1. Frankovitch
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    Frankovitch Member

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    When to start?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Frankovitch, Apr 25, 2015.

    After writing a few decent short stories a few years ago, I've been busy doing other things. Now, finally, it seems inspiration has struck. I now have a very brief outline for what could conceivably be a decent novel. The only problem is that I don't really think my writing at present is up to the task. I've never mapped out a character's long term development before, I'm worried about getting the timing right in regards to building suspense... Any thoughts or ideas on what to do? I'm thinking maybe writing a few more shorts to get going again, maybe something I could build into the novel at some point? I know there is no surefire answer to the following, yet I have to ask: How does one know when one is ready to write a novel?
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Now
     
  3. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    I'd recommend meeting the requirements for the Writer's Workshop then submitting a few short stories. Then experienced members of this forum will give valuable feedback to help you improve your writing. That's what I'm doing, as I know my writing abilities aren't currently anywhere near up to the task of writing a novel. So, I'm going to be writing things as they come to me, then submitting them to the Writer's Workshop. Once I feel the feedback is positive enough, I'm going to go forward with writing a full novel. Writing is a craft that requires daily practice to master or even grasp.
     
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  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Might as well give it a try and find out. I really can't think of another way to know.
     
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  5. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I'd go for it. You might get hit by a bus tomorrow.
    The point is time is short, and if you continue to put it off it will never get done. You can always go back and edit and revise later. You will learn a lot more about novel writing by writing one than any workshop or short story task you chose to do. So what if you don't think your up to the task, prove yourself wrong, stop with the excuses.

    I want to write like Oscar Wilde, it is never going to happen, but I'm not going to give up trying before I've begun.

    Good luck :)
     
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  6. Tim3232
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    Tim3232 Active Member

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    I find short stories more difficult to write and recall reading a book of short stories by Joanne Harris. I like her novels. She wrote at the front of the book that she find s/s difficult and she was right, I found hers nowhere near as good as her novels.
    So, just give it a go. The novel I completed earlier this year began as a s/s which i adapted to be Ch 1 - so that might be a way forward.
     
  7. ladybird
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    ladybird Contributing Member

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    There will always be something to worry about and someone somewhere will always find something wrong with your writing. My advice, pick up the flipping pen and just write. If you can spin a good yarn your readers will follow. Worrying about every technical aspect along the way makes it almost sound clinical and could destroy your creativity. It did mine and I've suffered with the dreaded writers' block for over a year.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
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  8. Frankovitch
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    Frankovitch Member

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    I see where this is going, and I agree. Only a have a single follow-up question. If one wishes to write, reading a lot is obviously a good idea. However, what about the different self-help books on how to write a novel? Are they any good? Have a few on my Amazon wish-list, and I'm thinking about placing an order right now.
     
  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    A lot of the How To Write books espouse their own particular methods, which are great of those methods are a good match for your style, but pretty frustrating if they aren't.

    I think most of the authors of these books have a significant web presence, so I'd suggest checking out their websites and trying things out to get an idea of what might work for you before ordering the full books.

    That said, practically every writer seems to read Stephen King's On Writing at some point or another, so it might not be a bad place to start for a general overview.
     
  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    At once. Get coffee/tea, snuggle up in your favorite chair. If you have a cat, put him/her on your lap. Pick a scene that's the clearest in your mind and write it. How do I get over the grip of fear and self-doubt? This is what I put in the bottom of my rough draft:

    NOTICE:
    This first draft makes Twilight look like the greatest American novel of the twenty-first century. Simply put, it sucks. You have permission to continue anyway. Remember, it can always be edited later.

    My creative writing teacher once told the class this: start where the story gets good because that's where the readers will get hooked.
     
  11. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    When you choose to.
     
  12. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    You will build all of those things you are worried about not having, in the editing phase. Don't send it to publishers until it is PERFECT.

    Don't write it to be perfect. EDIT it to be perfect. Just get the story down and you'll have something to start really working on.
     
  13. Lance Schukies
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    Lance Schukies Active Member

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    ..
     
  14. Lance Schukies
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    Lance Schukies Active Member

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    When to start ?after your first draft,
    as for 'how to' my favorite is "fictional writers brainstorming"
     
  15. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I just jumped in with a novel. I wrote some shorter stories on and off over the years, but never was dedicated. But, with this novel, I've been working on it for over two years. I'm almost done with the second draft.
     
  16. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is one of those things you learn by doing. You ain't gonna learn how to map a character's long-term development by writing shorts, because the nature of shorts simply doesn't allow that sort of intricacy. Write shorts by all means to get warmed up - but it won't teach you how to write a novel.

    It's a daunting task, but just have fun. I've been writing since I was 9 and never have I asked, "Am I ready to do this?" Because I've just always done it for fun. Sure I wanna get published, but really, why I started was cus it's plain and simple fun.

    So have fun, and do it. Do it now! :agreed: You won't learn any other way.
     

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