in word and tend not to share to anyone. I do have a friend who occasionally asks me to write her something based off a prompt, but I haven't even done that in a while because I feel weird sharing my writing.

    how do you ensure your writing is progressing?
    I read. If I like writing styles, I try to adopt that into my own writing. If I don't like what I'm reading, I know not to make my works sound like that.

    have you (or currently) taken any writing courses/programs?
    No.

    how do you get your stuff out there?
    As mentioned before, I usually don't. I have at least a dozen works on my computer not counting what's on a thumbdrive), and I've only posted one to a fanfiction website and shared one with a friend. I usually just write something, finish it, and then never touch it away, though.
     
  15. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    I got started writing when I was 20 years old I was talking to a former friend about movies and somehow my mind drifted to writing and I have been writing ever sense I write mostly short stories and I have written 3 novels .

    I do my publishing on this website called stories online and once I published my first story on that website.

    I could not stop publishing them I don't make any money from it but I don't really care I just enjoy writing its very soothing.
     
  16. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    To me the question reads pretty much the same as, "So...we have fifteen minutes before dinner. Why don't you tell me about the universe, and politics, and all the rest of that shit."

    What you're planning to do is write as a professional in a profession that's complex, difficult to succeed in, and unfortunately, not all that closely related to the general skill called writing we begin learning when we're still kids. Is it reasonable that answers to such questions as, "Did you participate in any writers meet-ups?' will give you meaningful advice? And of more importance, do you have the knowledge, at this point, to tell accurate and useful advice from a well meant but inaccurate, "This is what I think."?

    After all, were you asking about becoming a successful journalist would you ask people who weren't working journalists—even though they shared your desire—how to gain the skills of a journalist? Would you use that approach for becoming an architect?

    Michaelangelo did not have a college degree, nor did Leonardo da Vinci. Thomas Edison didn't. Neither did Mark Twain (though he was granted honorary degrees in later life.) All of these people were professionals. None of them were experts. Get your education from professionals, and always avoid experts.”
    ~ Holly Lisle

    It may be that you're awash with talent. And certainly, you have the desire, and the intelligence to recognize that you need more. And that's great. But talent, until it's trained, is only potential. And with writing fiction, like everything else, it's all in the becoming. The problem you face is that you're not certain as to where to begin. And the skills you now have are those we all share, unless you've gone further so far as study and digging into the background and craft. So the first thing you need is a good understanding of the fiction writing equivalent of, "Okay class, let's go over the elements of what a good book report consists of." In other words, the nuts and bolts issues of writing fiction for the printed word. What, for example, does the reader need quickly in order to follow the action? That shapes the construction of the opening so it's necessary knowledge. Then there's, "What's the structure of a scene? And for that matter, what is a scene, exactly?"

    If you understand things like that you'll have a clear idea of how to organize your scenes so as to make the reader want to turn pages. And that matters because our readers are volunteers, not conscripts.

    And while it may sounds like I'm suggesting that you take the next four years of your life, plus tens of thousands of dollars, in reality I'm talking about a few weeks of spare time and less than the cost of a Saturday night out, because the people who teach such courses are perfectly willing to share their knowledge via articles like this and books like this or this, to name only a few. Then, armed with a better understanding of the task, you have more options as to where to start, and the confidence that you know how. Yes, perfecting those skills takes a lot of practice, but that's true of any profession. But certainly, given the choice of being mounted on the sturdy dray horse our education provides, or Pegasus, taking the airborne route sounds a lot more exciting,
     
  17. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    first off, what do you guys write? poems, short stories, novels, screenplays?

    Novels, though I've written non-fiction columns for magazines and newsletters in the past.

    do you participate in any writer's meet ups?

    Years ago I belonged to a Writer's Club that met at a library. I stopped going because of the distance, and it was limited to short story critiques which I got tired of writing. I also got annoyed with one or two members who were a bit judgemental about my use of profanity. The focus was on getting short stories published in magazines, which even then was difficult and generally didn't pay well.

    who'd you share your work with?

    So far, my wife and a sister-in-law. Neither has been as interested as I'd hoped, nor have they finished reading my first novel, so I probably won't bother with that again. I'll just move toward publishing for public consumption.

    how do you ensure your writing is progressing?

    When I'm working on a project, I usually have a pretty strong pull to keep working on it. I enjoy writing, and look forward to my time with it. I can usually spend at least an hour per evening working on my project.

    have you (or currently) taken any writing courses/programs?

    Never. Hated school while I was in it and never received encouragement from any (except one) of my English teachers. I would get good grades, but was never told I had a talent for it or that it was something I should pursue.

    how do you get your stuff out there?

    When I wrote non-fiction I either wrote only when the sale was assured or had a regular non-paying column that ran in a club magazine desperate for content. I did once sell a mainstream magazine article that paid handsomely just by random submission. As for the fiction, I'll probably self-publish as e-books to gain fans and get my name out there. I think paper books are on the way out, though will never be extinct.
     

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