1. Mordred85
    Offline

    Mordred85 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    74

    When is it time to write your first book?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Mordred85, Jul 12, 2015.

    When do you know it's time to begin writing your first book?

    Time and time again, I come across endless sources which say you must write each and every day to improve your craft. Personally, I cannot find myself writing every single day. I think I can do once a week or every other week. I find myself reading more.

    But when do you get up and say to yourself it's time to step up the plate and write your book?

    I have a list of books to finish reading. At the end, I know I'll gather the information and inspiration I need. I'll know things most aspiring authors of my genre already know. I will meet my goal, but there will never be an end to reading. There's never enough information.

    Even so, I'm not entirely convinced that I'll be good enough to begin writing a book. It might help me build confidence, but it's not going to assure me that my writing is of certain quality or good enough to be out on a shelf.

    Do I just send chapters to readers for review? Where do we find these people?
     
  2. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,210
    Likes Received:
    4,220
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    You can start writing now. If you want reviews, you can post excerpts/scenes and put it here for us to look at. :)
     
    Renee J likes this.
  3. Mordred85
    Offline

    Mordred85 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    74
    Unfortunately, whatever you post on here is public and free for anyone to read. I wouldn't be able to request deletion of a post either. Due to that, my more original material will never go public on here.
     
    Daemon Wolf likes this.
  4. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,210
    Likes Received:
    4,220
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Then just write scenes for stories you have no intention of publishing for us to look at. :D
     
  5. plothog
    Offline

    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    514
    Location:
    England
    Write now. Your writing might not be good enough quality to put out on a shelf, but the most important ingredient to rectifying that is to practice writing.
    If you write something that isn't very good, at least you can write it again better as you continue to learn.

    If you can't write every single day, write when you can, slowly you'll learn where you can carve out more time to write more often.
     
    Song and Mordred85 like this.
  6. Mordred85
    Offline

    Mordred85 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    74
    I guess so. That's probably something that needs to be adjusted into my very unpredictable schedule. But, when do you know you're at the level you want to be? Do you ever reach that level of assurance or do you just decide to gamble and go for it?
     
  7. Mordred85
    Offline

    Mordred85 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    74
    True, that's something I'll continue to do. :p
     
  8. The Mad Regent
    Offline

    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,024
    Likes Received:
    427
    Location:
    Wirral, England
    Writing doesn't necessarily mean writing stories. Just writing an e-mail or a few posts on this forum keeps the old hamster plodding along. Also, you can include other activities to build on your writing knowledge, like reading.

    Personally, I always like to keep a project running, even if it's just something that'll just get thrown in the bin at the end of its existence; it's a good way to experiment and learn the craft while producing something of substance.

    You could also just start planning during your downtime, especially if you already have some kind of plot formulating in your mind.

    The truth is, you're only going to get better at writing by writing, so you'd probably be better off just starting now, even if you hit the delete button after the first page, which I can tell you most, if not all of us on this forum have done.
     
    Mordred85 likes this.
  9. GuardianWynn
    Offline

    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    671
    From what I gather. You can't post lots or all of a book you want published. You can post opening chapters or anything that counts as a sneak peak. In addition you can publish it if the polished version is much different than the post. At least that is what my research said.

    That being said. The work shop here is not for posting full novels. There are people on here that will work with you and read a full novel. We call them Beta Readers. :D

    As to when you should begin writing. When ever you feel like it. I can think of a few tips from my own experience.

    1. I wouldn't worry about daily word count. I never do. Weekly word count? A lot better. Though it is more about getting work done then getting a set amount of work done. When I work? I tend to crack out 2-3k a night. But I don't do that every night. I do that one night, then take a few days off. So a weekly word count I think is much better. If you give yourself a quota to meet.

    2. Prepare for your first draft to suck. Maybe it won't. But don't expect gold on take one. Because when you write. You get into super detail. Detail I don't the average person can imagine before it is on paper. And those details will cause changes. Usually for the better.

    3. Finish the book before revising. Too many writers get caught in the black hole of trying to perfect page one before moving on to page two. Thing is. Since the last page may cause the plot of page one to change. No reason to make it shine when you might have to redo it. So me personally? I write beginning to end without stopping. If I find scenes myself that I think don't work. I make a note of them and push forward. For all I know an edit might make that scene work. lol.

    Hope it helps.
     
    Mordred85 likes this.
  10. izzybot
    Offline

    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    860
    Likes Received:
    948
    Location:
    SC, USA
    I wrote my first book at about eleven or twelve. It was terrible, but I did it, and I learned from it, and that was good.

    The first thing you write may not publishable, but I can just about guarantee you that by the time you finish it, you're going to have other ideas. Better ideas. And then you write them too. You don't have to be on a schedule (well, unless it's your job), you don't have to write a lot, you don't need to meet a certain wc - just write. Get it out there. Edit it. Write more things.

    There is no right time.
     
  11. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    The first book you write will not be a best seller. It will not be of publishable quality. I can almost guarantee that (almost because there have been, as always, exceptions). In fact, the first few books you write will most likely fail in some aspect. That's the nature of developing a craft or art.

    If you want to write, then write.
     
    Tesoro likes this.
  12. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,824
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    Anytime. Don't wait for anything. And to practice you could start with a flash story. Less work, Less pressure than a full fledged novel yet it gets your brain thinking in words and sentences and pictures.
     
  13. dreamersky1212
    Offline

    dreamersky1212 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    New York (State Not City)
    I get what you are saying. It I read a lot too. Like a book a day kind of thing. I decided to get back to writing when the gnat that was my story was buzzing around me for so long I couldn't ignore it anymore. For a long time I would read and once and a while think, "yeah...what about if the story was about XYZ? I've never seen a book about that. Hmmm...Okay back to my reading now." I ignored it and ignored it, until it finally made reading less fun because there was always a part of my mind that that blaring like a car horn "WRITE THE DAMN BOOK ALREADY." So now I am.
     
    Link the Writer and Mordred85 like this.
  14. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    I started with the NaNoWriMo challenge. A duology just spilled out of my head. I never submitted it to NaNo, but instead joined a critique group and started taking chapters in.

    Now, not quite 4 years later, I'm damn close to finishing the first book in the duology and contemplating retiring from my profession to take up this new stage of my life. I have the luxury of being able to afford to do that.

    When is the time? When that book is ready to spill out of your head. But when it is, don't be afraid to let it.
     
  15. Void
    Offline

    Void Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2014
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    229
    It seems that most of the other people on these forums have some kind of history of writing (going to classes, writing poetry, song lyrics or short stories through out teenage years, etc). Speaking as someone who doesn't have a long history of writing, I basically just decided to try my hand at it one day, so I sat down and wrote a ~180,000 word novel over the course of approximately two and a half months. It's not at all done yet, with the entire thing needing severe editing and certain sections needing re-writes (which I should probably be working on instead of wasting time here), but the point is you should start writing a book when you want to write a book.

    If I were you I wouldn't be too worried about getting published at the moment. Just start writing a story and if it ends up being good enough for submission (which seems unlikely for a first book), then submit it, otherwise, just keep practicing and perhaps shelf the book as something you could perhaps go back to latter with a bit more skill and experience under your belt.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  16. Bryan Romer
    Offline

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    381
    Like any other art such as painting, the time to do it is now. The result may be rubbish or genius, but you won't ever know until you actually do it. There will never be a time when a lightbulb goes off in your head and you just "know" that you're ready at last.
     
    Tesoro likes this.
  17. Kingtype
    Offline

    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Messages:
    8,949
    Likes Received:
    1,031
    Location:
    Right under your nose!
    When the time comes, you'll know.

     
  18. C. W. Evon
    Offline

    C. W. Evon Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2015
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    29
    I wrote my first novel when I was twelve. I'd been writing awful little stories since I could write, and I got an idea and was like "I'm going to write a novel." And I did. And it was crap. But that's okay because I learned a lot. It's nothing mystical. You decide you're going to do it and you do it, even if it ends up being just practice.

    Make sense?
     
  19. Don Sloan
    Offline

    Don Sloan New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    7
    As the others have said, just pick a time and place to write -- and then, just do it! Some of it will be crap, but much of what you wind up with will be great.
     
    ladybird likes this.
  20. ladybird
    Offline

    ladybird Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    81
    When you have a story to tell. Blow the 'How to Books' just get on and do it. Write your story. Get it out of your system and then go back and edit the shit out of it once your book is completed. :)
     
  21. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,210
    Likes Received:
    4,220
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    You can write it when the fish jumps.

    *looks at avatar*

    You can write it now.

    But seriously, start any time and don't worry about how shitty it looks. :) Right now, finishing a manuscript, no matter how long or short it is, is your first priority. :D
     
  22. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    As the others have pointed out, there is no right time. You can start whenever you like. And you don't have to write every day either. To me those arguments sounds like nothing but excuses. There will always be things that come in your way. If it's not "after I've finished my studies", it's "When I get a better job/better hours" or "When the kids are a little older" or "When we've finished renovating the house" or "When I've retired I'll have plenty of time to write", and before you know it you've spend your entire life waiting for the perfect circumstances. Even if you have just one day a week it's gonna be a novel if you keep at it long enough. Create your own writing routines and stick to it and you'll see results.
     
  23. tasjess
    Offline

    tasjess Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2015
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    50
    One of my favourite writers said his first novel is in the top drawer of his desk...and will probably stay there :) His second was a best seller and as he started his second trilogy he sold the concept of his third for "a respectable six figure sum" and quit his day job. When he wrote his first, he was working full time and taking care of his daughter who has severe disabilities as well as his other three kids with his wife who has MS as well as growing some veg in his back garden and home brewing beer. Another favourite author wrote hers on legal pads while taking care of 4 kids while her fisherman husband was at sea and working as a postal delivery worker. Another wrote hers in a cafe during her lunch hour from being a teacher's aide and sold it hoping to make enough to drop back to working part time to make more time to write - she was writing Harry Potter!

    I am writing my "top drawer" novel right now. Sometimes when I am writing it feels brilliant and I can imagine the GRRM style TV series and the J R Rowling style wealth and the merch based on my book. Other times, I am wondering if it's even good enough for the drawer! I plunge ahead though, making all sorts of mistakes and learning from them. This forum, my husband/chief beta reader and other books prod me back on course. I have 7 kids, one of whom is medically fragile with severe disabilities. We homeschool and are renovating and my husband and I are restarting our business so time is not something I have a lot of either. Don't think too hard, just do the thing :D
     
    Tesoro likes this.
  24. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    That is why I don't believe those who say "I don't have the time to write." There's always time if you look close enough, and are willing to cut back on other things. Like sleeping or watching TV. If you want something badly enough you always find time to do it.
     
  25. Song
    Offline

    Song Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    76
    Location:
    Hearts in China, Heads in the UK
    I would say just go for it. The more you write and learn the better it will be. If you don't write you won't get better. Writing short stories can only take you so far. You need to learn how to weave different character's story arcs together. You need to learn pacing on a large scale. You might need to build an entire world, religion, history and that isn't going to come from writing short stories. Just write, write often and write what you think is fun or important to write.
     

Share This Page