1. OrangeGrape
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    OrangeGrape New Member

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    New and sucky writer diving in.

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by OrangeGrape, Aug 17, 2016.

    So... Hey.

    As the title states, I'm pretty bad at writing, but not as bad as I was before when I first got the inkling of an idea to write on a long car-ride. Since then I've grown a lot, but by no means am I good, just less bad.

    So in light of that, I've been trying to get help from random people on the internet (mainly chat rooms, both those are one off and iffy and I always get sidetracked), which has lead me to this site.

    I'm not super serious about writing, but I do enjoy it and would like to consider it my hobby. Right now I'm at the point where I can put sentences down on the paper, but once I do, I agonize and I haggle over it for ages. On the current story I'm trying to write, I've gone through four or five different revisions of the first chapter, each time I'm like "This is the one!"

    Anyways, yeah, I'm a decently bad writer trying to get better at writing in general, at the nuances of characterization and rising tension and other such difficulties. Hell, I need to learn how to write characters that are even believable.

    Yup, so my plan right now is to prostate myself before all the amazing writers here and leech off of their skill in the hopes that I can develop a modicum of my own, cheers.


    cough, if any kind soul wants to rise to the task of reading my tepid work first chapter I won't say no ;)
    I will of course go through the proper channels in two weeks time.
    Also, I'm not the best with grammar so excuse any mistakes in anything above, yup.
     
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  2. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    Welcome to the forum, awesome new writer! We are all learning, so don't worry about that grammar stuff.
     
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  3. OrangeGrape
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    OrangeGrape New Member

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    Thanks!

    Random prize of a random question for you since you replied first: if I'm writing something, how should I go about doing it? Should I just regurgitate masses of words down and go through EVERYTHING at the end, or should I review chapter by chapter or chunk by chunk, etc.

    edit: also, is there a general consensus for chapter length? I know some people will just say "write as much as you want and don't worry about length," but I'm pretty sure there's a point where you should split a chapter into two instead of bogging the reader down with so much 'stuff'
     
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  4. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is no perfect way to write a story. Many people think you should just wing it, while others favor a careful, planned approach.

    What works for ME PERSONALLY is to practice, preplan, and experiment with the various scenes and methods for presenting the narrative and ideas of the story. I play out ideas, actions, and dialog in my head. Once I have image of the narrative in my head, I write it down on paper to see how it reads. I am not afraid to rewrite. Maybe an argument that sounds great in my head just doesn't read well, so I have to change it.

    This is my method. I know someone else who carefully writes each chapter in a long, carefully crafted blast, focusing on getting it down right the first time.

    Edit what you wrote the night before so you get an idea of where in the story you are. Be critical of your work, so you can find flaws and grow. Get something you wrote posted in the workshop here for critiques, so you can see what you need to work on.

    There is NOT a consensus for chapter length. Compare a chapter from Moby Dick to a chapter from a Tale of Two Cities.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
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  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Hi, @OrangeGrape, and welcome to the forum! If you haven't already, please read our New Member Quick Start - it'll get you going around here. Participate and have fun!
     
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  6. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Hey - fresh meat! :D

    as zoupskim said, most of us wing it. There is no set method for writing - I am afraid that's just what it boils down to. Look through our numerous threads here in WF regarding these two topics (or indeed, most other topics), and you'll see that opinions differ wildly. What works for me may not work for you. Even writing-how-to books sometimes give different advice.

    Regarding scenes: For me, a scene needs a purpose i.e. it needs to tell the reader something new, either storyline or character relating, but ideally both='advance the plot'. They really are a kind of mini-story in themselves - or that's what they should be if they are well done - with start, middle and end, imparting tension. Length: they gravitate to a length of a mini-story, between 2-4k word count, mostly. But... again: that's just me personally.

    I suspect I am on the end of the 'perfectionist' spectrum zoupskim is talking about. I write every day - this piece of advice stays and you'll hear it from pretty much everyone. Some people set themselves a set number of words to write each day, regardless of quality, but I write new stuff when I have something to tell. Some days it boils down only to edits, because my backbrain is not yet satisfied with imagination of the scene-to-be (like right about now :rolleyes:). You'll have to decide what works for you.

    Listen to zoupskim, his advice is good! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
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  7. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Lifeline mentioned something I glossed over or forgot. No matter your method, try to write every day. Writing is a skill you hone and develop. It's not just about being creative. You have to work hard.
     
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  8. MarcT
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    MarcT Member

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    To the OP.
    Don't do yourself down so much. Calling yourself a bad writer doesn't help you at all.
    Stick at it, keep writing and writing and then you'll get better.
     
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  9. OrangeGrape
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    OrangeGrape New Member

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    Thanks :-D
    It's frustrating when you can imagine a scene, but no matter how you write it, it just comes out as a big mess, but I'm getting there.
     
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