1. poetscantwrite
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    poetscantwrite New Member

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    Small fish in a small pond dreaming of that big worm

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by poetscantwrite, Oct 7, 2014.

    Hiya, I'm new to this site and I've just started my first attempt at novel writing. I've done a lot of writing over the years, but never a full sized book and the task is proving a bit daunting for me. I've written primarily one act plays, short stories, flash fiction, and the occasional dash of poetry so it's a bit like going from sprinting to running a 5k. I'm especially struggling with researching as it's never been something I've had to focus on before since my writing came primarily from sources that I either had personal experience with or knew a great deal about already. By joining this community I'm hoping to get some guidance and insight that I desperately need from those who have been at this longer than I have! :)
     
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  2. Empty Bird
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    Empty Bird Member

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    Don't worry!

    Everyone's in the same boat as you. Writing a novel isn't easy. It's not a sit-down-at-your-desk-and-everything-comes-to-you thing. Rather it's a sit-down-at-your-desk-and-weep-at-the-emptiness-of-a-page kinda thing. I don't think the dauntingness of writign a book ever really goes away...

    I wouldn't get too hung up on research- sometimes it can slow your writing process and make your writing a little like a wikipedia page. I always say to keep research last as it can hinder your writing. The first draft stage isn't about technical perfection or getting everythingright, it's about getting your ideas down and out onto the paper. What I tend to do when I know I need to research something is write, and then put a little star near the bits I need to research, or, draw a bix where the paragraph of information would go that isn't yet in my armoury.

    I'm sure you'll be fine! Just don't stop writing even when everything in you is wailing that you should. Novel writing is a bit like walking against a strong wind that is constantly pushing in different directions. Sometimes it's behind you; other times, it's in front of you making you struggle, or beside you, veering your story off into a completely different direction. Go with it!

    You'll do great, I'm sure, though. Have fun with it and best of luck to you!
     
  3. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Welcome to the forum @poetscantwrite Give yourself some time to figure it all out, all of us are going through the same process so if nothing else, you'll find a lot of understanding and encouragement here :)
     
  4. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi poetscantwrite,

    I agree with Empty Bird about the dauntingness, it's a lot of words to produce, and it's helluva hard to maintain your focus, so I wish you luck (wish me luck, too, I've just signed up for NaNoWriMo!).

    However, I disagree with EB about research...maybe it's just me, but all too often a decent tale is spoiled by poor research...like one I read recently that was set around a specific period during WWII, where a junior officer is telling everybody (including Jews) in his street that he will be going to a meeting that was, in fact, top secret, (and the point of the story revolved around the MC's fictional involvement in this actual historical event) and was only attended by Colonels and above (and ALL the names of the attendees are can be discovered in ten minutes on Google) - and all this, out in the street, in the middle of the coldest winter in Europe of the twentieth century! Taking this example, EB would (from the way I read his post) have put in a long writing shift only to discover, from his subsequent research, that it couldn't have happened the way he tells it.

    So, my feeling is do the research first, but don't let it drive you. Use it sparingly. Don't make your story a way to display to the reader your voluminous knowledge of German uniforms of WWII. It's just there so that you don't make schoolboy errors.
     
  5. poetscantwrite
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    poetscantwrite New Member

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    That's all good advice, thanks guys! I'm really excited to be a member of this community. I think it's exactly what I need to keep my work moving forward... and I wish you all luck on your projects as well!
     
  6. thewritingguy
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    thewritingguy Member

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    Welcome to the forums. Can't wait to see some of your work! Seem like a very appreciative and creative thinker.
     

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