1. Terry Turton
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    Terry Turton Member

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    I have a few ideas for books just can't write them down.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Terry Turton, Jan 6, 2013.

    I have since an early age read anything and everything that looked or sounded cool.I relised from an early age i had good ideas that would make intresting storys.I tried to write them down but just don't have the skills.I do all the charicter development give the main person in the story a name,a complete back story/history make up all the other people in the book give them history and link them to my main c.I can timeline my story from page one to end of book including plot and twists even little c. traits and humourous situations i just can't write it down me and gramar are not the best of friends i would love more than anything someone to write the story out into a novel.I'm willing to share some ideas if you have incomplete storys or writers block i can help you.

    Nice to meet everyone hope you don't mind slightly strange first post and terrible grammar?.
     
  2. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Don't edit while you write, no matter how hard resist the urge. The first time you put your thoughts done on paper you won't have your dream novel, so don't try to do so. If it helps write on something other than a computer, assuming that is your prime method, if you can't edit your thoughts you will end up writing more. You can change everything later if you so choose, just think of the first draft as an egg. Crack it in the next drafts to get the concise story you are looking for.
     
  3. BallerGamer
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    BallerGamer Active Member

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    Yep this. I used to be the same as you. I had all these great ideas and could come up with characters, cultures, creatures, and all that, but as far as putting it together in a cohesive story that's where I stumbled a lot.

    The solution is to just write and not look back. Who cares about grammar/spelling mistakes or even sentences that make absolutely no sense. Here's one I picked out from a story I'm doing now:

    She sat down with me on the couch with one leg over the told.

    Spell check probably changed told from another word I would have liked, and quite frankly it's an embarrassing mistake. But you know what, that's okay, at least I know what I meant to say.

    If I revised this it would be "She sat down on the couch, crossing one leg over the other."

    Here's a quote from Stephen King that has gotten me over this problem. "Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open." What he's saying is that on the first revision only write for YOU. The stuff that you're putting down on paper, it may not be coherent enough for anyone else to understand what you're conveying but YOU know exactly what it means. Like that sentence I picked out from my story, no one would know what the hell I was trying to say there, but I did.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The skills to write out the ideas into stories doesn't simply materialize. You have to practice them to develop them, and continue to learn until the day you hang it up fo the last time.

    So don't worry because you feel lost, and non of kt seems to fall together for you. We all start out that way.

    A lot is said about talent. But the truth is, talent or no, it's a lot of hard work and persistence.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no professional writer could/would do this for free, as it is a major commitment of time and effort... ghostwriting fees are well into the tens of thousands...

    and cutting a deal with non-pros for payment after the book is published is not a viable option, since even with the best writing possible, there's still very little chance of the book being published, or making enough on sales to pay the writer for his/her time and work, if it does make it into book form...

    so your only real option is to learn how to write them yourself, terry...
     
  6. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    Read. Read a lot. Read different authors, styles, and genres.

    It's not enough to learn the mechanics of writing. You have to see how they are employed in storytelling.

    So read more, read daily, and read widely.
     
  7. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Sounds like you more than halfway there. Most start without the amount of the research you have already done and get into trouble about half way through, with plot holes and and consistency issues. So by having the Background info there for your reference you are on the right track. If you feel more comfortable writing it down in a clinical fashion first, go ahead. Its helps pacing and structure of the novel. Once you have done that it will be time to hit it with the writing brush and put the flowery words in. In the mean time read some of the genre that compliments the novel (and some that don't...never read too much) and see how its done. Don't copy but deconstruct how it was written and then go for it. Any grammar or writing issues I have I ask here, as its way more beneficial than a self help book. DOnt be put off by stuff you see most of the authors went through exactly the same has you, they just persevered. :D
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm afraid no sane writer - pro or not - would write someone else's book for them for free. So unless you're rich or willing to save up very fast for a ghostwriter, perhaps look to other forms of story-telling? What about a graphic novel? Or create podcasts that are basically chapter after chapter of your book, but everything is told verbally, like a real-life story-teller :)

    I'm not sure how to help you. Or perhaps could you not write it yourself? Grammar is important but it doesn't have to stop you from writing. I have 2 dyslexic friends both attempting to write their own novels. And one of them, her grammar/spelling is really awful, but I truly admire her for her courage and persistence. Writing is hard enough as it is without having an extra obstacle in your way - but it is doable.

    The key question is: do you love writing?
     
  9. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Write it down because you have to. Don't worry about grammar or if it sucks. Write it down just because you have to. I think you gotta break the ice and get a feel for the writing process. It doesn't have to be great on the first try. The most important step for you is to start writing it down.
     
  10. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    you should keep a journal of little ideas and tidbits to help you organize these thoughts. Let them percolate in your head until the boiling point and then write without looking back.
     
  11. Mithrandir
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    Mithrandir Contributing Member

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    Sadly, ideas are abundent; everyone has them. I would suggest patience. Stop planning books you can't write for awhile and focus on mechanics. Take a community college class on grammar, or look it up on the internet. Read books, but not for the content. Read them with an eye for the details, dissect sentences, paragraphs, scenes, and whole chapters. When you feel like you know the basics, practice writing short scenes. Don't worry that the plotting or characters are silly, focus on making yourself clear.

    If you run into a problem, ask for help, here I suppose.
     
  12. radnommandess
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    radnommandess Member

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    Just write down your ideas as verbal diarrrhea. Dont even think about grammar, punctuation or spelling. Just get as much down as you can. Then go back to it piece by piece. Fix as much of the spelling, grammar, punctuation as you can. There are good resources on this site (that i have found immensely helpful). Once you have done this to the best of your ability. Put a section of it up for critique here or in another forum. Well thats what I am attempting to do anyway.
     
  13. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm going to offer a different perspective - although I agree that you should read more, and study grammar. But it sounds like all your planning might be procrastination - putting off the actual writing or getting frustrated because of your lack of technical skills. I would suggest writing short vignettes, to practice the technical aspects. Gradually write longer pieces, adding more details, more depth to the basic story.

    Personally, I don't plan, and I don't write rough first drafts. I edit as I go - and I would suggest trying that as you're learning the technical skills. To me, there would nothing more disheartening than to have to go through a story and try to fix all the mistakes, particularly when I'd repeated them over and over. Go ahead and check it paragraph by paragraph, so when you find the errors you'll be more aware of them as you move forward.

    Work on the basics. Practice your grammar. Read. Eventually you will also learn whether or not you prefer planning ahead or 'pantsing', whether you prefer writing several drafts or editing/revising as you go - ie, which method or derivative works best for you.
     
  14. Kat Hawthorne
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    Kat Hawthorne Member

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    Editors are great inventions. Seriously, just write. Don't worry about your mechanics until you are otherwise happy with your work, and then hire a really great copy-editor.

    The problem is, as with any of the "Arts" writing comes easy to some, but unfortunately it is one of those skills that, while it can be improved, it cannot be made out of nothing. What you should do is figure out your ultimate goals and make some decisions. Is it your dream to publish a novel one day? Do you want to pen a book of short stories to share with your kids? What, exactly, do you want to do with your ideas? That should help you with your solution.

    There are those of us who have, indeed, been hired as "ghostwriters" for much less than tens of thousands. However, if you are considering a novel-length project and are planning to find someone to do all the work for you, as with any other job, the person who is doing the writing deserves compensation for their efforts. For some of us, writing is our livelihood and it is very time-consuming. If you decide to hire a ghostwriter, take your time and find one whose style fits your ideas. Oh man, I have waaay too much to say about ghostwriting plusses and minuses. It may not even be an option for you, so I'll quit talking about it right now.

    It is my suggestion that you just write for the joy of the craft, holding no expectations for the end result beyond your own happiness. That way you will get your story told, and if you decide later to take it further, you can consider your other options. The most important thing, though, is getting your thoughts down on paper in one way or another, and then see where it takes you.

    Good luck with it regardless of what you decide.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...please see what i wrote above... money spent on editing by a new and unknown writer has little to no chance of being recouped, so why would you advise doing it?...

    ...how much less have you charged/been paid for ghostwriting a book?...

    ...for the record, i do both a wide range of editing [from simply catching typos and minor grammar goofs, to full revisions] and ghostwriting for my clients... and i only charge less than the going rates because i don't have to do it for a living and feel even new writers of limited means should be able to avail themselves of professional help... but i'd never take on ghostwriting a book for less than a low 5-figure fee... and i allow monthly payments, instead of the standard 1/2 to start and 1/2 when done, to ease the burden on the client... other professionals, who do it for a living, can't afford to do such time-consuming work on that basis...

    ...and i don't accept any client without being up front about the fees being money down the drain, so if they don't see it as a learning experience, or can't afford to take the loss, i won't take them on...
     
  16. Kat Hawthorne
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    Kat Hawthorne Member

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    No need to be aggressive, Mamma. No one asked for your personal income information, and there is no need to get all defensive when discussing the services you offer. Congratulations on your awesomeness, but we are not here to compete with one another.

    My earnings are really not something I wish to discuss in a public forum, nor are they the business of anyone other than myself, or my clients, simple as that. End of topic.

    I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and everyone else interested in bettering their craft, but perhaps before you brag about your amazing skills, you may want to look over your own posts and do a little editing there too. Just a suggestion.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't get what you seem to think is being 'aggressive' kat... or defensive, because i certainly was not being either...

    nor do i see anything we could be competing over, since i don't advise new writers to hire an editor or a ghostwriter... in fact, if you'll read what i wrote again, you'll see i was advising against doing so...

    you brought up the subject of what you charge, i didn't... and i was not bragging, just providing information on why it's money down the drain for new writers to hire an editor/writer...

    as for your sarcasm and slamming my posts, i don't see how that helps the op or anyone else...
     
  18. Kat Hawthorne
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    Kat Hawthorne Member

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    You know what, you're right: I was grumpy yesterday. Forgive my rudeness. How embarrassing for my poor mother who raised me better. I suppose I misread your meaning or tone or something, and it came out sounding snarkier than intended. My bad.

    I did, however, forget to answer your question about advising new writers to hire an editor, so I will do that now.

    The reason I think it is a good idea is this: if Mr.Turton believes his work is worthy of publication, and plans to query Agents and so on, if it is his dream to do so, I would hope he would first do everything in his power to make sure the work is as perfect as possible. Editors are insightful people, and tend to know what is "hot" on the market at any given time. If becoming a professional writer is what Mr.Turton wants for himself, I hope he would hire the assistance of someone experienced in the field to guide him. I don't believe it is money wasted, in fact, I believe the opposite. I believe his chances would be much less if he were to submit something riddled with errors and tired cliches.

    That's all.

    Forgive me again for yesterday. I really ought to keep my mouth shut when something irks me on a bad day.
     
  19. Cerebral
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    Cerebral Active Member

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    I don't know if maia remembers me or our conversations, but believe me when I tell you that even when she's complimenting you, you get the feeling that she just insulted you...she's weird, but her intentions are good (at least I think they are!). So don't feel too bad lol.

    I'm not saying I agree or disagree, but if someone can't catch significant errors in their own writing, doesn't that sort of preclude a career in writing? And if you don't have that kind of disposable income, it's just not possible to follow your advice. Considering that even most writers, including many successful writers, don't make that kind of money, I seriously doubt that the employment of such services would really yield significant results. But it certainly can't hurt.
     
  20. Kat Hawthorne
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    Kat Hawthorne Member

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    Thanks Cerebral,
    But here is why I believe otherwise: professional writing, at some point, has to be seen as an investment. Hiring an editor can be compared to paying for an education - it is something you may choose to do to better your chances at success, but success is not guaranteed. We all know that. I am assuming this person has done the research, knows his chances, and has chosen to pursue it anyway.

    Also, having done some work as a freelance editor myself, I have been big-headed enough to believe my own work to be fairly flawless. However, over the years I have also come to discover that I was WRONG about that! It is very, very difficult to see the errors in your own work. We all want reviews on the pieces we have written, why? Because an outside perspective can be invaluable. I'm not suggesting spending thousands of dollars, but if you are serious about your career, please, hire a professional before you set yourself up for heartbreak. But make the choice based on the fact that you may never see that money again.

    I feel compelled to put a disclaimer at the end of my messages, because it often seems someone on these forums will come along with a rebuttal something like: "well, that is your opinion." Truth of it is, yes, I am only one person, and this is MY opinion. I only know what has worked for me and what I have failed at miserably and say what I say in the spirit of helpfulness. What I write in these forums are just my thoughts. Feel free to disregard them if you disagree.
     
  21. Cerebral
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    Cerebral Active Member

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    And there's the caveat! Yeah, like I said, it definitely can't hurt and if one has money to burn, there's no reason for one not to do it.
    I wouldn't even bother with these disclaimers. As long as you're not saying anything offensive (and you haven't here), you don't need to explain to anyone why you hold a certain opinion. If someone snaps at you, either ignore them, or do what I would do and attack them vehemently until you get threatened by a mod. :-D
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    kat...
    apology accepted... and appreciated...

    cerebral...
    don't know what gave you the feeling my compliments seemed akin to insults, but i can assure you that my intentions are always 'good'... i certainly wouldn't be spending all day every day helping aspiring writers just to be mean... :rolleyes:

    love and hugs to you both...
     
  23. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think if one can't properly edit their own work, at least for grammatical/spelling errors, they aren't going to get very far. Hiring an editor for everything one wants to try to get published - there's no way anyone could afford to do that. Even going the trade publishing route, where there will be professional editors looking at your work, you still have to have a presentable ms to begin with.

    The only time I could see hiring an editor is if one is self-publishing - and then you'd still want to have most of the crap dealt with first, so the more important issues (continuity, plot holes, etc) would be what you were spending your money on.
     

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