1. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    How Not To Become An Author

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by psychotick, Sep 25, 2013.

    Hi Guys,

    Found this link over on kindle boards and thought I'd repost it here because it's quite good. In essence we're all writers here, but we're not all authors, and these are some of the mistakes we all make in trying to go from one to the other.

    http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2013/09/how-not-to-be-a-writer-15-signs-youre-doing-it-wrong-2.html

    Consider it a contest. I can safely list myself as making 5 of the 15 mistakes. Beat that!!!

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    A lot of good stuff that many wannabes will argue, I'm sure. But I still don't see the distinction between writer and author (because, y'know, there isn't one) - she was talking about writers and non-writers in this piece.
     
  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I checked this link, feeling (I admit) skeptical. Another list of do's and don't's. Well, this is the best 'list' I've seen in ages. It's no-nonsense, and really does cover all the bases. I especially like her emphasis on avoiding procrastination (like spending time on the internet ...ho ho) and her admonition that 'talking about writing is not writing.' In fact, I like every one of her points. Thanks for posting this. I've bookmarked the site.
     
  4. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    All very good points. And in that spirit, I'm off to write my novel. If you see me back on the forum before this evening, please kick my ass back to the writing desk ;)
     
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  5. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    I make 4 out of 15! :p
     
  6. 7thMidget
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    7thMidget Member

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    It's a nice list. It's not exactly new and some points are just repeating others, but it's always good to be reminded of those things.
     
  7. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Try beating my score, which is actually zero :p

    And now everyone's gonna say I'm delusional lol. But seriously, I've been writing almost everyday for the past 3 years and those I've spoken to can vouch for the fact that I do take on critique whilst staying true to my voice. Oh and I hate The Rules.

    The truth is, if you're dedicated to writing your book, you wouldn't be committing most of these "sins" lol.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that for me, mckk!

    i've been writing seriously since 1982 and didn't make any of those mistakes anywhere along the way, believe it or not... the main reason probably being that i was born a nit-picky virgo and have been a tough, take-no-prisoners editor since i wielded my red and blue pencils on our hs newspaper for 3 years, back in the mid-50s...
     
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  9. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Oh gosh - I'm guilty of 5- sort of - I don't know if it's cause an expert says change it or more that I just read a different style of book and go God, that's how I want to write mine, 10 and lately - 15. Time to put my butt in gear and just write. lol
     
  10. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    Well Talking more than writing is definitely true for me.

    Luckily that was a year ago. Now I am actually writing every day.
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Zero for me, too, I'm happy to say. Less of a list of do's and don'ts than a handy reminder for the insufficiently wary.
     
  12. alex ramirez
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    alex ramirez New Member

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    maybe two for me. good stuff :)
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm only guilty of #1. ;)
     
  14. singphantom7
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    singphantom7 Banned

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    Number nine all the way. Procrastinating. Why do you think I'm here? Reading that article? lol.
     
  15. Laze
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    Laze Active Member

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    Guilty of:

    2: I do other things, like playing video games and watching movies. Guess I'll never be a successful writer now. :c

    9: I procrastinate more than I should. To be fair though, when I do write I usually end up churning 5,000 words out in a few hours. For the most part, it's usually pretty good stuff too. But sometimes I honestly don't want to write. I'm like that with a lot of things I suppose.

    11: Weird one really. For me personally, I like to think anyone can write, but not everyone can write well. So until you get a published book with a significant amount attention, you're classed a shit writer in my opinion. Myself included. :c

    12: It is one of the reason why I write. Who doesn't want their works to be best sellers and rake in tons of money? That's just an extremely normal human desire. But it's also not the only reason I write. I can't stand people who are like, "Oh I don't care about materialistic things, I only do if for the sheer feeling I get when I write". Eurgh, utter fucking liars.

    14: I can be like that at times. It's become apparent that when I feel inspired my writing is hundreds of times better than when I force it out of me. Sometimes it feels like a waste of time forcing it, because when I do get that inspiration flowing through me I end up re-writing over the old drivel I had before anyway. It's quite annoying to be honest. Sometimes I just really don't want to write.

    15: Meh. No one can write all the time. Everyone needs a break from their passion.
     
  16. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This makes no sense to me. It says Cormac McCarthy was shit until the day his first significant novel was published, and that's not true. He was Cormac f***ing McCarthy, whether he was published or not. Stephen King was Stephen f***ing King the day before Carrie was published. The publisher does not determine whether or not a writer is any good. A manuscript doesn't magically transform from shit to gold just because a publisher says "yes."

    I don't write for money. I would like people to read what I've written, and if that means I get money, bonus! But if my books become bestsellers, and the publishers donate all my royalties to charity instead of paying them to me, I'd still write. I just want two things: 1) I want my work to be read, and 2) I want my name on it, so people know I'm the one who wrote it. That's enough, I think.
     
  17. Laze
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    Laze Active Member

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    Your point makes no sense. I said writers are shit until they're published. Stephen King and Cormac McCarthy are published writers, which means they succeeded. Which is what was my point was.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2013
  18. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    You know, being obnoxious doesn't make your argument any more convincing, particularly when you have just so spectacularly missed the point, which is that it was not the fact of being published writers that made Stephen King and Cormac McCarthy good writers. They were talented writers before someone decided to publish their work. Getting published is dependent on a number of factors besides the quality of the writing.


    Congratulations, you are now 0 or 2. Saying that one does not write for the money means that profit is not the motive. That does not mean that one is repulsed by the idea of also making a profit from one's writing if the opportunity arises. I forget what that's called in logic, but the fallacy is that if A implies B, then NOT A must imply NOT B.
     
  19. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I'm guilty of #9.
    I should, and try harder, to write more than I currently do.
    I just always have other things to do... I need a better priority chip.

    #11 too.
    I think calling yourself a writer is rather hollow until you actually get something out there in the world.
    It's like saying your a doctor because you used a first aid kit.

    #15
    I am writing.
    Just not what I should be.
     
  20. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    I passed! Currently I'm writing here to break after finishing the last two books and a few short stories, as well forcing away a bit of writer's block. Still, that's writing. None of the other 14 come close. I already mentioned that Picasso once said "You don't learn to paint by not painting." I write like Picasso; a madman; a weirdo; a martyr; a clown; a drunken bum; the girl next door; the dumb guy; Mad Dog Tanner; God; The devil; a savage; an animal; Serrano De Bergerac; a scientist; a bleeder... Please critique me till I laugh at you like the Bloody Red Baron or The Wicked Witch of the West or just cry in my beer if I have enough left after the laser purchase to buy one.
    Don't copy me. It will drive you insane. Just be a friend and someday if the old mad scientist can no longer come to see you, go visit him where he rests a time or two.
     
  21. Laze
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    Laze Active Member

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    You're as pretentious as he is, and also seemingly missing the obvious point. Sure they were talented before they were published, but, they, did, get, published. Which is my point. Talent = published. One way or another. Inevitable.

    No it's not. Why? Because you can literally self-publish anything these days. I specifically said to have a piece of writing published and for it to receive significant feedback, because only good books get that. Again, you fail to read what I said.

    You're utterly biased towards me for some reason. The guy started his paragraph with, 'I do not write for money.' What more do you want me to say? Fuck me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  22. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Getting published simply means the editor liked the manuscript and thought it was marketable in some way. It does not necessarily mean that the writer is talented.

    There's marketability, for one. In an ideal world, great writing alone would guarantee acceptance. But publishing is a business, and like any other business, it is driven by money. So if a publisher has the chance to publish a book that might sell millions of copies, there's a good chance the book will get accepted even if the writing isn't the greatest.
     
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