1. geowrite
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    geowrite New Member

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    Where to start

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by geowrite, Mar 26, 2013.

    OK, so I'm not a writer.
    Phew, so now that that's out can someone please tell me where to start?
    I've always had this urge to write, which is weird because I don't read a lot either,
    but still....I feel I need to give it a go.
    I sometimes get these creative urges like I just HAVE to paint something or create something,
    so now I want to try my hand at writing....but as with my designs (I'm an architect), I've been
    milling over everything...from the genre to the main characters and the title, and after
    three weeks have not got one word on paper...
    Maybe I should rather stick to painting...

    Any ideas
    Cheers
    George
     
  2. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    If you feel you are not ready to write a story, try some baby steps. You've been thinking about the characters, have you tried to write down anything about them? Just notes, facts, little details, their role in the story, whatever you think might be useful. Write it down, instead of just thinking about them. You're halfway there.

    Now what about a scene? Either from the story, or something that illustrates one of the characters' traits. Not ready to get them on the stage and start talking? Maybe prepare the scene with some description, don't overdo it, just a few details to get the general idea, and now he or she is ready to open the door and enter.
     
  3. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    This raised alarm bells for me. If you want to write, then you need to read. A lot. Using your example of painting: why would you even think of beginning to paint seriously before you've even seen what the masters have done, picking up a few good techniques along the way? Of course, anyone can write or paint if they don't study the best, but you won't be very good at all if you do so. This is why writers need to read: to pick up successful techniques that they themselves can use in their own writing. However, do remember that not all painters are good painters, and so it is with writers; if you read a book and say to yourself that it wasn't very good, you must ask yourself why. When you uncover the answer, which may be "his writing was too childish for an adult novel", then you know not to use that technique.

    So to be honest, before you even begin to start writing, you need to read. Read the classics; read contemproary works. Read nobel-winning literature; read sappy romantic novels. In short, read everything you can get your hands on, including non-fiction such as newspapers, magazines, autobiographies, history of the world, etc. When you've read a lot of these things and your own stories are beginning to simmer in your mind, then you can start asking us about how to write.

    Hope I helped. :)
     
  4. Rebel Yellow
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    Rebel Yellow Active Member

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    Perhaps you should read some books to find out what you like to read. Afterwards I would suggest getting a solid book on writing (perhaps Maass' Writing The Breakout Novel). If that doesn't get your creative juices flowing, I would recommend taking a writing class or critiquing other people's work.
     
  5. Snookered
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    Snookered New Member

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    I don't think you 'need' to read in order to write. Don't get me wrong, it helps but the most important thing you need is dedication. The drive and will to see your book completed.

    I think new writers should always to encourages to finish a novel before they begin to try and master the art of writing.

    So in short, just write first and learn after. :)
     
  6. geowrite
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    geowrite New Member

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    Thanks for your replies. I guess you're right...pick up the books again...I don't fully agree with the statement about art though. To me that just came
    naturally without studying others, and I assumed it would be the same with writing...clearly not.
    Anyway, unlike my painting, I'm going to put the pen away for a while and do some research first....
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry, but that makes no sense whatsoever...
     
  8. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maia beat me to it -- I have absolutely no idea what this means:
    As far as writing -- I don't know what to tell ya. If you want to write, write. If you don't, dont. Try some writing prompts -- you can google "writing prompts" and you'll find a bunch of sites. Or try a writing class, either online or at a local college, or again, try googling "writing classes" and the name of the area where you live. You might find some that are very reasonable. You could also try to find a local writing group (again, google or try meetup.com) That might be a way to figure out if you do want to write.
     
  9. Rebel Yellow
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    Rebel Yellow Active Member

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    I disagree with that opinion. I've never seen a musicians who doesn't listen to music nor a producer who doesn't watch movies. Sure you can write without reading, but the quality of your work will be mediocre at best. Furthermore, I don't see how someone can be dedicated to the craft without reading.

    You can't create something from thin air without first assimilating the elements of a novel. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you need to copy every book you read, but you need to understand the mechanics of good storytelling.

    I assume that writing is your passion, then most likely you like reading. Just keep digging until you find some books you enjoy.

    If that doesn't convince you, consider this: You're going to have to read, edit and rewrite your manuscript several times to polish it.
     
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  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    well said, yellow fellow!
     
  11. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Agree with all of this.

    Also, for the OP's question: You can start anywhere. I myself began with the ending of my book. I naturally hammered that out before I started work on the beginning. Why? I don't know. It just happened. So start where you feel you need to start. The rest will come easily afterwards. At least it did for me. Also, I like knowing where my book is heading, so it's helpful for me to know the end first.
     

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