1. schnitzel
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    schnitzel New Member

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    Not a writer

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by schnitzel, Nov 21, 2012.

    I have this extremely impressive, passionate, mysterious, sometimes funny true story involving a small town politics a family with a criminal history (turned good) and police corruption, but have no idea how to get it on paper and make it sound good. I have started on the story, but in no way does it come close to being as good as the writers on this forum. I have kept notes from day one. All the people who know the case are always saying this would make a extravagant movie or book. I sit back and am like "I Know!" I sit around and think about the character's how they should be described and if a movie were made who would be the best person to play their part. It drives me crazy because I want to write but just can't. Any help would be appreciated!

    I am also looking to meet new friends to help get me through this crazy time.
     
  2. Shinyspirit Girl
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    Shinyspirit Girl New Member

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    I think you are making a little too much of it. If you are not a writer, you cannot expect yourself to write as good as people who have years of experience and write every day. Don't try to write a perfect book, just try to write a first draft, even if it's quite bad. It's better to just start writing and see how it goes. The story will start unfolding in the process and your writing will improve in time.

    I find that the less you worry about your writing and the more you focus on telling the story, the faster your writing improves. Just write a very bad first draft.
     
  3. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    True stories rarely make good fiction. I remember some years ago reading an article by a screenwriter who'd collected WWII stories from numerous veterans as source for his movie script about a real battle, who said he had to leave out some of the best ones because, even though they were true, no-one would believe them in a work of fiction.

    If you're writing it as a novel, you probably need to step back, and build a story along similar lines without worrying whether it's true. That also avoids legal issues if you put real people into your story.

    There are plenty of books, forum posts and web sites about plotting stories, so you might want to start there and see how you can fit the ideas you have into a plot that works as fiction.
     
  4. AGWallace
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    AGWallace New Member

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    If you want to write this story, there's only one thing to do. Start writing. Ignore your "inner voice" -- in fact, stomp on it every time it rears its ugly head -- and write! One word will lead to another, and pretty soon you'll have an awful first draft. The fact that you recognize it as awful will mean you have become a writer. Then write Draft 2 and don't look back.

    One of the best motivational essays I've ever read is by Steven Pressfield: http://www.stevenpressfield.com/do-the-work/

    Do the work. You won't regret it...
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If you're not a writer, then I doubt you'll be able to finish writing the book anyway - it's too much hard work unless you either 1) love writing or 2) love the content of it so much (or find it so meaningful) that you'll do anything to share it with the world. Do you fall into at least one of these two categories?

    If you're writing this story for your own personal pleasure, then the quality doesn't matter, just get writing.

    If you're writing it with the intent of publishing it, then you need to fall into one of the above categories, otherwise you're wasting your time. Even people who claim to be writers because they love it and write everyday may not write to a high enough quality to publish - and if you say your writing doesn't even compare to a bunch of mostly unpublished writers wannabe-published authors on an internet forum, I'd venture a guess that your writing probably isn't good enough for publication (unless you're willing to put in years of effort to practice of course). On top of this, trust me when I say, it's a lot of painful work to get a book ready for submission (and this isn't even publication yet).

    All in all, if you intend on publishing this and sharing it with the world, go for a ghost writer. A ghost writer is someone who writes your story for you, because you yourself lack the writing skill. It's expensive though and does not guarantee that it'll be published, but you'll have your book that you can at least distribute among friends, which would be nice anyway :)
     
  6. Rooster
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    Rooster New Member

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    First of all if you write then you are a writer. Are you a good writer? Who knows until you get it all down.

    I will echo some other posts. if you just want to be published then leave it now. if you want to do it for your own passion then go for it.

    My advice (for what it is worth) is to write a different story. You know this story too well and may come across as you are listing what happens rather than telling the story. Try building your own characters from scratch and see how your style comes across.

    Maybe you will learn from this and be able to do this story more justice later on.

    Either way get something written, good or bad then revisit it later, tweek it or even rewrite it.

    good luck
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    your options:

    one of my own 'greatest lines' is: "Nothing is impossible until you quit and nothing is possible unless you start."

    if you aren't the type to give up and want help with this, feel free to drop me an email any time...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  8. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I pretty much agree with most of what's been said, although I'm not sure if you intend to write nonfiction or a novel. But, you don't have to be Hemingway right out of the gate. Just tell the story, only instead of verbally, write it down. Use your own voice, your own idioms, bad grammar or good, organized or not - doesn't matter. You're beginning. Once the story is told, then you can put some of what you've seen here and on other writing forum to good use and start editing - adding, subtracting, rephrasing, whatever.

    The first sentence, the first page, the first chapter, the first book - it's harder than all get out. But it's great when you get to the end.
     
  9. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    As above. When you're just starting out it's hard to know what's good and what's not. But if you truly want to tell your story and you have to write it, and believe you lack the ability, then you have some options. The first is to write it yourself, but I'd suggest a creative writing class first. Or someone suggested a ghost writer, my thought is that this would be expensive. Instead have you got any friends who are writers, who'd be interested in co-writing it with you? Make sure if you go down this road that you have a clear understanding of who does what in the writing, and keep back up copies of what you've written before you come to the new work. But this is a way that you can both write your book, learn a little more of the craft of writing and not shell out a lot of money.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  10. Fife
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    Fife Senior Member

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    I think writing is like drawing. I always hear people say, "I can't draw..." The truth is, if you have arms and a hand, you can draw--probably not very good at first. I have no technical training in writing, but I think there are some principles that are universal in nature. In one of my classes (it was actually a C# Programming class), my instructor briefly talked about Descarte and the idea that when a problem set is too difficult to deal with in its nature, break it down into smaller, more manageable parts.

    Well, what are the parts of your story?

    There are scenes, characters, possibly some issues you want to broach. Break the elements of your story down and put in the details until you are satisfied. If it helps, separate each "part" into different pages or sections. Jot down everything, knowing that you may very will change some ideas later on. After that, it is up to you how to weave the elements together, but you probably will feel less loss or scattered. I think actually weaving a story together requires some experience with books in general. I find that it is a weakness of mine. A lot of the folks here have recommended reading books--and I'm about to do just that, picking out genres that I have never considered in the past.

    I don't know if that will work for you, but it's just a thought. Good luck though! And plus, you can always post excerpts on here for people to review (but never the full thing, if you plan on publishing it). It seems everybody has a different opinion about the same sentence or same paragraph. So, don't get too down on yourself if someone doesn't like what you wrote. Just take the practical pieces of information that you can work with and work it. Good luck Schnitzel!
     

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