1. Camille
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    Camille Senior Member

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    I need advice

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Camille, Feb 27, 2010.

    I am not sure if this is the right place to post this type of question and I apologize if it is not.

    For my final year of high school, there is an enormous project. The subject is not imposed. I was thinking of writing a novel, but my issue with that is that at the end of the project, I will have to write an appreciation of about 20 pages of what I did, which means MORE writing.

    Do you think I should still write a novel, or do you have other suggestions?

    Thank you!
     
  2. whiskeyjameson
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    whiskeyjameson Senior Member

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    Do you want to write a novel? I think that should answer your question. What's 20 more pages? I feel that, if you do, part of writing the novel should be for yourself. If your only motivation is for this project then at times it could be very very hard to continue.
     
  3. Camille
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    Camille Senior Member

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    I do want to write a novel and I feel that having a deadline and an obligation could push me to do it.
    I agree with you. What are 20 pages more?
    I thank you for your advice. I think I am convinced now. (It didn't take much, did it?)
     
  4. whiskeyjameson
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    whiskeyjameson Senior Member

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    I'm convincing. :) Lol. Good Luck!
     
  5. Camille
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    Camille Senior Member

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    I noticed. Many thanks!
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Camille,

    There is nothing wrong with killing two birds with one stone: Writing a novel--a task which you've wanted to do, and getting credit for it for course work completion. (As an English instructor, I earned some of the required Professional Development Hours toward licence renewal by writing and getting my novel published).

    I am guessing that you've already checked with the powers that be, and had it determined that completing a novel would suffice to cover the project's requirements. But consider how long it actually takes to write a quality novel, and compare that to the time it takes to complete other projects. I suspect you'll find that writing a novel, for example, will be in excess of 150 hours, which is what an average student spends at high school local to me to complete a term paper as part of their graduation requirement (for English).

    Writing a quality novel, as you probably guessed, is not only time consuming, but very difficult--otherwise everyone who starts out would complete it. I say this only as a caution, as if you get 1/2 way through, and discover it's not for you, you might might very well be stuck in an unhappy situation with limited options.

    Just commenting on your idea.

    Good luck whatever direction you take.

    Terry
     
  7. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ervin said exactly what crossed my mind when I read this post. More power to ya if you can actually do it, but I fear you may find yourself screwed in the end because you can't finish a quality draft of it. If you can though, you'd be a testament to work ethic and I'd praise you haha.
     
  8. Camille
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    Camille Senior Member

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    I thank you all for your comments.
    Perhaps it would be easier to write short stories instead?
     
  9. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Exponentially easier, and most likely much better.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Short stories are an easier project, but you do have to stay tighter with your story. You need to stay well focused in a short story. You should stay focusedin a novel, too, but your readers will tolerate side excursions a bit more in a novel.

    Short stories are good practice anyway. They give you an opportunity to develop your style.
     
  11. Camille
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    Camille Senior Member

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    Thank you very much for the advice!
     
  12. MsMyth71
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    MsMyth71 Senior Member

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    Short stories are a great idea (you could even link them with a common theme/characters - a'la Alice Munro). Or, you could shoot for a novella? Is there a page requirement?
     
  13. Camille
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    Camille Senior Member

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    @MsMyth71
    There is no page requirement, and a common theme or character seems like a good idea. So far, I have not been able to write a novel, but having many short stories with the same character could be the solution!

    What if every short story was a "what if"? Ex: What if she had said yes? What if she had never come back?
    It would all be the same person's life, but different paths.
     
  14. MsMyth71
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    MsMyth71 Senior Member

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    I like the idea, actually. Are you going to introduce the character to the reader so that when the "what if" moments come along, they are invested already?

    And, will you have one "true" reality that is the correct one? Or leave them all open as a possibility? (just curious)
     
  15. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Interesting concept MsMyth. Do you mean something like at the end of Jakob the Liar, where the main character describes out in full detail the events that would unfold is certain things happened; each it's own story? Or do you mean in vignettes?
     
  16. Camille
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    Camille Senior Member

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    Since I had the idea just this instant, I have not decided if there is one "good" path. Perhaps the first short story could be the person's "normal" life, and the others could be possibilities?
     
  17. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or it could start with what's going on and then take imagined roads, ending with or without a true road that is taken, leaving the reader with their own imagination of the characters progress in life/the situation.
     
  18. Camille
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    Camille Senior Member

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    That is also a good idea, but it would be harder to make it short stories, which is what I am aiming to do.
    I also quite like the idea of all chapter starting exactly the same way, but then going on differently.
     
  19. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't remember for the life of me the name of the work or the author, but there is a story somewhat like this. It was a man telling about an event in his life, but he told it many times with completely different tones and attitudes. Vastly different directions stemmed from each story. Then at the end you find out that he is an elderly man with Alzheimer trying to tell his family a story of is youth. It was very interesting.
     
  20. Camille
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    Camille Senior Member

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    It does sound interesting. If you come up with the name, please tell me, for I would very much like to look at it.
     
  21. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I doubt I can, but if I do I will. Otherwise you have the simpler, and probably better structured, idea of creating a larger story through smaller ones in vignettes. This would probably be novella-sized in length though.
     
  22. DvnMrtn
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    DvnMrtn Contributing Member

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    If you're already thinking about committing yourself to writing a novel an extra 20 pages shouldn't deter you. Go for it! Just MAKE SURE you will be able to finish before the deadline...It'll be A LOT more work than you think. Last thing you want is to be caught with your pants down before the deadline is due.
     
  23. InkDream
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    InkDream Senior Member

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    You might be able to make arrangements as far as that goes. I know at the schools around here they have to present their project rather than turn in a 20 page write up. See if you could do something like that. A power point presentation talking about the process of writing a novel and what steps one would take to try and be published. I'd bet they'll be pretty flexible if you pitch your idea right. Good luck. ;)
     
  24. laciemn
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    laciemn Senior Member

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    A collection of a short stories does sound much more manageable. I would say don't risk trying to do a novel since it is a very important projects.

    Edit: Also, you might try a novella since they are much shorter.
     
  25. Camille
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    Camille Senior Member

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    Thank you all for your advice!
     

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