1. PastPresentNFuture
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    PastPresentNFuture Senior Member

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    Working my way up

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by PastPresentNFuture, Jun 30, 2011.

    I'm just wondering since I am only 17, do you think I should work on smaller projects at first. I mean should I first work on a Short Story, and then a Novella, and then a full length novel?
     
  2. Phruizler
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    Phruizler Member

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    I would say just write everything you can. When I was your age, I tried to write it all -- arguably, spreading myself too thin -- but looking back, at both myself and the writing I produced, there was really nothing else for it. Obviously there's very little I would consider salvageable today, let alone publishable, but I'm still glad for how much writing I did. Just don't limit yourself to anything, yet. Do whatever, as long as it's writing.

    That said, if you've never written anything full-length and you're looking to improve, it is a good idea to start small. It just helps to give you an idea of how the whole thing works. You can always expand on shorter works in the future, too. On the other hand, if you've been writing a long time, just let the creative juices flow and write whatever the hell comes to mind. Plenty of writers have come out with incredible works at or around your age.
     
  3. PastPresentNFuture
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    PastPresentNFuture Senior Member

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    I have written a lot, nothing that good but a lot. Right now I want to write something, but im feeling so uninspired. I guess i should just wait
     
  4. Phruizler
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    Phruizler Member

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    Definitely don't wait. If you want to write, write. It doesn't matter if you're uninspired -- sometimes the inspiration doesn't come until after you've already begun.

    Write a page, about nothing in particular. Just write a page describing something, maybe, or a page about a man who falls off a cliff. Anything at all, really, just a written page, and that can often be enough to get you thinking. Start to create a character, too. Eventually, you can try and write the page about him.
     
  5. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    As Phruizler says, it's just about writing. Don't try to write a short story, or a novella, or a novel. Don't try to label the length of what you're writing if you haven't started it yet.

    Then, you write it until it's finished. If you think you need to plan, plan. If you think you don't, don't. But the point is that you write until you stop.
     
  6. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    Yes. You should.

    My humble opinion is that starting a novel without having ever finished a short story is counterproductive. You'll allow yourself create a grand arc that you'll probably never close. And if you don't end it, you will spend a lot of time in just a tiny part of writing a story.
     
  7. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I'm 16, and I just write whatever I want to, whenever. I've written a few novellas and short stories and worked on a couple full-length stories. I don't think there's an order to it, and I don't think there should be. :)
     
  8. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    I'm with several others on the "just write" topic.

    I myself can't say, "Oh well you should start this way instead of that way". Considering when I first started writing stories, I started off with the story of a wolf pup. It wasn't that great, mostly a jumbled up mess of little stories about my wolf pup that created chapters (they seriously had no flow), and those stories/chapters created an ulimately big story.

    But yeah, my point is, just write to your heart's content. And definately DO NOT wait when you're feeling uninspired. That just fuels it until your mopping around wishing you COULD write.
    Usually when I start to question my writing, or I get uninspired, or something like that, I do one of two things.
    One: I go back. I go back to old stories, to old ideas, to just all the old stuff I wrote, even if it was just a few hours/days ago. And as I sit there and read over all the old stuff, I ask myself all these kinds of questions about the story. Like, what could I change? Could I have written this another way? What do I as a reader like about it? Things like that. Amazingly, when you do that it gets the gears in your head working, and before you know it, you'll be back to writing again.
    Two: I write. Even when I can't seem to do it, I write. It doesn't matter what it is, I just do it. The other day (because I'm currently in one of those can't-write-kinks), I sat here at my desk and I wrote two sentences that made absolutely no sense on their own. Those two sentences were: "The night sky was a damp grey. A cold winter's wind drifted over the land, bringing with it a whispering song." They're not much, but writing those two sentences somehow enabled me to write the next chapter for my fanfics Romeo and Juliet. So yeah, just write. Even if it's writing down a conversation you had with someone. I've done that plenty of times.

    As for the starting small, I suppose it could be a good idea if your inexperienced and not completely certain of your skills. I know I certainly don't focus on writing big all the time. Sometimes writing a paragraph, an essay, a few short lines (like above), a short story, or an idea for a chapter, whatever it is, I just write it without caring if it's big or small. So you should try to do the same.

    After all, if you stress writing too much, it won't be any fun anymore. Then you'll really feel uninspired and unable to lift up the pen/pencil and write. Or even be able to drag your fingers over the keyboard. Don't stress writing. Don't stress what writing may hold in the future. Don't stress anything really when it comes to writing. Just write.
     
  9. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    First of all, writing a short story and writing a novel is as different as writing a poem and a screen play. Both use words, but that's pretty much their only similarity. A short story needs to get straight to the point, has few characters and focus on a tiny plot, while a novel has multiple characters and can really take it's time developing the characters, plot and all that. You get the idea.

    Second, what's wrong with not finishing writing a novel? When you are writing the novel, you get experience. Even if you fail to finish it, you learn more about writing and what not to do. You learn to create a plot, develop characters, create a setting and all that, so you will be much more likely to finish the next novel even if you don't finish the first one.

    So to the OP, I suggest you just write. Age has nothing to do with anything. It's not like you will automatically turn into a very successful writer when you turn 30 or anything. You can be a successful writer now, and you might never be. The only way to find out is to try, so why wait?
     
  10. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I jumped right in and started writing a novel... I felt I had too, due to the nature of my plot. In many ways I wish I had written shorter stories first, Fight Club started as a short story, you can evolve things.
     
  11. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Children of the corn started as a short story and evolved into a great movie. Then it evolved into sequels, proving that you can evolve too far. :p
     
  12. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    Yeah, right. So you consider that someone who has written several short stories will be able to apply what he's learned to writing a novel just as well as... A quarterback who has played several games. After all, both use words!

    Short stories are very different from novels, but I still think it's not a good advice to say a new writer that he should start with a novel. Especially a younger one.

    Writing short stories you'll fall into most of the same first mistakes you would if you started with a novel, but it will be much easier and faster to find them.

    When you've written for a while, short stories and novels are very different, but that point is much farther down the road than the original question's scope.
     
  13. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I agree.

    I would never have thought I could write a whole novel until I finished my first one. I just started writing without the presure of making it a certain length or format.
     
  14. Peekaboo
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    Peekaboo New Member

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    I think it's nice to write a couple of short stories before embarking on a big project like a novel. Novels take so long to complete, and you're bound to go through bad periods when you feel like you're wasting your time and you just want to give up. Having a few finished short stories gives you a certain sense of accomplishment, an "I did it before, I can do it again" feeling that keeps you going.
     

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