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  1. KintaBoB
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    KintaBoB New Member

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    New to writing, need help Please

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by KintaBoB, Feb 15, 2010.

    hey guys, sorry if this is in the wrong section,

    im very new to writing and im trying to write a story like a season 12 episodes per season, and i really need help i have started the first episode but reading it to myself it sounds stupid, im not sure if i have started it right or anything im really struggling, im not going to post what i have because im kinda embarressed, but if anyone thinks they could help me i would really appreciate it, also does anybody know of any online theasaurus's that i could use freely,

    if you genuinly want to help i can send you what i have wrote via pm
    also i dont want it to be written for me i just need pointers and alot of constructive critisism

    thank you :)

    sorry for my bad spelling also

    KintaBoB
     
  2. cboatsman
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    cboatsman Senior Member

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    Not intended as disrespect in any way, KintaBob, but the answers you seek are littered throughout this forum. Your post can easily be summed as you are new to writing and lack the necessary experience to produce a certain quality of work you desire. You're not alone. Everyone starts out crawling before we can walk or run.

    I highly recommend you start by simply reading a lot, writing a lot, and of course being a part of this forum. Read others work in the review room and the critiques that follow. Learn from their mistakes so you can improve your own writing. If you feel that you are capable submit a constructive critique of someones work. By taking the time to critically analyze their work you will become a better writer yourself.

    Stephen King wrote an excellent book called "On Writing" that you may consider picking up as well. I highly recommend it as would other members of this community.

    If you are just getting started in writing as you describe and have really no prior experience that could contribute to your resume you need to start from the basics. In my opinion theres no reason to post anything of your own for a critical review if you can read it yourself and say it's bad. It's up to you to educate yourself through this forum and the thousands of resources available for free all over the internet and your local library on top of experience. No amount of people reviewing your work and telling you everything about it is bad is ever going to replace you educating yourself. I don't know if your work is that bad anyways, though. You could very well be underestimating yourself which is common too.

    Start reading work in the review section of this board and then the critiques that follow. Learn from others mistakes and apply them to your own writing. You would be surprised how much you can learn just by observing before you ever asked a single question. Read "On Writing" and also some articles found around the web about how to improve your writing. Holly Lisle is an excellent author who has numerous free resources available on her website for story development, general writing, and more. You can find a lot of information simply by performing searches with Google. For example, there are numerous online thesaurus' available and all can be discovered through Google.

    Writing is an old art and is very difficult to master. It's full of surprises, heartaches, and tough paths that must be followed. Use your resources to the best of your ability so you don't repeat mistakes made numerous times before.

    I wish I could offer you better advice. I am a very strong believer in educating one self and using forums for what they are intended to be used for which is a place to intelligently discuss a topic. If you lack the basic education of said topic then it is hard to partake in the discussion. I apologize if you don't agree with my philosophy and many don't, but I do not intend it to be disrespectful towards you at all.

    In time I guarantee with genuine effort you will possess a piece of writing you want to post up for critique. I have been writing for a long time off and on and even I do not care to post my work for critique yet. Mostly because I don't have a finished piece that I want critique on, but also because I am still learning things just reviewing others work and also reading without needing to post my own. Keep in mind too that posting your work eliminates any possibility of it getting published.

    I wish you the best of luck and look forward to seeing you around.

    Caleb
     
  3. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Two bits of advice:

    1) Learn to use the "Search" function on this site. I can assure you that none of your questions are new or unique. They've all been addressed before, and some of those prior threads offer excellent insights.

    2) Why are there so many SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) errors in your post? It's difficult enough to suggest where you should start, when you've demonstrated such complete lack of knowledge, or perhaps, disrespect for fellow writers. At least, run your posts through a spell and grammar check before posting. It's basic respect.
     
  4. KintaBoB
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    KintaBoB New Member

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    thank you Caleb for your reply tomorrow i plan on getting a copy of the book you suggest :)


    naCi: disrespect for fellow writers. At least, run your posts through a spell and grammar check before posting. It's basic respect. i found the second part of your post quite rude, i was asking for help not to be humiliated, i didn't realize not using commas made it hard for fellow writer's to read, and if you must know, it's called lack of education i messed my schooling up and yes i do regret it now

    sorry for giving you a headache

    KintaBoB
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Not all of us, by any means!

    "How to" books on writing must be taken with a large grain of salt, and Mr. King is not such a uniformly good writer that I would give him special credence. Quite the contrary, in fact.

    Instead of reading books about writing, read many books that exemplify good writing.
     
  6. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    Yes, NaCl was being a bit harsh- as a harsh person, I can safely recognise when someon has gone too far. But you need to learn to write. Learning the rules of grammar and spelling is probably the best thing you could do, as that knowledge will allow others to view your posts as writing, rather than as a collection of minor errors. The first thing that people target on this site are SPAG errors, simply because anything else is an opinion; a spelling error is a spelling error no matter where you're from. Writing is like art, and the basic rules of grammar and spelling are like the basic rules of perspective and shading: get them wrong, and it won't matter how good the actual image is, people will still focus on the very basic mistakes.

    You might have "messed [your] schooling up," but it's not too late to learn the basics. If you know the basics, we can help you with the difficult stuff.

    And if you're looking for a "how to" book, "How NOT to Write a Novel" is probably one of the best.
     
  7. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    I would rather eat a cactus, thorns and all, than read any how-to book. That, however, is a personal thing. Perhaps the OP will find some wisdom in its pages. Anyhow, on to the advice...

    The best bit of wisdom that I can give you is what I give everyone: figure out why you are writing. If you want to be a writer for the sake of writing, then your job is not to write the greatest novel ever written. Instead, it's to draw a smile from your own lips - it's to make you absolutely content in all ways, even if it's a bit painful. On the other hand, if you seek your own little chunk of literary fame then I would suggest you perfect your grammar and your story telling ability. Remember however, it's not something that will come about over night. Think of writing as a muscle, one that you have to keep working to keep its strength. As soon as you give in, you'll begin to degrade.

    Either way, I truly hope that you decide to write what you want. There are so many people, writers or otherwise, that would have you do as they will simply because they believe themselves as being better than you. Instead of being what they want, write something new, something fantastic. Be incredible, make us all look like absolute fools. Some of us, the petty ones amongst our community, may hate you, but you'll find a good bit of earnest happiness in your refusal to do as they require.
     
  8. cboatsman
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    cboatsman Senior Member

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    Both of you (Cogito and Irish87) made good points on the book suggestion I made.

    The reason I suggest it is because someone who is basically new to writing and has next to no experience would, in my humble opinion, benefit greatly from it. It is to be taken with a grain of salt and by no means should form how you write. Only you and your unique personality can do that.

    The purpose of such books (I would hate to call them how-to books as that simply stands for a step-by-step tutorial in my eyes) is to provide ideas or new direction to someone. A way, not an end-all solution, of critically analyzing and theory crafting an idea or a concept. It was never intended to be taken word for word as the ten commandments.

    That's just my two cents. I've read numerous articles, books, and more that could in theory be classified as "how-to" guides. I feel that they've done nothing but provide me with a wealth of information that I may have never otherwise considered.

    To each their own. This is the beauty of writing. :)

    Caleb
     
  9. DvnMrtn
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    DvnMrtn Contributing Member

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    I suggest both. Hand in hand they make a great combination. But yeah, don't take the advice in the How-to books as the word of God. Simply use them as a way of understanding the underlaying process that the writer goes through and creating an adaptation of it that will work for you. :)
     
  10. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Lack of education? You obviously know how to operate a computer and surf the web. It's not unreasonable to assume you can type, as you've demonstrated that skill here. Obviously, you can read. There is a spell-check button on the upper right corner of the posting menu. Why did you not use it? I was trying to point out that you have many tools (spell check, grammar check) to help you learn how to write correctly. You should use them.

    As far as being "sarcastic", I apologize if it came out that way. I intended to make a point about how easy it is to use simple writing tools that are readily available. They exist for our education and to catch unintended oversights or typos. Failure to use them, sends a message about the level of effort you put into your writing. It is inconsistent with asking others for help, when you won't even help yourself.

    Let me ask you a question. Did any of those who responded to you fail to capitalize the first letter of each sentence? Did they fail to capitalize the word "I"? You posted in typical "netspeak", which may serve you well in gaming or texting friends, but when you represent yourself on a writing website as wanting to become a legitimate writer, it is reasonable to expect your posts to reflect that desire.

    By the way, many of us "messed up in school" (I did) and have had to work hard to overcome the setback. Don't fall back on that excuse to justify your mistakes. On the contrary, make every effort to improve, and take every correction as an opportunity to learn. If you become offended when someone makes a correction, you won't survive the editing process much less critique of your work.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i agree with cog on the king how-to... he's not a good writer, just a very popular, indecently rich one... and reading how-tos is not the best way to become a good writer...

    salty...
    i've just blown your questions about the reply posts [ ;-) ]... but as you well know by now, my idiosyncratic posting style is not due to lack of knowledge, only to the mammoth amounts of posts, emails, and editing/correcting notes i write daily that my simplified method allows me to do more easily/quickly...

    kinta...
    you do need to check over what you post to fix up the spelling, punctuation and such, if you want to be seen as a serious writer... and that's all nacl [salty] was trying to get across to you, in a caring spirit, if not the most delicately-put way...

    what puzzles me is what exactly you are trying to write... since you mention 'episodes' and 'season' i have to assume it's a tv series, or sitcom you have in mind... if not, what do you mean by '12 episodes'? [fyi, a typical 'season' for a tv show is 13 episodes]...

    in any case, i mentor beginning writers of all breeds in all parts of the world, many of whom are aspiring tv screenwriters, so if you want help with whatever this is, from start to finish, feel free to drop me an email and i'll send you tips from the pros, plus help you learn the ropes and improve your basic skills, if you want...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  12. KintaBoB
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    KintaBoB New Member

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    Hello Maia,

    What i am trying to write isn't a TV show or sitcom, it's..How can i explain, it's simply a novel wrote in episodes. It's something me and a few friends thought up and the idea died and i decided to carry it on. I'm planning to post a episode every week on my website (when that's up and running),
     
  13. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    So it is a series of short stories?
     
  14. ronmatt
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    ronmatt Member

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    In a word, discipline. Write each and every time you get an opportunity. If you can't settle on a subject, write about the keyboard you're typing on. Describe it, give a persona. Just get in the habit of writing. Then read what you've written. Check for errors, experiment with alternate phraseology ( different ways to say what you wish to say ). If you have some support, have that person read and critique your writing. They may not have a clue as to how to critique so you may have to advise them about what you want from them.
    EX: How's the spelling and punctuation. Did you succeed in making a point. Is there continuity. Things like that.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sounds more like a 'serialized' story, than a series of stories... with a continuation of the story posted in weekly increments...

    is that what you have in mind, atari?

    in any case, i'm afraid you'll have to tidy up your grammar, if you want anyone to read it... if you're still in school, pay better attention in english class... and if not, you may need to take a basic grammar course at your local community college... [there are probably some good online ones, as well]...

    things like 'wrote' for 'written' and 'me' for 'I' will not make you appear to be a serious writer... if your project is violence-free and you want any private help with it, or with your writing, just let me know... best of luck with it...

    love and hugs, maia
     

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