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Old 12-07-2012, 02:24 AM   #1
jhempel24
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Jumping in to writing

I've thought about it for a while, and recently, while watching Pawn Stars, there was a quote from Paradise Lost, that coupled with an image that a friend of mine put up in a "writing prompt" that got me writing.

I figured it'd be short, I've never written anything before. I'm about 2500 words in and haven't even scratched the surface.

I know what I want to happen, and when it will happen, but I've never been good at getting from point A to point B. So I'm just writing and seeing where it will take me. I'm finding that it almost writes itself if you just sit and go.

And I've been told by my friend to just write....if I go back and change things, I'll never finish. So regardless of how boring it might be to me, I'm going to just write and try to write about 2000 words a day if possible. I don't know if that's a good goal or not.

If anyone is interested in what I'm writing, I'm more than willing to share, I don't plan on making any money, and it's not the next literary masterpiece. But any help on structure would be appreciated.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:33 AM   #2
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Actually that's a very good average word count if you can keep it up. The minimum daily count for NaNoWriMo is 1,667 words a day so in 30 days or a little less (if you write for 30 days on the same story) you'll have some 50,000 words of manuscript. It sounds interesting and just goes to show that an older piece of writing can inspire something new.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:34 AM   #3
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Congrats to you. I have ideas in my head that I haven't had the willpower to type out.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:37 AM   #4
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Thanks, it's kind of nerve racking as I've got no idea what I'm doing. lol.

Hopefully I can keep it up, but it all just depends on where my mind is....I'm still 5 books away from my 50 books this year goal and I want to read too lol
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhempel24 View Post
I've thought about it for a while, and recently,
...
And I've been told by my friend to just write....if I go back and change things, I'll never finish. So regardless of how boring it might be to me, I'm going to just write and try to write about 2000 words a day if possible. I don't know if that's a good goal or not.
...
Your friend is right, at least for most writers. First you write -- then, after your first draft is done, you edit.

I envy you -- my initial attempt at writing a story typically ends up being a couple of paragraphs long. I have to go back and really "flesh out" the storyline.

Good luck!
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:43 AM   #6
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My biggest problem at the moment is that I thought I knew how I wanted the story to go...but it's now being taken in another direction. Same outcome at the end, but A to B is going to probably end up completely different.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:39 AM   #7
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Good to hear!

I had a lot of false starts when I started: things that seemed interesting at the start, but that just sort of faded out and didn't hold even my interest (so there was no hope of holding anyone else's). Then a scene came to me (I have no idea where from) and I started writing in an effort to explain it to myself, and even when the writing was not going well I couldn't leave it alone. Without that compulsion/obsession I doubt if I would have had what it took to get through all the difficult times that come with trying to write, and there have been a lot of them.

That is not said to try and put you off ... more to suggest that you try to let the story take you where it will, let it get hold of you. In that way, if/when it starts to get difficult you are more likely to have what it takes to work past it - because when it goes well it's a real buzz. And, as my earlier experiences taught me, if this one doesn't keep hold of you then have faith that another might (but don't give up too quickly on any idea with promise).

I'm not a words-per-day person myself, but everyone's different. Find what works you - and be prepared for it to change over time.

Best of luck with it. I hope it goes well for you.

Last edited by gmw; 12-07-2012 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:47 AM   #8
jhempel24
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I'm going to do something here....and I don't know if I should.

Here is a link to what I have. This is an ongoing project, I know where it's headed, I just don't know "how" it's going to get there yet. I've only started working on it since yesterday....and yes I'm obsessing over it.

https://www.box.com/s/bblll2b2z77ok61evwkh

It's already taken turns I didn't plan, and I'm kind of starting to understand the "characters do whatever they want" thing that I never could grasp.

Any constructive criticism and help would be great if you have the time. After trying to write before, and just flat out stopping because I couldn't go anywhere, I have been typing away at this.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:49 AM   #9
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I think this is a great way to get started...and by all means, keep going! but at some point you probably should do yourself a favor and try other methods of writing to see which one fits you best.

There are two ends of the spectrum, discovery writers like myself, and the planners that strictly outline, and plan out everything. Here are two examples:

Orson Scott Card plans everything out in advance, crafts a summary of the novel, and can even tell you the rough word count, before he starts. Very regimented and planed out.

Steven King does not know how the story will play out, or end when he starts. He speaks of "being surprised" about what he characters do, and who wins in the end.

(BTW - buy and read his book On Writing)

Where YOU fail along that spectrum is something you need to discover along the way. Personally, as a discovery writer, I write iteratively. Meaning, I write 2-5 chapters, and then go back to page one and start editing. Then I write 2-5 more chapters and repeat. My stories grow as I go. I do not have any outline, but anyone that have read my books will tell you even four novels in they flow as if they were following a well planed route.

Plenty of the vocal posters on this forum fall more in to Orson Scott Card's camp of working better through well planed outlines (or mind maps, or other favored planning tool). Most fall someplace on the spectrum between the too extremes. Mind Maps are a great option for many that allows them to plan in a more dynamic method then Outlines seem to allow (even though under the covers a Mind Map IS an outline).

The key is to find what works best for you, and what you enjoy most. Then go with that.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:00 AM   #10
jhempel24
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Thank you!

On Writing is an excellent book, I've read it before a long time ago but am going to go back and re-visit it.

I think the 2-5 chapters, go back and edit, and then write is a fantastic idea. The reason I see now is because in this story, I'm finding I don't know enough about certain things to continue about it and need to change or exclude it.

Thanks for the tips!
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:15 AM   #11
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Good Luck Jhempel24. You've started, that's what matters. There are many methods, you will learn as you go. Another camp you may fall into from the sound of your OP is the writers that know the ending or MUST know the ending to get started. Some (like John Irving) even work backwards in the writing.

Good luck! Will be watching for your updates/progress!
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:18 AM   #12
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Thanks for sharing what you've written, it looks good to me, you are writing well and it reads well. As long as you know where it's going and you maintain the narrative drive, you'll get there.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:22 AM   #13
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Thank you Kenny. I don't HAVE to know the ending, and actually the ending I envisioned before I started may actually be apart of another story tying into this, or still part of this book....what I started writing was originally a setup for another story, it just took on a life of it's own. I know what the ending to this part is...I just don't know how it's going to happen, or when, but so far things have been flowing naturally.

That link will be updated every day as I go back and forth from writing at work, to home. Any advice and critiques are always welcome....and frightening.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:03 AM   #14
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It's already taken turns I didn't plan, and I'm kind of starting to understand the "characters do whatever they want" thing that I never could grasp.
That's normal I think. The initial idea may have things going in one direction and while writing it out another, better idea, pops up. Moby Dick is a good example. It starts out with a big piece about a man named Bulkington from what I understand and then he's washed overboard one night. Why? Because Melville had discovered a character by the name of Ahab.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:20 AM   #15
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Alas poor Bulkington.
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