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  1. Jack B. Nimble

    Jack B. Nimble Member

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    Hi

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Jack B. Nimble, Dec 2, 2016.

    I am many things and there are many things I am not and one of those is that I am not an accomplished writer. Language is a foreign language for me. Syntax, grammar, spelling, punctuation... I never fully grasped the formal rules; I just fake it based on recognizing what appears to be acceptable patterns of putting words together to express ideas/emotions. Thank goodness for spell checkers. But sometimes I want to express some thoughts I have and sometimes I want to do it in a manner that at least a few others may find engaging and interesting.

    That's what leads me to here. About 10 years ago I started a poem inspired by imagery that came to me as I was thinking about what it means to feel the feeling of emptiness. As I struggled to find the words for the poem, I came to realize that I kept writing things that sounded better in prose than poetry. So I began to write a little short story. The story just grew as I wrote it. I got about 30,000 words down that I was feeling okay about but then I hit a creative wall. I can see the story in head but I just can't find the creative juices to work through the process of trying to find the right words to make it a story that might be worth continuing to read.

    The reason I quit is because I had paused for a little while and then reread what I had written with what seemed like a more detached perspective. I felt like I had hoodwinked myself (okay, deluded myself) into thinking it was well enough done to engage other people enough to make it worth the effort. Actually, it seemed to me then that it was not that good at all. That is the "writers block" that I haven't gotten over for ten years. But now I'd like to finish the story. I just became a grandpa for the first time and I have gotten this itch to finish this story in a manner worthy of least dedicating to my grandson.

    So, I'm hoping to post the beginning of the story to get feedback that I hope will kickstart the process - or kill my itch to finish it because I'll discover it just isn't that interesting/engaging to others.

    It might take me awhile to get to the required number of postings to qualify to post the beginning of the novel for review. I'm trying to get to the 20 postings required for that by mostly be doing reviews of others' writings - though I guess coming to this "Introductions" forum now sort of short cuts that path, huh?

    Let me know if I cause any of you any discomfort in any of my postings. I don't intend to do that, but sometimes my social antenna isn't tuned as well as it should be.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016
  2. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    Hello there. I would say we all have some story we have wanted to do for a long time but can't get it done for some reason.
    I would like to offer a tip or two.
    Try re-outlining your novel. As we age (10 years is long) we change. I would imagine that after 10 years, you don't feel the same way about things as you did when you began.
    If you have an outline- put novel to the side, take pieces from outline and flesh them out as short stories and something will probably spark and hopefully get you on your way.
    Start writing a different project and you may like it more. Start a story for your grandson, focusing on him.
    I tend to not like what I write, but I am working on a story for my niece and I am in love with it. I think it is the best fiction I have ever written. When I am able to post in Workshop I will get to find out what others think of my partial story so far, and I am eagerly awaiting the chance.
    Hang in there, we all go through this. And, we all rub others the wrong way, it's all part of surviving with others.
     
    Jack B. Nimble likes this.
  3. mikasa

    mikasa Member

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    In my opinion your social antenna being out of tune will help, because it will likely force you to examine the interactions of people and characters from a different perspective.
     
    Jack B. Nimble likes this.
  4. blklizard

    blklizard Member

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    Hi there! I am relatively new here as well.

    I am glad that your grandson is motivating you to finish your story. I have never done it myself but I have a feeling that finishing a novel, regardless of how well it sells, can be a very satisfying accomplishment in life.

    I am not sure about other people but I don't think critiques should make writers comfortable. Most novice writers like me need a lot of criticism before we can improve. I personally don't mind my stories being ripped apart because I know I have a lot of work to do. If you can have an honest criticism on a piece, I think you are doing the writer a big favor. How the writer receives the critique will reflect how far the writer will go in his or her lengthy road should he/she pursue writing as a career.
     
    Jack B. Nimble likes this.
  5. Jack B. Nimble

    Jack B. Nimble Member

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    Those are good suggestion antlad. After people give me feedback on what I have so far, I may very well pursue some or all of those.
     
  6. Jack B. Nimble

    Jack B. Nimble Member

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    That's interesting. I wonder if my novel reflects a different perspective due to my social antenna being out of tune too often.
     
  7. Jack B. Nimble

    Jack B. Nimble Member

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    Oh, I don't think my novel is marketable - because of the lack of quality of writing and also because there probably isn't an "audience" for it. Right now, I'm focused on seeing if it so dreadful that it's not really worth going on for much of any reason or maybe it's got enough redeeming value as a novel that it won't be embarrassing for my grandson to see that I dedicated to him.
     
  8. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    Is a book really dedicated if it is not finished? Stop beating yourself up. Use it as motivation. Try to think of things more like 'I will create something with a dedication to my grandson'. That novel may turn out to be that thing, or it may have been your first idea.
    Sounds like it is a relatively new grandson. If so, you have time.
    If you write, rewrite, and finally finish, will your grandson read it? If so, when?
    Do you want to produce something he reads years from now, or things that he reads through the years?

    I say start anew. Help spark the imagination of a child!
    Write and polish a set of short stories. Each one with him as the lead, as a kid. When he is seven or eight, you could self publish and give him a print copy. Almost every kid would love to read stories about themselves as a cowboy, scientist, adventurer, pirate, detective, a scout that saves the troop, an undercover kid for the FBI, etc. You can almost guarantee he would read it over and over and talk about it for a long time.
    Try writing a children's book that can teach him something you feel he should learn, or how you think he should learn it. Have fun, write a book about poo, or the benefits of peeing outside vs inside, or a story about the build up to a fight after school that ends up with some shoving, like most. Anticipate his fears as he ages and answer them with stories.
    Write a story about the house he lives in and all the magical things that happen within. Is it really bigger on the inside than the out? At night when we all go to sleep, does another family do what we do during the day? Is something of value hidden inside somewhere and any utility workers around are really spies looking for the treasure? Do the garbage men sort their trash each week hoping they accidentally threw away the treasure?

    The added benefit of doing things through the years, is that presumably you will be at least semi-close. If he ever gets interested in writing, you can use your stuff you wrote for him to show him how skill progresses through successive works.
     
    Jack B. Nimble likes this.
  9. Amy Grace

    Amy Grace New Member

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    Well, you were able to grab my attention, especially with the first paragraph of your introduction. So it seems that you have some writer in you in any case. You have also made me interested in checking out your story, so I guess I'll see if I find it floating around at some point. Good luck with everything and enjoy the time you get to spend with your grandson.
     
    Jack B. Nimble likes this.
  10. Jack B. Nimble

    Jack B. Nimble Member

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    Again, thank you antlad for responding with good suggestions. I am going to see what kind of response I get to what I have written so far and then I may very well take up trying some of your suggestions. I actually wasn't thinking that my grandson would read the story until he was at least in his mid-teens or later. I don't care if I'm around when he reads it; in fact, I think I prefer he not read it until after I'm gone.

    Thank you Amy Grace for your gracious greeting. Spending time with my grandson is one of the things I value most - which is probably why I thought about trying to finish this story and dedicate it to him.

    Thanks for the welcome, Carly Berg. I hope that I can give feedback that is worthwhile to other posters as well as get feedback that will help me decide where to go from here with the novel.
     
    Amy Grace likes this.
  11. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Contributor

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    On behalf of the staff, welcome! :D

    Sounds like you'll fit right in. ;) You probably also saw the New Member Quick Start Guide already, but here it is just in case.

    See you around!
    -Kat
     

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