1. _Logan
    Offline

    _Logan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    United States of America

    Oh, Writing...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by _Logan, Nov 17, 2011.

    For the past year I've wanted to be a writer, but I've been too busy to actually make progress in my ambition. Although with no sports currently on my schedule I really want to pursue my dream; although how should I go about it? I'm a 15 year old boy who gets constantly harassed about wanting to be a writer, but I won't let that stop me from doing something I love.

    So my question to you, as a community, is how should I go about starting? Should I edge myself in with writing samples and short stories? Or should I put my inspiration and ideas to the test and start out big?

    Thanks in advance,
    _Logan
     
  2. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    I don't think it matters that much, just start writing and make it a habit. it also depends on your ideas, not all ideas are suited to novel format, and vice versa.
     
  3. Allan Paas
    Offline

    Allan Paas Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Estonia
    I, too, have been at it for a year (actually, I'm one month short on that). I started with reading books to make the language smoother and am still working on vocabulary (words from books I read). So far there has been a lot of development. A few more months and I will start writing short stories to test and improve my skills. I'm taking writing very seriously so I am hoping to start working on a novel after 3 or 4 years from now. Meanwhile reading, learning, and writing shorter stories.
     
  4. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    There's no formula of how to start. Really what it comes down to is picking up the pen (actual or metaphorical) and starting to write.

    What do you tend to read? Novels or short stories? That can be a powerful factor informing what you want to start with. Short stories are less of an investment of time, but if you're primarily a novel reader then it might be more difficult if you go in expecting to write a novel in miniature.

    I think it comes down to what do you want to write?
     
  5. Jetshroom
    Offline

    Jetshroom Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Australia
    Here is the single most important piece of advice I've ever heard from writers.
    You can't write a novel without first putting pen to paper. (This was before computers were commonplace. *Shudder, showing my age*)
    If you have a big idea for a novel that you're passionate about, you're going to be more successful at writing that than at something you're only writing for practice.
    Be careful though, writing is hard work. You'll have dizzying highs certainly, but it's the lulls that will test you. Keep the passion alive.
    And remember, just as a man who wishes to become world chess champion must win at least one game of chess, so too you must write at least one word.

    Just start writing and let the good times roll.

    Quick P.S. Edit, don't get bogged down in editing stuff you've written unless you've finished your first draft. Make necessary changes, but don't revise, refine and edit until the story is finished.
     
  6. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    I'd second this. It's not how everyone does it (some very successful authors do edit as they go), but I definitely think that for your first draft the best approach is just to get it down on paper. You can spend as long as you like editing afterwards, but if you edit as you go you run the risk of obsessing and never getting past the first chapter (and also, I feel it's better to edit the story as a whole).
     
  7. cruciFICTION
    Offline

    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Oh, _Logan. Your literacy is a marvel. :love:

    Read words. Write words. Make words your friends and invite them around for dinner. Watch interesting movies and think about things that take your mind to places that are far from dull or inane. Listen to music with pretty lyrics.
    Then write. Write in between the sessions of doing, and watching, and listening to interesting things. Make everything in your life interesting, and then add that extra side to life; write interesting things. Not ABOUT interesting things. Just write things that are nice and use pretty words and make it ineffably your own.
     
  8. _Logan
    Offline

    _Logan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    United States of America
    I've always been more of a novel reader. This is because I think that novels more effectively portray a theme and meaning than short stories. I love the feeling of being engulfed in a good book. I'm not very interested into super-action novels, I like novels that show irony, thematic points, and social issues. For example some of my favorite books are A Time to Kill, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Of Mice and Men.
     
  9. AmsterdamAssassin
    Offline

    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    The bold statements are in conflict with each other. Someone who loves to write is never 'too busy to write'. If you want to write, you will make time. Even if that means setting the alarm clock an hour earlier so you can write while the rest of world is still asleep. However, I read here you 'want to be a writer'. Being a writer is different from writing. Lots of people want to be a 'writer', few people want to put in the lonely hours at the keyboard to produce a draft and edit and polish that draft until it resembles a manuscript, sending that out to publishers and agents and receiving multiple rejections before being accepted after years of hard work.

    Why are you 'being harassed constantly for wanting to be a writer'? Maybe because people don't take your ambition seriously. Have you actually produced any writing, or is it all merely a fantasy?
     
  10. cruciFICTION
    Offline

    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    He didn't say he loves to write. He said he's wanted to be a writer but has been too busy. That's a perfectly legitimate concern for some people.
    In regards to that, _Logan, I suggest you look at your schedule and find time that you can take out of each day to write.

    When I was your age, I barely had time to write because I'd get home from school and every quarter or half an hour or so, my Dad would want me to do something. I could rarely sit down for a good solid hour and just write. But there's bound to be time to find. You just need to find it. And ignore anyone who says you shouldn't write if writing is really what you want to do.
     
  11. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Making time to write is important if you want to be a professional writer, but the OP is only 15, and has plenty of time to hone his skills.

    I would say to ignore anyone who tries to give you a hard time about writing. What do they know about it? Do what makes you happy, and leave others to do the same.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Flashfire07
    Offline

    Flashfire07 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    4
    If you want to write, go for it. Unless people are actively destroying your work there is nothing stopping you from writing. Carry paper and a pen with you, or some digital writing device and just go for it. Honestly, people will harass you no matter what you do, that's a sad fact of the world. There are always those who think they can make themselves feel better by hurting others, just write, write, write and eventually they'll get the drift that you just don't give a damn about their small minded ways.
     
  13. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    I have to agree with AA - make the time. Yes, you're only 15 but you're never too young to start developing the habits needed to be a successful writer - like discipline. Around here, kids who love hockey start practice at 5 in the morning then go to school after. School plays rehearse after school. People doing what they love will make the time.
     
  14. AmsterdamAssassin
    Offline

    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    No, he said:

    I might be wrong, but I interpret the bold part to be about writing, which he claims to be 'something he loves', but is 'too busy' to do. If you love something truly, you make time. Period. Might be difficult, might not be 'enough' time, but you'll forego other pleasures to indulge in that which you love. However, the first sentence 'For the past year I've wanted to be a writer' makes me wonder whether Logan wants to write, or if he wants 'to be a writer'. The latter is something a lot of people covet, because there's a certain stature to being 'a writer', but that ambition doesn't have to do with the arduous but imminently gratifying 'act of writing'.

    If I mention that I write fiction, 9 out of 10 responses are in the vein of 'Oh, I always wanted to be a writer, but I could never find the time...'. That irks me, since someone who wants to write will find the time. Only pretenders excuse themselves that they 'haven't the time'. I'm willing to wager that my schedule is much more crowded than that of any adolescent. If I can find time to write, so can Logan. Question is, does he want to?
     
  15. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,123
    Likes Received:
    5,323
    Location:
    California, US
    Read a lot.

    As for what to start with - write what you want. If you force yourself to write things you do not want to because you feel that's what you have to do to start out, it will be harder to motivate yourself. If you want to start with novels, or only ever do novels, then that is what you should do. It is imperative that you write, however. That's what writers do. If you can't find time to do it, then pursue other goals.
     
  16. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    Completely agree with everything you said.
     
  17. The wonderer
    Offline

    The wonderer New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you want to write then you should. Writing does take skill and you must practise those skills. When you keep writing and then, you would become so much better.


    Sir, I wish you luck with your writing.
     
  18. Patrick94
    Offline

    Patrick94 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ireland
    The best thing you can do is write and get it critiqued, next best is to read, last is write. I advise you to start on short stories about whatever you want, and make it fun. Start on a novel when you think you're ready. If it seems to big a task, don't worry! Keep at short stories, they're quick and easy to put together and you're not always worried about keeping the whole thing moving etc.
     
  19. jacktheknife
    Offline

    jacktheknife Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    3
    Logan,


    I am 60 years old as of yesterday and 40 years ago my creative writing teacher at U.T. Austin said to my 'Writing 101' class on the first day:

    Class this is Writing 101, write.
    And she sat back down at her desk and opened her book.
    Everybody started writing but for one guy who said: "What are we supposed to write about"?
    The teacher said: "You are the writer I can't tell you what to write about".
    The guy who asked the question left the room. But I understood what turned out to be a very important lesson in my life.


    Do you...?


    J. Winters von Knife
     
  20. _Logan
    Offline

    _Logan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    United States of America
    I meant I won't stop the harassment stop me, I actually just started to put a piece of work together last night that I'm currently working on. I NOW have the time to write, but when I said that I wouldn't let that stop me I was referring to the other guys.
     
  21. Batgoat
    Offline

    Batgoat Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Start writing by just writing. Forget about stories if you're just starting out. Write scenes, snatches of dialogue pieces of action. As your confidence grows, then think about linking such things together to form a story. And one handy tip: don't destroy anything you write. Hoard all that stuff. Years later, you can (as I have done many times) come across a rough diamond, and polish that damn thing up to make it sparkle bright and true. In order to be a writer, you just need to write. Over time, it gets better.
     

Share This Page