1. aeustin
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    aeustin New Member

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    When is it time to finally start writing my novel?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by aeustin, Nov 5, 2014.

    Hello!

    I'm new around here... Name's Austin, I'm from the windy lakeside city of Detroit. I've been a writer for my whole life, I'm 18 now and decided to get serious about it.

    I used to write a lot when I was in school, then I suffered a double concussion while playing football three years ago and for some reason lost my creative spark. I'm fighting through it to inspire myself again, and it has been a success thus far. I have been working on a story this past year that is heavily inspired by my favorite novel, A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. (even got its cover art tattooed on my arm) set in a post apocalyptic stone age where man has regressed back to his roots following a global catastrophe. It follows a young chieftess in the plains of Idaho who wages war on the nations on the east and west coast via horsemen a la Genghis Khan and establishes an empire. It is going to be split into three parts told from different perspectives at different times. I already have tons of notes, family trees and maps written for the first part of the story that concerns the chieftess. I just don't know when to start writing! Everyday I am adding onto the notes but not actually writing the story.

    If anyone can help me out with this I'd love it!

    Thanks
    Austin
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Start now.
     
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  3. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    It can sometimes be hard to settle down and write something you're so attached to and I understand what it's like to want to get all the details perfect so nothing will stump you but it's better to just start writing. Everything will more or less fall into place as you go and if not you can worry about perfecting everything when you've finished it.
     
  4. Vandor76
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    Vandor76 Contributing Member

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    As @shadowwalker suggested : start now. Maybe it worth to add : you don't need to start with the first chapter. Choose a chapter or scene that you have in your mind as a film and write that one first.
     
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  5. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    i daresay you have enough notes to actually start working on it
     
  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    You may start on Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 at approx. 6:08 am Central Time. Which is to say, now. :D
     
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  7. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Ahhh...Notes! You're already adding things to this story. Stop with the notes as soon as humanly possible and put in the little bit of extra time it would take to write the scene you have in mind. Notes are a handy excuse: I have it written down, I'll get back to it. Will you? With most folks the answer is going to be no. Just write. You don't need a concrete reason and besides, it's NaNoWriMo.
     
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  8. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    When you ready to take action and sit down and write it. Just that easy, just that simple.
     
  9. archerfenris
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    archerfenris Active Member

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    Do it! Now! (Working on my Arnold voice)
     
  10. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I'd start now. Don't worry about it being perfect - you can fix or change things later.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    This ^

    Just start writing, plan to fix it later.
     
  12. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Like everyone says just start writing. There's never a good time, there's never a now I'm ready. And don't wait for moods. I'm never really in the mood to write. It often feels a bit like a chore with no end in sight - but - once I start writing that's when the magic takes over and I get in a groove and can barely stop to go to sleep at night.
     
  13. aeustin
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    aeustin New Member

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    Hahahaha, thanks everyone. I think I will follow your advice and just start writing it now.

    It's weird "stretching" the story out when I've only previously written short stories. To prep I've been writing some little descriptive stories to get the juices flowing. For some reason I cannot post in the workshop because I want to get some critique on them to make sure I'm going in the right direction.
     
  14. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    A favorite of mine.

    What's stopping you?
     
  15. aeustin
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    aeustin New Member

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    I just feel that I have to refine my notes more and more before I write.
     
  16. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Pure, 100%, Grade A procrastination. Get going, or you'll still be refining your notes when you're 80. :write:
     
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  17. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    The best time to start writing is; at least six months ago. You'd have finished the first draft by now.

    You don't have to perfect your notes, no one is going to see your notes. Write your story and then spend time perfecting that.

    You may find that half your notes are irrelevant anyway and there are a whole load of other things you need to work out that you don't have notes for. You won't know until you write your story.
     
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  18. karmazon
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    karmazon Member

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    The time will never be right.
     
  19. aeustin
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    aeustin New Member

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    Okay, not sure if I'm breaking any rules here but here is the first little chunk of my writing after 20 minutes, let me know what you think:


    Kumulat II sat stoically in his private chamber, using the pale orange light of a glowing candle to illuminate the parchment on which he wrote documents that were to be stored in the archives for future generations’ viewing. A lot had changed since the death of his father thirteen years prior. At one time, the sprawling barren lands were inhabited by roaming herders and nomads without any centralized leadership. His father, Kumulat I, unified these nomads under his control and contructed scores of trading villages and forts along the borders of his chiefdom. For three decades he ruled peacefully, increasing the wealth and quality of life of his subjects until his untimely death of pneumonia at the age of 50 . Following his passing, the lands belonging to the Idarian Chiefdom were split into two distinct nations, one ruled by his first son, Kumulat II, who succeeded his title as High Chief of Idaria, his second son, Raad inherited all of the lands east of the Great Lake, under the title High Chief of Utai. Kumulat II and Raad had never gotten along. Kumulat was quiet and reserved, Raad was always seeking to be the center of attention. Kumulat would rather read the scrolls the monks kept than spar with practice swords, of which Raad excelled. The brothers had agreed on the distributed lands bequeathed to them and went their separate ways, rarely communicating to each other. There was no animosity between the two of them, but rather a strong sense of disassociation.
    Finishing the concluding sentence of his account of the year's harvest, a job more suited for a servant or lesser noble than a high chief, Kumulat rolled up the document and tied a neat knot of twine around its center and carried it down the hall from his chamber towards the archives. The yield that year had been especially abundant and there were more than enough wheat and fruit to last the winter. The hall was several meters high with marble arches holding up the slate tiled ceiling. Torches that hung from their iron housings along the walls crackled and hissed. Kumulat walked passed his guards, clad in their ornate bronze armor, and nodded to them. The guards returned the nod without moving any other muscle in their body.
    The archive room was cold and dark. Candles were not allowed to be left unattended because of the risk of fire and the potential ruination of years of historical documents. The chief lit a candle from one of the torches in the hall to light the archive library and deposited the scroll into its appropriate home. Pinching out the dim flame, Kumulat closed the archive door gently behind him and walked down the spiraling staircase that flanked the archive room. Banners bearing the purple colors and white buck head coat of arms of the royal house were draped along the descending walls.
     
  20. aeustin
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    aeustin New Member

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    A little bit o' dialog from my story:

    Adrien was a short, round stump of a man with bushy black eyebrows and a slick bald head that had bizarre, cerebral-like wrinkles that swirled around his scalp. He was a friend of Kumulat's from childhood and was as loyal as a brother to him. "Greetings, M'Lord!" he said in his harsh voice, smiling to show a mouth full of brown, cracked teeth.

    "Hello, Adrien," Kumulat responded as a pair of servants let out grunts while they struggled to carry a massive candle fixture to the table "I assume all is going well?"
    "Aye, M'Lord, the table is nigh finished and the decorations are on their way. We'll work through the rest of the night, 'till it's all done."
    Kumulat scanned the room further and saw men harnessed up to the ceiling of the hall pouring buckets of rose pedals into a large net. "What is that, up there?" he asked, nodding towards the ceiling.
    Adrien turned his round body 180 degrees and looked up, "Oh, M'Lord, that is the big finale for tomorrow!"
    "Finale?" Kumulat asked, puzzled.
    "Aye, for the end of the band's performance tomorrow night. A shower of rose pedals!"
    "Hmm, interesting." Kumulat replied with a smile.
     
  21. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    Honestly at this point it doesn't matter if your writing isn't up to scratch. What matters is you are writing and getting closer to the end of your novel. I'm pretty sure if you want critique/feedback on excerpts from your novel you're supposed to wait until you fit the criteria for posting in the workshop.
     
  22. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Aeustin, is this the start of your novel? Because it's not. It's notes about the back-story...stuff that YOU need to know so that you will get your time-line right and so on, not stuff that you need the reader to know within the first ten minutes of opening the book. If it's relevant (and I do mean IF) you can let the reader know a bit at a time later. For now, you want the reader to care enough about your character to want to know more about him. So introduce your main character in a scene with a bit of action, a bit of conflict.

    There are also a few issues with tenses..."His father, Kumulat I, had unified these nomads"

    Good Luck!
     
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  23. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Shadowfax, and would point out that this sort of writing CAN be the result of spending too much time on the planning. The author has spent so much time figuring out every little detail, so it's natural to want to use all that in the finished product.

    But a lot of those details aren't necessary for the reader to understand the story or the characters, and should therefore be left out or introduced only as needed.

    (This is a bit genre-specific, maybe - I think there are SF/F readers who want ALL the details. But even for them, you could produce an appendix or companion book or something, rather than bogging down your main narrative).
     
  24. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Notes are mostly guidelines than actual, hardcore rules. I may decide to have my character take on a different role, or maybe change the setting all together. I don't take notes because then I get panicky and antsy about wanting to be a slave to my notes.

    Start now. You can even preface it by having one of your characters break the fourth wall to say, "Author, this is the first draft. Roll with it."
     
  25. Nightstar99
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    Nightstar99 Contributing Member

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    I thought it was OK. I wasnt especially carried away with it but I wasnt totally turned off either. I began to get more interested as you started to talk about the chief as a person, and about the forts, which imply some kind of tension.

    As others said, don't bother with who unified the nomads and which brother did what in such and such a year. The reader doesn't care about that for the most part.

    There is a genre called high fantasy which is essentially an endless reimagining of Tolkien. I absolutely hate it. I just don't have time in my day to read a detailed fake history lesson of someone's conceptual universe. To be honest it wore pretty thin in Lord of the Rings, which is why a quarter of the book is appendices and not in the actual story.

    There is still a market for it but it is small.

    I haven't read the canticle thing but I just Googled it and it said it's split into three parts from three different perspectives. This concerns me as you say you are following the same course. You need a better reason to do this than just another book you like did it or you are basically doing fan fiction.

    Ditch the notes and get on with the story. Make the reader care about the characters and they will meet you half way on the world building.
     

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