1. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wish to write a novel before I die

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by DefinitelyMaybe, Aug 31, 2012.

    I'm a middle aged person who has never written a novel. I'd like to write one before I die.

    I've started a few, but never get very far.

    I'm very tempted (and have started several, and am currently writing) a fanfic. Primarily because when I read books I'm often intrigued as to how things will develop afterwards. Also for the selfish reason that if I could write a decent sequel to a well known book, that it would be more likely that I could actually get people to read my book.

    I'm not looking to do this as a career. But I'd like to have one novel written that at least a few people would read and enjoy. Because they want to read it not because they feel obliged for social reasons.

    I enjoy science fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction. I'm trying to write post-apocalyptic novel at the moment. In the post-apocalyptic genre it's easy to plot potential sequels, as often there's a lot of uncertainty as to what happened next and how things developed. (IMHO Earth Abides is one of the few PA novels that I don't think needs a sequel as it comes to sufficiently definite conclusion, but I'm hesitant to risk argument with my first post).

    More technique and skills would help a lot. My current main character is clearly too Gary Stu. Even though he was a relatively weak character at the end of the novel I'm writing a sequel to. My sequel starts five or six years after the real novel, and the character has (at present) grown up a bit too much since the end of the first one. I'm going to have to think carefully of character flaws and development.

    I'd better stop before this post gets to novel length.
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fanfic is often a good way to practice and learn. Be aware, however, that you can't publish it in the sense of charging any money for it. The most you could do is post it on some of the the fanfic sites or on a blog. Also be aware that some original authors do not permit fanfic and will fiercely protect their work from it. (And I've written a LOT of fanfic, so I'm not denigrating it at all - just a word of warning.)

    But welcome - you'll learn a lot here. And middle-aged doesn't mean anything as far as getting a novel written. I'm 57 and fully intend to get a few out there before I kick off :p
     
  3. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks. I'm not looking to sell anything for profit. I would like people to read it however, so posting on blogs and fanfic sites would do the business. I can be an incredibly daydreamy optimistic person at times, and have had daydreams of "the word" going around certain online communities that "you've gotta read this". That would be the kind of thing I would aspire to.

    I've looked at the Wikipedia page on legal issues for fanfic and note that non-profit helps, but is not enough. I've looked at the list of authors who do not allow fanfic http://www.mediaminer.org/blog/index.php?/archives/23-AuthorsPublishers-Who-Do-Not-Allow-Fan-Fiction.html and the author in question is not listed. He cannot be contacted because he's deceased, though there will still be a copyright holder for the book I'd like to sequel. Looking on www.fanfic.net there are a number of fanfics for this author, mostly very short. I would guess that would matter in deciding whether that fanfic would be likely to decrease the potential sales of any sequels that the copyright holder would endorse/produce by what ever means. A novel may of course be different in that sense.

    I'm not sure about actually saying which book and which author publicly on this forum.
     
  4. marktx
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    marktx Contributing Member

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    Based on what you wish to do (write for the enjoyment of writing and to share what you've written with others), fanfic is a great way to go for the following reasons:

    1) You don't have to start with novel-length work. You can write a great short story that pops and get the immediate reward and feedback of an audience. You can also write in serialized form, and getting emails from readers begging you for the next installment can be a great source of encouragement.

    2) Fanfic offers a ready-made audience for what you are writing. You don't have to cast around for an audience that might be interested in the genre or subject matter.

    3) You'll get useful, honest feedback. The fans are serious about the stories they read, and they will let you know what does and does not work for them.
     
  5. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is actually a very good indication that the copyright holders are okay with it - or at least not against it. fanfic.net is very strict in that regard.
     
  6. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Welcome to Writing Forums, DefinitelyMaybe!

    I hope you find what you're looking for here, whatever your interests in writing.

    This forum aims to provide the best workshopping resources on the internet, and to that end we have a few rules which you should familiarise yourself with before you get stuck in. The main section of the site is the Writing Workshop, where members can post their writing in order to receive critique of their work.

    However, before we allow members to post their work, they must have met some basic requirments. Firstly, you must have been a member for fourteen days, and have made twenty posts on the forum overall (please note, posts in Word Games do not count towards this). This is so that members, when they post their work, have familiarised themselves with the forums and contributed to them (as well as hopefully learned something for themselves). Secondly, members must provide two constructive reviews of other people's work for each piece of their own that they wish to post. This is because we believe that the focus of workshopping should be equally upon giving reviews as receiving them, as they allow a writer to practice and improve their editing skills, which they can then apply to their own writing.

    Beyond the Writing Workshop, you will find that we have extensive forums for discussion of aspects of writing, as well as a community area for general discussion. We also run periodic short story and poetry contests, which are good for challenging yourself and expanding your skills.

    If you have any questions or problems, then the moderators (myself, Cogito, Lemex and Dante Dases) should be your first port of call. Any technical problems with the site itself should be directed to Daniel, the site administrator and owner. I would recommend you have a look over the rules so that you know what to expect, and what is expected. But aside from that, I hope you enjoy your time here.


    Banzai
     
  7. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Two of my posts have disappeared. I'm not sure what I've done wrong. I haven't posted any work to the writing workshop yet, before my two weeks/two constructive criticisms. I don't think the material I posted was off topic. So, I'm not sure what was wrong.
     
  8. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Where were these posts? I can't see them, and even if they've been deleted I should be able to.
     
  9. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thank you for your reply.

    One of them was a thread I started in Character Development, which had "Gary Stu" in the title, and discussed a problem I was facing with a character. I had a look to see if it had been merged, but couldn't find anything. I wondered if it disappeared as it had no replies.

    The other is this one, which has either reappeared (database problems?) or maybe I was mistaken that it disappeared (observation of reality problems?). http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=55448&p=931763&highlight=#post931763

    PS: For MarkTX, since yesterday I've written a couple of vaguely fanfic (same world different characters) short stories, and posted them on another forum as I can't post my own work here yet. However, I still want to aim for a novel. If I just "write", I seem to end up with things that end naturally at about 3500 words.
     

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