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Author Zone - Readers Welcome! > How did you get into writing

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message 1: by Bill (new)

Bill (s0litaire) | 124 comments I'm one of those people with loads of ideas (well 2 or 3 good ones) for a book/story but have no idea about how to start writing. Well apart form the obvious 'sit at keyboard and hit the keys till everything is out' bit!

Just wondering how those here that do write got started?

Did you do a course or just one day sat down and started to write?

Personally I can't sit by myself and write, I work much better with most things when I'm in a group or working with someone.

But... this poses a slight problem 'cause I can't stand people in general ^_~ lol

I'm looking around my area for any writing courses that are not 'Beginning Business report writing' (Honestly their must be 40 or 50 different courses in my area which are different variation on 'how to write reports for business') but only 4 dealing with story writing and don't think any are within easy travelling distance of me.

So just thought I'd start a non-controversial Sunday topic ^_^


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21839 comments I've never done any writing course, but then I went to a grammar school and never did any grammar either. I guess that surprises nobody

Basically I just started writing by writing, but because I needed a second income I started writing articles etc for the hobby press and local newspapers.
So I got used to being edited etc.
It's good training, as Patti discovered with her blog challenges I can probably write a thousand words on pretty well anything, provided I've got enough wiggle room :-)
I finally took up writing 'books' because there is only so much EU regulation you can discuss and remain sane


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Yes. About time I sent another topic your way Jim.

I'm just gonna pop this over to the author zone...


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21839 comments I always get dizzy when she does that :-(


message 5: by Bill (new)

Bill (s0litaire) | 124 comments I know! @_@ thought it got removed. lol


message 6: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 7939 comments I began writing books and short stories just for pleasure, and joined a writing group of like minded individuals. That improved my writing to a certain extent, as did reading books that give advice on perfecting the craft of writing (Stephen King's is excellent). The biggest difference to my writing, however, was undertaking an English studies degree, a third of which was a creative writing element. I also believe that copious reading is invaluable for improving one's writing ability.


message 7: by Mark (new)

Mark Chisnell (markchisnell) | 73 comments Bill wrote: "I'm one of those people with loads of ideas (well 2 or 3 good ones) for a book/story but have no idea about how to start writing. Well apart form the obvious 'sit at keyboard and hit the keys till ..."

Whereabouts are you looking for courses?


message 8: by Karen (new)

Karen Lowe | 2335 comments I was always a v keen reader/listener to stories so writing them was just a natural progression. I think most children do invent their own worlds. Just some of us don't grow out of it. And prob being an only child helped. Not so many distractions.
As for writing courses - I did some locally when my children were small, which I enjoyed. It depends who's teaching tho, and what experience they hve in publishing. The most enjoyable and inspiring course I ever did was a weekend school in writing crime fiction, with Simon Brett and Susan Moody. We'd submitted a first chapter and CV, so were selected to attend. It's the level of criticism that's important - finely judged without being too soul-destroying!
Oh, and I'd also done a lit degree (English, French and German) which prob helps a bit.


message 9: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Hill | 1603 comments I had to take time off work due to ill health, which at the time was ruining my life. I was at such a low point, but writing pulled me out of that dip. I started off with a ghost story then just kept going and it's snowballed. Writing has given me something to focus on out of work, and certainly when I was in a very dark place, writing turned my life around completely. I've never looked back to my pre-writing years.


message 10: by Katie (new)

Katie Stewart (katiewstewart) | 853 comments We had just been through three years of jumping through hoops to adopt our son and suddenly there he was and I no longer had anything to aim for. It might sound silly, but I missed the angst of having to get things done by a certain date. So I took a writing course and loved it. Suddenly all those stories inside my head, that I had been too lazy to write down, started leaping onto the computer. Eventually whole books emerged!


message 11: by Bill (last edited Aug 26, 2013 06:10AM) (new)

Bill (s0litaire) | 124 comments Mark wrote: "
Whereabouts are you looking for courses? ..."


Mark
I'm in Ayrshire it's near Glasgow
I've been looking at local Uni's and colleges for any courses and looking for pointers about any local writing groups and courses.

As I'm unemployed at the moment I've got access to ILA Scotland funding (£200 to spend on any type of approved training course)

Half of that is already ear-marked for a JAVA programming course in December.

I've got my eye in this course. Just waiting to see If I can get in (limited to 16 places!)

http://www.myworldofwork.co.uk/course...


message 12: by Mark (new)

Mark Chisnell (markchisnell) | 73 comments Bill wrote: "Mark wrote: "Whereabouts are you looking for courses? ..."

Mark
I'm in Ayrshire it's near Glasgow
I've been looking at local Uni's and colleges for any courses and looking for pointers about any..."


That's a shame, I'm right down the other end of the country, otherwise I might have been able to help, but it sounds like you've got some good options anyway!


message 13: by Bill (new)

Bill (s0litaire) | 124 comments Here's hoping!

I'll not know if I get into that writing course for another couple of weeks! >_<


message 14: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments The OU do some good writing/english courses


message 15: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 7680 comments I always loved doing essays in school... yeah I know: I'm a weirdo!!!

I loved it so much that one day my aunt asked me if I'd ever thought of writing a book. I was fourteen at the time and it took me a few years to complete. It was predictably a bit mad, but I learnt a lot from it and started my next book at 18.

Broken City was that next book, and I've just started editing the sequel! In between I've written two other books, The Promise (Lady Quill Chronicles, 1#) and Fracture (Chronicles of Discord, 1#).


message 16: by Andy (new)

Andy Elliott | 1524 comments I wrote several short stories whilst in my teens and studying for GCSEs and A-levels. I then went off to university and studied a science degree, so there wasn't much scope there for creative writing. However most of the lectures were dull so I spent a good deal of time daydreaming and it was then that the seeds for my first novel started to form. I wrote a rough draft following encouragement from my housemate (who was reading English) but once my dissertation was due I abandoned my story.

Starting my career meant that I largely forget about my story, but it still came back to me now and again. It wasn't until I started a new job a couple of years ago with a chap who self-published that the thought of finishing my story re-entered my head.

Eighteen months later I tentatively clicked that publish button on the KDP page.

In terms of writing courses, I haven't attended one (I hope it doesn't show too much in my work!) However I read an awful lot and pick up styles of writing that I like (and many that I don't). This has I believe helped me develop as a writer. The support from readers, authors and reviewers on here has been an absolute godsend.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments I'd like to think that being a member of our group has helped many of our authors gain confidence in their efforts.

We readers make extra efforts to read and feed back to authors who make extra efforts to be valued members.

I'm now going make an extra effort to not use the word effort in the rest of this post.

Effort.

Well. That effort was for nought...


message 18: by Bill (new)

Bill (s0litaire) | 124 comments Thanks all

Been trying to get a bit of research done for a story I've got in mind.

Think I've typed more in notes this past few days than I've ever got done on my story! lol


message 19: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments I just decided to write one day, and did my first novel in a couple of months.

It was crap. But writing more and more after that taught me a lot.

I'm not a big fan of courses, and more a fan of sitting down and writing until you fall asleep. And after a couple of years of that you sort of get an idea of what you are doing - and why.


message 20: by Mark (new)

Mark Chisnell (markchisnell) | 73 comments Bill wrote: "Here's hoping!

I'll not know if I get into that writing course for another couple of weeks! >_<"


Best of luck!


message 21: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1790 comments It was raining one weekend when I was five. Maybe six. I wrote a two page short story about a superhero with a pneumatic drill on his head.

I couldn't draw a pneumatic drill, so the illustration was the Incredible Hulk. With a hat.

I've not stopped since.


message 22: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25061 comments Can you draw yet? ;)


message 23: by Bill (last edited Sep 05, 2013 04:47AM) (new)

Bill (s0litaire) | 124 comments Andrew wrote: "It was raining one weekend when I was five. Maybe six. I wrote a two page short story about a superhero with a pneumatic drill on his head.

I couldn't draw a pneumatic drill, so the illustration w..."


Is it just me or did anyone else think the last couple of sentences were going in a totally different direction??? ^_~ lol


message 24: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1790 comments Haha, no I still couldn't draw a pneumatic drill. I bet I could do a better hat now, though...

And Bill, I can't think what you might mean...


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