1. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Publishing seems scary as I get close to the end

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Flying Geese, Jan 25, 2015.

    I've had several people that I greatly respect tell me that my book is excellently written. They often ask me how long I've been writing and things like that.

    I haven't been writing very long, but the other day I showed someone a few of my chapters and he said it was great. And that my writing reminded him of Robert Jordan, who I actually hadn't even heard of. I went and looked up a book of Jordan's last night and I gotta say, the resemblance in our writing is actually pretty awesome (since I had never even heard of him before).

    But soon after I showed another person and they said my work reminded them of Tolkien's LOTR. I always take these statements as compliments, but I'm starting to get a bit paranoid about being accused of copying other authors. I know of Tolkien, but I've never read his books because I got bored on the third page.

    I know I shouldn't worry, but does this happen to other people? I consider myself the noobiest novelist in existence.
     
  2. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Well I don't want anyone to think I'm outright panicking. Honestly this is quite flattering. Still, I want to avoid getting that sort of negative attention.
     
  3. Jenurik Name
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    Jenurik Name Member

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    Hm, Tolkien and Jordan write radically differently. Was the guy who mentioned Tolkien talking about the plot and the setting?

    If they're giving positive feedback - it sounds like it, if they are just being nice they'll just say "Oh this is really good!" and leave it at that - then I think you have something on your hands. Edit it and send it to agents.

    I wouldn't worry about it. You're either plagiarizing someone or you're not, and if you're not, you're good. You know if you're plagiarizing or not. You might be derivative, but that's not plagiarism.
     
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  4. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Thanks, Jenurik. If nothing else, I have a couple roommates who could vouch for me. They've been watching me write the first 25% of the novel, (which is the sample I give to people). As a new author, I would hate to get accused of plagiarism, but at the same time, it'd be kind of encouraging that people think about godly writers like Jordan and Tolkien.

    I agree with you that Tolkien and Jordan write completely different. The guy who mentioned Tolkien was just talking about the fantasy feel. Though mine doesn't have all the races, and the orcs and elves and such.

    I can't wait to send it to an agent
     
  5. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    The person who wrote the Hunger Games claims they had never heard of Battle Royal until they had finished and someone mentioned the resemblance. Either way, they still made ludicrous amounts of money, but even still, I sometimes wonder whether they actually did just rip it off.

    In a way, I somewhat pity them even with their success, since even if they came up with the idea independently, no one will ever believe that. And that's a source of real paranoia for me (albeit, less so than previously). It might sound incredibly stupid, but I'm rather anxious about waiting too long to finish my novel out of fear that someone else will write a similar story and get it published first, or, someone already has long ago. But strangely enough, the more I notice similarities in my work with various other works, the less I worry.
     
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  6. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    How many people have read your whole book thus far? Have any of them been qualified in any way, as writers or editors?

    If only a couple of your friends have read it (or part of it), you might want to consider getting more beta readers on board before you rush off to an agent. You also want feedback FOR THE WHOLE STORY, not just a couple of chapters or the first 25% of it. A few chapters will give your readers a good idea of your style, but whether the story holds together and comes to a satisfactory conclusion can't be determined till it's finished. You really need quality feedback for the whole thing. And the more people who give it, the better.

    The feedback you've received thus far is incredibly encouraging, but you might want to hold off a bit. Once you've submitted to an agent, that's more or less it. Unless that agent shows an interest and asks to see more, you've pretty much finished with them ...so make sure your submission really is as good as it can be. You can't usually go back and resubmit the same story at a later date.

    It might be helpful to get feedback from people who are familiar with your genre, but maybe don't know you at all, or don't know you very well. You might want to put some of your story up here on the workshop (if you haven't already) and get some feedback from other wannabe writers who kind of understand the process, but who will not be swayed by knowing you. It can't hurt.
     
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  7. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Thanks Jannert! The reason I gave them the sample chapters was to see if they would be interested in reading the entire thing. So I plan on taking care of that before I submit it to agents.

    I was going to put some of it up in the workshop, but I'm afraid it might take too much of the story just to get the reader to see what's going on. So they might not care to even read it.
     
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  8. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Void, I would definitely say it's possible since I had no clue who Robert Jordan was just two days ago. I used to draw characters a lot. I remember this one time, I drew my own character who turned out to look like Naruto's Neji Hyuga, who I did not even see until about 2 years after I had drawn my own character. There's so many ideas circulating around - and easier than ever before
     
  9. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, that's a relief. I think it's when you said 'I can't wait to send it to an agent' that the warning bells went off. It's such a shame when writers pop off to an agent too soon, and get rejected ...not because the story and their writing isn't good, but because it's not ready for publication yet.

    There is that wonderful feeling you get of 'having written' when you finish a story. I know, I've been there. But omigod ...my first draft was SUCH a wad of writing mistakes. (Not grammatical ones, just structural mistakes, too many adjectives, adverbs, scenes that needed to be re-worked, events that were confusing to the reader, etc etc.) I got a lot of positive feedback for my first draft—enough to know that I'd succeeded to an extent. All my friends who knew I'd been writing it wanted to read it, so I did have a lot of feedback at that stage. But I also got enough negative feedback to know I still had a lot of work to do.

    Since then, my story has gone through FOUR complete redrafts (and many mini ones.) I've had many betas for each full draft, and most of them have not been my initial readers. As I've expanded my writing horizons, I have made 'friends' with people I've never physically met. Many of these people have beta read for me. So my feedback has come from many directions. Each one has given me food for thought. And each time I think the story is 'done' I realise it's not ...at least not quite.

    While this process has to come to an end eventually, and I feel I'm pretty close now, I can't believe how much better my story is now from my first draft. I felt so euphoric after finishing that first draft, but I'm really glad I didn't attempt to publish at that point.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  10. Kat Hawthorne
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    Kat Hawthorne Member

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    Man, I'd be chuffed if someone said my writing reminded them of Tolkien's. Just sayin'.

    Good luck with your work (and as s side note, you said that if you were to put your wok in the workshop you think it would take too long for your readers to get interested in your story. I'd be more concerned about that than my work sounding like Tolkien's.)
     
  11. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Thanks, Kat. I've been hammering away trying to launch a tech startup. I actually succeeded to launch it but it will most likely fail. Pretty cool. I have been thinking about how maybe my book isn't quite as long as I would like it to be. I haven't written a word in about a month. It's time to get back to writing.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Not sure who you mean by "them", but if you are talking about Suzanne Collins, I believe her.
     
  13. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    I see no reason not to believe Suzanne Collins. It's happened to me already and nobody even knows who the hell I am. Also, I see resemblances in stories a lot myself. But even the slightest tweak makes your story different enough.
     
  14. LOLeah
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    LOLeah New Member

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    I am only in the beginning stages of writing my first novel and I have already given this a lot of thought. In any genre (but maybe especially fantasy) I think it's important to be inspired by the classics and the greats but never mimic them. I have spent years cultivating an original idea but if my writing style is similar to someone else it's no fault of mine. lol I can only hope that someone is an author I respect and admire.
     
  15. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I would honestly be surprised if you do, indeed, actually write like Robert Jordan--but not because I don't think you could be skilled enough.

    I have just yet to come across a modern writer who writes like him--and for good reason: most people find his style incredibly boring. I myself loved his style growing up--I personally like all the many detailed descriptions of things. However, most people--understandably--lose interest when someone spends two pages describing a room or a dress over and over again throughout 300k+ word novels. (Especially when the pacing is already slow.)

    I would be glad to read your work--as would many others, I am guessing--if you put it up to be reviewed. We can let you know if you do indeed write like the late RJ. (We can also let you know about Tolkien as well, though I suspect the person who told you that was just using some major broad generalizations; his prose is--obviously--even more old school than RJ's.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  16. Rafiki
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    Rafiki Active Member

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    Shots fired.
     
  17. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    I am grateful that you guys are willing to review. I really don't care if I write like RJ, Tolkien, Collins, or JK Rowling. I just want people to say "Dayum! That was a great story!" ( I intentionally use the word 'story' instead of 'book' )
     
  18. Christine Ralston
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    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    It is scary even when you're thinking about self-publishing. You still worry that there's some blatant logic problem that you haven't fixed.

    Friends often tell you that they love your story, but are unable to offer any constructive feedback. Before publishing your work, try to find at least one person who can pick your story apart. You may need to grow some thick skin. Accepting negative (but constructive) feedback can be difficult to swallow, but you need to receive it to grow as a writer.
     
  19. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    That's what I'm hoping, Christine. People picked apart my first novel I wrote on this very forum. To the point where I had to rewrite about half of it. I'm actually eager to get feedback from someone who doesn't know me for this time around.
     
  20. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    I just wanted to come back to this post to let everyone know: I am very near the completion of the novel we have been discussing in this thread. Some of you have expressed interest in wanting to check it out. If you still would like that, then please PM me so we can talk and connect :)
     

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