1. yearning
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    yearning New Member

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    New to this.. how to get started?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by yearning, Oct 15, 2010.

    I have led a very interesting life in the past few years. I've learned so much about life and humanity and would love to share my experiences.

    I wrote a lot on message boards.. sharing thoughts, feelings and opinions on a huge variety of subjects. I found that through writing, I was able to grow and develop my own philosophies about life and the kind of person I wanted to be. I've become that person now, and am so happy!

    My writing seemed to stand out and many people said I should write a book one day. I'm at the point where I can start now, and I'm ready! I just have no idea how to get organized with it all.

    I was thinking there is likely a better way to do this than MS Word. There's a multitude of of manuscript writing software programs out there... is there one in particular that everyone thinks is great?

    Is software even important?

    I do tend to procrastinate unless I'm sure I'm doing things the right way. Any confidence building ideas would be great about now!

    Thanks so much for your help!
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have written hundreds of thousands of words using OpenOffice and pads and pens :) My advice is if you want to write just put the words on the paper. You can manage with MS Word perfectly well. Plenty of books have been written using ink and paper.
     
  3. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, don't bother with software... I'm sure some people benefit from it, but the majority of people who shell out for it will only get distracted by features and stuff... All that's important is that you have a page on which you can write.

    There is no right way to do it, though. Some of us type straight up, some of us write in notebooks first, and some people dictate or similar. The only thing that's important is that you're putting words down that, at the end of the day, will be a finished manuscript. :p
     
  4. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    Software doesn't do much for you. I manage just fine with index cards and notebooks for organizational purposes. Anything more I find is incredibly distracting.

    One thing is if you tend towards perfectionism and struggle getting through first drafts because of it, I would really recommend pen and paper rather than a word processor because it becomes much less convenient to go back and change things a hundred times. I get much more work done that way.
     
  5. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I actually start with pen and paper for roughing out scenes, but then I type them up and fiddle with them there - but I couldn't write a whole first draft on paper. I'd go nuts when I looked back at how much I had to type up. :p
     
  6. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    Hah if I type at all until I've got most of it done, I mess with it until I get so frustrated I start deleting things... It's never good haha.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hello Yearning, Welcome to the Writing Forums.

    MS Word is all you need. Don't waste your time and money on all the other shiny junk, unless you are going into scriptwriting. Script formatting is more demanding, and there are programs that assist you with the complexities of that.

    Please read How to Use the Review Room before you post there. Posting your own writing for people to comment on should not be among the very first things you do here. It is worth taking the time to see what other people have done to improve their writing, and see if some of it applies to your writing as well. That is part of why we require members to review other members' work before posting their own for review. On the other hand, there are no restrictions, other than content and copyright rules, on showcasing your work in your member blog.

    Also, be aware that posting a piece of writing on any public site, including this one, will greatly diminish your chances of selling it for publication. Removing the writing later does not alter that fact - once posted, it is irreversibly considered published. So do not post anything more than a small excerpt of any piece you are planning to submit for publication.

    If you haven't explored the site yet, you should probably do so soon. Newcomers often gravitate to the Lounge, the Word Games, or the Review Room, but there is much more to be discovered if you poke in the corners. Remember to check out our FAQ as well, and be sure to read through the forum rules, too, to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Respect for one another is our principal mandate.

    As for the Review Room, new joiners often wonder why we do things a bit differently on this site than on other writing sites. We emphasize constructive critique as a vital writing skill. Training your eye by reviewing other people's work helps you improve your own writing even before you present it for others to see. Therefore, we ask members to review other people's writing before posting work of their own. The Review Room forums on this site, therefore, are true workshops, not just a bulletin board for displaying your work (and on that note, please only post each item for review in one Review Room forum). Also, please use the same thread for all revisions and additional excerpts from the same piece of writing. See this post, Why Write Reviews Before Posting My Work? for more information.

    And while you're looking around, don't forget to check out the RPG forum for improvisational fiction. Also try our Weekly Short Story Contest and Weekly Poetry Contest. They actually run more than one week apiece, but any member may enter, and all members are urged to vote for their favorites.

    Enjoy your stay here, and have fun!
     
  8. yearning
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    yearning New Member

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    Wow!

    Thank you all so much for your help.

    It's so funny... you guys nailed it-- I am always finding ways to distract myself and LOVE shiny junk when I see it, and hate it when I figure out it's just junk and a waste of time.

    :)

    I feel welcome here.. and appreciate this great support.
    Thanks!!
     
  9. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you want to be a better writer ask yourself this: "Will this new program/set of pencils/fancy paper/desk/etc make me a better writer or will WRITING make me a better writer?"
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Having said that a new pad and a pretty pen are worth a few thousand words sometimes lol Just for a change of scenary/
     
  11. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I love new paper. :p And I buy a new pen pretty regularly. Not just 'cause I'm always using up said resources. :p I get bored of staring at a certain blotchy ink...

    Though, that said, a good fountain pen is for life and you can get so used to using it it's like an extension of your brain when you have a page in front of you.
     
  12. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yet you can write 1,000,000 words and still not be a writer :)
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you can write 10 words and be a 'writer'... you can write a million and not be a published one...
     
  14. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Of course not every writer is bothered about being published. Personally my group of teens that read my work and enjoy it are why I write. It achieves my goal of producing something that a number of people like to read.
     
  15. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes but you will never get published if you never write those first ten words.. :rolleyes:
     

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