1. Mr. Galaxy
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    Mr. Galaxy Member

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    I have no idea what I’m doing.

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Mr. Galaxy, Dec 17, 2015.

    No really, I put words on pages, then I force my friends to read them. I can’t spell, I don’t really know what grammar is, but I have a lot of stuff in my head that needs to be, not in my head. So I write. Fairly well apparently. That’s what my friends say, my mother is an English teacher, so I’m sure she’ll say it’s horrible. I guess that’s what makes a good editor? Did I mention I don’t know what I’m doing?



    It’s ok though. There’s always you, the internet. The greatest connection of people and information ever. I like you. I don’t know you, but I like you, you’re nice. You’re still reading. I’m sure we’ll get along just fine.



    Oh yes, and for the record… I don’t know what I’m doing, but I think they have school for that, now where did I put that GI Bill…
     
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  2. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    Tha'd be so cool if I had someone to shout in my face to write stories. Mostly I think, but every so often I achieve a wordcount.

    Anyhoo, welcome to the forum!
     
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  3. Mr. Galaxy
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    Mr. Galaxy Member

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    Thanks!

    Well right now my roommate’s cat is my editor, no really, I got him an executive chair and everything… I want to get him a hat but I don't think he would like it. He likes to watch me write for some reason. Talk about a Fat Cat who likes to oversee everything!

    I’m actually stalling writing right now… the mind is fuzzy and dull… it gets that way sometimes at night… but sometimes that’s when the good stuff gets out, and then I don’t sleep until 0400, good times.
     
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  4. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I found a hat for your cat.

     
  5. Mr. Galaxy
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    Mr. Galaxy Member

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    That is easily the strangest thing I’ve seen all week. Delightful. But very, very strange, I love it.
    I think he’s more of a fedora wearing cat though.
     
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  6. Doctore
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    Doctore Member

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    I know how you feel, I really really do because I haven't a clue as to what I'm doing either. I figure at some point someone will arrive and point me in the right direction or put a bullet in my head to end the suffering, but either way I will be done lol Welcome to the forum!
     
  7. Mr. Galaxy
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    Mr. Galaxy Member

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    Hopefully not a bullet to the head. I’m told that really hurts.

    Chances are, it’ll be a dark hooded figure, holding your precious manuscript in one sticky hand, and a highlighter in the other. Cackling as they bounce from rooftop to rooftop. Scribbling in the margins, ripping out pages, and using three colors of highlighter but not telling you what the color code is!
     
  8. Morgan Stelbas
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    Morgan Stelbas Active Member

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    I feel your pain too! I've always loved writing stories from childhood but have no formal training. I also don't know what I'm doing most of the time. But, like you, it's in my head and has to come out! So I keep writing just to keep my head from falling off! :dead:

    But, I have to say, I'm learning a great deal from these forums, from reading other people's work. I have also found that reading other people's critiquing (especially from more experienced forum members) has been extremely helpful in applying some of their pointers to my own writing.

    I too am still working on the grammar rules. I especially have problems around the grammar rules with dialogue. But the more I read, and write, the better I get at remembering the rules. Sentences start to sound off, or sound right to me, based on the grammar rules that I'm slowly trying to implement.

    Plus there are lots of threads about grammar here! :bigwink:

    So, if you have the desire to write, then go ahead and write! It's a good creative outlet for those who have the desire. Not everyone will be successful, but if it makes you happy... or keeps you sane (whichever applies), then do what you love!

    I look forward to seeing some of your work here on the forums. Happy writing and welcome!
     
  9. NobodySpecial
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    NobodySpecial Active Member

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    I work as a build pro in a vape store. Every day we have people tell us they have no idea what they're doing. I tell them that everyone on my side of the counter, at some point stood right On their side of the counter. Nobody walked into vaping knowing everything. We all start learning somewhere. I have to believe writing is on the same par. Your bigger problem, However, could be the wrath of Mom. She an English teacher and her own kid does not have a grasp of grammar. Woe be to you, if she ever finds out.

    That kind of relationship could also work to your advantage. If you are confident that your mother will pick your writing apart when it's bad, then if she tells you it's good, you can believe her.
    I don't show anything I write to my wife. I have no faith that she would give me an honest opinion.

    By the way, my grammar sucks too.
     
  10. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Welcome aboard! Sounds like you writes good. And seeing as this here be a fiction board, none of us ain't got no proper English, neither. (Seriously, if your characters speak the queen's English, there'd better be a good reason.)

    Keep writing, keep showing it to people. Don't trust anyone to give you a fully unbiased critique (meaning show stuff to a lot of people - eventually you figure out who's giving you garbage feedback because they are the only one saying it). Also, make sure you show your work to other writers and that you're reading unfinished product from other writers, that's both the best way to get better and a good way of realizing that even really good writers often look truly sucky on their first draft. You can definitely do that here, but if you're into it, I'd definitely look into finding a local in-person writing group that has regular meetings (try MeetUp).
     
  11. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    You don't show stuff to your family to get honest feedback. You show stuff to your family because you want to make them feel included. :)
     
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  12. Mr. Galaxy
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    Mr. Galaxy Member

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    Mom's a pretty brutal critic, she's destroyed many a paper, regardless of which of her children gives it to her. Merciless red pen... But of course I'll need a larger reader base before I start thinking about publishing anything.

    That's where you all come in... Yes... yes... at last I have a captive audience...

    You'll probably see some woefully written work sometime down the line from me, but that's then, and right now I need to focus on cracking away at the story itself. I don't feel I can say "I'm working on a book" when I haven't cracked double digits in actual story yet... I've got loads of backgrounds and world building, that counts right?
     
  13. Doctore
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    Doctore Member

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    It counts to me, but what do I know? I'm smucky the clown!
     
  14. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not noticing mistakes in your posts here, so I wouldn't worry too much about spelling, grammar, etc. Sounds as if you have a pretty good notion of how these things work. (These are essential skills if you want to be a writer whom others will read.)

    There is a lot of difference between getting things 'out of your head and onto the page' and getting them to the stage where they work for readers who don't know you, don't know anything much about you, and who just want a good story. That's where the real work starts. It's a lot of work, but it's also a lot of fun!

    If you feel comfortable using your mom as the first reader, who can maybe highlight obvious mistakes, fair enough. However, if she says your work is 'horrible' then perhaps she's not the best person to give you feedback. Also, if you frogmarch friends into reading your stuff when they don't really want to, that's not going to be much help to you either. They'll probably say it's good just to get you off their backs.

    I found the best way to get beta readers (of a finished work, not just a couple of pages!) is to let it be widely known that you have written. People will often volunteer to read something that's finished. They won't all get back to you with helpful feedback, but at least you won't have forced anybody to read your stuff.

    From my own experience, I 'd say one of five betas will never get back to you at all (meaning they probably haven't read it for whatever reason.) Two of your betas will get back to you with generally positive but not very helpful remarks ...that was really good, when are you getting published. One will like or dislike what you've written and offer a couple of good reasons for their opinion. One will like or dislike what you've written and offer lots of good reasons for their opinion—maybe a line by line or chapter by chapter critique, and maybe even some suggestions for improvement.

    I'd say pay attention to the last two and take on board what they tell you. You don't have to agree with them, or even implement their suggestions, but it's good to know how your writing hits people who actually read what you wrote. The first three respondents are too vague to be of any great use—even if their 'votes' are positive.
     
  15. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, red-penning never fun (my mom did that to my stories when I was in high school - handed them back to me with massive grammar edits but refused to comment on the content of the story at all). The other thing is that's not really "editing" in the writing sense of the term - or even "line-editing" - it's "copy-editing" which is the final step after you've written, cleaned, and polished the actual structure of the story - but it's helpful.

    As for the world-building and stuff. That's important to know going in, especially if you're writing sci-fi or fantasy. That's called "pre-writing" and you need that. Now, the key is knowing when to stop worldbuilding and start writing. Actually, there's an intermediate step (unless your a pure discovery writer) which is plot-building, and before that character building. A lot of people really love the worldbuilding aspect but for me the key is to really get to the point where you're more interested in the character than you are in the world, and then start looking at the world through their eyes and figuring out what they see and how they see it - take the worm's eye view instead of the bird's and you'll open up your world in ways you didn't think possible. Also, that will tell you which pieces of your worldbuilding are important because those are the pieces that directly affect this character you love (stuff that doesn't affect the story is the stuff you don't want to spend time on). Then figure out your plot and the elements that really excite you about how your character reacts and really dive into that. For me that's when it gets fun, when you get invested in the character and the action that the world starts becoming background in your head rather than the primary thing. When I was dreaming up my story (a futuristic political drama set in the TV News industry), I got really stoked about all the crazy future news events my characters would be covering - but now that I'm pretty far into it, I actually get a lot more excited about the little event in my main character's life than I do about the giant set piece events. Honestly I end up having more fun writing scenes when the characters are more involved in everyday life than I do the big action sequences.
     

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